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Occurrences of rare and uncommon calcareous wetland plants surveyed by the Manitoba Conservation Data Centre in 2003 Manitoba Conservation Data Centre MS Catherine Foster Cary Hamel Elizabeth Reimer
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Occurrences of rare and uncommon calcareous wetland plants surveyed by the Manitoba Conservation Data Centre in 2003 Manitoba Conservation Data Centre MS Catherine Foster Cary Hamel Elizabeth Reimer Manitoba Conservation Data Centre Box 24, 200 Saulteaux Crescent Winnipeg, Manitoba R3J 3W3 Executive Summary Little is known of calcareous wetland distribution in Manitoba. Calcareous fens may be one of the rarest wetland plant communities in North America (Eggers et al. 1997). With the objective of updating and finding new occurrences of rare plant species, the Manitoba Conservation Centre (CDC) carried out surveys of calcareous wetlands in Fifteen rare and uncommon plant species known to occur in calcareous wetlands were targeted. Twenty-three occurrences of seven of these species were documented at fifteen sites. Six occurrences of five other rare and uncommon plant species were incidentally encountered. Scientific Name Common Name MB CDC Rank 2003 Occurrences Drosera linearis slender-leaved sundew S2 1 Drosera anglica oblong-leaved sundew S3 3 Rhynchospora capillacea horned beakrush S2 3 Rhynchospora alba white beakrush S3? 3 Liparis loeselii yellow twayblade S3? 9 Cypripedium reginae showy lady s slipper S3? 3 Solidago uliginosa bog goldenrod S3 1 Potential threats to calcareous wetlands and the rare plants observed in 2003 include drainage, right-of way maintenance activities, all terrain vehicles, agricultural runoff, shrub encroachment, forestry, gravel extraction, peat mining and invasive species. i Acknowledgments This work was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Special Conservation Fund and the Wildlife and Ecosystem Protection Branch of Manitoba Conservation, as well as the Habitat Stewardship Program of Environment Canada. The Manitoba Museum, the Critical Wildlife Habitat Program, and Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation all provided invaluable logistical support. Elizabeth Punter, of the University of Manitoba s herbarium, provided valuable information and suggested potential sites to be searched. Both Elizabeth Punter and Dave Punter (University of Manitoba Department of Botany) were consulted regarding past occurrences. Christie Borkowsky and Laura Reeves, of the Manitoba Tall Grass Prairie Preserve, assisted in locating previously known occurrences. ii Table of Contents Executive Summary...i Acknowledgments...ii Table of Contents...iii List of Figures...iv Introduction...1 Methods...2 Results...3 Targeted calcareous wetland species observed in Slender-leaved sundew (Drosera linearis) Droseraceae...4 Oblong-leaved sundew (Drosera anglica) Droseraceae...5 Horned beakrush (Rhynchospora capillacea) Cyperaceae...7 White beakrush (Rhynchospora alba) Cyperaceae...8 Yellow twayblade (Liparis loeselii) Orchidaceae...10 Showy lady s slipper (Cypripedium reginae) Orchidaceae...12 Bog goldenrod (Solidago uliginosa var. linoides) Asteraceae...14 Occurrences of targeted calcareous wetland species observed in Southeastern Occurrences...16 Highway Tall Grass Prairie Preserve...17 Whitemouth Bog...18 Northern Occurrences...19 Highway Highway Highway 327 (Easterville Road)...24 Western Occurrences...24 Shell River, Duck Mountain Provincial Park...25 Broken Pipe...26 Conservation Issues...28 Threats...28 Management...29 Future Research...29 Literature Cited...30 Appendix: Definitions of Conservation Status Ranks...32 iii List of Figures Figure 1. Slender-leaved sundew leaf....4 Figure 2. Slender-leaved sundew occurrence....5 Figure 4. Oblong-leaved sundew occurrences....6 Figure 6. Horned beakrush occurrences....8 Figure 8. White beakrush occurrences....9 Figure 9. Yellow twayblade in fruit at Whitemouth Bog...10 Figure 10. Yellow twayblade occurrences...11 Figure 11. Showy lady's slipper Figure 12. Showy lady's slipper range and 2003 occurrences Figure 13. Bog goldenrod at Whitemouth Bog...14 Figure 14. Bog goldenrod occurrences...15 Figure 15. Aerial photo of Highway 15 fen Figure 16. Rose pogonia...16 Figure 17. Yellow twayblade occurrences at the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve...17 Figure 18. Hydro right-of way at the north-west end of Whitemouth Bog containing a yellow twayblade occurrence Figure 19. Fen south of Devil's Lake containing an occurrence of showy lady s slipper. 