Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheets

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file icon Solanum viarumhot!Tooltip 10/23/2018 Hits: 266
TOMATO FAMILY
Solanaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: tropical soda apple
Viet Nam: cà trái vàng
 
DESCRIPTION
Evergreen, erect herb [50–150 (–200) cm tall], with densely hairy stems and branches with recurved (2–5 mm long) and straight spines (up to 20 mm long) on the leaf stalks and the leaf veins.
Leaves: Dark green, glossy above, duller below, hairy, simple, broadly egg-shaped [6–20 cm long and 6–15 cm wide], bluntly lobed, with spines on the veins and hairs on both sides, leaf stalks are 3–7 cm long with prickles. Flowers: White (1.5 cm across), in clusters of 1–5.
Fruits: Berries (fleshy fruits that don’t open at maturity), mottled light and dark green becoming pale yellow as they mature, smooth (2–3 cm across), containing 400 brown seeds (2–3 mm in diameter).
 
ORIGIN
Argentina, southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Medicine and accidentally as a contaminant.
 
INVADES
Grassland, forest edges/gaps and riparian vegetation.
 
IMPACTS
Dense stands displace other plant species by crowding or shading them out. The prickles on the plants reduce wildlife forage and prevent movement of animals through invaded areas (USDA-FS, 2005). The foliage and stems are unpalatable to cattle, considerably reducing livestock-carrying capacities (Medal et al., 2012). Control costs of S. viarum to ranchers in Florida were estimated at US$ 6.5–16 million per year (Thomas, 2007). It has also caused poisoning of goats in Florida (Porter et al., 2003). It is an alternative host for many plant diseases including the cucumber mosaic virus, gemini virus, potato leafroll virus, potato virus Y, tobacco etch virus, tomato mosaic virus, tomato mottle virus and the fungal pathogen, Alternaria solani (Cooke, 1997). It is also a host for a number of insect pests (Sudbrink et al., 2000; Medal et al., 2012).
 
Source:
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158961 on 24 October 2018
file icon Mimosa pigrahot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 264
PEA FAMILY
Fabaceae; Sub-family: Mimosaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: bashful bush, black mimosa, giant mimosa, giant sensitive plant
Cambodia: banla uyyas, banla yuon, deoum klab yeik; Indonesia: ki kerbau, putri malu
Malaysia: kembang gajah, semalu gajah
Thailand: maiyaraap ton, mai yah raap yak
Viet Nam: trinh nu thân go, trinh nu dam lay
 
DESCRIPTION
Evergreen shrub or small tree (3–6 m high), forming dense thickets, young stems green, rounded, armed with scattered prickles (5–12 mm long), taproot is 1–2 m deep.
Bark: Older stems grey and woody.
Leaves: Yellowish-green, with short fine hairs below, twice-divided (20–31 cm long), straight thorn at the junction of each of the 6–16 pairs of leaflet branchlets, each branchlet with 20–45 pairs of small elongated leaflets (3–12 mm long and 0.5–2 mm wide), leaves fold together at night or when touched.
Flowers: Pink or mauve, in fluffy round heads (1–2 cm wide), borne singly or in groups of two or three, on stalks (2–7 cm long), arising from each upper leaf fork.
Fruits: Pods (several-seeded dry fruits that split open at maturity), green turning brown as they mature, flat and elongated (3–12 cm long and 7–14 mm wide), covered in bristly hairs, borne in clusters (1–30), break transversely into 14–26 segments; seeds greenish-brown to light brown (4–6 mm long and 2–2.5 mm wide).
 
ORIGIN
Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Green manure, nitrogen fixation, medicine, hedge/barrier and ornament.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, disturbed land, wastelands, urban open space, drainage ditches, irrigation channels, dams, riversides, floodplains, swamps, wetlands, lake edges and gullies.
 
