Eriogonum codium - Reveal, Caplow & K. Beck
Basalt Desert Buckwheat
Other English Common Names: Umtanum Desert Buckwheat
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Eriogonum codium Reveal, Caplow, & K. Beck (TSN 565176)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.134283
Element Code: PDPGN086Y0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Buckwheat Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Polygonales Polygonaceae Eriogonum
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Concept Reference Code: B99KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Eriogonum codium
Taxonomic Comments: Species from Washington state published in: Reveal, J.L., Caplow, F.E., Beck, K.A. 1997. Eriogonum codium (Polygonaceae: Eriogonoideae), A new species from south-central Washington. Rhodora. 97: 350-356.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 19Mar2007
Global Status Last Changed: 30Jul1997
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Endemic to a narrow, discontinuous, 1.6 km-long ridgeline in southeastern Washington State. The population consists of about 5,000 individuals. Fire is a potential threat; the species does not appear to be fire adapted and the possibility (and intensity) of fire at this site is increasing due to cheat grass invation. A human-caused fire destroyed 10 to 20 percent of the population in 1996. Other potential threats include ORV use. The individual plants are long-persisting, and rarely reproduce from seed.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1

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 Washington (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LT: Listed threatened (23Apr2013)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R1 - Pacific

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: One ridgeline, Benton County, southeastern Washington. Other potential sites have been searched with no result (Hallock and Thomas 2002).

Area of Occupancy: 1-4 1-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Occurs along 1.6 km of ridgeline.

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5
Number of Occurrences Comments: One.

Population Size Comments: The one known occurrence includes about 5,200 individuals (Dunwiddie et al. 2001). In 2011, 5,169 plants were counted at this one known population (USFWS 2012).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very few (1-3)
Viability/Integrity Comments: The one known population has persisted for at least a century, and has been relatively stable (although showing a decline after a fire event) over the past decade. Population viability modeling based on ten years of detailed data collection predicts a gradual downward trend, at an approximate rate of 2/3 of one percent per year. The probability of declining to less than 50% of the current population size in 100 years was modeled to be 72% (Kaye 2007).

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Fire is the greatest threat, since the species is not fire adapted (Dunwiddie et al. 2001) and fire does occur in the single population area. Fuels are sparse in the area of the ridge withe E. codium is located but fire may promote the invasion of nonnative species, particularly cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). The highly flammable cheatgrass may then promote an escalating cycle of fire. A human-caused fire destroyed 10 to 20 percent of the population in 1996.

Another threat is an increasing incidence of trespassing by ORVs, hikers and dirt bikes (Florence Caplow, pers. comm. cited in USFWS 2003). Plants are easily damaged by trampling/crushing and are located in a narrow strip that is attractive to human traffic because of sparse vegetative cover, compact substrate, and views of the Columbia River (USFWS 2003). Concentration of fire-fighting equipment at the site, an open ridgetop, could be another threat to these plants if fire occurs in the area (USFWS, 2004).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: This species was discovered in 1995 and has only been known for a few years. It occurs at a single site. A 1996 fire killed about 15% of the population, and it has shown very little if any subsequent recovery from new seedlings (USFWS, 2004). Population viability modeling based on ten years of detailed data collection predicts a gradual downward trend, at an approximate rate of 2/3 of one percent per year. The probability of declining to less than 50% of the current population size in 100 years was modeled to be 72% (Kaye 2007).

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Long-term trend not known, but some of the plants at this site may be over 100 years old (USFWS, 2004).

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Not fire-tolerant, with risk now of unnaturally intense fire at the species' sole site due to non-native plant invasion; very sensitve to trampling/crushing from foot, bike, and ORV traffic (Hallock and Thomas 2002). Rarely reproduces from seed, with most individuals relatively old and persistent, some estimated at 100 years old (USFWS, 2004).

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Known only from a single basalt ridgetop, growing in soil composed of basalt overlain with pumice (USFWS, 2004).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: One ridgeline, Benton County, southeastern Washington. Other potential sites have been searched with no result (Hallock and Thomas 2002).

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 WA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
WA Benton (53005)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Upper Columbia-Priest Rapids (17020016)+, Lower Yakima, Washington (17030003)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A low, mat-forming woody perennial. Slow-growing and long-lived. Leaves are covered with dense white hairs. Flowers are yellow.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Tomentose flowers and achenes.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cliff, Grassland/herbaceous
Habitat Comments: Restricted to a particular basalt flow, growing on flat or gently sloping areas near the top of the steep basalt cliffs. 335-390 m. (Washington Natural Heritage 2002).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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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: 24Jul2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Maybury, K. (2002), revised L. Morse (2004), revised J. Arnett (2007)

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Dunwiddie, P.W., K.A. Beck, and F.E. Caplow. 2001. Demographic studies of Eriogonum codium Reveal, Caplow & Beck (Polygonaceae) in Washington. In: Conservation of Washington's rare plants and ecosystems: Proceedings from a conference of the Rare Plant Care and Conservation Program at the University of Washinton. Washington Native Plant Society, Seattle.

  • Hallock, L. and T. Thomas. 2002. Candidate and listing priority assignment form: Eriogonum codium. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Upper Columbia Fish and Wildlife Office, Spokane, Washington.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Kaye, T. 2007. Draft population viability analysis for Eriogonum codium (Umtanum buckwheat). Report prepared by the Institute for Applied Ecology for the Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA. January 2007.

  • Reveal, J.L., Caplow, F.E., Beck, K.A. 1997. Eriogonum codium (Polygonaceae: Eriogonoideae), A new species from south-central Washington. Rhodora. 97: 350-356.

  • Reveal, James L., Florence Caplow, and Kathryn Beck. 1995. Eriogonum codium (Polygonaceae: Eriogonoideae), a new species from southcentral Washington. Rhodora 97:350-356.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2003. Draft candidate assessment and listing priority assignme form for Eriogonum codium. USFWS.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2004. Species assessment and listing priority assignment form. Eriogonum codium. 9 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2012. Threatened status for Eriogonum codium (Umtanum desert buckwheat) and Physaria douglasii subsp. tuplashensis (White Bluffs bladderpod) and designation of critical habitat. Federal Register 77(94): 28704-28740.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2013. Threatened Status for Eriogonum codium (Umtanum Desert Buckwheat) and Physaria douglasii subsp. tuplashensis (White Bluffs Bladderpod). Federal Register 78(78): 23984-24005.

  • Washington Natural Heritage Program and Bureau of Land Management. 2002. Field guide to selected rare plants of Washington. Available at: http://www.wa.gov/dnr/htdocs/fr/nhp/refdesk/fguide/htm/fgmai n.htm. Accessed July 2002.

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