Asclepias meadii - Torr. ex Gray
Mead's Milkweed
Other Common Names: Mead's milkweed
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Asclepias meadii Torr. ex Gray (TSN 30285)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.129673
Element Code: PDASC02150
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Milkweed Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Gentianales Asclepiadaceae Asclepias
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Asclepias meadii
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 16Mar2015
Global Status Last Changed: 10Nov1983
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: A formerly widespread species - historically it ranged over much of the native tallgrass prairie region of the Midwest - that has declined due to the extensive destruction and fragmentation of its habitat. Where habitat remains, inadequate management (loss of fire regime; frequent mowing prior to seed set) has threatened the species. There are about 212 remaining occurrences and the species' overall range has shrunk dramatically. It is thought to have disappeared entirely from Wisconsin and Indiana.  Continuing threats include urbanization, conversion to agricultural land, habitat fragmentation, invasive species expansion, lack of prescribed fire, annual hay mowing before completion of reproduction, feral hog habitat destruction, herbicide/pesticide application, predation by weevils, deer, voles, and cattle, and climate change.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Illinois (S2), Indiana (SX), Iowa (S1), Kansas (S2), Missouri (S2), Wisconsin (SX)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LT: Listed threatened (01Sep1988)
Comments on USESA: Asclepias meadii was proposed threatened on October 21, 1987 and determined threatened on September 1, 1988.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R3 - North Central

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Historically, ranging through the tallgrass prairie region from northwestern Indiana, southwestern Wisconsin and southern Iowa to southern Illinois, southern Missouri and eastern Kansas. Currently extant only in eastern Kansas, Missouri, south-central Iowa and southern Illinois.  There is one introduced population in Indiana which is doing reasonably well (M. Homoya, pers. comm., 2015).  In Wisconsin, there have been 11 introductions but no flowering has been observed (USFWS 2012).

Area of Occupancy: 126-500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Approximately 212 occurrences last observed since 1994: 177 in Kansas, 30 in Missouri, 3 in Iowa, and 2 in Illinois (EO data in the NatureServe central database as of February 2015).

Population Size Comments: The clone-forming nature of the species makes it difficult to determine number of individuals at each site.  In addition, non-flowering stems are difficult to detect in tall grass (Alexander et al. 1997).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some (13-40)
Viability/Integrity Comments: There are 22 occurrences ranked A or B (EO data in the NatureServe central database as of February 2015).

Overall Threat Impact: Very high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Asclepias meadii is threatened due to a number of factors including urbanization, conversion to agricultural land, habitat fragmentation, invasive species expansion, lack of prescribed fire, annual hay mowing before completion of reproduction, feral hog habitat destruction, herbicide/pesticide application, predation by weevils, deer, voles, and cattle, and climate change.

Loss of habitat and modification appears to be the primary cause of decline within A. meadii (Chaplin et al. 1990). Numerous historic sites have been destroyed through plowing and land conversion throughout its range (Freeman 1988, McGregor 1983, Kurz and Bowles 1981). Insufficient or inappropriate prairie management may lead to a gradual depletion of A. meadii plants through invasion of woody plants.

Long-term summer mowing of prairie land has had a negative effect on A. meadii by eliminating the reproductive output of plants (Chaplin et al. 1990). Mowing of prairies usually occurs in late June and early July (Freeman 1988, Brooks 1983) when fruits are present but immature (Chaplin et al. 1990).

Habitat fragmentation has resulted in the few remaining populations being separated by long distances, even in states like Kansas where populations are most numerous (Freeman 1988). This action has potentially led to reduced population viability through low levels of cross-pollination, as described in other members of the genus (Shannon and Wyatt 1986, Kephart 1981). Low numbers within a given population may result in decreased visitation rates by pollinators (Betz and Hohn 1981).

