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Invasiveness Assessment - Florida blackberry (Rubus argutus) in Victoria

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Plant invasiveness is determined by evaluating a plant’s biological and ecological characteristics against criteria that encompass establishment requirements, growth rate and competitive ability, methods of reproduction, and dispersal mechanisms.

Each characteristic, or criterion, is assessed against a list of intensity ratings. Depending upon information found, a rating of Low, Medium Low, Medium High or High is assigned to that criterion. Where no data is available to answer a criterion, a rating of medium (M) is applied. A description of the invasiveness criteria and intensity ratings used in this process can be viewed here.

The following table provides information on the invasiveness of Florida blackberry.

A more detailed description of the methodology of the Victorian Weed Risk Assessment (WRA) method can be viewed below:

Victorian Weed Risk Assessment (WRA) method (PDF - 630 KB)
Victorian Weed Risk Assessment (WRA) method (DOC - 1 MB)
To view the information PDF requires the use of a PDF reader. This can be installed for free from the Adobe website (external link).

Common Name: Florida blackberry
Scientific name: Rubus argutus

Question
Comments
Rating
Confidence
Establishment
Germination requirements?“Seedling establishment appears to be enhanced by soil disturbance” (Tunison, 1985). Requires cold stratification for seed germination (NPDC, 2006). Requires natural seasonal low temperatures to germinate.
MH
MH
Establishment requirements?Moderately shade tolerant…[as] under a sparse canopy. It can be shaded out or severely suppressed by deep shade” (Tunison, 1985).
MH
MH
How much disturbance is required?“Able to invade and take over native ecosystems without any apparent disturbance” (Smith, 1985).
H
MH
Growth/Competitive
Life form?Shrub (NPDC, 2006).
L
MH
Allelopathic properties?Not noted in Smith (1985), “none” (NPDC, 2006).
L
MH
Tolerates herb pressure?Low hedging tolerance by livestock or wildlife with medium palatability (NPDC, 2006).
ML
MH
Normal growth rate?Rapid (NPDC, 2006).
H
MH
Stress tolerance to frost, drought, w/logg, sal. etc?“Occurs in wet to mesic habitats…Resprouts quickly following fire (Smith, 1985). Recorded in boggy sites (Tunison, 1991). Tolerates temperatures as low as –25C (NPDC, 2006). Medium drought tolerance. Not tolerant to salinity (NPDC, 2006). Highly resistant to frost, fire and waterlogging, some drought tolerance but susceptible to salinity.
H
MH
Reproduction
Reproductive systemSeed and vegetatively (NPDC, 2006) by root sprouting and aerial shoots forming roots with soil contact (Smith, 1985).
H
MH
Number of propagules produced?High fruit/seed abundance (NPDC), 2006).
H
MH
Propagule longevity?Unknown
M
L
Reproductive period?Lifespan is moderate (rather than long or short) relative to most other plants (NPDC, 2006) and forms dense clonal thickets (monocultures) (Tunison, 1991).
H
MH
Time to reproductive maturity?Floricanes develop in the second year (Tunison, 1991).
MH
MH
Dispersal
Number of mechanisms?Frugivorous birds (Smith, 1985).
H
MH
How far do they disperse?Bird dispersal (Smith, 1985) makes it very likely that some propagules will disperse greater than 1 km.
H
MH


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