Plants and Animals
Ruppia cirrhosa Widgeon grass
Small grass-like aquatic of highly calcareous lakes; leaves submerged and thread-like, up to 30 cm long; fruits asymmetrical on short to long stalks.
Status and Rank
US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G5 - Secure
State Rank: S1 - Critically 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.
This largely marine species, which inhabits a diversity of coastal and estuarine habitats, is known in Michigan only from Manistique Lake in the Upper Peninsula, where it occurs in up to 8 feet of water on a peaty substrate.
Natural Community Types
- Inland lake, littoral, benthic
- Submergent marsh
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.
Few associate data are known, as most collections of this species were made from plants uprooted and washed ashore. It has been noted to occur with Chara, a green alga.
This species possibly occurs as a post-glacial relict. Its persistence may be dependent on maintaining lake hydrology and preventing water pollution and potential impacts from excessive recreational activities. This submersed aquatic may possibly occur in other northern Michigan lakes.
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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