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Overview

Brief Summary

History in the United States

Giant reed was probably first introduced into the United States at Los Angeles, California in the early 1800's. Since then, it has become widely dispersed into all of the subtropical and warm temperate areas of the world, mostly through intentional human introductions. Today, giant reed is widely planted throughout the warmer areas of the United States as an ornamental and in the Southwest, where it is used along ditches for erosion control.

Giant reed has a variety of uses ranging from music to medicine. Primitive pipe organs were made from it and the reeds for woodwind instruments are still made from its culms, for which no satisfactory substitutes are known. It is also used in basketry, for fishing rods, livestock fodder, medicine, and soil erosion control.

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Comprehensive Description

Brief

Flowering class: Monocot Habit: Herb
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Description

Culms up to 6 m, usually simple. Leaves: lamina up to 60 × 6 cm, glaucous. Panicle 30–60 cm, oblong. Spikelets 12–18 mm, usually with 3 florets; lanceolate; lemmas lanceolate.
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Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: ARUNDO DONAX is a native to the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. From this area it has become widely dispersed, mostly through intentional introduction by man, into all of the subtropical and warm temperate areas of the world.

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Range Description

According to the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), this species is native only to a fairly narrow area bounded by Cyprus, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan in the west, the Gulf States in the south and Japan south to Myanmar in the east. The same source describes it as occurring as an introduction from the Atlantic Ocean island groups and the Iberian Peninsula throughout the Mediterranean south through Africa to South Africa, some of the Indian Ocean island groups, Australia, New Zealand and some Pacific Ocean island groups, as well as North and Central America.

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"
Global Distribution

Mediterranean region eastwards to North Africa, India-Pakistan; introduced into many parts of world

Indian distribution

State - Kerala, District/s: Kottayam, Palakkad, Kozhikkode, Thrissur

"
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More info for the terms: cover, hydrophyte

Though accounts in the literature vary, a review by Bell [11] indicates giant reed is thought to be native in eastern Asia, and it has been cultivated throughout Asia, southern Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East for thousands of years. In North America, it was intentionally introduced from the Mediterranean to the Los Angeles area in California in the early 1800s (Robbins and others 1951, as cited in [49])[28], and has been widely planted throughout the warmer states as an ornamental and for erosion control along drainage canals [49,74]. It has escaped cultivation as far north as Virginia and Missouri, and abundant wild populations occur along the Rio Grande River [74] and along ditches, streams, and seeps in arid and cis montane regions of California (Robbins and others 1951, as cited in [49]).

According to Bell [11], giant reed is invasive throughout the warmer coastal freshwaters of the United States from Maryland westward to northern California. Wunderlin [107] recognizes the variety versicolor as occurring in Florida, and Jones and others [53] describe that variety as a cultivar. The literature contains specific references to the occurrence of giant reed in the 4 provinces of Mexico listed below [2,61,82,98]. Giant reed is likely present in other areas of Mexico.

Plants database provides a state distribution map of giant reed in the United States.

The following lists include North American ecosystems, habitat types, and forest and range cover types in which giant reed is known or thought to be invasive, as well as some that may be invaded by giant reed following disturbances in which vegetation is killed and/or removed and/or soil is disturbed (e.g. cultivation, fire, grazing, herbicide application, flooding). Giant reed is a hydrophyte and riparian areas or wetlands within these habitats could be subject to invasion by giant reed even if the habitat itself is not considered a wetland. For example, Nixon and Willett [71] list giant reed as a plant found within the Trinity River Basin in Texas. Habitats within the basin include cross timbers and prairies, blackland prairies, post oak (Quercus stellata) savannah, pineywoods, and Gulf prairies and marshes.

These lists are not necessarily exhaustive. More information is needed regarding incidents and examples of particular ecosystems and plant communities where giant reed is invasive.

  • 2. Anderson, Kat. 1991. Wild plant management: Cross-cultural examples of the small farmers of Jaumave, Mexico, and the southern Miwok of the Yosemite region. Arid Lands Newsletter. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona, Office of Arid Lands Studies. 31: 18-23. [17350]
  • 11. Bell, Gary P. 1997. Ecology and management of Arundo donax, and approaches to riparian habitat restoration in southern California. In: Brock, J. H.; Wade, M.; Pysek, P.; Green, D., eds. Plant invasions: studies from North America and Europe. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers: 103-113. [43820]
  • 28. Dudley, Tom L. 2000. Arundo donax L. In: Bossard, Carla C.; Randall, John M.; Hoshovsky, Marc C., eds. Invasive plants of California's wildlands. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 53-58. [46806]
  • 53. Jones, Stanley D.; Wipff, Joseph K.; Montgomery, Paul M. 1997. Vascular plants of Texas. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 404 p. [28762]
  • 61. Lonard, Robert I.; Judd, Frank W. 1993. Phytogeography of the woody flora of the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Texas Journal of Science. 45(2): 133-147. [22040]
  • 74. Perdue, Robert E., Jr. 1958. Arundo donax--source of musical reeds and industrial cellulose. Economic Botany. 12: 368-404. [46765]
  • 82. Schmidly, David J.; Ditton, Robert B. 1979. Relating human activities and biological resources in riparian habitats of western Texas. In: Johnson, R. Roy; McCormick, J. Frank, technical coordinators. Strategies for protection and management of floodplain wetlands and other riparian ecosystems: Proceedings of the symposium; 1978 December 11-13; Callaway Gardens, GA. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-12. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 107-116. [4356]
  • 98. Van Devender, Thomas R.; Felger, Richard S.; Burquez M., Alberto. 1997. Exotic plants in the Sonoran Desert region, Arizona and Sonora. In: Kelly, M.; Wagner, E.; Warner, P., eds. Proceedings, California Exotic Pest Plant Council symposium; 1997 October 2-4; Concord, CA. Volume 3. Berkeley, CA: California Exotic Pest Plant Council: 10-15. [44103]
  • 107. Wunderlin, Richard P. 1998. Guide to the vascular plants of Florida. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida. 806 p. [28655]
  • 49. Hoshovsky, Marc. 1986. Element stewardship abstract: Arundo donax--giant reed, [Online]. In: Invasives on the web: The Nature Conservancy wildland invasive species program. Davis, CA: The Nature Conservancy (Producer). Available: http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/documnts/arundon.html [2004, March 16]. [46802]
  • 71. Nixon, Elray S.; Willett, R. Larry. 1974. Vegetative analysis of the floodplain of the Trinity River, Texas. Contract No. DACW6-74-C-0030. Prepared for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, Fort Worth, Texas. [Place of publication unknown]: [Publisher unknown]. 267 p. On file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [20420]

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States or Provinces

(key to state/province abbreviations)
UNITED STATES
AL AZ AR CA FL GA
HI IL KS KY LA MD
MS MO NV NM NC OK
SC TN TX UT VA WV
PR VI

MEXICO
Chih. Coah. Son. Tamps.

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS [12]:

3 Southern Pacific Border

4 Sierra Mountains

6 Upper Basin and Range

7 Lower Basin and Range

11 Southern Rocky Mountains

12 Colorado Plateau

13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont

14 Great Plains
  • 12. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434]

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Distribution in the United States

Giant reed is distributed from Arkansas and Texas to California, where it is found throughout the state, and in the east, from Virginia to Kentucky and Missouri and generally southward.

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Native Range

India
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Distribution in Egypt

Nile region, oases, Mediterranean region, Egyptian desert and Sinai.

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Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

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Global Distribution

Mediterranean region, Sinai, eastwards to Myanmar, introduced elsewhere.

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Worldwide distribution

Asia
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Distribution: Pakistan (Baluchistan, Punjab, N.W.F.P. & Kashmir); Mediterranean region eastwards to Burma; North Africa; introduced into many parts of the World.
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Mediterranean region, tropical Asia. Introduced into New World.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the term: graminoid

The following description of giant reed provides characteristics that may be relevant to fire ecology, and is not meant for identification. Keys for identification are available (e.g., [40,53,56,57,62,63,69,77,103,105,107]). Giant reed and common reed, a native grass distributed across most of the United States, can be difficult to distinguish. Proper identification of giant reed is essential before implementing control measures [24].

Giant reed is a tall, erect, perennial graminoid. It is the largest member of the genus and among the largest of grasses, growing 6 to 30 feet (2-8 m) tall [11,28,74]. The culms reach a diameter of 0.4 to 1.6 inches (1-4 cm) and commonly branch during the second year of growth. Culms are hollow, with walls 2 to 7 mm thick and divided by partitions at the nodes. The nodes vary in length from 5 to 12 inches (12-30 cm). Leaves are conspicuously 2-ranked, 2 to 3.2 inches (5-8 cm) broad at the base and tapering to a fine point. Bases of the leaves are cordate and more-or-less hairy-tufted, persisting long after the blades have fallen [74]. Giant reed has large plume-like panicles. Spikelets are several-flowered with upper florets successively smaller [33].

Giant reed has thick, knotty rhizomes [103] and deeply penetrating roots [74]. Once established, it tends to form large, continuous, clonal root masses, sometimes covering several acres. These root masses can be more than 3 feet (1 m) thick (review by [11]).

Although giant reed has been widely cultivated for centuries, little information on its biology and ecology has been published. As of this writing (2004), more research is needed to understand the biology and ecology of giant reed.

  • 77. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 11. Bell, Gary P. 1997. Ecology and management of Arundo donax, and approaches to riparian habitat restoration in southern California. In: Brock, J. H.; Wade, M.; Pysek, P.; Green, D., eds. Plant invasions: studies from North America and Europe. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers: 103-113. [43820]
  • 24. DiTomaso, Joseph M. 1998. Biology and ecology of giant reed. In: Bell, Carl E., ed. In: Arundo and saltcedar: the deadly duo: Proceedings of a workshop on combating the threat from arundo and saltcedar; 1998 June 17; Ontario, CA. Holtville, CA: University of California, Cooperative Extension: 1-5. [47117]
  • 28. Dudley, Tom L. 2000. Arundo donax L. In: Bossard, Carla C.; Randall, John M.; Hoshovsky, Marc C., eds. Invasive plants of California's wildlands. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 53-58. [46806]
  • 33. Felger, Richard S. 1990. Non-native plants of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona. Tech. Rep. No. 31. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit. 93 p. [14916]
  • 40. Godfrey, Robert K.; Wooten, Jean W. 1979. Aquatic and wetland plants of southeastern United States: Monocotyledons. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 712 p. [16906]
  • 53. Jones, Stanley D.; Wipff, Joseph K.; Montgomery, Paul M. 1997. Vascular plants of Texas. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 404 p. [28762]
  • 57. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 62. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 63. Mason, Herbert L. 1957. A flora of the marshes of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 878 p. [16905]
  • 69. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924]
  • 74. Perdue, Robert E., Jr. 1958. Arundo donax--source of musical reeds and industrial cellulose. Economic Botany. 12: 368-404. [46765]
  • 103. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 105. Wiggins, Ira L. 1980. Flora of Baja California. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1025 p. [21993]
  • 107. Wunderlin, Richard P. 1998. Guide to the vascular plants of Florida. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida. 806 p. [28655]
  • 56. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

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Description

Giant reed, also known as wild cane, is a tall, perennial grass that can grow to over 20 feet in height. Its fleshy, creeping rootstocks form compact masses from which tough, fibrous roots emerge that penetrate deeply into the soil. Leaves are elongate, 1-2 inches wide and a foot long. The flowers are borne in 2-foot long, dense, plume-like panicles during August and September.

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Physical Description

Perennials, Aquatic, leaves e mergent, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Rhizomes present, Rhizome short and compact, stems close, Rhizome elongate, creeping, stems distant, Stems woody, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems caespitose, tufted, or clustered, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stems branching above base or distally at nodes, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence 2-6 m tall, Stems with inflorescence 6 m or taller, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades disarticulating from sheath, deciduous at ligule, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blades lanceolate, Leaf blade auriculate, Leaf blades 2 or more cm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Leaf blades scabrous, roughened, or wrinkled, Ligule present, Ligule an unfringed eciliate membrane, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence an open panicle, openly paniculate, branches spreading, Inflorescence a contracted panicle, narrowly paniculate, branches appressed or ascending, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence branches more than 10 to numerous, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets pedicellate, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet less than 3 mm wide, Spikelets with 3-7 florets, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Spikelets disarticulating beneath or between the florets, Spikelets conspicuously hairy , Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes equal or subequal, Glumes equal to or longer than adjacent lemma, Glumes keeled or winged, Glumes 3 nerved, Glumes 4-7 nerved, Lemma similar in texture to glumes, Lemma 3 nerv ed, Lemma 5-7 nerved, Lemma body or surface hairy, Lemma apex acute or acuminate, Lemma awnless, Lemma distinctly awned, more than 2-3 mm, Lemma with 1 awn, Lemma straight, Callus or base of lemma evidently hairy, Callus hairs equal to lemma, Callus hairs longer than lemma, Palea present, well developed, Palea membranous, hyaline, Palea shorter than lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Palea keels winged, scabrous, or ciliate, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Description

Perennial, with creeping woody rhizomes. Culms erect, up to 5 m high. Leaf-blades conspicuously distichous, linear-lanceolate, rounded or cordate at the base, 30-60 cm long, 2.5-5 cm wide, glabrous, smooth, long-attenuate at the tip. Panicle 30.60 cm long and 5.8(10) cm wide. Spikelets 10-15 mm long; glumes subequal, lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, (8-)10-13 mm long, the lower a little shorter than the upper; lemmas lanceolate, (6)8.5-13 mm long, 3-5-nerved, 3 of the nerves produced as short aristae, hairy all over the back below the middle with hairs up to 7 mm long.
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Description

Robust reed from a thick knotty rhizome. Culms very stout, erect, 2–6 m tall, 1–1.5 cm in diam., unbranched or with bamboolike clusters of slender branches from nodes. Leaf sheaths longer than internodes, usually glabrous except long pilose at mouth; leaf blades 30–60 × 2–5 cm, margins scabrous, tapering to a slender filiform apex; ligule 0.7–1.5 mm. Panicle 30–60 cm, dense, usually purplish; branches 10–25 cm, ascending. Spikelets 10–15 mm, florets 2–5; glumes narrowly lanceolate, 8–12 mm, 3–5-veined, lower glume acute, upper glume sharply acuminate; lemmas linear-lanceolate, 8–11 mm, 3–7-veined, dorsal hairs 5–6 mm, apex minutely bidentate with 1–2 mm awnlet from sinus, lateral veins also shortly extended; palea 1/2 length of lemma body. Fl. and fr. Oct–Dec.
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Description

Tall coarse perennial tufted with short thick rhizome. Culm about 1-3 cm in diameter. Blades 2-4 cm wide, the margins scabrid; ligule 2 mm long, fimbriate on upper margin, siliceous on dorsal side; sheath usually longer than the internode, glabrous or subdensely pubescent (var. coleotricha Hackel). Panicle ample, 30-70 cm long, axiss strigose at nodes. Spikelets 3-4-flowered or more, terete, 10-15 mm long; glumes chartaceous, lanceolate, siliceous apex with short awn or acute; the lower glume about 12 mm long, 3-5-nerved, rarely 4-nerved, covered with a few silky hairs on the backside; the uppe glume about 10 mm long, 3-5-nerved; lemma 10-12 mm long, 5-nerved middle nerve prolonged into a 3 mm long awn, 2 lateral awn slightly cuspidate, basal part densely covered with long silky hairs which are nearly as long as the lemma; palea about 5 mm long, 2-keeled, the margins ciliate, apex truncate; lodicules 2, truncate, nerved, stamens 3. anther 2.5 mm long.
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Elevation Range

2100-2440 m
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

"Perennial, with creeping woody rhizomes. Culms erect, up to 5 m high. Leaf-blades conspicuously distichous, linear-lanceolate, rounded or cordate at the base, 30-60 cm long, 2.5-5 cm wide, glabrous, smooth, long-attenuate at the tip. Panicle 30.60 cm long and 5.8(10) cm wide. Spikelets 10-15 mm long; glumes subequal, lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, (8-)10-13 mm long, the lower a little shorter than the upper; lemmas lanceolate, (6) 8.5-13 mm long, 3-5-nerved, 3 of the nerves produced as short aristae, hairy all over the back below the middle with hairs up to 7 mm long."
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Synonym

Aira bengalensis (Retzius) J. F. Gmelin; Amphidonax bengalensis (Retzius) Nees ex Steudel (1854), not Roxburgh ex Nees (1836); Arundo bengalensis Retzius; A. coleotricha (Hackel) Honda; A. donax var. coleotricha Hackel; Donax arundinaceus P. Beauvois; D. bengalensis (Retzius) P. Beauvois; Scolochloa donax (Linnaeus) Gaudin.
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Type Information

Isotype for Arundo donax var. coleotricha Hack.
Catalog Number: US 78855
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Alleged type specimen status verified from secondary sources
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): T. Makino
Locality: Tamsui., Taiwan [Formosa], Taiwan, Asia-Temperate
  • Isotype: Hackel, E. 1899. Bull. Herb. Boissier. 7: 724.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: ARUNDO DONAX has been widely planted throughout the warmer areas of the U.S. as an ornamental. It is especially popular in the Southwest where it is used along ditches for erosion control (Perdue 1958). In California, giant reed has escaped cultivation and has become established in moist places, such as ditches, streams, and seeps in arid and cismontane regions (Robbins et al. 1951). As early as 1820 it was so plentiful along the Los Angeles River that it was gathered for roofing materials (Robbins et al. 1951). A. DONAX tolerates a wide variety of ecological conditions. It is reported to flourish in all types of soils, from heavy clays to loose sands and gravelly soils.

