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Bromus (Bromus catharticus)

Present distribution


Scientific name:

Bromus catharticus Vahl
Common name(s):

bromus
map showing the present distribution of bromus catharticus
Map showing the present distribution of this weed.
Habitat:

“Invades: Dry coastal vegetation, heathland and heathy woodland, lowland grassland and grassy woodland, dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, riparian and rock outcrop vegetation, drainage lines, orchards, gardens, lawns, roadsides and waste places” (Blood 2001). B. unioloides, synonym of B. catharticus, is a “winter and spring weed grass of gardens and moist, shady places in southeast Queensland…A winter pasture species, particularly under irrigation” (Tothill and Hacker 1973). “Does not thrive on poor or dry ground” (Taylor 1981). Habitat: waste places, rotation crops, perennial crops and grassland (Hafliger and Scholz 1981). “Prefers fertile, fairly moist loams, but survives on dry loams. On very dry soils is often an annual. Plentiful in waste places” (Lambrechtsen 1975).


Potential distribution

Potential distribution produced from CLIMATE modelling refined by applying suitable landuse and vegetation type overlays with CMA boundaries

Map Overlays Used

Land Use:
Broadacre cropping; horticulture perennial; horticulture seasonal; pasture dryland; pasture irrigation;

Ecological Vegetation Divisions
Coastal; heathland; grassy/heathy dry forest; lowland forest; foothills forest; forby forest; riparian; high altitude shrubland/woodland; high altitude wetland; alpine treeless; granitic hillslopes; rocky outcrop shrubland; alluvial plains grassland; semiarid woodland; alluvial plains woodland; ironbark/box; chenopod
shrubland; chenopod mallee; hummock-grass mallee; lowan mallee; broombush whipstick

Colours indicate possibility of Bromus catharticus infesting these areas.

In the non-coloured areas the plant is unlikely to establish as the climate, soil or landuse is not presently suitable.
map showing the potential distribution of bromus catharticus
Red= Very highOrange = Medium
Yellow = HighGreen = Likely

