CPC National Collection Plant Profile

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Arabis serotina


Family: 
Brassicaceae  
Common Name: 
shale-barren rockcress
Author: 
Steele
Growth Habit: 
Forb/herb
CPC Number: 
194

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Arabis serotina


Shale Barren rock cress (Arabis serotina) is an erect flowering biennial or facultative biennial herb characterized by an inconspicuous basal rosette of lobed leaves. In its reproductive stage, the basal leaves shrivel as the slender stem grows, or "bolts", and the inflorescence develops. Mature plants are 41 to 97 cm. tall (USFWS 1991). It is endemic to the mid-Appalachian shale barrens of West Virginia and Virginia where it is restricted to certain hot and dry shale-covered slopes of the Ridge and Valley Physiographic Province that contain sparse, scrubby growth of oaks, pines, and junipers (Bartgis 1987; Harmon and McDonald 1990). It grows anywhere from 41 to 97 cm in height and the whitish flowers are produced from June to September (USFWS 1991). Shale Barren rock cress, one of the most restricted shale barren endemics, is known from only 60 populations totaling fewer than 1000 individuals (NatureServe 2001). It was listed as a Federally Endangered Species on August 8, 1989. A. serotina is very similar to Arabis laevigata var. burkii but is distinguished by having a later flowering time and differences in various morphometric habits (Wieboldt 1987).

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Virginia
West Virginia
State Range of  Arabis serotina
Habitat
  Shale barrens (USFWS 1991)

Distribution
  Appalachian shale barrens in western Virginia and eastern West Virginia (USFWS 1991)

Number Left
  34 extant populations; most under 100 plants, and many contain fewer than 10 individuals (USFWS 1991)

Protection

Global Rank:  
G2
 
2/19/2009
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LE
 
10/24/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
Yes
 
8/15/1992

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Virginia S1 E 4/15/1991  
  West Virginia S1 8/13/1984  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  This plant species is adapted to the harsh xeric conditions of Appalachian shale barrens. These barrens occur on eroding shale formations with a steep slope and southern aspect. The harsh surface conditions of the area are likely an important factor for germination and seedling establishment (USFWS 1991).
Populations are generally small (less than 20 individuals) and have been noted to fluctuate considerably.
Pollinators include bees of the genera Apis, Halictus and Adrena and syrphid flies (USFWS 1991, NatureServe 2001).

Threats
  Insecticide spraying for control of gypsy moths with Dimlin has a potentially devastating effect on the pollinators of A. serotina (USFWS 1991).
Habitat loss has occurred as a result of road construction, railroad construction, hiking trails, and dam construction (Harmon and McDonald 1990).
Encroachment by the invasive exotic plant Centauria maculata and several grass species may outcompete A. serotina (NatureServe 2001).
Deer browsing, drought, stochastic events, and naturally low populations are also potential threats (Bartgis 1987).

Current Research Summary
  An extensive research program is underway in Virginia to study the life history through six intensively studied populations. Contact: Garrie Ralph, 1943 Kings Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060.
The West Virginia Natural Heritage Program is currently conducting a five-year study on the demography of a population occurring on a federal property in West Virginia. Contact: P. J. Harmon, West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Department of Natural Resources, P.O. box 67, Elkins, WV 26241. Telephone No. (304) 637-0245.

Current Management Summary
  All Virginia populations occur on public land and are offered protection. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is responsible for monitoring all Virginia populations.

Research Management Needs
  Current research efforts should provide information necessary to formulate conservation needs.

Ex Situ Needs
  Seed collection from all populations not represented in collection.

References

Books (Sections)

Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland. In: Kartesz, J.T.; Meacham, C.A., editors. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill, NC.

Keener, C.S. 1970. The Natural history of the mid-Appalachian shale barren flora. In: Holt, P.C., editor. The Distrubutional History of the Biota of the Southern Appalachians. II. Flora. Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Blacksburg, VA. p 215-248.

Electronic Sources

(2002). New York Botanical Garden--The Virtual Herbarium. [Searchable Web site] New York Botanical Garden. Fordham Road Bronx, New York. http://scisun.nybg.org:8890/searchdb/owa/wwwspecimen.searchform. Accessed: 2002.

WVDNR. (1998). Endangered Species Profiles. West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. http://www.dnr.state.wv.us/wvwildlife/endangered.htm. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

Bartgis, R.L. 1987. Distribution and Status of Arabis serotina Steele populations in West Virginia. West Virginia Academy of Sciences/Botany Section. 59: 73-78.

Harmon, P.J.; McDonald, B.R. 1990. Shale Barren Rock Cress. Natural Heritage Notes. West Virginia Natural Heritage Program. Number 2

Hopkins, M. 1937. Arabis in eastern and central North America. Rhodora. 39: 63-98, 105-148, 155-160.

Platt, R.B. 1951. An ecological study of the mid-Appalachian shale barrens and the plants endemic to them. Ecological Monographs. 21: 269-300.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 1989. Final listing rules approved for 10 species. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 14, 8: 7-8.

USFWS. 1988. Shale Barren Rock Cress. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 13, 11-12: 5.

USFWS. 1989. Arabis serotina (shale barren rock cress) determined to be an endangered species. Federal Register. 54, 133: 29655-29657.

USFWS. 1989. Proposal for Arabis serotina (shale barren rock cress) to be determined an endangered species. Federal Register. 53, 222: 46479-46481.

Wieboldt, T.F. 1987. The shale barren endemic, Arabis serotina (Brassicaceae). Sida. 12, 2: 381-389.

Reports

2000. Biological Assessment for Threatened and Endangered Species on the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia. Milwaukee, WI: USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region. p.141.

Bartgis, R.; T. Wieboldt. 1986. Range-wide status summary of Arabis serotina. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Jarrett, R.J.; Gilliam, F.S.; May, J.D.; Harmon, P.J.; Jessee, C.M. 1996. Ecological study of Shale Barren Rock Cress (Arabis serotina Steele) at NAVSECGRUACT, Sugar Grove, WV,. Final Report Prepared For The West Virginia Natural Heritage Program. p.15.

USFWS. 1991. Shale barren rock cress (Arabis serotina Steele) Recovery Plan. Newton Corner, Mass.: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Northeast Region. p.40. Author: Ludwig, J. Christopher.

Theses

Jarrett, Robert J. 1997. An ecological study of Shale Barren Rock Cress (Arabis serotina Steele) at Little Fork Shale Barren, Pendleton County, West Virginia. [M.S. Thesis]: Marshall University. 72p.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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