Sphagnum fitzgeraldii - Ren. in Lesq. & James
Fitzgerald's Peatmoss
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Sphagnum fitzgeraldii Ren. in Lesq. & James (TSN 548200)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.123844
Element Code: NBMUS6Z0B0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Non-Vascular - Mosses
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Bryophyta Sphagnopsida Sphagnales Sphagnaceae Sphagnum
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Anderson, L.E. 1990. A checklist of Sphagnum in North America north of Mexico. The Bryologist 93(4):500-501.
Concept Reference Code: A90AND02HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Sphagnum fitzgeraldii
Taxonomic Comments: Lectotypification and authorship has been clarified (Anderson 1993).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 11Mar2009
Global Status Last Changed: 11Mar2009
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Sphagnum fitzgeraldii is not a common moss (Reese 1984). It occurs near the coast and grows on sand in wet pinelands, low savannas, and pocosin margins from Virginia south to Florida and Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The draining and filling of coastal plain wetlands is a serious threat to this species; even on conservation lands, isolated wetlands remain threatened by off-road vehicle use. The moss has also been reported from the Galapagos Islands.
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 Alabama (SNR), Florida (SNR), Georgia (SNR), Louisiana (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), North Carolina (S2S3), South Carolina (SNR), Virginia (SNR)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: In North America, it occurs near the coast from Virginia to Florida,Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana (McQueen and Andrus 2007). The moss has also been reported from the Galapagos Islands (Crum and Anderson 1981).

Area of Occupancy: Unknown 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: Unknown
Number of Occurrences Comments: Not currently tracked as a rare bryophyte by any state Natural Heritage Program. Formerly tracked by NC Natural Heritage Program, but now on their watch list. The difficulty with the identification of peat mosses (Sphagnum) makes the acquisition of additional location records dependent on directed surveys for Sphagnum.

Population Size Comments: Sphagnum fitzgeraldii is not a common moss (Reese 1984).

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The draining and filling of coastal plain wetlands is a serious threat to this peat moss. Isolated ponds are an important habitat for it. On conservation lands, isolated wetlands remain threatened by off-road vehicle use.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Short-term Trend Comments: Estimated short term trend greater than 30% decline, due to loss of wetland habitat and the lack of fire in areas of remaining wetland habitat.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 50-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: Estimated long term trend greater than 50% decline, due to loss of wetland habitat and the long term lack of fire in areas of remaining wetland habitat.

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Depends on natural ponds, pocosins and other coastal plain wetlands.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: In North America, it occurs near the coast from Virginia to Florida,Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana (McQueen and Andrus 2007). The moss has also been reported from the Galapagos Islands (Crum and Anderson 1981).

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.

Map unavailable!:
Distribution data for U.S. states and Canadian provinces is known to be incomplete or has not been reviewed for this taxon.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, VA

Range Map
No map available.

National Distribution Outside of U.S. & Canada: Ecuador
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Mosses submerged (but becoming stranded), small, lax, pale-green (whitish when dry). Terminal bud rather large. Young pendent branches not noticeably in pairs. Stem leaves relatively large, much like branch leaves and sometimes larger, concave, oblong-ovate to elliptic, rounded and serrulate at the apex. Branch leaves not undulate when dry, ovate, oblong-elliptic, or nearly rectangular, broadly rounded and coarsely toothed at the apex, serrulate below the apex, usually to the base (Crum and Anderson 1981).
Technical Description: From McQueen and Andrus (2007): Plants small and weak-stemmed, flaccid and more or less plumose when submerged to (more frequently) sprawling in thin mats; capitulum more or less compact and with a strong terminal bud; pale green to greenish white. Stem pale green; superficial cortex of 1-2 layers of thin-walled and well differentiated cells. Stem leaves large, ovate to oblong-ovate, about 2 mm, more or less spreading; apex rounded and serrulate; hyaline cells fibrillose and often 1-septate, convex surface generally aporose, concave surface with 1-several round pores per cell in ends and angles. Branches unranked to slightly 5-ranked, often short and blunt at distal end. Branch fascicles with 1-2 spreading and 0-1 pendent branches. Branch stems green, with cortex enlarged with conspicuous retort cells. Branch leaves ovate to oblong-quadrate, 1.2-2.5 mm, not undulate or recurved when dry, strongly toothed across apex and serrulate on margins; hyaline cells with to 4 small round ringed pores at cell ends on convex surface, small round wall thinnings in the cell ends and angles on the concave surface; chlorophyllous cells trapezoidal in transverse section, more broadly exposed on the convex surface. Sexual condition monoicous. Spores 38-48 Ám; both surfaces covered with fine to moderately coarse papillae; proximal laesura less than 0.4 spore radius.
Diagnostic Characteristics: The wide truncate branch leaves easily distinguish it in most situations (McQueen and Andrus 2007).
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND, TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Conifer, Forest/Woodland, Savanna, Woodland - Conifer
Habitat Comments: Sphagnum fitzgeraldii is barely submerged in winter and spring, completely dry in summer, growing on sand in open, weakly minerotrophic habitats in wet, burned-over pinelands, low savannas, and pocosin margins (Crum and Anderson 1981). Commonly in prostrate mats on damp sand, often in recently burned or cleared areas, also occasionally floating in ditches; low elevations (McQueen and Andrus 2007). Pond edges, wet depressions in pine forests, shrub bogs (Reese 1984).
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: 11Mar2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Gries, D., rev. C. Nordman (2009)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 11Mar2009
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): rev. C. Nordman (2009)

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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  • Anderson, L.E. 1990. A checklist of Sphagnum in North America north of Mexico. The Bryologist 93(4):500-501.

  • Anderson, L.E. 1993. Lectotypification and authorship of Sphagnum fitzgeraldii (Sphagnaceae). Hattori Shokubutsu Kenkyujo Hokoku 74:139-144.

  • Crum, H.A., and L.E. Anderson. 1981. Mosses of eastern North America. 2 Volumes. Columbia Univ. Press, New York. 1328 pp.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2007b. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 27. Bryophytes: Mosses, Part 1. Oxford University Press, New York. xxi + 713 pp.

  • McQueen, C.B., and R.E. Andrus. 2007. Sphagnaceae Dumortier. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2007. Flora of North America, Vol. 27. Bryophyta, Part 1. Oxford University Press.

  • Reese, W.D. 1984. Mosses of the Gulf South: From the Rio Grande to the Apalachicola. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge. 252 pp.

  • Shaw, A.J., C.J. Cox, and S.B. Boles. 2003. Global patterns in peatmoss biodiversity. Molecular Ecology 12(10):2553-2570.

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