Coincya monensis - (L.) Greuter & Burdet
Star-mustard
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Coincya monensis (L.) Greuter & Burdet (TSN 506906)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.159281
Element Code: PDBRA2Y010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Mustard Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Capparales Brassicaceae Coincya
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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: Coincya monensis
Taxonomic Comments: This is a new record in the database with no distribution yet provided by Kartesz; present ESTP records come from C. monensis var. recurvata, which Kartesz had listed before as C. cheiranthos, but no longer recognizes (Martinez, TNC-HO, 6/94). See also Kartesz & Gandhi, Phytologia 76(6): 443. 1994.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 20Jun1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Delaware (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Michigan (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNR), Pennsylvania (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
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 DEexotic, KYexotic, MIexotic, NC, NJexotic, NYexotic, PAexotic

Range Map
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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: Low/Insignificant
Rounded I-Rank: Low
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Coincya monensis is currently established in eight eastern states and as one known population in California, with the most abundant establishment occurring in Pennsylvania. It is thought to have established in 1958 and many sources note it to be spreading rapidly, especially along Pennsylvania roadsides; this behavior in Pennsylvania may be facilitated by the species' contamination of crown vetch seed. Because it resembles other weedy species in the mustard family, it is suspected to be under-reported. Generally, this species invades open, disturbed habitats, including roadsides, railroad tracks, trails, powerline ROWs, and fields. It has also been occasionally observed in a few semi-natural habitats in the east, including cliffs/rock ledges, alluvial flats and wetland margins, although with lower frequency and abundance than in the more disturbed sites. The recently-discovered (1997) California population is of great concern to land managers because it was found very near natural dune areas of high conservation value - these dunes support rare natural communities and two federally-listed plant taxa. An effort to eradicate this population began soon after its discovery; however, although management by hand-pulling is relatively straightforward, the species has not yet been completely eradicated from the area. This species is therefore one to watch in terms of biodiversity impact; although impacts are currently low in the disturbed areas that host the vast majority of established populations, the species' rapid spread and apparent ability to encroach on dune habitats of high conservation value suggests that it may have greater impacts in the future.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Low/Insignificant
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Low
I-Rank Review Date: 18Apr2007
Evaluator: Gravuer, K.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Europe, including Belgium, Germany, Italy, France (incl. Corsica), Portugal, Spain, and Morocco (Naczi and Thieret 1996, USDA-ARS 2005).

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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: Invaded habitats include roadsides and railroad tracks (crown vetch (Coronilla varia) almost always co-occurs in PA), trails and powerline ROWs, cliffs and rock ledges (especially those associated with roadcuts), disturbed areas (e.g. disturbed sites at service stations), fields, alluvial flats and wetland margins, and (in California) disturbed coastal dunes (Rollins 1993, Naczi and Thieret 1996, Pickart 1997, Martin 2000, Rhoads and Block 2000, Jones 2005, Weakley 2006, A. Rhoads pers. comm. 2007).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Low significance
Comments: No reports of impacts on ecosystem processes were found in the literature. However, given that this species has only been established since 1958, is known to be spreading rapidly, is likely underreported (Naczi and Thieret 1996), and has recently been discovered in a new habitat (coastal dunes in CA) (Pickart 1997), it has been deemed too early to tell whether it will have impacts on ecosystem processes (A. Rhoads, pers. comm. 2007).