19 Figure 20. White beakrush occurrence off Highway Figure 21. The first fen searched along Highway 60 containing occurrences of white beakrush and oblong-leaved sundew Figure 22. Fen north-east of Katimik Lake containing white beakrush and oblong-leaved sundew occurrences Figure 23. Horned beakrush occurrence north-west of Katimik Lake Figure 24. Site off Highway 327 containing occurrences of yellow twayblade and showy lady s slipper...24 Figure 25. Horned beakrush and oblong-leaved sundew occurrences at Shell River trail Figure 26. Horned beakrush and oblong-leaved sundew occurrences at Broken Pipe Fen north of gravel road...26 Figure 27. Broken Pipe fen south of gravel road Figure 28. Peat mined site at previously known occurrence of swamp pink (Calopogon pulchellus) (S2) at Moss Spur, iv Introduction Canada is estimated to contain a quarter of the world s wetlands (Kennedy and Mayer 2002). In Manitoba, wetlands cover 43% of the terrestrial landscape (Halsey et al 1997). However, there is a lack of information on the distribution of calcareous wetlands in Manitoba (Jones et al. 1999). Calcareous fens are considered the rarest wetland plant community in Minnesota and Wisconsin (Eggers et al. 1997). Threats to Manitoba wetlands include drainage, agricultural runoff, off-road vehicle use, peat extraction, forestry, right-of-way maintenance, and invasion by exotic species. In 1998 surveys in the Gull Lake area (south-east of Lake Winnipeg) identified unique calcareous wetlands capable of supporting high concentrations of rare plant species (Jones et al. 1999). Habitats surveyed include relatively rare calcareous fens and coniferous swamps. Fifteen rare plants were reported, including calcium loving sedges, carnivorous plants and orchids. The Manitoba Conservation Data Centre (CDC) targeted these species and the habitats in which they occur for wetland surveys in The data collected in 2003 expands on existing information on calcareous wetlands and fills gaps in the knowledge of rare species distributions, abundance, habitat preferences and threats. Such data is critical for making informed decisions related to land management, protection, conservation status, recovery and future research. Table 1. Rare and uncommon species observed at the Gull Lake wetlands in 1998 that were targeted in Scientific Name Common Name MB CDC Rank Arethusa bulbosa dragon s mouth S2 Calopogon pulchellus swamp pink S2 Carex sterilis sterile sedge S2 Cladium mariscoides twig rush S2 Cypripedium arietinum ram s head lady slipper S2? Cypripedium reginae showy lady s slipper S3? Drosera anglica oblong-leaved sundew S3 Drosera linearis linear-leaved sundew S2 Liparis loeselii yellow twayblade S3? Lycopodium selago mountian- club-moss S2S3 Malaxis unifolia green adder s mouth S2? Rhynchospora alba White beakrush S3? Rhynchospora capillacea horned beakrush S2 Solidago uliginosa bog goldenrod S3 Utricularia cornuta horned bladderwort S3 1 Methods The habitat characteristics and species assemblages observed at the Gull Lake calcareous wetlands form the basis for determining the wetland locations surveyed in Herbarium records and the CDC s database were searched for other occurrences in Manitoba of the fifteen rare plant species recorded at the Gull Lake wetlands. Promising sites with specific directions were searched based on flowering or fruiting dates in an attempt to update past occurrence data and find new occurrences. GIS themes maintained by Manitoba Conservation containing wetland, soils and forestry layers, aerial photographs and satellite imagery were consulted in an attempt to find additional locations with potentially suitable habitat. Based on information gathered using these tools, as well as discussions with knowledgeable individuals, sites with potential for supporting additional rare plant occurrences were determined. Accessible sites were ground-truthed and those with suitable habitat were searched for rare plant species between June and August of Data on occurrences of rare plant species were recorded and mapped in a GIS application (Biotics Mapper) and its associated database (Biotics Tracker). GPS coordinates recorded in the field were used to map occurrences in the GIS and associated information was entered in the database. Data recorded for each occurrence include specific directions, a map of the boundary of the extent of occurrence, habitat preference, population abundance, density, health, associated vegetation, threats, phenology and photographs. Specimens were collected where population numbers allowed. Scientific names follow Kartesz (1999). Global, national and subnational (G, N, S) conservation status ranks are defined in Appendix 1. All images are Manitoba CDC unless otherwise noted. 2 Results Over fifty sites were visited for calcareous wetland surveys in Twenty-one sites where occurrences had previously been recorded were visited. Several sites had become inaccessible or had been altered due to anthropogenic disturbances such as mowing, drainage and peat mining or had succeeded to more common shrub communities. Attempts to re-locate occurrences may have failed at some sites due to vague directions based on old herbarium labels. In addition, 2003 was an exceptionally dry year, which may have adversely affected some populations. For example showy lady s slipper numbers have been known to decrease in dry years. Thirty new sites were visited. Half of these sites turned out to be unsuitable habitat when ground-truthed or were inaccessible. A total of fifteen sites were found to contain 23 occurrences of the targeted species. Seven of the targeted species were observed in All sites that contained occurrences of the targeted species displayed some characteristics of calcareous fens. All sites had accumulated peat with species indicative of circumneutral to alkaline conditions. Vegetation patterns and channels indicating slow moving water were observed at most sites. Several contained calcareous marl pools. Many sites graded into bogs or wet meadows. Descriptions of the seven targeted plant species that were observed in 2003 are presented below. Site descriptions of the occurrences follow as several sites contained more than one rare species occurrence. 