Puccinellia parishii - A.S. Hitchc.
Parish's Alkali Grass
Other English Common Names: Bog Alkali Grass
Other Common Names: bog alkaligrass
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Puccinellia parishii Hitchc. (TSN 41218)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.154141
Element Code: PMPOA530T0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Puccinellia
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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: Puccinellia parishii
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 18Dec2015
Global Status Last Changed: 06May2008
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Known from scattered occurrences mostly in western New Mexico and northern Arizona, including many in Navajo Nation. Additional somewhat disjunct occurrences are found in Yavapai County, Arizona, southwest Colorado, San Bernardino County, California, and West Texas. Total number of occurrences is estimated to be approximately 28. Populations tend to be small in terms of both number of plants and area occupied. Occupies sites with a fairly specific hydrology (springs or seasonally wet areas that stay moist through the winter and spring). These sites also tend to be heavily used by humans and livestock.  Major threats include alteration of habitat hydrology, conversion to agricultural or urban use, and overgrazing.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2N3

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 Arizona (S2), California (S1), Colorado (S1), Navajo Nation (S2), New Mexico (S1), Texas (SNR)

Other Statuses

Comments on USESA: Puccinellia parishii was proposed for listing as an endangered species on March 28, 1994. On September 25, 1998 the proposal was withdrawn based on the discovery of additional populations and on new information concerning the species' habitat requirements and apparent tolerance to habitat impacts.

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: The range of Puccinellia parishii extends from San Bernardino County, California, to northern Arizona, and to New Mexico, with more recent discoveries extending it to southwest Colorado (in 1998) and to the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas (in 2013) (USFWS 1998; Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2007; Roth 2008; Heil et al. 2013; Carter et al. 2014).  The species was considered falsely reported from Utah by Kartesz (1999) and is not in Welsh (2008).  Utah County, in north-central Utah, is shown in Carter et al. (2014) but this is a false report, based upon a specimen which was later determined to be P. nuttallii. 

Area of Occupancy: 26-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Using a 2 x 2 km grid, area of occupancy is estimated to be about 40 grid cells (Element occurrence data in the NatureServe central database as of August 2015).  The US Fish and Wildlife Service (1998) notes that "the amount of available habitat [at each occupied or potential site] depends on the size of the wet area and can vary from a few square meters to 16 hectares."

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Approximately 28 occurrences are known (Element occurrence data in the NatureServe central database as of August 2015; Carter et al. 2014).  About 15 of these are in New Mexico (5 on Navajo Nation lands), about 9 are in Arizona (8 on Navajo Nation lands), 1 is in California, 2 are in Colorado, and 1 is in Texas.

Population Size Comments: Abundance figures are complicated by the wide fluctuations in occurrences and population size from year to year, in response to climatic conditions and precipitation.  Population size value left blank for this seed-banking annual because the large number of individuals suggests a sense of security that is not warranted.  Individual occurrences tend to be small, with more than half of censused sites having less than 1000 plants.  In addition, limited habitat area is available at each occupied site because of the species' specific hydrological requirements.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very few to few (1-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: One New Mexico occurrence is believed to have Good viability, but viability has not been assessed for most occurrences. Nevertheless, the small size (plant numbers and area occupied) of most occurrences suggests that there are not many with good viability.  About four Arizona sites indicate the possibility of good viability (Arizona Game and Fish Department 2015).  About eight occurrences are ranked A or B (Element occurrence data in the NatureServe central database as of August 2015).

Overall Threat Impact: High - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Major threats include alteration of habitat hydrology (by capture/diversion for livestock and domestic use, groundwater pumping, flood control activities, erosion and stream entrenchment, salt cedar invasion, climate change, etc.), conversion of habitat to agricultural or urban use, and overgrazing. One or more New Mexico populations may be threatened by mining (Element occurrence data in the NatureServe central database as of August 2015). A Colorado occurrence is in a heavily-used area near a reservoir/pipeline and the primary threats are hydrologic alteration and recreation (Rondeau et al. 2011 cited by Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2013). The California occurrence is threatened by groundwater pumping, flood control, and trampling (CNPS 2015). At one Arizona site, Puccinellia parishii was observed growing in a heavily grazed wet meadow  (Arizona Game and Fish Department 2015). It appears to be able to persist at springs that have been severely impacted by livestock grazing and trampling (McDonald 1999).

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Restricted to a rare and vulnerable habitat.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: The range of Puccinellia parishii extends from San Bernardino County, California, to northern Arizona, and to New Mexico, with more recent discoveries extending it to southwest Colorado (in 1998) and to the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas (in 2013) (USFWS 1998; Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2007; Roth 2008; Heil et al. 2013; Carter et al. 2014).  The species was considered falsely reported from Utah by Kartesz (1999) and is not in Welsh (2008).  Utah County, in north-central Utah, is shown in Carter et al. (2014) but this is a false report, based upon a specimen which was later determined to be P. nuttallii. 

