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Amended Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada - 2015 [Proposed]

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

3. Species Background

3.1 Pink Coreopsis

3.1.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
May 2000, November 2012
Common Name (population)
Pink Coreopsis
Scientific Name
Coreopsis rosea
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Reason for Designation
This showy perennial lake and river shore plant has a restricted global range with a disjunct distribution limited to southernmost Nova Scotia. There is a concern regarding potential widespread and rapid habitat degradation due to recent increases in levels of phosphorus in lakes, tied to a rapidly growing mink farming industry. Though the population size is now known to be larger than previously documented due to greatly increased survey effort, the species is also at risk due to the continuing impacts associated with shoreline development, and historical hydro-development.
Canadian Occurrence
NS
COSEWIC Status History
Designated Endangered in April 1984. Status re-examined and confirmed Endangered in April 1999, May 2000 and in November 2012.

3.1.2 Description

Pink Coreopsis is a perennial herb with flowers that grow at the ends of stalks 20-60 cm high (Gleason 1952, Roland and Zinck 1998). It flowers from mid to late summer and the daisy-like, composite flowers are made up of yellow inner flowers and outer flowers that range from pink to white. The leaves are 2 to 5 cm long, entire, opposite, smooth and linear (Gleason 1952, Roland and Zinck 1998). The achenes (fruit) are 2 mm long, narrow and wingless (Gleason 1952). Coreopsis comes from the Greek word koris, which means bedbug and refers to the similarity of the dark seeds to bedbugs. Rosea means rose-coloured, and refers to the pink coloured petals of the flower.

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Figure 4. The Pink Coreopsis.
The Pink Coreopsis.
© NS Museum

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3.1.3 Populations and Distribution

Pink Coreopsis occurs in ten eastern seaboard states and in southwestern NS (Roland and Zinck 1998). In NS it is found on the shores of eight lakes in the Tusket, Carelton, and Annis river systems in Yarmouth County, Salmon, Wilsons, Bennetts, Raynards, Gillfillan, Agard, Sloans, and Pleasant Lakes. The estimated population size is approximately 276,600 to 328,000 stems. Wilsons Lake and Sloans Lake each are home to over 100,000 stems, with all other lakes having significantly fewer stems. Pink coreopsis has been extirpated from Gavels Lake and Lake Vaughan as a result of alterations to water levels with the construction of a hydroelectric dam in 1929.

Pink Coreopsis has a Global Rank of G3 and a Sub-National Rank (S-Rank) of S1 in NS. See the table below for the S-Rank in US states where it occurs. It is legally protected under the NS ESA, and under Schedule 1 of SARA, where it is listed as Endangered.

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesDelaware (S1), Georgia (SNR), Maryland (S1), Massachusetts (S3), Mississippi (SNR), New Jersey (S2), New York (S3), Pennsylvania (SX), Rhode Island (S2), South Carolina (S2)
CanadaNova Scotia (S1)

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3.1.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Pink Coreopsis

Pink Coreopsis is found on infertile, gently sloping sandy, gravel, peat, or cobblestone lake shorelines (Isnor 1981, Maher et al. 1978, Pronych and Wilson 1993, Roland and Zinck 1998). It is associated with deposits of red till (Keddy 1984, Keddy 1985a). It prefers shorelines with naturally occurring environmental stresses and disturbances such as periodic water level fluctuations, wave action and/or ice scour which maintains a sparsely vegetated open habitat and prevents the establishment of more aggressive plants. It is frequently found with other rare species such as Plymouth Gentian, Water Pennywort and Tubercled Orchid..It is also associated with Grass-Leaved Goldenrod (or Slender Fragrant Goldenrod), Twigrush, Bog Yellow-eyed Grass, Redtop Panic Grass, Three-Way Sedge, and Golden-Pert (Keddy and Keddy 1983a).

Pink Coreopsis reproduces mainly asexually, through well-developed creeping subterranean rhizomes (Gleason 1952). Sexual reproduction in NS is sporadic. Flowering occurs between mid July and mid-September and seed maturation takes place in late August and September. Fluctuating water levels influence flowering success and flowering mainly occurs during years when the water level is low (Keddy and Keddy 1983a). It is most likely insect pollinated (Keddy and Keddy 1983a). The production of a relatively small number of seeds limits the ability of the species to recover from severe habitat disturbance (Newell 1998a).

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3.2 Thread-leaved Sundew

3.2.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
May 2001
Common Name (population)
Thread-leaved Sundew
Scientific Name
Drosera filiformis
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Reason for Designation
Peat bog species occurring in only a few sites highly disjunct from the main range of the species along the Atlantic seaboard and subject to on-going risks of peat extraction.
Canadian Occurrence
NS
COSEWIC Status History
Designated Endangered in April 1991. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2001.

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3.2.2 Description

The Thread-leaved Sundew is a perennial, carnivorous herb that grows to a height of 15 to 25 cm. Its leaves are long, erect, and threadlike and rise from a spherical, whitish tuber that grows at or just under the surface (Freedman and Jotcham 2001). Reddish-purple, sticky, hair-like glands cover the leaves (Gleason 1952, Roland and Zinck 1998). Each plant produces 6-15 violet flowers with five petals and yellow centers that grow on peduncles (Zinck 1991).

This is one of three species of the Droseraceae carnivorous plant family found in NS. It has adapted to its nutrient poor, acidic habitat by trapping insects as a source of digestible nitrogen (Zinck 1991). Insects are attracted to the sticky liquid on the hairs of the leaf surface and once trapped, additional fluid and digestive enzymes are secreted to digest and absorb the prey (Zinck 1991).

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Figure 5. The Thread-leaved Sundew.
The Thread-leaved Sundew.
© NS Museum

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3.2.3 Populations and Distribution

Thread-leaved Sundew is found along the eastern US from Massachusetts to southern New Jersey and from South Carolina to northern Florida (Isnor 1981, Zinck 1991). In Canada, the Thread-leaved Sundew is found in five bogs in a small area of southwestern NS. The five bogs are in Shelburne County and include Swaines Road Bog, Quinns Meadow Bog, Port La Tour, Villagedale, and West Baccaro Bog. The total population of the Thread-leaved Sundew is tens of thousands of plants, and the five known locations occur within 10 km of one another. Its extent of occurrence is approximately 77 km2, while its area of occupancy is approximately 11.5 km2. It has a low rescue effect, as immigration is unlikely from the closest population in the US.

Thread-leaved Sundew has a Global Rank of G4 and a Sub-National Rank (S-Rank) of S1 in NS. See the table below for the S-Rank in US states where it occurs. It is legally protected under the NS ESA, and under Schedule 1 of SARA, where it is listed as Endangered.

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesConnecticut (SH), Delaware (SX), Florida (S1), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (S4), New Jersey (S4), New York (S3), North Carolina (S1), Pennsylvania (SNR), Rhode Island (SH), West Virginia (SNA)
CanadaNova Scotia (S1)

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3.2.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Thread-leaved Sundew

In NS the Thread-leaved Sundew occurs in raised (or plateau) bogs which are infertile, acidic, open wetlands dominated by peat mosses, heath shrubs, short sedges and grasses. It requires open conditions and is typically found in peaty hollows where competition from other vegetation is limited (Zinck 1991). It is most often associated with Tufted Clubrush (Trichophorum caespitosum) (Freedman and Jotcham 2001) and Horned Bladderwort (Utricularia cornuta) (Dave MacKinnon pers.com. 2007). The carnivorous supplementation of nutrients is important because these bog habitats are typically characterized by slow decomposition rates and thus a limited availability of nutrients (Zinck 1991). Associated species include Tufted Clubrush, Coastal Sedge, White Beakrush, Northern Pitcher Plant, Bog Goldenrod (Solidago uliginosa), Curly-Grass Fern (Schizaea pusilla), Round-leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), Horned Bladderwort, Bog Aster, Leatherleaf, Sheep Laurel, Pale Bog Laurel (Kalmia polifolia), Bog Rosemary, polifolia spp. Chokeberry species., Bog Huckleberry, Common Juniper (Juniperus communis), Small Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos), and Large Cranberry.

Reproduction occurs sexually through seed production. Flowering occurs from mid to late July into August (Roland and Zinck 1998). The flowers mature sequentially with the flowers lower on the stem maturing before the flowers higher on the stem (Zinck 1991). Pollination is thought to occur by insects (Zinck 1991). Each plant produces an average of eight seed capsules, with 70 seeds in each capsule (Zinck 1991). Seed dispersal is thought to occur locally through flowing water (Freedman and Jotcham 2001) although there are possibly other modes as well. Thread leaved Sundew can be successfully propagated from cuttings (Freedman and Jotcham 2001). There is no genetic variation within or between populations of Thread-leaved Sundew in NS and Massachusetts, nor any signs of inbreeding depression (Cody 2002).

