Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Lygodium japonicum
(Thunb.) Sw., Lygodiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

High risk, score: 23 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific)).
Reject, score: 25 (Go to the risk assessment (U.S. Florida)).
Moderate to moderate-high risk (Go to the risk assessment (United States)) (PDF format).

Common name(s): [more details]

English: Japanese climbing fern

Habit:  fern

Description:  "A large, bright green and twining fern with short-creeping rhizomesLeaves are up to 5 m long, bipinnately compound with widely spaced pinnae along the rachis.  Pinnae are fertile or sterile, 10-18 cm long and 7-10 cm wide, and consist of 2-3 leaflets of up to 7 cm length and 2.5 cm width.  Fertile leaflets are flabellate and have eight or more narrow lobes.  Sterile pinnae are triangular, with the sterile leaflets being palmate to deeply lobed. Sporangia open upwardly and are attached on free veinlets"  (Weber, 2003; p. 251).

Habitat/ecology:  "Tropical hammocks, riparian habitats, disturbed places.  This fast growing fern twines around small stems and branches of trees and shrubs.  It quickly climbs to the canopy and forms dense mats there, shading out the host trees and any other supporting vegetation.  It can weaken or even kill smothered trees.  The dry dead fronds are flammable and in fire-prone regions the fern carries fires from the ground to the forest canopies, thus intensifying wild fires"  (Weber, 2003; p. 251).

Propagation:  Spores

Native range:  India through eastern and southeastern Asia, extending to the Philippines (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wilson, K. A. (1996)
Voucher cited: Wilson 2437 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wilson, K. A. (1996)
Vouchers cited: Staples 1166 (BISH), Gagne s.n. (BISH, LAM)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wilson, Kenneth A. (2003) (p. 5)
Voucher cited: Staples et al. 1166 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Frohlich, Danielle/Lau, Alex (2012) (p. 47)
Voucher cited: OISC 20110601 (BISH)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory introduced
invasive
cultivated
Australian Biological Resources Study (2013)
"Probably a garden escape".
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 11)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
North Korea
North Korea
North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 57)
Naturalised
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
invasive
Cronk, Q. C. B./Fuller, J. L. (2001) (p. 167)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  Planting of this species is prohibited in Miami-Dade County, Florida (U.S.) (Miami-Dade County Dept. of Planning and Zoning, 2010).

Control: 

Physical:  "Small infestations can be controlled by repeated hand pulling or cutting".

Chemical:  "In Florida [US], the vines are pulled from the trees and treated with a foliar spray of a mixture of triclopyr and an oil surfactant"  (Weber, 2003; p. 266).

Additional information:
Information from the Global Invasive Species Database
Information from the Fire Effects Information System
Information from the Global Invasive Species Database.
Information from the publication "Nonnative invasive plants of Southern forests: A field guide for identification and control".
Information from the book "Identification and biology of non-native plants in Florida's natural areas" (PDF format).
Species profile from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Invasive Species Information Center.
Article from "Wildland Weeds".
Article on control trials from "Wildland Weeds".

Additional online information about Lygodium japonicum is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Lygodium japonicum as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Lygodium japonicum may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Australian Biological Resources Study. 2013. Flora of Australia Online. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra.

Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 273 pp.

Cronk, Q. C. B./Fuller, J. L. 2001. Plant invaders. Earthscan Publications, Ltd., London. 241 pp.

Frohlich, Danielle/Lau, Alex. 2012. New plant records for the Hawaiian Islands 2010-2011. In: Evenhuis, Neal L. and Eldredge, Lucius G., eds. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 2011. Part II: Plants. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. 113:27-54.

Langeland, K. A./Burks, K. Craddock. eds. 1998. Identification and biology of non-native plants in Florida's natural areas. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida. 165 pp.

Miami-Dade County Dept. of Planning and Zoning. 2010. The landscape manual. Draft ninth edition, August 2010. 249 pp.

Miller, James H. 2003. Nonnative invasive plants of Southern forests: A field guide for identification and control. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-62. 93 p.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plants of the World. CABI Publishing, CAB International, Wallingford, UK. 548 pp.

Wilson, K. A. 1996. Alien ferns in Hawai‘i. Pacific Science. 50(2):127-141.

Wilson, Kenneth A. 2003. New records of alien pteridophytes for Hawai‘i. In: Evenhuis, Neal L. and Eldredge, Lucius G., eds. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 2001-2002. Part 2: Notes. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. 74:5-7.

Wu, Te-lin. 2001. Check List of Hong Kong Plants. Hong Kong Herbarium and the South China Institute of Botany. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Bulletin 1 (revised). 384 pp.


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 21 FEB 2007 and was last updated on 4 JUL 2012.