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: In Pennsylvania, where this species is most abundantly established, Naczi and Thieret (1996) noted that it "often dominated its habitat to the apparent exclusion of other species" and was "seemingly a formidable competitor, [with an individual plant] capable of covering a large area". However, such impacts apparently occur predominantly or exclusively on roadsides, as others familiar with the species in Pennsylvania note that, with the exception of roadside areas, plants are generally not abundant enough to impact community structure (A. Rhoads, pers. comm. 2007). Even in roadside areas, the species apparently co-occurs with other herbaceous "synanthropes" (Naczi and Thieret 1996), so the extent to which it changes this community's structure should be limited to moderate changes in herbaceous density. However, should the species ever establish a firmer foothold in coastal dune systems, as was feared possible in California, impacts on community structure would be greater.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Low significance
Comments: In Pennsylvania, where this species is most abundantly established, Naczi and Thieret (1996) noted that it "often dominated its habitat to the apparent exclusion of other species" and was "seemingly a formidable competitor, [with an individual plant] capable of covering a large area". However, such impacts apparently occur predominantly or exclusively on roadsides, as others familiar with the species in Pennsylvania note that, with the exception of roadside areas, plants are generally not very abundant (A. Rhoads, pers. comm. 2007). Even in roadside areas, the species apparently co-occurs with other herbaceous "synanthropes" (e.g. Capsella bursa-pastoris, annual species of Cerastium, Coronilla varia, Erigeron canadensis, Erysimum repandum, Lotus corniculatus, Polygonum aviculare, Silene antirrhina, S. cucubalus, and S. pratensis (Lychnis alba)) (Naczi and Thieret 1996), so impacts on native species populations are likely not great. However, should the species ever establish a firmer foothold in coastal dune systems, as was feared possible in California, impacts on community composition would be greater.

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Insignificant
Comments: No evidence of disproportionate impacts was found.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance
Comments: Generally, this species invades disturbed habitats of low conservation value (Naczi and Thieret 1996). In the eastern US, it is occasionally found in more semi-natural habitats, such as cliffs/rock ledges, alluvial flats and wetland margins, but it has not often been observed to reach high abundance in these more natural habitats (A. Rhoads pers. comm. 2007). A major exception to this pattern is the one known occurrence of the species in California, where it threatens natural dunes of very high conservation value - these dunes feature sand-verbena-beach bursage (Northern foredune) and native dunegrass plant communities and support two federally listed plants, Erysimum menziesii ssp. eurekense (Humboldt bay wallflower) and Layia carnosa (beach layia) (Martin 2000). On average, therefore, the species does not typically threaten communities of high conservation value, but this may change in the future should it establish a greater foothold in native coastal dune communities.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Low/Insignificant

6. Current Range Size in Nation:Low significance
Comments: Apparently most abundantly established in Pennsylvania (although this may be partially a function of intensive collection effort there), where documented from 37 counties (Rhoads and Klein 1993, PA Flora Project no date). However, because of this plant's similarity to other weedy mustards, there is a strong possibility that it has often been overlooked or ignored, meaning that its range is probably under-documented (Naczi and Thieret 1996). Also established in southern New York and in New Jersey; considered a waif in Maryland (Shetler and Orli 2000). Considered established, though rare, in West Virginia (1 county documented), Kentucky (Interior Low Plateaus), and North Carolina (western mountains) (Jones 2005, Weakley 2006). Also established in one county in southwestern Michigan, where it has been documented from two relatively nearby areas (vPlants no date). One established population was also detected in coastal Humboldt County, California in 1997; this population has been subject to continual eradication efforts, but some plants were still extant as of 2005 (Ertter 2003). In total, about 5% of the US is invaded.