Plants are also susceptible to predation.  A species of Curculionid and Cerambycid beetle has been shown to cause plant damage in both the larval and adult phases (Betz and Hohn 1978).   Fungal attack has been reported In Missouri (Eulinger and Skinner 2007 cited by USFWS 2005).   Grazing by cattle can negatively impact Mead?s milkweed, especially when grazing occurs during flowering and fruiting periods (Eulinger and Skinner 2007 cited by USFWS 2012). Deer and vole herbivory are additional threats that limit fruit production (Grman and Alexander 2005).  Feral hogs have caused habitat destruction in Missouri (USFWS 2012). 

Herbicide and pesticide use has impacted Asclepias meadii in railroad prairies (Betz 1989; USFWS 2012) and may potentially impact pollinators.

Climate change may also impact Asclepias meadii through changes in the timing of blooming, loss of suitable habitat, loss of inter-specific relationships with pollinators, and increased threats from invasive species (USFWS 2012).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Declining due to habitat destruction and effects of fragmentation.  The vast majority of populations lack monitoring data (USFWS 2012). 

Long-term Trend: Decline of 70-80%
Long-term Trend Comments: In pre-European settlement times, Asclepias meadii possessed a wide distribution, ranging through the tallgrass prairie region from northwestern Indiana, southwestern Wisconsin and southern Iowa to southern Illinois, southern Missouri and eastern Kansas (Betz 1989). Historic records are known from 47 counties in six states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Wisconsin (Chaplin et al. 1990). The species has been extirpated from much of its former range and has been significantly reduced in abundance elsewhere. It currently is known from 34 counties in eastern Kansas, Missouri, south-central Iowa, and southern Illinois (USFWS 2005). 

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Asclepias meadii is a slow growing plant that may take 15 years or more after seed germination to reach flowering stage (USFWS 2005; Bell et al. 2003; Monks et al. 201).  Reproduction is apparently rare.  In an 11 year study, Kettle et al. (2000) found that only 15% of flowering stems produced mature fruit.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: A tallgrass prairie species, adapted to a fire regime.  

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Historically, ranging through the tallgrass prairie region from northwestern Indiana, southwestern Wisconsin and southern Iowa to southern Illinois, southern Missouri and eastern Kansas. Currently extant only in eastern Kansas, Missouri, south-central Iowa and southern Illinois.  There is one introduced population in Indiana which is doing reasonably well (M. Homoya, pers. comm., 2015).  In Wisconsin, there have been 11 introductions but no flowering has been observed (USFWS 2012).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States IA, IL, INextirpated, KS, MO, WIextirpated

