CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Rhus michauxii

Photographer:
Rob Gardner

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Rhus michauxii


Family: 
Anacardiaceae  
Common Names: 
false poison sumac, Michaux's sumac
Author: 
Sarg.
Growth Habit: 
Subshrub, Shrub
CPC Number: 
3743

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Rhus michauxiienlarge
Photographer: Rob Gardner
Image Owner: North Carolina Botanical Garden


Rhus michauxii is Not Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 

 
Rhus michauxii


Half of the known historical populations of Rhus michauxii have been extirpated in the last century. The few remaining populations are in a precarious position for a number of reasons, perhaps the most important of these being the species’ low reproductive capacity and its dependence on disturbance. The clonal nature of Rhus michauxii and the geographic isolation of the populations have led to low genetic variability. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that most of the populations do not contain plants of both sexes. The open, sunny habitat necessary for the establishment of Rhus michauxii was historically provided by fire, while today most populations are found in sites that are cleared artificially. Unfortunately these sites—roadsides, rights-of-way, railroads, agricultural fields and pine plantations—are under the constant threat of catastrophic disturbance. The status of this species depends heavily on our efforts to protect its habitat and maintain sexually reproducing populations.

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Georgia
North Carolina
Virginia
State Range of  Rhus michauxii
Habitat
  Found in the sandhills/coastal plains communities of rocky, open woods, especially in slightly loamy, well-drained soils high in magnesium. Requires full sun. (USFWS 1993)

Distribution
  Historically endemic to the Coastal Plain and Piedmont of the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida; today the range is disjunct, with populations in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia (USFWS 1993).

Number Left
  36 populations (2 in GA, 3 in VA, 31 in NC)
(North Carolina Ecological Services 2002)

Protection

Global Rank:  
G2G3
 
2/17/2006
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LE
 
10/24/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
Yes
 
4/30/1993

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Georgia S1 E 7/13/1995  
  North Carolina S2 E-SC 8/27/1990  
  South Carolina SX B 6/4/1990  
  Virginia S1  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Some form of disturbance required to maintain open habitat. This was historically provided by fires, while today populations exist in areas that are periodically cleared or mown (i.e. roadsides, rights-of-way, field edges).

Threats
  • Geographic isolation of small sized, single sex populations
• Habitat conversion to agricultural and silvicultural activities
• Residential and industrial development
• Fire suppression
• Mechanized military training activities (potential)
• Hybridization with sympatric species (potential)
• Herbicide drift, due to proximity of populations to roads, power lines, agricultural fields, etc. (potential)
(USFWS 1993)

Current Research Summary
  • Genetic analyses have provided information on how the current genetic variation is distributed among the extant populations. A cooperative effort between the University of Georgia, NC Nature Conservancy, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Asheville, NC Field Office. (Sherman-Broyles, et al 1992).
• Demographic studies of 14 North Carolina populations, and further research on species biology conducted by the NC Field Office of The Nature Conservancy (Savage et al. 1991).
• Rare and endangered plant survey of Fort Bragg, NC (Russo et al. 1993).
• Propagation techniques have been researched at the North Carolina Botanical Garden (Gardner 1995).

Current Management Summary
  • Reintroduction efforts at Fort Bragg (NC) as well as at historic sites in Georgia
• Prescribed burning is being conducted at NC Sandhills Game Lands and at Fort Bragg
• Restoration plans include the introduction of the alternative sex into single-sex populations, and the use of donor populations with the highest levels of genotypic diversity (as determined by genetic research, above)
• Material for reintroduction has been propagated by two commercial nurseries (Niche Gardens in Chapel Hill, NC and Woodlanders in Aiken, SC)

(USFWS 1993)

Research Management Needs
  • It appears that research has been directing management practices appropriately.
• As always, continued monitoring, additional surveys, and the protection of additional suitable habitat are needed.
• The success of reintroduction efforts should be evaluated, as well as the efficacy and timing of burning/mowing to maintain open habitat.
• A primary goal of research and management should be to increase the number of sexually reproductive individuals.

