Regularity: Regularly occurring
Distinguished from C. flagellifera by the presence of a glabrous stem at base; lower leaves green underneath; petioles auriculate at the base, the auricles 1-5 mm long, acute to acuminate; leaves 3 (-5)-foliolate; siliques 22-40 mm long. In contrast C. flagellifera has a pubescent stem at base; lower leaves purple underneath; petioles not auriculate at the base; leaves 3-5- foliolate; siliques 10-25 mm long (Weakley 2005).
Comments: According to Boetsch and Rock (1999), Cardamine clematitis is restricted to higher summits in the southern Appalachians and to elevations above approximately 1,000 meters (3,280 feet). In their study of Cardamine clematitis in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park they found that "Cardamine was usually found near first-order streams and seeps. The canopy was mostly closed with a vegetation composition representing that of a northern hardwood community or the transition zone between birch-spruce and spruce-fir. Cardamine was relatively rare in spruce-fir and mesic oak-beech forests...Although previously considered common in high-elevation boulderfields, we found Cardamine to be an infrequent component of these areas...This species was most frequently found rooted in moss or in moist rock crevices, though occasionally was found rooted in soil or streamside sandy depositions. Toward the western edge of its distribution, Cardamine was found on north-facing rock ledges and outcrops where seepage occurred and crevices in the rock were available for rooting" (Boetsch and Rock 1999). At the northern end of its range in Virginia, the habitat includes seepy rocky slopes, mossy, wet, massive rock outcrops, these seepy habitats being within closed to partially shaded to open northern hardwood forests. Several of the populations are along edges and banks of a trail traversing the seeps. Two occurrences are within seepy springs within mature Picea rubra forest.
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Comments: About 50 populations known. North Carolina (outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park): 18 extant occurrences that can be grouped into 7 population centers in 8 counties. Tennessee (outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park): 10 extant occurrences in 7 counties. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: at least 43 extant occurrences that can be grouped into a minimum of 18 "populations," as defined by the Park (Janet Rock, GSMNP, personal communication 2005; Boetsch and Rock 1999). Virginia: 3 extant occurrences in 2 counties.
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Endemic to the southern Appalachians and restricted to high elevation riparian habitats. About 50 populations are known, about half of which are protected in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Of those outside the Park, all but a few are located within National Forests of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.
Comments: Specialist species with key requirements common. Boetsch and Rock (1999) observed Cardamine clematitis appears to require moisture because it occurs in local patches generally along a stream or seep and usually with locally dense moss. C. clematitis also requires low levels of direct herbaceous competition; overhead vegetative layers with small openings that permit light to reach the forest floor for a part of the day; well developed microtopography; and a lack of leaf litter accumulation (Boetsch and Rock 1999).
Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)
Comments: Stable overall. In North Carolina, the occurrences that have been visited multiple times show no change in numbers of individuals present. The same is true for the occurrences in Tennessee. Furthermore, one population of Cardamine clematitis has been monitored in Great Smoky Mountain National Park since 1992 and no significant changes in the population have been observed (Boetsch and Rock 1999). These observations seem to indicate Cardamine clematitis is stable over the short-term. In Virginia at least two of the occurrences have been known since 1892 and 1955, respectively but population trend data is not available.
Global Long Term Trend: Increase of 10-25% to decline of 30%
Comments: The majority of the occurrences in NC and TN (including Great Smoky Mountains National Park) are found within protected areas.
Degree of Threat: Medium
Comments: Threatened by land-use conversion, habitat fragmentation, and forest management practices (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002). Boetsch and Rock (1999) add that a shifting landscape of suitable habitat, non-native infestations, atmospheric pollutant deposition, and forest succession or some combination these could influence the long-term viability of this species. Additionally, in Virginia several of the populations are along the Appalachian Trail and potentially could be impacted by trampling.
Names and Taxonomy
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