Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheets

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file icon Opuntia strictahot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 216
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 Mimosa pudicahot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 219
PEA FAMILY
Fabaceae; subfamily: Mimosaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: common sensitive plant, shame plant, sleeping grass, touchme-not
Cambodia: preah klab sampeahs, preah khlab, sampeahs
Indonesia: putri malu, sikejut
Lao PDR: nya nyoub
Myanmar: tee-kayone
Philippines: babain, bain-bain, hibi-hibi, torog-torog
Thailand: yaa pan yot
Viet Nam: cây xau ho, co trinh nu
 
DESCRIPTION
Evergreen prickly herbaceous plant or small shrub, creeping or sprawling [15–50 (–100) cm high]; stems reddish-brown to purplish, round, sparse prickles (2–2.5 mm long).
Leaves: Yellowish-green, sparsely hairy, twice-divided, 1–2 pairs of leaflet branchlets (2.5–8 cm long) each bearing 10–25 pairs of elongated leaflets with almost parallel sides (6–15 mm long and 1–3 mm wide), margins entire, borne on stalks (1.5–6 cm long), leaves fold together at night or when touched.
Flowers: Lilac or pink in fluffy round heads or clusters (9–15 mm across) held on bristly stalks (1–4 cm long).
Fruits: Pods (several-seeded dry fruits that split open at maturity), green turning brown as they mature, elongated with almost parallel sides, flattened (1–2.5 cm long and 3–6 mm wide), held in clusters covered in bristles, prickles along their margins, break transversely into segments; seeds are light brown, flattened (2.5–3 mm long).
 
ORIGIN
Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Medicine, tannins, forage for bees, ground cover and ornament.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, railway lines, disturbed land, wasteland, urban open space, gardens, fallow land, crops, plantations, managed pasture, drainage ditches, savannah, lowlands, wetlands and gullies.
 
IMPACTS
Is a fire hazard and poses a significant threat to native flora. It is a serious pest of crops and pastures throughout the tropics (Holm et al., 1979). Infestations of M. pudica can lead to a 10–70% reduction in upland rice yields in Kerala, India (Joseph and Bridgit, 1993). It is also considered a serious weed of sugarcane, sorghum, maize, soybean (Holm et al., 1977), tomatoes, pineapples, cotton (Lee Soo Ann, 1976; Waterhouse and Norris, 1987), rubber, tea, coffee, coconut, oil palm, banana, mango, papaya, citrus and even Acacia mangium plantations in Indonesia (Nazif, 1993). Mimosa also invades pasture and can be toxic to livestock. It is suspected of poisoning cattle in Papua New Guinea (Henty and Pritchard, 1975) and has caused stunted growth in chickens in Indonesia (Kostermans et al., 1987).
 
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 Mimosa pigrahot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 220
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 Mimosa diplotrichahot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 207
PEA FAMILY
Fabaceae; subfamily: Mimosaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: creeping sensitive plant, nila grass, tropical blackberry
Cambodia: preah khlab damrei
Indonesia: jukut boring, putri malu, simeduri-dura
Lao PDR: nya nahm
Myanmar: tee-ka-yone-gyi
Philippines: aroma, hibi-hibi, kamit-kabag, makahiyang lalake
Thailand: maiyaraap luei
Viet Nam: trinh nu móc
 
DESCRIPTION
Annual, biennial (living for longer than one year but less than two) or evergreen, scrambling, climbing, strongly branched shrub, forming dense thickets [2–3 (–6) m tall], woody at the base with age; stems green or purplish tinged, 4–5-angled in cross-section, covered with sharp, recurved, yellowish spines (3–6 mm long).
Leaves: Bright-green, twice-divided (10–20 cm long), 4–9 pairs of leaflet branchlets each with 12–30 pairs of small elongated leaflets (6–12 mm long and 1.5 mm wide) with pointed tips, leaves fold together at night or when touched.
Flowers: Pinkish-violet or purplish, round heads (12 mm across), borne singly or in small groups on hairy stalks (3.5–16 mm long).
Fruits: Pods (several-seeded dry fruits that split open at maturity), green turning brown as they mature, flat, softly spiny on edges, elongated (8–35 mm long and 3–10 mm wide); occur in clusters which break into oneseeded joints; seeds are light brown (1.9 mm long and 2.7 mm wide).
 
ORIGIN
Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Erosion control, nitrogen fixation, forage for bees, hedge/barrier and ornament.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, disturbed areas, wastelands, urban open space, crops, plantations, managed pasture, drainage ditches, woodland edges/gaps, forest edges/gaps, woodland edges/gaps, savannah, lowlands, wetlands and gullies.
 
IMPACTS
Smothers other plants and prevents their natural regeneration. Dense stands also prevent or inhibit the movement of livestock and wildlife. In Nigeria, when M. diplotricha density reached 630,000 plants per hectare, cassava root yield, 12 months after planting, was reduced by 80% (Alabi et al., 2001). It readily invades orchards and rice paddies reducing yields and increasing management costs (Waterhouse, 1993). On cattle ranches in Papua New Guinea, up to US$ 130,000 is spent annually on chemical control (Kuniata, 1994). In Thailand, 22 swamp buffaloes died 18–36 hours after eating M. diplotricha (Tungtrakanpoung and Rhienpanish, 1992). Trials in Queensland, Australia, indicated toxicity to sheep, and a report from Flores, Indonesia, suggests that it is toxic to pigs (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992).
 
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 Miconia calvescenshot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 227
TIBOUCHINA FAMILY
Melastomataceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: bush currant, miconia, purple plague, velvet tree
Viet Nam: cây micona
 
DESCRIPTION
Evergreen shrub or small tree [4–8 (–16) m tall]; young stems are green, four-angled and covered in tiny star-shaped hairs; stems become brown and rounded with age.
Leaves: Dark green above and bright purple below, hairless, simple, oval with pointed tips [17–40 (–100) cm long and 7–25 cm wide], margins entire or finely toothed, three-veined from base to tip of leaf; leaf stalks are 2–6 cm long.
Flowers: White or pinkish, small, held in large clusters (20–50 cm long) at end of branches.
Fruits: Berries (fleshy fruits that don’t open at maturity), green turning bluish black or dark purple as they mature (about 6 mm across), containing 140–230 seeds.
 
ORIGIN
Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Ornament and in contaminated soil.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, disturbed land, plantations, forest edges/gaps, woodland edges/gaps, plantations, riverbanks and coastal areas.
 
IMPACTS
Areas invaded become totally transformed due to the creation of deep shade which few native species can tolerate (Meyer, 1994). This weed now covers over two-thirds of the island of Tahiti, forming dense monotypic stands, that have overwhelmed the native forests, where between 40 and 50 of the 107 species endemic to Tahiti are thought to be on the verge of extinction (Meyer and Florence, 1996). Between 70 and 100 native plant species, including 40–50 species endemic to French Polynesia, are estimated to be directly threatened by M. calvescens with significant knock-on impacts on endemic birds and other organisms (Meyer and Florence, 1996). The lack of ground cover under infestations also contributes to higher rates of soil erosion. Impacts have let to infestations being termed the ‘green cancer’ of Tahiti and the ‘purple plague’ of Hawaii.
 
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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