Plants grow best in well-drained soils where abundant moisture is available (Perdue 1958). It can spread from the water's edge up the banks and far beyond the zone previously occupied by riparian woody vegetation (Wells et al. 1980). ARUNDO DONAX was observed to grow well where water tables were close to, or at, the soil surface (Rezk and Edany 1979). Individual plants can tolerate excessive salinity (Perdue 1958).

Giant reed can be seriously retarded by lack of moisture during its first year, but drought causes no great damage to patches two- to three-years old (Perdue 1958). Individuals will survive extended periods of severe drought accompanied by low-pressure humidity or periods of excessive moisture (Perdue 1958). Arundo's ability to tolerate or even grow well under conditions of extreme drought is due to the development of coarse, drought- resistant rhizomes and deeply penetrating roots that can reach moisture at depth. A. DONAX can survive very low temperatures when dormant but is subject to serious damage by frosts after the start of spring growth (Perdue 1958).

Giant reed has played an important role in the culture of the western world through its influence on the development of music, which can be traced back 5000 years. The basis for the origin of the most primitive pipe organ, the Pan pipe or syrinx, was made from A. DONAX. Reeds for woodwind musical instruments are still made from the culms and no satisfactory substitutes have been developed (Perdue 1958).

Even before its musical qualities were appreciated, Egyptians used giant reed as early as 5000 B.C. to line underground grain storage. Mummies of the Fourth Century A.D. were wrapped in arundo leaves. Other uses for giant reed include: basket-work, garden fences and trellises, chicken pens, crude shelters, fishing rods, arrows, erosion control, livestock fodder, pulp and ornamental plants. Medicinally, the rhizome has been used as a sudorific, a diuretic, as an antilactant and in the treatment of dropsy (Perdue 1958).

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species will occur on light sandy soils and loams to and heavy clay soils and will tolerate acid, neutral and basic or even highly alkaline soils. It is intolerant of shade and typically grows in moist places such as ditches, streams, and riverbanks, growing best in well drained soils where abundant moisture is available. It will generally survive where planted, even at high altitudes and drier habitats, however under these conditions it may remain stunted.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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General Habitat

Along banks of streams and backwaters
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Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: frequency, hydrophyte

 
Although giant reed has a wide distribution in North America, details about site characteristics where it is invasive are limited. Most available information on its biology and ecology in North America comes from reviews and studies in California.

Giant reed is a hydrophyte, and grows best where water tables are near or at the soil surface [79]. Giant reed growth may be retarded by lack of moisture during its first year, but drought causes no serious damage in patches 2 to 3 years old [74]. In California, it typically grows along lakes, streams, drains and other wet sites [11]. It is well adapted for establishment and spread in riparian areas with regular flood cycles (see Asexual regeneration). In California, it is most commonly associated with waterways with altered hydrologic regimes (e.g., dams) and/or disturbed riparian vegetation, but can also establish in the understory of native riparian vegetation [28]. In southern California giant reed reaches peak abundance downstream along major rivers in coastal basins, and has generally not spread up the steep, narrow canyons that characterize lower montane areas [87]. It establishes primarily on streamside microsites, but can spread beyond the zone occupied by native riparian vegetation [24,28,102], and can occur on dry riverbanks far from permanent water [28]. A study along the San Luis Rey River in San Diego County found the highest concentration of giant reed colonies within 24 feet (7.3 m) of the river. The authors suggest frequency and magnitude of river flow contribute to this pattern of distribution [80].

Giant reed tolerates excessive salinity and periods of excessive moisture [74]. In South Carolina, it has invaded abandoned rice fields and grows in brackish water [86]. In a greenhouse experiment designed to test the tolerance of giant reed to salt stress, Peck [73] determined giant reed can grow in saline conditions and may be able to invade and persist in salt marshes.

Reviews (e.g., [24,28,49,74]) report that giant reed grows on a variety of soil types including coarse sands, gravelly soil, heavy clays, and river sediments; however, the sources and context of this information are unclear. Stephenson and Calcarone [87] suggest that it requires "well-developed" soils to become established, while DiTomaso [24] indicates that giant reed is "best developed in poor, sandy soil and in sunny situations," and survives in areas with pH values between 5 and 8.7. Purdue [74] states that its growth is most vigorous in well-drained soils where moisture is abundant.

Giant reed occurs in areas with annual precipitation ranging from 12 to 158 inches (300-4,000 mm) [24]. According to Purdue [74], it is a warm-temperate or subtropical species, and is able to survive very low temperatures when dormant, but is subject to serious damage by frosts that occur after initiation of spring growth.

In California, giant reed is apparently restricted to elevations below 1,640 feet (500 m) [47]. However, Perdue [74] reports it grows at altitudes to 8,000 feet (2,438 m) in the Himalayas.

Elevation ranges reported for giant reed in other areas include:

Nevada:    2,500 to 4,000 feet (760-1,220 m) [56]
New Mexico:    4,000 to 4,500 feet (1,220-1,370 m) [62]
Utah:    2,790 to 4,100 feet (850-1,250 m) [103]

  • 11. Bell, Gary P. 1997. Ecology and management of Arundo donax, and approaches to riparian habitat restoration in southern California. In: Brock, J. H.; Wade, M.; Pysek, P.; Green, D., eds. Plant invasions: studies from North America and Europe. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers: 103-113. [43820]
  • 24. DiTomaso, Joseph M. 1998. Biology and ecology of giant reed. In: Bell, Carl E., ed. In: Arundo and saltcedar: the deadly duo: Proceedings of a workshop on combating the threat from arundo and saltcedar; 1998 June 17; Ontario, CA. Holtville, CA: University of California, Cooperative Extension: 1-5. [47117]
  • 28. Dudley, Tom L. 2000. Arundo donax L. In: Bossard, Carla C.; Randall, John M.; Hoshovsky, Marc C., eds. Invasive plants of California's wildlands. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 53-58. [46806]
  • 47. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 62. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 73. Peck, George G. 1998. Hydroponic growth characteristics of Arundo donax L. under salt stress. In: Bell, Carl E., ed. In: Arundo and saltcedar: the deadly duo: Proceedings of a workshop on combating the threat from arundo and saltcedar; 1998 June 17; Ontario, CA. Holtville, CA: University of California, Cooperative Extension: 71. [47128]
  • 74. Perdue, Robert E., Jr. 1958. Arundo donax--source of musical reeds and industrial cellulose. Economic Botany. 12: 368-404. [46765]
  • 79. Rezk, Malak R.; Edany, Taha Y. 1979. Comparative responses of two reed species to water table levels. Egyptian Journal of Botany. 22(2): 157-172. [47113]
  • 80. Rieger, John P.; Kreager, D. Ann. 1989. Giant reed (Arundo donax): a climax community of the riparian zone. In: Protection, management, and restoration for the 1990's: Proceedings of the California Riparian Systems conference; 1988 September 22-24; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-110. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 222-225. [13884]
  • 86. Stalter, Richard; Baden, John. 1994. A twenty year comparison of vegetation of three abandoned rice fields, Georgetown County, South Carolina. Castanea. 59(1): 69-77. [26043]
  • 87. Stephenson, John R.; Calcarone, Gena M. 1999. Factors influencing ecosystem integrity. In: Stephenson, John R.; Calcarone, Gena M. Southern California mountains and foothills assessment: Habitat and species conservation issues. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-172. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 61-109. [35519]
  • 102. Wells, M. J.; Duggan, K.; Hendersen, L. 1980. Woody plant invaders of the central Transvaal. In: Proceedings, 3rd national weeds conference of South Africa. Pretoria: National Weeds Conference of South Africa: 11-23. [47112]
  • 103. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 49. Hoshovsky, Marc. 1986. Element stewardship abstract: Arundo donax--giant reed, [Online]. In: Invasives on the web: The Nature Conservancy wildland invasive species program. Davis, CA: The Nature Conservancy (Producer). Available: http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/documnts/arundon.html [2004, March 16]. [46802]
  • 56. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

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Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):

More info for the terms: cover, fresh, hardwood, marsh, shrub, vine

SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES [85]:

201 Blue oak woodland

202 Coast live oak woodland

203 Riparian woodland

204 North coastal shrub

205 Coastal sage shrub

206 Chamise chaparral

207 Scrub oak mixed chaparral

208 Ceanothus mixed chaparral

209 Montane shrubland

210 Bitterbrush

211 Creosote bush scrub

212 Blackbush

213 Alpine grassland

214 Coastal prairie

215 Valley grassland

216 Montane meadows

217 Wetlands

401 Basin big sagebrush

402 Mountain big sagebrush

403 Wyoming big sagebrush

405 Black sagebrush

406 Low sagebrush

408 Other sagebrush types

409 Tall forb

410 Alpine rangeland

411 Aspen woodland

412 Juniper-pinyon woodland

413 Gambel oak

414 Salt desert shrub

415 Curlleaf mountain-mahogany

416 True mountain-mahogany

417 Littleleaf mountain-mahogany

418 Bigtooth maple

419 Bittercherry

420 Snowbrush

421 Chokecherry-serviceberry-rose

422 Riparian

501 Saltbush-greasewood

502 Grama-galleta

503 Arizona chaparral

504 Juniper-pinyon pine woodland

505 Grama-tobosa shrub

506 Creosotebush-bursage

507 Palo verde-cactus

508 Creosotebush-tarbush

509 Transition between oak-juniper woodland and mahogany-oak association

601 Bluestem prairie

604 Bluestem-grama prairie

605 Sandsage prairie

611 Blue grama-buffalo grass

701 Alkali sacaton-tobosagrass

702 Black grama-alkali sacaton

703 Black grama-sideoats grama

704 Blue grama-western wheatgrass

705 Blue grama-galleta

706 Blue grama-sideoats grama

707 Blue grama-sideoats grama-black grama

708 Bluestem-dropseed

709 Bluestem-grama

710 Bluestem prairie

711 Bluestem-sacahuista prairie

712 Galleta-alkali sacaton

713 Grama-muhly-threeawn

714 Grama-bluestem

715 Grama-buffalo grass

716 Grama-feathergrass

717 Little bluestem-Indiangrass-Texas wintergrass

718 Mesquite-grama

719 Mesquite-liveoak-seacoast bluestem

720 Sand bluestem-little bluestem (dunes)

721 Sand bluestem-little bluestem (plains)

722 Sand sagebrush-mixed prairie

723 Sea oats

724 Sideoats grama-New Mexico feathergrass-winterfat

725 Vine mesquite-alkali sacaton

726 Cordgrass

727 Mesquite-buffalo grass

728 Mesquite-granjeno-acacia

729 Mesquite

730 Sand shinnery oak

731 Cross timbers-Oklahoma

732 Cross timbers-Texas (little bluestem-post oak)

733 Juniper-oak

734 Mesquite-oak

735 Sideoats grama-sumac-juniper

801 Savanna

802 Missouri prairie

803 Missouri glades

804 Tall fescue

805 Riparian

806 Gulf Coast salt marsh

807 Gulf Coast fresh marsh

808 Sand pine scrub

809 Mixed hardwood and pine

810 Longleaf pine-turkey oak hills

811 South Florida flatwoods

812 North Florida flatwoods

813 Cutthroat seeps

814 Cabbage palm flatwoods

815 Upland hardwood hammocks

816 Cabbage palm hammocks

817 Oak hammocks

818 Florida salt marsh

819 Freshwater marsh and ponds

820 Everglades flatwoods

821 Pitcher plant bogs

822 Slough
  • 85. Shiflet, Thomas N., ed. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management. 152 p. [23362]

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the terms: cover, swamp

SAF COVER TYPES [32]:

40 Post oak-blackjack oak

42 Bur oak

43 Bear oak

46 Eastern redcedar

51 White pine-chestnut oak

52 White oak-black oak-northern red oak

53 White oak

57 Yellow-poplar

58 Yellow-poplar-eastern hemlock

59 Yellow-poplar-white oak-northern red oak

60 Beech-sugar maple

61 River birch-sycamore

63 Cottonwood

64 Sassafras-persimmon

65 Pin oak-sweetgum

66 Ashe juniper-redberry (Pinchot) juniper

67 Mohrs (shin) oak

68 Mesquite

69 Sand pine

70 Longleaf pine

71 Longleaf pine-scrub oak

72 Southern scrub oak

73 Southern redcedar

74 Cabbage palmetto

75 Shortleaf pine

76 Shortleaf pine-oak

78 Virginia pine-oak

79 Virginia pine

80 Loblolly pine-shortleaf pine

81 Loblolly pine

82 Loblolly pine-hardwood

83 Longleaf pine-slash pine

84 Slash pine

85 Slash pine-hardwood

87 Sweetgum-yellow-poplar

88 Willow oak-water oak-diamondleaf (laurel) oak

89 Live oak

91 Swamp chestnut oak-cherrybark oak

92 Sweetgum-willow oak

93 Sugarberry-American elm-green ash

94 Sycamore-sweetgum-American elm

95 Black willow

96 Overcup oak-water hickory

97 Atlantic white-cedar

98 Pond pine

100 Pondcypress

101 Baldcypress

102 Baldcypress-tupelo

103 Water tupelo-swamp tupelo

104 Sweetbay-swamp tupelo-redbay

105 Tropical hardwoods

106 Mangrove

110 Black oak

111 South Florida slash pine

221 Red alder

222 Black cottonwood-willow

232 Redwood

235 Cottonwood-willow

239 Pinyon-juniper

240 Arizona cypress

241 Western live oak

242 Mesquite

243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer

246 California black oak

249 Canyon live oak

250 Blue oak-foothills pine

255 California coast live oak
  • 32. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]

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Habitat: Plant Associations

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This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

More info for the term: shrub

KUCHLER [60] PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:

K006 Redwood forest

K009 Pine-cypress forest

K023 Juniper-pinyon woodland

K027 Mesquite bosques

K031 Oak-juniper woodland

K032 Transition between K031 and K037

K033 Chaparral

K034 Montane chaparral

K035 Coastal sagebrush

K036 Mosaic of K030 and K035

K037 Mountain-mahogany-oak scrub

K038 Great Basin sagebrush

K039 Blackbrush

K040 Saltbush-greasewood

K041 Creosote bush

K042 Creosote bush-bur sage

K043 Paloverde-cactus shrub

K044 Creosote bush-tarbush

K045 Ceniza shrub

K048 California steppe

K049 Tule marshes

K053 Grama-galleta steppe

K054 Grama-tobosa prairie

K057 Galleta-threeawn shrubsteppe

K058 Grama-tobosa shrubsteppe

K059 Trans-Pecos shrub savanna

K060 Mesquite savanna

K061 Mesquite-acacia savanna

K062 Mesquite-live oak savanna

K065 Grama-buffalo grass

K069 Bluestem-grama prairie

K070 Sandsage-bluestem prairie

K071 Shinnery

K072 Sea oats prairie

K074 Bluestem prairie

K076 Blackland prairie

K077 Bluestem-sacahuista prairie

K078 Southern cordgrass prairie

K079 Palmetto prairie

K080 Marl everglades

K082 Mosaic of K074 and K100

K083 Cedar glades

K084 Cross Timbers

K085 Mesquite-buffalo grass

K086 Juniper-oak savanna

K087 Mesquite-oak savanna

K088 Fayette prairie

K089 Black Belt

K090 Live oak-sea oats

K091 Cypress savanna

K092 Everglades

K098 Northern floodplain forest

K100 Oak-hickory forest

K105 Mangrove

K111 Oak-hickory-pine

K112 Southern mixed forest

K113 Southern floodplain forest

K114 Pocosin

K115 Sand pine scrub

K116 Subtropical pine forest
  • 60. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. United States [Potential natural vegetation of the conterminous United States]. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 1:3,168,000; colored. [3455]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

ECOSYSTEMS [38]:

FRES12 Longleaf-slash pine

FRES13 Loblolly-shortleaf pine

FRES14 Oak-pine

FRES15 Oak-hickory

FRES16 Oak-gum-cypress

FRES17 Elm-ash-cottonwood

FRES27 Redwood

FRES28 Western hardwoods

FRES29 Sagebrush

FRES30 Desert shrub

FRES31 Shinnery

FRES32 Texas savanna

FRES33 Southwestern shrubsteppe

FRES34 Chaparral-mountain shrub

FRES35 Pinyon-juniper

FRES36 Mountain grasslands

FRES37 Mountain meadows

FRES38 Plains grasslands

FRES39 Prairie

FRES40 Desert grasslands

FRES41 Wet grasslands

FRES42 Annual grasslands
  • 38. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; Lewis, Mont E.; Smith, Dixie R. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]

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Habitat in the United States

Giant reed becomes established in moist places such as ditches, streams, and riverbanks, growing best in well drained soils where abundant moisture is available. It tolerates a wide variety of conditions, including high salinity, and can flourish in many soil types from heavy clays to loose sands.