3 Targeted calcareous wetland species observed in 2003 Slender-leaved sundew (Drosera linearis) Droseraceae G4, N4, S2 Figure 1. Slender-leaved sundew leaf. Sundews are small insectivorous plants. Their leaves form a basal rosette from which the long leafless flower stalk arises. Gland-tipped hairs at the edges of the leaves trap insects attracted by their reddish colour and sweet scent of secreted fluids (Fig. 1). The small white flowers terminate the flower stalk and produce seed-containing capsules. Three species of sundew occur in Manitoba. The round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) is the most common (S5), the oblong-leaved sundew (Drosera anglica) is uncommon (S2) and the slender-leaved sundew (Drosera linearis) is the rarest of the three (S1). The three species of Drosera may be distinguished based on leaf and fruit morphology. The slender-leaved sundew bears linear leaves, with parallel edges, up to 6 cm long (Scoggan 1957). The flower stalk is 4-10 cm high and bears a single or few flowers (Looman and Best 1987). The seeds are rhomboidal and densely shallow-pitted. It flowers from June to August (Johnson 1981). Slender-leaved sundew is restricted to Canada and several of the northern states that border Canada (NatureServe 2003). It is considered rare (S2) in Manitoba, where it has been recorded from calcareous fens to the south-west of Gull Lake, to the north-east of Katimik Lake (north-east of Lake Winnipegosis) and near Carberry (Fig. 2). It has also been reported from God s River, Roseau River and Whitemouth Bog. This species tends to prefer richer calcareous areas than the other two species found in Manitoba (Johnson 1981). One occurrence of slender-leaved sundew was observed in Figure 2. Slender-leaved sundew occurrence. Oblong-leaved sundew (Drosera anglica) Droseraceae G5, N?, S3 Figure 3. Oblong-leaved sundew. ( C. Ladyka) The oblong-leaved sundew bears leaves that tend to be wider towards the tip and are usually under 2.5 cm long (Scoggan 1957) (Fig. 3). The flower stalk grows to 4-10 cm and usually bears more than one flower (Looman and Best 1987). The seeds are spindleshaped with a loosely honeycombed outer coat. It flowers from late June in the south to late August in the north (Johnson 1981). 5 Oblong-leaved sundew is uncommon (S3) in Manitoba and until recently was believed to be a hybrid of the other two species that occur here (Gillian and Davis 2003). It is a circumboreal species (Gleason and Cronquist 1991) and in Manitoba ranges from the south-east to Riding Mountain National Park and north to the border (Fig. 4). Although this species occurs in less calcareous bogs and fens it also occurs in richer habitats where slender-leaved sundew occurs (Johnson 1981). Three occurrences of oblong-leaved sundew were observed in Figure 4. Oblong-leaved sundew occurrences. 6 Horned beakrush (Rhynchospora capillacea) Cyperaceae G4G5, N?, S2 Figure 5. Horned beakrush inflourescence. ( J.J. Emmet, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point) Horned beakrush (Rhynchospora capillacea) and white beakrush (Rhynchospora alba) are the only two species of the genus Rhynchospora occurring in Manitoba. Although the common name is beakrush they belong to the sedge family (Cyperaceae). Beakrushes have 3-edged stems that grow in tufts, often forming tussocks (Scoggan 1978). The leaves and stems are very narrow. Flowers have bristles instead of petals or sepals and are borne in 1-3, branched flower clusters (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2002). Unlike Carex, the largest genus of the sedge family, beakrushes have bisexual flowers. The flowers and seeds (achenes) are protected by scales rather than being enclosed in a membranous sac (periginium). Beakrushes are further differentiated from other sedges based on achene morphology. Several downward barbed (sometimes smooth) bristles protrude from the base of the flattened achene. The two stigmas protruding from the achene are thickened at the base, forming a cone shaped tubercle that terminates the achene after the stigmas fall off. The most obvious difference between the two beakrushes that occur in Manitoba is the number of achene bristles. Horned beakrush grows to10-40 cm tall (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2002). The leaves usually do not reach more than 0.5 mm wide (Scoggan 1978). The scales of the inflorescence are pale red-brown to brown (Fig. 5). There are 6 bristles attached to the base of the