Calamovilfa arcuata - K.E. Rogers
Rivergrass
Other English Common Names: Cumberland Sandreed
Other Common Names: Cumberland sandreed
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Calamovilfa arcuata K.E. Rogers (TSN 41535)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.150371
Element Code: PMPOA18010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Calamovilfa
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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: Calamovilfa arcuata
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 29Apr2010
Global Status Last Changed: 29Apr2010
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: A species of open gravel/cobble bars maintained by river scour, Calamovilfa arcuata has a disjunct distribution, with one cluster of populations in southern Kentucky, Tennessee, and northern Alabama and a second cluster in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Approximately 20-60 occurrences are believed extant, depending on how adjacent plant clusters are aggregated; most of these occurrences have less than 100 individuals. Although reservoir construction has destroyed some of this species' historical habitat, many of the extant occurrences appear relatively stable. Because C. arcuata requires river scour, changes in river hydrology are the major threat to its persistence; such changes can arise from reservoir construction, watershed-level impacts such as strip mining, or other processes that alter flood frequency/intensity. Woody invasive species that colonize cobble bars are also a threat in at least Kentucky.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (S1), Arkansas (S1), Georgia (S1), Kentucky (S1), Oklahoma (S2), Tennessee (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: This species has a disjunct distribution, with one cluster of populations in southern Kentucky, Tennessee, and northern Alabama and a second cluster in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Further study of the reasons for this disjunction could be worthwhile.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Approximately 20-60 occurrences are believed extant (depending on how adjacent clusters of plants along the same river/stream are aggregated), predominantly in Tennessee and Oklahoma. An additional 15 are considered historical. In Tennessee, a few new sites have been discovered recently. In Kentucky and Arkansas, botanists estimate that further surveys may find a little more, but not much more, area occupied by this species.

Population Size Comments: Most populations are small, with only 7 recorded to have over 100 plants/clumps at most recent survey.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Approximately a third of known occurrences are estimated to have excellent or good viability.

Overall Threat Impact: High - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Calamovilfa arcuata requires an early successional habitat which is maintained by river scour. Changes in hydrology (e.g., alteration of water level or flow regime) along the rivers and streams where C. arcuata occurs are the major threat to its persistence. Reservoir construction is one of the major means by which river hydrology can be (and has been) altered within the species' range. Reservoirs have had significant impact in at least Tennessee, where the current distribution of C. arcuata is more or less restricted to natural rivers. Strip mining can also have hydrological impacts at the watershed level; this is a concern in Kentucky. In the Tennessee/Kentucky portion of the range, it has been over 10 years since a major flood, with resultant succession and some invasion of cobble bars; woody invasion of the species' cobble bar habitat is considered the primary threat in Kentucky, although invasives do not appear to be as great of an issue in Tennessee. In the Arkansas portion of the range, many large floods have occurred in the past few years and cobble bars are in good condition; woody invasives are not considered a major problem in Arkansas.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Existing numbers and occurrences of Calamovilfa arcuata appear to be relatively stable. In Oklahoma some populations have been lost due to reservoir construction (Oklahoma Biological Survey 1999).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Long-term Trend Comments: Reservoir construction has destroyed some of this species' historical habitat; in many cases, the high-gradient portions of streams that it prefers were also the preferred sites for reservoirs.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: This species has a disjunct distribution, with one cluster of populations in southern Kentucky, Tennessee, and northern Alabama and a second cluster in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Further study of the reasons for this disjunction could be worthwhile.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, GA, KY, OK, TN

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Blount (01009)
AR Howard (05061), Perry (05105), Scott (05127)
GA Walker (13295)
KY McCreary (21147)
OK Atoka (40005), Latimer (40077)*, McCurtain (40089), Pushmataha (40127)
TN Cumberland (47035), Morgan (47129), Scott (47151)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Locust (03160111)+
05 South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+, Caney (05130108)+
06 Emory (06010208)+, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+
11 Fourche La Fave (11110206)+, Muddy Boggy (11140103)+, Kiamichi (11140105)+, Upper Little (11140107)+, Mountain Fork (11140108)+, Lower Little (11140109)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A clump forming perennial grass with multiple stems per clump. Clumps can be nearly 1 m wide. The leaves are basal 50 - 75 cm long and taper to a fine tip. The upper surfaces are hairy. The inflorescence is approximately 30 cm wide (Taylor and Taylor 1980).

General Description: A perennial, riverine sandgrass that forms dense clumps, 1.5 m or more high. The rhizomes are slender, short, brownish, as much as 5.0 mm thick. Panicle terminal, open, purplish, 15-45 cm long, 8-40 cm wide; peduncle 15-38 cm long; primary branches solitary and alternate or some of them paired at the nodes, slender, spreading or ascending.
Technical Description: The following technical description is taken from Rogers (1970): "perennial, up to 1.5 m or more tall; rhizomes slender. . . ; culms densely tufted, erect, unbranched. . .; nodes bearded . . . hairs up to 8.0 mm long; . . . sheaths overlapping and persistent at the base . . ., mostly 6-15[22] cm long . . . ; collar a dense ring of long, white hairs; ligule . . . 0.2- 0.7 mm long, the cilia less than 0.5 mm long; blades flat, linear, attenuate to a slender, thread-like involute point, articulated with the sheaths by a narrow line, 30-85 cm long, 1.5-6.5 mm wide, . . . upper surface bearing soft hairs up to 5.0 mm long . . . becoming glabrate toward the apex, the lower surface sparsely pilose toward the base or glabrous; margins of the blades narrowly white cartilaginous, antrorsely scabrid except at the ciliate base.
"Panicle terminal, open, purplish, 15-45 cm long, 8-40 cm wide; peduncle 15-38 cm long; primary branches solitary and alternate or some of them paired at the nodes, . . . pilose or pubescent in the axils, . . . the lowermost as much as 22 cm long; secondary branches ascending, 2-11 cm long; tertiary branches ascending, 2-8 cm long; rachis angled. . .; spikelets paired and solitary, appressed-ascending, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, tinged with purple, 6.0-7.4 mm long; . . . first glume ovate-lanceolate, acute, acuminate, or awn- pointed, usually arcuate [curved] 2.7-4.1 mm long, 1 nerved; . . . second glume ovate- lanceolate, acuminate or awn-pointed, arcuate, 4.2-5.4 mm long, 1-nerved, the nerve scaberulous on the upper portion; lemma lanceolate, attenuate, arcuate, 5.5-7.0 mm long, 1- nerved . . .; palea to 2 mm shorter than the lemma, lanceolate, attenuate, 5.4-6.2 mm long. . .; stamens 3.0 mm long."

