Estuary Seablite [Suaeda esteroa Ferren & Whitmore]

Estuary Seablite [Suaeda esteroa Ferren & Whitmore]

Listing CNPS List 4 R-E-D Code 1-2-1

State/Federal. Status -- None CHENOPODIACEAE Jul.-Oct.

Global Rank G? State Rank S?

Distribution: San Diego County, Ventura County, Orange County, Los Angeles County, Santa Barbara County; Baja California, Mexico.

Habitat: The periphery of Coastal Salt Marsh, often growing with Salicornia subterminalis, is the habitat of this fleshy shrub. Soils at such locales are usually mapped as Tidal Flats. Oftentimes, only a narrow band of terrain on the very periphery of the salt marsh is utilized by the Estuary Suaeda.

Known Sites: This species is found around the vestigial salt marshes of San Diego Bay, such as at the edge of the South Levee Road of the E Street Marsh in Chula Vista. It also occurs within the Federal Wildlife Refuge at Imperial Beach east of Seacoast Drive; as well as along the slough north of 10th Street on San Diego Bay. It is occasional on Back Bay at Newport Beach in Orange County. Also reported by Roberts in Orange County at Anaheim Bay and Bolsa Chica Salt Marsh. Other reported sites are at the Goleta Slough in Santa Barbara County, Mugu Lagoon in Ventura County, and San Pedro Bay in Los Angeles County.

This plant has an extensive range into Baja California Sur as far south as Bahia Almejas; however, it is limited to estuarine habitats which are uncommon on the peninsula. It is also recorded at Bahia de los Angeles on the Gulf of California.

Status: Estuary Seablite is substantially declining in coastal Southern California. As it typically grows on the periphery of salt marshes, it is usually endangered by high recreational use or "creeping" development which tends to build up to the very edges of the marsh, leaving no buffer. All substantial populations should be protected; sizeable portions of smaller populations should be placed into biological open space.


Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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