Gymnocarpium appalachianum - Pryer
Appalachian Oak Fern
Other English Common Names: Appalachian Oakfern
Other Common Names: Appalachian oakfern
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Gymnocarpium appalachianum Pryer (TSN 502847)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.144840
Element Code: PPDRY0D010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Ferns and relatives
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Filicinophyta Filicopsida Filicales Dryopteridaceae Gymnocarpium
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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: Gymnocarpium appalachianum
Taxonomic Comments: Recently described, was formerly confused with Gymnocarpium dryopteris. This species is diploid, while G. dryopteris is an allotetraploid.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 31Mar1996
Global Status Last Changed: 10Aug1993
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Gymnocarpium appalachianum is a local endemic to the Appalachian region, where it is most common in Virginia, occurring there at 30-100 localities. This plant is not particularly threatened because it typically occurs in fairly remote, rocky woods at high elevations, on the slopes or summits of mountains. However, it is usually clonal, and some occurrences are genetically uniform.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3

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 Maryland (SNR), North Carolina (S1), Ohio (SX), Pennsylvania (S1), Virginia (S3), West Virginia (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Gymnocarpium appalachianum is a local endemic to the Appalachian region. It occurs in Virginia (the center of its range), West Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, and is historical in Ohio. Also reported from Maryland.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Estimated to occur at 30-100 sites in Virginia, where it is most common (Fleming pers. comm. 1996). Extant at one location in North Carolina; also very rare in West Virginia and Pennsylvania; historical in Ohio. Reported from Maryland.

Population Size Comments: Because G. appalachianum is a clonal species, it can be difficult to estimate the number of genetic individuals in a population. A healthy population of this plant may have 50-100 colonies, so the total number of extant genotypes is likely much greater than 100 (Fleming pers. comm. 1996), but a more specific estimate for the total number of individuals is not available.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: G. appalachianum is not particularly threatened because it occurs in fairly remote, rocky habitats on the slopes or summits of mountains. It may be threatened by clearcuts that alter and dry out the cool, moist microclimate of mountain woods, while at the edges of its range, development may be a concern. G. appalachianum may be abundant in areas of heavy deer browse as it is typically not a preferred food of deer (Fleming pers. comm. 1996).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Fairly stable in remote, rocky habitats in the Appalachian mountains.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Vulnerable to alterations in the cool, moist microclimate of forest habitats on mountain slopes.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Gymnocarpium appalachianum is a local endemic to the Appalachian region. It occurs in Virginia (the center of its range), West Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, and is historical in Ohio. Also reported from Maryland.

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 MD, NC, OHextirpated, PA, VA, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NC Ashe (37009)
OH Wayne (39169)*
PA Bedford (42009), Blair (42013)
WV Greenbrier (54025), Hampshire (54027), Monongalia (54061), Pendleton (54071), Preston (54077)*, Randolph (54083), Tucker (54093)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Upper Juniata (02050302)+, Raystown (02050303)+, South Branch Potomac (02070001)+, North Branch Potomac (02070002)+*, Cacapon-Town (02070003)+, South Fork Shenandoah (02070005)+
05 Cheat (05020004)+, Youghiogheny (05020006)+*, Walhonding (05040003)+*, Upper New (05050001)+, Greenbrier (05050003)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Appalachian oak fern; Dryopteridaceae. A small, delicate fern with a broadly deltate blade, 4-12 cm, and fertile leaves generally 10-32 cm.
Habitat Comments: Gymnocarpium appalachianum occurs primarily in maple-birch-hemlock woods on mountain slopes and summits, on moist sandstone, talus slopes, or bouldery colluvium. This species requires a cool, moist microclimate and typically occurs on north-facing slopes with cold air seepage (algific), at elevations above 2000 ft. It occasionally occurs at lower elevations, particularly on the fringes of its range.
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: 31Mar1996
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: K. Crowley, MRO (1996), rev. L. Morse (2001)

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. 1993a. Flora of North America, Volume 2: Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms. Oxford University Press, New York.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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