Poa paludigena - Fern. & Wieg.
Bog Bluegrass
Other Common Names: bog bluegrass
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Poa paludigena Fernald & Wiegand (TSN 41150)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.136481
Element Code: PMPOA4Z1W0
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: 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: Poa paludigena
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 18Dec1997
Global Status Last Changed: 22Jul1994
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Poa paludigena has a very narrow habitat preference in fragile wetland community. Over 130 docummented populations.
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 Delaware (S1), Illinois (SX), Indiana (S3), Iowa (S2), Michigan (S2), Minnesota (S2), New York (S1), North Carolina (S1), Ohio (S3), Pennsylvania (S3), Virginia (S2), West Virginia (S1), Wisconsin (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Minnesota and Iowa east to New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina. Extirpated from Illinois.

Population Size Comments: Populations may range from 10-500 plants per site. In Minnesota, Poa paludigena was found in clumps of 20-50 plants, some clumps were four or five feet across (Converse, pers. comm.) Smith (pers. comm.) estimated five hundred plants were scattered over three acres of one hardwood swamp in Pennsylvania. In another site at a spring head, he counted twenty plants in a twenty square foot area. Homoya (pers. comm.) estimated about twelve plants per hummock at one seepage spring in Indiana.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: At present, none of the extant populations are in immediate danger of extirpation. Potential threats center on the delicate nature of wetland habitat. Drainage or inundation would damage or destroy the wetland. Fluctuations in water flow and agricultural run-off may upset the water chemistry. P. paludigena is not an aquatic emergent, it is perched upon a wet substrate, i.e. moss, fallen trees, etc. An increase in the water level could inundate the plants. Likewise, a decrease in the water level could dry out the substrate and result in desiccation of the plants. Fluctuations in water flow and agricultural runoff could upset the water chemistry. Although the exact characteristics are unknown, water chemistry may determine the presence or absence of this species in a wetland.

Canopy removal from forest clearing is another potential threat, as well as grazing. Highly threatened by land-use conversion, habitat fragmentation, and forest management practices; especially vulnerable to sedimentation (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002).

Short-term Trend Comments: May be declining due to loss of habitat.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Narrow habitat preference.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Minnesota and Iowa east to New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina. Extirpated from Illinois.