achene. The achenes are pale brown and appear from summer to fall (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2002). Horned beakrush is restricted to North America occurring in eastern United States and from coast to coast across the Canadian provinces (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2002, NatureSeve 2003). It is considered rare (S2) in Manitoba where it has been recorded in southeastern Manitoba from the Gull Lake area and north of Moose Lake, and in western Manitoba from Duck Mountain Provincial Park near Shell River and south of Birch River (Fig. 6). It has also been reported from Washow Bay along the east side of Lake Winnipeg and north of Seddons corner off Highway 44. Horned beakrush is a calcium loving species that occurs in rich fens (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2002). Three occurrences if horned beakrush were recorded in Figure 6. Horned beakrush occurrences. White beakrush (Rhynchospora alba) Cyperaceae G5, N?, S3? Figure 7. White beakrush in flower. ( Joanne Kline, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point) White beakrush is 6-75 cm tall (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2002). The leaves are less than 2.5 mm wide (Scoggan 1978). The inflorescence scales are pale brown to white (Fig. 7). There are 8 or more bristles attached to the base of the achene (Scoggan 1978). The achenes are pale brown with a paler centre and appear from summer to fall (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2002). 8 White beakrush occurs in North America, Eurasia and Puerto Rico at higher elevations (NatureServe 2003). The species was first recorded in Manitoba in 1983 and is tentatively ranked S3? (uncommon). Provincially it occurs in a narrow band from Whitemouth Bog in the south-east to Stall Lake, Flin Flon in the north-west (Fig. 8). While this species occurs in more acidic sphagnous bogs it also occurs in richer fens (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2002). Three occurrences of white beakrush were recorded in Figure 8. White beakrush occurrences. 9 Yellow twayblade (Liparis loeselii) Orchidaceae G5, N?, S3? Figure 9. Yellow twayblade in fruit at Whitemouth Bog. Yellow twayblade is a small (5-26 cm high) orchid bearing a spike-like raceme of 3-19 small (6 mm) yellowish-green flowers, on short (5 mm) ascending branches, that terminates the stem (Scoggan 1978; Smith 1993). It has two keeled leaves that sheath the ribbed stem near the base. The plant arises from a solid bulb and flowers from mid-june to the end of July. It produces seed capsules that grow to over 1 cm long. This is the only species of the genus Liparis that occurs in Manitoba (Fig. 9). Yellow twayblade occurs in northeastern United States, Europe and all Canadian provinces except Alberta and Labrador (NatureServe 2003). In Manitoba it ranges from southeastern Manitoba to west central Manitoba with a disjunct occurrence at South Indian Lake (57 N) (Fig. 10). It tends to prefer wet organic soils although it may also occur on drier mineral soils. Known for its tolerance of nutrient extremes it can grow in calcareous pools with a ph as high as 8.3 (Smith 1993). In Manitoba it is tentatively ranked S3? (uncommon). Usually an occurrence contains only a few plants. Nine occurrences were observed in 11 Figure 10. Yellow twayblade occurrences. Showy lady s slipper (Cypripedium reginae) Orchidaceae G4, N?, S3? Figure 11. Showy lady's slipper. Showy lady s slipper is a large orchid that grows up to cm tall (Looman and Best 1987). Four to twelve large (8-12 cm long) hairy, ribbed leaves clasp the stem. One to three large flowers terminate the stem from early June to mid-july (Smith 1993). The lip of the flower is a white inflated pouch (3-4 cm long) stained with pink (Fig. 11). Showy lady s slipper occurs in eastern North America (NatureServe 2003). In Manitoba it ranges from the south-east to The Pas with over 35 occurrences known (Fig. 12). Occurrences are generally restricted to wetlands in calcareous areas. Provincially it is tentatively ranked S3? (uncommon). In addition to general wetland threats showy lady s slipper is threatened by picking. CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status) lists the species under Appendix II. Three occurrences of showy lady s slipper were recorded in 13 Figure 12. Showy lady's slipper range and 2003 occurrences. Bog goldenrod (Solidago uliginosa var. linoides) Asteraceae G4G5, N?, S3 Figure 13. Bog goldenrod at Whitemouth Bog. Bog goldenrod is a tall narrow member of the aster family, with a long, narrow, yellow inflorescence and long leaves arranged alternately along the reddish stem (Fig. 13). The variety of bog goldenrod that occurs here generally does not grow over 1m in height and has less than 20 leaves (Scoggan 1978). The lower leaves are shallowly toothed and taper to a petiole, which partly sheaths the stem. They become much smaller along the upper stem, lacking teeth and petioles (Semple et al. 1999). The small yellow composite flower heads are attache
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