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IA Adair (19001), Adams (19003), Clarke (19039), Clinton (19045)*, Decatur (19053), Madison (19121)*, Ringgold (19159), Scott (19163)*, Taylor (19173), Warren (19181)
IL DuPage (17043), Ford (17053)*, Hancock (17067), Henry (17073), Johnson (17087), Saline (17165), Vermilion (17183), Will (17197)
IN Lake (18089)*
KS Allen (20001), Anderson (20003), Bourbon (20011), Coffey (20031)*, Crawford (20037), Douglas (20045), Franklin (20059), Jefferson (20087), Johnson (20091), Leavenworth (20103), Linn (20107), Miami (20121), Neosho (20133), Shawnee (20177)
MO Adair (29001), Barton (29011), Bates (29013)*, Benton (29015), Cass (29037), Cedar (29039), Clark (29045)*, Dade (29057), Franklin (29071)*, Harrison (29081), Henry (29083), Iron (29093), Jackson (29095)*, Jefferson (29099)*, Johnson (29101)*, Knox (29103)*, Pettis (29159), Polk (29167), Reynolds (29179), Schuyler (29197)*, Scotland (29199)*, St. Charles (29183)*, St. Clair (29185), St. Louis (29189)*, St. Louis (city) (29510)*, Sullivan (29211), Vernon (29217)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
04 Little Calumet-Galien (04040001)+*
05 Lower Ohio-Bay (05140203)+, Saline (05140204)+
07 Copperas-Duck (07080101)+*, Lower Wapsipinicon (07080103)+*, Green (07090007)+, North Raccoon (07100006)+*, Lake Red Rock (07100008)+, Bear-Wyaconda (07110001)+, North Fabius (07110002)+*, South Fabius (07110003)+*, Peruque-Piasa (07110009)+*, Kankakee (07120001)+*, Iroquois (07120002)+, Des Plaines (07120004)+, Cahokia-Joachim (07140101)+*, Meramec (07140102)+*
08 Upper St. Francis (08020202)+
10 West Nodaway (10240009)+, Nodaway (10240010)+, Independence-Sugar (10240011)+*, Platte (10240012)+, One Hundred and Two (10240013)+, Middle Kansas (10270102)+, Delaware (10270103)+, Lower Kansas (10270104)+, Upper Grand (10280101)+, Thompson (10280102)+, Lower Chariton (10280202)+, Upper Marais Des Cygnes (10290101)+, Lower Marais Des Cygnes (10290102)+, Little Osage (10290103)+, Marmaton (10290104)+, Harry S. Missouri (10290105)+, Sac (10290106)+, Pomme De Terre (10290107)+, South Grand (10290108)+, Lake of the Ozarks (10290109)+, Lower Missouri-Crooked (10300101)+*, Lamine (10300103)+, Blackwater (10300104)+*, Lower Missouri (10300200)+*
11 Upper Black (11010007)+, Upper Neosho (11070204)+, Middle Neosho (11070205)+, Spring (11070207)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb, 2-5 dm tall, with herbage that is covered with a whitish, waxy coating. Greenish-white, fragrant flowers are borne in a single, drooping cluster atop a tall stalk. Blooms in May and June.
General Description: "Asclepias meadii has a single slender unbranched stalk, 8 to 16 inches high, without hairs but with a whitish waxy covering. The hairless leaves are opposite, broadly ovate, 2 to 3 inches long, 3/8 to 2 inches wide, also with a whitish waxy covering. A solitary umbel at the top of the stalk has 6 to 15 greenish, cream-colored flowers." (USFWS 2005).
Technical Description: Chaplin et al. (1990) described Asclepias meadii as follows: "Asclepias meadii is an herbaceous, polycarpic perennial with glaucous, slender, solitary, unbranched stems 3-9 dm tall and arising from slender rhizomes....Plants bear 4-6 pairs of sessile, opposite leaves per stem. Leaf blades are lanceolate to broadly ovate, (2)4-8(10) cm long, 1-4.5 cm wide, glabrous, membranaceous or somewhat subsucculent, and with entire margins, an acute apex, and obtuse to rounded or subcordate base. The inflorescence is a solitary, terminal, umbellate cyme bearing (6)9-18(23) fragrant flowers on a stout, 4-10 cm long, cernuous peduncle. Pedicels are slender, 1.5-2 cm long, and sparsely pubescent. Flowers are 13-16 mm tall and bear 5 pale green, lanceolate to ovate, 2.5-4 mm long, sparsely to moderately villose calyx lobes. The 5 corolla lobes are greenish-cream, often purple-tinged dorsally, ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, reflexed, 7-9.5 mm long, and glabrous. The hoods are cucullate, broadly ovate, fleshy, 4.5-5 mm long, and bear slender, projecting horns. The follicles are narrowly fusiform, erect on deflexed pedicels, 9-13 cm long, 0.8-1.5 cm thick, glabrous or more commonly puberulent, and bear abundant, broadly ovate, 7-8 mm long seeds tipped with a white, 3-4 cm long coma (Great Plains Flora Association 1986, Woodson 1954)."
Diagnostic Characteristics: Stem to 2 ft, smooth, containing milky sap. Leaves opposite, simple, narrowly to broadly lance-shaped, toothless, without stalks. Flowers borne in solitary drooping umbel at end of a long stalk. Corolla greenish white, hoods purple or greenish purple. Flowers open in late May and early June.
Duration: PERENNIAL, Long-lived
Reproduction Comments: Asclepias meadii is self incompatible (Tecic et al. 1998).  A. meadii may take 15 years or more to mature from a germinating seed to a flowering plant (USFWS 2005).  Observations show that individual plants produce flowers for two or three years and then rest, and in some cases completely disappear for a few years (Harrison, 1987). The low number of individual plants at any one site may not attract potential pollinators, and this may be a cause for low reproductive success (Betz 1989).  A. meadii also spreads vegetatively through rhizomes (USFWS 2005). 

