Digitaria pauciflora - A.S. Hitchc.
Two-spike Crabgrass
Other English Common Names: Florida pineland crabgrass
Other Common Names: twospike crabgrass
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Digitaria pauciflora Hitchc. (TSN 40644)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.161755
Element Code: PMPOA270P0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Digitaria
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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: Digitaria pauciflora
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 02Jun2006
Global Status Last Changed: 02Jun2006
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Currently known to occur only at one site in Everglades National Park, Florida where it occurs in an area of about 8,000 ha (31 square miles). Intense development pressure has decreased the quantity and quality of suitable habitat in the region, making further occurrences unlikely. Although the species' single population is generally protected from development within the Park, threats include plans for hydrologic restoration, changes in fire management, and establishment of invasive non-native plant species that change the frequency and intensity of fires in Digitaria pauciflora's available habitat.
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 Florida (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LT: Listed threatened (06Oct2017)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Endemic to the Florida Everglades, in Miami-Dade County on Long Pine Key and possibly historically on Big Pine Key (but this latter occurence is considered unlikely after review of field notes (Gann et al. 2002; USFWS, 2004). Also, a single plant was seen in 1996, but not seen since, in Richmond Pineland Complex, also in Miami-Dade County, northeast of Long Pine Key (USFWS, 2004). Unattributed reports from Monroe and Collier counties have not been verified, and are not accepted by Wunderlin and Hansen (2004, fide USFWS 2004).

Area of Occupancy: 26-500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Only occurs in ecotone and margins of fingerglades on or near Long Pine Key, Everglades National Park, an area of about 31 sq mi.

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is currently known only from one large population, about 31 sq. miles in area (USFWS, 2004)

Population Size Comments: Plants form large clumps and are known to reproduce asexual from plantlets formed on the tips of stems (Platt pers comm.), creating the possibility that near neighbors are clones, however, this could not account for the range of the species, there are likely thousands of genotypes.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very few (1-3)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Single occurrence is considered viable.

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threats are summarized by the USFWS (2004). The primary anthropogenic threat (barring intrinsic threats due to small area of occurence) is alteration of hydrology of Everglades National Park by the Everglades Restoration Project. The effects of this change are unknown, and may serve to moderately decrease or even signifantly increase the population size. Secondary threats include extensive development encroachment in Miami and the Keys of areas suitable for restoration, or unsurveyed areas. Also, unmaintained fire regimes and non-native plant invasions could also threaten the species. In the longer term, sea level rise may also negatively impact the species, although it is at a higher elevation than the rest of the Everglades (12 - 24 feet above msl). Invasive plant species are another expected threat, especially if they alter the fire regime.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Unknown, since the species is inconsistently monitored, but the single large population appears stable (USFWS, 2004). A subset of plants were marked prior to 2000 and the group was relocated in 2002 (no statistics). However, given that the plant is a perennial, and numerous large individuals (>1.5 m diameter) and small individuals (2-4 stems) were found (2001-2002), there is no indication that there are either positive or negative short-term trends at this site. At a second site, one plant was seen in 1995, but not subsequently relocated despite searches (USFWS, 2004)

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: One or possibly two historical sites have been lost.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: The population seems to be of mixed age. Fecundity is usually not observed (fruit production occurs during the hottest, mosquito-rich season of the year), but observations made around that time of year suggest that a small percent of the population (<25%) will flower and fruit in a given year. Flowering individuals were found near each other (i.e. in the same fingerglade).

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: This species occurs in ecotonal regions between marl praries and pine rocklands, usually a strip approx. 200 m across at widest point. However, such strips are very long (several miles).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Endemic to the Florida Everglades, in Miami-Dade County on Long Pine Key and possibly historically on Big Pine Key (but this latter occurence is considered unlikely after review of field notes (Gann et al. 2002; USFWS, 2004). Also, a single plant was seen in 1996, but not seen since, in Richmond Pineland Complex, also in Miami-Dade County, northeast of Long Pine Key (USFWS, 2004). Unattributed reports from Monroe and Collier counties have not been verified, and are not accepted by Wunderlin and Hansen (2004, fide USFWS 2004).

