Plants and Animals
Poa alpina Alpine bluegrass
Small sparsely tufted grass (40 cm) of the Upper Peninsula; leaves narrow (2-4 mm); inflorescence pyramidal, twice as tall as wide; lemmas are 3-nerved, have long, fine hairs between the margin and the keel, and lack a tuft of cobwebby hairs at the base.
Status and Rank
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S1S2 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from critically imperiled to imperiled
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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.
Alpine bluegrass is found in moist to dry limestone and in basaltic rock crevices along Great Lakes shores, particularly on Isle Royale, Keweenaw County, and Drummond Island.
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.
Harebell, yarrow, cat's foot, downy oat grass, shrubby cinquefoil, Richardson's sedge, bulrush sedge, bunchberry, little bluestem, prairie dropseed, Canadian milk vetch, sedges, Indian paintbrush, field chickweed, bastard toad flax, grass, hair grass, prairie smoke, ground juniper, bee-balm, and old field goldenrod.
This species requires protection of the habitat and perpetuation of natural disturbance and hydrological regimes. Plants may not tolerate later stages of succession and likely require management that prevents woody plant encroachment such as prescribed burns or woody plant removal. This species is susceptible to damage from excessive recreational use and foot traffic.
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 June to fourth week of August
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- Hitchcock, A. S. 1951. Manual of the Grasses of the United States. Second ed. Revised by A. Chase. U.S. Department of Agriculture Miscellaneous Publications 200. 1051pp.
- Holmgren, N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the vascular plants of Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 937pp.
- Scoggan, H.J. 1978. The Flora of Canada. National Museum of Natural Science Publications Botany 4: 1711pp.
- Voss, E. G. 1972. Michigan Flora. Part I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 488pp.