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Although noted as being "extremely invasive in Pennsylvania and other eastern states" (e.g. Martin 2000), this appears to refer predominantly to the species' very rapid recent spread in those areas rather than to its biodiversity impact. The semi-natural habitats it invades in the east - cliffs/rock ledges not associated with road cuts, alluvial flats and wetland margins - are apparently invaded with low frequency compared to other habitat types, such as roadsides (Naczi and Thieret 1996). Also, the species has not often been observed to reach high abundance in these more natural habitats (A. Rhoads pers. comm. 2007). In California, the proximity of invading populations (established in disturbed areas) to nearby natural dunes of high conservation value (featuring sand-verbena-beach bursage [Northern foredune] and native dunegrass plant communities and two federally listed plants, Erysimum menziesii ssp. eurekense [Humboldt bay wallflower] and Layia carnosa [beach layia]) has caused a great deal of concern among managers, who have been attempting to eradicate the population (Pickart 1997, Martin 2000, Ertter 2003). The extent to which the plants would have been able to invade the natural dune areas on their own, and what impacts they may have had there, therefore remain unknown.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Low significance
Comments: Approximately 10 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:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Prefers relatively open areas with sandy, gravelly, or rocky soils. Invaded habitats include roadsides and railroad tracks (crown vetch (Coronilla varia) almost always co-occurs in PA), trails and powerline ROWs, cliffs and rock ledges (especially those associated with roadcuts), disturbed areas (e.g. disturbed sites at service stations), fields, alluvial flats and wetland margins, and (in California) disturbed coastal dunes (Rollins 1993, Naczi and Thieret 1996, Pickart 1997, Martin 2000, Rhoads and Block 2000, Jones 2005, Weakley 2006, A. Rhoads pers. comm. 2007).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Naczi and Thieret (1996), who intensively studied the species' distribution, noted that "advance in Pennsylvania may have been rather rapid: from one county in 1964 to at least 20 counties ca. 3 decades later. We predict with confidence that the range will increase." Other sources noted rapid spread in PA as well (Rhoads and Block 2000); interestingly, this may have been at least partially facilitated by the species' contamination of crown vetch seed intentionally planted on roadsides (A. Rhoads, pers. comm. 2007). Although collected a few times from east coast ballast heaps in the 19th century, the species does not appear to have fully naturalized in the US until 1958 (in western NC) (Naczi and Thieret 1996); since that time, it has spread to at least 8 other states and probably more (it is likely under-collected/reported) (Naczi and Thieret 1996). Therefore, by all accounts, the range appears to be increasing.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Moderate significance
Comments: In Europe C. monensis occurs from hardiness zone 10 to zone 7, but in North America, the plant has become established in zone 5 areas (Naczi and Thieret 1996, Martin 2000). Therefore, the potential range could include at least zones 5-10. It is unclear to what degree low precipitation may inhibit the species' spread into the western US, but it appears to thrive in sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils, so may be at least somewhat drought-tolerant.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: This species does not appear to have many biological adaptations for long-distance dispersal. However, it managed to disperse across the country from its main area of establishment in the northeast US to Humboldt County, CA, where it was discovered in 1997. Possible means for this cross-country dispersal event include construction equipment, imported fill, and horse manure (Pickart 1997, Martin 2000). In addition, the species' rapid spread in Pennsylvania may have been at least partially facilitated by its contamination of crown vetch seed intentionally planted on roadsides (A. Rhoads, pers. comm. 2007).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Several sources noted rapid spread in Pennsylvania (and adjacent New York) (Naczi and Thieret 1996, Rhoads and Block 2000); interestingly, this may have been at least partially facilitated by the species' contamination of crown vetch seed intentionally planted on roadsides (A. Rhoads, pers. comm. 2007). In addition, the rate of spread of the California population caused sufficient concern among managers that an intensive eradication effort was initiated quickly following the population's discovery (Pickart 1997).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Medium/Low significance
Comments: By far the greatest number of populations are found in highly disturbed areas (Rollins 1993, Naczi and Thieret 1996, Pickart 1997, Martin 2000, Rhoads and Block 2000, Jones 2005, Weakley 2006, A. Rhoads pers. comm. 2007). The species has been found in at least a few semi-natural habitats in the in the east - cliffs/rock ledges not associated with road cuts, alluvial flats and wetland margins - although not in high abundance (Naczi and Thieret 1996, A. Rhoads pers. comm). In California, managers believed that the species had a sufficient probability of invading natural dune ecosystems of high conservation value that an intensive eradication effort was needed (Pickart 1997). However, because this effort began soon after that population's discovery, the extent to which the plants would have been able to invade the natural dune areas on their own, and what impacts they may have had there, remain unknown.

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: Naturalized in Britain (Tutin et al. 1993), apparently in similar habitats.