Impact

QUESTION
COMMENTS
RATING
CONFIDENCE
Social
1. Restrict human access?“Grass grows to 120cm tall … In lush conditions grows rapidly forming large tussocks with much head material after first year” Invades: riparian, drainage lines and roadsides (Blood 2001).
High nuisance value. People and/or vehicles access with difficulty.
MH
M
2. Reduce tourism?“Grass grows to 120cm tall … In lush conditions grows rapidly forming large tussocks with much head material after first year” Invades: riparian, drainage lines and roadsides (Blood 2001).
Minor effects to aesthetics and/or recreational uses (ie. aware but not bothered or activity inhibited).
ML
M
3. Injurious to people?“Awns may penetrate skin of sheep and be a contaminant of wool” (FloraBase 2010). “They also cause irritation to the mouth and eyes of stock” (Wapshere 1993).
May also damage humans in a similar way.
Mildly toxic, may cause some physiological issues (e.g. hayfever, minor rashes, minor damage from spines and burrs at certain times of year).
ML
M
4. Damage to cultural sites?“Grass grows to 120cm tall…In lush conditions grows rapidly forming large tussocks with much head material after first year” (Blood 2001).
Moderate visual effect.
ML
M
Abiotic
5. Impact flow?“Invades: Dry coastal vegetation, heathland and heathy woodland, lowland grassland and grassy woodland, dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, riparian and rock outcrop vegetation, drainage lines, orchards, gardens, lawns, roadsides and waste places” (Blood 2001). B. unioloides, synonym of B. catharticus, is a “winter and spring weed grass of gardens and moist, shady places in southeast Queensland … A winter pasture species, particularly under irrigation” (Tothill and Hacker 1973). “Does not thrive on poor or dry ground” (Taylor 1981). Habitat: waste places, rotation crops, perennial crops and grassland (Hafliger and Scholz 1981). “Prefers fertile, fairly moist loams, but survives on dry loams. On very dry soils is often an annual. Plentiful in waste places” (Lambrechtsen 1975).
Little or negligible affect on water flow.
L
MH
6. Impact water quality?“Invades: Dry coastal vegetation, heathland and heathy woodland, lowland grassland and grassy woodland, dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, riparian and rock outcrop vegetation, drainage lines, orchards, gardens, lawns, roadsides and waste places” (Blood 2001). B. unioloides, synonym of B. catharticus, is a “winter and spring weed grass of gardens and moist, shady places in southeast Queensland … A winter pasture species, particularly under irrigation” (Tothill and Hacker 1973). “Does not thrive on poor or dry ground” (Taylor 1981). Habitat: waste places, rotation crops, perennial crops and grassland (Hafliger and Scholz 1981). “Prefers fertile, fairly moist loams, but survives on dry loams. On very dry soils is often an annual. Plentiful in waste places” (Lambrechtsen 1975).
No noticeable effect on dissolved 02 or light levels.
L
MH
7. Increase soil erosion?“History of use/introduction: Erosion control” (FloraBase 2010).
Low probability of large scale soil movement; or decreases the probability of soil erosion.
L
M
8. Reduce biomass?“Invades: Dry coastal vegetation, heathland and heathy woodland, lowland grassland and grassy woodland, dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, riparian and rock outcrop vegetation, drainage lines, orchards, gardens, lawns, roadsides and waste places” (Blood 2001). Habitat: waste places, rotation crops, perennial crops and grassland (Hafliger and Scholz 1981). “In lush conditions grows rapidly forming large tussocks with much head material after first year, but tending to be short-lived and prone to rot due to high moisture levels in tussocks” (Blood 2001).
May directly replace other grasses in some vegetation types, not described to replace or impact on trees.
Direct replacement of biomass by invader.
ML
M
9. Change fire regime?“In lush conditions grows rapidly forming large tussocks with much head material after first year, but tending to be short-lived and prone to rot due to high moisture levels in tussocks” (Blood 2001).
Moderate change to both frequency and intensity of fire risk.
MH
M
Community Habitat
10. Impact on composition
(a) high value EVC
EVC = Semi-arid Woodland (V); CMA = Mallee; Bioregion = Murray Mallee;
VH CLIMATE potential.
“Invades: Dry coastal vegetation, heathland and heathy woodland, lowland grassland and grassy woodland, dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, riparian and rock outcrop vegetation [and] drainage lines … In lush conditions grows rapidly forming large tussocks with much head material after first year, but tending to be short-lived and prone to rot due to high moisture levels in tussocks” (Blood 2001). Habitat: waste places, rotation crops, perennial crops and grassland (Hafliger and Scholz 1981). “It adapts very well with other species, forming optimal quality pastures” (Abbott 2007).
Major displacement of some dominant species within a strata/layer (or some dominant species within different layers).
MH
M
(b) medium value EVCEVC = Damp Heathland (D); CMA = Glenelg Hopkins; Bioregion = Glenelg Plain;
VH CLIMATE potential.
“Invades: Dry coastal vegetation, heathland and heathy woodland, lowland grassland and grassy woodland, dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, riparian and rock outcrop vegetation [and] drainage lines … In lush conditions grows rapidly forming large tussocks with much head material after first year, but tending to be short-lived and prone to rot due to high moisture levels in tussocks” (Blood 2001). Habitat: waste places, rotation crops, perennial crops and grassland (Hafliger and Scholz 1981). “It adapts very well with other species, forming optimal quality pastures” (Abbott 2007).
Major displacement of some dominant species within a strata/layer (or some dominant species within different layers).