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 AZ, CA, CO, NM, NN, TX

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Apache (04001), Coconino (04005), Navajo (04017)*, Yavapai (04025)
CA San Bernardino (06071)
CO Dolores (08033), San Miguel (08113)
NM Catron (35003), Cibola (35006), Grant (35017), Hidalgo (35023), Mckinley (35031), Rio Arriba (35039), San Juan (35045), Sandoval (35043)
UT San Juan (49037)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
13 Jemez (13020202)+, Rio Puerco (13020204)+, Arroyo Chico (13020205)+, Rio San Jose (13020207)+, Mimbres (13030202)+
14 Upper Dolores (14030002)+, San Miguel (14030003)+, Upper San Juan (14080101)+, Middle San Juan (14080105)+, Chaco (14080106)+, Lower San Juan-Four Corners (14080201)+, Lower San Juan (14080205)+
15 Carrizo Wash (15020003)+, Moenkopi Wash (15020018)+, Santa Maria (15030203)+, Upper Gila-Mangas (15040002)+
18 Southern Mojave (18100100)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A tufted winter annual grass. Flowering stems are 2-20 cm tall, with 1-25 stems per each plant. The plants flower in April and May, and set seed and die with the late spring drought.
General Description: Puccinellia parishii> is an annual grass species, which grows in clumps, 3 to 10 cm tall. Cauline leaf blades are generally inrolled, and less than 1 mm wide when flat. Inflorescence is 1-8 cm; lower branches are erect to reflexed in fruit; spikelet stalk is scabrous. Lemma veins are hairy along the lower half, tips are obtuse to truncate, margins near the tip are scabrous-serrate, lowest lemma is approximately 2 mm; anthers of lowest floret approximately 0.5 mm (Hickman 1993).
Technical Description: Annual; culms cespitose, ascending from a decumbent base, 3 to 10 cm tall. Cauline leaf blade generally inrolled, less than 1 mm wide when flat. Inflorescence 1-8 cm; lower branches erect to reflexed in fruit; spikelet stalk scabrous. Spikelet lemma veins hairy in lower half, tip obtuse to truncate, margin near tip scabrous-serrate, lowest lemma approximately 2 mm; anthers of lowest floret approximately 0.5 mm. 2n=14. (Hickman 1993)
Diagnostic Characteristics: Taller and more culms at base than P. simplex. P. parishii is diploid, P. simplex is octaploid.
Duration: ANNUAL
Reproduction Comments: Reproduction and dispersal is abiotic, wind and water facilitated.
Ecology Comments: Dependent on continuous spring or seep flows.
Riverine Habitat(s): SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Playa/salt flat
Habitat Comments: Alkaline springs and seeps feeding canyon bottoms, playas, and marshes, as well as seasonally wet areas at the heads of drainages or on gentle slopes. Requires continuously damp soils during the late winter and spring growing periods. Co-occurring species include Distichlis spicata, Sporobolus airoides, Carex sp., Scirpus sp., Juncus sp., Eleocharis sp., and Anemopsis californica. 700-2200 m.  Saline seepage areas (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2007).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: This species needs its remaining habitat to be preserved and protected from destruction.  Most importantly, the water table level needs to be maintained to allow the natural springs to flow. 
Restoration Potential: The water table would need to be restored and maintained at its historic level.  Seed could be collected for multiplication in a greenhouse setting. The resulting multiplied seed could be either germinated in a greenhouse and transplanted into the field or be broadcast directly in the field.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: A preserve should include a natural alkali spring or seep with sandy clay loam soil. Alkaline saltgrass community species such as Calochortus striatus, Anemopsis californica, Juncus, Distichilis stricta , Atriplex canescens, and Suaeda moquinii would be present in suitable habitat.
Management Requirements: Recommended management procedures should include: 1) eliminating human and livestock impact on the remaining populations by fencing or gating the areas; 2) mapping and annual monitoring of known populations; 3) searching for previously unknown populations in probable habitat; 4) interaction with local water authorities regarding water table level, water use, and the measures necessary to restore the water table to its historic level.
Monitoring Requirements: Monitoring should include detailed mapping of individuals or "clumps" within the population area, as well as a specific count of individuals.
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: 18Dec2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Julie A. Greene; rev. G. Thunhorst, rev. K. Gravuer (2008), rev. A. Tomaino (2015)
Management Information Edition Date: 18Dec2015
Management Information Edition Author: Julie A. Greene, rev. A. Tomaino (2015)
Management Information Acknowledgments: JULIE GREENE (FOR SHARA HOWIE, HO).  Roxanne Bittman, California Department of Fish and Game, Natural Diversity Data Base. Connie Rutherford, USFWS. Dave Charleton, Computer Sciences.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 11Mar1995
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): JULIE A. GREENE, SANDY ROSAMOND, rev. SSP (2014)

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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  • Arizona Game and Fish Department. 2004. Puccinellia parishii. Unpublished abstract compiled and edited by the Heritage Data Management System, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Phoenix, AZ. 6 pp. [http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/edits/documents/Puccpari.d_001.pdf]

  • Arizona Game and Fish Department. 2015. Puccinellia parishii. Unpublished abstract compiled and edited by the Heritage Data Management System, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Phoenix, AZ. 8 pp. [http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/edits/documents/Puccpari.pdf]

  • Arizona Rare Plant Committee. 2000. Arizona rare plant field guide, a collaboration of agencies and organizations, including Arizona Native Plant Society. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington. Online. Available: http://www.aznps.com/rareplants.php (Accessed 2015).