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U.S. National Park Service Weeds Gone Wild website

Source: U.S. National Park Service

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Planted along water-courses, rarely occurring as a native.

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© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

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Habitat & Distribution

River banks and other damp places, but it will also grow when planted in dryish habitats. Fujian, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam; N Africa, C and SW Asia, S Europe; widely introduced elsewhere].
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Population Biology

Frequency

Local
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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General Ecology

Plant Response to Fire

As of this writing (2004) no research is available on postfire response of giant reed; however, observations indicate that in most circumstances fire cannot kill the underground rhizomes. One week after a fire in Soledad Canyon in January 1991, for example, burned giant reed colonies were sprouting from their extensive rhizomes. Many sprouts were over 2 feet (0.6 m) tall within 2 weeks after the fire, even though January is normally the dormant period for giant reed (Joyce, personal observation in [95]). 
  • 95. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Angeles National Forest. 1993. Eradication of Arundo donax: San Francisquito and Soledad Canyons. Environmental Assessment. Arcadia, CA: Angeles National Forest. 89 p. [46798]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Anecdotal evidence cited in reviews (e.g., [11,28,95]) indicates that giant reed is top-killed by fire, and in most circumstances underground rhizomes survive fire.
  • 11. Bell, Gary P. 1997. Ecology and management of Arundo donax, and approaches to riparian habitat restoration in southern California. In: Brock, J. H.; Wade, M.; Pysek, P.; Green, D., eds. Plant invasions: studies from North America and Europe. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers: 103-113. [43820]
  • 28. Dudley, Tom L. 2000. Arundo donax L. In: Bossard, Carla C.; Randall, John M.; Hoshovsky, Marc C., eds. Invasive plants of California's wildlands. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 53-58. [46806]
  • 95. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Angeles National Forest. 1993. Eradication of Arundo donax: San Francisquito and Soledad Canyons. Environmental Assessment. Arcadia, CA: Angeles National Forest. 89 p. [46798]

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Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: fire regime, fire severity, frequency, fuel, fuel moisture, grass/fire cycle, presence, severity, shrub, wildfire

Fire adaptations: As of this writing (2004), information on fire adaptations of giant reed are limited to anecdotal accounts and assertions based on known biological attributes. Giant reed's extensive rhizomes are likely to survive and sprout after fire removes top growth. Reviews (e.g., [11,28,95]) provide anecdotal evidence that indicates that sprouts emerge from rhizomes of giant reed soon after fire and grow quickly. Rieger and Kreager [80] observed rapid sprouting and growth of giant reed after removing top-growth by cutting (see Growth).

FIRE REGIMES: With the exception of California, almost no published information is available that describes the types of plant communities in which giant reed is invasive, although giant reed generally occurs in riparian and wetland areas throughout its wide distribution. Characteristics of riparian zones and wetlands vary substantially throughout this range, and FIRE REGIMES are not well described for many of these communities. A review by Dwire and Kauffman [30] discusses how differences in topography, microclimate, geomorphology, and vegetation may lead to differences in fire behavior and fire effects between riparian areas and surrounding uplands. Riparian areas may act as a fire barrier or a fire corridor, depending on topography, weather, and fuel characteristics [30]. Recovery of riparian vegetation depends on fire severity and postfire hydrology [22].

Dwire and Kauffman [30] indicate that riparian microclimates are generally characterized by cooler air temperature, lower daily maximum air temperature, and higher relative humidity than the adjacent uplands, contributing to higher fuel moisture content and presumably lowering the intensity, severity, and frequency of fire in riparian areas compared to adjacent uplands. Similarly, Bell [11] suggests that fire is uncommon in riparian areas in southern California, and that native riparian species are not well adapted to frequent or severe fire. In this area, lightning-ignited wildfires usually occur in late fall, winter, and early spring when riparian vegetation is typically moist and green and would act as a fire break [11]. In southern California, riparian areas invaded by giant reed often occur within grasslands or chaparral shrublands. The limited available research from such ecosystems suggests longer fire return intervals and lower-severity burns in riparian areas relative to adjacent upland vegetation [30]. Human-caused wildfires often occur during the dry months of the year (July through October) in southern California, when drier conditions make riparian vegetation more vulnerable to fire damage [11].

Information regarding the effects of giant reed on fuels and fire regime characteristics in plant communities in which it is invasive in North America is limited to accounts from southern California. Although evidence is entirely anecdotal, several accounts (e.g., [11,20,29,84,95]) describe changes in fuels, fire characteristics, and/or postfire plant community response in southern California riparian areas invaded by giant reed that are suggestive of an invasive grass/fire cycle. Because giant reed grows quickly and produces large amounts of biomass [74] in dense stands described as having "large quantities of dry material" [95], it is conceivable that its invasion introduces novel fuel properties to the invaded ecosystem. It thus has the potential to alter fire behavior and the fire regime (sensu [14,19]). Giant reed is among the most productive of plant communities and can produce over 20 tons of aboveground biomass per hectare under some conditions [74]. Scott [84] observes that in the Santa Ana Basin in southern California, the invasion of giant reed into riparian corridors has doubled and in some areas tripled the amount of fuels available for wildfire.

According to Bell [9,11] giant reed is "extremely flammable" throughout most of the year, and once established increases the probability of wildfire occurrence and the intensity of fires that do occur. This observation is upheld by manager and newspaper accounts of intense wildfires fueled by giant reed in Riverside County (as cited in [95]), the Santa Ana River drainage (J. Wright, personal communication in [87]), and the Russian River further north [29]. For example, a fire in Soledad Canyon in January 1991 was said to have "burned aggressively through the riparian vegetation" due to dry conditions from a prolonged drought coupled with the presence of dried stands of giant reed (Joyce, personal observation cited in [95]). Dudley [29] describes destructive fires fueled by continuous, 15-foot-high colonies of giant reed along the Santa Ana River, noting that "such flammable vegetation is now changing riparian corridors from barriers to the spread of fires into wicks that carry fire up and downstream, into highway bridges or crowns of native, fire-sensitive trees". See Fire hazard potential for more information on this topic.

As of this writing (2004) no research is available on postfire response of giant reed; however, observations indicate that in most circumstances fire cannot kill the underground rhizomes and probably favors giant reed regeneration over native riparian species (e.g., Gaffney and Cushman 1998, cited in [28]). One week after a fire in Soledad Canyon in January 1991, for example, burned giant reed colonies were sprouting from their extensive rhizomes. Many sprouts were over 2 feet (0.6 m) tall within 2 weeks after the fire, even though January is normally the dormant period for giant reed. Most willow, mulefat, and aquatic plants were also burned, and many cottonwoods were scorched. The aquatic plants in the stream were the only plants other than giant reed that were recovering within the first few weeks of burning. In this way, fire gives giant reed an advantage over native riparian plants, and its dominance in the area has increased dramatically (Joyce, personal observation in [95]). In this sense, Bell [11] suggests that riparian communities invaded by giant reed can change from "flood-defined" to "fire-defined" communities, as has occurred on the Santa Ana River. This grass/fire cycle would thus result in river corridors dominated by stands of giant reed with little biological diversity [11].

As mentioned above, there is little research regarding FIRE REGIMES and fire return intervals in riparian areas. However, riparian communities may be influenced by the FIRE REGIMES of adjacent and surrounding plant communities. The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where riparian vegetation may include giant reed, though its invasiveness in many of these communities has not yet been demonstrated. For further information on FIRE REGIMES in these communities, see the FEIS summary on the dominant species listed below.

Community or Ecosystem Dominant Species Fire Return Interval Range (years)
silver maple-American elm Acer saccharinum-Ulmus americana < 35 to 200
sugar maple Acer saccharum > 1,000
sugar maple-basswood Acer saccharum-Tilia americana > 1,000 [101]
California chaparral Adenostoma and/or Arctostaphylos spp. 72]
bluestem prairie Andropogon gerardii var. gerardii-Schizachyrium scoparium 59,72]
Nebraska sandhills prairie Andropogon gerardii var. paucipilus-Schizachyrium scoparium < 10
bluestem-Sacahuista prairie Andropogon littoralis-Spartina spartinae 72]
silver sagebrush steppe Artemisia cana 5-45 [46,76,106]
sagebrush steppe Artemisia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria spicata 20-70 [72]
basin big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. tridentata 12-43 [81]
mountain big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. vaseyana 15-40 [5,16,66]
Wyoming big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. wyomingensis 10-70 (40**) [100,109]
coastal sagebrush Artemisia californica < 35 to < 100
saltbush-greasewood Atriplex confertifolia-Sarcobatus vermiculatus 72]
mangrove Avicennia nitida-Rhizophora mangle 35-200 [70]
desert grasslands Bouteloua eriopoda and/or Pleuraphis mutica 5-100  [72]
plains grasslands Bouteloua spp. < 35
blue grama-buffalo grass Bouteloua gracilis-Buchloe dactyloides 72,106]
grama-galleta steppe Bouteloua gracilis-Pleuraphis jamesii < 35 to < 100
blue grama-tobosa prairie Bouteloua gracilis-Pleuraphis mutica 72]
cheatgrass Bromus tectorum 75,104]
California montane chaparral Ceanothus and/or Arctostaphylos spp. 50-100 [72]
sugarberry-America elm-green ash Celtis laevigata-Ulmus americana-Fraxinus pennsylvanica 101]
paloverde-cactus shrub Cercidium microphyllum/Opuntia spp. 72]
curlleaf mountain-mahogany* Cercocarpus ledifolius 13-1,000 [6,83]
mountain-mahogany-Gambel oak scrub Cercocarpus ledifolius-Quercus gambelii 72]
Atlantic white-cedar Chamaecyparis thyoides 35 to > 200  [101]
blackbrush Coleogyne ramosissima < 35 to < 100
Arizona cypress Cupressus arizonica < 35 to 200
northern cordgrass prairie Distichlis spicata-Spartina spp. 1-3 [72]
beech-sugar maple Fagus spp.-Acer saccharum > 1,000 [101]
California steppe Festuca-Danthonia spp. 72,89]
black ash Fraxinus nigra 101]
juniper-oak savanna Juniperus ashei-Quercus virginiana < 35
Ashe juniper Juniperus ashei < 35
western juniper Juniperus occidentalis 20-70
Rocky Mountain juniper Juniperus scopulorum 72]
cedar glades Juniperus virginiana 3-22 [43,72]
creosotebush Larrea tridentata < 35 to < 100
Ceniza shrub Larrea tridentata-Leucophyllum frutescens-Prosopis glandulosa 72]
yellow-poplar Liriodendron tulipifera 101]
Everglades Mariscus jamaicensis < 10
melaleuca Melaleuca quinquenervia 70]
wheatgrass plains grasslands Pascopyrum smithii 72,76,106]
southeastern spruce-fir Picea-Abies spp. 35 to > 200 [101]
Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir Picea engelmannii-Abies lasiocarpa 35 to > 200
pine-cypress forest Pinus-Cupressus spp. 4]
pinyon-juniper Pinus-Juniperus spp. 72]
Mexican pinyon Pinus cembroides 20-70  [67,92]
shortleaf pine Pinus echinata 2-15
shortleaf pine-oak Pinus echinata-Quercus spp. 101]
Colorado pinyon Pinus edulis 10-400+ [36,41,58,72]
slash pine Pinus elliottii 3-8
slash pine-hardwood Pinus elliottii-variable < 35
sand pine Pinus elliottii var. elliottii 25-45 [101]
South Florida slash pine Pinus elliottii var. densa 1-5
longleaf-slash pine Pinus palustris-P. elliottii 1-4 [70,101]
longleaf pine-scrub oak Pinus palustris-Quercus spp. 6-10 [101]
pitch pine Pinus rigida 6-25 [15,44]
pocosin Pinus serotina 3-8
pond pine Pinus serotina 3-8
eastern white pine Pinus strobus 35-200
eastern white pine-eastern hemlock Pinus strobus-Tsuga canadensis 35-200
loblolly pine Pinus taeda 3-8
loblolly-shortleaf pine Pinus taeda-P. echinata 10 to < 35
Virginia pine Pinus virginiana 10 to < 35
Virginia pine-oak Pinus virginiana-Quercus spp. 10 to < 35
sycamore-sweetgum-American elm Platanus occidentalis-Liquidambar styraciflua-Ulmus americana 101]
galleta-threeawn shrubsteppe Pleuraphis jamesii-Aristida purpurea < 35 to < 100
eastern cottonwood Populus deltoides 72]
mesquite Prosopis glandulosa 64,72]
mesquite-buffalo grass Prosopis glandulosa-Buchloe dactyloides < 35
Texas savanna Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa 72]
mountain grasslands Pseudoroegneria spicata 3-40 (10**) [3,4]
California oakwoods Quercus spp. 4]
oak-hickory Quercus-Carya spp. 101]
oak-juniper woodland (Southwest) Quercus-Juniperus spp. 72]
oak-gum-cypress Quercus-Nyssa-spp.-Taxodium distichum 35 to > 200 [70]
southeastern oak-pine Quercus-Pinus spp. 101]
coast live oak Quercus agrifolia 2-75 [42]
white oak-black oak-northern red oak Quercus alba-Q. velutina-Q. rubra 101]
canyon live oak Quercus chrysolepis <35 to 200
blue oak-foothills pine Quercus douglasii-P. sabiniana 4]
northern pin oak Quercus ellipsoidalis 101]
Oregon white oak Quercus garryana 4]
bear oak Quercus ilicifolia 101]
California black oak Quercus kelloggii 5-30 [72]
bur oak Quercus macrocarpa 101]
oak savanna Quercus macrocarpa/Andropogon gerardii-Schizachyrium scoparium 2-14 [72,101]
shinnery Quercus mohriana
chestnut oak Quercus prinus 3-8
post oak-blackjack oak Quercus stellata-Q. marilandica < 10
black oak Quercus velutina < 35
live oak Quercus virginiana 10 to101]
interior live oak Quercus wislizenii 4]
cabbage palmetto-slash pine Sabal palmetto-Pinus elliottii 70,101]
blackland prairie Schizachyrium scoparium-Nassella leucotricha < 10
Fayette prairie Schizachyrium scoparium-Buchloe dactyloides 101]
little bluestem-grama prairie Schizachyrium scoparium-Bouteloua spp. < 35
tule marshes Scirpus and/or Typha spp. 72]
redwood Sequoia sempervirens 5-200 [4,35,90]
southern cordgrass prairie Spartina alterniflora 1-3 [72]
baldcypress Taxodium distichum var. distichum 100 to > 300
pondcypress Taxodium distichum var. nutans 70]
eastern hemlock-yellow birch Tsuga canadensis-Betula alleghaniensis > 200 [101]
western hemlock-Sitka spruce Tsuga heterophylla-Picea sitchensis > 200 [4]
elm-ash-cottonwood Ulmus-Fraxinus-Populus spp. 27,101]
*fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species review
**mean
  • 3. Arno, Stephen F. 1980. Forest fire history in the Northern Rockies. Journal of Forestry. 78(8): 460-465. [11990]
  • 4. Arno, Stephen F. 2000. Fire in western forest ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 97-120. [36984]
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  • 11. Bell, Gary P. 1997. Ecology and management of Arundo donax, and approaches to riparian habitat restoration in southern California. In: Brock, J. H.; Wade, M.; Pysek, P.; Green, D., eds. Plant invasions: studies from North America and Europe. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers: 103-113. [43820]
  • 15. Buchholz, Kenneth; Good, Ralph E. 1982. Density, age structure, biomass and net annual aboveground productivity of dwarfed Pinus rigida Moll. from the New Jersey Pine Barren Plains. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 109(1): 24-34. [8639]
  • 19. D'Antonio, Carla M. 2000. Fire, plant invasions, and global changes. In: Mooney, Harold A.; Hobbs, Richard J., eds. Invasive species in a changing world. Washington, DC: Island Press: 65-93. [37679]
  • 20. D'Antonio, Carla M.; Haubensak, Karen. 1998. Community and ecosystem impacts of introduced species. Fremontia. 26(4): 13-18. [47114]
  • 22. DeBano, Leonard F.; Neary, Daniel G.; Ffolliott, Peter F. 1998. Wetlands and riparian ecosystems. In: DeBano, Leonard F.; Neary, Daniel G.; Ffolliott, Peter F. Fire's effects on ecosystems. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc: 229-245. [29832]
  • 28. Dudley, Tom L. 2000. Arundo donax L. In: Bossard, Carla C.; Randall, John M.; Hoshovsky, Marc C., eds. Invasive plants of California's wildlands. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 53-58. [46806]
  • 29. Dudley, Tom. 1998. Exotic plant invasions in California riparian areas and wetlands. Fremontia. 26(4): 24-29. [47116]
  • 30. Dwire, Kathleen A.; Kauffman, J. Boone. 2003. Fire and riparian ecosystems in landscapes of the western USA. In: Young, Michael K.; Gresswell, Robert E.; Luce, Charles H., guest eds. Selected papers from an international symposium on effects of wildland fire on aquatic ecosystems in the western USA; 2002 April 22-24; Boise, ID. In: Forest Ecology and Management. Special Issue: The effects of wildland fire on aquatic ecosystems in the western USA. New York: Elsevier Science B. V; 178(1-2): 61-74. [44923]
  • 43. Guyette, Richard; McGinnes, E. A., Jr. 1982. Fire history of an Ozark glade in Missouri. Transactions, Missouri Academy of Science. 16: 85-93. [5170]
  • 66. Miller, Richard F.; Rose, Jeffery A. 1995. Historic expansion of Juniperus occidentalis (western juniper) in southeastern Oregon. The Great Basin Naturalist. 55(1): 37-45. [25666]
  • 67. Moir, William H. 1982. A fire history of the High Chisos, Big Bend National Park, Texas. The Southwestern Naturalist. 27(1): 87-98. [5916]
  • 70. Myers, Ronald L. 2000. Fire in tropical and subtropical ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 161-173. [36985]
  • 72. Paysen, Timothy E.; Ansley, R. James; Brown, James K.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Haase, Sally M.; Harrington, Michael G.; Narog, Marcia G.; Sackett, Stephen S.; Wilson, Ruth C. 2000. Fire in western shrubland, woodland, and grassland ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 121-159. [36978]
  • 74. Perdue, Robert E., Jr. 1958. Arundo donax--source of musical reeds and industrial cellulose. Economic Botany. 12: 368-404. [46765]
  • 76. Quinnild, Clayton L.; Cosby, Hugh E. 1958. Relicts of climax vegetation on two mesas in western North Dakota. Ecology. 39(1): 29-32. [1925]
  • 80. Rieger, John P.; Kreager, D. Ann. 1989. Giant reed (Arundo donax): a climax community of the riparian zone. In: Protection, management, and restoration for the 1990's: Proceedings of the California Riparian Systems conference; 1988 September 22-24; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-110. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 222-225. [13884]
  • 81. Sapsis, David B. 1990. Ecological effects of spring and fall prescribed burning on basin big sagebrush/Idaho fescue--bluebunch wheatgrass communities. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University. 105 p. Thesis. [16579]
  • 83. Schultz, Brad W. 1987. Ecology of curlleaf mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) in western and central Nevada: population structure and dynamics. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 111 p. Thesis. [7064]
  • 87. Stephenson, John R.; Calcarone, Gena M. 1999. Factors influencing ecosystem integrity. In: Stephenson, John R.; Calcarone, Gena M. Southern California mountains and foothills assessment: Habitat and species conservation issues. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-172. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 61-109. [35519]
  • 89. Stromberg, Mark R.; Kephart, Paul; Yadon, Vern. 2001. Composition, invasibility, and diversity in coastal California grasslands. Madrono. 48(4): 236-252. [41371]
  • 90. Stuart, John D. 1987. Fire history of an old-growth forest of Sequoia sempervirens (Taxodiaceae) forest in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California. Madrono. 34(2): 128-141. [7277]
  • 92. Swetnam, Thomas W.; Baisan, Christopher H.; Caprio, Anthony C.; Brown, Peter M. 1992. Fire history in a Mexican oak-pine woodland and adjacent montane conifer gallery forest in southeastern Arizona. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; Hernandez C., Victor Manuel; Ortega-Rubio, Alfred; Hamre, R. H., tech. coords. Ecology and management of oak and associated woodlands: perspectives in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico: Proceedings; 1992 April 27-30; Sierra Vista, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-218. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 165-173. [19759]
  • 95. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Angeles National Forest. 1993. Eradication of Arundo donax: San Francisquito and Soledad Canyons. Environmental Assessment. Arcadia, CA: Angeles National Forest. 89 p. [46798]
  • 100. Vincent, Dwain W. 1992. The sagebrush/grasslands of the upper Rio Puerco area, New Mexico. Rangelands. 14(5): 268-271. [19698]
  • 101. Wade, Dale D.; Brock, Brent L.; Brose, Patrick H.; Grace, James B.; Hoch, Greg A.; Patterson, William A., III. 2000. Fire in eastern ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 53-96. [36983]
  • 104. Whisenant, Steven G. 1990. Postfire population dynamics of Bromus japonicus. The American Midland Naturalist. 123: 301-308. [11150]
  • 106. Wright, Henry A.; Bailey, Arthur W. 1982. Fire ecology: United States and southern Canada. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 501 p. [2620]
  • 109. Young, James A.; Evans, Raymond A. 1981. Demography and fire history of a western juniper stand. Journal of Range Management. 34(6): 501-505. [2659]
  • 14. Brooks, Matthew L.; D'Antonio, Carla M.; Richardson, David M.; Grace, James B.; Keeley, Jon E.; DiTomaso, Joseph M.; Hobbs, Richard J.; Pellant, Mike; Pyke, David. 2004. Effects of invasive alien plants on FIRE REGIMES. Bioscience. 54(7): 677-688. [50224]
  • 42. Greenlee, Jason M.; Langenheim, Jean H. 1990. Historic FIRE REGIMES and their relation to vegetation patterns in the Monterey Bay area of California. The American Midland Naturalist. 124(2): 239-253. [15144]
  • 58. Keeley, Jon E. 1981. Reproductive cycles and FIRE REGIMES. In: Mooney, H. A.; Bonnicksen, T. M.; Christensen, N. L.; Lotan, J. E.; Reiners, W. A., tech. coords. FIRE REGIMES and ecosystem properties: Proceedings of the conference; 1978 December 11-15; Honolulu, HI. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-26. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 231-277. [4395]
  • 9. Bell, Gary P. 1993. Biology and growth habits of giant reed (Arundo donax). In: Arundo donax workshop proceedings, [Online]. Team Arundo del Norte (Producer). Available: http//ceres.ca.gov/tadn/ecology_impacts/biology.html [2004, February 25]. [46971]
  • 44. Hendrickson, William H. 1972. Perspective on fire and ecosystems in the United States. In: Fire in the environment: Symposium proceedings; 1972 May 1-5; Denver, CO. FS-276. [Washington, DC]: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 29-33. In cooperation with: Fire Services of Canada, Mexico, and the United States; Members of the Fire Management Study Group; North American Forestry Commission; FAO. [17276]
  • 46. Heyerdahl, Emily K.; Berry, Dawn; Agee, James K. 1994. Fire history database of the western United States. Final report. Interagency agreement: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency DW12934530; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service PNW-93-0300; University of Washington 61-2239. Seattle, WA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Pacific Northwest Research Station; University of Washington, College of Forest Resources. 28 p. [+ appendices]. Unpublished report on file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [27979]
  • 84. Scott, Gregory D. 1993. Fire threat from Arundo donax. In: Arundo donax workshop proceedings, [Online]. Team Arundo del Norte (Producer). Available: http//ceres.ca.gov/tadn/ecology_impacts/ta_proceedings.html [2004, February 25]. [46978]

