Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Puccinellia bruggemannii T.J. Sørensen

English: Bruggemann's alkali grass,

French: Puccinellie de Bruggemann,

Inuktitut: Iviit, ivisuka, ivitsuskaka.

Poaceae, Grass family.

Published in In A.E. Porsild, Natl. Mus. Canada Bull. 135: 80. 1955.

Type: Canada. N.W.T.: Prince Patrick Island, Mould Bay, around lemming burrows on mound of damp sand, 8 Aug. 1952, P. F. Bruggemann 470. Holotype: DAO! Isotype: CAN!

Synonymy. Phippsia bruggemannii (T.J. Sørensen) A. Löve and D. Löve, Bot. Not. 128: 499. [1975] 1976.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 5–12 cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose; without milky juice; not glandular viscid. Only fibrous roots present. Ground level or underground stems absent. Aerial stems erect (or prostrate). Leaves mainly basal; alternate; marcescent. Prophylls 5–10 mm long; with smooth veins; lacking pronounced keels (but veins conspicuous). Petioles absent. Sheaths present; with the margins fused only in the lower part; glabrous; sheath collars present. Ligules present; 0.8–2 mm long; membranous; glabrous; ovate-oblong, or transversely oblong (rarely). Ligule apices acute, or obtuse; entire. Leaves grass-like. Blades (10–)20–40 mm long, 0.5–1.1 mm wide (when rolled), appressed to the stem or reflexed, rolled in bud, linear, without auricles (ligules decurrent), flat or involute, veins parallel, midvein similar in size to other veins in the leaf. Blade adaxial surface glabrous. Blade abaxial surface glabrous.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems two or more per plant. Flowering stems circular or oval in cross section. Flowering stems culm nodes not exposed (usually), or becoming exposed (node visible in some larger specimens); number visible 0–1. Flag leaf sheaths not inflated (sometimes slightly inflated). Inflorescences paniculate; dense; lanceolate (usually contracted); 1–4 cm long; 3–8 mm wide. Inflorescences main axis glabrous (base), or scabrous (top). Number of inflorescence branches at lowest node (1–)2–3. Inflorescence primary branches 8–20 mm long; glabrous, or scabrous (rarely); with spreading secondary branches. Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes; lanceolate; (3–)4.5–6.5 mm long (dark purple); 0.7–4 mm wide. Florets per spikelet (2–)3–4. Two glumes present. First glume 0.41–0.86 × the length of the second glume; 0.14–0.32 × spikelet length; 0.7–1.9 mm long; ovate; glabrous; margins scabrous (appearing minutely fringed under high magnification); veins 1; apex obtuse. Second glume 0.4 × as long as the spikelet or less; shorter than the lowest floret, or almost as long as, or longer than, the lowest floret; 1.5–2.8 mm long. Second glume ovate, or elliptic, or oblanceolate. Second glume glabrous (sometimes appearing so under low magnification), or with trichomes (on margins); margins scabrous; veins 3. Rachilla not pronounced between the florets; extending beyond the uppermost floret; internode 0.4–1.3 mm long; internode 0.07–0.15 mm wide; internode glabrous. Callus differentiated; hairs 0.05–0.26 mm long. Lemma elliptic; 2.5–3(–3.9) mm long; rounded on the back; lemma strongly inrolled; surface dull (shiny at apex); surface glabrous (upper half), or hairy (lower third, with longer hairs on the veins towards the base of the lemma, margins incurved at the base); veins 5; apex acute, or rounded (somewhat obtuse); apex erose; apex scabrous. Length of trichomes less than 25 um (a small and somewhat blunt fringe). Lemma awnless. Palea well developed; 2.3–3.2(–3.8) mm long; veins hairy (the hairs longer towards the base). Flowers bilaterally symmetrical (zygomorphic). Perianth represented by lodicules. Stamens 3. Anthers 0.7–1.1 mm long. Ovary superior; carpels 3; syncarpous. Styles 2. Placentation basal. Ovules per ovary 1. Fruit sessile; dry; a caryopsis; 1.3–1.7(–2) mm long; indehiscent. Seeds 1.

Chromosome information. 2n = 28.

2n (4x) = 28. Bowden (1961, northern Canada); Hedberg (1967, northern Canada).

Ploidy levels recorded 4x.