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3.3 Tubercled Spike-rush (Eleocharis tuberculosa)

3.3.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
May 2000, April 2010
Common Name (population)
Tubercled Spike-rush
Scientific Name
Eleocharis tuberculosa
COSEWIC Status
Special Concern
Reason for Designation
Highly localized Atlantic Coastal Plain species widely disjunct in Nova Scotia from its main range along the American coastal states. Occurs at only a few sites covering very small areas of lakeshore habitats. Populations are threatened by recreational activities, cottage development and water pollution.
Canadian Occurrence
NS
COSEWIC Status History
Designated Threatened in May 2000. Designated Special Concern April 2010.

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3.3.2 Description

Tubercled Spike-rush is a grass-like plant, reaching a height of 10 40 cm. Its leaves are reduced to basal sheathes and its stiffly erect, flattened stems grow in dense clumps (Roland and Zinck 1998). The individual flowers are tiny and inconspicuous and are clustered into a distinct oval spike at the top of the stem. It can be distinguished by its unusually large knob-like tubercle, which is nearly as long and wide as the honeycombed achene (fruit) that it grows upon (Gleason 1952, Roland and Zinck 1998). The achene (fruit) is surrounded at the base by six bristles that are typically longer than the achene but do not reach past the top of the tubercle (Newell and Zinck 1999). The name refers to its tubercle, which is often large as a result of a symbiotic relationship with microorganisms (Roland and Zinck 1998).

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Figure 6. The Tubercled Spike-rush.
The Tubercled Spike-rush.
© NS Museum

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3.3.3 Populations and Distribution

Tubercled Spike-rush primarily ranges along the eastern seaboard to Florida and Texas, inland to northern Alabama and Tennessee, and west along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico to Texas (Roland and Zinck 1998). In NS it occurs on the shores of seven lakes: Harper, Gold, Western, and Barrington Lakes in Shelburne County, Great Pubnico Lake and Mill Lake in Yarmouth County and Little Ten Mile Lake in Queens County (COSEWIC 2010). Total population is likely in the hundreds of thousands of stems, with large populations on Barrington Lake, Great Pubnico Lake, a small cove on Hapers Lake, and much smaller populations elsewhere. Evidence suggests that the population size fluctuates dramatically on a yearly basis and the species' detectability and possibly presence at sites varies from year to year with water levels. Long-term population trends are unknown.

Tubercled Spike-rush has a Global Rank of G5 and a Sub-National Rank (S-Rank) of S2 in NS. See the table below for the S-Rank in US states where it occurs. It is legally protected under the NS ESA, and under Schedule 1 of SARA, where it is listed as Special Concern.

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesAlabama (SNR), Arkansas (SNR), Connecticut (SNR), Delaware (S4), District of Columbia (SNR), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S4), Louisiana (SNR), Maine (S1), Maryland (SNR), Massachusetts (SNR), Mississippi (S5), New Hampshire (SH), New Jersey (S4), New York (S2), North Carolina (S5), Pennsylvania (SX), Rhode Island (SNR), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (SNR), Texas (SNR), Virginia (S5)
CanadaNova Scotia (S2)

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3.3.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Tubercled Spike-rush

Tubercled Spike-rush occurs on sandy or stony lakeshores and gravel bars, on the fringes of peat layers, and on the edges of peaty wetlands bordering lakes (Roland and Zinck 1998). It is also found on vegetative mats that are either floating or pushed onto shorelines in storms or by ice. In NS, all populations grow in full sun, suggesting intolerance of shade (Zinck 1997). When found on floating mats, beavers may assist this species by reducing competing plant species by grazing and trampling the mats (Newell and Zinck 1999). Associated species include but are not limited to, Grass-Leaved Goldenrod (or Slender Fragrant Goldenrod), Bog Aster, Screw-Stem (Bartonia paniculata ssp. iodandra), Zigzag Bladderwort, Jointed Rush (Juncus articulates), and Virginia Meadow-Beauty (Rhexia virginica) (Zinck 1997).

Little is known about the biology of this species; some sources describe it as an annual whereas others list it as a perennial. It can reproduce vegetatively and form clumps. Flowering takes place in August and pollination occurs by wind. Seeds mature in September and October and are dispersed by wind or water. The floating vegetative mats may provide a means of dispersal and assist in the establishment of new sites around the lake if clumps of the mat break off and wash ashore in a new location (Zinck 1997).

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3.4 3.4 Water Pennywort

3.4.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
May 2000, May 2014
Common Name (population)
Water Pennywort
Scientific Name
Hydrocotyle umbellata
COSEWIC Status
Special Concern
Reason for Designation
This species is known from only three disjunct lakeshore locations in southern Nova Scotia, one of which was discovered since the last assessment. Alterations and damage to shorelines from shoreline development and off-road vehicles are ongoing threats, and water level management is a potential threat at one lake. Increased competition from other plants caused by eutrophication is a potential major future threat
Canadian Occurrence
NS
COSEWIC Status History
Designated Endangered in April 1985. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in April 1999. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2000. Status re examined and designated Special Concern in May 2014.

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3.4.2 Description

Water Pennywort is a small herbaceous perennial plant with the leaf petiole growing to a height of 10 to 30 cm. The slender stem of this clonal plant creeps on sand or gravel (Gleason 1952). The small round leaves have shallow lobes that are erect or floating. Leaves occurring above the water measure 1 cm in diameter while those occurring below the water measure 3 cm in diameter (Wilson 1984). Small clusters of white flowers are located on short rays on a long, thin peduncle (Roland and Zinck 1998). Typically, 12 small hermaphroditic flowers are found on each plant (Vasseur et al. 2002). In the NS population, seeds are not produced, possibly due to low genetic diversity or the short northern season (Vasseur et al. 2002). Umbellata signifies parasol-shaped (Roland and Zinck 1998) and Hydrocotyle comes from the Greek work hydor, meaning water, and kotyle meaning a shallow cup (Roland and Zinck 1998).

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Figure 7. The Water Pennywort.
The Water-pennywort.
© NS Museum

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3.4.3 Populations and Distribution

Water Pennywort originated in the tropics and has spread north along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts (Roland 1976). It is considered a weed in many parts of the US where it grows abundantly. NS represents the northern limit of its range (Roland 1976, Wilson 1984). It is found on the shores of three lakes in southwestern NS; Kejimkujik Lake, located in Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site, Queens County, Wilsons Lake and Springhaven Duck Lake, Yarmouth County. Wilsons Lake is approximately 70 km southwest of Kejimkujik Lake. There are two known stands on Wilsons Lake and eight known stands on Kejimkujik Lake. At Wilsons Lake, one stand is 800 m long and the other is 100 m long, while both are several meters wide. These stands have remained relatively stable in size since 1985. Springhaven Duck Lake is less than 1km south of Wilsons Lake and drains into the Kiack Brook watershed. The population on Springhaven Duck Lake is mostly concentrated in the shallow southern cove and the eastern shoreline. At Kejimkujik Lake, most of the stands are relatively small in size. The unusually high number of dry summers in the park during the last decade has been beneficial to the plant. Therefore, at present, Water Pennywort populations within the park are doing well and have generally been expanding in size. Water Pennywort populations in Kejimkujik have been monitored annually since 2004 and have been stable over this period.

Water Pennywort has a Global Rank of G5 and a Sub-National Rank (S-Rank) of S1 in NS. See the table below for the S-Rank in US states where it occurs. It is legally protected under the NS ESA, where it is listed as Endangered and under Schedule 1 of SARA as Threatened.

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesAlabama (SNR), Arkansas (SNR), California (SNR), Connecticut (S1), Delaware (S5), Florida (SNR), Georgia (SNR), Indiana (SNR), Louisiana (SNR), Maryland (SNR), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNR), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), New Jersey (S4), New Mexico (SNR), New York (S3), North Carolina (S5), Ohio (S1), Oklahoma (SNR), Oregon (SNR), Pennsylvania (SH), Rhode Island (SNR), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (SNR), Texas (SNR), Virginia (S5)
CanadaNova Scotia (S1)

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3.4.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Water Pennywort

Water Pennywort is found primarily on sand or gravel lake shorelines in a narrow band above or below the waterline (Roland and Zinck 1998). It is generally found on lakeshores with soils that are acidic and nutrient poor. This species is often exposed to disturbances by wind, ice scour, and water fluctuations (Vasseur et al. 2002). Natural fluctuations of water levels from year to year and within a single growing season are instrumental by minimizing competition from other species. Water Pennywort is typically found growing in monocultures or with a low number of species (Vasseur et al. 2002). Rare associated species include Pink Coreopsis and Plymouth Gentian at Wilsons Lake, and Redtop Panic Grass, -+-+at Kejimkujik Lake (Wilson 1984).

