Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Natural History Survey of the Ornamental Grass Miscanthus sinensis in the Introduced Range

  • Ryan F. Dougherty (a1), Lauren D. Quinn (a2), A. Bryan Endres (a3), Thomas B. Voigt (a4) and Jacob N. Barney (a1)...

Abstract

Miscanthus sinensis is a perennial grass native to Asia, but since its introduction to the United States in the late 19th century, it has become both a major ornamental crop and invasive species. Previous studies of the ecology of M. sinensis in both its introduced and native ranges have suggested that it may be occupying a novel ecological niche in the introduced range. Miscanthus sinensis and its daughter species, Miscanthus × giganteus, are under evaluation as bioenergy crops; therefore, characterization of the ecology and environmental niche of M. sinensis is essential to mitigate the risk of fostering future invasion in the United States. In July 2011, we surveyed 18 naturalized M. sinensis populations spanning the U.S. distribution, covering a 6° latitudinal gradient from North Carolina to Massachusetts. Miscanthus sinensis populations ranged in size from 3 to 181,763 m2 with densities between 0.0012 and 2.2 individuals m−2, and strongly favored highly disturbed and unmanaged habitats such as roadsides and forest edges. Population size and individual plant morphology (i.e., tiller height, basal diameter, and tiller number) were not affected by soil characteristics and nutrient availability, though increased tree canopy cover was associated with reduced population size (P < 0.0001). Plant size and vigor were not significantly affected by low light availability, which supports previous suggestions of shade tolerance of M. sinensis. In summary, M. sinensis can tolerate a broad range of climatic conditions, light availability, and nutrient availability in the eastern United States, suggesting risk of further invasion beyond its current distribution in the United States.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author's E-mail: jnbarney@vt.edu

References

Hide All
Abella, SR, Chiquoine, LP, Backer, DM (2012) Ecological characteristics of sites invaded by buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare). Invas Plant Sci Manag 5:443453
Alexander, B (2007) The Biltmore Nursery: A Botanical Legacy. Charleston, SC Natural History Press. 288 p
Anon (1894) Horticulture and Arboriculture in the United States. Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information. Royal Gardens, Kew. Pp. 3766
Bailey, LH (1909) Cyclopedia of American Horticulture, 6th ed. New York The MacMillan Company 1021 p
Barney, JN, DiTomaso, JM Invasive species biology, ecology, management and risk assessment: evaluating and mitigating the invasion risk of biofuel crops. Pages 263284 in Mascia, PN, Scheffran, J, Widholm, JM, eds. (2010) Plant Biotechnology for Sustainable Production of Energy and Co-products Berlin Springer-Verlag
Barney, JN, DiTomaso, JM (2011) Global climate niche estimates for bioenergy crops and invasive species of agronomic origin: potential problems and opportunities. PLoS One 6:e17222
Britton, N, Brown, A (1913) An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions: From Newfound-land to the Parallel of the Southern Boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic Ocean Westward to the 102d Meridian. Vol. I. New York Charles Scribner's Sons. 662 p
Core, E (1941) Notes on some West Virginia plants. Castanea 6:8688
Darke, R (2007) The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes. Portland, OR Timber Press. 484 p
Dick, J (1879) Trade List of Plants for the Spring of 1878. Philadelphia, PA Helensale Nursery
EDDMaps (2012) Early detection and distribution mapping system. http://www.eddmaps.org/. Accessed September 11, 2012
Ezaki, B, Nagao, E., Yamamoto, Y., Nakashima, S, Enomoto, T (2008) Wild plants, Andropogon virginicus L. and Miscanthus sinensis Anders, are tolerant to multiple stresses including aluminum, heavy metals and oxidative stresses. Plant Cell Rep 27:951961
Firn, J, Moore, JL, MacDougall, AS, Borer, ET, Seabloom, EW, HilleRisLambers, J, Harpole, WS, Cleland, EE, Brown, CS, Knops, JMH, Prober, SM, Pyke, DA, Farrell, KA, Bakker, JD, O'Halloran, LR, Adler, PB, Collins, SL, D'Antonio, CM, Crawley, MJ, Wolkovich, EM, La Pierre, KJ, Melbourne, BA, Hautier, Y, Morgan, JW, Leakey, ADB, Kay, A, McCulley, R, Davies, KF, Stevens, CJ, Chu, C, Holl, KD, Klein, JA, Fay, PA, Hagenah, N, Kirkman, KP, Buckley, YM (2011) Abundance of introduced species at home predicts abundance away in herbaceous communities. Ecol Lett 14:274281
Horton, JL, Fortner, R, Goklany, M (2010) Photosynthetic characteristics of the C4 invasive exotic grass Miscanthus sinensis Andersson growing along gradients of light intensity in the southeastern United States. Castanea 75:52–6
Matlaga, DP, Quinn, LD, Davis, AS, Stewart, JR (2012) Light response of native and introduced Miscanthus sinensis seedlings. Invas Plant Sci Manage 5:363374
Maynard, B (2012) Ornamental Grasses. http://www.uri.edu/ce/factsheets/sheets/orngrasses.html. Accessed September 12, 2012
Meyer, MH, Tchida, CL (1999) Miscanthus Anderss. produces viable seed in four USDA hardiness zones. J Env Hort 17:137140
Osawa, T (2011) Management-mediated facilitation: Miscanthus sinensis functions as a nurse plant in Satoyama grassland. Grassl Sci 54:204210
Quinn, LD, Allen, DJ, Stewart, JR (2010) Invasiveness potential of Miscanthus sinensis: implications for bioenergy production in the United States. GCB Bioenergy 2:310320
Quinn, LD, Matlaga, DP, Stewart, JR, Davis, AS (2011) Empirical evidence of long-distance dispersal in Miscanthus sinensis and Miscanthus × giganteus . Invas. Plant Sci Manage 4:142150
Quinn, LD, Stewart, JR, Yamada, T, Toma, Y, Saito, M, Shimoda, K, Fernández, FG (2012) Environmental tolerances of Miscanthus sinensis in invasive and native populations. BioEnergy Res 5:139148
Raghu, S, Anderson, RC, Daehler, CC, Davis, AS, Wiedenmann, RN, Simberloff, D, Mack, RN (2006) Ecology. Adding biofuels to the invasive species fire? Science 313:1742
Stewart, JR, Toma, YO, Fernandez, FG, Nishiwaka, AYA, Yamada, T, Bollero, G (2009) The ecology and agronomy of Miscanthus sinensis, a species important to bioenergy crop development, in its native range in Japan: a review. GCB Bioenergy 1:126153
Thébaud, C, Simberloff, D (2001) Are plants really larger in their introduced ranges? Am Nat 157:231236
Trueblood, CE (2009) An Invasive Species Assessment System for the North Carolina Horticultural Industry. M.S. thesis. Raleigh, NC North Carolina State University. 286 p
Yokomizo, H, Possingham, HP, Hulme, PE, Grice, AC, Buckley, YM (2012) Cost-benefit analysis for intentional plant introductions under uncertainty. Biol Inv 14:839849
Zub, HW, Arnoult, S, Younous, J, Lejeune-Hénaut, I, Brancourt-Hulmel, M (2012) The frost tolerance of Miscanthus at the juvenile stage: Differences between clones are influenced by leaf-stage and acclimation. Eur J Agron 36:3240
Zub, HW, Brancourt-Hulmel, M (2010) Agronomic and physiological performances of different species of Miscanthus, a major energy crop. A review. Agron Sustain Dev 30:201214

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed