Cladium mariscus | UAE National Red List of Vascular Plants

Cladium mariscus | (L.) Pohl
Countries in Assessment
United Arab Emirates
Country ISO code(s)
Does the assessment cover a marine EEZ area(s)?
Scope (Assessment)
Taxonomic Group
Taxonomic Group Level 2
Flowering Plants
Assessed taxon level
Taxon distribution as listed in assessment
Within the UAE, this species is confirmed from a single site (small rocky pools at the base of the waterfall and adjacent rocks) in Wadi Wurayah (first reported by V. Chalmers in 2009 (Feulner 2016); <a href="""">RBG Edinburgh Herbarium</a> specimen collected 2013). The species was also recorded by Gallacher from the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, however this area represents a very different habitat and altitude, and the record requires confirmation. On a global scale, the species is native to temperate Eurasia, the Americas, North Africa, Australia and to the southwest Pacific (Board of Trustees, RBG Kew 2018). In the Arabian Peninsula, this species is also known from scattered localities in Saudi Arabia (Chaudhary 2001) and from isolated springs and waterbodies in Oman (Patzelt 2014) and on Socotra (Miller and Morris 2004). The nearest confirmed locality to Wadi Wurayah is at the Jazirah oasis in Oman (Jongbloed et al. 2003, Feulner 2016), more than 100 km away.
Habitats and Ecology
Ecological system type
Terrestrial system
Freshwater system
Marine system
Habitat details as listed in assessment
This is a perennial plant species with sturdy rhizomes (Jongbloed et al. 2013). It a graminaceous herb that grows to c. 2 m in height, found growing c. 5 m below permanent pools, between rocks and beside a permanent waterfall (<a href="""">RBG Edinburgh Herbarium</a>). The species requires standing water (G.R. Feulner pers. comm. 2019). The dispersal ability of the plant seeds is uncertain, but both wind dispersal and dispersal by bird are possible.
Is there a map available in assessment?
Assessed status
Asessment status in full
Critically Endangered
Assessment status abreviation
Assessment status criteria
Assessment rationale/justification
Within the UAE, this species is known from a single site within the Wadi Wurayah National Park, where it was found in and around small bedrock pools near the base of the permanent waterfall. The species is assessed as Critically Endangered (CR D) on the basis of the small number of mature individuals, which was estimated to number fewer than ten. The species was not re-found at the site following heavy rains in 2014, but was present later in 2019. It is not known if there is a potential rescue effect from populations outside the UAE, although the potential for this is low given the small populations in Oman and their distance from this site. Establishment of the species at other sites with suitable habitat in the UAE is possible but, to date, the species has not been found at other freshwater sites (G.R. Feulner pers. comm. 2019).
About the assessment
Assessment year
Assessors/contributors/reviewers listed
UAE National Red List Workshop
Affliation of assessor(s)/contributors/reviewers listed on assessment
Assessor affiliation specific
Criteria system
Criteria system specifics
IUCN v3.1 + Regional Guidelines v4.0
Criteria system used
Criteria Citation
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1, Second edition. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. iv + 32pp pp. And IUCN. 2012. Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels: Version 4.0. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN. iii + 41pp.
Endemic to region
Endemism Notes
Is an endemic?: Not_assigned
Threats listed in assessment
The habitat of this species is prone to change and damage from human disturbance (MEW 2010). Feulner (2016) notes that the species locality at the base of a waterfall is vulnerable to flash floods and the species was not found during survey following heavy rain in November 2014, nor in more recent surveys (G.R. Feulner pers. comm. 2019), but was found later in 2019. Feulner (2016) notes that the waterfall area where this species is found is subject to heavy recreational use.
Conservation Measures

Conservation measures:
Conservation measures notes:
Required conservation measures:

Further information
The species was not recorded in the UAE in 1996 but it is possible that the species was present either in the seedbank or as underground rhizomes or, alternatively, it was simply not found or identified in surveys. We consider that it is likely to have been present but in similarly small numbers, or as propagules, and would have qualified as CR in 1996.
Scientific Name Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Cladium mariscus Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Poales Cyperaceae Cladium