MH
M
(c) low value EVCEVC = Montane Dry Woodland (LC); CMA = East Gippsland; Bioregion = Highlands- Southern Fall;
VH CLIMATE potential.
“Invades: Dry coastal vegetation, heathland and heathy woodland, lowland grassland and grassy woodland, dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, riparian and rock outcrop vegetation [and] drainage lines … In lush conditions grows rapidly forming large tussocks with much head material after first year, but tending to be short-lived and prone to rot due to high moisture levels in tussocks” (Blood 2001). Habitat: waste places, rotation crops, perennial crops and grassland (Hafliger and Scholz 1981). “It adapts very well with other species, forming optimal quality pastures” (Abbott 2007).
Major displacement of some dominant species within a strata/layer (or some dominant species within different layers).
MH
M
11. Impact on structure?“Invades: Dry coastal vegetation, heathland and heathy woodland, lowland grassland and grassy woodland, dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, riparian and rock outcrop vegetation [and] drainage lines … In lush conditions grows rapidly forming large tussocks with much head material after first year, but tending to be short-lived and prone to rot due to high moisture levels in tussocks” (Blood 2001). Habitat: waste places, rotation crops, perennial crops and grassland (Hafliger and Scholz 1981). “It adapts very well with other species, forming optimal quality pastures” (Abbott 2007).
Minor effect on >60% of the layers or major effect on < 60% of the floral strata.
MH
M
12. Effect on threatened flora?No information found.
MH
L
Fauna
13. Effect on threatened fauna?No information found.
MH
L
14. Effect on non-threatened fauna?No information found.
M
L
15. Benefits fauna?“Very palatable. Will provide moderately good grazing for cattle but only fair for wildlife … Provides seeds for birds and small mammals” in America (Haddock 2007). “Spreads by wind, animals (external and internal) … Grass grows to 120cm tall … In lush conditions grows rapidly forming large tussocks with much head material after first year” (Blood 2001).
Provides some assistance in either food or shelter to desirable species.
MH
M
16. Injurious to fauna?“Awns may penetrate skin of sheep and be a contaminant of wool” (FloraBase 2010). “They also cause irritation to the mouth and eyes of stock” (Wapshere 1993). “Some grasses or grass seeds exercise a strong purgative action, which, in excess, may become dangerous. This applies to the rhizomes of Bromus purgans, L, and
B. catharticus, Vahl.” (Ewart 1909).
Spines, burrs or toxic properties to fauna at certain times of the year.
MH
MH
Pest Animal
17. Food source to pests?“Very palatable. Will provide moderately good grazing for cattle but only fair for wildlife…Provides seeds for birds and small mammals” in America (Haddock 2007). “Spreads by wind, animals (external and internal) … It is used as fodder for livestock and is highly palatable” (Blood 2001).
Possibly would provide for rabbits and goats.
Supplies food for > 1 major pest species at crucial times of the year (e.g. heavy berry load or continual food throughout the year).
H
M
18. Provides harbour?“Grass grows to 120cm tall … In lush conditions grows rapidly forming large tussocks with much head material after first year” (Blood 2001).
Capacity to provide harbor and permanent warrens for foxes and rabbits throughout the year.
H
M
Agriculture
19. Impact yield?“Awns may penetrate skin of sheep and be a contaminant of wool” (FloraBase 2010). “They also cause irritation to the mouth and eyes of stock” (Wapshere 1993). “It adapts very well with other species, forming optimal quality pastures” (Abbott 2007). “It is used as fodder for livestock and is highly palatable” (Blood 2001).
Little or negligible affect on quantity of yield.
L
MH
20. Impact quality?“Awns may penetrate skin of sheep and be a contaminant of wool” (FloraBase 2010).
Major impact on quality of produce (e.g. 5-20%).
MH
MH
21. Affect land value?“Awns may penetrate skin of sheep and be a contaminant of wool” (FloraBase 2010). “They also cause irritation to the mouth and eyes of stock” (Wapshere 1993). “It adapts very well with other species, forming optimal quality pastures” (Abbott 2007). “It is used as fodder for livestock and is highly palatable” (Blood 2001).
Little or none.
L
M
22. Change land use?“Awns may penetrate skin of sheep and be a contaminant of wool” (FloraBase 2010). “They also cause irritation to the mouth and eyes of stock” (Wapshere 1993). “It adapts very well with other species, forming optimal quality pastures” (Abbott 2007). “It is used as fodder for livestock and is highly palatable” (Blood 2001).
Little or no change
L
MH
23. Increase harvest costs?“Awns may penetrate skin of sheep and be a contaminant of wool” (FloraBase 2010).
Minor increase in cost of harvesting – e.g. slightly more time or labour is required.
M
M
24. Disease host/vector?“Prone to rot due to high moisture levels in tussocks” (Blood 2001). “Bromus catharticus: A new host record for wheat stem rust in South Africa … Uredinia were observed on culms, pedicels, and spikelets of rescue grass (Bromus catharticus Vahl (= B. unioloides H.B.K., = B. wildenowii Kunth) growing in proximity to wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) infected with Puccinia graminis … B. catharticus, an annual or short-lived perennial, is widely distributed in the summer rainfall areas of South Africa and also serves as a host for the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia” (Kloppers and Pretorius 1993). “Some grasses or grass seeds exercise a strong purgative action, which, in excess, may become dangerous. This applies to the rhizomes of Bromus purgans, L, and
B. catharticus, Vahl.” (Ewart 1909).
Provides host to minor (or common) pests, or diseases.
M
M