Reproduction occurs asexually through stolons or runners, and through fragmentation. The stolon connection between leaves is maintained for a few months to 1.5 years, and can increase survivorship by allowing resources to be shared (Vasseur et al. 2002). In NS, flowering is sporadic and occurs between July and September (Roland and Zinck 1998). Observations indicate that flowering generally occurs in the drier sections of suitable habitat (Vasseur et al. 2002). Recent studies in NS have discovered that seed production is absent and there is low genetic diversity in the NS populations of Water Pennywort (Vasseur et al. 2002). Seed production before the first frost may not be possible because of the short growing season and late flowering date (Vasseur ete al. 2002). Low genetic diversity could also play a role in the absence of seed production and could impact this species' long-term ability to adapt and conform to changing environmental conditions (Newell 1998b).

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3.5 Redroot

3.5.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
May 2000, November 2009
Common Name (population)
Redroot
Scientific Name
Lachnanthes caroliniana
COSEWIC Status
Special Concern
Reason for Designation
A highly disjunct Atlantic Coastal Plain species restricted in Canada mainly to two connected, extensive, lakeshore populations in southern Nova Scotia. Comprehensive new surveys and other information indicate that the risk of extinction for this species is less than previously thought. Its lakeshore habitat has been subject to slow but steady loss and decline in quality due to cottage and residential development for 30 to 40 years. Losses are likely to continue through the foreseeable future with new development and intensification of existing development, but the proportion of habitat currently developed is still low and the species' locally widespread occurrence and asexual reproduction mitigates the threat of extirpation in the short term.
Canadian Occurrence
NS
COSEWIC Status History
Designated Threatened in April 1994. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2000. Status re-examined and designated Special Concern in November 2009.

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3.5.2 Description

Redroot is a perennial herb with yellow-green foliage, a pale green stem and a flowering stalk 20 to 40 cm tall. The vegetative plants have long, narrow leaves that are oriented vertically and those at the base of the flowering stalk are bright yellow green and are folded in half lengthwise (Keddy 1994). The leaves are up to 40 cm long and 1 cm wide and most occur close to the base of the stem (Scoggan 1978). A very low proportion of rosettes flowers in any given year in Nova Scotia, with inflorescences consisting of a cluster of 10 to 30 dull light-yellow flowers may be observed at the crown of the flowering stem. Pale, dense yellow hairs cover the top of the stem and the flower cluster. The capsule contains reddish-brown seeds that have a diameter of 2 3 mm (Scoggan 1978, Gleason 1952). The name Redroot refers to the slender, blood-red underground roots. Lachnanthes comes from the Greek words lachne and anthos, meaning wooly flower (Roland and Zinck 1998). Caroliniana means of the Carolinas (Roland and Zinck 1998).

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Figure 8. The Redroot.
The Redroot.
© NS Museum

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3.5.3 Populations and Distribution

Redroot ranges from NS and Massachusetts, south along the coast to Florida, and Louisiana (Roland and Zinck 1998). It is also found in Cuba (Roland and Zinck 1998). In NS, it occurs in a small area along the shorelines of seven lakes: Ponhook, Little Ponhook, Molega, Cameron, Hog, First Christopher, and Beartrap Lakes in Queens County (Roland and Zinck 1998). ). It was first discovered in NS in the early 1940s, but has only been relatively comprehensively surveyed in the past decade, with several hundred thousand rosettes now documented. Its flowering population is estimated at fewer than 1,200 plants.

Redroot has a Global Rank of G4 and a Sub-National Rank (S-Rank) of S2 in NS. See the table below for the S-Rank US states where it occurs. It is legally protected under the NS ESA, and under Schedule 1 of SARA, where it is listed as Special Concern.

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesAlabama (SNR), Connecticut (S1), Delaware (S1), Florida (SNR), Georgia (SNR), Louisiana (S2), Maryland (S1), Massachusetts (S3), Mississippi (SNR), New Jersey (S5), New York (S1), North Carolina (S4), Rhode Island (S1), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S1), Virginia (SH)
CanadaNova Scotia (S2)

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3.5.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Tubercled Spike-rush

Redroot grows on the shorelines of lakes on substrates such as peat, sand and gravel (Keddy 1994). Abundance is highest on windward cobble beaches of peat or gravel that face to the southwest, often in shoreline stands of Twigrush (Keddy 1994, Wisheu et al. 1994). Fluctuations in water levels control its distribution and abundance. Meadows of Twigrush are often associated with the presence of Redroot (Keddy 1994). Redroot is also sometimes associated with Goldencrest.

Plant reproduction occurs asexually and sexually through rhizomes, seeds and fragmentation. In NS, reproduction typically occurs asexually through the growth of vegetative plants from the rhizomes (Keddy 1994). Redroot flowers from August to September (Keddy 1994). Flowering individuals are rare and are typically located away from the water on the upper shoreline (Keddy 1994). Phenology and the type of reproduction are influenced by water levels. High water levels can inhibit flowering, seedling establishment and vegetative growth, whereas low levels can expose the buried seed bank, likely stimulating sexual reproduction. Fluctuating water levels are ideal because competitors would be removed during high water periods.

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3.6 Goldencrest

3.6.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
May 2000
Common Name (population)
Goldencrest
Scientific Name
Lophiola aurea
COSEWIC Status
Special Concern
Reason for Designation
In Canada, this Atlantic Coastal Plain plant is found only in Nova Scotia at a few lake shores and wetlands. The Canadian population primarily reproduces vegetatively and is genetically distinct and geographically disjunct from the nearest populations in New Jersey 800 km to the south. Revisions to the COSEWIC assessment criteria since the species' last assessment account, in part, for the change in its risk status. Recent intensive surveys have also determined that the population is larger than previously thought. However, the species is subject to ongoing threats from development and habitat alteration.
Canadian Occurrence
NS
COSEWIC Status History
Designated Threatened in April 1987. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 1999 and in May 2000. In May 2012 the status was changed to Special Concern.

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3.6.2 Description

Goldencrest is a perennial herb that grows up to 50 cm tall. It has a conspicuous whitish to pinkish-grey flowering stalk that is branched and covered by woolly hairs. Numerous small yellow flowers are located along the flowering stalks. The leaves at the base of the flowering stalk are grass-like, green with red at the base, and grow up to 30 cm in length (Keddy 1987b, Roland and Zinck 1998). The seeds are straw-coloured and are about 1 mm long (Gleason 1952). In the spring, it can be distinguished by the presence of persistent dried fruiting stalks from the previous season (Newell and Proulx 1998). Lophiola comes from the Greek, mane, and refers to the wooly inflorescence, and aurea signifies golden yellow, and refers to the yellow flowers (Roland and Zinck 1998).

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Figure 9. The Redroot.
The Redroot.
© NS Museum

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3.6.3 Populations and Distribution

In the US, Goldencrest ranges from New Jersey south to Florida and Mississippi (Roland and Zinck 1998). In Canada, it is found in NS on the shorelines of eight lakes: Beartrap, Hog, Ponhook and Little Ponhook and Molega Lakes in Queens County and Seven Mile, Fancy and Shingle Lakes in Lunenburg County. It is also found in four bogs: Dunraven Bog in Queens County, and Moores Lake Bog and Tiddville Bog in Digby County and Demones Run Bog in Lunenburg County. Two populations of Goldencrest have been extirpated in NS, including a small population on Brier Island and an extensive population on Digby neck. A third population recorded from "Sandy Cove" in 1949 has never been relocated. The Digby Neck population was extirpated due to diatomaceous earth mining and damming of the river that flowed through the wetland habitat (Newell 1998c). The total number of rosettes is very high, with many thousands at some sites, especially in the extensive occurrence around the shorelines of Ponhook Lake and Shingle Lake (east).

Goldencrest has a Global Rank of G4 and a Sub-National Rank (S-Rank) of S2 in NS. See the table below for the S-Rank in US states where it occurs. It is legally protected under the NS ESA, and under Schedule 1 of SARA, where it is listed as Threatened.

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesAlabama (S3S4), Delaware (SX), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S1?), Louisiana (S2S3), Mississippi (S4?), New Jersey (S4), North Carolina (S1)
CanadaNova Scotia (S2)

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3.6.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Goldencrest

Goldencrest occurs on a number of substrates from sand to peat to floating bog mats, and is consequently found in three habitats; cobble lakeshores, bay bogs and fens (Keddy 1987b). These habitat types have naturally occurring stresses and disturbances such as wave action, periodic flooding, infertile substrate and waterlogged conditions which prevent more aggressive, common plant species from invading. Lake populations often occur along cobble shorelines in locations where peat accumulates from stands of Twigrush (Newell 1998c). It is often associated with rare species such as Redroot, Buttonbush, and Long's Bulrush (Newell 1998c).

Reproduction is primarily vegetative with shoots developing from the rhizomes (Keddy 1987b). The production of seeds appears to be sporadic, and suggests that seed bank stores for this species are low (Newell 1998c). Fluctuating water conditions allow for flowering and seedling establishment when water levels are low, and the reduction of competition when water levels are high (Keddy 1987b). Flowering occurs in August and September and swollen capsules are formed around mid-September (Keddy 1987b, Roland and Zinck 1998). Goldencrest is insect pollinated (Newell and Proulx 1998).