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Successional Status

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More info for the terms: fire regime, grass/fire cycle, top-kill

Giant reed can establish and spread in communities of various successional stages, acting as an early-successional pioneer species, and a late-successional dominant.

According to reviews by Bell [11] and Dudley [28], giant reed is well adapted to the high disturbance dynamics of riparian systems, as floods break up clumps of giant reed and spread pieces downstream where they can take root and establish new clones. In California, it is most common along waterways with altered hydrologic regimes (e.g., dams) and/or disturbed riparian vegetation, but can also establish in the understory of native riparian vegetation [28]. However, establishment of giant reed in dense, mature riparian vegetation may be limited [80].

Once established, giant reed grows quickly [74,80] and spreads vegetatively, often forming monocultural stands that physically inhibit growth of other plant species [11,26,80]. Invaded habitats may thus become pure stands of giant reed [10,80,95].

Although evidence is limited and anecdotal, some authors (e.g., [9,84]) note changes in fuels, fire characteristics, and postfire plant community response that are suggestive of an invasive grass/fire cycle perpetuated by giant reed invasion in southern California riparian areas. Because giant reed produces abundant biomass (i.e., fuel), is "extremely flammable", and responds with rapid growth from sprouting rhizomes after top-kill, it may alter fire regime characteristics and successional processes of invaded riparian ecosystems (see FIRE REGIMES).

  • 11. Bell, Gary P. 1997. Ecology and management of Arundo donax, and approaches to riparian habitat restoration in southern California. In: Brock, J. H.; Wade, M.; Pysek, P.; Green, D., eds. Plant invasions: studies from North America and Europe. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers: 103-113. [43820]
  • 28. Dudley, Tom L. 2000. Arundo donax L. In: Bossard, Carla C.; Randall, John M.; Hoshovsky, Marc C., eds. Invasive plants of California's wildlands. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 53-58. [46806]
  • 74. Perdue, Robert E., Jr. 1958. Arundo donax--source of musical reeds and industrial cellulose. Economic Botany. 12: 368-404. [46765]
  • 80. Rieger, John P.; Kreager, D. Ann. 1989. Giant reed (Arundo donax): a climax community of the riparian zone. In: Protection, management, and restoration for the 1990's: Proceedings of the California Riparian Systems conference; 1988 September 22-24; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-110. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 222-225. [13884]
  • 95. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Angeles National Forest. 1993. Eradication of Arundo donax: San Francisquito and Soledad Canyons. Environmental Assessment. Arcadia, CA: Angeles National Forest. 89 p. [46798]
  • 9. Bell, Gary P. 1993. Biology and growth habits of giant reed (Arundo donax). In: Arundo donax workshop proceedings, [Online]. Team Arundo del Norte (Producer). Available: http//ceres.ca.gov/tadn/ecology_impacts/biology.html [2004, February 25]. [46971]
  • 10. Bell, Gary P. 1993. Re-vegetation of riparian habitat: hauling coals to Newcastle? In: Arundo donax workshop proceedings, [Online]. Team Arundo del Norte (Producer). Available: http//ceres.ca.gov/tadn/ecology_impacts/ta_proceedings.html [2004, February 25]. [46980]
  • 26. Douthit, Shelton. 1993. Arundo donax in the Santa Ana River Basin. In: Arundo donax workshop proceedings,[Online]. Team Arundo del Norte (Producer). Available: http//ceres.ca.gov/tadn/ecology_impacts/ta_proceedings.html [2004, February 25]. [46975]
  • 84. Scott, Gregory D. 1993. Fire threat from Arundo donax. In: Arundo donax workshop proceedings, [Online]. Team Arundo del Norte (Producer). Available: http//ceres.ca.gov/tadn/ecology_impacts/ta_proceedings.html [2004, February 25]. [46978]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: natural, rhizome

The reproductive biology of giant reed is not well studied. As of this writing (2004), information on the importance of sexual reproduction, seed viability, dormancy, germination and seedling establishment is not available.

Giant reed reproduces vegetatively by sprouting from rhizomes and stem nodes (reviews by [11,28,49]).

Breeding system: No information is available on this topic.

Pollination: No information is available on this topic.

Seed production: Although giant reed is well adapted in many parts of North America, it rarely, if ever, produces viable seed here (reviews by [11,74])[47].

Seed dispersal: The hairy, light-weight disseminules (individual florets with the enclosed grain) are dispersed by wind [33].

Seed banking: No information is available on this topic.

Germination: No information is available on this topic.

Seedling establishment/growth: Seedlings of giant reed have not been observed in the field [28]. Establishment of giant reed is from fragmented rhizomes or stem nodes that take root (see Asexual regeneration, below).

Giant reed grows very rapidly. In a southern California study, Rieger and Kreager [80] cut an established giant reed community and measured its growth after cutting. Growth rates from established rhizomes averaged 2.5 inches (6.25 cm) per day in the first 40 days and 1 inch (2.67 cm) per day in the first 150 days. Under optimal conditions (i.e., cultivation) giant reed is reported to grow 1.5 to 4 inches (4-10 cm) per day (review by [74]).

Asexual regeneration: Population expansion of giant reed in North America is through vegetative reproduction. This occurs either via underground rhizome extension or from plant fragments carried downstream (review by [28]). Giant reed is well adapted to the high disturbance dynamics of riparian systems, as floods break up clumps of giant reed and spread pieces downstream where they can take root and establish new clones [11,28]. Anecdotal accounts suggest that rhizomes buried under as much as 3 to 10 feet (1-3 m) of alluvium can "readily resprout" (R. Dale, personal communication in [28]).

Much of the cultivation of giant reed throughout the world is initiated by planting rhizomes which root and sprout easily [48,49]. A 1949 joint publication by the U.S. Forest Service and the California Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, describing recommended plants for erosion control [48] states pieces of giant reed rhizomes can be buried to establish the plant. A 1988 paper describes giant reed as a planted rhizome which "performs well" as an understory plant in riparian zones in New Mexico [91]. In a greenhouse experiment, Motamed [68] determined that giant reed stem fragments rooted throughout the growing season.

  • 11. Bell, Gary P. 1997. Ecology and management of Arundo donax, and approaches to riparian habitat restoration in southern California. In: Brock, J. H.; Wade, M.; Pysek, P.; Green, D., eds. Plant invasions: studies from North America and Europe. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers: 103-113. [43820]
  • 28. Dudley, Tom L. 2000. Arundo donax L. In: Bossard, Carla C.; Randall, John M.; Hoshovsky, Marc C., eds. Invasive plants of California's wildlands. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 53-58. [46806]
  • 33. Felger, Richard S. 1990. Non-native plants of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona. Tech. Rep. No. 31. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit. 93 p. [14916]
  • 47. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 48. Horton, Jerome S. 1949. Trees and shrubs for erosion control of southern California mountains. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, California Forest and Range Experiment Station; California Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry. 72 p. [10689]
  • 68. Motamed, Erica R.; Wijte, Antonia H. B. M. 1998. Rooting by stem fragments from hanging and upright stems of giant reed (Arundo donax). In: Bell, Carl E., ed. In: Arundo and saltcedar: the deadly duo: Proceedings of a workshop on combating the threat from arundo and saltcedar; 1998 June 17; Ontario, CA. Holtville, CA: University of California, Cooperative Extension: 69. [47127]
  • 74. Perdue, Robert E., Jr. 1958. Arundo donax--source of musical reeds and industrial cellulose. Economic Botany. 12: 368-404. [46765]
  • 80. Rieger, John P.; Kreager, D. Ann. 1989. Giant reed (Arundo donax): a climax community of the riparian zone. In: Protection, management, and restoration for the 1990's: Proceedings of the California Riparian Systems conference; 1988 September 22-24; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-110. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 222-225. [13884]
  • 91. Swenson, E. A. 1988. Progress in the understanding of how to reestablish native riparian plants in New Mexico. In: Mutz, K. M.; Cooper, D. J.; Scott, M. L.; Miller, L. K., tech. coords. Restoration, creation and management of wetland and riparian ecosystems in the American West: Symposium proceedings; 1988 November 14-16; Denver, CO. Denver, CO: Society of Wetland Scientists, Rocky Mountain Chapter: 144-150. [36362]
  • 49. Hoshovsky, Marc. 1986. Element stewardship abstract: Arundo donax--giant reed, [Online]. In: Invasives on the web: The Nature Conservancy wildland invasive species program. Davis, CA: The Nature Conservancy (Producer). Available: http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/documnts/arundon.html [2004, March 16]. [46802]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

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More info for the term: hydrophyte

RAUNKIAER [78] LIFE FORM:
Hydrophyte
  • 78. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

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Life Form

More info for the term: graminoid

Graminoid

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering and fruiting: August-December
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© India Biodiversity Portal

Source: India Biodiversity Portal

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Phenology

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More info for the term: phenology

Information on the phenology of giant reed in the literature is sparse. In California, culms may remain green throughout the year, but can fade during semi-dormancy during the winter months or in drought [28,99]. According to Bell [11] in an assessment of optimal timing of herbicide application, giant reed plants actively translocate nutrients to the rootmass in preparation for winter dormancy around mid-August to early November.

Flowering dates for giant reed by location

State

Time of flowering
California (southern) late summer [11]
Carolina, North and South September-October [77]
Florida all year [107]
New Mexico June to September [62]

  • 77. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 11. Bell, Gary P. 1997. Ecology and management of Arundo donax, and approaches to riparian habitat restoration in southern California. In: Brock, J. H.; Wade, M.; Pysek, P.; Green, D., eds. Plant invasions: studies from North America and Europe. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers: 103-113. [43820]
  • 28. Dudley, Tom L. 2000. Arundo donax L. In: Bossard, Carla C.; Randall, John M.; Hoshovsky, Marc C., eds. Invasive plants of California's wildlands. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 53-58. [46806]
  • 62. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 99. Vartanian, Valerie. 1998. Destructive nature of arundo and tamarisk. In: Bell, Carl E., ed. In: Arundo and saltcedar: the deadly duo: Proceedings of a workshop on combating the threat from arundo and saltcedar; 1998 June 17; Ontario, CA. Holtville, CA: University of California, Cooperative Extension: 7-13. [47120]
  • 107. Wunderlin, Richard P. 1998. Guide to the vascular plants of Florida. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida. 806 p. [28655]

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Flower/Fruit

Fl. & Fr. Per.: June - December.
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Life Cycle

Persistence: PERENNIAL

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Life Expectancy

Perennial.

