Carex lutea was described in 1994 from a small area in southeastern North Carolina. It occurs on lime-rich soils in the ecotone between longleaf pine savannas and non-riverine swamp forests, where fire has suppressed shrub dominance (FNA 2002). The species' habitat is highly localized and rare (USFWS 2002).
Drainage of the high water table, because of silviculture or agriculture;
Habitat loss due to road and powerline maintenance, development (residential, commericial, or industrial), clay mining, highway expansion, and other projects;
There are eight populations (one of which contains two subpopulations), with less than 800 individuals total (Ratzlaff 2002; LeBlond 1994).
Sanguamphai et al. (2005) tested genetic diversity from five of the remaining eight populations and found that, compared to other clumped Carex species, the Golden Sedge had a moderate level of genetic diversity, even higher than two related species, Carex cyptolepis and Carex flava, whose North American populations have been similarly tested
Seven out of the eight populations occur on private lands, making them susceptible to development. Two of these are protected by voluntary agreements between the landowners and the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program; however, these are only partial protections because of their voluntary nature. The eighth population is located on land owned by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which is studying this site for future restoration of the natural communities and management for rare species (Ratzlaff 2002).
Part of one population occurs on land now owned by The Nature Conservancy, but it may be threatened by potential changes in hydrology due to nearby quarry activities (Ratzlaff 2002).
It should be noted that the remaining populations occur on areas of savannah that have either been burned in order to maintain the community as part of active management of the site, or are areas that have been mown and/or may be wet enough to prevent the establishment of a shrub understory (Amoroso et al. 2005).
Amoroso et al. (2005) recommend prescribed fire or mowing in order to suppress a shrub understory, that the hydrology of the sites be maintained, and that drainage ditching and herbicide use be prohibited.
Initial seed collection and viability analyses are needed, as this is a 2005 addition to the National Collection.
Be the first to post an update!