Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: A Hudson and James Bay endemic, known from Bay shorelines in Ontario and Manitoba and from several islands in the Bays including Akimiski Island (all islands in Hudson and James Bays are part of Nunavut). Although listed for Quebec in some sources and occurring on islands off the coast of Quebec, it has apparently not been found in Quebec (Jacques Cayouette, pers. comm. to Mike Oldham 2009; Marcel Blondeau pers. comm. to Mike Oldham 2009).

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

L. lewisii var. lepagei is separated by 950 km from the nearest known population of L. lewisii var. lewisii (known from the western prairies). It also differs from var. lewisii in that it is typically white-flowered while var. lewisii is typically blue-flowered, and its anthers are closely appressed to the stigmas while most anthers of var. lewisii do not touch the stigmas.

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Type Information

Isotype for Linum lepagei B. Boivin
Catalog Number: US 1929280
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): A. Dutilly & E. L. Lepage
Year Collected: 1946
Locality: Quebec, James Bay, Attawapiskat., Ontario, Canada, North America
  • Isotype: Boivin, B. 1948. Naturaliste Canad. 75: 219.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Sandy or gravelly shorelines and old beach ridges near shore, sometimes in adjacent moist tundra. Other vegetation at occupied sites tends to be sparse; plant communities within which recorded include those dominated by Saxifraga tricuspidata, a very low forb.

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 6 - 80

Comments: In Ontario, this plant was mapped at 9 sites in the Ontario Rare Plant Atlas (Dugal 1984), and it was observed by Mike Oldham at 9 mostly different sites during a couple of brief trips to Hudson Bay in the mid-2000s. In Manitoba, it was observed in several places during recent surveys in Wapusk National Park on the coast of Hudson Bay (B. Ford, pers. comm. to M. Oldham 2009). It has also been found on several islands in Hudson and James Bays (Mosquin 1971) (all islands in Hudson and James Bays are part of Nunavut), including Akimiski Island in James Bay where Mike Oldham observed it in 2001. It is likely that more sites may yet be discovered, due to the extensive and largely unexplored apparently suitable habitat along the shoreline of Hudson Bay.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T2 - Imperiled

Reasons: A Hudson and James Bay endemic, known from Bay shorelines in Ontario and Manitoba and from several islands in the Bays (Nunavut). There are not a large number of documented sites, with 9-18 sites known in Ontario, several in Manitoba, and several on the Bay islands (Nunavut). However, the Hudson Bay coast has not been extensively explored botanically, and it is believed likely that other populations will be found. Also, the plant has been observed recently in all three jurisdictions from which it is known. Although influences such as mineral exploitation and global climate change may threaten the Hudson Bay coast in the future, several sites are located within protected areas and the plant currently faces few threats.

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Threats

Degree of Threat: Low

Comments: Although there are potential future threats to the Hudson Bay coast (e.g. mineral exploitation, global climate change), currently this area is relatively undisturbed. Therefore, this plant likely faces few current threats, given its range.

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Originally described as the species Linum lepagei (Boivin 1948), this taxon has subsequently been recognized as a subspecies, variety, and form within two different parent species (L. perenne and L. lewisii): renamed as L. perenne ssp. lepagei by Dutilly, Lepage and Duman (1954) (though not clear from original source if author accepted this combination); L. lewisii f. lepagei by Lepage (1957; Naturaliste canadien 84: 64); L. perenne var. lepagei by Boivin (1966); L. lewisii ssp. lepagei by Mosquin (1971); and L. lewisii var. lepagei by Rogers (1979). Despite these shifts, its validly as a distinct taxon (at whatever rank) has generally been agreed upon, and it is significantly disjunct from the main range of Linum lewisii. It has not been subjected to a recent taxonomic study (e.g. using molecular techniques).

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