STENSVOLD, MARY CLAY. U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Alaska Region, 204 Siginaka Way, Sitka, Alaska 99835. - The conservation status of Ophioglossaceae in southern Alaska.
In southern Alaska the Ophioglossaceae are represented by one species
of Ophioglossum and eight named species of Botrychium.
In the latter there are six species of moonwort ferns (subgenus
Botrychium), one grapefern (subgenus Sceptridium), and
B. virginianum, the rattlesnake fern in subgenus
Osmundopteris. In addition, there are three distinct
undescribed species and several unusual moonworts not clearly fitting
known taxa. The State of Alaska does not maintain a threatened and
endangered species list, but the U.S. Forest Service is mandated to
manage habitats to maintain viable populations of plants; therefore
Botrychium is afforded protection on National Forest System
lands. Habitat disruption resulting from off-road vehicle use and
trampling are currently the greatest human-caused threat to
Botrychium. Several Botrychium occupy sandy beach-beach
meadow habitat, and this habitat is used by an increasing number of
off-road vehicles, resulting in Botrychium habitat degradation.
Only after the taxonomy, distribution and habitat needs of
Botrychium are better understood, and the various landowners
cooperate in land use management, will we be able to effectively deal
with Botrychium conservation issues across southern Alaska.
Key words: Alaska, Botrychium, distribution, habitat disruption., habitat