Eutrema penlandii - Rollins
Penland's Alpine Fen Mustard
Synonym(s): Eutrema edwardsii ssp. penlandii (Rollins) W.A. Weber
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Eutrema penlandii Rollins (TSN 22952)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.137410
Element Code: PDBRA18020
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Mustard Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Capparales Brassicaceae Eutrema
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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: Eutrema penlandii
Taxonomic Comments: Treated as a species by Rollins (1993) and by Kartesz (1994 and 1999), but included in Eutrema edwardsii by Weber and Wittmann 2012.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 14Feb2014
Global Status Last Changed: 13Sep1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Endemic to a 40 km stretch of the Continental Divide in Colorado where the Divide trends east-west, rather than north-south, and where a unique set of habitat conditions exist, including perennially wet, primarily calcareous soils at very high elevations. The occurrences are in close proximity to mines and are threatened by mineral extraction activities, especially ditching, which could alter the hydrology of the area, and drainage from mine tailings, which could acidify the sites. Recreational use is also a threat, especially from ORVs and hikers. This taxon represents one of only two species of Eutrema in North America, and the only Eutrema in the lower 48 states. This species is disjunct by 1000 miles to its nearest relative Eutrema edwardii, an arctic circumpolar species.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1N2

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 Colorado (S1S2)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LT: Listed threatened (28Jul1993)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R6 - Rocky Mountain

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Colorado endemic known from Lake, Park and Summit counties. Limited to a 25 mile stretch of the Continental Divide, above 12,000 feet. Estimated range is 215 square kilometers, calculated in 2008 by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program in GIS by drawing a minimum convex polygon around the known occurrences.

Area of Occupancy: 1-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: The total area occupied by the mapped occurrences is 136 acres (calculated by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program in 2014).

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are 18 principal occurrences documented in the Colorado Natural Heritage Program data system.

Population Size Comments: Approximately 22,100 individuals have been documented within 17 of the 18 occurrences. The remaining occurrence does not report the number of individuals.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: There are 9 occurrences with an A or B rank.

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The primary threats to Eutrema penlandii at this time appear to be hydrological alterations and mining. Activities that would impact surface water flow include anything from roads, trails, ruts from vehicles, footpaths, ruts, mining costruction or any activity of this nature that draws water away from the peat fen habitat (USFWS no date, Plant Profile).  Mineral extraction could have a significant impact on this taxon. The mining companies contested the Mosquito Range Research Natural Area; mining remains a big threat to plants in the Mosquito Range because of the thousands of mining claims - a change in the economic viability of mining could cause mining to increase there (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2004). Also, as mentioned ditching associated with mining could affect the delicate hydrology and could cause water pollution, both of which would adversly affect the species.  Recreational use is also a threat including trampling by ORV's and hikers. Any activity that directly or indirectly alters the surface or ground water supply and alters the wetland habitat required by this species could pose a significant threat. In one occurrence, Jeeps and ATVs were parked directly on top of Eutrema plants (Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Element Occurrence data). The impacts of this seemingly benign activity can destroy large areas of this sensitive bog habitat.  Another threat to this species are random events that might wipe-out large parts of the already small populations, such as fungal blight, drought, or insect infestations (US FWS no date, Plant Profile).  On a larger scale, global warming potentially threatens this and other alpine species.  Grazing is another threat, however, it is suggested that direct grazing on the Eutrema would probably be moderate given its small stature and the likelihood that its unpalatable. Grazing is still a threat to this species because grazing animals could easily trample or over-turn the Eutrema when looking for and eating moss in the bog (Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Element Occurrence data).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Although some occurrences are currently being impacted by recreational use and activities that preceed mining, the current trend is likely more or less stable.

Long-term Trend: Unknown
Long-term Trend Comments: Unknown.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Vulnerable to changes in hydrology and other surface disturbances.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Colorado endemic known from Lake, Park and Summit counties. Limited to a 25 mile stretch of the Continental Divide, above 12,000 feet. Estimated range is 215 square kilometers, calculated in 2008 by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program in GIS by drawing a minimum convex polygon around the known occurrences.