Asclepias meadii flowers as early as late May in the south through mid to late June in the north (USFWS 2005). Young green fruit pods appear by late June and reach their maximum length of 1.5 to 4 inches by late August or early September (USFWS 2005). The hairy seeds within these pods mature by mid-October (USFWS 2005). 

A serious problem is removal of immature fruits/seeds by haying, thus precluding recruitment of new individuals.  Studies by Tecic et al. (1998) and Bowles et al. (1998) showed that sites that were annually mowed had largely clonal, genetically depauperate populations of Asclepias meadii.  In contrast, sites that were burned but not mowed had much greater genetic variation (Bowles et al. 1998; Tecic et al. 1998; Yatskievych 2006).

Known Pests: Tetraopes femoratus (milkweed beetle) was found on flowers of Aslcepias meadii suggesting that its larvae, which are a borer in stems and roots, are a borer in it (Betz 1989).  Rhyssematus lineaticollis (milkweed weevil) larvae may possibly feed on the roots of Asclepias meadii (Betz 1989).
Ecology Comments: Asclepias meadii is a polycarpic perennial (Chaplin et al. 1990). Plants appear to be long-lived and may live for more than a century (Betz and Hohn 1978).

Mead's milkweed reproduces sexually through seed production and vegetatively through spreading rhizomes (Chaplin et al. 1990). Sexual reproduction in A. meadii is apparently rare (Kurz and Bowles 1981), due to a number of factors. In addition to low fruit set, seed viability within A. meadii fruits is typically low and may attribute significantly to the low fruit production found in extant populations (Betz 1988).

Although asexual reproduction is known in A. meadii, little specific information has been accumulated with regards to specific means. The number of rhizomes produced per genet and the extent to which they spread is unknown (Chaplin et al. 1990). The rhizomatous nature of the species has likely sustained it in habitats where mowing (and the subsequent removal of seeds) was a frequent regime (Freeman 1988).

Pollen is shed by pollinaria (Bookman 1981) which are disseminated by insects (Chapman et al. 1990). Relatively few insects have been observed on A. meadii plants, however (Betz 1989).

A two-week difference in flowering time between plants in the south (southern Kansas and Missouri) and the north (northern Illinois) has been noted (Schwegman 1988, Betz 1967). In southern Illinois, A. meadii emerges between April 11-23 and demonstrates slow growth until about 6 cm tall. Between May 15 and June 3 there is rapid stem elongation until mature height (about 0.6 m). Flowering frequently occurs between May 21 and June 18. Single fruits develop from each inflorescence, the follicles or pods observable by late June. By late August the pods have elongated to their maximum size (4 to 8 cm) and are greenish in color. These darken as the fruits mature and dehisce in mid-September to mid-October to release the numerous, hairy seeds. The plants begin to wither with first frosts, and are no longer visible by early November (Biotic Consultants 1976).

Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous
Habitat Comments: Asclepias meadii is a species of dry-mesic to mesic tallgrass prairies or glade/barren habitat characterized by vegetation adapted for drought and fire (Chaplin et al. 1990; Barbour and Billings 1988, Axelrod 1985; USFWS 2005). The species has been recorded from chert glades (Steyermark 1977) and sandstone rock-ledges (Voigt and Mohlenbrock 1964). Plants seem to prefer full sun, occupying slopes that grade between 0 and 18% (Chaplin et al. 1990).

