Eriogonum diatomaceum - Reveal, J. Reynolds, & Picciani
Churchill Narrows Buckwheat
Other Common Names: Churchill Narrows buckwheat
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.138475
Element Code: PDPGN086Z0
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: Reveal, J. L., H. Reynolds & J. Picciani. 2002. Eriogonum diatomaceum (Polygonaceae: Eriogonoideae), a new species from western Nevada, U.S.A. Novon 12: 87-89.
Concept Reference Code: A02REV01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Eriogonum diatomaceum
Taxonomic Comments: Described as a new species by Reveal et al. (2002).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 01May2006
Global Status Last Changed: 07May2003
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Populations of Eriogonum diatomaceum are intrinsically highly vulnerable, and are localized on small, scarce patches of diatomaceous clay soil of high mining interest within a range covering less than 10 square km. Other threats include off-road vehicles and soil disturbance by grazing livestock.
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 Nevada (S1)

Other Statuses

Comments on USESA: Eriogonum diatomaceum was added to the USFWS candidate list in the May 4, 2004 Candidate Notice of Review.  In a 12-month petition finding, USFWS (2014) found listing Eriogonum diatomaceum is not warranted at this time.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R8 - California-Nevada

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: All known occurrences are encompassed by a convex polygon of just under 10 square km in the Churchill Narrows area of Lyon County, Nevada.

Area of Occupancy: 3-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Based on 2004 GPS surveys, total occupied habitat is estimated to be 11 ha.

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5
Number of Occurrences Comments: Known from 4 closely-spaced occurrences with good viability, consisting of about 20 distinct patches.

Population Size Comments: Maximum counts for all patches totaled about 47,000 individuals as of June-July, 2004 surveys. Some drought-induced mortality appears to have occurred since surveys in 1997-1998. Only about 15% of the individuals flowered in 2004 (Nevada Natural Heritage Program data, 2004).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very few (1-3)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Three of the four known occurrences had good or excellent viability as of June-July, 2004 surveys.

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Mining of the substrate is a moderate to severe, non-imminent threat for most of the area occupied by this species, since the diatomaceous clays on which it grows are of ongoing interest to companies who mine cat litter and other products, claims cover most of the occupied area, and minor exploration and extraction have already occurred. More imminently, planned mineral exploration and sampling may impact 12 of the 15 subpopulations of this species; such activities could happen quickly if current interests in these claims are pursued vigorously (USFWS, 2004). Also, the relatively barren habitat patches are attractive to off-road vehicle (ORV) users, and about 2/3 of the patches are close to access roads. ORV impacts have so far been negligible, but are heavy in similar habitat a few miles to the east. Livestock grazing poses another threat, causing soil disturbance that degrades the habitat (USFWS, 2004).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: There was some decline due to drought between 1997 (when the species was first discovered) and 2004. Past mineral exploration and extraction have resulted in minor losses of historical habitat

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: A century of livestock grazing has probably caused minor habitat degradation in this area. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and Halogeton (Halogeton glomeratus) are present in minor amounts.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Plants of Eriogonum diatomaceum are generally not seen on old or recovering disturbances within their habitat. They are also absent from several apparently suitable habitat patches in the area and region, suggesting low dispersal or establishment ability.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Suitable exposures of diatomaceous clay soils appear to occupy less than 2% of the overall range of the species.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: All known occurrences are encompassed by a convex polygon of just under 10 square km in the Churchill Narrows area of Lyon County, Nevada.

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 NV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NV Lyon (32019)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
16 Middle Carson (16050202)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Low, loosely branched perennial mat 0.5-2.5 dm across from a stout woody taproot; leaves sheathing 1.5-4 cm up the stem, stalked, blades elliptic, mostly 0.8-2 x 0.5-1.2 cm, densely grayish-tomentose; flowering stems scapiform, mostly 0.5-1.5 dm long, white-tomentose, each with a single head of creamy-white flowers with greenish-tan to reddish markings.
Duration: PERENNIAL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Barrens
Habitat Comments: Dry, relatively barren and undisturbed, white to yellowish tan, often gysiferous, clay to silty diatomaceous deposits of the Coal Valley Formation, with a variable volcanic cobble overburden, on rounded knolls, low ridges, slopes, and especially small drainages on all aspects at elevations of 1300-1410 m, with Atriplex confertifolia, Stanleya pinnata, Sarcobatus baileyi, Artemisia spinescens, Kochia americana, Tetradymia glabrata, and other shadscale zone associates.
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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Excellent Viability: SIZE: at least 2000 maximum detectable individuals occupying at least 2 ha of apparently suitable habitat. CONDITION: multiple age classes present in ratios appropriate to generation time of element. Evidence of flowering and fruiting, seedlings, or other indications that reproductive mechanisms are intact. Less than 1% cover of exotic plant species. Less than 1% cover of significant anthropogenic impacts. LANDSCAPE CONTEXT: Surrounding area is relatively unfragmented and includes the ecological processes needed to sustain the element and its habitat.
Good Viability: SIZE: at least 500 maximum detectable individuals occupying at least 1 ha of apparently suitable habitat. CONDITION: multiple age classes present in ratios appropriate to generation time of element. Evidence of flowering and fruiting, seedlings, or other indications that reproductive mechanisms are intact. Less than 10% cover of exotic plant species. Less than 10% cover of significant anthropogenic impacts. LANDSCAPE CONTEXT: Surrounding area includes the ecological processes needed to sustain the element and its habitat, though it may be significantly fragmented, invaded by exotics, or otherwise impacted by humans.