Invasive

QUESTION
COMMENTS
RATING
CONFIDENCE
Establishment
1. Germination requirements?“Germination was rapid between 18/13 and 24/19C, early seedling growth was fastest at 24/19C and growth after the first tillering was most rapid at 21/16C. (Hill et al. 1985).
“Dormancy in rescue grass (
Bromus cahtarticus Vahl.) is not a serious problem in field planting because the seed are fall-sown for germination in the following spring… Germination of the non-dormant seed was between 95 to 100% as determined in tests using recommended germination procedures (1) … Germination of dormant rescue grass seed, however, was still restricted to the alternating temperature zones, indicating an inability to germinate at constant temperatures” (Larsen et al. 1973). “Seeds: summer. Germination mostly in autumn … Germinates in autumn or spring” (Blood 2001).
Requires natural seasonal disturbances such as seasonal rainfall, spring/summer temperatures for germination.
MH
MH
2. Establishment requirements?“Invades: Dry coastal vegetation, heathland and heathy woodland, lowland grassland and grassy woodland, dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, riparian and rock outcrop vegetation, drainage lines, orchards, gardens, lawns, roadsides and waste places” (Blood 2001). B. unioloides, synonym of B. catharticus, is a “winter and spring weed grass of gardens and moist, shady places in southeast Queensland…A winter pasture species, particularly under irrigation” (Tothill and Hacker 1973). “Does not thrive on poor or dry ground” (Taylor 1981). Habitat: waste places, rotation crops, perennial crops and grassland (Hafliger and Scholz 1981). “Prefers fertile, fairly moist loams, but survives on dry loams. On very dry soils is often an annual. Plentiful in waste places” (Lambrechtsen 1975).
Can establish under moderate canopy/litter cover.
MH
MH
3. How much disturbance is required?“Invades: Dry coastal vegetation, heathland and heathy woodland, lowland grassland and grassy woodland, dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, riparian and rock outcrop vegetation, drainage lines, orchards, gardens, lawns, roadsides and waste places” (Blood 2001). “It adapts very well with other species, forming optimal quality pastures” (Abbott 2007).
Establishes in relatively intact or only minor disturbed natural ecosystems (eg. wetlands, riparian, riverine, grasslands, open woodlands); in vigorously growing crops or in well-established pastures.
MH
MH
Growth/Competitive
4. Life form?“Annual or short-lived perennial grass” (Blood 2001).
Grass.
MH
MH
5. Allelopathic properties?Not described as allelopathic in Hill et al. (1985), Blood (2001), Larsen et al. (1973), Tothill and Hacker (1973), Taylor (1981), Lambrechtsen (1975), Abbott (2007), FloraBase (2010), Whitson et al. (1992), Ewart (1909), Haddock (2007), Hafliger and Scholz (1981), Kloppers and Pretorius (1993) or Wapshere (1993).
None.
L
L
6. Tolerates herb pressure?“Able to recover from intensive grazing” (FloraBase 2010). “Valuable for grazing but does not thrive on poor or dry ground and is killed by constant close grazing” (Taylor 1981).
Consumed but non-preferred or consumed but recovers quickly; capable of flowering /seed production under moderate herbivory pressure (where moderate = normal; not overstocking or heavy grazing).
MH
M
7. Normal growth rate?“Rapid growth, plants reach flowering size in one season…Grass grows to 120cm tall…In lush conditions grows rapidly forming large tussocks with much head material after first year” (Blood 2001).
Rapid growth rate that will exceed most other species of the same life form.
H
MH
