Ventenata dubia - (Leers) Coss. & Durieu
Ventenata
Other English Common Names: North Africa Grass
Other Common Names: North Africa grass
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Ventenata dubia (Leers) Coss. (TSN 42259)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.134144
Element Code: PMPOA6D010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Ventenata
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Ventenata dubia
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (17Oct2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States California (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Montana (SNA), New York (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Utah (SNA), Washington (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (SNA), British Columbia (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Ontario (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CAexotic, IDexotic, MTexotic, NYexotic, ORexotic, UTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BCexotic, NBexotic, ONexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Medium/Low
Rounded I-Rank: Medium
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Ventenata dubia is an annual grass first collected from the US in 1952. It is established in the interior northwest (dry parts of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) and immediately adjacent states; a few collections have occurred in other states, but these may not represent fully naturalized populations. Predominantly established in open, disturbed habitats such as fields, rangelands, and roadsides. Also invade a variety of bunchgrass and shrub steppe communities, generally following some sort of natural or anthropogenic disturbance (intense grazing, fire, frost-heaving, streamflow, road/trail construction); occasionally found in dry forest/woodland. Following establishment, forms a dense thatch that probably inhibits reestablishment of native bunchgrasses; can come to dominate overgrazed communities. Spreads via contamination of commercial grass seed mixtures and appears to be increasing locally.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 24Sep2007
Evaluator: Gravuer, K.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Native to central, southern, and eastern Europe, northern Africa, western Asia, and the Caucasus (Clayton et al. 2007).

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: This species is a non-native that is established outside of cultivation (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Invades bunchgrass and shrub steppe communities, dry forest/woodland (e.g. yellow pine woodland, ponderosa pine forest), and, rarely, riparian shrub communities (Wilderman 2003, Nelson 2004, Taylor 2004, Johnson and Swanson 2005, Johnson et al. 2006, Youngblood et al. 2006, Rice 2007, Magee et al. in press).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: First collected in 1952 (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2007); it is as yet unclear whether this species will affect fire cycles in a manner similar to Bromus tectorum.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Medium/Low significance
Comments: A short, wiry, annual grass invading a landscape of perennial bunchgrasses and shrubs (Johnson and Swanson 2005), this species likely creates a less "clumped" community. Also forms a dense thatch that significantly changes the structure of the litter layer and probably inhibits reestablishment of native bunchgrasses (Johnson and Swanson 2005).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Forms a dense thatch that probably inhibits reestablishment of native bunchgrasses (Johnson and Swanson 2005). Came to dominate a low sagebrush/Idaho fescue-bluebunch wheatgrass plant association in the Blue and Ochoco Mountains following overgrazing (Johnson and Swanson 2005). Poor forage for wildlife (Lass and Prather 2007).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Insignificant
Comments: No evidence of disproportionate impact on a particular native species was found in the literature.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Palouse grasslands are of high conservation significance, having been greatly reduced from their historical extent (Noss et al. 1995 cited in Lass and Prather 2007). Although disturbance appears necessary for this species to establish in these communities, natural disturbance (e.g. elk grazing, frost heaving, fire, streamflow) appears sufficient in at least some cases (Wilderman 2003, Nelson 2004, Johnson et al. 2006, Magee et al. in press). Encroaching upon populations of several globally rare plant species in Idaho: Spalding's catchfly (Silene spaldingii), Palouse Goldenweed (Pyrrocoma liatriformis), and Slickspot Peppergrass (Lepidium papilliferum) (Colket 2004, Hill and Gray 2004, Gray et al. 2005).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

6. Current Range Size in Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Firmly established (and locally dense) in Washington [esp. east], Idaho [esp. north], and Oregon [esp. northeast], with a few collections from adjacent states (northern California, western Montana, northern Utah, and Wyoming) (Kartesz 1999, Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2007); possibly also established in Nevada (Martin 2000). Also collected at least once in Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, and Maine, but it may not be firmly established in these states (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2007, Wisconsin State Herbarium 2007). Generalized range encompasses approximately 10% of US land area.

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Apparently of concern throughout the interior northwest (WA, OR, ID), where it is most densely established (Martin 2000, Wilderman 2003, Nelson 2004, Taylor 2004, Johnson and Swanson 2005). Within this region, however, many populations are found within sites where they presumably have minimal impact on native biodiversity (e.g. fields, pastures, roadsides). Has not yet been identified as problematic in California (Tu and Randall 2003).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Low significance
Comments: Approximately 12 ecoregions are invaded, based on visual comparison of the generalized range and ecoregions map (The Nature Conservancy 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Dry, open habitats (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2007); prefers exposed soil (Lass and Prather 2007). In the interior northwest, most often found in disturbed areas such as fields (grasses, alfalfa, or winter wheat) and pastures, roadsides and open disturbed areas (e.g. vacant lots), and rangelands (Martin 2000, Nelson 2004, Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2007, Lass and Prather 2007, Rice 2007). Sometimes found within bunchgrass and shrub steppe communities, although almost always following a disturbance (intense grazing [by elk or domestic livestock], fire, frost-heaving, or adjacent to trails or roads); communities invaded include Idaho fescue-prairie junegrass, Sandberg's bluegrass-onespike oatgrass, bluebunch wheatgrass-Sandberg's bluegrass, antelope bitterbrush-Idaho fescue, and low sagebrush-Idaho fescue-bluebunch wheatgrass (Wilderman 2003, Nelson 2004, Taylor 2004, Johnson and Swanson 2005, Johnson et al. 2006). Occasionally found at riparian sites, such as dry/rocky banks beside creeks or drying ponds (Rice 2007). Also occasionally found within dry forest/woodland vegetation such as yellow pine woodland or ponderosa pine forest, sometimes within riparian communities including a Mockorange-Ninebark-Oceanspray shrub association (Youngblood et al. 2006, Rice 2007, Magee et al. in press). Outside the interior northwest, found in disturbed areas such as waste places, roadsides, and along trails (Hickman et al. 1993, Welsh et al. 2003, Wisconsin State Herbarium 2007).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: The first North American collection of this species was made in Washington in 1952 (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2007). Currently expanding to the Idaho-Nevada border near Duck Valley (Martin 2000), and is thought to be becoming more widespread across the west generally (Tu and Randall 2003).

