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Borrichia frutescens is found in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia (NatureServe Explorer 2013). Borrichia frutescens is endangered in Maryland (NatureServe Explorer 2013).
Spartina alterniflora dominates the lower intertidal zone of the marsh and Borrichia frutescens is found along the upland border of S. alterniflora (Pennings & Moore, 2000: 588). Greater height and leaf number were associated with increasing elevation at two sites in Sapelo Island, Georgia (r2 =0.74, 0.95 and 0.54 and 0.38, respectively, p <0.0001; Pennings & Moore, 2000: 590). In the Borrichiazone, the water table was -41 cm as compared to -19 cm in the Spartina zone (Pennings & Moore, 2000: 589). When transplanted to the Spartina zone, B. frutescens had <30% survival due to flooding. By comparison, in the absence of B. frutescens, S. alternatiflora had >70% survival in the Borrichia zone, indicating competition effects (Pennings & Moore, 2000: 592).
An outgrowth of plant tissue or gall caused by Asphondylia borrichiae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) was studied from stems of Borrichia frutescens along the Gulf coast of Florida (Stiling et al., 1992: 130). From 1,250 plants, each stem typically had one gall (Stiling et al., 1992: 133). Galls were present year round, but greatest numbers were recorded during summer months. Parasites were present up to 100% of galls in late fall and 60% in July and August (Stiling et al., 1992: 137). Holes in the galls indicated that the parasites had emerged (Stiling et al., 1992: 130-133). Parasites Rileya cecidomyiae, Tenuipetiolus teredon, Torymus umbilicatus and Galeopsomyia haemon were reared from collected galls (Stiling et al., 1992: 135). These parasite larvae fed on the fly pupae and larvae, leaving the gall up to two weeks following collection from the field (Stiling et al., 1992: 135). Increasing soil salinity was associated with a decrease in the number of Asphondylia borrichiae galls, and fertilizer with an increase in the numbers of galls (Moon & Stiling, 2002: 2470)
Moon, C.D., & Stiling, P. 2002. The effects of salinity and nutrients on a tritrophic salt-marsh system. Ecology 83: 2465-2476.
NatureServe Explorer. 2013. Borrichia frutescens. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia; available at: http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/servlet/NatureServe?sourceTemplate=tabular_report.wmt&loadTemplate=species_RptComprehensive.wmt&selectedReport=RptComprehensive.wmt&summaryView=tabular_report.wmt&elKey=129640&paging=home&save=true&startIndex=1&nextStartIndex=1&reset=false&offPageSelectedElKey=129640&offPageSelectedElType=species&offPageYesNo=true&post_processes=&radiobutton=radiobutton&selectedIndexes=129640; accessed on February 15, 2013.
Pennings, C.S., & Moore, J.D. 2000. Zonation of shrubs in western Atlantic salt marshes. Oecologia 126: 587-594.
Stiling, P., Rossi, M., Strong, A., Donald, R., Johnson, M., & Derek, M. 1992. Life history and parasites of Asphondylia Borrichiae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), a gall maker on Borrichia frutescens. Florida Entomologist 75: 130-137.