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Reproduction

Very little information is available in the literature regarding the biology of A. DONAX.

Perdue (1958) reports that arundo does not produce viable seeds in most areas where it is apparently well-adapted, although plants have been grown in scattered locations from seed collected in Asia.

Wind dispersal of seeds is facilitated by having a dense seed head on the end of a tall, flexible culm, presumably catapulting the seeds a fair distance. The importance of sexual reproduction to the species, as well as seed viability, dormancy, germination and seedling establishment, have yet to be studied and published.

Much of the cultivation of arundo throughout the world is initiated by planting rhizomes which root and sprout readily. Wild stands in the U.S. have been reported to yield 8.3 tons of oven-dry cane per acre (Perdue 1958).

Giant reed grows rapidly. Growth rates up to 0.7 meters/week over a period of several months under favorable conditions is not unusual. Young culms develop the full diameter of mature canes; further growth involves thickening of the walls. The new growth is soft, very high in moisture and has little wind resistance (Perdue 1958).

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Biology and Spread

Reproduction of giant reed is primarily vegetative, through rhizomes which root and sprout readily. Little is known about the importance of sexual reproduction in giant reed, or about its seed viability, dormancy, and germination, and seedling establishment. Research on these topics may yield some additional improvements in the management of giant reed.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Arundo donax

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Arundo donax

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 8
Specimens with Barcodes: 19
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Lansdown, R.V.

Reviewer/s
García, N. & Defex, T.

Contributor/s
Patzelt, A., Knees, S.G., Ali, M.M., Grillas, P., Petrović, D., Ghrabi, Z., Alegro, A., Neale, S. & Williams, L.

Justification

This species is assessed as Least Concern because it is widespread and does not face any major threats.

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Global Short Term Trend: Increase of 10 to >25%

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Population

Population
There is no information on trends in the native populations of this species. It is very widely introduced and introduction continues, therefore overall the population is probably increasing.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Comments: Arundo can rapidly invade streambanks and roadside habitats from a few planted individuals. When established, it has a strong ability to outcompete and completely suppress native vegetation. Because it propagates vegetatively, it can form rather pure stands, often at the expense of other plants (Wells et al. 1980). In some areas it may so totally invade irrigation ditches as to reduce their water-carrying capacity (Robbins et al. 1951).

A survey of 48 public agencies listed arundo as one of the top 53 weed species of concern (Armer 1964). Arundo was nominated for Element Stewardship Abstract research by preserve managers from Santa Rosa Plateau and Creighton Ranch.

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Major Threats

There are no known significant past, ongoing or future threats to this species.

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Management

Restoration Potential: With proper management, areas infested with arundo may be restored to more desirable vegetation. Since arundo may be spread primarily by dispersal of rhizome fragments along watercourses, removal of the entire rootstock may be adequate to eradicate the plant. Research is needed to determine the importance of sexual reproduction in this species.

Management Requirements: Weed control involves three fundamental objectives: prevention, eradication and control.

From a practical viewpoint, methods of weed management are commonly categorized under the following categories: physical, thermal, managerial, biological, and chemical (Watson 1977). Physical methods include both manual and mechanical methods. Thermal methods include both broadcast burning or spot treatment with a flame thrower. Managerial methods include the encouragement of competitive displacement by native plants and prescribed grazing. Biological control is usually interpreted as the introduction of insects or pathogens which are highly selective for a particular weed species. Chemical control includes both broadcast and spot application.

The most desirable approach is that of an integrated pest management plan. This involves the optimum use of all control strategies to control weeds. This approach is generally accepted as the most effective, economical, and environmentally sound long- term pest control strategy (Watson 1977). In cases where more than one control technique is used, the various techniques should be compatible with one another. Broadcast herbicide application, for example, may not work well with certain managerial techniques (i.e., plant competition).

PHYSICAL CONTROL The two types of physical control methods discussed below, manual and mechanical, produce slash debris that can be disposed of by several techniques. If cut before seeds are produced, debris may be piled and left for enhancement of wildlife habitat (i.e., cover for small mammals). Debris may be fed through a mechanical chipper and used as mulch during revegetation procedures. Care should be taken to prevent vegetative reproduction from cuttings. Burning the slash piles is also effective in disposing of slash.

MANUAL CONTROL Manual methods use hand labor to remove undesirable vegetation. These methods are highly selective and permit weeds to be removed without damage to surrounding native vegetation.

The Bradley Method is one sensible approach to manual control of weeds (Fuller and Barbe 1985). This method consists of hand weeding selected small areas of infestation in a specific sequence, starting with the best stands of native vegetation (those with the least extent of weed infestation) and working towards those stands with the worst weed infestation. Initially, weeds that occur singly or in small groups should be eliminated from the extreme edges of the infestation. The next areas to work on are those with a ratio of at least two natives to every weed. As the native plant stabilizes in each cleared area, work deeper into the center of the most dense weed patches. This method has great promise on nature reserves with low budgets and with sensitive plant populations. More detailed information is contained in Fuller and Barbe (1985).

Hand Pulling: This method may be used to destroy seedlings or plants up to two meters tall. Plants or seedlings are best pulled after a rain when the soil is loose. This facilitates removal of the rooting system, which may resprout if left in the ground. Plants should be pulled as soon as they are large enough to grasp but before they produce seeds.

Hand Digging: The removal of rootstocks by hand digging is a slow but sure way of destroying weeds which resprout from their roots. The work must be thorough to be effective. Every piece of root that breaks off and remains in the soil may produce a new plant. Such a technique is only suitable for small infestations or around trees and shrubs where other methods are not practical.

MECHANICAL CONTROL Mechanical methods use mechanized equipment to remove above ground vegetation. These methods are often non-selective in that all vegetation on a treated site is affected. Mechanical control is highly effective at controlling woody vegetation on gentle topography with few site obstacles. Most mechanical equipment is not safe to operate on slopes over 30 percent. It is also of limited use where soils are highly susceptible to compaction or erosion or where excessive soil moisture is present. Site obstacles such as rocks, stumps or logs also reduce efficiency.

Chopping, Cutting or Mowing: ARUNDO DONAX may be trimmed back by tractor-mounted mowers on even ground or by scythes on rough or stony ground. Unwanted vegetation can be removed faster and more economically in these ways than by manual means and with less soil disturbance than with scarification. However, these methods are non-selective weed eradication techniques. They reduce biological control potential (other plants outcompeting arundo) and may open up new niches for undesirable vegetation. In addition, wildlife forage is eliminated. Another disadvantage of chopping, cutting or mowing is that perennial weeds usually require several cuttings before the underground parts exhaust their reserve food supply. If only a single cutting can be made, the best time is when the plants begin to flower. At this stage the reserve food supply in the roots has been nearly exhausted, and new seeds have not yet been produced.

PRESCRIBED BURNING Flame Thrower: A flame thrower or weed burner device can be used as a spot treatment to heat-girdle the stems at the base of arundo plants. This technique has advantages of being less costly than basal and stem herbicide treatments and is suitable for use during wet weather; it cannot be used during periods of wildfire hazard. Its effectiveness is comparable to manual cutting. The timing of the treatment may affect resprouting behavior (Jones and Stokes Associates 1984).

Broadcast Burning: Large areas of weed infestation may be burned in order to remove the standing mature plants. This may be accomplished with or without a pre-spray of herbicides to kill and desiccate plants, Notably flammable plants usually do not require any pre-spray treatment. Used alone this method will not prevent resprouting from root crowns. Burning is best followed by 1) herbicide treatment of stumps, 2) subsequent burning to exhaust soil seed bank and underground food reserves, and/or 3) revegetation with fast growing native species. Other considera- tions for the use of prescribed burning include the time and cost of coordinating a burn, and the soil disturbance resulting from firebreak construction.

MANAGERIAL CONTROL Prescribed grazing: Giant reed is not very palatable to cattle, but during the drier seasons the animals do not hesitate to graze this species. The younger shoots are eaten first, followed by the upper parts of the older plants (Wynd et al. 1948).

In many areas of California the use of Angora and Spanish goats is showing promise as an effective control for ARUNDO DONAX (Daar 1983). In the Cleveland National Forest goats are herded for firebreak management of brush species on over 79,000 acres of land. Goats are less costly to utilize than mechanical and chemical control methods. They can negotiate slopes too steep to manage with machines and do not pose the environmental dangers inherent with herbicides (Andres 1979).

A pioneer in the use of goats for weed control in urban settings is Richard Otterstad, owner of Otterstad's Brush Clearing Service (718 Adams St., Albany, CA 94706, (415) 524-4063). The primary weed control "tools" utilized by Otterstad's company are Angora goats and light-weight flexible fencing reinforced with electrified wire. Angora's are preferred over Spanish goats because their smaller size makes them easier to transport (Otterstad uses a pickup truck). Dairy goats were abandoned when Otterstad found them to be "goof-offs" when it came to eating (Daar 1983).

Goats prefer woody vegetation over most grasses or forbs; Angoras have a higher tolerance for non-woody species than do Spanish goats. Since goats will trample or browse virtually any vegetation within a fenced area, any desirable trees or shrubs must be protected.

Sheep are more selective than goats in their food choices but function well in grazing down a variety of plants. Sheep in feeding experiments may survive for extended periods on a strict diet of ARUNDO DONAX (Frattegglani-Bianchi 1963), thus sheep may be another practical alternative to mowing.

It is important to properly manage sheep grazing to prevent soil compaction problems which may occur when sheep are allowed to graze an overly damp area. Sheep are valuable not only for weed control but also for additional income from the sale of their wool and their contribution of fertilizer to the soil. However, it is possible that seed re-introduction may occur from the sheep droppings.

Geese, especially the more wild breeds, are known to be very active and effective weeders of grass and sedges (Andres 1979). This suggests that making an area attractive to waterfowl might contribute to arundo control efforts.

BIOLOGICAL CONTROL The term "biological control" is used here to refer to the use of insects or pathogens to control weeds. The introduction of exotic natural enemies to control plants is a complex process and must be thoroughly researched before implementation to prevent biological disasters. Such tools are not normally suitable for preserve managers to implement.

Little is known about the actual effects of various pathogens and insects on the growth and reproduction of A. DONAX. However, numerous insects are known to feed on this species. The green bug (SCHIZAPHIZ GRAMINUM) has been observed to feed on arundo during the winter (Zuniga et al. 1983). In France PHOTHEDES DULCIS caterpillars may feed on it (Dufay 1979). ZYGINIDIA GUYUMI uses A. DONAX as an important food source in Pakistan (Ahmed et al. 1977). A moth borer (DIATRAEA SACCHARALIS) has been reported to attack it in Barbados (Tucker 1940). Although these insects may eventually prove to be effective in controlling arundo, it is unlikely that insects or pathogens will be introduced as controlling agents because arundo is widely cultivated as a commercial crop.

Please notify the California Field Office of The Nature Conser- vancy of any field observations in which a native insect or pathogen is seen to have detrimental effects on arundo. These reports will be used to update this Element Stewardship Abstract. Management techniques which may encourage the spread of such species-specific agents may be desirable in controlling arundo.

CHEMICAL CONTROL Detailed information on herbicides are available in such publica- tions as Weed Science Society of America (1983) or USDA (1984), and will not be comprehensively covered here. The Weed Science Society publication gives specific information on nomenclature, chemical and physical properties of the pure chemical, use recommendations and precautions, physiological and biochemical behavior, behavior in or on soils and toxological properties for several hundred chemicals. In applying herbicides it is recommended that a dye be used in the chemical mixture to mark the treated plants and thus minimize waste.

Dowpon-C-grass-killer, based on sodium salts of dalapon and TCA, is applied as a full coverage foliar spray to control deep rooted perennial grasses. Arnold and Warren (1966) used it at a rate of 15 pounds per 100 gallons (plus 2 quarts of surfactant) in late spring and summer on A. DONAX. This rate gave good top growth kill in 2 to 4 weeks. A small amount of regrowth was evident in 6 months. Fall applications at the same rates resulted in no regrowth the following spring. Horng and Leu (1979) studied the effects of several herbicides on arundo in Taiwan. Glyphosate at 2-3 kg/ha showed slow control, effecting over 95% kill 3 months after application. 2,2 DPA at 6-8 kg/ha gave 80% kill within 25 days. Following either glyphosate or 2,2 DPA application with doses of paraquat showed much faster and more complete control. Paraquat alone at 0.72 kg/ha effectively controlled arundo. Two applications of paraquat was just as effective as a single application. Asulam did not adequately control A. DONAX.

Monitoring Programs: No quantitative monitoring studies of arundo were discovered in this research.

Management Research Needs: What are the most appropriate means of controlling arundo in riparian areas with minimal disturbance to the surrounding native vegetation?

Biological Research Needs: Much more information on seed biology, seedling establishment, growth patterns, and synecology needs to be gathered about arundo.

Of great interest is the importance of sexual reproduction over vegetative propagation in the establishment of the plant in new locations. Does arundo produce viable seed in California?

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Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions

There are no conservation measures in place and none needed.

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Impacts and Control

More info for the terms: association, cover, fire management, fresh, grass/fire cycle, natural, presence, rhizome

Impacts: Bell [11] considers giant reed to be the greatest threat to southern California's remaining riparian corridors. It is so widespread and problematic in this area that more than 20 public and private organizations came together to form the Santa Ana River Arundo Management Task Force, also known as Team Arundo [54].

Once established, giant reed often forms monocultural stands that physically inhibit growth of other plant species [11,80]. For example, Douthit [26] describes a 1993 preliminary riparian assessment of the Santa Ana River basin where in the Riverside West Quad, 762 acres (308 ha) of 1,116 acres (470 ha) of riparian vegetation are impacted by giant reed. Of the impacted acres, 535 acres (217 ha) are monospecific stands of giant reed.

Although evidence is entirely anecdotal, several accounts (e.g., [11,20,29,84,95]) describe changes in fuels, fire characteristics, and/or postfire plant community response in southern California riparian areas invaded by giant reed that are suggestive of an invasive grass/fire cycle. The result of such cycle is loss of native riparian species, and continued dominance and spread of giant reed. See Fire ecology for more details.

Canopy structure of giant reed colonies differs from that of native vegetation, resulting in changes in water quality and wildlife habitat. The lack of stream-side canopy structure may result in increased pH in the shallower sections of rivers due to high algal photosynthetic activity [9,17]. In turn, high pH facilitates conversion of ammonium (NH4+) to toxic ammonia (NH3), which further degrades water quality for aquatic species and for downstream users [9]. Several species listed as endangered are further threatened by giant reed invasion and control efforts in San Francisquito Canyon including least Bell's vireo, unarmored threespine stickleback, and Nevin's barberry (Mahonia nevinii) [95].

Giant reed is becoming a major biological pollutant of river estuaries and beaches. It is often ripped out of the soft bottoms of rivers during storms and washed downstream into flood control channels [25]. Giant reed growing in flood control channels necessitates constant removal. It can form debris dams against flood control and transportation structures such as bridges and culverts [29,37]. Because the rhizomes of giant reed grow close to the surface, they break off during floods. When the root mass breaks away during these floods the riverbanks are destabilized. Destabilization of riverbanks is the leading cause of flooding in southern California [99].

Iverson [50] provides insight into the economics of giant reed's impact on water use. He estimates giant reed transpires 56,200 acre-feet of water per year on the Santa Ana River, compared to an estimated 18,700 acre-feet that would be consumed by native vegetation - the difference being enough water to serve a population of about 190,000 people. If that amount of untreated water (37,500 acre-feet) was purchased from the Metropolitan Water Association it would cost approximately $12,000,000 in 1993 dollars [50].

Control: A suite of methods is needed to control giant reed depending on presence or absence of native plants, size of the stand, amount of biomass involved, terrain, and season. The key to effective treatment of established giant reed is killing or removing the rhizomes [11].

To be successful, a program to eliminate a riparian invasive plant like giant reed must start at the uppermost reaches of the watershed and work down stream. This means there must be coordination with all of the landowners and land managers, top to bottom, in a watershed. Regulatory agencies must provide technical assistance and required permits, and private landowners must provide work crews access to land [99].

To adequately coordinate removal of giant reed in a watershed, 3 programs need to be operating: 1) create a functional mapped database that contains hydrology, land ownership/use, infestations, project sites, etc.; 2) coordination with regulatory agencies to plan mitigation project sites to fit within other current projects; 3) regular meetings of stakeholders to share information regarding threats from giant reed, control techniques, funding opportunities, and each stakeholder's direct role and responsibility [99].

Prevention: Grading and construction can spread giant reed [80]. Care must therefore be taken in areas where it occurs such that soil disturbance and movement of plant parts is minimized.