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 CO

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CO Lake (08065), Park (08093), Summit (08117)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 South Platte Headwaters (10190001)+
11 Arkansas Headwaters (11020001)+
14 Blue (14010002)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb. Clusters of small white flowers bloom in July and August. This alpine species may be a relict of the last ice ages - its closest relative is the arctic species E. edwardsii, which is found 1600 km to the north of E. penlandii's range. All the other members of this genus are Asiatic.
General Description: Small herbaceous perennial from 1 to 15 cm tall. Plants are glabrous and have clusters of white, four petalled flowers at the top of each stem. Leaves are dimorphic: shiny and oval along the stem, and shovel-shaped at the base of the plant. Fruit are eliptical, with styles so small they are barely evident (Spackman et al. 1997).
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, HERBACEOUS WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Alpine
Habitat Comments: Alpine tundra above 3700 m elevation and downslope from snowfields, which provide melt water all summer. The plants are usually found on south- and east-facing flat to gently sloping benches with steep walls that provide some protection from snow-melting winds. On these wet benches, the plants are found in moss-covered peat fens, bogs, or marshes. Most of the populations are on limestone substrates, which have created unusually basic wetland soils, but it is not certain that the species is restricted to calcareous substrates.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Eutrema penlandii occurs in peat fens and bogs in alpine areas where snowmelt supplies water to the area all summer long. The peat fen/bog habitat type is sensitive to a number of disturbances, including alterations in hydration and changes in water quality. Activies that would impact the hydrology should be completely avoided, including diverting vehicles far from these fens, moving trails so that they give populations of this plant a wide birth, and exclusion of grazing animals that trample the fen looking for vegetation to eat. These are a few activities that should be avoided. Vehicles should not park near or on the bogs; the bogs should not be drvien through by any type of vehicle. Mineral extration should be completed far from where this species occurs, so that the water hydrology isn't altered and that the waters aren't polluted. Management of this species should be carefully considered given that it is an alpine species with narrow habitat requirements. It has no place to migrate under climatic pressures, let alone direct-anthropogenic threats mentioned above.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Any naturally occurring population that is separated by a sufficient distance or barrier from a neighboring population. As a guideline, EOs are separated by either: 1 mile or more across unsuitable habitat or altered and unsuitable areas; or 2 miles or more across apparently suitable habitat not known to be occupied. Justification: The rationale for this large a separation distance across suitable but apparently unoccupied habitat is that it is likely additional research will find this habitat to be occupied. It can often be assumed that apparently unconnected populations will eventually be found to be more closely connected; these are best regarded as suboccurrences. No information on mobility of pollen and propagules is available on which to base the separation distance for this species.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1.61 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 3.22 km
Separation Justification: The rationale for this large a separation distance across suitable but apparently unoccupied habitat is that it is likely additional research will find this habitat to be occupied. It can often be assumed that apparently unconnected populations will eventually be found to be more closely connected; these are best regarded as suboccurrences.
Date: 27Sep2000
Author: Spackman, S., and D. Anderson.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: Size: 1000 or more individuals in an area greater than one hectare (based on available EOR data). Condition: The occurrence has an excellent likelihood of long-term viability as evidenced by the presence of multiple age classes and evidence of flowering and fruiting, indicating that the reproductive mechanisms are intact. This occurrence should be in a high-quality site with less than 1% cover of exotic plant species and/or no significant anthropogenic disturbance. Landscape Context: The occurrence is surrounded by an area that is unfragmented and includes the ecological processes (very low disturbance, flowing surface water with dense moss, appropriate temperature regime, and probably acidic to neutral pH soil) needed to sustain this species. Justification: Large populations in high quality sites are presumed to contain a high degree of genetic variability, to have a low susceptibility to the effects of inbreeding depression, and to be relatively resilient.
Good Viability: Size: 200 or more individuals in a small (less than 1 hectare) area (based on available EOR data). Condition: the occurrence should have a good likelihood of long-term viability (various age classes and evidence of flowering and fruiting are represented indicating that the reproductive mechanisms are intact) with little human disturbance. If exotic species are present, they comprise less than 10% of the total ground cover. Landscape Context: the surrounding landscape should contain the ecological processes needed to sustain the occurrence but may be fragmented and/or impacted by humans.
Fair Viability: Size: 50 or more individuals (based on available EOR data). Condition: The occurrence may be less productive than the above situations, but is still viable (with various age classes and evidence of flowering and fruiting indicating that the reproductive mechanisms are intact). The occupied habitat is somewhat degraded (exotic plant species make up between 10-50% of the total ground cover and/or there is a moderate level of human disturbance). Landscape Context: there may be significant human disturbance, but the ecological processes needed to sustain the species are still intact.
Poor Viability: Size: Less than 50 individuals (based on available EOR data). Condition: little or no evidence of successful reproduction is observed (poor seedling recruitment, no flowering or fruiting observed, or poor age class distribution). Exotic plant species make up greater than 50% of the total ground cover, and/or there is a significant level of human disturbance. Landscape context: the surrounding area is fragmented with many ecological processes no longer intact (i.e., hydrologic regime has been substantially altered resulting in drying of the soil in an occurrence). The occurrence has a low probability of long-term persistence due to inbreeding depression, natural stochastic events, and its intrinsic vulnerability to human impacts.
Justification: Justification: EOs not meeting "C"-rank criteria are likely to have a very high probability of inbreeding depression and extirpation due to natural stochastic processes and/or occur in degraded habitat with low long-term potential for survival.
Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
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: 14Feb2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Spackman, S. (2000), rev. Doyle, G. (2006), rev. J. Handwerk, and S. Panjabi (2006), rev. J. Handwerk (2010), rev. L. Oliver (2011), rev. J. Handwerk (2012),rev. J. Handwerk (2014)
Management Information Edition Date: 14Sep2011
Management Information Edition Author: Oliver, L.
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): rev. SSP (2015)