Fair Viability: SIZE: at least 100 maximum detectable individuals occupying at least 0.5 ha of apparently suitable habitat. CONDITION: multiple age classes present, but often in ratios indicating reduced or irregular recruitment. Evidence of flowering and fruiting, seedlings, or other indications that reproductive mechanisms are intact. Up to 50% cover of exotic plant species and/or up to 50% cover of significant anthropogenic impacts. LANDSCAPE CONTEXT: Surrounding area may be heavily fragmented, disturbed, and/or invaded by exotics, but still includes the ecological processes needed to sustain the element and its habitat.

Poor Viability: SIZE: less than 100 maximum detectable individuals and/or less than 0.5 ha of apparently suitable habitat occupied. CONDITION: little or no evidence of successful or sustainable reproduction (poor age class distribution, no seedlings, and/or no evidence of flowering and fruiting, etc.). Cover of exotic plant species and/or significant anthropogenic impacts may exceed 50%. LANDSCAPE CONTEXT: Surrounding area may be heavily fragmented, disturbed, and/or invaded by exotics, with some or all ecological processes needed to sustain the element and its habitat no longer intact.
Justification: Existing EOs of this element likely include the best that will ever exist in the future, and no significant downward trends have yet been observed, so A-rank criteria are based on the sizes, conditions, and landscape contexts of the best existing occurrences. In general, population size (area of occupancy and abundance) is the primary factor influencing EO rank. Larger populations in higher quality sites are presumed to contain a higher degree of genetic variability, to have a lower susceptibility to the effects of inbreeding depression, and to be relatively resilient. Although no population viability data exist for this element, "D" ranked occurrences are estimated to have a very low probability of long-term persistence due to inbreeding depression, natural stochastic events including drought kills, habitat degradation, and/or intrinsic vulnerability to human impacts. Because periodic climatic variation results in natural fluctuations in numbers of detectable individuals of this element, population abundance of an EO is based on the maximum observed abundance at that site while in its current overall condition and landscape context, unless an overall downward trend in abundance is apparent at that site. Significant anthropogenic impacts are those that reduce population size and/or viability for at least the next 25 years unless restored.
Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
Date: 10Dec2004
Author: J. Morefield (NVHP)
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: 10Dec2004
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: J. Morefield (NVHP, 2004), rev. L. Morse (2005)

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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  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2005. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 5. Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae: Caryophyllales, Polygonales, and Plumbaginales. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. vii + 656 pp.

  • NatureServe. Unpublished. Concept reference for taxa which have not yet been described; to be used as a placeholder until a citation is available which describes the circumscription of the taxon.

  • Nevada Natural Heritage Program. 1986-present. Slide collection files. Carson City.

  • Nevada Natural Heritage Program. 1998-present. Index to available images (web page). Carson City: Nevada Natural Heritage Program public web site, http://heritage.nv.gov/images.htm.

  • Picciani, J. and J. Reynolds. 1997. Field investigation of an unidentified wild buckwheat, Eriogonum sp., Silver Springs, Nevada. Belle Fourche, South Dakota: American Colloid Company.

  • Reveal, J. L., H. Reynolds & J. Picciani. 2002. Eriogonum diatomaceum (Polygonaceae: Eriogonoideae), a new species from western Nevada, U.S.A. Novon 12: 87-89.

  • Reveal, J. L., J. Reynolds, and J. Picciani. 2002. Eriogonum diatomaceum (Polygonaceae: Eriogonoideae), a new species from western Nevada, U.S.A. Novon 12: 87-89.

  • Reynolds, J. 2000. Current knowledge and conservation status of Eriogonum sp., Picciani, Reynolds, Reveal (Polygonaceae), Churchill Narrows Buckwheat. Carson City: Nevada Natural Heritage Program, DRAFT status report prepared for the Bureau of Land Management, Reno.

  • Reynolds, J. 2000. Current knowledge and conservation status of Eriogonum sp., Picciani, Reynolds, Reveal (Polygonaceae), Churchill Narrows Buckwheat. Carson City: Nevada Natural Heritage Program, DRAFT status report prepared for the Bureau of Land Management, Reno.

  • U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2014. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List Eriogonum corymbosum var. nilesii and Eriogonum diatomaceum. Federal Register 79(185):57032-57041.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2004. Species assessment and listing priority assignment form. Eriogonum diotomaceum. 10 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2014. 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List Eriogonum corymbosum var. nilesii and Eriogonum diatomaceum. Federal Register 79(185): 57032-57041.

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