Diagnostic Characteristics: Upon first glance, Calamovilfa arcuata resembles Tridens flavus or Panicum virgatum, however, the former can be distinquished from Calmovilfa arcuata by its denser, drooping inflorescence, and the latter is a larger plant with dorsally compressed spikelets (as opposed to ventrally compressed in C. arcuata) (Oklahoma Biological Survey 1999). Within the genus Calamovilfa, C. arcuata most closely resembles C. brevipilis, but C. arcuata differs from having pilose nodes and collar (as opposed to glabrous), a longer ligule, hairier leaves and arcuate (curved) lemma tips (Kral 1983).

Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Bare rock/talus/scree
Habitat Comments: Calamovilfa arcuata occurs along sunny, open gravel/cobble bars along high-gradient streams and small rivers which are subject to and maintained by scouring floods. Such areas are sometimes referred to as "scour prairies" and are generally not common on the landscape. These sites are dominated by herbaceous perennials, but often contain dense growth of shrubs including Itea virginica, Cornus amomum, and Alnus serrulata. Stream action appears to create new gravel bars and inhibits shrubby competition. Within this habitat Calamovilfa arcuata roots in the sand between rocks (Keener, 1999, Kral 1983, Oklahoma Biological Survey 1999, Schmalzer and DeSelm 1982).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: This species requires some form of periodic disturbance (generally hydrologic) to remove encroaching shrubs and trees. If needed, hand-thinning of woody plants would be beneficial.
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: An A-ranked occurrence of Calamovilfa arcuata should have at least 200 clumps growing in a herbaceous - or perhaps shrub bordered - naturally maintained habitat from river scour, with adequate sun, and minimal exotic plants.

Good Viability: A B-ranked occurrence of Calamovilfa arcuata should have 75 - 200 clumps growing in a herbaceous - or perhaps shrub bordered - naturally maintained habitat from river scour, with adequate sun, and minimal exotic plants, or at least 200 clumps in areas where shrubs are beginning to shade-out preferred habitat.
Fair Viability: A C-ranked occurrence of Calamovilfa arcuata should have 20 - 75 clumps growing in a herbaceous - or perhaps shrub bordered - naturally maintained habitat from river scour, with adequate sun, and minimal exotic plants, or 75 and 100 clumps in areas where shrubs are beginning to shade-out preferred habitat.

Poor Viability: A D-ranked occurrence of Calamovilfa arcuata has less than 20 clumps, or occurs in an area which is no longer maintained in an open, sunny condition by naturally occurring hydrologic factors.
Justification: The rank specifications for Calamovilfa arcuata are based on current occurrences and expert opinion. Since the species requires open, riverine habitat, a natural flow producing river scour is essential to the viability of occurrences.

Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
Date: 13Feb2006
Author: R. McCoy
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: 13Feb2006
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: R. McCoy, rev. K. Gravuer (2010)
Management Information Edition Date: 13Feb2006
Management Information Edition Author: R. McCoy
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Original not dated; revised R. McCoy (2006)

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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  • Chester, E.W., B.E. Wofford, R. Kral, H.R. DeSelm, and A.M. Evans. 1993. Atlas of Tennessee vascular plants: Vol. 1. Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Angiosperms: Monocots. Austin Peay State Univ., Clarksville, Tennessee. 118 pp.

  • 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.

  • Keener, B.R. 1999. Noteworthy Collections, Alabama. Castanea 64(4): 354-355.

  • Kral, R. 1983c. A report on some rare, threatened, or endangered forest-related vascular plants of the South. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service Technical Publication R8-TP2, Athens, GA. 1305 pp.

  • Oklahoma Biological Survey. 1999. Website with information regarding Calamovilfa arcuata. http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/calamov_arc.htm

  • Rogers, K.E. 1970. A new species of Calamovilfa (Gramineae) from North America. Rhodora 72: 72-80.

  • Schmalzer, P. A., and H. R. DeSelm. 1982. Vegetation, endangered and threatened plants, critical plant habitats and vascular flora of the Obed Wild and Scenic River. Unpubl. rep. to U. S. Dep. Inter., Natl. Park Serv., Obed Wild and Scenic River. 2 Vol. 369 p., including appendix.

  • Taylor R.J. and C.E. Taylor. 1980. Calamovilfa arcuata status report. Endangered Species Office, Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  • Watson, L.E. 1989. Status survey of Agalinis auriculata (synonym=Tomanthera auriculata), earleaf foxglove, in Oklahoma. Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory, Norman. 6 pp.

  • Zanoni, T.A., J.L. Gentry, Jr., R.J. Tyrl and P.G. Risser. 1979. Endangered and threatened plants of Oklahoma. Univ. of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State Univ., Norman. 64 pp.

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