Associates include a lengthy list of over 60 prairie plants (Betz 1989). Among the associates are Achillea millefolium, Amorpha canescens, Andropogon gerardii, A. scoparius, Antennaria neglecta, Asclepias viridis, A. tuberosa, Baptisia bracteata, Coreopsis palmata, Dalea candida, D. purpurea, Desmanthus illinoensis, Dichanthelium oligosanthes, Echinacea pallida, Erigeron strigosus, Eryngium yuccifolium, Liatris pycnostachya, Lithospermum canescens, Lobelia spicata, Phlox pilosa, Polytaenia nuttallii, Psoralea tenuiflora, Ratibida pinnata, Scleria triglomerata, Silphium laciniatum, Sisyrinchium campestre, Sorghastrum nutans, Sporobolus heterolepis, Tripsicum dactyloides, and Viola pedatifida (Chaplin et al. 1990, Betz 1989).

In eastern Kansas, populations occur predominantly on the unglaciated terrain of the Kansas River (Chaplin et al. 1990). The majority of known sites are on limestone bedrock, with two exceptions occurring over sandstone (McGregor 1987). These sites are typically well-drained to excessively drained with silty-loam mollisol soils derived from loess residuum, limestone, shale, glacial till or sandstone (Freeman 1988). Populations typically occur in upland tallgrass prairie sites. At such sites, associates frequently include the western prairie fringed orchid and the prairie mole-cricket (Gryllitalpa major) (Busby 1990, Figg and Calvert 1987). A small population was discovered on a sandstone prairie which was invaded heavily by Quercus marilandica, Q. stellata, and Juniperus virginiana (Chaplin et al. 1990).

In Illinois, populations of A. meadii occur in tallgrass prairie and dry barrens (Kurz and Bowles 1981). Populations occur in southern Illinois in the unglaciated Shawnee Hill Division (Mohlenbrock 1986). It is also known from the glaciated portion of east-central Illinois known as the Grand Prairie Division (Mohlenbrock 1986). In the sand barrens of Illinois, trees associated with A. meadii include Quercus marilandica, Q. stellata, Q. velutina, and Juniperus virginiana. Other associated prairie species include: Allium canadense, Anemone cylindrica, Apocynum sibiricum, Aster ericoides, Aster laevis, Cirsium discolor, Convolvulus sepium, Fragaria virginiana, Helianthus maximilliana, Lithospermum canescens, Petalostemum purpureum, Poa compressa, Polygala senega, Sisyrinchium albidum, Solidago rigida, Sporobolus heterolepis, and Stipa spartea (Swink 1974, Litzow 1978, Kurz and Bowles 1981).

Steyermark (1977) stated that A. meadii was rare and local in the southern half of Missouri, occurring in dry upland prairies and chert-lime glades. Currently, it is uncommon in western Missouri, mostly in the Unglaciated Plains Division, in upland prairies and igneous glades (Yatskievych 2006).  Most populations are on mollisols and alfisols which formed over loess, glacial till, limestone, sandstone and shale (Morgan 1980).

In Iowa, A. meadii is restricted to the Southern Iowa Drift Plain (Prior 1976). Extant populations occur on clay-loam and silty clay-loam mollisols developed from weathered Kansas age drift covered with a moderate to thick layer of loess (Freeman 1988).

A single historic record of A. meadii exists from Indiana, collected near Crown Point on dry ground in 1888 (IN NHP). Similarly, there is one 1879 record from Lancaster in Wisconsin (WI NHP).

Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Increase the number of populations managed with prescribed burns and removal of invasive species (USFWS 2012). Continue outreach to landowners to encourage hay meadow management to allow reproduction of Asclepias meadii (USFWS 2012).  Revisit sites not visited since the 1990's.  Develop a plan to collect population viability data for each population including population trend, number of genotypes, habitat size, and management condition (USFWS 2012).  Introduce populations in physiographic regions that currently lack viable populations (USFWS 2012).  Further research the species' phenology, pollination biology, reproduction, restoration, management, and introduction techniques (USFWS 2012).  Establish and maintain long-term seed collection of representative populations and propagation nurseries (USFWS 2012).
Restoration Potential: Although there exists a strong need to enhance existing Asclepias meadii populations through restoration activities, the recovery potential of A. meadii is not entirely known. Use of artificial propagation and transplantation techniques may be necessary to restore populations.  Continued efforts along these lines may delineate problems in the breeding system at these sites and offer clues to make enhancement efforts feasible.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Any attempt to protect an occurrence of Asclepias meadii should take into account sufficient buffer to permit prairie management (prescribed burning), reduce the risk of potential threats (pesticide drift, etc.), and provide potential habitat for population expansion in the future. All areas which drain through an existing site should be placed under management in order to reduce problems associated with run-off (weed introduction into the site, etc.).
Management Requirements: The primary management need for Asclepias meadii is the maintenance of adequate habitat for reproduction and population maintenance. Many of the extant sites are currently being hayed, while others are being grazed or under prescribed fire management regimes. Management through prescribed fire should be considered as the optimal management practice.

