Sporobolus curtissii - (Vasey ex Beal) Small ex Scribn.
Pineland Dropseed
Other English Common Names: Curtiss' Dropseed
Other Common Names: Curtiss' dropseed
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.157990
Element Code: PMPOA5V090
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Sporobolus
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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: Sporobolus curtissii
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 23Jun2000
Global Status Last Changed: 28May1999
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Relatively small range. Not well documented in much of range, due to being overlooked in the field. Threats by fire suppression and conversion to timber plantations are real; range becoming fragmented. Several protected populations. Normal considerations of element occurrences do not apply here, since S. curtissii is not tracked over bulk of range. The very recent (within last 10 years) sight records and specimens from new counties and even from previously unknown geographical areas need to be followed up to determine a more accurate picture of current abundance.
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 Alabama (S1), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S3), North Carolina (SNR), South Carolina (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Main range is southeastern Georgia to northeastern Florida south to Alachua County, with a few scattered specimens from farther south. It is disjunct to a single (so far) site in Berkeley County, South Carolina; and to a few sites in Okaloosa and Washington Counties in panhandle Florida. There are verbal reports from a competent field botanist that it occurs fairly commonly from Okaloosa County east to Franklin County of panhandle Florida. Sporobolus curtissii still exists in Okaloosa County, its western limit. Bulk of the range is in southeastern Georgia where it exists in the best burned and largest pitcherplant bogs (Georgia Natural Heritage Program, June 2000).

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Sporobolus curtissii is rare only in South Carolina, where disjunct from the main range. Because it is not tracked in Florida and Georgia, estimating the number of occurrences is impossible. It has been collected from 13 Florida counties and 19 Georgia counties, but the number of specimens from each is often just one (based on over 15 herbaria searched). This anomaly is best explained by the inability of botanists to recognize this and other species of tussock grasses in vegetative condition, thus having to rely solely on flowering plants after fires. Range-wide, there are probably a few hundred "EOs", but these mostly are vegetative plants in probably unfavorable conditions. What is more important are the number of populations in good quality habitats. Only 10 out of 29 Florida specimens were collected this century! In Georgia, 16 of 17 specimens were collected this century. Since 1980, a total of 12 collections range-wide have been deposited in herbaria - a paltry amount.

Population Size Comments: This species can be a dominant or co-dominant plant in high quality, fire-maintained ecosystems. How many of these areas remain is at present unknown, but is a key to estimating abundance. There is no doubt that over 10,000 individuals exist, but the number of acres actually occupied may be in the 2,000 to 50,000 range.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Fire suppression and conversion to timber plantations are the main threats, followed by urban/suburban sprawl, development as cropland, etc.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Despite greater understanding of this species and its biology, and despite the fact that botanists soon will document many more occurrences, the overwhelming factor operating since the 1930s is fire-suppression. Fire-suppression is continuously chipping away at its range. Conversion of natural habitat to pine plantations has also been a major factor.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Individuals survive for many years at fire-suppressed sites.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Main range is southeastern Georgia to northeastern Florida south to Alachua County, with a few scattered specimens from farther south. It is disjunct to a single (so far) site in Berkeley County, South Carolina; and to a few sites in Okaloosa and Washington Counties in panhandle Florida. There are verbal reports from a competent field botanist that it occurs fairly commonly from Okaloosa County east to Franklin County of panhandle Florida. Sporobolus curtissii still exists in Okaloosa County, its western limit. Bulk of the range is in southeastern Georgia where it exists in the best burned and largest pitcherplant bogs (Georgia Natural Heritage Program, June 2000).

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 AL, FL, GA, NC, SC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Covington (01039)
SC Berkeley (45015)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Santee (03050112)+, Yellow (03140103)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Perennial grass. Each individual forms a dense tussock up to 0.75 m wide and 0.3 m high. Leaves are linear, up to 0.25 m long,1-2 mm wide when flat, but prone to folding or becoming involute with age and/or drought. Several to many erect culms reach 0.3-0.8 m tall, each producing a terminal panicle up to 0.25 m long. Panicle is reddish to purplish brown colored, with spikelets appressed to the branches. Sporobolus curtissii can be identified when sterile, but only with practice, since it co-occurs with at least five other tussock-forming species. A good character is its relatively short, bright green leaves; those of Muhlenbergia expansa may be as short, but are blue-green. Plants seldom produce flowering culms unless burned.
Habitat Comments: Mesic to more-or-less wet flatwoods dominated by longleaf pine, but by slash pine and longleaf at the wet end of the spectrum (ecotones of bayheads and streamheads). Saw palmetto is a common and often abundant component, but may be entirely absent. Other woody associates include Bejaria racemosa, Kalmia hirsuta, Vaccinium myrsinites, Ilex glabra, Quercus minima, Q. marilandica, Q. incana, Lyonia fruticosa, Gaylussacia nana. A wide diversity of herbs occur. Co-occurring grasses include Aristida beyrichiana, A. rhizomorpha, A. spiciformis, Andropogon spp., Schizachyrium tenerum, Ctenium aromaticum, Sporobolus floridanus, Tridens ambiguus, Muhlenbergia expansa. Habitat is fire-maintained.
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: 07May1999
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: B.A. Sorrie (1999), rev. G. Davis (6/00)

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
Help
  • 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.

  • Weakley, A.S. 1996. Flora of the Carolinas and Virginia: working draft of 23 May 1996. The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Southern Conservation Science Dept., Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Unpaginated.

  • Weakley, A.S. and P.M. Peterson. 1998. Taxonomy of the Sporobolus floridanus complex (Poaceae: Sporobolinae). Sida 18(1): 247-270.

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