Spartina foliosa - Trin.
California Cordgrass
Other Common Names: California cordgrass
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Spartina foliosa Trin. (TSN 41275)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.133813
Element Code: PMPOA5S050
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Spartina
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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: Spartina foliosa
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 24Sep2007
Global Status Last Changed: 24Sep2007
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: S. foliosa is an important component of salt marsh vegetation in Pacific estuaries. It occurs from northern California to Baja California, Mexico, with the largest populations found in San Francisco Bay and Baja California. Although still common, the persistence of pure S. foliosa is threatened by hybridization with S. alterniflora, which was introduced from the East and Gulf coasts of North America. Hybrids have high ecological and reproductive vigor, and the absence or near-absence of pure S. foliosa in marshes where hybrids have been present for 30-40 years is cause for concern. Currently, the threat of hybridization exists only in San Francisco Bay, but the ability of hybrids to disperse by seed on the tides suggests that it may eventually threaten the species throughout its global range.
Nation: United States
National Status: NNR

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 (SNR)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Northern California to Baja California, Mexico. Large populations exist in San Francisco Bay and Baja California, with smaller populations in isolated estuaries in between (Ayres and Strong 2003). Also grows north of San Francisco Bay at sites including Drake's Estero, Tomales Bay, and Humboldt Bay (Daehler and Strong 1996).

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Spartina alterniflora, introduced from the East and Gulf Coasts of North America, hybridizes with S. foliosa in San Francisco Bay. Many of these hybrids are ecologically and reproductively superior to S. foliosa and swamp its reproduction, eliminating pure S. foliosa through repeated backcrossing. S. foliosa is virtually absent in marshes where hybrids have grown longest in San Francisco Bay. Floating seed and fragments may allow these aggressive hybrids to be dispersed throughout San Francisco Bay and beyond, potentially threatening S. foliosa throughout its range (adapted from Ayres and Strong 2003).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Northern California to Baja California, Mexico. Large populations exist in San Francisco Bay and Baja California, with smaller populations in isolated estuaries in between (Ayres and Strong 2003). Also grows north of San Francisco Bay at sites including Drake's Estero, Tomales Bay, and Humboldt Bay (Daehler and Strong 1996).

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.
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U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
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Estuarine Habitat(s): Herbaceous wetland
Habitat Comments: Grows at the low fringe of native terrestrial vegetation on estuarine shorelines, from approximately mean sea level to mean high water tidal elevations (Ayres and Strong 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: 24Sep2007
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Gravuer, K.

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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  • Ayres, D. R. and D. R. Strong. 2003. Spartina foliosa (Poaceae) - a common species on the road to rarity? Madroņo 50(3): 209-213.

  • Daehler, C. C. and D. R. Strong. 1996. Status, prediction, and prevention of introduced cordgrass Spartina spp. invasions in Pacific estuaries, USA. Biological Conservation 78: 51-58.

  • 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.

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