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3.7 Plymouth Gentian

3.7.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
May 2000, November 2012
Common Name (population)
Plymouth Gentian
Scientific Name
Sabatia kennedyana
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Reason for Designation
This showy perennial lakeshore plant has a restricted global range with a disjunct distribution limited to southernmost Nova Scotia. There is a concern regarding potential widespread and rapid habitat degradation due to recent increases in levels of phosphorus in lakes, tied to a rapidly growing mink farming industry. Though the population size is now known to be larger than previously documented due to greatly increased survey effort, the species is also at risk due to the continuing impacts associated with shoreline development, and historical hydro-development.
Canadian Occurrence
NS
COSEWIC Status History
Designated Threatened in April 1984. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 1999 and in May 2000. In November 2012 it was reassessed as Endangered.

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3.7.2 Description

Plymouth Gentian is a showy herbaceous perennial with basal rosettes. It grows to a height of 30-50 cm in NS. Each plant bears 1 to 10 large pink flowers with yellow centers that grow at the end of long stalks (Keddy and Keddy 1983b). The plant has a single stem with opposite, sessile, lance-shaped leaves (Roland and Zinck 1998). The plants are stoloniferous, and the stolons terminate in leafy yellow green rosettes. The seed capsules are cylindrical and measure 7 to 11 mm in length. The plant is named kennedyana in honour of George Golding Kennedy, a New England botanist (1841-1918) (Roland and Zinck 1998).

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Figure 10. The Redroot.
The Redroot.
© NS Museum

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3.7.3 Populations and Distribution

Plymouth Gentian occurs in Massachusetts, North and South Carolina, Rhode Island, and southwestern NS (Zinck and Jensen 1998). In NS, it is located on the shores of 10 lakes in the Tusket River watershed including Wilsons, Gillfillan, Bennetts, Lac de l'École, Kegeshook, Pearl, Third, Lake Fanning, Agard, and Travis Lakes. It has been extirpated from Gavels Lake and Lake Vaughan as a result of alterations to water levels with the construction of a hydroelectric dam in 1929. It has also been extirpated from Canoe Lake for unknown reasons. Previous drafts of this recovery strategy referred to it being on Kempt Snare Lake. The original report for this was mislabelled and the lake has been searched extensively and no plants were found (ACCDC 2010 and 2013a).

The largest population is located on the shores of Wilsons Lake with an estimated population of several hundred thousand rosettes (COSEWIC 2012). The other lakes have significantly fewer plants; Gillfillan Lake has thousands of rosettes but most are vegetative in any one season. The NS population represents a significant proportion of the total global population (Keddy and Keddy 1983b; COSEWIC 2012). A small number of plants occur along the Tusket River between Pearl and Third Lakes (COSEWIC 2012).

Plymouth Gentian has a Global Rank of G3 and a Sub-National Rank (S-Rank) of S1 in NS. See the table below for the S rank in US states where it occurs. It is legally protected under the NS ESA, where it is listed as Endangered, and under Schedule 1 of SARA where it is listed as Threatened.

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesMassachusetts (S3), North Carolina (S1), Rhode Island (S1), South Carolina (S1), Virginia (SNA - introduced)
CanadaNova Scotia (S1)

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3.7.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Tubercled Spike-rush

The Plymouth Gentian is found on broad, infertile, gently sloping lakeshores of sand, cobblestone, gravel, or peat, in areas typically associated with glacial deposits of red till (Keddy 1984, Keddy 1985a). Seedlings typically occur on peat lenses kept together by Twigrush (Hill et al. 2006). Periodic water level fluctuations are necessary to exclude more aggressive, competitively superior native shrubs and plants. Ice scour and wave action also help to prevent the establishment of more invasive plants. It is commonly associated with species such as Grass Leaved Goldenrod (or Slender Fragrant Goldenrod), Twigrush, and Golden-Pert, as well as rare species such as Pink Coreopsis, Water Pennywort, Redtop Panic Grass, Southern-Rein Orchid, and Zigzag Bladderwort (Keddy and Keddy 1983b).

The main form of reproduction is vegetative through shoots called stolons. Each stolon terminates in a small leafy rosette, with flowering stems arising from the center of a small proportion of rosettes (Keddy and Keddy 1983b). Seed production is irregular and there is indication that this species has a small seed bank (Newell 1998d, Trant 2005). Seed production may be key to the persistence of Plymouth Gentian populations as the buoyant seeds act as a dispersal mechanism in the connected Tusket river system (Hill et al. 2006). Flowering takes place between mid-July and mid-September and is highest in years when water levels are low (Keddy and Keddy 1983b). The fruit capsules mature in late August following a 6-10 day anthesis. This species is pollinated by syrphid flies and solitary bees (Perry 1971, Trant 2005).

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3.8 Sweet Pepperbush

3.8.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
May 2001, May 2014
Common Name (population)
Sweet Pepperbush
Scientific Name
Clethra alnifolia
COSEWIC Status
Threatened
Reason for Designation
This disjunct Atlantic Coastal Plain clonal shrub is restricted to the shores of six lakes in a small area of southern Nova Scotia. Newly identified threats from the invasive exotic shrub Glossy Buckthorn and eutrophication have put this species at increased risk of extirpation. Shoreline development also remains a threat.
Canadian Occurrence
NS
COSEWIC Status History
Designated Threatened in April 1986. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 1998. Status re-examined and designated Special Concern in May 2001. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in May 2014.

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3.8.2 Description

Sweet Pepperbush is a long-lived perennial, deciduous woody shrub that commonly grows in dense thickets and reaches a height of 1 to 2 m (Roland and Zinck 1998, Silberhorn 1999). It has shiny, alternate, serrated leaves that are 7 to 15 cm long and oval or oblong (Roland and Zinck 1998, Silberhorn 1999). Its flowers are small, white, and fragrant, with five petals that are approximately 8 mm in length. The flower are in a raceme, meaning they are on short stalks clustered together along a central elongated axis (Roland and Zinck 1998, Silberhorn 1999). It flowers from mid August to mid-October, and produces green, globular, pubescent capsular fruit (approximately 0.5 cm wide) that becomes grey and peppercorn shaped by late autumn or early winter (Gleason 1952, Silberhorn 1999). Seed production may be limited in Nova Scotia. Its name is derived from its fragrant sweet flowers and grey peppercorn-shaped capsules (Silberhorn 1999).

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Figure 11. The Sweet Pepperbush.
The Sweet Pepperbush.
© NS Museum

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3.8.3 Populations and Distribution

Sweet Pepperbush ranges from Texas and Florida, north to Maine, with a disjunct population in southwestern NS. In NS, this species is located along the shores of six lakes: Belliveau Lake in Digby County, Louis and Canoe Lakes in Yarmouth County, and a single connected population on Mill, Mudflat, and Pretty Mary Lakes in Annapolis County. Populations are large on Belliveau Lake (16,000 stems estimated) and at the Mill-Mudflat-Pretty Mary Lake population (27,700 stems estimated), though total number of genetic individuals is much lower because almost all observed reproduction is vegetative. Louis Lake is estimated to have 1,700 stems and Canoe Lake supports a single pepperbush plant that had 4 stems in 2011.

Sweet Pepperbush has a Global Rank of G5 and a Sub-National Rank (S-Rank) of S1 in NS. See the table below for the S-Rank in US states where it occurs. It is legally protected under the NS ESA, where it is listed as Vulnerable and under Schedule 1 of SARA as a species of Special Concern.

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesAlabama (S5), Connecticut (SNR), Delaware (S5), District of Columbia (SNR), Florida (SNR), Georgia (SNR), Louisiana (S4), Maine (S2), Maryland (SNR), Massachusetts (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), New Hampshire (SNR), New Jersey (S5), New York (S5), North Carolina (S5), Pennsylvania (SNR), Rhode Island (SNR), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S1), Texas (SNR), Virginia (SNR)
CanadaNova Scotia (S1)

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3.8.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Tubercled Spike-rush

Sweet Pepperbush is found on unshaded shorelines that are often granite bouldered (Taschereau 1986). In contrast to other ACPF species, it occurs in areas that are protected from disturbances from wave and ice scour and is found in low catchment area lakes (Hill et al. 2000). Species frequently associated with Sweet Pepperbush include Sweet Gale and Black Huckleberry. At lower frequencies, Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica), Photinia spp. Chokeberry species, Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata) and Red Maple (Acer rubrum) are also associated with Sweet Pepperbush (Taschereau 1986).

In NS, reproduction is almost entirely vegetative by growth of suckers (Newell 2001). Flowering takes place between mid-August and mid-October, however, the ovules are typically not maturing to seed despite an abundance of pollinators during flowering. The reasons for limited sexual reproduction are not yet understood (Roland and Zinck 1998), and recent evidence indicates that some seedling production may occur occasionally (Hill et al. 2000).

