Sporobolus junceus

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Sporobolus junceus
Sporobolus junceus FI.jpg
Photo by James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org hosted at Forestryimages.org
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida - Moncots
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Sporobolus
Species: S. junceus
Binomial name
Sporobolus junceus
(P. Beauv.) Kunth
SPOR JUNC DIST.JPG
Natural range of Sporobolus junceus from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name(s): sandhills dropseed,[1] pineywoods dropseed[2]

Taxonomic Notes

Synonym(s): S. gracilis (Trinius) Merrill

Description

Sporobolus junceus is a monoecious perennial graminoid.[2]

Distribution

This species is found in southeastern Virginia, south to Florida and westward to southeastern Oklahoma and Texas.[1]

Ecology

Habitat

S. junceus is found in sandhill and other dry open areas[1], where it can become one of the more dominant grasses.[3] It appears to be rather shade tolerant since its coverage is not correlated with longleaf pine stand density.[4]

Phenology

S. junceus has been observed to flower from September through November with peak inflorescence in October,[1][5], although there are reports of flowering occurring between March and June as well.[5]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity. [6]

Fire ecology

Burns during April, May, and July yielded larger numbers of flowers than burns at other times of the year in a Florida sandhill longleaf pine community.[3][7] After a May burn in north Florida, inflorescence and mature seeds were produced within 7-9 weeks following the fire.[7] Despite affecting flowering and seeds, an Alabama study in 2004 and 2005 showed no difference in stem densities between burned and unburned glades. These densities ranged from 1.5 to 3.4 stems m-2.[8]

Use by animals

S. junceus provides 2-5% of the diet of some terrestrial birds.[2]

Conservation and Management

Cultivation and restoration

On a central Florida sandhill, S. junceus planted in the winter established very well on overburned soils and produced the highest densities (up to 10 plants m-1 of the plants tested.[9] Seeds can be hand collected and mixed with others (e.g. wiregrass) for sowing on restoration sites.[10]

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Weakley A. S.(2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 USDA, NRCS. (2016). The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 8 January 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Shepherd B. J., Miller D. L., and Thetford M. (2012). Fire season effects on flowering characteristics and germination of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) savanna grasses. Restoration Ecology 20(2):268-276.
  4. Harrington T. B. (2006). Plant competition, facilitation, and other overstorey-understory interactions in longleaf pine ecosystems. In: Jose S., Jokela E. J., and Miller D. L. (eds) The longleaf pine ecosystem: ecology, silviculture, and restoration. Springer, New York, pp. 135-156.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 8 JAN 2018
  6. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Canfield S. L. and Tanner G. W. (1997). Observations of pineywoods dropseed (Sporobolus junceus) phenological development following fire in a sandhill community. Florida Scientist 60(2):69-72
  8. Duncan R. S., Anderson C. B., Sellers H. N., Robbins E. E. (2008). The effect of fire reintroduction on endemic and rare plants of a southeastern glade ecosystem. Restoration Ecology 16(1):39-49.
  9. Pfaff S., Maura, Jr. C., and Gonter M. A. (2001). Performance of selected Florida native species on reclaimed phosphate minelands. #96-03-120R Brooksville, FL.
  10. Brockway D. G., Outcalt K. W., Tomczak D. J., and Johnson E. E. (2005) Restoration of Longleaf Pine Ecosystems. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station, General Technical Report SRS-83.