Integrated management: A popular approach to treating giant reed has been to cut the stalks and remove the biomass, wait 3 to 6 weeks for the plants to grow about 3.3 feet (1 m) tall, then apply a foliar spray of herbicide solution. The chief advantage to this approach is less herbicide is needed to treat fresh growth compared with tall, established plants, and coverage is often better because of the shorter and uniform-height plants. However, cutting the stems may result in plants returning to growth-phase, drawing nutrients from the root mass. As a result there is less translocation of herbicide to the roots and less root-kill. Additionally, cut-stem treatment requires more time and personnel than foliar spraying and requires careful timing. Cut stems must be treated with concentrated herbicide within 1 to 2 minutes of cutting to ensure tissue uptake. This treatment is most effective after flowering. The advantage of this treatment is that it requires less herbicide and the herbicide can be applied more precisely. It is rarely less expensive than foliar spraying except on very small, isolated patches or individual plants [11].

An investigation to test the effectiveness of glyphosate for control of giant reed was conducted in southern California by Caltrans, the state transportation agency. Results indicate cut-stem treatments, regardless of time of application (May, July, or September), provided 100% control with no resprouting. In contrast, virtually all plants that were left untreated following cutting resprouted vigorously. Foliar treatments produced highly variable results with top die-back varying from 10 to 90% and resprouting ranging from 0 to 100% at various sites. The authors conclude treatment of cut stems appears more effective than foliar spraying in controlling giant reed with glyphosate [34].

In 1995, a full-scale project for control of giant reed was initiated in San Francisquito Canyon in the Angeles National Forest. The standing giant reed was mulched in place, using a hammer flail mower attached to a tractor, and then glyphosate was applied to the resprouts. Initial mulching occurred in October and November, 1995. Resprouts in spring, 1996, were treated with a solution of glyphosate in April, May, July, and August. Resprouts were treated again in June and September, 1997. In 1998, giant reed continued to resprout in the treatment area, but comprised only 1% of vegetative cover, as compared to 30% to 80% prior to treatment [8]. No information is provided about the composition of the plant community posttreatment.

Physical/mechanical: Minor infestations of giant reed can be eradicated by manual methods, especially where sensitive native plants and wildlife might be damaged by other methods. Hand pulling works with new plants less than 6.6 feet (2 m) in height, but care must be taken that all rhizomes are removed [49]. This may be most effective in loose soils and after rains have loosened the substrate. Giant reed can be dug using hand tools and in combination with cutting plants near the base. Stems and roots should be removed and burned on site to prevent rerooting. The fibrous nature of giant reed makes using a chipper difficult (R. Dale personal communication in [28]). For larger infestations on accessible terrain, heavier tools (rotary brush cutter, chainsaw, or tractor-mounted mower) may facilitate biomass removal followed by rhizome removal or chemical treatment. Such methods may be of limited value on complex or sensitive terrain or on slopes over 30%. These methods may also interfere with re-establishment of native plants [49]. Mechanical eradication of giant reed is extremely difficult, even with the use of a backhoe, as rhizomes buried under 3 to 10 feet (1-3 m) of alluvium readily resprout (R. Dale personal communication in [28]).

Cut material is often burned on site, subject to local fire regulations, because of the difficulty and expense involved in collecting and removing or chipping all material. Stems and roots must be removed, chipped, or burned on site to avoid re-rooting (Dale, personal communication in [28]).

Fire: See Fire Management Considerations.

Biological: Tracy and DeLoach [93] provide an exhaustive summary of the search for biological control agents for giant reed in the United States. Areas dominated by giant reed in North America are essentially devoid of wildlife. This means native flora and fauna do not offer any significant control potential [11]. It is uncertain what natural controlling mechanisms for giant reed are in its countries of origin, although corn borers (Eizaguirre and others 1990 in [11]), spider mites [31], and aphids [65] have been reported in the Mediterranean. A sugar cane moth-borer in Barbados is reported to attack giant reed, but it is also a major pest of sugar cane and is already found in the United States in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida [94]. A leafhopper in Pakistan utilizes giant reed as an alternate host but attacks corn and wheat [1].

In the United States a number of diseases have been reported on giant reed, including root rot, lesions, crown rust, and stem speckle, but none seem to have seriously impacted advance of this weed [11].

Giant reed is not very palatable to cattle, but during the drier seasons they will graze the young shoots, followed by the upper parts of the older plants [108]. In many areas of California the use of Angora and Spanish goats is showing promise for controlling giant reed [21].

Chemical: Application of herbicides on giant reed is most effective after flowering and before dormancy. During this period, usually mid-August to early November in southern California, the plants are actively translocating nutrients to the root mass in preparation for winter dormancy. This may result in effective translocation of herbicide to the roots [11]. Comparison trials on the Santa Margarita River in southern California indicate foliar application during the appropriate season results in almost 100% control, compared with only 5 to 50% control using cut-stem treatment. Two to 3 weeks after foliar treatment the leaves and stalks brown and soften creating an additional advantage in dealing with the biomass. Cut green stems might take root if left on damp soil and are very difficult to cut and chip. Treated stems have little or no potential to root and are brittle (Omori 1996 in Bell [11]). Bell [11], Hoshovsky [49], and Jackson [52] provide detailed information on specific herbicides and concentrations used to treat giant reed.

In the proceedings from a workshop on giant reed control published online, Bell [11] asserts pure stands of giant reed (>80% canopy cover) are most efficiently and effectively treated by aerial application of an herbicide concentrate, usually by helicopter. Helicopter application can treat at least 124 acres (50 ha) per day. In areas where helicopter access is impossible and giant reed makes up the understory, where patches are too small to make aerial application financially efficient, or where giant reed is mixed with native plants (<80% canopy coverage), herbicides must be applied by hand.

Cultural: Giant reed appears to be insensitive to flood regime. It survives and spreads through vegetative propagation during long periods without flooding but spreads during flood events as well. Because it does not reproduce sexually, giant reed is not affected by the timing of spring flows, but can establish any time that flood flows carry and deposit stem fragments or rhizomes. It thrives along edges of reservoirs, irrigation canals, and other structures where timing of drawdowns is incompatible with maintenance of native species [97].

Conversely, native riparian species and communities depend on natural flood regimes for maintenance and reproduction. If natural flood dynamics are maintained as part of an integrated management approach, native species may have a better chance of competing with giant reed in the long term [11].

  • 11. Bell, Gary P. 1997. Ecology and management of Arundo donax, and approaches to riparian habitat restoration in southern California. In: Brock, J. H.; Wade, M.; Pysek, P.; Green, D., eds. Plant invasions: studies from North America and Europe. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers: 103-113. [43820]
  • 20. D'Antonio, Carla M.; Haubensak, Karen. 1998. Community and ecosystem impacts of introduced species. Fremontia. 26(4): 13-18. [47114]
  • 28. Dudley, Tom L. 2000. Arundo donax L. In: Bossard, Carla C.; Randall, John M.; Hoshovsky, Marc C., eds. Invasive plants of California's wildlands. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 53-58. [46806]
  • 29. Dudley, Tom. 1998. Exotic plant invasions in California riparian areas and wetlands. Fremontia. 26(4): 24-29. [47116]
  • 80. Rieger, John P.; Kreager, D. Ann. 1989. Giant reed (Arundo donax): a climax community of the riparian zone. In: Protection, management, and restoration for the 1990's: Proceedings of the California Riparian Systems conference; 1988 September 22-24; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-110. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 222-225. [13884]
  • 95. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Angeles National Forest. 1993. Eradication of Arundo donax: San Francisquito and Soledad Canyons. Environmental Assessment. Arcadia, CA: Angeles National Forest. 89 p. [46798]
  • 99. Vartanian, Valerie. 1998. Destructive nature of arundo and tamarisk. In: Bell, Carl E., ed. In: Arundo and saltcedar: the deadly duo: Proceedings of a workshop on combating the threat from arundo and saltcedar; 1998 June 17; Ontario, CA. Holtville, CA: University of California, Cooperative Extension: 7-13. [47120]
  • 1. Ahmed, Manzoor; Jabbar, Abdul; Samad, Khurshid. 1977. Ecology and behaviour of Zyginidia quyumi (Typhlocybinae: Cicadellidae) in Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Zoology. 9(1): 79-85. [46970]
  • 8. Bautista, Shawna. 1998. A comparison of two methods for controlling Arundo donax. In: Bell, Carl E., ed. In: Arundo and saltcedar: the deadly duo: Proceedings of a workshop on combating the threat from arundo and saltcedar; 1998 June 17; Ontario, CA. Holtville, CA: University of California, Cooperative Extension: 49-52. [47123]
  • 21. Daar, S. 1983. Using goats for brush control. The IPM Practitioner. 5(4): 4-6. [47110]
  • 31. El-Enany, M. A. M. 1985. Life history studies on Aponychus solimani Zaher, Gomaa and El-Enany with first description of adult male and immature stages (Acari: Tetranychidae). Bulletin of the Zoological Society of Egypt. 35: 86-91. [46799]
  • 34. Finn, Monica; Martin, Harley; Minnesang, Dave. 1990. Control of giant reed grass in a southern California riparian habitat. Restoration & Management Notes. 8(1): 53-54. [14514]
  • 52. Jackson, Nelroy E. 1998. Chemical control of giant reed (Arundo donax) and saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima). In: Bell, Carl E., ed. In: Arundo and saltcedar: the deadly duo: Proceedings of a workshop on combating the threat from arundo and saltcedar; 1998 June 17; Ontario, CA. Holtville, CA: University of California, Cooperative Extension: 33-42. [47122]
  • 54. Kan, Tamara. 1998. The Nature Conservancy's approach to weed control. Fremontia. 26(4): 44-48. [47115]
  • 65. Mescheloff, Efraim; Rosen, David. 1990. Biosystematic studies on the Aphidiidae of Israel (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonoidea). 3. The genera Adialytus and Lysiphlebus. Israel Journal of Entomology. 24: 35-50. [46800]
  • 93. Tracy, James L.; DeLoach, C. Jack. 1998. Suitability of classical biological control for giant reed (Arundo donax) in the United States. In: Bell, Carl E., ed. In: Arundo and saltcedar: the deadly duo: Proceedings of a workshop on combating the threat from arundo and saltcedar; 1998 June 17; Ontario, CA. Holtville, CA: University of California, Cooperative Extension: 73-108. [47129]
  • 94. Tucker, R. W. E. 1940. An account of Diatraea saccharalis F. with special reference to its occurrence in Barbados. Tropical Agriculture. 17(7): 133-138. [46981]
  • 108. Wynd, F. L.; Steinbauer, George P.; Diaz, N. R. 1948. Arundo donax as a forage grass in sandy soils. Lloydia. 11(3): 181-184. [46982]
  • 9. Bell, Gary P. 1993. Biology and growth habits of giant reed (Arundo donax). In: Arundo donax workshop proceedings, [Online]. Team Arundo del Norte (Producer). Available: http//ceres.ca.gov/tadn/ecology_impacts/biology.html [2004, February 25]. [46971]
  • 17. Chadwick and Associates. 1992. Santa Ana River use attainability analysis. Volume 2: Aquatic biology, habitat and toxicity analysis, [CD-ROM]. Available: Riverside, CA: Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority. [2004, February 11]. [46803]
  • 25. Douce, Richard S. 1993. The biological pollution of Arundo donax in river estuaries and beaches, [Online]. In: Arundo donax workshop proceedings. Team Arundo del Norte (Producer). Available: http//ceres.ca.gov/tadn/ecology_impacts/ta_proceedings.html [2004, February 25]. [46976]
  • 26. Douthit, Shelton. 1993. Arundo donax in the Santa Ana River Basin. In: Arundo donax workshop proceedings,[Online]. Team Arundo del Norte (Producer). Available: http//ceres.ca.gov/tadn/ecology_impacts/ta_proceedings.html [2004, February 25]. [46975]
  • 37. Frandsen, Paul; Jackson, Nelroy. 1993. The impact of Arundo donax on flood control and endangered species. In: Arundo donax workshop proceedings, [Online]. Team Arundo del Norte (Producer). Available: http//ceres.ca.gov/tadn/ecology_impacts/ta_proceedings.html [2004, February 25]. [46977]
  • 49. Hoshovsky, Marc. 1986. Element stewardship abstract: Arundo donax--giant reed, [Online]. In: Invasives on the web: The Nature Conservancy wildland invasive species program. Davis, CA: The Nature Conservancy (Producer). Available: http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/documnts/arundon.html [2004, March 16]. [46802]
  • 50. Iverson, Mark E. 1993. Effects of Arundo donax on water resources. In: Arundo donax workshop proceedings, [Online]. Team Arundo del Norte (Producer). Available: http//ceres.ca.gov/tadn/ecology_impacts/ta_proceedings.html [2004, February 25]. [46979]
  • 84. Scott, Gregory D. 1993. Fire threat from Arundo donax. In: Arundo donax workshop proceedings, [Online]. Team Arundo del Norte (Producer). Available: http//ceres.ca.gov/tadn/ecology_impacts/ta_proceedings.html [2004, February 25]. [46978]
  • 97. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 2. 2002. Final recovery plan: Southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus), [Online]. Albuquerque, NM: Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Recovery Team (Producer). Available: http://arizonaes.fws.gov/WSSFFINALRecPlan.htm [2003, June 19]. [44503]

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These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: FIBER, Building materials/timber, LANDSCAPING, Cultivated ornamental, Erosion control

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Uses

Medicinal
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Other uses and values

More info for the term: rhizome

Giant reed has been planted extensively for erosion control along drainage canals [49]. Wynd and others [108] report it can also be used to stabilize sand dunes. It is also used for thatching roofs of sheds, barns and other buildings [49]. Mexican campesinos use new tillers of giant reed for roofing and construction materials. It is the most important construction material in the Juamave region of Mexico [2]. Giant reed makes a good quality paper, and in Italy it is used in the manufacture of rayon [24].

Giant reed is used to make reeds for a variety of musical instruments including bagpipes [11,74]. Reeds for woodwind musical instruments are still made from the culms of giant reed, and no satisfactory substitutes have been developed. The basis for the origin of the most primitive pipe organ, the Pan pipe or syrinx, was made from giant reed [74].

Five thousand years ago Egyptians used giant reed to line underground grain storage bins, and mummies from the 4th century A.D. were wrapped in giant reed leaves. Additional uses include basket-making, fishing rods, arrows, and ornamental plants. Medicinally, giant reed's rhizome has been used as a sudorific, a diuretic, an antilactant, and in the treatment of dropsy [74].

  • 2. Anderson, Kat. 1991. Wild plant management: Cross-cultural examples of the small farmers of Jaumave, Mexico, and the southern Miwok of the Yosemite region. Arid Lands Newsletter. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona, Office of Arid Lands Studies. 31: 18-23. [17350]
  • 11. Bell, Gary P. 1997. Ecology and management of Arundo donax, and approaches to riparian habitat restoration in southern California. In: Brock, J. H.; Wade, M.; Pysek, P.; Green, D., eds. Plant invasions: studies from North America and Europe. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers: 103-113. [43820]
  • 24. DiTomaso, Joseph M. 1998. Biology and ecology of giant reed. In: Bell, Carl E., ed. In: Arundo and saltcedar: the deadly duo: Proceedings of a workshop on combating the threat from arundo and saltcedar; 1998 June 17; Ontario, CA. Holtville, CA: University of California, Cooperative Extension: 1-5. [47117]
  • 74. Perdue, Robert E., Jr. 1958. Arundo donax--source of musical reeds and industrial cellulose. Economic Botany. 12: 368-404. [46765]
  • 108. Wynd, F. L.; Steinbauer, George P.; Diaz, N. R. 1948. Arundo donax as a forage grass in sandy soils. Lloydia. 11(3): 181-184. [46982]
  • 49. Hoshovsky, Marc. 1986. Element stewardship abstract: Arundo donax--giant reed, [Online]. In: Invasives on the web: The Nature Conservancy wildland invasive species program. Davis, CA: The Nature Conservancy (Producer). Available: http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/documnts/arundon.html [2004, March 16]. [46802]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

Available evidence indicates giant reed provides neither food nor habitat for native species of wildlife [11]. Bell [11] speculates that insects are sparse in sites dominated by giant reed because of abundant chemical defense compounds produced by the plant.

Palatability/nutritional value: Giant reed stems and leaves contain a wide array of chemicals that probably protect it from most native insects and grazers. These chemicals include silica [51,74], triterpines, sterols [18], cardiac glycosides, curare-mimicking indoles [39], hydroxamic acid, and numerous other alkaloids (Bell [11] and references therein).

Giant reed is not very palatable to cattle, but they will eat it during dry seasons [49,108]. Domestic goats will also eat it [21,49].

Giant reed is low in protein but has a comparatively high concentration of phosphorus in the upper portions even when grown on soils with an extremely low concentration of this mineral [74,108].