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3.9 New Jersey Rush

3.9.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
May 2004
Common Name (population)
New Jersey Rush
Scientific Name
Juncus caesariensis
COSEWIC Status
Special Concern
Reason for Designation
The species is a globally rare plant found along the periphery of 25* bogs and fens in a geographically restricted area of southeastern Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The Canadian population is estimated at 5000 -10,000 plants that comprise a large proportion of the global population. The Canadian plants are widely disjunct from sites along the U.S. Atlantic seaboard where the species is also quite rare. It is sensitive to activities that alter the hydrological regime of its habitat such as logging, road construction and in-filling.
Canadian Occurrence
NS
COSEWIC Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1992. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2004.

* As of 2007 Juncus caesariensis is located in 30 bogs and fens.

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3.9.2 Description

New Jersey Rush is a perennial rhizomatous herb reaching a height of 40-70 cm (Gleason 1952). The leaves are elongated, rough to the touch, and cylindrical, with regularly spaced divided walls or septa. The small green inconspicuous flowers are found in scattered clusters. The dark brown fruit capsules are sharply pointed and extend beyond the surrounding floral parts, holding seeds with well-developed tails that are 2-2.3 mm long (Gleason 1952, Roland and Zinck 1998). The long period of isolation of this population from other world populations is believed to have led to genetic variation between the two groups (Newell and Newell 1992).

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Figure 12. The New Jersey Rush.
The New Jersey Rush.
© NS Museum

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3.9.3 Populations and Distribution

New Jersey Rush ranges from southern New Jersey and Maryland to northeastern Virginia (Roland and Zinck 1998). In Canada it is found in NS on Cape Breton Island, from Lower L'Ardoise to Fourchu, Cape Breton County and inland west to Loch Lomond (Roland and Zinck 1998). This species deviates from the typical distribution of ACPF, which are generally located in southwestern NS. It is found in 30 bogs and fens (Table 7) and its population was estimated in the last status report (Newell 2004) at of 5000 to 10,000 mature individuals. Many new sites have been found since then and additional wetland surveys could find more individuals. There is a low rescue effect as immigration is unlikely from the closest nearby population in New Jersey (Newell 2004). This species is globally rare and consequently the NS population represents a significant proportion of the total global population (Newell 2004).

New Jersey Rush has a Global Rank of G2 and a Sub-National Rank (S-Rank) of S1S2 in NS. See the table below for the S-Rank in US states where it occurs. It is legally protected under the NS ESA, where it is listed as Vulnerable and under Schedule 1 of SARA as a species of Special Concern.

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesMaryland (S1), New Jersey (S2), North Carolina (S1), Virginia (S2)
CanadaNova Scotia (S1S2)

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3.9.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Tubercled Spike-rush

New Jersey Rush is found on the edges of small bays or coves of bogs and fens, and in small boggy openings in coniferous woods (Newell and Newell 1992). It requires early successional or open conditions because it cannot compete with woody species. It is found in wet areas but does not tolerate prolonged standing water conditions (Newell 2004). Moderate disturbance (as are found along animal trails through peatlands) are important as they enhance growth of New Jersey Rush by removing competing vegetation (Newell 2004). It is sensitive to hydrological changes and is negatively affected by events such as site drainage or flooding (Newell 2004). In July 1991, five sites in the Point Michaud region were sampled for pH levels and peat depth (Newell 2004). The pH ranged from 4.07-5.52 and peat depths ranged from 40 cm to >2 m (Newell 2004). Associated species include but are not limited to, Black Spruce (Picea mariana), Pickering's Reed Grass, Coastal Sedge, Three-leaved False Soloman's Seal (Maianthemum trifolium), Northern Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea), and Pale Bog Laurel (Newell and Newell 1992).

Reproduction is achieved mainly asexually through the division of the rhizome. Sexual reproduction is known to occur infrequently in the US. Seed production has not been observed in NS (Newell 2004), but it has not been studied intensively and must occur to some degree given the extent of the species' occurrence. Flowering occurs in July and August, and fruit is produced from August to October. Pollination occurs by wind. The relative level of self pollination compared to cross pollination is yet to be determined (Schuyler 1990).

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3.10 Eastern Lilaeopsis

3.10.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
May 2004
Common Name (population)
Eastern Lilaeopsis
Scientific Name
Lilaeopsis chinensis
COSEWIC Status
Special Concern
Reason for Designation
Small perennial herb reproducing both by seed and extensively by vegetative spread. It is geographically highly restricted and present in Canada at only three* estuaries in Nova Scotia. The area of occupancy is very small but the population is large. No declines of significance have been documented over the last 15 years. It does not appear to have any imminent threats; however, future shoreline development or degradation could destroy extant populations.
Canadian Occurrence
NS
COSEWIC Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1987 and in May 2004.

* As of 2007 Eastern Lilaeopsis is now known to occur in five estuaries.

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3.10.2 Description

Eastern Lilaeopsis is a small, semi-aquatic, perennial herb that grows close to the substrate on shorelines in the intertidal zone (Holder 2004). The short, dark green leaves are a few centimetres long and grow at irregular intervals along a slender horizontal rhizome (Keddy 1987a, Roland and Zinck 1998). The peduncle or flower stalks are up to 8 cm long (Scoggan 1978). At the top of the flowering stem, tiny white flowers with five petals occur in clusters of 5 to 7 (Keddy 1987a). The flowers are arranged in an umbel, meaning each pedicle (the stalk supporting the individual flower) originates from the same point. The fruit is ovoid and approximately 2 mm in length (Gleason 1952). It is named chinensis because the early botanist Carl Linnaeus erroneously believed it originated in China (Roland and Zinck 1998).

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Figure 13. The Eastern Lilaeopsis.
The Eastern Lilaeopsis.
© NS Museum

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3.10.3 Populations and Distribution

Eastern Lilaeopsis ranges along the Atlantic Coast from NS to Florida, and west to Mississippi along the coast (Isnor 1981, Roland and Zinck 1998). In Canada, Eastern Lilaeopsis occurs in NS in six river estuaries: Tusket and Annis Rivers in Yarmouth County, La Have River in Lunenburg County, Medway River in Queens County, Roseway River in Shelburne County, and River Philip in Cumberland County (Roland and Zinck 1998, Boates, pers. com. 2006, Klymko, pers. com. 2006). In 2010 it was found in the tidal lake of Pleasant Lake upriver from the previously known Annis River site. It is abundant at all known locations, with many thousands of plants. The area of occupancy is very small but the population is relatively large. The rescue effect is low as immigration is unlikely from the nearest populations in the US Atlantic states (Holder 2004).

Eastern Lilaeopsis has a Global Rank of G5 and in NS a Sub-National Rank (S-Rank) of S2. See the table below for the S-Rank in US states where it occurs. It is legally protected under the NS ESA, where it is listed as Vulnerable and is listed under Schedule 1 of SARA as a species of Special Concern.

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesAlabama (SNR), Connecticut (S3), Delaware (S5), Florida (SNR), Georgia (SNR), Louisiana (SNR), Maine (S2), Maryland (SNR), Massachusetts (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), New Hampshire (S2), New Jersey (S4), New York (S2), North Carolina (S3?), Rhode Island (S1), South Carolina (SNR), Virginia (S5)
CanadaNova Scotia (S2)

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3.10.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Eastern Lilaeopsis

Eastern Lilaeopsis is found in the intertidal zone along the shorelines of estuaries, mainly on gentle, muddy slopes, and occasionally on gentle slopes of fine gravel (Environment Canada 2000, Roland and Zinck 1998). All five populations are near the mouth of large rivers in elongated, narrow estuaries cut off from the open ocean (Keddy 1987a). It grows well in the intertidal zone, and is submerged under up to 2 m of water for part of each day (Keddy 1987a). However, in controlled settings this species also does well in drier conditions and in freshwater (Affolter 1985). It is mainly found where Saltwater Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) dominates the intertidal river shore, and is sometimes associated with Sea Milkwort (Glaux maritima) and Seaside Plantain (Plantago maritima). The level of tolerance to competing vegetation is unclear (Holder 2004).

Reproduction is both vegetative through the elongation and branching of the rhizome and by seed. The main form of reproduction appears to be vegetative. Flowering occurs between August and mid-September, and specific pollination mechanisms are unknown (Holder 2004). Approximately 5-7 seeds are produced per umbel (Keddy 1987a). Seed dispersal is presumably through the water using tidal fluctuations and water currents (Holder 2004). Buoyancy is enhanced through the spongy tissue in the seed, which may allow the seed to float over considerable distances (Holder 2004).

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3.11 Long's Bulrush

3.11.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
April 1994
Common Name (population)
Long's Bulrush
Scientific Name
Scirpus longii
COSEWIC Status
Special Concern
Reason for Designation
Restricted range and limited sexual reproduction with significant reduction of one site due to road development.
Canadian Occurrence
NS
COSEWIC Status History
Designated Special Concern in April 1994.