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Medium/Low significance
Comments: The limits to conditions that this species can tolerate are still unknown (Johnson and Swanson 2005). It is, however, possible that the interior northwest represents most of the potential range of this species in North America, since collections from outlying areas such as Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, and Maine may not represent truly naturalized populations (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2007, Wisconsin State Herbarium 2007).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Frequently spread as a contaminant in commercial grass seed mixtures (Martin 2000, Nelson 2004). Awns can allow seed to disperse via attachment to humans or animals (Lass and Prather 2007).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Moderate significance
Comments: Apparently increasing in areas of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, especially with new disturbances (Martin 2000, Tu and Randall 2003). Does not appear to be increasing in California (Tu and Randall 2003).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Moderate significance
Comments: Damage to the soil biological crust appears to facilitate rapid invasion (Nelson 2004). Found within bunchgrass and shrub steppe communities, although almost always following a natural (elk grazing, frost heaving, fire) or anthropogenic (livestock grazing, trails or roads) disturbance; communities invaded include Idaho fescue-prairie junegrass, Sandberg's bluegrass-onespike oatgrass, bluebunch wheatgrass-Sandberg's bluegrass, antelope bitterbrush-Idaho fescue, and low sagebrush-Idaho fescue-bluebunch wheatgrass (Wilderman 2003, Nelson 2004, Taylor 2004, Johnson and Swanson 2005, Johnson et al. 2006). Occasionally found at naturally disturbed riparian sites, such as dry/rocky banks beside creeks or drying ponds or within riparian shrub associations (Rice 2007, Magee et al. in press). Found within dry ponderosa pine forests following fire (Youngblood et al. 2006). Low or middle elevation upland forests and grasslands with the Sierran Steppe and the Northern, Middle, and Southern Rocky Mountain ecoregions are considered "invasible with disturbance" by this species (Parks et al. 2005).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: Apparently only established in Canada, including BC, AB, ON (Kartesz 1999) and QC (Martin 2000), where it appears to occupy similar habitats.

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Low significance
Comments: Reproduces by seed (Nelson 2004); plants produce 15 to 35 seeds per plant (Lass and Prather 2007). Seeds are viable for at least three years in clay-loam soils (Lass and Prather 2007).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Herbicide appears to be the most effective control option, although this species' resistance to glyphosate and sethoxydim may be problematic for herbicide treatment in natural areas (Martin 2000). Mowing has not been very effective because plants tend to bend rather than cut when mowed and because seed heads mowed late in the season appear to continue to produce viable seed, but early mowing allows plants to produce a second flush of seeds (Lass and Prather 2007). This species' low palatability reduces the possibility of control by grazing (Martin 2000). Prescribed fire seems to be a risky control option since many cases are known of this species increasing after fire (Wilderman 2003, Youngblood et al. 2006).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Low significance
Comments: Seeds are viable for at least three years in clay-loam soils (Lass and Prather 2007).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium/Low significance
Comments: The need for harsh herbicides (i.e. resistance to glyphosate) may increase the risk of impacts to co-occurring native species. Also, because many co-occurring natives are also grasses, it would not be possible to avoid impacts by choosing a broad-leaf herbicide.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Insignificant
Comments: The predominantly dry, open, somewhat disturbed habitats invaded by this species would not appear to pose great accessibility problems. Because this species spreads as a contaminant of commercial seed, it may be present on some privately-owned agricultural and rangelands, but because this species is widely perceived as a weed (and has low palatability), resistance to control efforts is unlikely.
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References
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  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2007a. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 24. Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Poaceae, part 1. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxviii + 911 pp.

  • Gray, K., J. Hill, and M. Mancuso. 2005. Updated Palouse Goldenweed (Pyrrocoma liatriformis) occurrences on BLM land, Craig Mountain, Idaho. Idaho Department of Fish and Game Conservation Data Center, Boise, ID. 19 pp. Available: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/tech/CDC/cdc_pdf/u05gra02.pdf

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  • Johnson, C. G., M. J. Willis, and M. Vavra. 2006. Cumulative impacts of spring elk use on steppe vegetation. pg. 81-82 in Bohnert, D. and J. D. Bates (eds.) Research Progress Report 2005: Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center Oregon State University Agricultural Experiment Station in cooperation with Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. SR 1057. Online. Available: http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/dspace/bitstream/1957/6346/1/SR+no.+1057_OCR_Fixed2.pdf

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Klinkenberg, B. (ed.). 2006. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Online. Available: http://www.eflora.bc.ca (Accessed: 2007).

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