Nutritional content of giant reed. Results are an average of 2 samples for each category and are presented as percentages of oven-dry weight [108]:

Old plant Young plant
Lower half Upper half Lower half Upper half
Total nitrogen 0.63 1.10 0.50 1.96
Protein (total N x 6.25) 3.94 6.88 3.13 12.25
Phosphorus 0.082 0.114 0.105 0.152
Calcium 0.52 0.67 0.30 0.43
Magnesium 0.25 0.32 0.12 0.19
Potassium 2.04 2.42 3.09 3.19
Carbohydrate 23.2 21.7 20.0 20.7

Cover value: Areas dominated by giant reed are largely depauperate of wildlife [9,11,54]. Additionally, a study by Chadwick and Associates [17] suggests giant reed also lacks the canopy structure to provide shading of bank-edge river habitats, resulting in warmer water than would be found with a native gallery of willows and cottonwoods. In the Santa Ana River system in California, this lack of streambank structure and shading has been implicated in the decline of native stream fishes including the arroyo chub, three-spined stickleback, speckled dace, and the Santa Ana sucker [9,17].

Giant reed has no structural similarity to any dominant riparian plant it replaces and offers little useful cover or nest placement opportunities for birds. Main stems are vertical with no horizontal structure strong enough to support birds [110]. For example, the southwestern willow flycatcher, an endangered species, has not been reported nesting in any vegetation patches dominated by giant reed [97]. Only a few of bird species have been observed using giant reed for nest sites. Dramatic reductions (50% or more) in abundance and diversity of invertebrates were also documented in giant reed thickets in southern California compared with those found in native willow/cottonwood vegetation [29]. Giant reed's most observed use as cover has been by feral pigs [110].

  • 11. Bell, Gary P. 1997. Ecology and management of Arundo donax, and approaches to riparian habitat restoration in southern California. In: Brock, J. H.; Wade, M.; Pysek, P.; Green, D., eds. Plant invasions: studies from North America and Europe. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers: 103-113. [43820]
  • 29. Dudley, Tom. 1998. Exotic plant invasions in California riparian areas and wetlands. Fremontia. 26(4): 24-29. [47116]
  • 74. Perdue, Robert E., Jr. 1958. Arundo donax--source of musical reeds and industrial cellulose. Economic Botany. 12: 368-404. [46765]
  • 18. Chaudhuri, R. K.; Ghosal, S. 1970. Triterpenes and sterols of the leaves of Arundo donax. Phytochemistry. 9: 1895-1896. [46764]
  • 21. Daar, S. 1983. Using goats for brush control. The IPM Practitioner. 5(4): 4-6. [47110]
  • 39. Ghosal, R. K.; Chaudhuri, R. K.; Dutta, S. K.; Bhattacharya, S. K. 1972. Occurrence of curarimimetic indoles in the flowers of Arundo donax. Planta Medica. 21: 22-28. [46763]
  • 51. Jackson, George C.; Nunez, Josefina Rivera. 1964. Identification of silica present in the giant-reed (Arundo donax L.). Journal of Agriculture of University of Puerto Rico. 48: 60-62. [46766]
  • 54. Kan, Tamara. 1998. The Nature Conservancy's approach to weed control. Fremontia. 26(4): 44-48. [47115]
  • 108. Wynd, F. L.; Steinbauer, George P.; Diaz, N. R. 1948. Arundo donax as a forage grass in sandy soils. Lloydia. 11(3): 181-184. [46982]
  • 110. Zembal, Richard. 1998. Habitat for threatened habitat and endangered species--quarantine areas or control exotic weeds? In: Bell, Carl E., ed. Arundo and saltcedar: the deadly duo: Proceedings of a workshop on combating the threat from arundo and saltcedar; 1998 June 17; Ontario, CA. Holtville, CA: University of California, Cooperative Extension: 15-20. [47121]
  • 9. Bell, Gary P. 1993. Biology and growth habits of giant reed (Arundo donax). In: Arundo donax workshop proceedings, [Online]. Team Arundo del Norte (Producer). Available: http//ceres.ca.gov/tadn/ecology_impacts/biology.html [2004, February 25]. [46971]
  • 17. Chadwick and Associates. 1992. Santa Ana River use attainability analysis. Volume 2: Aquatic biology, habitat and toxicity analysis, [CD-ROM]. Available: Riverside, CA: Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority. [2004, February 11]. [46803]
  • 49. Hoshovsky, Marc. 1986. Element stewardship abstract: Arundo donax--giant reed, [Online]. In: Invasives on the web: The Nature Conservancy wildland invasive species program. Davis, CA: The Nature Conservancy (Producer). Available: http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/documnts/arundon.html [2004, March 16]. [46802]
  • 97. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 2. 2002. Final recovery plan: Southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus), [Online]. Albuquerque, NM: Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Recovery Team (Producer). Available: http://arizonaes.fws.gov/WSSFFINALRecPlan.htm [2003, June 19]. [44503]

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Risks

Stewardship Overview: Although arundo has been widely cultivated for a long time, little information on its biology or ecology has been published. Its rapid growth rate and strong vegetative competitive ability enables it to quickly invade new areas and dominate local vegetation. Very little has been published regarding effective ways of controlling arundo and it is difficult at this point to suggest the best strategy for managing the species.

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Ecological Threat in the United States

Giant reed chokes riversides and stream channels, crowds out native plants, interferes with flood control, increases fire potential, and reduces habitat for wildlife, including the Least Bell's vireo, a federally endangered bird. The long, fibrous, interconnecting root mats of giant reed form a framework for debris dams behind bridges, culverts, and other structures that lead to damage. It ignites easily and can create intense fires.

Giant reed can float miles downstream where root and stem fragments may take root and initiate new infestations. Due to its rapid growth rate and vegetative reproduction, it is able to quickly invade new areas and form pure stands at the expense of other species. Once established, giant reed has the ability to outcompete and completely suppress native vegetation.

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U.S. National Park Service Weeds Gone Wild website

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Wikipedia

Arundo donax

Arundo donax, Giant Cane, is a tall perennial cane growing in damp soils, either fresh or moderately saline. Other common names include Carrizo, Arundo, Spanish cane, Colorado River Reed, Wild cane, and Giant reed.

Arundo donax is native to eastern and southern Asia, the Mediterranean Basin,[1] and probably also parts of Africa and southern Arabian Peninsula. It has been widely planted and naturalised in the mild temperate, subtropical and tropical regions of both hemispheres (Herrera & Dudley 2003), especially in the Mediterranean, California, the western Pacific and the Caribbean.[2][3] It forms dense stands on disturbed sites, sand dunes, in wetlands and riparian habitats.

Description[edit]

Arundo donax generally grows to 6 metres (20 ft), in ideal conditions it can exceed 10 metres (33 ft), with hollow stems 2 to 3 centimetres (0.79 to 1.18 in) diameter. The leaves are alternate, 30 to 60 centimetres (12 to 24 in) long and 2 to 6 centimetres (0.79 to 2.36 in) wide with a tapered tip, grey-green, and have a hairy tuft at the base. Overall, it resembles an outsize common reed (Phragmites australis) or a bamboo (Subfamily Bambusoideae).

Arundo donax flowers in late summer, bearing upright, feathery plumes 40 to 60 centimetres (16 to 24 in) long, that are usually seedless or with seeds that are rarely fertile. Instead, it mostly reproduces vegetatively, by underground rhizomes. The rhizomes are tough and fibrous and form knotty, spreading mats that penetrate deep into the soil up to 1 metre (3.3 ft) deep (Alden et al., 1998; Mackenzie, 2004). Stem and rhizome pieces less than 5 centimetres (2.0 in) long and containing a single node readily sprouted under a variety of conditions (Boose and Holt, 1999). This vegetative growth appears to be well adapted to floods, which may break up individual A. donax clumps, spreading the pieces, which may sprout and colonise further downstream (Mackenzie 2004).

Arundo donax.
Phyllostachys aurea and Arundo donax.
Arundo donax.
Arundo donax.
Arundo donax.

Biology[edit]

Arundo donax (L.) is a tall, perennial C3 grass species belongs to the subfamily Arundinoideae of the Poaceae family. The hollow stems, 3 to 5 cm thick, have a cane-like appearance similar to bamboo. Mature stands can reach a height up to 8 m. Stems produced during the first growing season are unbranched and photosynthetic. It is an asexually reproducing species due to seed sterility.[4] It needs to be established by vegetative propagation, due to a lack of viable seed production. Underground it produces an extensive network of large, but short rhizomes like bulbs, and fibrous tap roots. In the Mediterranean, where a temperate climate is characterized by warm and dry summer and mild winter, giant reed new shoots emerge around March, growing rapidly in June – July and producing stems and leaves. From late July the lower leaves start to dry, depending to seasonal temperature patterns. Crop drying accelerates during autumn when anthesis occurs from the beginning of October to the end of November. In this phonological stage moisture contents fall significantly. In winter-time giant reed stops its growth because of low temperatures and regrowth occurs in the following springtime. In Central Europe giant reed behaves as an annual energy crop for the low soil temperatures and poor freeze tolerance lack of the rhizomes. The base growth temperature reported for giant reed is 7°C,[5] and a maximum cut-off is at 30°C. It has a high photosynthetic capacity, associated with absence of light saturation. Carbon dioxide exchange rates is high compared to other C3 and C4 species. Under natural condition, the maximum CO2 uptake ranged between 19.8 and 36.7 µmol m−2 s−1, depending on irradiance, leaf age, and it is regulated by leaf conductance.[6]

Genetic background[edit]

In most areas where giant reed grows (Mediterranean area and US), viable seeds are not produced.[7] On the other hand, sterility is an obstacle for breeding programs which aim to increase the productivity and biomass quality for energy conversion.[8] Asexual reproduction drastically reduces genetic variability. It is reported that sterility of giant reed is as a result of a failure of the megaspore mother cell to divide.[9] A total of 185 clones of A. donax were collected from California to South Carolina and genetically fingerprinted with the SRAP and TE based markers.[10] Giant reed exhibited no molecular genetic variation despite the wide genomic coverage of the markers used in this study. The molecular data strongly point to a single genetic clone of A. donax in the United States, although multiple introductions of this plant into the United States have been documented. Another study was conducted in the Mediterranean area on sampling giant reed from 80 different sites, and a low gene diversity was detected. Results indicate the occurrence of post-meiotic alterations in the ovule and pollen developmental pathway. AFLP data support a monophyletic origin of giant reed and suggest that it originated in Asia and began to spread into the Mediterranean Basin.

Ecology[edit]

Giant reed is adapted to a wide variety of ecological conditions, but is generally associated with riparian and wetland systems. It is distributed across the southern United States from Maryland to California. Plants can grow in a variety of soils from heavy clays to loose sands and gravelly soils, but prefer wet drained soils where they produce monotypic dense stands. In soil contaminated with arsenic, cadmium and lead, giant reed was found to grow rapidly, showing a strong metal-tolerance with a limited metal translocation from roots to shoots.[11] In this study it is underlined that accumulation of As, Cd and Pb in shoots of giant reed is low while metal concentration in roots is high, and the anatomical characteristics of stem tissues are thick and homogeneous according to SEM image. In Pakistan, where the detection of arsenic in ground waters has threatened the use of groundwater as major source of drinking water, a research highlighted the phytoremediation potential of A. donax when grown in hydroponics cultures containing arsenic concentrations up to 1000 µg l−1.[12] Giant reed was able to translocate the metals absorbed into the shoot and to accumulate metals in the stalk and leaves above the root concentration without showing any toxic effects up to As concentration of 600 µg l−1. Furthermore, the plant is not consumed by herbivores, a positive trait in phytoremediation plants.

Carbon sequestration[edit]

An increased environmental concern is the health of soil system as one of the main factor affecting quality and productivity of agroecosystems. Around the world, several regions are subjected to a decline of fertility due to an increasing degradation of soils, loss of orgnanic matter and increasing desertification.[13] Recently research was carried out to evaluate, in the same pedological and climatic conditions, the impact of three long-term (14 years) agricultural systems, continuous giant reed, natural grassland, and cropping sequence, on the organic-matter characteristics and microbial biomass size in soil.[14] The study pointed out that a long term Giant reed cropping system, characterized by low tillage intensity, positively affect the amount and quality of soil organic matter. Arundo donax showed greater values than tilled management system for total soil organic carbon, light fraction carbon, dissolved organic carbon, and microbial biomass carbon. Regarding the humification parameters, there were noticed any statistically differences between giant reed and a cropping sequence (cereals-legumes cultivated conventionally).

Management in riparian habitats[edit]

Arundo is a highly invasive plant in southwestern North American rivers, and its promotion as a bio-fuel in other regions is of great concern to environmental scientists and land managers.[15]Arundo donax was introduced from the Mediterranean to California in the 1820s for roofing material and erosion control in drainage canals in the Los Angeles area (Bell 1997; Mackenzie 2004). Through spread and subsequent plantings as an ornamental plant, and for use as reeds in woodwind instruments, it has become naturalised throughout warm coastal freshwaters of North America, and its range continues to spread. It has been planted widely through South America and Australasia (Boose and Holt 1999; Bell 1997) and in New Zealand it is listed under the National Pest Plant Accord as an "unwanted organism".[16] Despite its invasive characteristics in regions around the world where it is not native, Arundo is being promoted by the energy industry as a bio-fuel crop. Some of the regions, such as the southeastern United States have natural disturbances, such as hurricanes and floods, that could widely disperse this plant.

It is among the fastest growing terrestrial plants in the world (nearly 10 centimetres (3.9 in) / day; Dudley, 2000). To present knowledge Arundo does not provide any food sources or nesting habitats for wildlife. Replacement of native plant communities by Arundo results in low quality habitat and altered ecosystem functioning (Bell 1997; Mackenzie 2004). For example, it damages California's riparian ecosystems by outcompeting native species, such as willows, for water. A. donax stems and leaves contain a variety of harmful chemicals, including silica and various alkaloids, which protect it from most insect herbivores and deter wildlife from feeding on it (Bell 1997; Miles et al. 1993; Mackenzie 2004). Grazing animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats may have some effect on it, but are unlikely to be useful in keeping it under control (Dudley 2000).

Arundo donax appears to be highly adapted to fires. It is highly flammable throughout the year, and during the drier months of the year (July to October), it can increase the probability, intensity, and spread of wildfires through the riparian environment, changing the communities from flood-defined to fire-defined communities.[17] After fires, A. donax rhizomes can resprout quickly, outgrowing native plants, which can result in large stands of A. donax along riparian corridors (Bell 1997; Scott 1994). Fire events thus push the system further toward mono-specific stands of A. donax.

A waterside plant community dominated by A. donax may also have reduced canopy shading of the in-stream habitat, which may result in increased water temperatures. This may lead to decreased oxygen concentrations and lower diversity of aquatic animals (Bell 1997).

As the impact of Arundo donax increased in the environment and native species various efforts have been taken to reduce its population. It has few natural enemies in its introduced range. Several Mediterranean insects have been imported into the United States as biological control agents (Bell, 1997; Miles et al. 1993; Mackenzie 2004, Goolsby 2007), namely Arundo wasp, Tetramesa romana; the Arundo scale, Rhizaspidiotus donacis; and the Arundo fly, Cryptonevra has known to have some effect in damaging the plant. Tetramesa romana and more recently Rhizaspidiotus donacisis were registered in the US as biological control agents.

Other remedies like using mechanical force have also been employed since outside its native range Arundo donax doesn’t reproduce by seeds, so removing its root structure can be effective at controlling it. Also preventing it from getting sunlight will deplete the plant of its resources(Mackenzie 2004). Systemic herbicides and Glyphosate are also used as chemical remedies.

There are no documented invasions by Arundo donax in the Southeastern United States where A. donax has been present in some cases for over 200 years.

Uses[edit]

Energy crop[edit]

Energy crops are plants which are produced with the express purpose of using their biomass energetically [18] and at the same time reduce carbon dioxide emission. Biofuels derived from lignocellulosic plant material represent an important renewable energy alternative to transportation fossil fuels.[19] Perennial rhizomatous grasses display several positive attributes as energy crops because of their high productivity, low (no) demand for nutrient inputs consequent to the recycling of nutrients by their rhizomes, exceptional soil carbon sequestration - 4X switchgrass, multiple products, adaptation to saline soils and saline water, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Giant reed is one of the most promising crop for energy production for the Mediterranean climate of Europe and Africa, where it has showed advantages as indigenous crop (already adapted to the environment), durable yields, and resistance to long drought period. Several field studies have highlighted the beneficial effect of giant reed crop on the environment due to its minimal soil tillage, fertilizer and pesticide. Furthermore it offers protection against soil erosion,[20] one of the most important land degradation processes in Mediterranean and US environments. A. donax bioenergy feedstock has an impressive potential for several conversion processes. Dried biomass has a direct combustion high heating value of 8000 BTUs/lb. In Italy, Arundo donax was used in one instance from 1937 to 1962 on a large-scale industrial basis for paper and dissolving pulp. This interest was stimulated primarily by the desire of the dictatorship, just before World War II, to be independent of foreign sources of textile fibers and the desire for an export product.[21] According to historic record made by Snia Viscosa, giant reed was established on 6 300 ha in Torviscosa (Ud), reaching the average annual production of 35 t ha−1.[22] Today several screening studies on energy crops have been carried out by several Universities in US as well as in EU to evaluate and identify best management practices for maximizing biomass yields and assess environmental impacts.