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3.11.2 Description

Long's Bulrush is a slow growing perennial that grows in circular clusters, with flowering stems reaching a height of 1.5 m. Leafy shoots first appear at the growing ends of thick underground rhizomes just under the surface of the substrate (Hill 1992). These shoots create ring-shaped clusters, which can form large colonies. The largest clusters measure 5 to 10 m in diameter and were estimated to be 150 to 400 years old based on a colony with a 1 m width that was about 40 years old based on growth rings on the rhizome (Hill 1992). The tough, serrated leaves are most often bent over close to the top and are approximately 60 to 80 cm long and 5 to 10 mm wide (Gleason 1952). The flowers are in small spikelets which are 5 to 8 mm long (Gleason 1952, Roland and Zinck 1998). Long's Bulrush flowers when disturbed. The bracts (modified leaves at base of flower or flower cluster) are black and on humid days are sticky. The scales are blackish and approximately 3 mm long, while the achenes (fruit) are brown or reddish and 0.8 mm long with five bristles (Gleason 1952, Hill 1992). In early September the leaves turn a golden colour and the plant dies back to its base. The plants are submerged from November till April and during this time new yellowish green leaves begin forming that are 8 cm long by early May. It is named longii after its discoverer, Bayard Long (Roland and Zinck 1998).

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Figure 14. Long's Bulrush.
Long's Bulrush.
© NS Museum

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3.11.3 Populations and Distribution

In the US, Long's Bulrush ranges from New Jersey to Maine. In Canada, it occurs in peatlands and occasionally on lakeshores in southern Nova Scotia, with known populations spread between Wilsons Lake in Yarmouth County and Smith Lake and Demones Run in Lunenburg County. It is known from lake-associated habitats at Shingle, Wilsons, Ponhook, Little Ponhook, Molega, Hog, Moosehorn, Lac de l'Ecole, Ten Mile, First Christopher, Kejimkujik, George and Loon Lakes; from river-associated habitats on the Pleasant, Mersey, Wildcat and Medway Rivers and Demones Run; and from large peatlands at Dunraven Bog, Eighteen Mile Brook, Quinns Meadow, Wilkins Lake, Bull Moose Lake, Big Sixteen Mile Bay of Lake Rossignol, Smith Lake, Little Rocky Lake, Barren Meadow Brook, and Blue Hill Bog Brook. Knowledge of the occurrences of Long's Bulrush in Nova Scotia is less complete than is the case with most other legally-listed ACPF. In the past decade it has been found at 26 new locations (AC CDC 2014; locations there defined based on a 1 km separation distance, so some large lakes have several locations), generally in habitats that are fairly common in southwestern Nova Scotia, so a considerable number of additional locations likely remain to be discovered. The unit by which population is measured for a future COSEWIC update report would be the rosette (a cluster of leaves from a single shoot coming off a rhizome), because the species can reproduce via rhizome fragmentation (Hill 1992). The number of rosettes is likely in the tens or hundreds of thousands at a few of the largest sites (Pleasant River and the west end of Shingle Lake, Ponhook Lake around Grassy Point and Eighteen Mile Brook) and is in the thousands at a number of other sites. The number of genetic individuals would be vastly lower because of the preponderance of vegetative reproduction.

Little is known about whether Canadian populations are expanding or declining. In the U.S., the species has been extirpated from New York, and two populations have been extirpated from Massachusetts.

Long's Bulrush has a Global Rank of G2G3 and a Sub-National Rank (S-Rank) of S2S3 in NS. See the table below for the S-Rank in US states where it occurs. It is legally protected under the NS ESA, where it is listed as Vulnerable and under Schedule 3 of SARA as a species of Special Concern.

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesConnecticut (SH), Maine (S2), Massachusetts (S2), New Hampshire (S1), New Jersey (S2), New York (SX), Rhode Island (S1)
CanadaNova Scotia (S2S3)

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3.11.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Long's Bulrush

Long's Bulrush is found in five wetland habitats including stillwater peatlands, inland fens, lakeshore bay bogs, lakeshore barrier bogs and peat lakeshores (Hill 1992). It is located on peat substrates where competition from shrubs is minimal due to waterlogged conditions or ice scour, a low pH and low available nutrients (Hill 1992). It tends to grow in the most waterlogged areas of these habitats, where shrub growth is suppressed (Hill and Johansson 1992). It tends to be located in sheltered areas such as coves and on east-facing shores (Wisheu et al. 1994). Stillwater meadows and fen habitats contain the oldest and largest colonies of Long's Bulrush and this may be correlated with lower levels of ice scouring (Hill 1992).

Flowering occurs very infrequently at all populations except for the colony at Lac de l'Ecole, which flowers annually. The main form of reproduction is vegetative through underground rhizomes. Leafy shoots develop from the growing ends of rhizomes and form colonies that slowly grow outwardly in a circular pattern. Flowering occurs between June and early July, and (except for Lac de l'Ecole) appears to be dependent on disturbance like OHV damage, fire, muskrat grazing, and road building (Schuyler and Stasz 1985, Hill 1992). It is assumed that this species is wind pollinated, and seed dispersal occurs by water or wind (Hill 1992). However, because seed production is infrequent, fragments of rhizome dislodged from ice scour or muskrat herbivory may play an important role in dispersal (Hill 1992).

When flowering, Long's Bulrush can hybridize with the weedy and common Wooly Bulrush (Scirpus cyperinus), which is widespread in disturbed areas (MacKay et al. 2008). Hybridization of these two species has been observed in NS in two bogs that have been disturbed (MacKay et al. 2008). Reduction or elimination of disturbance that would increase Wooly Bulrush populations in the vicinity of Long's Bulrush should help to maintain the genetic integrity of this species.

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3.12 Eastern Baccharis

3.12.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
November 2011 (New)
Common Name (population)
Eastern Baccharis
Scientific Name
Baccharis halimifolia
COSEWIC Status
Threatened
Reason for Designation
The species is an Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora species. A rare Canadian disjunct shrub restricted to very specific salt marsh habitat in southern Nova Scotia. Its coastal habitat is declining due to increasing shoreline development. Further, climate change effects, including rising sea level and increasing and more frequent storm surges, will cause habitat loss and degradation as well as impact individuals over the next few decades.
Canadian Occurrence
NS
COSEWIC Status History
Designated Threatened in November 2011.

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3.12.2 Description

Eastern Baccharis is a densely branched and often multi-stemmed, perennial, woody shrub in the Aster family that occurs in the upper margins of saltmarshes and beaches. It is typically 1 to 3 metres tall in Canada, but is known to reach 6 m in more southern areas. Although Eastern Baccharis can be evergreen in most of its global range, it is semi-deciduous or deciduous in the northern United States, and is completely deciduous in Canada. Eastern Baccharis is dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are on separate plants. Male and female shrubs do not differ in vegetative characteristics. Flower heads contain 20 to 30 florets (small individual flowers) and are whitish, but profuse pollen production often gives male flowers a yellow colour. The achenes (seeds) are firmly attached to a tuft of 10 to 14 mm long white bristles (the pappus), which aids in wind and water dispersal and protrudes from the receptacle in fruit, making female shrubs much showier during seed dispersal than during flowering. A more detailed and fully referenced description is available in COSEWIC (2011).

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Figure 15. Eastern Baccharis.
Eastern Baccharis
Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913

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3.12.3 Populations and Distribution

Eastern Baccharis occurs in eastern North and Central America and the northern Caribbean (COSEWIC 2011; Figure 1). The majority of its range is along the Gulf of Mexico and United States' Atlantic coast from Veracruz, Mexico to northern Massachusetts but it also occurs inland to Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee, with some inland occurrences representing colonization beyond its historic natural range. Eastern Baccharis is also native to Cuba and the Bahamas. Eastern Baccharis becomes more restricted to the coast in the northern end of its continuous distribution, from Virginia to Massachusetts.

Canadian occurrences are restricted to a 13 km wide x 12 km long coastal region of extreme southwestern Nova Scotia (Figure 2) east of Yarmouth, with a single individual a further 12 km southeast at West Pubnico. Within this small range, Eastern Baccharis is highly concentrated in a few sites on the Tusket River Estuary and Lobster Bay. A 300m x 250m area on Morris Island, Lobster Bay and a 400m x 100m area near Bird Point on the Tusket River Estuary each support over 1,000 individuals and together make up more than 70% of the known population. This concentration makes the species very susceptible to large, rapid population declines if development, storm events or other impacts were to affect the key sites. The total Canadian population is estimated at 2,850 individuals. Population trends in Canada are unknown. Small declines are likely occurring with shoreline development. Sea level rise and increased storm impacts associated with climate change may be a threat now or in the future, but current and future impacts are poorly understood.

