Botrychium rugulosum - W.H. Wagner
Rugulose Grapefern
Other English Common Names: St. Lawrence Grapefern, St. Lawrence Moonwort, Ternate Grapefern
Other Common Names: ternate grapefern
Synonym(s): Botrychium ternatum auct. non (Thunb.) Sw. ;Sceptridium rugulosum (W.H. Wagner) Skoda & Holub
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Botrychium rugulosum W.H. Wagner (TSN 501029)
French Common Names: botryche du St. Laurent, botryche à limbe rugueux
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.145294
Element Code: PPOPH010P0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Ferns and relatives
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Filicinophyta Ophioglossopsida Ophioglossales Ophioglossaceae Botrychium
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Botrychium rugulosum
Taxonomic Comments: Botrychium rugulosum is closely related to B. multifidum in northern areas and B. dissectum in southern parts of its range. Before being recognized as a distinct species (Wagner and Wagner 1982), B. rugulosum was considered the North American form of the Asian species B. ternatum (Chadde and Kudray 2001, Wagner and Wagner 1982). Since many species of Botrychium often grow together in one population, careful examination is need to identify the separate species.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 01Nov2011
Global Status Last Changed: 17Jul1989
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Botrychium rugulosum occurs in a narrow east-west band along the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes regions. The number of existing locations and number of individuals is relatively small, however more potential habitat needs to be surveyed. The species has specific requirements for growth.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3
Nation: Canada
National Status: N2 (15Dec2017)

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 Connecticut (SU), Michigan (S3), Minnesota (S3), New York (S1), Vermont (S1), Wisconsin (S2)
Canada New Brunswick (S1), Ontario (S2?), Quebec (S2)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Candidate (Low) (26Jan2015)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: This grapefern is limited to a narrow east-west band along the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes regions. Its range extends from New Brunswick, southern Quebec and southern Ontario through northern Vermont, northern New York, much of Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and northeastern Minnesota. Reports from Connecticut and Prince Edward Island are likely false reports.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are 127 known occurrences of Botrychium rugulosum, however only 63 or about 50% are known to be extant. Twenty-one or 16.5% are considered historical and one occurrence is extirpated. Other reported occurrences need to be checked, as well as other suitable locations for this species.

Population Size Comments: Populations numbers range from one to 300 individuals. The vast majority of population counts (84%) are under 50 individuals and 69% of occurrences list under 20 individuals per population. Numbers of individuals are difficult to determine as the species may be sporadic in appearance, may not appear each year, may take many years of growth before appearing as a frond, and may occur as a metapopulation.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Very few occurrences have been considered as having excellent to good viability for this species.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: The largest populations of B. rugulosum occur in the sandy lakes area of north-central Wisconsin and Traverse County, Michigan (Wagner pers. comm.). These sites are threatened by potential development of lakeshore lots. An excellent quality population occurring in Monroe County, Michigan was destroyed by a housing development in the recent past (Wagner pers. comm.).

Excessive over-grazing of pasture land is another threat to existing populations, particularly in New York and Vermont. Destruction of existing populations and germination sites can easily occur under such conditions. Even at sites where adequate grazing pressure retains or even enhances existing populations of B. rugulosum, germination sites for spores may be destroyed or negatively affected. Population within such habitats should be closely monitored and grazing management plans worked out with the private landowners.

Other threats include succession to closed-canopy forest; over-collecting of specimens as some populations are very small in size and no gemmae have been detected on B. rugulosum to allow for vegetative reproduction; and loss or destruction of habitat such as logging, road construction, passage of all-terrain vehicles or removal of sand from sandy habitats.

Short-term Trend: Unknown
Short-term Trend Comments: Twenty-one occurrences or 16.5% are historical and one occurrence is extirpated. However the species is sporadic in appearance plus may take many years before appearing as a frond. A estimated decline of 30-50% has been estimated for occurrences in Quebec (CDPNQ 2008). Population trends in other areas of its range are unknown.

Long-term Trend: Unknown
Long-term Trend Comments: This species is dependent on (VAM) mycorrhizae, hence populations can appear or disappear due to its obligate relationships with the fungi. Changes in soil moisture with changes in climate, particularly drought, will affect mycorrhizal health and consequently the establishment and survival of Botrychium.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: The life history of Botrychiums is complex requiring an obligate relationship with mycorrhizal fungi in both the gametophyte and sporophyte generations. Many Botrychium species have underground gemmae which allows vegetative reproduction, however no gemmae have been determined yet with B. rugulosum, indicating the primary mode of reproduction is only through spores. Other specific requirements include: gametophyte growth may require many years before producing an emergent frond; and dependency on suitable conditions for mycorrhizal health such as soil moisture (Chadde & Kudray 2001).

