Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Lygodium microphyllum
(Cav.) R.Br., Lygodiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

Reject, score: 15 (Go to the risk assessment (Florida (U.S.))).
Moderate to moderate-high risk (Go to the risk assessment (United States)) (PDF format).

Other Latin names:  Lygodium scandens auct.; Ugena microphylla Cav.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: climbing maidenhair fern, Old World climbing fern, small-leaf climbing fern

Palauan: osuchedechui

Habit:  fern

Description:  "Stems creeping. Leaves to ca. 10 m. Petioles borne 2-5 mm apart, 7-25 cm. Sterile pinnae on 0.5-1.5 cm stalks, oblong, 1-pinnate, 5-12 x 3-6 cm; ultimate segments triangular-lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, truncate to shallowly cordate or somewhat auriculate proximally, usually not lobed, but if lobed, lobes rounded at apex and not directed toward leaf apex; segment apex rounded-acute to obtuse; segments articulate to petiolules, leaving wiry stalks when detached; blade tissue glabrous abaxially. Fertile pinnae on 0.5-1 cm stalks, oblong, 1-pinnate, 3-14 x 2.5-6 cm; ultimate segments ovate to lanceolate-oblong, fringed with fertile lobes, otherwise similar to sterile segments" (Flora of North America).

Habitat/ecology:  "Freshwater wetlands, cypress swamps, forests, mangrove swamps, wet grassland.  A fast-growing fern that is native in wet tropical and subtropical regions.  Where invasive, it smothers the native vegetation by climbing high into and over the crowns of shrubs and trees.  It also grows horizontally on the floor and the numerous fronds build thick mats that completely smother whole plant communities and cover the ground.  Tall infestation by this fern can be a fire hazard because the dry dead fronds are flammabile and carry fires into the canopies of trees"  (Weber, 2003; p. 252).

"Lygodium microphyllum is native to southeastern Asia and recently naturalized [in the United States]. The species may be very abundant locally and may climb to a height of 9 meters in trees. Sometimes it forms thick mats covering considerable areas at ground level" (Flora of North America).

Propagation:  Spores

Native range:  Southeastern Asia, extending into the western Pacific (GRIN)

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Rota Island native
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 2)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Island native
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 2)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island native
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Tim (2008) (p. 2)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Fiji Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island native
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 56)
As Lygodium scandens
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Angaur (Ngeaur) Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island native
Raulerson, L./Rinehart, A. F./Falanruw, M. C. (1996) (p. 14)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island native
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 21)
Voucher: Lorence 9908 (PTBG, BNM, NY, UC, US)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2008) (voucher ID: PTBG 201)
Taxon name on voucher: Lygodium microphyllum (Cav.) R.Br.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2007) (voucher ID: PTBG 48164)
Taxon name on voucher: Lygodium microphyllum
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Peleliu (Beliliou) Island native
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 21)
Voucher: Lorence 9760 (PTBG, BISH, BNM, NY, US)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Peleliu (Beliliou) Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2008) (voucher ID: PTBG 52)
Taxon name on voucher: Lygodium microphyllum (Cav.) R.Br.
Palau
Rock Islands (Chelbacheb)
Aulupse‘el (Ulebsechel) Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
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)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 94)
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)
New South Wales native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland 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)
Japan
Ryukyu Islands
Ryukyu Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Brunei
Brunei (Negara Brunei Darussalam) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) native
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 57)
Common
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom 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
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
"Naturaized in the southeastern United States and West Indies".
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Listed by the states of Florida and Alabama as a noxious weed.

Comments:  This species, while native to parts of the Pacific, can be weedy in taro patches and other agriculture and should not be introduced to islands where it is not already present.

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

Control:  Control information from the Global Invasive Species Database.

Physical:  'Manual removal is labor intensive".

Chemical:  "Herbicide may be applied to the foliage; follow-up applications are necessary to treat regrowth"  (Weber, 2003; p. 252).

Additional information:
Plant profile from the Global Invasive Species Database.
Species profile from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Invasive Species Information Center.
Information from Biological Control of Invasive Plants in the Eastern United States.
Fact sheet from Identification and Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas.
Articles from "Wildland Weeds".

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

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

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

References:

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.

Lorence, David H./Flynn, Tim. 2008. Checklist of the plants of Yap. Unpublished checklist. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Hawai‘i. 20 pp.

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

National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.). 2008. Voucher specimen #PTBG52(David H. Lorence 9760).

National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.). 2008. Voucher specimen #PTBG201(David H. Lorence 9908).

Raulerson, L. 2006. Checklist of Plants of the Mariana Islands. University of Guam Herbarium Contribution 37:1-69. .

Raulerson, L./Rinehart, A. F./Falanruw, M. C. 1996. A botanical reconnaissance of the proposed Compact-impact road alignment on Babeldaob Island, Republic of Palau. U. of Guam Herbarium Cont. No. 32. 78 pp.

Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie. 2009. Report to the Republic of Palau: 2008 update on Invasive Plant Species. USDA Forest Service, Hilo, Hawai‘i. 227 pp.

Stone, Benjamin C. 1970. The flora of Guam. Micronesica 6:1-659.

Swarbrick, John T. 1997. Weeds of the Pacific Islands. Technical paper no. 209. South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia. 124 pp.

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.

Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. 2013. Flora of Micronesia. National Tropical Botanical Garden and the Smithsonian Institution. Online database.

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


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This page was created on 10 NOV 2008 and was last updated on 4 JUL 2012.