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Marasmodes macrocephala

Taxonomy
Scientific Name
Marasmodes macrocephala S.Ortiz
Higher Classification
Dicotyledons
Family
ASTERACEAE
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered C2a(ii)
Assessment Date
2016/05/19
Assessor(s)
R. Koopman, I. Ebrahim, A.R. Magee & L. von Staden
Justification
Two small subpopulations are known to remain, at two locations on the urban edge of Wolseley. More than 90% of the remaining population occurs in the largest subpopulation, which consists of about 200 mature individuals. It continues to decline due to ongoing habitat degradation as well as competition from alien invasive plants.
Distribution
Endemism
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
Range
Wolseley to the Hex River Valley near De Doorns.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Terrestrial
Major habitats
Breede Alluvium Fynbos
Description
Seasonally wet places on alluvial flats.
Threats
This species is by now quite likely locally extinct due to habitat loss to vineyards in the Hex River Valley. It was possibly formerly more widespread in the Breede River Valley, but there are no specimen records to confirm this. If it did occur more widespread, it is likely to have lost most of its habitat to vineyards in the Breede River Valley as well. The only known remaining subpopulations are both threatened by competition from alien invasive plants and habitat loss to urban expansion.
Population

This rare, poorly known and easily overlooked species was previously known only from the type collection from the Hex River Valley, dating from more than 100 years ago. It is possibly now locally extinct in this area, but remaining Alluvium Fynbos fragments need to be surveyed to confirm this. In 2010, a second subpopulation was discovered in a small fragment of similar habitat in the Breede River Valley on the urban edge of Wolseley, and in 2013, another small subpopulation was found about 2 km away, on the opposite side of Wolseley, indicating that this species may be more widespread in the Breede River Valley. Critically little Breede Alluvium Fynbos however remains intact, and it is unlikely that many other subpopulations exist. The largest subpopulation on the Wolseley commonage burnt in 2013, and all mature individuals were killed in the fire. By the following year the subpopulation had regenerated, and the population size was estimated to be less than 200 plants. The subpopulation near the Wolseley cemetery consists of about 15 plants.


Population trend
Decreasing
Citation
Koopman, R., Ebrahim, I., Magee, A.R. & von Staden, L. 2016. Marasmodes macrocephala S.Ortiz. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/11/12

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Distribution map


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