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesSecure (S5) : Delaware, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Virginia Not Ranked (SNR*) in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas
Vulnerable (S3): Pennsylvania
Imperilled (S2): Rhode Island
CanadaCritically Imperilled (S1): Nova Scotia

* SNR - frequently but not necessarily indicating a lack of conservation concern

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3.12.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Long's Bulrush

Rangewide, Eastern Baccharis occurs in open coastal forests, dune thickets, beaches and saline to freshwater intertidal marshes dominated by herbaceous or shrubby species (Penfound and Hathaway 1938; Mahler and Waterfall 1964; Allain and Grace 2001). In the southern United States, it can also be found in anthropogenically disturbed habitats such as fields, waste areas, roadsides and railways (Boldt 1989; Lance 2004).

In Canada, Eastern Baccharis occurs in a more restricted range of coastal habitats. Known occurrences are in unshaded or partially shaded sites on the margins of well-developed salt marshes or on upper beaches, usually fronted by saltmarsh. Occurrences are above the extent of daily tidal inundation and all of the Canadian population is in estuaries or bays that provide significant protection from onshore wind and waves. The species is most often found in the upland fringe of salt marshes, in or near the transition zone to coastal forest, where soil salinity is lower and vegetation cover is predominantly graminoids and low shrubs. These habitats include both halophytic and non-halophytic species commonly including Saltwater Cordgrass, Freshwater Cordgrass, Tick Quackgrass (Thinopyrum pycnanthum), New Belgium Aster (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii), Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens), Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana), Black Huckleberry, Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica), Winterberry Holly, Red Maple and Red or White Spruce (Picea rubens or P. glauca).

Climate likely plays a major role in limiting the species' Canadian distribution. Through the influence of ocean currents, the coastal zone of southwestern Nova Scotia from Digby to Liverpool, especially the area around Yarmouth where Eastern Baccharis occurs, has the warmest Canadian winters outside of southern British Columbia (USDA 1990), with temperatures considerably milder than the coast of Maine at the same latitudes (USDA 1990; Agriculture and Agrifood Canada 2000). The fact that the small islands and points on which Eastern Baccharis occurs within the Tusket River Estuary and Lobster Bay are surrounded by water that generally remains open through the winter likely further moderates winter temperatures.

Observations in Nova Scotia suggest that frequency and duration of flooding, exposure to wave action, and shading from tree cover are important limiting factors on a more local scale. At its Nova Scotian occurrences, Eastern Baccharis' is typically the woody species extending furthest into the saltmarsh from terrestrial habitats, suggesting it can tolerate higher salinity levels than other Nova Scotia shrubs. Studies elsewhere have verified tolerance of a range of soil and groundwater salinity levels (Young et al. 1994; Westman et al. 1975), but have shown intolerance to prolonged high-salinity conditions (Tolliver et al. 1997). Eastern Baccharis appears to occur only in areas above the zone subject to daily tidal flooding. At Morris Island, a few mature plants lowest in the saltmarsh were visibly unhealthy, with some dead, perhaps indicating effects of ongoing sea level rise (Blaney and Mazerolle pers. obs. 2010).

The species' tolerance of salinity is likely important in enabling it to avoid competition from shrubs and trees that may be superior competitors in less saline habitats because of greater cold tolerance or other factors. Competition from taller woody plants appears to be a significant limitation because at all known Canadian sites, individuals seem to be restricted to open and semi-open areas, where tree cover does not exceed 60% (Blaney and Mazerolle pers. obs. 2006 2010). Studies elsewhere indicate that both fruit production and seed germination are considerably reduced under dense shade (Westman et al. 1975).

Limitation by wave action is suggested by the species' restriction to a sheltered estuary system and the fact that Eastern Baccharis occurrences within the estuary are mostly within highly sheltered bays or behind wide saltmarshes that offer further protection from heavy wave action. The life stages at which the above limitations are important, and the relative importance of limitations caused by physiological effects of soil saturation and salinity vs. those caused by physical damage from waves are unknown.

Within its narrow coastal habitat, and aside from the effects of salinity and flooding noted above, soil type and chemistry do not appear to significantly limit the species in Nova Scotia. Occurrences are in a region of generally acidic soils, and soils in which it grows include some with high organic content and some sandy or gravelly sites. Elsewhere Eastern Baccharis is known to thrive in a wide variety of substrates from pure sand to pure clay (Dirr and Heuser 1987), and studies indicate tolerance of a wide range of soil pH (3.6 to 9) and available nutrients (560-5500 ppm Kjeldhal nitrogen and 4-73 ppm phosphorous; Westman et al. 1975).

Availability of viable seeds and suitable microsites for seedling establishment and growth to maturity is a critical long-term need for Eastern Baccharis in the face of rising sea levels that will likely make currently occupied sites unsuitable. As a small, isolated occurrence, the Canadian population of Eastern Baccharis could be subject to genetic founder effects that limit seed production or viability (Ellstrand et al. 1993). No Canadian research on seed production and viability or seedling establishment has yet been undertaken.  

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3.13 Spotted Pondweed

3.13.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
(no COSEWIC assessment); July 2013 for NS ESA (New)
Common Name (population)
Spotted Pondweed
Scientific Name
Potamogeton pulcher
COSEWIC Status
Never evaluated
Nova Scotia ESA Status
Vulnerable
Reason for Designation
A freshwater aquatic plant of the Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora found within Canada almost exclusively in southwest Nova Scotia in highly acidic, nutrient-poor lakes and rivers. The most imminent threats are any activities that change water quality or quantity especially those that may enrich nutrient levels and increase competition from other plants
Canadian Occurrence
NS, ON (historic)
COSEWIC Status History
Never evaluated.
Nova Scotia ESA Status History
Designated Vulnerable July 2013

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3.13.2 Description

Spotted Pondweed is an aquatic herbaceous plant with annual stems arising from perennial rhizomes. Its vertical stem length varies with water depth from a few cm when stranded by receding water levels to 95+ cm in deeper water. Stems are usually conspicuously dark-spotted, especially toward the base. Both submersed and floating leaves are produced, with the submersed leaves 4-14 cm long, lance-shaped and having a fine, filmy texture, and the floating leaves 2-8 cm long and thicker with rounder tips. Buoyed by the floating leaves, the inflorescences are dense spikes of tiny flowers held just above the water's surface. Inflorescences are 2-3.5 cm long and 8-11 mm thick when in fruit.

The species is most similar to Large-leaved Pondweed (Potamogeton amplifolius) and is known to hybridize with that species in Nova Scotia and elsewhere. Spotted Pondweed is distinguished from Large-leaved Pondweed as follows: stem conspicuously dark-spotted (vs. not spotted); submersed leaves usually not arched (vs. arched), 1-2.5 cm wide (vs. up to 7.5 cm wide), with 7 19 (vs. 19-49) veins; floating leaves cordate or rounded (vs. wedge-shaped or rounded) at base with 15-19 (vs. 27-49) veins; fruit rounded or lobed (vs. wedge-shaped) at base (Mazerolle and Blaney 2010).

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Figure 16. Spotted Pondweed.
Spotted Pondweed.
Holmgren (1998), with permission.

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3.13.3 Populations and Distribution

Spotted Pondweed is found in the eastern United States and just into adjacent Canada, with the northern margin of its range in southern Nova Scotia, southern Maine, and the northern parts of New York, Michigan and Minnesota. It extends west to Minnesota, Missouri and southeast Texas. The species has a distinct affinity for the Atlantic Coastal Plain, with the densest documentation of records occurring between southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts and southern Texas, especially in the coastal regions north of North Carolina. It is otherwise rare in all states in which it occurs, except for Tennessee and Oklahoma. Nova Scotia populations are a minimum of 220 km northeast of the next nearest sites in Penobscot County, Maine and are thus significantly disjunct and presumably genetically isolated. (Mazerolle and Blaney 2010).

In Canada it is scattered in the southern half of Nova Scotia and there is one record from Rondeau Bay on Lake Erie in southernmost Ontario, but it has not been documented in Ontario since 1948 and may be extirpated there. New fieldwork since 2007 has significantly increased the known distribution of Spotted Pondweed in Nova Scotia. Almost all records are in the ACPF zone between southern Lunenburg County and southern Digby County, with two additional records from Halifax County, the northernmost from Upper Musquodoboit. Reports from elsewhere (Grand Lake in Annapolis County, Grand Etang in Inverness County, Chain Lake Brook in Colchester County) are either known to be incorrectly identified or are dubious and unsupported by specimens. The abundance of unsurveyed acidic lakes in southwest Nova Scotia similar to known sites, and the frequency with which new locations have been discovered in the past ten years strongly suggests that a fair number of additional locations could be discovered. However, the overall proportion of surveyed lakes in southern Nova Scotia found to have the species is low, so Spotted Pondweed is clearly uncommon. As of November 2014, Spotted Pondweed is known from Mill, Raynards, Salmon and Long Lakes in Yarmouth County; Belliveau, Sears* and Placides Lakes in Digby County; Molega, McBride and Carrigan Lakes and the Medway River* (three different sites) in Queens County; Shingle, Hirtle and Rhodenizer Lakes and "Maitland Pond"* (not a name in current use, but likely corresponds to one of Little Lake, Langille Little Lake or Naas Lake near Maitland) in Lunenburg County; and the Upper Musquodoboit area* in Halifax County. Asterisked sites are known only from historic records but may still be extant. (Mazerolle and Blaney 2010).

