Alisma gramineum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Alismatales Alismataceae

Scientific Name: Alisma gramineum Lej.
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Ribbon-leaved Water-plantain, Narrowleaf Water-plantain
French Alisma à Feuilles de Graminées, Flûteau à Feuilles de Graminées
Alisma arcuatum Michalet
Alisma graminifolium Steud.
Alisma graminifolium (Wahlenb.) Ehrh. ex Ledeb.
Alisma loeselii Gorski
Alisma loeselii Gorski
Taxonomic Notes: A form growing in Finland has variously been treated as a subspecies (ssp. wahlenbergii) or a full species; the most appropriate taxonomic status needs clarification. The two taxa are recognised here as separate species, in accordance with the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (RBG Kew 2010).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-02-13
Assessor(s): Lansdown, R.V.
Reviewer(s): Akhani, H. & Zehzad, B.
Contributor(s): Bruinsma, J., Gigot, G., Peraza Zurita, M.D., van de Weyer, K., Ferakova, V. & Jogan, N.
This species is classed as Data Deficient because it is widespread and apparently abundant in the lower Rhine, as well as occurring over a very large area both within and outside Europe, however most countries appear to support only very few populations. Additionally, its habitat requirements are poorly understood and it is Red Listed by most of the countries where it occurs. It is likely that comprehensive data collection would either show that the species is widespread and stable, or that perceived declines are real and populations on the upper and lower Rhine aberrant.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species occurs throughout much of the northern hemisphere: from the UK and France, north into Scandinavia, east throughout Siberia (The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2010) and most of European Russia (Tzvelev 2001) to Mongolia and China (Wang et al. in prep). It is absent from the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean islands but occurs in Egypt and Morocco (The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2010; Meusel et al. 1964) and from Croatia (Nicolić and Topić 2005) east through Turkey to the Ukraine, the Caucasus (The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 2010), NW Iran, E Afghanistan and N Pakistan (Dandy 1971). It also occurs throughout much of western and northern North America (Haynes and Barre-Hellquist 2000).

Countries occurrence:
Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bulgaria; Czech Republic; Estonia; France; Germany; Greece (Greece (mainland)); Hungary; Italy (Italy (mainland)); Latvia; Lithuania; Moldova; Netherlands; Poland; Slovakia; Switzerland; Ukraine (Krym, Ukraine (main part)); United Kingdom
Regionally extinct:
Denmark; Sweden
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:A. gramineum is one of a number of species that appears to be rare almost throughout its known range.  The only area in which the species appears to be abundant is in the Rhine floodplain in Germany (K. van de Weyer pers. comm.) and the Netherlands (J. Bruinsma pers. comm.).

Two sites are currently known in the UK (with a maximum of five ever reported) (Lansdown 2010, Palmer 2006), and three recent sites in the Austrian Tirol in the extreme northwest (Polatschek 2001). In Bulgaria, it is very rare. In the north of Denmark, it has been rediscovered at two localities. In Lithuania, it is confined to the southeast from 0-300 m and has been reported from 10-15 localities (four locations) since 1960. The biggest population counts 5,000 individuals with fluctuations due to water regime and water level. It is extinct in Sweden, where it was known from only one locality, since the early 19th century. There are four widely scattered sites in Croatia (Nicolić and Topić 2005). It is found in northeastern Greece at fewer than 10 locations. The species is quite rare as there are not many lakes there, but the populations seem to be stable. It is scattered in south and southern central Czech Republic and is found in 10 localities in low lying warm areas. There are 28 sites but fewer than 100 individuals at each site. In Slovakia, it has only been found recently at one locality near Bratislava over an area of less than 10 km2. It is present in lowland areas in east and central Switzerland, where it is found at two localities in dry years but in wet years it becomes more abundant, populations have been decreasing during the last 50 years, in 1982 it was reported as being found at seven sites and nine sites from which it has apparently been lost (Welten and Sutter 1982a). The extent of occurrence for Hungary is more than 50,000 km2. In Slovenia, the populations are in the Dinaric belt and localised in intermittent lakes, which in total occupy less than 50 km2, the population trend in Slovenia is unknown and there are annual fluctuations in the number of mature individuals. Conti et al.(2005) state that it is present in central Italy but its presence in the east and west are doubtful. In Russia the species is known from five localities and there could be more but the species is difficult to find, the population trend is unknown and there are annual fluctuations. In Turkey it is scattered plant throughout Anatolia. The presence of this plant in Iran is based only on one locality from SE of Urmia Lake (Dandy 1971). Efforts to rediscover this plant by one assessor (B. Zehzad) failed.  
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A. gramineum is unusual in that it can grow in three very different situations:
  • Perennial plants which are permanently submerged and presumably self-fertile.
  • Plants growing in the margins of water bodies which may perennate but are usually annual.
  • Annual plants growing in the draw-down zones of larger water bodies or in seasonal or ephemeral pools.
It can occur in a very wide variety of habitat-types. However, it seems to occur most frequently in calcareous, naturally meso- or eutrophic lowland water bodies. It has been reported from ponds, lakes, meres, fenland, canals, rice and other arable fields, depressions, gravel pit lakes, and sandy shorelines.
Generation Length (years):4

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known significant past, ongoing or future threats to the global survival of this species. However, the habitats in which this species occurs are sensitive to hyper-eutrophication, as they are often naturally eutrophic. Many populations are somewhat isolated and therefore, vulnerable to drainage or habitat degradation. The species is sporadically distributed in Turkey with little information on the population and potential threats. In Iran the only reported plant has not been rediscovered in recent years and habitat degradation might be one of the major reason for its disappearance.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Alisma gramineum has been assigned the following Red List and conservation categories (Palmer 2006):
  •     Critically Endangered in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, United Kingdom
  •     Critically Endangered to Endangered in Latvia, Lithuania and Russia
  •     Endangered in the Czech Republic and Switzerland
  •     Vulnerable in Moldova and Slovenia
  •     Extinct in Sweden
It occurs in a number of protected areas and Natura 2000 sites throughout its range, such as the Cerknisko lake in Slovenia.

In the UK, where the species is legally protected, there has been a long-term research and recovery plan, including re-introduction attempts.

It is very difficult to establish whether or not there is a Europe-wide need for conservation action for this species. Certainly, there are areas where it is common and increasing, for example Germany and the Netherlands, but, in spite of the number of countries in which it is considered to be of conservation concern, it is difficult to identify areas in which there has been a measured decline. For this reason, the main conservation action identified here is research to clarify its status throughout the region.

Citation: Lansdown, R.V. 2014. Alisma gramineum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T164301A42331855. . Downloaded on 21 May 2018.
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