SPECIES FACT SHEET
Common Name: Pacific spikewort, Japanese flapwort (Edwards 2003)
Scientific Name: Nardia japonica Steph.
Division: Marchantiophyta (incorrectly called Hepatophyta in U.S. government
taxon databases (e.g., ITIS 2008); see Stotler and Crandall-Stotler 2008)
Technical Description: Small, olive green to clear green, golden green or
sometimes reddish shoots growing in a tangled mass. Leaves transversely to
slightly obliquely inserted, bilobed to about one-quarter the length of the leaf;
lobe tips and sinus acute. Median cells of leaf 18–30(32) x 22–40 µm; marginal
cells 12–24 µm x 16–26 µm (Godfrey 1977). Oil-bodies mostly two per cell,
occasionally more, about 1.8 X the chloroplasts in size, they are so clear they
appear to glisten. Underleaves prominent, irregularly lanceolate, about 0.25 as
long as the leaves. Dioicous, sporophytes reported to be infrequent, not seen in
Washington or Oregon material.
Distinctive Characters: A combination of four characters will distinguish this
species: small size (shoots less than 1 mm wide), shallowly bilobed leaves,
distinct underleaves, and clear, colorless oil-bodies.
Similar species: Nardia breidleri is smaller, often blackish, often lacks
underleaves, has solitary oil-bodies. Marsupella condensata may be quite
similar in general appearance but it lacks underleaves and it has granulose oil-
Life History: This species is perennial, visible whenever the substrate is
exposed. Plants are best identifiable when fertile, at the end of the growing
season. Studies of life history traits in this particular species have not been
located. Most perennial liverworts have an active growing season that matches
the rainy season of low elevations: October through May. This species grows at
high elevations. Plants of high elevations where snow lies late, generally above
5000'/1500 m, may have a short season that coincides with late summer and
fall. Sporophytes have been found in British Columbia in August and
September (Godfrey and Godfrey 1980).
Range, Distribution, and Abundance: Found in the North Pacific arc from
Japan, through Siberia and British Columbia south to Oregon. Strictly alpine
or subalpine in British Columbia (Godfrey and Godfrey 1980). Uncommon
throughout range, becoming rarer in Washington and Oregon. Reported from
the Olympic Peninsula, Washington, counties unspecified (Hutten et al. 2005).
Note: this species is missing from ITIS (2008) and from the Bryophyte Flora of
North America provisional treatment (Hicks 2003).
BLM: Not strongly suspected but possible on Salem District.
USFS: Documented on Deschutes and Mt. Hood National Forests in
Oregon and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington.
Suspected in Willamette National Forest in Oregon, and all national
forests with high mountains in Washington.
Oregon Natural heritage Information Center (ORNHIC) lists this species as
documented in Oregon from Hood River and Deschutes counties.
Habitat Associations: This grows on peaty soil on rocky ledges or in rocky
meadows free from forest canopy, in subalpine (Tsuga mertensiana) vegetation
zone. According to Godfrey (1977), always in open subalpine meadows.
Threats: The sites where this species has been found are relatively remote and
without obvious, immediate threats beyond those implicit in rarity or proximity
to trails, campsites or other mountain recreational developments.
Conservation Considerations: Known sites should be revisited and precisely
mapped so that possible fluctuations in population levels can be monitored.
Route trails away from such sites, discourage camping in vicinity.
Conservation Rankings and Status:
Global: G5; Oregon: S2
ORNHIC List 3
Washington: Not ranked
USFS Strategic Species in Oregon
Other pertinent information:
Surveys and Survey Protocol: Search moist terrestrial sites in subalpine
meadows, particularly near streams or snow melt seepage.
Key to Identification of the Species: Christy and Wagner 1996.
Preparer: David H. Wagner
Edited by: Rob Huff
Date Completed: December, 2008
Updated in May 2009 by Candace Fallon (Update added Attachment 1, Photos,
to the Species Fact Sheet).
Christy, J.A. & D.H. Wagner. 1996. Guide for the identification of rare,
threatened or sensitive bryophytes in the range of the northern spotted owl,
western Washington, western Oregon and northwestern California. USDI
Bureau of Land Management, Oregon-Washington State Office, Portland. 222
Edwards, S.R. 2003. English Names for British Bryophytes. Third Edition.
British Bryological Society Special Volume No. 5.
Godfrey, J.D. 1977. The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of Southwestern British
Columbia. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation on file at the library, University of
British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
Godfrey, J.D. and G.A. Godfrey. 1980. Notes on Hepatics from the Pacific
Northwest. The Bryologist 83: 224-228.
Hicks, M.L. 2003. Nardia. Bryophyte Flora of North America, Provisional
Publication, Missouri Botanical Garden.
Accessed August 2008.
Hutten, M, A. Woodward, and K. Hutten. 2005. Inventory of the Mosses,
Liverworts, Hornworts, and Lichens of Olympic National Park, Washington:
Species List. U.S. Geological Survey, Scientific Investigations Report 2005-
ITIS. 2008. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (official government
database of scientific names)
Accessed August 2008.
Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center. 2007. Rare, threatened and
endangered species of Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center,
Oregon State University. Portland. 100 pp.
Stotler, R.E. and B. Crandall-Stotler. 2008. Correct author citations for some
upper rank names of liverworts (Marchantiophyta). Taxon 57: 289-292.
Attachment 1 – Photos
All photos by Dr. David Wagner, under contract with the Oregon/Washington Bureau of Land