Carex lutea - LeBlond
Golden Sedge
Other English Common Names: Sulphur Sedge
Other Common Names: sulphur sedge
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Carex lutea LeBlond (TSN 507766)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.147501
Element Code: PMCYP03K00
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Sedge Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Cyperaceae Carex
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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: Carex lutea
Taxonomic Comments: New species described from the outer coastal plain of southern North Carolina by LeBlond, Weakley, Reznicek, and Crins.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 11Dec2006
Global Status Last Changed: 11Dec2006
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Carex lutea was described in 1994 from a small area in southeastern North Carolina. It occurs on lime-rich soils in the ecotone between longleaf pine savannas and non-riverine swamp forests, where fire has suppressed shrub dominance (FNA 2002). The species' habitat is highly localized and rare (USFWS 2002).
Nation: United States
National Status: N2

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 North Carolina (S2)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (23Jan2002)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Known occurrences are in Pender and Onslow Counties, NC.

Area of Occupancy: 3-500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Nine known NC sites.

Population Size Comments: The Lanier quarry site has over 1000 clumps and the rest of the sites have a combined total of 100 clumps.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threatened by development, right-of-way maintenance with herbicides, clay mining, drainage activites associated with silviculture and agriculture, and the suppression of fire (USFWS 2002).

Short-term Trend: Decline of >30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Although little is known about natural population fluctuations in this species, severe population declines (exceeding 83 percent) were noted between 1992 and 1996 at three of the eight remaining sites; the exact causes for these losses are unknown (USFWS 2002).

Long-term Trend: Unknown

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow to narrow.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Known occurrences are in Pender and Onslow Counties, NC.

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 NC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NC Onslow (37133), Pender (37141)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Northeast Cape Fear (03030007)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A tall, clump-forming perennial sedge with slender stems, mostly 6.5-11 dm high, and with long, narrow inflorescences. This species of southern North Carolina is a widely disjunct member of the otherwise boreal Carex flava complex. Fruits May-June.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Distinguished from other Carex species in the same locale and habitat by the outcurved perigynia beaks, the lowermost of which is strongly recurved, and to a lesser extent also by its height (culms can reach over 1 ml), slenderness, and bright yellowish green color (LeBlond et al. 1994). Also, see FNA (2002) for a key to the sections of Carex: within sections Ceratocystis and closely related sect. Spirostachya, this is the only species to occur in Coastal Plain savannahs of North Carolina.
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND
Habitat Comments: Wet savannahs with sandy soils underlain by coquina limestone. This somewhat open, calcareous habitat is highly unusual on the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Associates include other rare plants such as Cooley's meadowrue (Thalictrum cooleyi), pineland plantain (Plantago sparsiflora), and Thorne's beakrush (Rhynchospora thornei). Carex lutea plants occur mostly in the somewhat shaded ecotone between savannah and swamp.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: The native habitat of this species was wet pine savannahs, which were thought to have been burned every 3-5 years (USFWS 2002). The species now occurs in remnants of these savannahs which are actively managed with prescribed burns, and also in areas such as roadsides and drainage ditches where mowing and/or very wet conditions suppress woody plants. To persist, Carex lutea will require continued suppression of shrubs by fire or mowing, and maintenance of hydrologic conditions. Drainage ditching should be avoided, as should the use of herbicides.
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: An A-ranked occurrence of Carex lutea should have more than 100 clumps occurring in high quality wet pine savanna with evidence of frequent fire. A high quality savanna will have no evidence of past ditching or other ground disturbing activities.
Good Viability: A B-ranked occurrence of Carex lutea should have between 30 and 99 clumps occurring in high to moderate quality wet pine savanna with evidence of frequent fire or more than 100+ clumps occurring in a moderate quality to significantly disturbed habitat. A high quality savanna will have no evidence of past ditching or other ground disturbing activities. A moderate quality savanna will have evidence of some ditching, but will have an intact herbaceous layer. A significantly disturbed habitat will have evidence of ditching and a depauperate herbaceous layer as well as some evidence of fire suppression.
Fair Viability: A C-ranked occurrence of Carex lutea should have between 10 and 29 clumps occurring in high to moderate quality wet pine savanna with evidence of frequent fire or between 30 and 99 plants occurring in a significantly disturbed habitat. A high quality savanna will have no evidence of past ditching or other ground disturbing activities. A moderate quality savanna will have evidence of some ditching, but will have an intact herbaceous layer. A significantly disturbed habitat will have evidence of ditching and a depauperate herbaceous layer as well as some evidence of fire suppression.
Poor Viability: A D-ranked occurrence of Carex lutea should have fewer than 10 clumps occurring in any habitat or between 10-29 clumps in significantly disturbed habitat. A significantly disturbed habitat will have evidence of ditching and a depauperate herbaceous layer as well as some evidence of fire suppression.
Justification: Number of clumps used as basis for rank divisions based on RJL ranks from 1996-04 which are based on A.S. Weakley's Carex rank scale.
Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
Date: 15Dec2004
Author: Amoroso
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: 19Apr1996
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Amoroso, J.L. (1996); Maybury, K. (1997), rev. A. Olivero (2003), rev. NCHP 2004-2005

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
  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002b. Flora of North America north of Mexico. Vol. 23. Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Cyperaceae. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxiv + 608 pp.

  • 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.

  • LeBlond, R.J., A.S. Weakley, A.A. Reznicek, and W.J. Crins. 1994. Carex lutea (Cyperaceae), a rare new coastal plain endemic from North Carolina. Sida 16(1): 153-161.

  • U.S. Fish and Widlife Service (USFWS. 10 March 2010. Designation of critical habitat for Carex lutea (Golden Sedge). Federal Register 75 (46): 11080-11096.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2002. Endangered Species staus for Golden Sedge (Carex lutea). Federal Register vol. 67, number 15, 23 January 2002, Rules and Regulations.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2002. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; Endangered status for Carex lutea (golden sedge). Federal Register Vol. 67, No. 15 (January 23): pages 3120-3126.

  • Weakley, A.S. 1996. Flora of the Carolinas and Virginia: working draft of 23 May 1996. The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Southern Conservation Science Dept., Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Unpaginated.

  • Weakley, A.S. 2002. July 19-last update. Flora of the Carolinas and Virginia: working draft of July 19, 2002. University of North Carolina Herbarium, North Carolina Botanical Garden, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Online. Available: http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/weakley_flora/default.htm. Accessed 2003, April 11.

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