Poa diaboli - Soreng & Keil
Diablo Canyon Bluegrass
Taxonomic Status: Provisionally accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Poa diaboli Soreng & D.J. Keil (TSN 784672)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.770620
Element Code: PMPOA4Z390
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Poa
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Soreng, R. J. and D. J. Keil. 2003. Sequentially adjusted sex-ratios in gynomonoecism, and Poa diaboli (Poaceae), a new species from California. Madroņo: 50(4): 300-306.
Concept Reference Code: A03SOR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Poa diaboli
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 02Jan2013
Global Status Last Changed: 20Aug2013
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Poa diaboli, also known as Diablo Canyon blue grass, was described in 2003. It is a narrow endemic to the San Luis mountain range in San Luis Obispo, California and is known from only 5 occurrences. This species is notable given that it exhibits a unique breeding system described as 'sequentially adjusted gynomoecism' where over the growing season plants will adjust the number of perfect and pistllate flowers on individuals. Further, this species is threatened by non-natives and specifically Ehrharta calycina (Velt grass).
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 California (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: This species is known to be distributed across an area of 15 km in the San Luis Range in San Luis Obispo County, California (Soreng and Keil 2003).

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is known from only 5 occurrences (CNDDB, CNPS). It is possible that there are occurrences that have not been discovered given that this species occurs in rugged terrain (Soreng and Keil 2003).

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: This species faces some threats including grazing and invasion of non-native species. This species occurred in an area that was privately owned and was grazed from the 1960s until the early 1970s. Also, there were military activities in the area for a while as well, but this was for a short period of time. There is concern about Ehrharta calycina (Velt grass) which is invading the area. The area was, however, burned and the Poa was not adversely affected, so it may be fire tolerant. It isn't clear if the species benefitted from the controlled burn (Soreng and Keil 2003).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: This species was recently described, so not much is known about its trends. Authors of the describing paper do mention that this species occur on the ridgetops of the San Luis Mountains, where the terrain is rugged (Soreng and Keil 2003), so it appears that the species may be protected to some extent by where it occurs. It does, however, face several threats including grazing and invasion of non-native species (Soreng and Keil 2003).

Long-term Trend: Unknown

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Given that this species is naturally rare and known from only a few occurrences and described as 'narrowly endemic, locally abundant' (Soreng and Keil 2003) it is probably intrinsically vulnerable, however, no specific information was found about this species exhibiting low fecundity or slow rate of maturation.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Poa diaboli is known from only one mountain range in San Luis Obispo County, California. Specifically, it is known only from ridgetops and north facing slopes within 2-3 km from the Pacific coast (Soreng and Keil 2003).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: This species is known to be distributed across an area of 15 km in the San Luis Range in San Luis Obispo County, California (Soreng and Keil 2003).

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 CA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA San Luis Obispo (06079)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
18 Central Coastal (18060006)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: This Poa species is sequentially adjusted gynomonoecious, perennial grass, rhizomatous and stoloniferous, forming loose, leafy tufts up to 25-30cm across and 26-50 cm in height. This species blooms from March through April (Soreng and Keil 2003).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Poa diaboli is similar to several other Poa species, specifically P. kelloggii and P. piperi (Soreng and Keil 2003). P. diaboli is different from P. kelloggii because the latter produces only perfect flowers, and it is different from P. piperi because P. piperi plants are nearly all pistallate or staminate flowered. There are other moropholic characters that distinguish P. diaboli from other species. Further, there are few other blue grass species where P. diaboli is found and the other species are easily distinguished from Diablo Canyon blue grass (Soreng and Keil 2003).
Reproduction Comments: This Poa species exhbits a unique breeding system called 'sequentially adjusted gymnomonoecism' (Soreng and Keil 2003). This syndrome is somewhere between gynomonoecism where pistillate and perfect flowers are found on the same plant and gynodioecism where plants are usually dioecious and under certain environmental conditions female plants which produce pistillate flowers will produce some perfect flowers. Soreng and Keil (2003) describe Poa diaboli as somewhere between these two states, but suggest that it is more closely related to gynomonoecism because species that exhibit gynodioecism produce pistillate plants that are clearly distiinct (Soreng and Keil 2003). Further, Soreng and Keil (2003) mention that this situation is unique because this species is 'sequentially adjusted' or rather, it shifts the number of pistilate and perfect flowers through time, i.e. the growing season.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Shrubland/chaparral
Habitat Comments: Poa diaboli occurs on north facing slopes and ridgetops within 2-3km from the Pacific coast. Futher, it occurs in the fire successional area of mesic chaparral, grassy coastal-scrub, coastal live oak woodland, and mesic Bishop pine forest in thin soil over Edna Shale substrates, at 120-400 meters in elevation (Soreng and Keil 2003).
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: 20Apr2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Oliver, L.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 20Apr2005
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Oliver, L.

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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  • Soreng, R. J. and D. J. Keil. 2003. Sequentially adjusted sex-ratios in gynomonoecism, and Poa diaboli (Poaceae), a new species from California. Madroņo: 50(4): 300-306.

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