8. Stress tolerance to frost, drought, w/logg, sal. etc?“Heat tolerant and able to [be] persistent in dry conditions. Requires fertile well-drained soils” (FloraBase 2010). “The plants mature in the spring. It is named ‘rescue grass’ because it provides forage following drought conditions or severe winters” (Haddock 2007). “Invades: Dry coastal vegetation, heathland and heathy woodland, lowland grassland and grassy woodland, dry sclerophyll forest and woodland, riparian and rock outcrop vegetation, drainage lines” (Blood 2001). B. unioloides, synonym of B. catharticus, is a “winter and spring weed grass of gardens and moist, shady places in southeast Queensland…A winter pasture species, particularly under irrigation” (Tothill and Hacker 1973). “Does not thrive on poor or dry ground” (Taylor 1981). “Prefers fertile, fairly moist loams, but survives on dry loams. On very dry soils is often an annual. Plentiful in waste places” (Lambrechtsen 1975).
May have some tolerance to drought and waterlogging. Unknown to frost, fire and salinity.
Tolerant to at least two and susceptible to at least one.
ML
ML
Reproduction
9. Reproductive system“Reproduction: seed” (Blood 2001). “Some grasses or grass seeds exercise a strong purgative action, which, in excess, may become dangerous. This applies to the rhizomes of Bromus purgans, L, and B. catharticus, Vahl.” (Ewart 1909).
Both vegetative and sexual reproduction (vegetative reproduction may be via cultivation, but not propagation).
H
M
10. Number of propagules produced?Abbott et al. (2007) reports a maximum of 25 panicles per plant with a maximum 379 seeds per panicle.
25 panicles x 379 seeds/panicle= 9475 seeds/ plant.
Above 2000
H
MH
11. Propagule longevity?“Dormancy in rescue grass (Bromus catharticus Vahl.) is not a serious problem in field planting because the seed are fall-sown for germination in the following spring…The dormant seed required more than 42 days to complete germination, using the alternate procedure for testing dormant seed (1), with viability between 98 to 100%...Germination of dormant intact seed (column 3 and 6) did not begin until the 3rd week” (Larsen et al. 1973).
Greater than 25% of seeds survive 5 years, or vegetatively reproduces.
L
MH
12. Reproductive period?“Annual or short-lived perennial grass… Rapid growth, plants reach flowering size in one season” (Blood 2001).
Mature plant produces viable propagules for 3–10 years.
MH
MH
13. Time to reproductive maturity?“Rapid growth, plants reach flowering size in one season” (Blood 2001). “Seeds germinate in the fall, young plants grow slowly throughout the winter and make rapid growth in the spring maturing in the early summer” (Whitson et al. 1992).
Reaches maturity and produces viable propagules, or vegetative propagules become separate individuals, in under a year.
H
MH
Dispersal
14. Number of mechanisms?“Spreads by wind, animals (external and internal), mowing equipment, dumped garden waste, contaminated soil and clothing, sometimes in contaminated nursery pots used for revegetation” (Blood 2001). “Very palatable. Will provide moderately good grazing for cattle but only fair for wildlife…Provides seeds for birds and small mammals” in America (Haddock 2007).
Very light, wind dispersed seeds, or bird dispersed seeds, or has edible fruit that is readily eaten by highly mobile animals.
H
MH
15. How far do they disperse?“Spreads by wind, animals (external and internal), mowing equipment, dumped garden waste, contaminated soil and clothing, sometimes in contaminated nursery pots used for revegetation” (Blood 2001).
Very likely that at least one propagule will disperse greater one kilometre.
H
MH


References

Abbott L.A, Pistorale S. M, and Filippini O.S (2007) Path coefficient analysis for seed yield in Bromus catharticus. Cien. Inv. Agr. 34:2): 107-114.

