Microstegium vimineum recommended for regulation in the EPPO region
A pest risk analysis (PRA) was conducted on Microstegium vimineum for the EPPO region in 2015. Following approval of the PRA in September 2015, M. vimineum was recommended for regulation in the EPPO region.
M. vimineum is an annual C4 grass that flowers under short day conditions, native to China, India, Japan and Nepal. M. vimineum possesses characteristics typical of many invasive alien species: it grows quickly, fruits within a single season, produces abundant seed, and readily invades habitats that have been disturbed by natural (e.g. flood scouring) and anthropogenic (e.g. mowing, tilling) events. It is also capable of invading natural areas and swiftly replacing natural communities with nearly monospecific stands. With the discovery of M. vimineum in Turkey and the Southern Caucasus, EPPO added the species to the Alert List in 2008 and transferred it to the List of Invasive Alien Plants in 2012 labelling it as an emerging invasive alien species considering the outputs of the EPPO Prioritization process for this species. In North America, M. vimineum changes plant community richness (number of species), plant diversity, and overall groundcover, out-competing other species. It may have negative impact on native species through multiple mechanisms including competitive exclusion, changing soil properties and reducing light availability. The pest risk analysis identified a number of potential pathways for introduction such as travellers (seeds contaminating clothes and shoes), used machinery, bird seed and growing media adherent to plant for planting.
The pest risk analysis concluded that M. vimineum presents a high phytosanitary risk for the EPPO region with a low uncertainty rating.
EPPO (2015) Pest risk analysis for Microstegium vimineum. EPPO Paris. http://www.eppo.int/QUARANTINE/Pest_Risk_Analysis/PRA_intro.htm