Plants and Animals

Botrychium spathulatum Spatulate moonwort

Key Characteristics

Small fern (10-20 cm) of northern dunes; leaf blade shiny yellow-green, narrowly deltate, pinnately divided in up to 8 pairs of pinnae; basal pinnae spatulate; leaves appearing later in season than B. minganense.

Status and Rank

US Status:
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G3 - Vulnerable
State Rank: S2 - Imperiled

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Alcona11989
Alger11988
Chippewa1
Leelanau11985
Mackinac21999

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

This species is occassionally found in open sand dunes, but usually located in low grassy swales beneath low shrubs or northern white-cedar. It is also occassionally found inland along sandy roadsides and trails.

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.

Associated Plants

Marram grass, western moonwort, northern white-cedar, poison ivy, red-osier dogwood, and choke cherry.

Management Recommendations

This species likely requires protection of its dune habitat from development as well as erosion from ORV use or excessive foot traffic.

Survey Methods

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

  • Meander search

    • Survey Period: From fourth week of May to fourth week of June

References

Survey References

  • Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, and J.W. Willoughby. 1998. Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations. The Nature Conservancy and Bureau of Land Management, Denver. BLM Technical Reference 1730-1. 477pp.
  • Goff, G.F., G.A. Dawson, and J.J. Rochow. 1982. Site examination for Threatened and Endangered plant species. Environmental Management 6(4): 307-316
  • Nelson, J.R. 1984. Rare Plant Field Survey Guidelines. In: J.P. Smith and R. York. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 3rd Ed. California Native Plant Society, Berkeley. 174pp.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1986. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques For Impact Assessment. Natural Areas Journal 5(3):18-30.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1987. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques for Impact Assessment. In: Conservation and management of rare and endangered plants. Ed. T.S. Elias. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 8pp.

Technical References

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 1993. Flora of North America, North of Mexico. Volume 2: Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms. Oxford University Press, New York. 475pp.