IMPACTS
Dense infestations of M. pigra contribute to a decline in abundance and diversity of species of plants and animals. In Tram Chim National Park, Vietnam, it has reduced the density of native plant species threatening the vulnerable sarus crane (Grus antigone L.) (Triet and Dung, 2001). M. pigra thickets in Australia had fewer plants, birds and lizards, than native vegetation (Braithwaite et al., 1989). In Lochinvar National Park, Zambia, infestations reduced bird diversity by almost 50% and abundance by more than 95% (Shanungu, 2009). In Cambodia, farmers ranked mimosa as the most significant problem affecting rice farming, ‘ahead of pests, rodents, and drought problems’ (Chamroeun et al., 2002). M. pigra also hampers fishing activities and prevents access to water bodies.
 
Source:
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158961 on 23 October 2018
file icon Opuntia strictahot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 260
CACTUS FAMILY
Cactaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: Australian pest pear, common pest pear, erect prickly pear, sour prickly pear.
 
DESCRIPTION
Succulent erect, spreading shrub [0.5–1.3 (–2) m high]; thicketforming; modified stems called cladodes are blue-green, longer than broad (10–20 cm long and 7.5–14 cm wide); 3–5 areoles (raised structures or bumps on the stems of cacti, out of which grow clusters of spines) per diagonal row on each cladode; 1–2 straight and flattened yellow spines (1.5–4 cm long) usually restricted to marginal areoles as opposed to O. stricta (Ahw.) Haw. var. dillenii (Ker Gawl.) Benson where there are 4–7 (–11) banded spines (1.5–4 cm long) on most areoles.
Leaves: Cylindrical, minute and shed early.
Flowers: Yellow and large (5–6 cm long and 5–6 cm wide).
Fruits: Berries (fleshy fruits that don’t open at maturity), green turning red-purple as they mature, egg-shaped (4–6 cm long and 2.5–3 cm wide), outer surface smooth with clusters of glochids (barbed hairs or bristles), narrowed at the base, purple sour pulp, white seeds.
 
ORIGIN
Ecuador, Mexico, Southern USA, Venezuela, and the Caribbean.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Hedge/barrier and ornament.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, wastelands, disturbed areas, rocky outcrops, savannah, grassland and riverbanks in arid to semi-arid regions.
 
IMPACTS
Can form dense stands, preventing access to homes, water resources and pasture. On Madagascar, O. stricta has invaded land used for crop and pasture production, and has encroached on villages and roads, impeding human mobility (Larsson, 2004). Here, the cactus has had a negative impact on native grasses and herbs, and it is even affecting trees by inhibiting their growth and regeneration (Larsson, 2004). The small spines (known as glochids) on the fruit, when consumed by livestock, lodge in their gums, on their tongues, or in their gastrointestinal tracts, causing bacterial infections, while the hard seeds may cause rumen impaction, which can be fatal, and which often leads to excessive, enforced culling of affected animals (Ueckert et al., 1990). People who consume the fruits develop diarrhoea and may suffer from serious infections caused by the spines (Larsson, 2004). In Kenya, O. stricta infestations have resulted in the abandonment of farmlands.
 
Source:
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158961 on 23 October 2018
file icon Hedychium gardnerianumhot!Tooltip 10/08/2018 Hits: 259
GINGER FAMILY
Zingiberaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: kahili garland lily, kahili ginger, red ginger lily, wild ginger
Viet Nam: gung dai
 
DESCRIPTION
Robust, evergreen, with creeping underground stems or rhizomes [1–2 (–2.5) m high], branching surface rhizomes that can form dense mats up to 1 m thick.
Leaves: Bright green or greyish-green, glossy, upper surface hairless, lower surface sparsely hairy, narrow, tapering with pointed tips (20–45 cm long and 10–15 cm wide), margins entire; leaves held alternately on stem with a long base that sheaths the stem.
Flowers: Yellow in large clusters (15–45 cm long and 15–20 cm wide) at tips of stems; each flower has a slender red tube.
Fruits: Capsules (dry fruits that open at maturity), thin-walled (about 1.5 cm long) with three compartments.
 