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 DE, IA, ILextirpated, IN, MI, MN, NC, NY, OH, PA, VA, WI, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
DE New Castle (10003)
IA Allamakee (19005), Clayton (19043), Delaware (19055), Dubuque (19061)*, Fayette (19065), Howard (19089), Winneshiek (19191)
IN De Kalb (18033), Dubois (18037), Elkhart (18039), Fayette (18041), Hendricks (18063), Jackson (18071), La Porte (18091), Lagrange (18087), Madison (18095), Montgomery (18107), Owen (18119), Porter (18127), St. Joseph (18141)*, Steuben (18151), Tippecanoe (18157)
MI Allegan (26005), Barry (26015), Cass (26027), Cheboygan (26031)*, Clinton (26037)*, Ingham (26065)*, Ionia (26067)*, Jackson (26075), Kalamazoo (26077)*, Keweenaw (26083)*, Lake (26085), Livingston (26093)*, Montcalm (26117)*, Newaygo (26123), Oakland (26125), Ottawa (26139)*, St. Clair (26147)*, St. Joseph (26149)*, Washtenaw (26161)
MN Aitkin (27001), Benton (27009), Chisago (27025), Crow Wing (27035), Houston (27055), Isanti (27059), Kanabec (27065), Mille Lacs (27095), Morrison (27097), Pine (27115), Washington (27163)
NC Ashe (37009), Avery (37011)
NY Albany (36001), Bronx (36005)*, Cayuga (36011)*, Chemung (36015), Lewis (36049)*, Tioga (36107)*, Tompkins (36109), Wayne (36117)*, Westchester (36119)*
OH Ashtabula (39007), Clark (39023), Columbiana (39029), Geauga (39055), Huron (39077), Lorain (39093), Portage (39133), Ross (39141), Summit (39153)
PA Bedford (42009), Berks (42011), Carbon (42025), Chester (42029), Crawford (42039), Lancaster (42071), Lawrence (42073), Lebanon (42075), Luzerne (42079)*, Mercer (42085), Monroe (42089), Sullivan (42113)*, Warren (42123)
VA Amherst (51009), Bath (51017), Bland (51021)*, Carroll (51035), Clarke (51043), Fauquier (51061), Floyd (51063), Giles (51071), Rappahannock (51157), Warren (51187)
WI Adams (55001), Burnett (55013), Chippewa (55017), Fond Du Lac (55039), Jackson (55053), Marquette (55077), Monroe (55081), Polk (55095), Richland (55103), Sauk (55111), Trempealeau (55121), Washburn (55129), Washington (55131), Winnebago (55139)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Middle Hudson (02020006)+, Lower Hudson (02030101)+*, Bronx (02030102)+*, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+, Lehigh (02040106)+, Schuylkill (02040203)+, Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+, Chemung (02050105)+, Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna (02050107)+*, Lower West Branch Susquehanna (02050206)+*, Raystown (02050303)+, Lower Susquehanna-Swatara (02050305)+, Lower Susquehanna (02050306)+, North Branch Potomac (02070002)+, South Fork Shenandoah (02070005)+, Shenandoah (02070007)+, Middle Potomac-Catoctin (02070008)+, Rapidan-Upper Rappahannock (02080103)+, Upper James (02080201)+, Middle James-Buffalo (02080203)+
03 Upper Catawba (03050101)+
04 Keweenaw Peninsula (04020103)+*, Upper Fox (04030201)+, Little Calumet-Galien (04040001)+, Milwaukee (04040003)+, St. Joseph (04050001)+, Kalamazoo (04050003)+, Upper Grand (04050004)+, Maple (04050005)+*, Lower Grand (04050006)+*, Pere Marquette-White (04060101)+, Cheboygan (04070004)+*, Shiawassee (04080203)+*, St. Clair (04090001)+*, Clinton (04090003)+, Huron (04090005)+, Raisin (04100002)+, St. Joseph (04100003)+, Huron-Vermilion (04100012)+, Black-Rocky (04110001)+, Cuyahoga (04110002)+, Ashtabula-Chagrin (04110003)+, Irondequoit-Ninemile (04140101)+*, Seneca (04140201)+, Black (04150101)+*
05 Upper Allegheny (05010001)+, Conewango (05010002)+, Middle Allegheny-Tionesta (05010003)+, French (05010004)+, Shenango (05030102)+, Mahoning (05030103)+, Tuscarawas (05040001)+, Upper New (05050001)+, Middle New (05050002)+, Lower Scioto (05060002)+, Upper Great Miami (05080001)+, Whitewater (05080003)+, Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)+, Sugar (05120110)+, Upper White (05120201)+, Eel (05120203)+, Muscatatuck (05120207)+, Lower East Fork White (05120208)+
07 Elk-Nokasippi (07010104)+, Crow Wing (07010106)+, Rum (07010207)+, Upper St. Croix (07030001)+, Namekagon (07030002)+, Kettle (07030003)+, Snake (07030004)+, Lower St. Croix (07030005)+, Trempealeau (07040005)+, La Crosse-Pine (07040006)+, Black (07040007)+, Root (07040008)+, Upper Chippewa (07050001)+, Lower Chippewa (07050005)+, Coon-Yellow (07060001)+, Upper Iowa (07060002)+, Grant-Little Maquoketa (07060003)+, Turkey (07060004)+, Castle Rock (07070003)+, Lower Wisconsin (07070005)+, Kankakee (07120001)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Perennial grass; culms weak, solitary or in small tufts, without rhizome; lemmas 3-nerved, webbed.
General Description: Poa paludigena is a very slender, weak-stemmed plant with an open inflorescence containing few flowers. It can be found as one plant or in small tufts that grow from one half to two feet tall. There are only 2-3 short slender leaves with boat-shaped tips. The branches in the inflorescence are mostly in groups of one or two or rarely three. Three veins are visible on the lemmas and these have small hairs along the base.
Technical Description: Poa paludigena is a perennial grass without a rhizome. Culms are solitary or in very small tufts; slender, weak, 17-70 cm tall. Blades are lax, mostly erect; sheaths minutely scabrous, ligule short-truncate, 0.5 to 1.5 mm long. Panicle is loose, open; branches are long and slender, widely spreading, mostly in two's, spikelet-bearing above the middle; spikelets 2-5 flowered. Lemmas webbed at base, keel and lateral nerves pubescent on the lower 1/2 to 2/3, intermediate nerves glabrous, obscure.
Diagnostic Characteristics: P. paludigena is similar in general appearance to P. compressa and P. palustris. P. compressa has strongly flattened culms and occurs in dry soil habitats; and P. palustris has a stout culm, three to five branches at a node, and an elongate ligule, 2-5 mm long (Fernald 1950,Hitchcock 1935).
Ecology Comments: Poa paludigena is a herbaceous perennial without a rhizome. The fibrous roots are embedded in a moist substrate, i.e. sphagnum or some other moss, hummocks, or fallen rotting trees. There is no evidence of vegetative reproduction (Aldrich, pers. comm.). Stems grow singly or in small tufts. The plant blooms in late May to early June, and the flowers last for only a week or two (Wilhelm, pers. comm.).
Habitat Comments: Extant populations of P. paludigena are found in spring-fed swamps in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania (Homoya, Aldrich, Converse, Smith, pers. comm.); and on algific talus slopes in Iowa (Eilers, pers. comm.).