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: This grapefern is limited to a narrow east-west band along the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes regions. Its range extends from New Brunswick, southern Quebec and southern Ontario through northern Vermont, northern New York, much of Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and northeastern Minnesota. Reports from Connecticut and Prince Edward Island are likely false reports.

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 CT, MI, MN, NY, VT, WI
Canada NB, ON, QC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
MN Aitkin (27001), Anoka (27003), Beltrami (27007), Carlton (27017), Cass (27021), Cook (27031), Crow Wing (27035), Hubbard (27057), Itasca (27061), Koochiching (27071), Lake (27075), Lake of the Woods (27077), Mille Lacs (27095)*, Morrison (27097), Pine (27115), Polk (27119), Roseau (27135), Sherburne (27141), St. Louis (27137), Todd (27153), Washington (27163)
NY Hamilton (36041), Onondaga (36067)*, St. Lawrence (36089)
VT Addison (50001)*, Chittenden (50007), Rutland (50021)*
WI Ashland (55003), Bayfield (55007), Door (55029)*, Douglas (55031), Forest (55041), Juneau (55057)*, Marinette (55075), Vilas (55125), Waushara (55137)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Upper Hudson (02020001)+
04 Baptism-Brule (04010101)+, Beaver-Lester (04010102)+, St. Louis (04010201)+, Cloquet (04010202)+, Beartrap-Nemadji (04010301)+, Bad-Montreal (04010302)+, Lake Superior (04020300)+, Door-Kewaunee (04030102)+*, Peshtigo (04030105)+, Menominee (04030108)+, Seneca (04140201)+*, Oswego (04140203)+*, Raquette (04150305)+, St. Regis (04150306)+*, Otter Creek (04150402)+*, Winooski River (04150403)+, Lamoille River (04150405)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+
07 Mississippi Headwaters (07010101)+, Leech Lake (07010102)+, Prairie-Willow (07010103)+, Elk-Nokasippi (07010104)+, Pine (07010105)+, Crow Wing (07010106)+, Long Prairie (07010108)+, Platte-Spunk (07010201)+, Clearwater-Elk (07010203)+, Twin Cities (07010206)+, Rum (07010207)+*, Upper St. Croix (07030001)+, Kettle (07030003)+, Lower St. Croix (07030005)+, Upper Chippewa (07050001)+, Upper Wisconsin (07070001)+, Castle Rock (07070003)+*
09 Clearwater (09020305)+, Roseau (09020314)+, Rainy Headwaters (09030001)+, Vermilion (09030002)+, Little Fork (09030005)+, Big Fork (09030006)+, Rapid (09030007)+, Lower Rainy (09030008)+, Lake of the Woods (09030009)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: Rugulose grape fern is a perennial, wintergreen fern. The common leaf stem of the fertile and sterile segments is up to 6 inches long while the leaf stem of the more erect fertile segment can be up to 9 inches long. This spore-bearing portion of the leaf can be up to 5 1/2 inches long. The leaf stem of the sterile leaf can be up to 3 inches long. The sterile leaf blade appears in the middle of May, is green, and grows up to 6 inches long and 10 inches wide. It is divided into two or three broadly triangular leaflets (pinnae). The terminal pinna blade is egg shaped to triangular in outline and the same size as the lateral pinnae. The pinnae are again divided into pinnules which are divided into segments. The terminal pinna are divided into progressively smaller segments up to the tips. The ultimate segments of the pinnules are angular trowel shaped to spoon shaped. The edges have somewhat rounded, wide teeth The upper surface of the leaf is convex and wrinkled when alive. The leaves remain green throughout the winter where they are exposed.
Technical Description: Botrychium rugulosum, according to Wagner and Wagner (1982), is a distinct species. The combination of its geographical range, periodicity, blade cutting, segment shapes, laminar contours and marginal teeth set it apart from all other species within the subgenus Sceptridium. The characters used to define the B. rugulosum are constant over the entire range of the species. Wagner and Wagner (1982), in describing B. rugulosum, stated:

