Ammophila champlainensis - Seymour
Lake Champlain Beachgrass
Other English Common Names: Champlain Beachgrass
Other Common Names: Champlain beachgrass
Synonym(s): Ammophila breviligulata ssp. champlainensis (Seymour) P.J. Walker, C.A. Paris & Barrington ex Barkworth ;Calamagrostis breviligulata ssp. champlainensis (F. Seym.) Saarela
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Ammophila breviligulata ssp. champlainensis (F. Seym.) P.J. Walker, C.A. Paris & Barrington ex Barkworth (TSN 798160)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.154157
Element Code: PMPOA08030
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
Image 10875

© New York Natural Heritage Program

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Ammophila
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Concept Reference Code: B99KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Ammophila champlainensis
Taxonomic Comments: A local variant of the widespread Ammophila breviligulata, known only from shores of Lake Champlain in New York state and Vermont, accepted as a species by Mitchell and Tucker, NY Checklist (1997) and by Kartesz (1999). Some consider it a variety of A. breviligulata, but the nomenclatural combination has apparently not yet been published (fide New York Heritage Program). Kartesz (1994 checlist) synonymized under A. breviligulata. LEM 17Feb94 & 18Jun00. This taxon is recognized in the draft volume of Flora North America, but authors suggest that this taxon be treated as a subspecies or perhaps at the varietal level.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2G3Q
Global Status Last Reviewed: 29Sep2005
Global Status Last Changed: 29Sep2005
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Known from sandy shores in 19 locations on Lake Champlain, in both New York and Vermont. There are unconfirmed reports of this taxon in Quebec on the St. Lawrence River and in Ontario. This taxon is threatened most notably by interbreeding between a non-native planted cultivar of Ammophila breviligulata called the 'cape variety'. Other threats include trampling and ATV use. It is thought that this taxon's range is underestimated given the taxonomic complexities surrounding it and also it is believed to be under collected.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States New York (S1), Vermont (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Occurs on Lake Champlain, the Great Lakes (Lake Ontario) and the St. Lawrence River (this latter location is unconfirmed). This taxon is involved in a complex of Ammophila breviligulata that needs further study, even with that said it may be distributed throughout the Great Lakes. More study of the taxonomy is needed to tease out differences between A. breviligulata and A. champlainensi, and there is a question about whether this taxon is on Lake Superior and in other places. It is expected that this taxon is under collected. The taxonomy boundaries between A. breviligulata and A. champlainensis need to be defined before the range of each taxon can be described.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are 2 population in VT and 2 in NY. In Ontario, this taxon appears to occur in at least 3 sand dune sites. The presence of this taxon in Quebec is still uncertain. There are a total of 19 populations counted by P. Walker (graduate student at University of Vermont).

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: This taxon is threatened by trampling and ATVs. Interbreeding with a non-native Ammophila breviligulata cultivar called the 'cape variety' is perhaps the greatest threat to this taxon.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: The trends of this taxon are unknown given that it's taxonomic status is not yet firm. Further, because it's taxonomic rank and separation from A. breviligulata are still under scrutiny the range of the entity is not fully known nor is its trend known.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Occurs on Lake Champlain, the Great Lakes (Lake Ontario) and the St. Lawrence River (this latter location is unconfirmed). This taxon is involved in a complex of Ammophila breviligulata that needs further study, even with that said it may be distributed throughout the Great Lakes. More study of the taxonomy is needed to tease out differences between A. breviligulata and A. champlainensi, and there is a question about whether this taxon is on Lake Superior and in other places. It is expected that this taxon is under collected. The taxonomy boundaries between A. breviligulata and A. champlainensis need to be defined before the range of each taxon can be described.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States NY, VT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
VT Chittenden (50007), Grand Isle (50013)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 Lake Champlain (04150408)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Large perennial grass on sandy shores. It differs from A. breviligulata in size and flowering time. A. champlainensis flowers in early June which is earlier than A. breviligulata.
General Description: Champlain dune grass dominates the small dunes of Lake Champlain and portions of Lake Ontario. Long rhizomes produce many clumps that can be scattered in the sand or tightly arranged to cover the dune. Many long, flexible, very narrow leaves arise like a fountain from a central clump. They are flat at the base but the margins become inrolled toward the narrow sharp tip. One to many flowering stems grow from the base of the clump and reach 2-3 feet in height. They produce many flowers arranged in a compact spike-like inflorescence 13-21 cm long in the top half to one-third of the stem. A so-called flag leaf arises just below the inflorescence and measures 8-22 cm long. The yellow anthers give the inflorescence its color as they hang out of the flowers. When the flowers mature and senesce they turn tan to brown. Reproduction is primarily vegetative and seed production and seedling survival is very low. Flowering stems are seen more often in moving sand near the water and can be absent in plants that persist in sand that has been stabilized for many years.
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Sand/dune
Habitat Comments: Sandy shores of fresh water lakes, including beach and dune areas. Associated species include Ammophila breviligulata, Hudsonia tomentosa, Salix exigua, Cyperus houghtonii, Lathyrus japonicus, Vitis sp., Elymus sp., Phalaris sp., and Toxicodendron sp. 0 - 60 m.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 29Sep2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Morse, Larry E. (1997), M. Oldham and L. Oliver (rev. Sept. 2005)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 20Sep2005
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Weldy, T.

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Barkworth, Mary E. 2006. A new hybrid genus and 12 new combinations in North American grasses. SIDA 22 (1): 495-501.

  • Cope, Edward A. 1994. Further Notes on Beachgrasses (Ammophila) in the Northeastern North America. New York Flora Association Newsletter Vol. 5 (2):3. May 1994.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2007a. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 24. Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Poaceae, part 1. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxviii + 911 pp.

  • Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • New York Natural Heritage Program. 2010. Biotics database. New York Natural Heritage Program. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY.

  • Reschke, Carol. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Latham, NY. 96 pp. plus xi.

  • Saarela, J.M., R.D. Bull, M.J. Paradis, S.N. Ebata, P.M. Peterson, R.J. Soreng, and B. Paszko. 2017. Molecular phylogenetics of cool-season grasses in the subtribes Agrostidinae, Anthoxanthinae, Aveninae, Brizinae, Calothecinae, Koeleriinae and Phalaridinae (Poaceae, Pooideae, Poeae, Poeae chloroplast group 1). PhytoKeys 87: 1-139.

  • Seymour, F.C. 1966. Ammophila Champlainensis (Gramineae), a New Species in New York and Vermont. Sida 2:349-351.

  • Seymour, F.C. 1969. The flora of Vermont: a manual for the identification of ferns and flowering plants growing without cultivation in Vermont. The University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont. 377 pp.

  • Stern, Roger J. 1983. Morphometric and Phenologic Variability in Ammophila breviligulata Fernald. Masters Thesis, University of Vermont.

  • Tucker, Gordon C. 1992. Our beachgrasses (Ammophila), Including the Rare Champlain Beachgrass. New York Flora Association Newsletter Vol. 3 (1):4. March 1992.

  • Walker, Peter J. 1998. Biogeography, speciation, and concerted evolution in Ammophila (Poaceae): infraspecific variation in the Internal Transcribed Spacer of Nuclear Ribosomal DNA. A thesis presented by Peter J. Walker to the faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Vermont. March 1998.

  • Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://wwws.nyflora.org/, Albany, New York

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