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 FL

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
FL Miami-Dade (12086), Monroe (12087)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Everglades (03090202)+, Big Cypress Swamp (03090204)+, Florida Southeast Coast (03090206)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial, clump-forming grass. New growth is erect, appearing in the center of the clump. Old stems droop to the ground, forming a perimeter of brown leaves. Stems and leaves are covered with soft white hairs. Leaves are distinctly blue-green. Flowers are dull green, borne in small wiry spikes.
Technical Description: "Perennial; culms erect or somewhat decumbent at base, 0.5 to 1 m tall, very slender, sparingly branching; foliage grayish-villous, the blades 6 to 12 cm long, about 2 mm wide; racemes 2 or 3, ascending or erect, 5 to 11 cm long, the filiform rachis naked for 1 to 1.5 cm at base, or with distant abortive spikelets; spikelets rather distant, elliptic, about 3.2 mm long, glabrous; first glume minute with a hyaline erose margin; second glume and sterile lemma finely nerved, as long as the grayish fertile lemma" (Hitchcock, 1951).
Diagnostic Characteristics: "First glume broad, hyaline, minute but obvious; spikelets 3.2 mm long, glabrous" (Hitchcock, 1951).
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: At least two species are known to be dispersed by birds, D. humifusa and D. sanguinalis. Other animals may disperse seeds in this genus as well.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest/Woodland, Woodland - Conifer
Habitat Comments: Pine rocklands and the open ecotone between grassy marl prairie and pine rockland communities.
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: 17Mar2003
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Fellows, M. (2003), rev. L. Morse (2005)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 02Jun1992

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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  • Gann, G.D., K.A. Bradley, S.W. Woodmansee. 2002. Rare Plants of South Florida: Their History, Conservation, and Restoration. The Institute for Regional Conservation, Miami, FL. 1056 pgs.

  • Hitchcock, A.S. 1951. Manual of the grasses of the United States. 2nd edition revised by Agnes Chase. [Reprinted, 1971, in 2 vols., by Dover Publications, Incorporated, New York.]

  • KRAL, R. 1983.A REPORT ON SOME RARE,THREATENED,OR ENDANGEREDFOREST-RELATED VASCULAR PLANTS OF THE SOUTH.VOL I ISOETACEAETHROUGH EUPHORBIACEAE;VOL II AQUIFOLIACEA THROUGH ASTERACEAE& GLOSSARY.USDA FOREST SERV,SE REG.,ATL,GA. TECH PUBL R8-TP2

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Martin, D. 2001. Candidate and listing priority assignment form: Digitaria pauciflora. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Vero Beach, Florida Field Office.

  • Small, J.K. 1933. Manual of the southeastern flora. Two volumes. Hafner Publishing Company, New York.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2004. Species assessment and listing priority assignment form. Digitaria pauciflora. 11 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2016. Proposed Threatened Species Status for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense (Everglades Bully), Digitaria pauciflora (Florida Pineland Crabgrass), and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum (Pineland Sandmat) and Endangered Species Status for Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Florida Prairie-Clover). Proposed rule. Federal Register 81(196): 70282-70308.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2017. Endangered Species Status for Dalea carthagenensis var. floridana (Florida Prairie-clover), and Threatened Species Status for Sideroxylon reclinatum ssp. austrofloridense (Everglades Bully), Digitaria pauciflora (Florida Pineland Crabgrass), and Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. pinetorum (Pineland Sandmat). Final Rule. Federal Register 82(193): 46691-46715.

  • WUNDERLIN, RICHARD P. 1982. GUIDE TO THE VASCULAR PLANTS OF CENTRAL FLORIDA. UNIV. PRESSES OF FLA., TAMPA, ST. PETERSBURG, FT. MEYERS, SARASOTA

  • Wunderlin, R.P. 1982. Guide to the vascular plants of central Florida. Univ. Presses Florida, Gainesville. 472 pp.

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