"In habit resembling B. dissectum and B. multifidum with which it usually grows, its fronds emerging from the ground before the former and after the latter. Sterile blades deltoid, the stalk more or less the same length as the blade (shorter in sun forms, longer in shade forms), the stalk and blade together of mature, fertile plants averaging 8-16 cm (3 cm in sun to 30 in shade), the blade itself averaging 4-8 (2-16) cm long. Sterile blades 3-(2-4) -pinnate, divided to the pinna tips with regular reduction in symmetry. Lateral and basal pinnae ovate-deltoid, the pinnules rhomboidal, ovate, or oblong, usually strongly angled, 0.2-0.5 cm wide, the laminar surface in the living state convex above and more or less coarsely rugulose. Pinnule margins with nearly regular, somewhat rounded, wide teeth (except in rare subentire forms). Lateral veins mainly somewhat spreading rather than nearly parallel. Chromosomes n = 45."

Diagnostic Characteristics: Botrychium rugulosum closely resembles its Asiatic counterpart, B. ternatum, to such an extent that they were considered the same species until 1982, when Wagner and Wagner (1982) determined that true B. ternatum did not occur in North America. North American specimens, long attributed to B. ternatum, differed from their Asiatic counterparts in a number of characters.

Botrychium rugulosum is closely related to two more common species in the genera that usually occur along with it, B. multifidum and B. dissectum (Wagner and Wagner 1982). In the southern part of its range, B. dissectum is its common associate, while in the northern areas, B. multifidum is a common associate. Botrychium oneidense is sometimes associated with B. rugulosum as well. For a key to identify individuals within the Botrychium subgenus Sceptridium (which includes B. oneidense, B. multifidum and B. rugulosum and both forms of B. dissectum) see Wagner and Wagner (1982).

Duration: PERENNIAL, WINTERGREEN
Reproduction Comments: Underground gemmae, allowing for vegetative reproduction, have been reported on many species of Botrychium, however no reports of gemmae production are known with B. rugulosum. This indicates that the primary mode of reproduction is sexually through spores (Chadde & Kudray 2001). Spores are dispersed by wind, generally very short distances (Chadde & Kudray 2001).
Ecology Comments: Leaf development in Botrychium is extremely slow, taking 3-4 months from the time of appearance of young fronds above ground in May or June to the maturation of the frond and sporangia in September and October (Wagner and Wagner 1982). However the amount of time for B. rugulosum to develop its aboveground fertile frond is unknown. Some Botrychiums, such as B. simplex, can be one year, whereas B. lunaria can take as much as seven years to produce an emergent frond (Chadde & Kudray 2001).

Leaves stay green through most of the winter. In the range of B. rugulosum, there exists a seasonal sequence in leaf development among several species of Botrychium. Seasonal development is in the order: (1) B. multifidum, (2) B. oneidense, (3) B. rugulosum and (4) B. dissectum (Wagner 1961). During June or July, for example, new leaves of B. rugulosum average 1.3-1.8 times as developed with respect to those of B. dissectum. Leaves of B. multifidum are 2-4 times more developed than those of B. rugulosum at the same time of year (Wagner and Wagner 1982).

Botrychium mycorrhizae, present in the gametophyte and sporophyte, have been described as the vesicular-arbuscular (VAM) type. The mycotrophic condition is important to the ecology of Botrychium species in several ways. Nutrition supplied through a fungal symbiont may allow the ferns to withstand repeated herbivory, prolonged dormancy, or growth in dense shade (Chadde & Kudray 2001).

Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Forest Edge, Forest/Woodland, Grassland/herbaceous, Old field, Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Hardwood
Habitat Comments: In the southern parts of its range, this species is often found in low, swampy areas within habitats subject to past grazing, clearing, or cultivation, or within habitats under active grazing regimes. In other areas, habitats include second-growth forests, old apple orchards, brushy old fields, field/forest edges, actively pastured open fields and meadows, other grassy places, roadsides, and trailsides.
Substratum is typically composed of sand or silt with which is mixed varying amounts of black organic matter. Soil pH ranges from circumneutral to acidic. Southern sites are typically richer than those farther north. It occurs within the elevational range of 200 - 1000 m. In the southern portion of its range, associates include Acer rubrum, Cornus drummondii, C. racemosa, C. stolonifera, Corylus americanus, Populus tremuloides, Sassafras albidum, Ulmus americana, Vitis riparia and species of Anemone, Aster, Desmodium, Equisetum, Fragaria, Solidago, and Viola. In northern localities, common associates include Pinus spp., Polytrichium spp., Gaultheria procumbens, Rubus hispidus, Acer rubrum, Betula papyrifera, Hamamelis virginiana, Populus tremuloides, Prunus serotina, Salix spp., Spiraea alba and Vaccinium angustifolium. Additional associates include species within the genera Antennaria, Fragaria, Hieracium, Lycopodium, Osmunda, Pteridium and Solidago. Associates at actively grazed sites include Dennstaedtia punctilobula, Pteridium aquilinum, Rubus idaeus, Comptonia peregrina, Spiraea alba, S. tomentosa, Juniperus virginiana and species of Achillea, Antennaria, Danthonia, Fragaria, Gnaphalium, Hieracium, Lycopodium, Panicum, Plantago, Poa, Polygonum, Polytrichum, Prunella, Rumex, and Viola (Wagner and Wagner 1982).

Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Monitoring needs include an assessment of population stability and the tracking of habitat changes through time. Research should be centered around most every aspect of B. rugulosum. These areas include basic life history information (germination requirements, growth requirements, life span, etc.), habitat requirements, and management needs. Management needs are still largely unknown for the species, but there is some indication that the habitat in which B. rugulosum grows requires some levels of slight to moderate disturbance, as the species can be found in very disturbed areas such as grazed pastures and prefers canopy gaps in forests (Chadde & Kudray 2001).
Restoration Potential: The recovery potential of this species has not been determined. Since the species appears to inhabit disturbed areas, it appears likely that transplantation or introduction of the species into new sites with appropriate habitat is not excessively difficult. Transplantation should only be considered if research warrants the action, however.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Land protection must take into account the immediate area surrounding the B. rugulosum populations. In addition, adequate buffer to fully protect the population from potential threats and to allow for expansion is also needed.
Management Requirements: Management needs are largely unknown. The preference of B. rugulosum towards open areas within forests suggests that it may require periodic disturbance regimes that create forest openings. Currently, old pastures, second-growth forests, old orchards, brushy old fields and path edges appear to provide the most appropriate habitats. Basic management information such as percent canopy preference or level of competition tolerated are major needs in order to implement appropriate management programs.

Management procedures are dependent upon the assessment of management needs. At present, these have not been specifically formulated. Producing a mosaic of successional habitat patches within preferred habitat may provide long-term population maintenance capabilities in a given area. Mosaics of this sort might be created through grazing, logging or other mechanical methodologies. In any case, such a program should be considered experimental and should not be implemented on a large scale until evidence suggests that this is a viable management tool.

Monitoring Requirements: Population stability, and consequently the true status of this species, needs to be assessed through time. Such a methodology would provide detailed information pertaining to basic life-history information needs, including measurements of population stability, seed set, population maintenance, etc.

Habitat monitoring is also a need for the species. Correlations between changes in habitat and reproductive success can give strong recommendations toward future management activities. Such monitoring will also indicate the appropriate time to initiate management activities.

In small populations, individual counts of the entire group should be made. In large populations, a representative sample of the population should be monitored through a randomized, permanent plot methodology. Individuals within each plot should be mapped as an aid to tracking, possibly providing detailed information pertaining to life span, dormancy, recruitment, etc.

Habitat monitoring should also be considered at selected sites. Perhaps the easiest and most effective way of monitoring habitat would be through permanent photo-points. Although photo-points may not provide the detailed information pertaining to species composition within a given site, rough changes in habitat should be observable. Photo-point analysis of canopy cover, and shrub and ground layer competition with respect to population trends would provide useful information for possible management procedures. Other more time-intensive procedures designed to statistically track changes in composition of the ground-layer associates at each site may be installed and monitored along with the methodology designed to track population trends, as discussed above.

Monitoring Programs: Due to the apparent periodicity and relative newness of this species, no active monitoring programs have been established.
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: 09Jul1992
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Ostile, W. (MRO); Anions, M. (2008)
Management Information Edition Date: 30Jun1990
Management Information Edition Author: WAYNE OSTLIE
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 30Jun1990
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): OSTILE, W. (1990); Anions, M. (2008)

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
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Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2019.
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Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2019. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

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