In northern Indiana, bog bluegrass is found on hummocks in acid seep springs with Osmunda cinnamomea, O. regalis, and Rhus vernix. One site in southern Indiana is a circumneutral seep and the grass grows among Symplocarpus foetidus, Carex leptalea, and Thelypteris palustris (Homoya, pers. comm.). Other associates in Indiana include Larix laricina, Alnus rugosa, Geum rivale, Cypripedium reginae, Rhamnus alnifolia, and Sphagnum sp. (Bacone, et al. 1981).

In Michigan, the plant is found in sphagnum moss around the bases of trees in a Black Ash swamp. The soil is an organic muck with a pH around 6.5-7.0. Associates include Actaea rubra, Osmunda cinnamomea, O. regalis and Carex leptalea (Aldrich, pers. comm.).

In Minnesota, P. paludigena occurs within a Fraxinus nigra-Betula lutea swamp along the base of a steep bluff and at the head of a spring that feeds into the swamp. Associates include Tilia americana, Saxifraga pensylvanica, Acer spicatum, Caltha palustris, Geum rivale, Carex leptalea, Cypripedium calceolus var. pubescens, Symplocarpus foetidus, Viburnum trilobum, Juglans cinerea, and Alnus rugosa (Converse, pers. comm.).

In Pennsylvania, the plant is found on sphagnum hummocks in a circumneutral seepage swamp dominated by Acer rubrum and at a spring head in saturated muck with Symplocarpus foetidus (Smith, pers. comm.).

Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: The primary management concern is to maintain the habitat in an undisturbed condition and to protect it from changes in hydrology and water chemistry. Monitoring should be used to track the major management concerns relative to population size and water conditions. Research should not be conducted unless population declines are noted, due to the sensitive nature of the wetlands. There are historical records of bog bluegrass from nine states, but extant populations are known from only five states. More wetlands should be explored for new populations.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: To ensure the quality of the wetland, the source of the spring must be secured. The plants usually occur near the head of a spring or seep and this fragile area should have enough buffer around it to restrict access. Include enough of the surrounding swamp forest for shade and natural regeneration. When purchasing property, be sure to consider the potential for agricultural runoff into the wetland. Ideally, the entire watershed should be secured.
Management Requirements: Because of the plant's close association with water, the most critical management need is to control factors that would adversely affect water surface and water table fluctuations, and water chemistry.

Many of the extant populations of P. paludigena are recently rediscovered historical populations. The swamp forest habitat appears to be self-maintaining. Shade from the canopy never becomes too dense to pose a threat due to the slow growth and mortality of trees in wetlands (Aldrich, pers. comm.).

Monitoring Requirements: Monitoring should be used to track the accomplishments of the following management objectives: 1) preventing water surface fluctuations which would inundate the plants for extended periods; 2) preventing harmful changes in the water chemistry, i.e. levels of dissolved oxygen, phosphorus, nitrates, etc.; and 3) preventing drainage of wetlands or damming of springs. To note changes in population size, census populations yearly.

The wetland habitat is very sensitive to disruption and to lessen the impacts from monitoring, simple stem counts of individuals are recommended. Census the entire occurrence for small populations and census a sample area for large populations. Populations should be monitored annually. The value of permanent versus relocated samples would have to be determined at each site.

Tracking water surface fluctuations would require intensive monitoring. Due to the commitment of time, perhaps this work should be carried out at the best occurrences or in places where water fluctuations are anticipated and documentation will help protect the area. The threat of drainage or damming can be monitored by inspection of the land within the watershed and frequent contact with the local soil and water conservation agency.

Standard water quality tests can be made by qualified labs, though it is not quite clear what range of variation in specific parameters is acceptable. Baseline water analysis is recommended for each major occurrence unless threats such as agricultural runoff are suspected and additional documentation would be valuable.

Management Research Programs: Contact: Dennis Collins, Berkes County Conservancy, 960 Old Mill Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610. He applied for a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources to conduct research on P. paludigena in 1986.
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: 10Sep1986
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Ormes, M., M. Homoya., S. Gottlieb & C. Russell; S. Neid (1998).
Management Information Edition Date: 02Apr1986
Management Information Edition Author: J. BENDER
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 21May2001
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): KLC

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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  • Bacone, J. A., T. J. Crovello, and L. A. Hauser. 1981. Status Report on Poa paludigena. Report from Indiana Heritage Program to U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • Bender, J. 1986. Element Stewardship Abstract for Poa paludigena. The Nature Conservancy.

