Eriosemopsis subanisophylla

Taxonomy
Scientific Name
Eriosemopsis subanisophylla Robyns
Higher Classification
Dicotyledons
Family
RUBIACEAE
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable A2c; B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)
Assessment Date
2008/07/01
Assessor(s)
L. von Staden
Justification
A population reduction of at least 30% is estimated based on habitat loss, local extinction of subpopulations known through historical records and range reduction in the past 100 years. This is a long-lived, woody, suffrutescent grassland forb, and generation length is estimated as at least 50 years. Former EOO 1 040 km², but may now be as little as 360 km² due to extensive declines in the northern parts of the range and along the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, mainly due to habitat loss to sugarcane cultivation and coastal development, and fewer than 10 locations remain. It continues to decline due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation as a result of coastal development, subsistence agriculture, overgrazing and too frequent fire.
Distribution
Endemism
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal
Range
Southern KwaZulu-Natal and Pondoland, from Umgai in the uMzinto district southwards to the Mtentu River.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Terrestrial
Major habitats
KwaZulu-Natal Sandstone Sourveld, Pondoland-Ugu Sandstone Coastal Sourveld, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Belt Grassland, Ngongoni Veld
Description
Sandstone grasslands, including Natal Group and Msikaba Formation. Gentle slopes and plateaus and well-drained soils, 200-900 m.
Threats
Thirty eight percent of the coastal grasslands within the known range of this species is transformed, mainly through coastal development and sugarcane cultivation within the last 100 years, which is equal to two generations of this long-lived, suffrutescent grassland forb. It is quite likely locally extinct in the northern part of the range, with about 30% of historically known sites/subpopulations unlikely to still exist, which would result in a 65% reduction of the extent of occurrence. This species however appears to be quite rare, one recently collected specimen indicates that there were only five plants at the site, and there are relatively few specimens compared to other known locally common Pondoland endemics, but it may also be overlooked, and may have been more common in the past. Therefore although there has certainly been past declines, it is difficult to estimate the extent of past decline, but it is suspected that it was at least 30%. There is likely to be ongoing loss of habitat due to coastal development and subsistence agriculture, overgrazing and too frequent fire in the southern part of the range.
Population

Subpopulations appear to be very small: Von Vintel 48 (NH) indicates that there were only five plants seen at a site, but Abbott et al. (2000) indicates that the species is common in the Umtamvuna Nature Reserve.


Population trend
Decreasing
Conservation
Umtamvuna and Mkambati Nature Reserves.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Eriosemopsis subanisophylla RobynsVU A2c; B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)Raimondo et al. (2009)
Eriosemopsis subanisophylla RobynsLower Risk - Least Concern Scott-Shaw (1999)
Eriosemopsis subanisophylla RobynsRare Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Bibliography

Abbott, A., Van Wyk, A.E., Johnson, D.N. and Scott-Shaw, C.R. 2000. Checklist of the macrofungi, lichens, bryophytes and vascular plants of the Umtamvuna Nature Reserve, South Africa. Lammergeyer 46:1-69.


Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.


Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.


Scott-Shaw, C.R. 1999. Rare and threatened plants of KwaZulu-Natal and neighbouring regions. KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service, Pietermaritzburg.


Citation
von Staden, L. 2008. Eriosemopsis subanisophylla Robyns. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2018/11/21

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Distribution map

© L. Ground

© L. Ground

© P. Wragg

© P. Wragg

© P. Wragg

© P. Wragg

© P. Wragg


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