Incurved Grizzled Moss
Scientific Name: Ptychomitrium incurvum
Taxonomy Group: Mosses
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2012
Last COSEWIC Designation: Extirpated
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Extirpated
Image of Incurved Grizzled Moss
There does not appear to be any current controversy surrounding the taxonomic status of the Incurved Grizzled Moss. It belongs to the family Ptychomitriaceae and has been known by various scientific names, including Weissia incurva, Brachysteleum hampeanum, B. incurvum, Glyphomitrium incurvum, Grimmia muehlenbergii, G. parvula, and G. hookeri.
The Incurved Grizzled Moss is a small, cushion-forming moss. It grows in 2-to-6-mm-high tufts on rocky surfaces, and varies in colour from yellowish-brown to blackish-green. The leaves are curled when dry, and upright, spreading, and somewhat incurved when moist.
Distribution and Population
The Incurved Grizzled Moss has a temperate global distribution. Some populations are found in the mountainous regions of Europe (Pyrenees, Alps, and Caucasus) but most are centred in the eastern and southeastern United States. A single historical record from 1828 is the only known occurrence of the Incurved Grizzled Moss in Canada. It was collected “near the Falls of Niagara in Upper Canada” (before Ontario was recognized as a province).
The Incurved Grizzled Moss grows in the eastern deciduous forest, on both calcareous (containing calcium carbonate) and non-calcareous rocks. It is commonly found on the surface, and in small crevices, of boulders in open hardwood forests. It is occasionally observed at the base of trees or on logs. Incurved Grizzled Moss also frequently becomes established on man-made structures such as rock walls and gravestones.
Since the Incurved Grizzled Moss does not show a preference for rocks based on their chemistry (calcareous versus non-calcareous), it seems unlikely that nutrition limits its distribution. The Incurved Grizzled Moss has both sperm- and egg-producing organs on the same plant. Self-fertilization is therefore possible, eliminating the need for male and female plants to occur close to each other in order to produce spores and propagate new plants. Vegetative (non-sexual) spread is apparently rare for this moss, and is consistent with its preference for discrete habitats such as rocks and crevices that are interspersed with unfavourable habitat. The moss produces eggs that are incapable of moving independently; water is required for sperm to be able to reach them. The fertilized egg later produces spores that are spread by the wind. When the spores germinate and start to grow, they are sensitive to drying out and require high humidity. The leafy plants produced in the next stage of the moss’s life cycle are more robust, and better able to withstand the lack of protection from the elements and the variable humidity characteristic of rocky habitats.
Reasons for extirpation
It is not known why the Incurved Grizzled Moss became extirpated from Canada. The historical record shows that it was at the extreme northern limit of its range, and species at the edge of their ranges are more vulnerable to chance events. Human activity, resulting in pollution and the loss of habitat, may also have contributed to the extirpation of the species from southern Ontario.
Federal ProtectionThe Incurved Grizzled Moss is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name Recovery Strategy for the Incurved Grizzled Moss (Ptychomitrium incurvum) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry
Recovery Progress and Activities
Summary of Progress to Date Recovery of the Incurved Grizzled Moss in Canada is not technically or biologically feasible at this time. Reasons for the extirpation of the Incurved Grizzled Moss are not known, nor are the species’ threats understood, therefore recovery cannot take place. The feasibility of its recovery will be re-evaluated at a minimum of every five years. Summary of Research/Monitoring A reconnaissance survey in 2001 conducted by the Canadian Museum of Nature was unsuccessful in rediscovering the species. Despite many years of collection in the region where it was initially discovered in 1828, no evidence of the species growing in Canada has been found. Summary of Recovery Activities The recovery of this species is considered “not feasible” and will not be pursued until the species is rediscovered in Canada. URLs Ontario’s Biodiversity: Species at Riskhttp://www.rom.on.ca/ontario/risk.php?doc_type=fact&lang=&id=293
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
12 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Assessments (2 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (2 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Strategies (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (2 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (2 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2003 (2003)May 2003 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
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