Cultivation[edit]

The establishment is a critical point of the cultivation. Stem and rhizome have a great ability to sprout after removal from mother plant and both can be used for clonal propagation. The use of rhizomes were found to be the better propagation way for this species, achieving better survival rate.[23] In this field study, it was noticed how the lowest density (12 500 rhizomes ha−1) resulted in taller and thicker plants compared to denser plantation (25 000 rhizomes ha−1). Seedbed preparation is conducted in the spring, immediately before planting, by a pass with a double-disk harrowing and a pass with a field cultivator. Giant reed has the possibility of adopting low plant density. The rhizomes were planted at 10–20 centimetres (3.9–7.9 in) of soil depth, with a minimum plant density of 10 000 plants per ha), while mature stems, with two or more nodes, can be planted 10–15 centimetres (3.9–5.9 in) deep. In order to ensure good root stand and adequate contact with the soil, sufficient moisture is needed immediately after planting. Pre-plant fertilizer is distributed according to the initial soil fertility, but usually an application of P at a rate of 80–100 kilograms (180–220 lb) ha−1 is applied.

A. donax maintain a high productive aptitude without irrigation under semi-arid climate conditions. In South Italy, a trial was carried out testing the yields performance of 39 genotypes, and an average yields of 22.1 t ha−1 dry matter in the second year were reached,[24] a comparable result with others results obtained in Spain (22.5 t ha−1) as well as in South Greece (19.0 t ha−1). Several reports underlined that it is more economical to grow giant reed under moderate irrigation.

In order to evaluate different management practices, nitrogen fertilizer and input demand was evaluated in a 6-year field study conducted at the University of Pisa. Fertilisation enhanced the productive capacity in the initial years, but as the years go by and as the radical apparatus progressively deepens, the differences due to fertilisation decrease until disappearing. Harvest time and plant density were found to not affect the biomass yields.

Due to its high growth rate and superior resource capture capacity (light, water and nutrients), A. donax is not affected by weed competition from the second year. An application of post-emergence treatment is usually recommended. Giant reed has few known disease or insect pest but in extensive cultivation no pesticides is used.

To remove giant reed at the end of crop cycle, there are mainly two methods: mechanical or chemical.[25] An excavator can be useful to bring out on the surface the rhizomes or alternatively a single late-season application of 3% glyphosate onto the foliar mass is efficient and effective with least hazardous to biota.[26] Glyphosate was selected as the most appropriate product after specific considerations on efficacy, environmental safety, soil residual activity, operator safety, application timing, and cost-effectiveness. However, glyphosate is only effective in fall when plants are actively transporting nutrients to the root zone, and multiple retreatments are usually needed. Other herbicides registered for aquatic use can be very effective in controlling Arundo at other times of the year.

Biofuel[edit]

Arundo donax is strong candidate for use as a renewable biofuel source because of its fast growth rate, ability to grow in different soil types and climatic conditions. A. donax will produce an average of three kilograms of biomass per square metre (25 tons per acre) once established.[27] The energy density of the biomass produced is 17 MJ/Kg regardless of fertilizer usage.[27]

Studies in the European Union have identified A. donax as the most productive and lowest impact of all energy biomass crops (see FAIR REPORT E.U. 2004).

Arundo donax's ability to grow for 20 to 25 years without replanting is also significant.

In the UK it is considered suitable for planting in and around water areas [28]

Chemicals[edit]

Studies have found this plant to be rich in active tryptamine compounds, but there are more indications of the plants in India having these compounds than in the United States.[29] Toxins such as bufotenidine[30] and gramine[29] have also been found.

The dried rhizome with the stem removed has been found to contain 0.0057% DMT, 0.026% bufotenine, 0.0023% 5-MeO-MMT.[29] The flowers are also known to have DMT and the 5-methoxylated N-demethylated analogue, also 5-MeO-NMT. The quite toxic quaternary methylated salt of DMT, bufotenidine,[29] has been found in the flowers, and the cyclic dehydrobufotenidine has been found in the roots.[citation needed] A. donax is also known to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mainly isoprene.[31]

Ethnobotany[edit]

Arundo donax has been cultivated throughout Asia, southern Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians wrapped their dead in the leaves. The canes contain silica, perhaps the reason for their durability, and have been used to make fishing rods, and walking sticks.[citation needed] Its stiff stems are also used as support for climbing plants or for vines.[citation needed]

This plant may have been used in combination with Harmal (Peganum harmala) to create a brew similar to the South American ayahuasca, and may trace its roots to the Soma of lore.[32]

Construction[edit]

Mature reeds are used in construction as raw material given their excellent properties and tubular shape. Its resemblance to bamboo permits their combination in buildings, though Arundo is more flexible.

In rural regions of Spain, for centuries there has existed a technique named "cañizo", consisting of rectangles of approximately 2 by 1 meters of weaved reeds to which clay or plaster could be added. A properly insulated "cañizo" in a roof could keep its mechanical properties for over 60 years. Its high silicon content allows the cane to keep its qualities through time.

Its low weight, flexibility, good adherence of the "cañizo" fabric and low price of the raw material have been the main reasons that made this technique possible to our days. However, in the last decades the rural migration from countryside to urban centers and the extensive exploitation of land has substituted traditional crops. This has threatened very seriously its continuity.

Recently, initiatives are being taken to recover the use of this material combining ancient techniques from the Marshes of Southern Iraq Mudhif with new materials.

Diverse associations and collectives, such as CanyaViva, are pioneering in the research in combination with Spanish universities.

Musical Instruments[edit]

A. donax is the principal source material of reed makers. The cane is rendered into reeds for clarinets, saxophones, oboes, bassoons, bagpipes, and other woodwind instruments.[33] The "Var country" in southern France contains the best-known supply of instrument reeds.

Additionally, giant reed has been used to make flutes for over 5,000 years. The pan pipes consist of ten or more pipes made from the cane.

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dudley, T.L., A.M. Lambert, A. Kirk, and Y. Tamagawa. 2008. Herbivores of Arundo donax in California. Pages 146-152 in Proceedings of the XII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.
  2. ^ "Catalogue of Life 2008". 
  3. ^ http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/datastore/detailreport.cfm?usernumber=8&surveynumber=182 University of California website, Agriculture and Natural Resources
  4. ^ (Johnson et al. 2006)
  5. ^ Spencer, D.F., Ksander, G.G., 2006. Estimate Arundo donax ramet recruitment using degree-day based equation. Aquat. Bot. 85, 282–288.
  6. ^ Rossa B, TuAers AV, Naidoo G, von Willert DJ. 1998. Arundo donax L. (Poaceae)—a C3 species with unusually high photosynthetic capacity. Botanica Acta. 111:216–21.
  7. ^ Saltonstall, K., Lambert, A., Meyerson, L.A., 2010. Genetics and reproduction of common (Phragmites australis) and giant reed (Arundo donax). Invasive Plant Sci. Manag. 3, 495-505.
  8. ^ Mariani C., R. Cabrini, A. Danin, P. Piffanelli, A. Fricano, S. Gomarasca, M. Dicandilo, F. Grassi and C. Soave. 2010 Origin, diffusion and reproduction of the giant reed (Arundo donax L.) a promising weedy energy crop. Annals of Applied Biology. 157: 191–202.
  9. ^ Bhanwra R.K., Choda S.P., Kumar S. 1982. Comparative embryology of some grasses. Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy, 48, 152–162.
  10. ^ Ahmad R., Liow P.S., Spencer D.F., Jasieniuk M. 2008. Molecular evidence for a single genetic clone of invasive Arundo donax in the United States. Aquatic Botany. 88: 113–120.
  11. ^ Guo, Z.H., and Miao, X.F., 2010. Growth changes and tissues anatomical characteristics of giant reed (Arundo donax L.) in soil contaminated with arsenic, cadmium and lead. J. Cent. South Univ. Technol. 17:770−777.
  12. ^ Mirza, N., Mahmood, Q., Pervez, A., Ahmad, R., Farooq, R., Shah, M.M., Azim, M.R. 2010. Phytoremediation potential of Arundo donax in arsenic-contaminated synthetic wastewater. Bioresour Technol. 101:5815-9.
  13. ^ Albaladejo, J., and E. Dı´az. 1990. Degradation and regeneration of the soil in a Mediterranean Spanish coast line: Trials in Lucdeme project (Degradacion y regeneracion del suelo en el. littoral mediterraneo espanol: experiencias en el proyecto Lucdeme). In Soil degradation and rehabilitation in Mediterranean environmental conditions, ed. J. Albaladejo et al., 191–214. Madrid: CSIC.
  14. ^ Riffaldi, R., Saviozzi, A., Cardelli, A., Bulleri, F., and Angelini, L. 2010. Comparison of Soil Organic-Matter Characteristics under the Energy Crop Giant Reed, Cropping Sequence and Natural Grass. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 41:173–180.
  15. ^ Lambert, A.M., Dudley, T.L., Saltonstall, K., 2010. Ecology and impacts of the large-statured invasive grasses Arundo donax and Phragmites australis in North America. Invasive Plant Sci. Manag. 3, 489-494.
  16. ^ "Giant reed". Biosecurity New Zealand. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  17. ^ Coffman, G., Ambrose, R., Rundel, P., 2010. Wildfire promotes dominance of invasive giant reed (Arundo donax) in riparian ecosystems. Biol. Invasions 12, 2723-2734.
  18. ^ Lewandowski I, Scurlock JMO, Lindvall E, Christou M. 2003. The development and current status of perennial rhizomatous grasses as energy crops in the US and Europe. Biomass and Bioenergy. 25:335–61.
  19. ^ Sanderson K. 2006. US biofuels: A field in ferment. Nature 444: 673-676.
  20. ^ Heaton, E., Voigt, T., and Long, S.P. 2004. A quantitative review comparing the yields of two candidate C4 perennial biomass crops in relation to nitrogen, temperature and water. Biomass and Bioenergy. 27:21–30.
  21. ^ Perdue RE (1958). Arundo donax – source of musical reeds and industrial cellulose. Economic Botany 12: 368-404.
  22. ^ Facchini 1941 La canna gentile per la produzione della cellulosa nobile. L’impresa agricolo-industriale di Torviscosa
  23. ^ Christou M, Mardikis M, Alexopoulou E. 2000. Propagation material and plant density effects on the Arundo donax yields. In: Biomass for energy and industry: proceeding of the First World Conference, Sevilla, Spain, June 5–9, 2000. p. 1622–8.
  24. ^ Cosentino et al. 2006 First results on evaluation of Arundo donax (L.) clones collected in Southern Italy
  25. ^ Jackson 1998, Chemical control of giant reed (Arundo donax) and saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima).
  26. ^ Spencer, D.F., Tan,W., Liow,P., Ksander,G., Whitehand,L.C., Weaver,S., Olson,J., Newhauser, M.,2008.Evaluation of glyphosate for managing giant reed (Arundo donax). InvasivePlantSci.Manage.1,248–254.
  27. ^ a b Angelini, L.G., Ceccarinia, L., and Bonarib E.; European Journal of Agronomy, 22, 2005, pp 375-389
  28. ^ BS 7370-5 Recommendations for maintenance of water areas
  29. ^ a b c d Erowid Arundo Donax Info Page 1
  30. ^ Erowid Arundo Donax Info Page 3
  31. ^ Owen, S.M., Boissard, C., and Hewitt, C. N. Atmospheric Environment, 35, 2001, pp 5393–5409
  32. ^ S. Ghosal, S. K. Dutta, A. K. Sanyal, and Bhattacharya, "Arundo donex L. (Graminae), Phytochemical and Pharmacological Evaluation," in the Journal of Medical Chemistry, vol. 12 (1969), p. 480.]
  33. ^ Opperman, Kalman (1956). Handbook for making and Adjusting Single Reeds. New York, New York: Chappell & Co. p. 40. 

General references[edit]

  1. Alden, P., F. Heath, A. Leventer, R. Keen, W. B. Zomfler, eds. 1998. National Audubon Society Field Guide to California. Knopf, New York.
  2. Bell, G. P. 1997. Ecology and Management of Arundo donax, and approaches to riparian habitat restoration in southern California. In Plant Invasions: Studies from North America and Europe, eds. J. H. Brock, M. Wade, P. Pysêk, and D. Green. pp. 103–113. Backhuys, Leiden, the Netherlands.
  3. Boose, A. B., and J. S. Holt. 1999. Environmental effects on asexual reproduction in Arundo donax. Weeds Research 39: 117-127.
  4. Dudley, T. L. 2000. Noxious wildland weeds of California: Arundo donax. In: Invasive plants of California's wildlands. C. Bossard, J. Randall, & M. Hoshovsky (eds.).
  5. Herrera, A., and T. L. Dudley. 2003. Invertebrate community reduction in response to Arundo donax invasion at Sonoma Creek. Biol.Invas 5:167-177.
  6. Mackenzie, A. 2004. Giant Reed. In: The Weed Workers' Handbook. C. Harrington and A. Hayes (eds.) www.cal-ipc.org/file_library/19646.pdf
  7. Miles, D. H., K. Tunsuwan, V. Chittawong, U. Kokpol, M. I. Choudhary, and J. Clardy. 1993. Boll weevil antifeedants from Arundo donax. Phytochemistry 34: 1277-1279.
  8. Perdue, R. E. 1958. Arundo donax – source of musical reeds and industrial cellulose. Economic Botany 12: 368-404.
  9. Scott, G. 1994. Fire threat from Arundo donax. pp. 17–18 in: November 1993 Arundo donax workshop proceedings, Jackson, N.E. P. Frandsen, S. Douthit (eds.). Ontario, CA.
  10. Tu, M., C. Hurd, and J. M. Randall. 2001. Weed Control Methods Handbook: Tools and Techniques for Use in Natural Areas. The Nature Conservancy.
  11. Excerpted from Chapter 15 of TIHKAL, 1997
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Notes

Comments

Arundo donax is a plant of wet habitats but Bor (Grasses Burma Ceyl. Ind. Pak. 415) stated that it will grow in dryish places when once established. Cattle will browse its young leaves but it is not of much account as a fodder grass. In Europe it is extensively cut to make mats, trays and baskets and the Romans used the stems for pens. It is sometimes used for making paper but is commercially of less value than Phragmites australis.

Considerable difficulty may be experienced in distinguishing immature plants of Arundo, Neyraudia and Phragmites, and dissecting the spikelets will be of little use. Phragmites can be distinguished by the silky beard at the bases of the lowest panicle branches which is absent from the other two genera. The ligule of Arundo is membranous while that of Phragmites and Neyraudia is a fringe of hairs. The leaves of Arundo are very much broader than in the other genera and are conspicuously cordate or rounded at the base.

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Forms with variegated leaf blades are sometimes cultivated in gar-dens, e.g., var. versicolor (Miller) Stokes (Arundo versicolor Miller), with longitudinally green- and white-striped leaf blades. Arundo donax var. coleotricha refers to a wild variant with pubescent leaf sheaths.

The culms have many uses, including light construction, basket making, matting, musical pipes, and ornaments.

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A form with striped leaves (var. versiocolor Stokes) cultivated in Taiwan and Japan.
 [Distinguished by general appearance from two other large grasses with plumelike panicles: Neyraudia reynaudiana (Kunth) Keng., Burma reed or silk reed, and Phragmites australis (Cav.) Steud. The following characters will also separate the three: Phragmites has naked lemmas; Arundo has hairy lemmas and a naked rachilla; Neyraudia has naked lemmas and a hairy rachilla. All three species grow around canals.]
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Kartesz 1994 recognized two varieties of Arundo donax; Kartesz 1999 no longer distinguishes between varieties.

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The currently accepted scientific name of giant reed is Arundo donax L.
(Poaceae) [13,40,53,56,57,62,63,69,77,103,105,107]. One variety of giant reed
is recognized in the literature:

Arundo donax L. var. versicolor (P. Mill) Stokes [53,107].
  • 77. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606]
  • 40. Godfrey, Robert K.; Wooten, Jean W. 1979. Aquatic and wetland plants of southeastern United States: Monocotyledons. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 712 p. [16906]
  • 53. Jones, Stanley D.; Wipff, Joseph K.; Montgomery, Paul M. 1997. Vascular plants of Texas. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 404 p. [28762]
  • 57. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2nd ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 62. Martin, William C.; Hutchins, Charles R. 1981. A flora of New Mexico. Volume 2. Germany: J. Cramer. 2589 p. [37176]
  • 63. Mason, Herbert L. 1957. A flora of the marshes of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 878 p. [16905]
  • 69. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924]
  • 103. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 105. Wiggins, Ira L. 1980. Flora of Baja California. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1025 p. [21993]
  • 107. Wunderlin, Richard P. 1998. Guide to the vascular plants of Florida. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida. 806 p. [28655]
  • 13. Bor, N. L. 1968. Gramineae. In: Townsend, C. C.; Guest, Evan; Al-Rawi, Ali, eds. Flora of Iraq. Volume 9. Baghdad: Republic of Iraq, Ministry of Agriculture: 588 p. [44043]
  • 56. Kartesz, John Thomas. 1988. A flora of Nevada. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 1729 p. [In 2 volumes]. Dissertation. [42426]

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Common Names

giant reed

arundo grass

donax

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