Blood K. (2001) Environmental Weeds: A Field Guide for SE Australia. CH Jerram & Associates – Science Publishers. Mt Waverley.

Ewart A. J. (1909) The Weeds, Poison Plants, and Naturalized Aliens of Victoria. Government Printer, Melbourne.

FloraBase, Department of Environment and Conservation (WA). (2010) FloraBase - the Western Australian Flora, Bromus catharticus. Available at
http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/248 (verified 08/06/2010).

Haddock M. (2007) Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses- Rescue grass. Available at: http://www.kswildflower.org/grass_details.php?grassID=61 (verified 08/06/2010).

Hafliger E. and Scholz H (1981) Grass Weeds 2. CIBA-GEIGY, Switzerland.

Hill M.J. Pearson C.J, and Kirby A.C (1985) Germination and seedling growth of prairie grass, tall fescue and Italian ryegrass at different temperatures. Aust. J. Agric. 36: 13-24.

Kloppers F.J. and Pretorius Z.A. (1993) Bromus catharticus: A new host record for wheat stem rust in South Africa. Plant Dis. 77: 1063.

Lambrechtsen N.C. (1975) What Grass is That? A Guide to Identification of Some Introduced Grasses in New Zealand by Vegetative Characters; Information series No. 87. New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Wellington.

Larsen A.L, Montgillion D.P. and Schroeder E.M. (1973) Germination of dormant and nondormant rescuegrass seed on the thermogradient plate. Agronomy Journal. 65.

Taylor R.L (1981) Weeds of Roadsides and Waste Ground in New Zealand. R.L. Taylor; Upper Moutere, Nelson.

Tothill J.C. and Hacker J.B. (1973) The Grasses of Southern Queensland. University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, London, New York.

Wapshere A.T. (1993) Aspects of biological control of grass weeds in pastures. In Delfosse, E.S. (ed.). (1993) Pests of Pasture: Weed, Invertebrate and Disease
Pests of Australian Sheep Pastures. CSIRO Information Services, Melbourne.

Whitson TD, Burrill LC, Dewey SA, Cudney DW, Nelson BE, Richard DL and Parker R. (1992) Weeds of the West. Western Society of Weed Science, CA, USA.



Global present distribution data references

Australian National Herbarium (ANH) (2010) Australia’s Virtual Herbarium, Australian National Herbarium, Centre for Plant Diversity and Research, Available at
http://www.anbg.gov.au/avh/ (verified 09/06/2010).

Department of the Environment and Heritage (Commonwealth of Australia). (1993 – On-going) Australian Plant Name Index (APNI) http://www.cpbr.gov.au/apni/index.html (verified 26/05/2010).

Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) (2006) Flora information system [CD-ROM], Biodiversity and Natural Resources Section, Viridans Pty Ltd, Bentleigh.

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) (2008) Global biodiversity information facility, Available at http://www.gbif.org/ (verified 09/06/2010).

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. (2009) Available at http://www.itis.gov/ (verified 26/05/2010).

Missouri Botanical Gardens (MBG) (2010) w3TROPICOS, Missouri Botanical Gardens Database, Available at http://mobot.mobot.org/W3T/Search/vast.html (verified 05/05/2010).

United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. Taxonomy Query. (2007) Available at http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxgenform.pl (26/05/2010).

Walsh N and Stajsic V. (2007) A Census of the Vascular Plants of Victoria. 8th Edn. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.


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