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesAlabama (SNR), Arkansas (S3), Connecticut (SNR), Delaware (S5), Florida (SNR), Georgia (SNR), Illinois (S1), Indiana (S1), Kentucky (S1S2), Louisiana (SNR), Maine (S1), Maryland (SNR), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (S2), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (S2S3), New Hampshire (SNR), New Jersey (S3S4), New York (S2), North Carolina (S4), Ohio (S2), Oklahoma (SNR), Pennsylvania (S1), Rhode Island (SNR), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (SNR), Texas (SNR), Vermont (SNR), Virginia (S4), West Virginia (S1), Wisconsin (S1)
CanadaNova Scotia (S1S2), Ontario (SH)

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3.13.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Spotted Pondweed

Little published research is available on Spotted Pondweed's specific habitat requirements and ecology. Available information is largely based on qualitative field observations. Throughout its global range, Spotted Pondweed is reported to occur in various types of stagnant to slow-flowing aquatic habitats including lakes, ponds, muddy or peaty pools, rivers, slow-flowing streams and runnels in bogs. It is generally a species of acidic waters, but can also be found in waters with nearly neutral pH levels (Williams 1997).

Most confirmed populations in Nova Scotia are found in lakes, with river populations coming from larger rivers, which may have been in lake-like slow-flowing pools or stillwaters. Data collected in recent surveys indicates that the species is mainly found growing on muddy substrates at depths of approximately 10 cm to about 2 m, often within fairly dense stands composed of several submersed and emergent species. Plants at some sites (Carrigan Lake and Rhodenizer Lake) have been observed near shores within zones where water has receded entirely in the late summer, stranding plants on mud and peaty organic soil. An ability to tolerate extreme water level fluctuations is also suggested by Spotted Pondweed's occurrence on the Raynards Lake reservoir, where water levels fluctuate dramatically with Nova Scotia Power management. Commonly associated species include Pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata), Algae-like pondweed (Potamogeton confervoides), Purple bladderwort (Utricularia purpurea), Greater bladderwort (Utricularia macrorhiza), Seven-angled pipewort (Eriocaulon aquaticum), Yellow cowlily (Nuphar lutea ssp. variegata), American water-lily (Nymphaea odorata), Floating-heart, Nuttall pondweed (Potamogeton epihydrus) and Water lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna) (Mazerolle and Blaney 2010). All recently surveyed populations occur in oligotrophic to mesotrophic water bodies in clear to moderately turbid conditions.

Spotted Pondweed reproduces vegetatively by rhizome growth and fragmentation and sexually by seeds, which are moved by water and by animals. Anthropogenic processes or activities most likely to impact the habitat and biological needs of Spotted Pondweed are: 1) eutrophication of acidic, nutrient-poor lake habitat through industrial agriculture (especially mink farming), fish processing or other activities, which would likely act on the species through increased competition from more common native species; 2) habitat removal or alteration for development such as dock building or infilling into shallow water; 3) establishment of dense populations of invasive species such as Floating-hearts that might outcompete the species; 4) major, long-term water level alteration through dam creation or removal. (Mazerolle and Blaney 2010).

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3.14 Tall Beakrush

3.14.1 Species Assessment Information from COSEWIC

Date of Assessment
November 2014
Common Name (population)
Tall Beakrush
Scientific Name
Rhynchospora macrostachya
COSEWIC Status
Endangered
Reason for Designation
In Canada, this perennial sedge only occurs along two acidic, peaty lakeshores in southwestern Nova Scotia, where it is disjunct from its main U.S. Atlantic Coastal Plain distribution. Its small population size (ca 700 individuals total in two subpopulations) and very specific habitat needs make it vulnerable to lakeshore development, water regulation (for hydroelectric power), and shading and competition from introduced invasive plants such as Glossy Buckthorn, which benefit from increased concentrations of nutrients in these two lakes.
Canadian Occurrence
NS
COSEWIC Status History
Designated Endangered in November 2014.

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3.14.2 Description

Tall Beakrush is a perennial, herbaceous sedge. Flowering stems, arising from a dense clump of basal leaves, reach 150 – 170 cm in the United States and about 100 cm in Canada. Flowers are enclosed within brown scales, with each having male and female parts and six elongate, barbed bristles. Fertilized flowers develop into a hard, flattened achene 5 to 6 mm long, topped by a greatly elongated tubercle.

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Figure 17. Tall Beakrush.
Tall Beakrush.
Britton and Brown (1913)

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3.14.3 Populations and Distribution

Tall Beakrush is predominantly a species of the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains between southern Maine, northeastern Florida, and Louisiana, but it also occurs in southeast Michigan and adjacent Indiana, eastern Oklahoma and adjacent areas of Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas, and along the Tennessee-Alabama border. Isolated records are reported for Kentucky, and northern New York. Reports from Illinois, Mississippi and Vermont are erroneous. The Canadian occurrence is restricted to two lakes, Carrigan Lake and Molega Lake, which are 23 km apart in southern Nova Scotia and which are part of the Mersey and Medway watershed groupings, respectively. The vast majority of individuals (688, or 95%) are found on Carrigan Lake (AC CDC 2013). This occurrence is isolated from others further south by 468 km and is the northernmost worldwide, suggesting potential significance to the species' range-wide genetic diversity. The Canadian population supports less than 1% of the global population.

Tall Beakrush has a Global Rank of G4, a rank of N1 (Critically Imperilled) in Canada, and a Sub-National Rank (S-Rank) of S1 in NS. See the table below for the S-Rank in US states where it occurs.

US & Canada State/Province Status: S-Ranks (Source, 2006: http://www.natureserve.org)
United StatesAlabama (SNR), Arkansas (SNR), Connecticut (S1S2), Delaware (S4), District of Columbia (SNR), Florida (SNR), Georgia (SU), Indiana (S2), Kansas (S2), Kentucky (S1), Louisiana (SNR), Maine (S1), Maryland (SNR), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (S3S4), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (SNR), New Jersey (SNR), New York (S3), North Carolina (S3?), Oklahoma (SNR), Rhode Island (S1), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S1S2), Texas (SNR), Vermont (SNR), Virginia (S3)
CanadaNova Scotia (S1)

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3.14.4 Habitat and Biological Needs of Long's Bulrush

Tall Beakrush is an obligate wetland plant (Blaney 2011) occurring in Canada on shallow acidic open lakeshores that are fully exposed (or nearly so) during summer low water levels. Substrates are mostly gravelly, often with a thin layer of peaty organic soil on top, but some plants are on deeper peat or on shallow organic soil within cracks in exposed bedrock. The most frequently associated species, in order of frequency, are Virginia Marsh St. John's Wort (Triadenum virginicum s.st.), Eaton's Witchgrass (Dichanthelium spretum), Three-Way Sedge, Bog Aster, Sweet Gale, Twigrush, Pickerel Weed , Large Cranberry , Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis), and Swamp Loosestrife (Lysimachia terrestris) (AC CDC 2013b). In the southern United States, Tall Beakrush also occupies freshwater and slightly saline tidal marshes, swamp forests, and marshes and sloughs within tallgrass prairies, and it can occur in disturbed habitats such as ditches, all-terrain vehicle tracks, pipeline rights-of-way, rice fields and impoundments. The lakeshore habitats occupied by Tall Beakrush in Nova Scotia support a high diversity of restricted and rare plants with affinity to the coastal plains of the eastern and southern U.S. These low biomass, high diversity lakeshore communities are maintained by acidic, nutrient-poor conditions and disturbance from fluctuating water levels, ice scour and wave action (Keddy 1985b; Keddy and Wisheu 1989; Hill and Keddy 1992; Wisheu and Keddy 1994; Hill et al. 1998).

In Nova Scotia, Tall Beakrush flowers from July to September. Pollination is presumed to be largely or entirely by wind, as is the case with most sedges. It is believed to be self-compatible. Seed-like achenes are dispersed from the parent plant in the fall and their long bristles may facilitate dispersal via floatation or on animals. Internal and external dispersal by waterfowl over longer distances is also likely. In a closely related species, germination occurs best in drier periods that are ideal for growth. Reproduction before age one occurs in the United States but probably requires at least two or three years in Nova Scotia, based on observation of mid sized, non-flowering rosettes. The species is non-rhizomatous but vegetative reproduction occurs over very short distances via production of new rosettes to the side of existing ones. Demographics of vegetative reproduction are unknown, as are longevity of genetic individuals and ramets, and generation time.

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