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Low significance
Comments: Control efforts for the California population were initiated in 1997 and were still ongoing in 2005 (Ertter 2003), suggesting that seeds remain viable in the soil for 3 or more years. The species does not appear to possess any other aggressive reproductive traits.

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Low significance
Comments: Plants are easily hand-pulled (Martin 2000).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Moderate significance
Comments: In California, an eradication effort for a 2-acre infestation has apparently taken at least 8 years (Ertter 2003), so numerous follow-up treatments appear to be required where eradication is the objective.

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Except for a tap root, the roots are shallow, which is the reason plants can be easily hand-pulled (Martin 2000). Hand-pulling plants with predominantly shallow roots should have minimal effects on co-occurring species.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Insignificant
Comments: The fact that the habitat distribution of this species is so strongly skewed toward disturbed areas (Naczi and Thieret 1996) means that accessibility problems should be minimal. Minor accessibility issues may be present at some of the cliff sites.
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Ertter, B., editor. 2003. Coincya monensis (L.) Greuter & Burdet. Initial editorial analysis. Jepson Flora Project: Index to California Plant Names. Online. Available: http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu (Accessed 2007).

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2010. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 7. Magnoliophyta: Salicaceae to Brassicaceae. Oxford University Press, New York. xxii + 797 pp.

  • Jones, R. L. 2005. Plant Life of Kentucky. The University Press of Kentucky. 834 pp.

  • 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.

  • Martin, T. 2000. Weed Alert! Coincya monensis (L.) Greuter and Burdet (Isle of Man cabbage, coicya, star mustard). The Nature Conservancy Global Invasive Species Initiative. Online. Available: http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/alert/alrtcoin.html (Accessed 2007).

  • Naczi, R. F. C. and J. W. Thieret. 1996. Invasion and spread of Coincya monensis (Brassicaceae) in North America. Sida 17(1): 43-53.

  • Pickart, A. 1997. A new invasive mustard in California. CalEPPC News (a quarterly publication of the California Exotic Pest Plant Council) 5(4): 6.

  • Randall, J. M. 1997. Weed Alert! New invasive weeds in California. California Exotic Pest Plant Council 1997 Symposium Proceedings. 6 pp. Online. Available: http://www.cal-ipc.org/symposia/archive/pdf/1997_symposium_proceedings1946.pdf (Accessed 2007).

  • Randall, R.P. 2002. A global compendium of weeds. R.G. and F.J. Richardson, Melbourne. 905 pp.

  • Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block. 2000. The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual. University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1061 pp.

  • Rollins, R.C. 1993a. The Cruciferae of continental North America: Systematics of the mustard family from the Arctic to Panama. Stanford Univ. Press, Stanford, California. 976 pp.

  • Shetler, Stanwyn G., and Sylvia Stone Orli. 2000. Annotated checklist of the vascular plants of the Washington-Baltimore Area. Part I. Ferns, fern allies, gymnosperms, and dicotyledons. Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. xv + 187 pp. + Supplement (1 p.).

  • The Pennsylvania Flora Project. Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. Available: http://www.paflora.org/ (Accessed 2003).

  • Tutin, T.G., N.A. Burges, A.O. Chater, J.R. Edmonson, V.H. Heywood, D.M. Moore, D.H. Valentine, S.M. Walters and D.A. Webb. 1993. Flora Europaea. Vol. 1. Psilotaceae to Platanaceae. 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England. 629 pp.

  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. 2005. December 9 last update. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) Online Database. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Available: http://www.ars-grin.gov2/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl (Accessed 2006).

  • Weakley, A. S. 2006. Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and surrounding areas. Working draft of 17 January 2006. University of North Carolina Herbarium, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill. Online. Available: http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm (accessed 2006).

  • vPlants: A virtual herbarium of the Chicago region. no date. Online, searchable database created by partnership of the Morton Arboretum, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Online. Available: http://www.vplants.org/ (Accessed 2007).

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