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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  • Al-Shehbaz, I. A. and S. I. Warwick. 2005a. A synopsis of Eutrema. Harvard Papers in Botany 10 (2): 129-135.

  • Colorado Native Plant Society. 1989. Rare plants of Colorado. Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Colorado Native Plant Society, Estes Park, Colorado. 73 pp.

  • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2004. The First Annual Colorado Rare Plant Symposium: Threatened, Endangered and Candidate Plants of Colorado. Symposium Minutes.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Naumann, T. S. 1988. Revised Status Report for Eutrema penlandii Rollins. Unpublished report prepared for the Colorado Natural Areas Program, Denver, CO.

  • Neely, B., S. Panjabi, E. Lane, P. Lewis, C. Dawson, A. Kratz, B. Kurzel, T. Hogan, J. Handwerk, S. Krishnan, J. Neale, and N. Ripley. 2009. Colorado Rare Plant Conservation Strategy, Developed by the Colorado Rare Plant conservation Initiative. The Nature Conservancy, Boulder, Colorado, 117 pp.

  • Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists. 2009. RARE Imperiled Plants of Colorado, a traveling art exhibition. Exhibition catalogue developed by the Denver Botanic Gardens and Steamboat Art Museum.

  • Rollins, R.C. 1993a. The Cruciferae of continental North America: Systematics of the mustard family from the Arctic to Panama. Stanford Univ. Press, Stanford, California. 976 pp.

  • Roy, G., S. Kelso, and A. Tonnesen. 1993. Habitat characteristics of Eutrema penlandii (Brassicaceae) in the Colorado Rockies: A study of alpine endemism. Madroņo 40(4):236-245.

  • Ryke, N., D. Winters, L. McMartin and S. Vest. 1994. Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Species of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Comanche and Cimarron National Grasslands. May 25, 1994.

  • Spackman, S., B. Jennings, J. Coles, C. Dawson, M. Minton, A. Kratz, and C. Spurrier. 1997. Colorado rare plant field guide. Prepared for Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Colorado Natural Heritage Program.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1993. The plant Eutrema penlandii (Penland alpine fen mustard) determined to be a threatened species. Federal Register 58(143): 40539-40547.

  • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

  • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Eastern Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 555 pp.

  • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Western Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 532 pp.

  • Weber, W.A., and R.C. Wittmann. 2012a. Colorado Flora, Eastern Slope, a field guide to the vascular plants, fourth edition. University of Colorado Press. Boulder, Colorado. 555 pp.

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