Taxon as an environmental indicator. Porsild (1957, 1964) states that this species is non-littoral, and Sørensen (1955) says that it is probably not even halophilous. However, specimens of P. bruggemannii have been collected on Axel Heiberg Island at the Expedition Fiord perennial springs. The brine from these springs leaves salt patches and other mineral evaporates on the soil. Moreover, the paratype is from a coastal area on Beechey Island. Therefore, P. bruggemannii may tolerate but not require salt. Since many Puccinellia specimens brought from the arctic and watered with fresh water only in greenhouses at Agriculture Canada do very well, most species may be salt tolerant but not obligate halophiles.

This species was considered endemic to the Canadian Arctic until Bay (1993) reported specimens in Greenland.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: river terraces, tundra (e.g., Dryas-Carex tundra), slopes, ridges (drumlins); imperfectly drained moist areas, dry, moderately well-drained areas; gravel, sand, silt (marine reworked), clay, till; calcareous, or halophytic (possibly, but not obligately so), or nitrophilous (very commonly collected on owl perches). This species occurs on barren, eroding, sandy and silty flats, and in moist depressions of dune swales.

North American distribution. Nunavut Islands. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago widespread. Uncommon. High Arctic. Arctic islands: Devon, Ellesmere, Axel Heiberg, Ellef Ringnes, Parry islands (Bathurst, Melville, Prince Patrick), Cornwallis, Banks, Victoria, King William (Stefanson).

Northern hemisphere distribution. North American. Central Canada, Ellesmere Land – Peary Land.

General notes. When Sørensen (1955, p. 81) described this species, he commented, "Puccinellia bruggemannii superficially resembles Poa abbreviata and, unlike most other members of the genus, is probably not halophilous - a peculiarity it shares with P. angustata. For that reason, and because of its hairy lemmas and paleas, it may easily be mistaken for a stunted P. angustata but may always be distinguished by the somewhat incurved lemmas.’ Sørensen (1955) considered the resemblance between these two species to be only superficial. He considered that these taxa were not even closely related because P. bruggemannii lacks stomates on the abaxial surfaces of the leaves, which is a rare feature in Puccinellia. He speculated that P. bruggemannii is related to the Siberian P. tenuiflora (Turcz.) Krecz. Consaul, after examining specimens of P. tenuiflora identified by Sørensen, in 2002, found it was difficult to perceive a close relationship between these two species.

Tzvelev (1983) distinguished these taxa as follows:

Plants 7–9 cm tall, lemmas 3–3.4 mm, and anthers 0.6–0.8 mm… P. bruggemannii

Plants 20–80 cm tall, lemmas 1.5–2.3 mm, and anthers 0.8–1.4 mm… P. tenuiflora

In Consaul's (2002–2006) systematic study of arctic Puccinellia, stomates were not examined because Tzvelev (1964) indicated there was a lot of within-species variation in this character. Variation in this character should be examined after the species limits have been clarified. This taxon is treated as a species in Davis and Consaul (2007).

Illustrations. • Habitat. Typical alkaline environment, silty carbonate-encrusted soil. N.W.T. Prince Patrick Island. Mould Bay peninsula. L.L. Consaul 2410 and L.J. Gillespie. Topotype locality. CAN. Photo by L. Gillespie. • Close-up of plant. Plant in silty soil covered with a carbonate crust. Buildup of old leaves typical. N.W.T., Prince Patrick Island, Intrepid Inlet. L.L. Consaul 2413 and L.J. Gillespie. Photo by L. Gillespie. • Close-up of plant - Topotype. Plant in typical alkaline environment, in silty carbonate-encrusted soil. N.W.T. Prince Patrick Island. Mould Bay peninsula. L.L. Consaul 2410 and L.J. Gillespie. Topotype. CAN. Photo by L. Gillespie. • Close-up of plant - Topotype. Plant in typical alkaline environment, in silty carbonate-encrusted soil. N.W.T. Prince Patrick Island. Mould Bay peninsula. L.L. Consaul 2410 and L.J. Gillespie. Topotype. CAN. Photo by L. Gillespie. • Close-up of lemma apex. Scaberulous lemma apex with small irregularly spaced trichomes on the edge (less than 25 micrometers long). Lemma incurving at the tip. As seen at 100x. Ellesmere Island, Cape Sheridan. J.P. Kelsall 36419. CAN. • Arctic Island Distribution.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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