Betula populifolia
Gray birch
Image of Betula populifolia

Photo by Ryan P. O'Connor 

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Key Characteristics

Small tree (25-40 feet); leaves very acuminate; bark never exfoliating; female catkins 3-4 mm broad with finely pubescent scales.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S3
  • Global Rank: G5

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Ingham11999
Jackson11999
Wayne22001
Distribution map for Betula populifolia

Updated 1/31/2017. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

Recently documented from Michigan, this species occurs on disturbed acidic soils in old fields, successional forests, and bogs.

Natural Community Types

Methodology

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Feel free to send questions and comments to Brad Slaughter at slaugh14@msu.edu.

Associated Plants

Management

Typical of many birch species, the little data availabe indicates gray birch requires periodic disturbance such as fire, clearing, or light soil disturbance. Competition from invasive species is known to be problematic, and several sites are also in need of protection from development pressure.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Mar 24, 2017]

References

Survey References

Technical References