Acadian Quillwort

Species Name: Isoetes acadiensis

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Species Distribution in Massachusetts


Federal Rank: None

Massachusetts State Rank: Endangered

Habitat Description

An aquatic plant, acadian quillwort can be found in the shallow waters of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams throughout New England. Acadian quillwort is present in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, where it is considered an extremely rare endangered species.

Threats to Survival

Acadian quillwort is sensitive to changes of its habitat, which is easily disturbed by human activity. Nutrient runoff from septic systems and soil disturbance caused by human recreation (such as boat launching, fishing, and swimming in shallows) tremendously affect the subsistence of acadian quillwort.

Actions Recommended to Ensure Survival

Because acadian quillwort is such a sensitive species, good maintenance of its habitat is necessary for its continued survival. Acadian quillwort requires a habitat of acidic, nutrient-poor water that is free from major soil disturbances, so active management of nutrient inputs from wells or septic systems, fertilizer use, and human recreation can help to ensure that it has a proper habitat to reside in. Management of invasive species is also important, and boats that could carry invasive or exotic plants should be cleaned and inspected before being allowed to launch in coastal plain ponds where acadian quillwort is being monitored.