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Marasmodes oligocephala

Taxonomy
Scientific Name
Marasmodes oligocephala DC.
Higher Classification
Dicotyledons
Family
ASTERACEAE
Synonyms
Marasmodes polycephala DC. var. oligocephala (DC.) Harv.
National Status
Status and Criteria
Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v); C2a(i)
Assessment Date
2016/05/19
Assessor(s)
A.R. Magee, L. von Staden & D. Raimondo
Justification
A small population of fewer than 500 mature individuals remain on four renosterveld remnants within a small area (EOO 7 km²). The largest subpopulation consists of about 200 mature individuals. This species 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
Atlantis to Malmesbury.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Terrestrial
Major habitats
Swartland Silcrete Renosterveld, Swartland Shale Renosterveld
Description
Silcrete outcrops in shale renosterveld.
Threats
More than 90% of shale and silcrete renosterveld within this species' known range has been converted to crop fields, and only small remnants remain. These are densely infested with alien invasive plants, and continue to be degraded due to a lack of fire. Fire is required for regeneration of reseeding species such as Marasmodes oligocephala. In addition, livestock grazing is causing ongoing degradation of small fragments, especially when they are overstocked, as well as facilitating the spread of alien invasive grasses, which are particularly difficult to eradicate.
Population

Marasmodes oligocephala is a range-restricted and highly localized habitat specialist. Currently, four subpopulations remain on small renosterveld remnants within an area of 7 km². At two of these locations, the species is fairly common, with around 200 plants occurring at each. A third subpopulation is very small, consisting of about 10 plants. The fourth subpopulation was last observed in 2006, and the number of plants was not counted. This subpopulation occurs on a tiny fragment (2 ha), and is unlikely to be large. It is therefore estimated that the population numbers fewer than 500 mature individuals, and continues to decline due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation.


Population trend
Decreasing
Notes
This species flowers in autumn and is very cryptic and can easily be missed during surveys for Environmental Impact Studies.
Citation
Magee, A.R., von Staden, L. & Raimondo, D. 2016. Marasmodes oligocephala DC. 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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