Population maintenance or enhancement through artificial propagation efforts should be considered at sites where numbers are currently insufficient to maintain population viability.

Establishment of a four-five year rotational, prescribed fire management regime at existing sites is considered to be the optimal management strategy. At sites that are mowed, implementation of an idle period every few years may benefit the population by allowing for potential seed production (McGregor pers. comm.). Although populations are able to maintain themselves over consecutive years of annual haying, asexual reproduction during those years is the only possible means of maintenance. Grazing of sites should not be considered as a viable management option, primarily due to the difficult nature in guaranteeing grazing regimes that will not negatively affect the occurrence.

At sites where fire management and haying have not been implemented, encroachment of trees/shrubs may be taking place. Continued encroachment may lead to excessive shading of preferred habitat and declines in A. meadii population numbers. Prescribed fire coupled with manual removal of woody vegetation should be considered at such sites.

Additional survey work for additional populations should be conducted where previous efforts have not been exhaustive.

Monitoring Requirements: Monitoring should track the status of Asclepias meadii populations with respect to current management activities. Monitoring of habitat response to on-going management regimes should also be conducted.

Annual census of individual (ramet) numbers and demographic data (eg., flower production, fruit production, seed production) should be initiated at extant sites. A number of different methodologies may be used with satisfactory results. Monitoring of occupied habitat should also be initiated by setting up vegetative sampling methodologies for annual surveys.

Management Research Needs: Research is needed on pollinator identification, pollinator life history, and pollen flow within and between populations. Inappropriate management plans may lead to an unplanned destruction of pollinators.

Information is needed concerning the recruitment and life history of Asclepias meadii. Research along this line will be beneficial in order to aid artificial propagation and restoration efforts.

An effort to determine the genetic variability within and among all A. meadii populations should be conducted as an accurate estimate of population size. Ramet number is not an adequate item upon which to determine population size as mowing may artificially heighten the numbers of ramets produced by a given plant. 

Research related to population reproduction at extant sites is also a need.

Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: A population of at least 200 ramets and 50 adult plants (averaged over a period of five years) occurring in high quality habitat on either private or public lands with legally binding protection, and where compatible management practices are in place (see below).

Populations of this rank flower, produce seeds, maintain stable survivorship (at current levels over a 5 year period) and increase in growth over time.  Ideally, these populations contain at least 50 genotypes, however, because genetic information is frequently unknown, apply this metric only when the data are known for a given population.

Populations of this rank occur in high-quality, late successional habitats of > 50 hectares (> ca 124 acres) exhibiting little evidence of anthropogenic disturbance.  Mesic and dry-mesic tallgrass prairie, sandstone bluff, dry and dry-mesic chert prairie, dry and dry-mesic sandstone prairie or rhyolite glades in Missouri are examples of these habitats.   Additionally, these habitats are exemplified by high native species richness and diversity, nearly complete absence (<1% cover) of exotic, non-native tree species, low cover of native grasses and prairie forbs that increase under domestic grazing pressure, large numbers of insect pollinators, and on-going natural soil disturbance (badgers, ants, pocket gophers).  Management by frequent fire, light grazing, annual mowing, or combinations of management practices that promote production, maturation and release of viable seed should be in place.

Good Viability: A population of 100-199 ramets and 25-50 adult plants (averaged over a period of five years) occurring in high quality habitat on either private or public lands where compatible management practices, although not legally binding, are in place.

