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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #397825

Research Project: Management and Biology of Arthropod Pests and Arthropod-borne Plant Pathogens

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Title: Biology of invasive plants 3: Vincetoxicum nigrum (L.) Moench and Vincetoxicum rossicum (Kleopow) Barbarich

item WESTBROOK, ANNA - Cornell University
item Milbrath, Lindsey
item WEINBERG, JESSICA - Cornell University
item DITOMMASO, ANTONIO - Cornell University

Submitted to: Journal of Invasive Plant Science Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/21/2023
Publication Date: 4/20/2023
Citation: Westbrook, A.S., Milbrath, L.R., Weinberg, J., Ditommaso, A. 2023. Biology of invasive plants 3: Vincetoxicum nigrum (L.) Moench and Vincetoxicum rossicum (Kleopow) Barbarich. Journal of Invasive Plant Science Management. 16:3-26.

Interpretive Summary: Pale and black swallow-wort are two invasive species in North America and parts of Europe that have attracted much attention over the last few decades. Both species grow in a wide variety of natural and managed terrestrial habitats and will continue to spread to new areas, especially in North America, unless measures are taken to prevent this. A comprehensive review of their known distributions, invasion history, deleterious effects, biology, ecology and management is given. New projections of suitable habitats worldwide, and thus the potential risk of future infestations, are provided for pale and black swallow-wort. Based on their known history and biology, preventing the importation of swallow-wort into currently uninvaded regions will be very effective. In areas already invaded, combinations of management tactics likely will be needed to suppress the densities and further spread of swallow-worts.

Technical Abstract: Vincetoxicum rossicum and V. nigrum are perennial vines native to eastern and southwestern Europe, respectively. These vines have invaded some regions of North America, particularly the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada, and some locations in Europe outside their native distributions, e.g., Norway. Because both species tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions with potentially high survival of all life-stages, they have colonized diverse terrestrial habitats. A comprehensive review of their taxonomy, economic and ecological importance, known world-wide distribution, invasion history, biology, ecology and current management is given. To estimate invasion risks, projected world-wide species distributions were developed for the first time using modeling software that describes how the species respond to climate. Model parameters involved responses to temperature and precipitation, based on experimental data and species occurrence records. In North America, V. rossicum and V. nigrum can establish near-monocultures and produce large quantities of wind-dispersed seeds. Thus, the risk of continued spread within North America is very high; spread within Europe may be somewhat constrained by existing biotic factors. The model output suggests that many uninvaded regions of the world may be climatologically suitable for Vincetoxicum species. However, long-distance movement of these species appears minimal, with the greatest threat of invasion to new regions coming from deliberate introductions of V. rossicum or V. nigrum, as happened in North America and Europe. Future research should focus on the improvement of management programs in regions already invaded, the identification of biotic and abiotic factors constraining Vincetoxicum distributions, and the development of potential distribution models at a resolution useful to land managers.