Plants and Animals
Eleocharis melanocarpa Black-fruited spike-rush
Perennial spike-rush of sandy, intermittently wet soils; culms clumped, flattened; achenes black, topped by a broad, flattened, pale cap.
Status and Rank
US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure
State Rank: S3 - Vulnerable
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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.
Found in areas with a fluctuating water table such as coastal plain marshes, sandy lake edges, dune swales, seepages, sandy marshes, sandy and peaty edges of wetlands, and intermittent wetlands.
Natural Community Types
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.
Numerous graminoids associated with coastal plain marshes, including Engelmann's spikerush, panic grasses, bulrushes, and beak-rushes; bluejoint grass, twig-rush, sedges, bushy aster, black-fruited spike-rush, umbrella-grass, northern clubmoss, panic grass, cross-leaved milkwort, bald rush, tall beak-rush, tooth-cup, netted nut-rush, hyssop hedge nettle, marsh St John's-wort, pipewort, autumn sedge, meadow beauty; shrub margin: red maple, black gum, pin oak, black chokecherry, dogwoods, and buttonbush.
This species requires conservation of habitat and protection of the hydrology, including maintenance of cyclical drawdown regime and water table. Maintain moist, open habitat. It is also vulnerable to ORV impacts and dredging and filling activities.
Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.
Survey Period: From first week of August to fourth week of September
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