  • Bowles, Marlin. 1990. Report on the Status of Endangered and Threatened Plants of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore; Monitoring of Species New to the Lakeshore and Re-monitoring of Selected Species. To Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

  • Coffin, B. and L. Pfannmuller (eds.). 1988. Minnesota's endangered flora and fauna. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

  • Deam, C.C. 1940. Flora of Indiana. Indiana Department of Conservation, Division of Forestry, Indianapolis. 1236 pp.

  • Eilers, L.J. and D.M. Roosa. 1994. The vascular plants of Iowa. University of Iowa Press, Iowa City.

  • Fernald, M. L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. Corrected printing (1970). D. Van Nostrand Company, New York. 1632 pp.

  • Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. D. Van Nostrand, New York. 1632 pp.

  • Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Hitchcock, A.S. 1935. Manual of the Grasses of the United States. U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.

  • Hitchcock, A.S. 1950. Manual of grasses of the United States. Ed.2, rev. by A. Chase. U.S.Dept of Agr. Publ. 200. 1051 p. 2 volumes.

  • 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.]

  • Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, 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.

  • McCormac, J.S. 1993. 1993 status survey for Marsh Speargrass, Poa paludigena, in Ohio. Unpublished report submitted to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus, OH. 16pp.

  • Mitchell, R.S. and C.J. Sheviak. 1981. Rare plants of New York State. New York State Museum, Bull. 445. 96pp.

  • Mitchell, Richard S. and Gordon C. Tucker. 1997. Revised Checklist of New York State Plants. Contributions to a Flora of New York State. Checklist IV. Bulletin No. 490. New York State Museum. Albany, NY. 400 pp.

  • NatureServe. 2006. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 5.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. . Accessed 19 July 2006.

  • Nekola, J. C. 1990. Rare Iowa plant notes from the R. V. Drexler Herbarium. Journal of the Iowa Academy of Sciences 97(1):55-73.

  • New York Natural Heritage Program. 2010. Biotics database. New York Natural Heritage Program. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY.

  • Ownbey, G. B., and T. Morley. 1991. Vascular plants of Minnesota: A checklist and atlas. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

  • Ownbey, G. B., and T. Morley. 1991. Vascular plants of Minnesota: a checklist and atlas. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 320 pp.

  • Ownbey, G. B., and W. R. Smith. 1988. New and noteworthy plant records for Minnesota. Rhodora 90:369-377.

  • Ownbey, G.B. and W.R. Smith. 1988. new and noteworthy plant records for Minnesota. Rhodora 90: 369-377.

  • Rawinski, T.J. 1990. Final status survey report: the distribution and abundance of Bog Bluegrass (Poa paludigena). Unpublished report submitted to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 5. TNC Eastern Heritage Task Force. Boston, MA. 6pp.

  • Reschke, Carol. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Latham, NY. 96 pp. plus xi.

  • Rhoads, Ann F. and Timothy A. Block. 2000. The Plants of Pennsylvania, an Illustrated Manual. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Smith, W. 1989. Status Report on Poa paludigena (Bog bluegrass) in Minnesota. Biological Report No. 3. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul, Minnesota. 9 pp.

  • Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project. 2002. A partnership between the U.S. Forest Service-Region 8, Natural Heritage Programs in the Southeast, NatureServe, and independent scientists to develop and review data on 1300+ regionally and locally rare species in the Southern Appalachian and Alabama region. Database (Access 97) provided to the U.S. Forest Service by NatureServe, Durham, North Carolina.

  • Spooner, D. M., A. W. Cusick, B. Andreas, and D. Anderson. 1983. Notes on Ohio vascular plants previously considered for listing as federally endangered or threatened species. Castanea 48(4):250-258.

  • Spooner, D.M. 1981. Ohio status of Poa paludigena Fern. & Wieg. Unpublished report submitted to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus, OH. 8pp.

  • Swink, F., and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region. Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

  • Voss, E. G. 1972. Michigan flora: A guide to the identification and occurrence of the native and naturalized seed-plants of the state. Part I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Cranbrook Institute of Science. 488 pp.

  • Voss, E.G. 1972. Michigan Flora, Part I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Cranbrook Institute of Science Bulletin 55 and the University of Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor. 488 pp.

  • Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://wwws.nyflora.org/, Albany, New York

  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources. 1993. Guide to Wisconsin's Endangered and Threatened Plants. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources PUBL-ER-067, Madison, Wisconsin. 128 pp.

  • Wovcha, D. S., B. C. Delaney, and G. E. Nordquist. 1995. Minnesota's St. Croix River Valley and Anoka Sandplain:a guide to native habitats.  University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.  248 pp.

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