First report of Eriochloa villosa in Austria
Eriochloa villosa (Poaceae: EPPO Observation List) is a tall annual C4 grass originating from Asia. In the EPPO region the species has been recorded from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and eastern Russia (where it is native) and the Ukraine. In addition, casual occurrences are recorded in Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom. The species is an agricultural weed in several states in the USA where it has been shown to reduce crop yields. E. villosa was detected for the first time on the territory of Austria close to the border of the Czech Republic. The species was found in Unterretzbach in sugar beet (on the field edge). The site is located in one of the driest areas of Austria. In the wider surroundings of this locality (approximately 500 m away from the border), no further populations of the species were found on the Austrian side. At present, in Austria, E. villosa is restricted to crop fields cultivated with summer crops (maize, sunflower, oil-pumpkin and sugar beet). E. villosa is an example of a weed that is still rare in Central Europe. However, with the increasing number of records it can be assumed that the species will most likely expand its range in Austria and in other Central European countries. The species should be monitored within these areas and if needed studies undertaken to evaluate potential impacts.
Follak S, Schwarz M, Essl F (2020) First record of Eriochloa villosa (Thunb.) Kunth in Austria and notes on its distribution and agricultural impact in Central Europe. BioInvasions Records 9, 8-16.