Ex Situ Needs
  • Perform additional genetic analyses to determine effects of efforts to conserve genetic diversity.

References

Books (Single Authors)

Coile, N.C. 2000. Notes on Florida's Regulated Plant Index (Rule 5B-40), Botany Contribution 38. Gainesville, Florida: Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry.

Cooper, J.E.; Robinson, S.S.; Funderburg, J.B. 1977. Endangered and threatened plants and animals of North Carolina. Raleigh, NC.: North Carolina State Museum Natural History. 444p.

Radford, A.E.; Ahles, H.E.; Bell, C.R. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. 1183p.

Books (Sections)

Hamrick, J.L.; Godt, M.J.W. 1996. Conservation genetics of endemic plant species. In: Avise, J.C.; Hamrick, J. L., editors. Conservation Genetics. Case Histories From Nature. Chapman and Hall. New York, NY. p 281-304.

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.

Electronic Sources

(2002). NC-ES Plant profiles. [Web pages] North Carolina Ecological Services--U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services--Southeast Region 4. http://nc-es.fws.gov/plant/plant.html. Accessed: 2002.

NatureServe. (2008). NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. [Internet].Version 7.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. Accessed: (June 17, 2008).

USFWS. (1990). Endangered and Threatened Species Accounts. [Web page] U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Endangered Species. http://ecos.fws.gov/servlet/TESSSpeciesQuery. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

Hardin, J.W.; Phillips, L. 1985. Hybridization in eastern North American Rhus (Anacardiaceae). Association of Southeastern Biologists Bulletin. 32, 3: 99-108.

Rees, M.D. 1989. Final Listing Rules approved for 13 Species. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 14, 9-10: 8-9.

Sherfy, M.H. 1996. Working Together for Sumac Recovery. Endangered Species Bulletin. 21, 5: 20-21.

Sherfy, Mark H. 1997. Partnership Promotes Sumac Recovery. Endangered Species Bulletin. 22, 1

Sherman-Broyles, S.L.; Gibson, J.P.; Hamrick, J.L.; Bucher, M.A.; Gibson, M.J. 1992. Comparisons of Allozyme Diversity among Rare and Widespread Rhus Species. Systematic Botany. 17, 4: 551-559.

USFWS. 1989. Determination of endangered status for Rhus michauxii (Michaux's sumac). Federal Register. 54, 187: 39853-39857.

USFWS. 1989. Listing Protection Proposed for Three Plant Species. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 14, 1-2: 6.

USFWS. 1989. Proposed endangered status for Rhus michauxii (Michaux's sumac). Federal Register. 54, 4: 441-445.

USFWS. 1993. Regional news. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 18: 3.

Reports

1995. 1995 Annual report on taxa in the national collection for North Carolina Botanical Garden. Annual report to the Center for Plant Conservation. p.1.

Emrick, V. 1998. Plant Community Composition of Rhus michauxii Colonies at Fort Pickett Military Reservation, Virginia. Champaign, IL: Construction engineering research lab (army).

Emrick, V.; Hill, A.. 1997. Density of Rhus michauxii stems at Fort Pickett Military Reservation, Virginia. Springfield, VA: US Army Corps of Engineers, Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. p.16.

Gardner, R. 1995. Unpublished data files from the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina.

Savage, S.; Bucher, M.; Mayes, C.; Moore, J.; Sutter, R. 1991. Preliminary results of a demographic and genetic analysis of Rhus michauxii. Carrboro, NC: Draft report, The Nature Conservancy, North Carolina Field Office. p.7.

TNC. 1993. Rare and endangered plant survey and natural area inventory of Fort Bragg and Camp MacKall military reservations, North Carolina. Sandhills Field Office: Final report by The Nature Conservancy.

USFWS. 1993. Michaux's Sumac Recovery Plan. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. p.30.

Weakley, A.S. 1993. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program list of the rare plant species of North Carolina. Raleigh: Natural Heritage Program, North Carolina Dept. Environment, Health and Natural Resources.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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