Populations of this rank flower but produce no seed, or produce viable seed once every 5 years, but  exhibit sufficient recruitment to sustain numbers at the current level.  These populations contain 25-50 genotypes, however, because genetic information is frequently unknown, apply this metric only when the data are known for a given population.

Populations of this rank occur in mid-successional habitats of 25-50 hectares (ca 62-<124 acres) exhibiting light to moderate levels of anthropogenic disturbance.  Mesic and dry-mesic tallgrass prairie, sandstone bluff, dry and dry-mesic chert prairie or dry and dry-mesic sandstone prairie or rhyolite glades in Missouri are examples of these habitats.   Additionally, these habitats are exemplified by high native species richness and diversity, low levels (<10% cover) of exotic, non-native tree species, moderate levels of grass and forb species expected to increase with grazing, and low to moderate levels of small mammal disturbance and conservative prairie fauna. Compatible management should be in place, including frequent fire, or light grazing or annual mowing.  A low level of management would be needed to restore the population.
 

Fair Viability: A population of 25-99 ramets and fewer than 25 adult plants (averaged over a period of five) OR a population greater than 99 ramets that does not produce viable seed over five year, occurring in marginal habitat on either private or public lands with informal but without legally binding protection, and where management practices are not in place.

Populations of this rank exhibit sufficient recruitment to sustain numbers at the current level or exhibit stable growth.  These populations contain 10-25 genotypes, however, because genetic information is frequently unknown, apply this metric only when the data are known for a given population.

Populations of this rank occur in marginal habitats of 1-<25 hectares (ca 2.5-<62 acres) exhibiting moderate to heavy levels of anthropogenic disturbance.  Mesic and dry-mesic tallgrass prairie, sandstone bluff, dry and dry-mesic chert prairie or dry and dry-mesic sandstone prairie dry and dry-mesic chert prairie or dry and dry-mesic sandstone prairie or rhyolite glades in Missouri are examples of these habitats.   Additionally, these habitats are exemplified by moderate levels of native species richness and diversity, moderate levels (10-30% cover) of exotic, non-native and conservative prairie fauna that contribute to the absence of functioning ecosystem (large grazers, burrowing animals, numerous insect species). 

Management may or may not be in place, but moderate management would be needed to restore the population.
 

Poor Viability: A population of fewer than 25 ramets and fewer than 10 adult plants (averaged over a period of five years) OR a population of less than 100 ramets that does not produce or release viable seed over five years, occurring in poor quality habitat with no protection and where compatible management practices are not in place.
Populations of this rank exhibit no measure of growth, or are declining.  These populations contain fewer than 10 genotypes, however because genetic information is frequently unknown, apply this metric only when the data are known for a given population.

Populations of this rank typically occur in poor quality habitats of < 1 hectare (< ca 2.5 acres) exhibiting heavy levels of anthropogenic disturbance.  These populations are usually isolated from other prairie remnants.  Mesic and dry-mesic tallgrass prairie, sandstone bluff, dry and dry-mesic chert prairie, dry and dry-mesic sandstone prairie or rhyolite glades in Missouri are examples and are indicated by the highly disturbed and altered nature of the occurrence.  Exotic and disturbance-loving species dominate. 

Compatible management practices are not in place, and extensive management would be needed to restore the population.
 

Justification: These rank specifications are based on information on habitat condition and quality throughout its range, its reproductive biology and known disturbance requirements.
Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
Date: 15Oct2015
Author: Freeman, C., M. Briggler and L. Oliver
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 30Mar2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Roth, E., rev. W.R. Ostile (MRO), rev. Freeman/Maybury (1996), rev. Treher (2012), rev. A. Tomaino (2015)
Management Information Edition Date: 30Mar2015
Management Information Edition Author: J.E. EVANS (1984), WAYNE R. OSTLIE (1990); rev. A. Tomaino (2015)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 30Mar2015
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): rev. A. Tomaino (2015)

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References
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