Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Vittaria appalachiana Farrar & Mickel:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee, e. 1993. Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms. 2: i–xvi, 1–475. In Fl. N. Amer. Oxford University Press, New York.   http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/10884 External link.
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Ala., Ga., Ind., Ky., Md., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Tenn., Va., W.Va.
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Global Range: Vittaria appalachiana occurs primarily in the Appalachian Mountains in unglaciated terrain, from southern New York southeast to northern Alabama. It occurs in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia (Farrar 1993).

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants on rock. Sporophytes absent or abortive, rarely formed (see discussion). Gametophytes sparsely to much branched. Gemmae highly variable, often with end cells swollen; body cells 2--12, rhizoid primordia absent from medial cells, often lacking on 1 or both end cells.
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Type Information

Isotype for Vittaria appalachiana Farrar & Mickel
Catalog Number: US 3266062
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): D. Farrar
Year Collected: 1987
Locality: Cedar Falls., Hocking, Ohio, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Farrar, D. R. & Mickel, J. T. 1991. Amer. Fern J. 81: 72.
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Ecology

Habitat

In dark moist cavities and rock shelters in noncalcareous rocks. Occasionally epiphytic on tree bases in narrow ravines; 150--1800m.
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Comments: Vittaria appalachiana occurs in dark, moist cavities and rock shelters in noncalcareous rocks (often sandstones). It may also occur on the bases of trees in narrow ravines (Farrar 1993).

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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: 21 - 80

Comments: The canyon systems favorable to this species are fairly common in the Appalachian Mountains.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Vittaria appalachiana

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Vittaria appalachiana

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: Vittaria appalachiana is abundant within its range. Much of its rock-shelter habitat is currently protected. This species is extremely vulnerable, however, to any changes in its specialized habitat.

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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

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Threats

Comments: The primary threat to Vittaria appalachiana is logging above the rock shelters in which it occurs. Deforestation opens the canyons and causes them to dry out, which in turn destroys the moist, climate-controlled habitat. Because many habitats for this species are on protected lands, V. appalachiana is not currently threatened.

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Management

Biological Research Needs: Study the population genetics of Vittaria appalachiana to determine the level of genetic variability within and between colonies in individual rock shelters and in entire canyon systems.

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Notes

Comments

Dense colonies of Vittaria appalachiana coat rock surfaces in deeply sheltered habitats throughout the Appalachian Mountains and plateau. Abortive, apogamously produced embryos and small sporophytes with leaves less than 5 mm have been collected from one site in Ohio and have been produced from gametophytes in culture on two occasions. The largest of these produced simple, linear leaves and clathrate rhizome scales typical of Vittariaceae. Starch gel enzyme electrophoresis patterns, as well as morphology, distinguish these plants from other American species. Enzyme electrophoresis patterns and a somatic chromosome number of 120 (G. J. Gastony 1977) suggest that the plants are diploid and possibly of hybrid origin. Fixation of different genotypes in different sections of the range indicates an ancient origin of the independent gametophytes, possibly through Pleistocene elimination of the sporophyte generation (D. R. Farrar 1990). 

 A distinctive morphologic characteristic of Vittaria appalachiana is the variability displayed in gemma production, often including forms intermediate between gemmae and their supporting gemmifer cells and abortive "gemmae" arrested in early stages of development. This is in contrast to the remarkably regular pattern of gemma production in other species (D. R. Farrar 1978; E. S. Sheffield and D. R. Farrar 1988).

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Previously Vittaria sp 1 in TNC central databases.

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