First report of Nassella neesiana in Croatia
Nassella neesiana (Poaceae: EPPO Observation List), commonly known as Chilean needle grass, is a perennial grass species which was introduced into the EPPO region for ornamental purposes. The species is native to South America and has been introduced into France (including Corse), Italy and Spain. The species is established in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa where in the case of the former it is a regulated plant in a number of states. In Australia, the species can cause significant damage to natural environments and pasture land. In Croatia, N. neesiana was first identified during a floral survey in 2018 on the island of Veli Brijun in Istria (North Western Croatia). Veli Brijun is the largest island in the Brijuni island archipelago and it is also part Briguni National Park. Ten individuals were found in one locality in ruderal vegetation within an Aleppo pine forest along the coast line in association with other vegetation such as Rostraria cristata, Lolium perenne, Trifolium campestre and other species. There is no clear evidence as to how the species was introduced on this island though one possibility may be as a garden ornamental species. Additionally, the caryopsis can be spread by wind or water or dispersed on used machinery or as a contaminant of seed or fodder. The authors suggest that further surveys are conducted to assess the extent of N. neesiana in Croatia and that a plan is adopted for the eradication of the species.
Kabaš E, Ljubičič I, Bogdanovic S (2019) First record of Nassella neesiana (Trin. & Rupr.) Barkworth (Poaceae) in Croatia. BioInvasionsRecords 8, (in press)