ORIGIN
Bhutan, India and Nepal.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Medicine and ornament.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, disturbed areas, plantations, forests, forest edges/gaps, riverbanks and damp areas.
 
IMPACTS
Forms dense stands out-competing native species for light, space, nutrients and moisture, and its shade tolerance makes it able to thrive in forests. The thick rhizome mats also prevent the establishment of other species. Populations are now found on all islands in Hawaii (Smith, 1985). Its aggressive growth and shade tolerance means that it can form dense thickets in the understorey of open and closed-canopy Metrosideros polymorpha Gaud. (Myrtaceae) rainforests as well as in open habitats and forest edges around the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Anderson and Gardner, 1999). It threatens primary forest remnants in La Réunion and continuous expansion of large stands may endanger endemic lichens, vascular plants, molluscs and arthropods in the Azores. Infestations on Sao Miguel Island also threaten the Azores bullfinch. During rains, large infestations growing on steep slopes often become heavy with absorbed water and slip down slopes, contributing to erosion and gully formation.
 
Source:
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158961 on 8 October 2018
file icon Lantana camarahot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 251
VERBENA FAMILY
Verbenaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: curse of India, lantana, Spanish flag, tickberry, prickly lantana, white sage
Cambodia: phka chenh chien, phka kang, phka arch meann
Indonesia: kembang telek, tembelekan, tahi ayam
Lao PDR: dok mai khiu
Myanmar: sein-na-ban
Philippines: asin-asin, bahu-bahu, sapinit, sapor, sari-sari, sibsibit
Thailand: pagaknong
Viet Nam: bông oi, cây ngu sac
 
DESCRIPTION
Compact, untidy long-lived shrub/scrambler (up to 2 m or higher), forming dense thickets; stems are usually green turning grey or brown with age, square in cross-section with short hairs and hooked/recurved prickles/thorns.
Leaves: Dark green, rough hairy, simple, egg-shaped (2–13 cm long and 1.5–7 cm wide) with pointed tips, margins toothed/rough, wrinkled appearance, held opposite each other on stems, smell strongly when crushed.
Flowers: Small red, pink, crimson, orange, yellow or white flowers borne in dense clusters (2–4 cm across), with each cluster containing about 20–40 flowers; clusters on stalks (2–10 cm long); individual flowers are
tubular (9–14 mm long and 4–10 mm across).
Fruits: Berries (fleshy fruits that don’t open at maturity), initially shiny green turning purplish-black when mature (5–8 mm across), one-seeded.
 
ORIGIN
Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Mexico and Venezuela.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Hedging/barrier and ornament.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, railways, disturbed land, wasteland, plantations, managed pasture, drainage ditches, forest edges/gaps, woodland edges/gaps, grassland, savannah, water courses, lowlands and gullies.
 
IMPACTS
Lantana forms dense impenetrable thickets reducing biodiversity and threatening the continued existence of a host of rare and endangered species. Turner and Downey (2010) identified 275 plant and 24 native animal species in Australia that are threatened by the presence of lantana. In crop production systems in Southeast Asia, it reduces yields and increases management costs for those growing durian, pineapple, banana and rubber (Waterhouse, 1993). It is also toxic to livestock with pastoral losses in Queensland in 1985, estimated to be A$ 7.7 million, as a result of 1,500 animal deaths, reductions in productivity, loss of pasture and control costs (van Oosterhout, 2004). In South Africa, lantana poisoning accounts for about 25% of all reported livestock poisoning by plants (Wells and Stirton, 1988). There have also been some recorded fatalities in people, after consumption of the green fruit. Lantana can also alter fire regimes, allowing fires to penetrate into forests and woodlands.
 
Source:
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158961 on 23 October 2018
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