Potamogeton tennesseensis - Fern.
Tennessee Pondweed
Other Common Names: Tennessee pondweed
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Potamogeton tennesseensis Fern. (TSN 39052)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.149368
Element Code: PMPOT03130
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Pondweed Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Najadales Potamogetonaceae Potamogeton
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Concept Reference
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: Potamogeton tennesseensis
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 30Mar2012
Global Status Last Changed: 30Mar2012
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: A regional endemic, dependent of aquatic habitats within a relatively narrow Appalachian range. It is threatened by commercial development of habitat and alteration of water level and water quality.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States North Carolina (S1), Ohio (S2), Pennsylvania (S1), Tennessee (S2), Virginia (S1), West Virginia (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Appalachian endemic known from 6 states: North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Also, it has been reported for Kentucky.

Area of Occupancy: 26-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Area of occupancy including historic occurrences would be 190 square km (45 4 sq-km grid cells). There are many historic occurrences.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Extant occurrences in PA (3 occurrences), TN (8 occurrences), OH (15 occurrences), VA ( found in 3 counties), WV (found in 7 counties). It has also been reported in NC and KY.

Population Size Comments: Assessment of populations often given in units of area occupied rather than counts of individuals.

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

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Aquatic habitat highly threatened by agricultural run-off and other pollutants or alterations (including dams and water diversions). Stream impacts from mining, oil and gas activities may threaten certain populations. Somewhat threatened by land-use conversion and habitat fragmentation (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%

Long-term Trend: Decline of 10-50%

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Species may be sensitive to alterations in water chemistry.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: Appalachian endemic known from 6 states: North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Also, it has been reported for Kentucky.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States NC, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
OH Adams (39001), Jackson (39079), Pike (39131), Scioto (39145)*, Vinton (39163)
PA Allegheny (42003)*, Beaver (42007)*, Bedford (42009)*, Fayette (42051), Fulton (42057)
TN Bledsoe (47007)*, Blount (47009), Cumberland (47035), Fentress (47049)*, Monroe (47123), Morgan (47129), Polk (47139), Scott (47151)
VA Augusta (51015)*, Bath (51017)*, Bland (51021)*, Giles (51071)
WV Greenbrier (54025)*, Harrison (54033), Tucker (54093)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Cacapon-Town (02070003)+, South Fork Shenandoah (02070005)+*, Upper James (02080201)+*
05 Lower Allegheny (05010009)+*, West Fork (05020002)+, Cheat (05020004)+*, Youghiogheny (05020006)+, Upper Ohio (05030101)+*, Middle New (05050002)+, Greenbrier (05050003)+*, Gauley (05050005)+*, Lower Scioto (05060002)+, Raccoon-Symmes (05090101)+, South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+
06 Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)+, Emory (06010208)+, Hiwassee (06020002)+, Sequatchie (06020004)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Basic Description: An aquatic perennial herb that produces both submersed and floating leaves. Floating leaves measure 2-5.5 cm long and up to 3.5 cm wide; submerged leaves are very narrow and grass-like. Emergent spikes of flowers, followed by circular, keeled fruits, appear sporadically during the flowering/fruiting season (May-October).
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, CREEK, High gradient, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Habitat Comments: Streams, ponds, and shallows of rivers.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary
Stewardship Overview: Maintain terrestrial habitat buffer surrounding and upstream of occurrences in addition to maintaining high quality of aquatic habitat. Riparian best management practices are important for watersheds where this rare aquatic plant occurs.
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 30Mar2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Harmon, P.J.; K. Maybury (1996); rev. S. Neid (1997), rev. C. Nordman (2012).
Management Information Edition Date: 30Mar2012
Management Information Edition Author: Nordman, C.

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).

  • Braun, L.E. 1967. The Monocotyledoneae: cat-tails to orchids. Vol. One. Ohio State Univ. Press, Columbus, Ohio. 464 pp.

  • Chester, E.W., B.E. Wofford, R. Kral, H.R. DeSelm, and A.M. Evans. 1993. Atlas of Tennessee vascular plants: Vol. 1. Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Angiosperms: Monocots. Austin Peay State Univ., Clarksville, Tennessee. 118 pp.

  • Fassett, Norman C. 1940. A Manual of Aquatic Plants. McGraw- Hill Book Company, New York, New York. 382 p.

  • Fernald, M.L. 1936. A new pondweed from Tennessee. Rhodora 38:165-169.

  • Fernald, M.L. 1950 Gray's Manual of Botany, 8th ed. American Book Company, New York. 1632 pp.

  • Harvill, A.M, Jr. C.E.Stevens, and D.M.E.Ware. 1977. Atlas of the Virginia Flora, Part 1: Pteridophytes through Monocotyledons. Virginia Botanical Associates. Farmville, VA.

  • Hutton, E.E., and R.B. Clarkson. 1961. Two plants new for North America and some new or otherwise interesting plants in West Virginia. Castanea 26:84-88.

  • 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.

  • McCance, R.M., Jr., and J.F. Burns, eds. 1984. Ohio endangered and threatened vascular plants: Abstracts of state-listed taxa. Division Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Dept. Natural Resources, Columbus. 635 pp.

  • Ogden, E. C. 1943. The broad-leaved species of Potamogeton of North America north of Mexico. Rhodora 45:57-105, 19-163, 171-214.

  • Ogden, E. C. 1947. Potamogeton tennesseensis new to the Manual Range. Rhodora 49:255-256.

  • Ogden, E. C. 1953. Key to the North American species of Potamogeton. New York State Museum, Circular 31.

  • Rhoads, A.F., and W.M. Klein, Jr. 1993. The vascular flora of Pennsylvania: Annotated checklist and atlas. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA. 636 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.

  • Strausbaugh, P.D., and E.L. Core. 1978. Flora of West Virginia. Seneca Books, Inc., Grantsville, WV. 1079 pp.

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