Phyllospadix torreyi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Najadales Zosteraceae

Scientific Name: Phyllospadix torreyi S.Watson
Common Name(s):
English Surfgrass, Species code: Pt

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-10-23
Assessor(s): Short, F.T., Carruthers, T.J.R., Waycott, M., Kendrick, G.A., Fourqurean, J.W., Callabine, A., Kenworthy, W.J. & Dennison, W.C.
Reviewer(s): Livingstone, S., Harwell, H. & Carpenter, K.E.
The population trend for P. torreyi is thought to be stable. There are no major threats although there have been some localized declines from coastal development. This species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Phyllospadix torreyi occurs in the Pacific from northern Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada to the tip of Baja California and Mexico.
Countries occurrence:
Canada; Mexico; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northeast
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):7
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population status of this species is thought to be stable.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Phyllospadix torreyi is a colonial marine angiosperm that lives on turbulent rocky shores. Surfgrass exhibits a strongly female-biased sex ratio in flowering shoots throughout its distribution (Williams 1995). In the Pacific coast of North America it grows at greater depths and is generally more abundant on the exposed parts of the coast and even in tidal pools with sandy bottoms. It is also found in the macrophyte detritus layers in submarine canyons in southern and central California (Green and Short 2003).

Surfgrasses (Phyllospadix spp.) are not found where sea surface temperatures exceed 21°C in winter or 27°C in the summer. Surfgrass has a low tolerance to higher temperatures which suggests that populations in Baja California Sur might be impacted by global climate change. Phyllospadix scouleri is distributed higher in the lower intertidal and upper subtidal zones than P. torreyi.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species. Localized threats include coastal development and modifications and over-water structures in the form of ferry terminals and commercial docks. Mechanical damage from boats and dredging is also a minor localized threat.  Phyllospadix torreyi is sensitive to desiccation (Ramirez-Garcia et al. 2002) as it lives in more shallow areas. It may also be more susceptible to climate change.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures for this species. It is not clear if the federal, provincial or state, or local administrative laws and ordinances recognize this species in the Northeast Pacific (Green and Short 2003).

Citation: Short, F.T., Carruthers, T.J.R., Waycott, M., Kendrick, G.A., Fourqurean, J.W., Callabine, A., Kenworthy, W.J. & Dennison, W.C. 2010. Phyllospadix torreyi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T173320A6990381. . Downloaded on 26 April 2018.
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