  • Baldwin, B. G., D. H. Goldman, D. J. Keil, R. Patterson, T. J. Rosatti, and D. H. Wilken, eds. 2012. The Jepson manual: vascular plants of California. 2nd edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 1568 pp.

  • California Native Plant Society (CNPS). 2015. Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants (online edition, v8-02). California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA. Online. Available: http://www.rareplants.cnps.org (accessed 2015).

  • Carter, S.K., J.R. Singhurst, and W.C. Holmes. 2014. Puccinellia parishii (Poaceae, Poeae): a genus and species new to Texas. Phytoneuron 58: 1-4.

  • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2008. The Fifth Annual Colorado Rare Plant Symposium: G2 Plants of Colorado. Symposium Minutes. Available on-line http://www.cnhp.colostate.edu/teams/botany.asp#symposia.

  • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2012. Biodiversity Tracking and Conservation System. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.


  • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2013. Colorado Rare Plant Guide. Online. Available: www.cnhp.colostate.edu (accessed 2015).

  • Eghbal, M.K., and R.J. Southard. 1993. Micromorphological evidence of polygenesis of three Aridisols, Western Mojave Desert, California. Soil Science Society America J. 57: 1041-1050.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2007a. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 24. Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Poaceae, part 1. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxviii + 911 pp.

  • Greene, J., and A.C. Sanders. 2006. Parish?s alkali grass. West Mojave Plan Species Accounts. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. [http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib//blm/ca/pdf/pdfs/cdd_pdfs.Par.a91c678c.File.pdf/parishalkgrass1.PDF]

  • Heil, K.D, S.L. O'Kane Jr., L.M. Reeves, and A. Clifford. 2013. Flora of the Four Corners Region. Vascular Plants of the San Juan River Drainage: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Monographs in systematic botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden, Vol. 124, Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, MO. xvi + 1098 pp.

  • Heil, K.D., S.L. O'Kane Jr., L.M. Reeves, and A. Clifford, 2013. Flora of the Four Corners Region, Vascular Plants of the San Juan River Drainage; Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, Missouri. 1098 pp.

  • Hickman, J. C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 1400 pp.

  • 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.]

  • 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.

  • Lavender, A.E., M.M. Fink, S.E. Linn, D.M. Theobald. 2011. Colorado Ownership, Management, and Protection v9 Database. Colorado Natural Heritage Program and Geospatial Centroid, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (30 September).

  • McDonald, C. 1999. New Mexico Rare Plants: Puccinellia parishii (Parish's alkali grass). New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Online. Available: http://nmrareplants.unm.edu/rarelist_single.php?SpeciesID=156 (Accessed 2015).

  • Munz, P.A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Univ. California Press, Berkeley. 1086 pp.

  • Neely, B., S. Panjabi, E. Lane, P. Lewis, C. Dawson, A. Kratz, B. Kurzel, T. Hogan, J. Handwerk, S. Krishnan, J. Neale, and N. Ripley. 2009. Colorado Rare Plant Conservation Strategy, Developed by the Colorado Rare Plant conservation Initiative. The Nature Conservancy, Boulder, Colorado, 117 pp.

  • Phillips, A.M., and B.G. Phillips. 1991. Status report for Puccinellia parishii. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, Phoenix, AZ.

  • Rondeau, R., K. Decker, J. Handwerk, J. Siemers, L. Grunau, and C. Pague. 2011. The state of Colorado's biodiversity 2011. Prepared for The Nature Conservancy. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

  • Roth, D. 2008. May 15 last update. Species account for Puccinellia parishii. Navajo Natural Heritage Program, Window Rock, Arizona. Online. Available: http://nnhp.nndfw.org/ (Accessed 2015).

  • Skinner, M.W., and B.M. Pavlik, eds. 1994. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 5th. edition. California Native Plant Society Special Publication No. 1.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1994. Proposed endangered status for the plant Puccinellia parishii (Parish's alkali grass). Federal Register 59(59): 14378-14382.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1998. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants: withdrawal of proposed rule to list the plant Puccinellia parishii (Parish's alkali grass) as endangered. Federal Register 63(186):51329-51332.

  • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

  • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich and L.C. Higgins. (Eds.) 2008. A Utah Flora. 4th edition, revised. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, U.S.A. 1019 pp.

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