Gilia sedifolia - Brandeg.
Stonecrop Gily-flower
Synonym(s): Aliciella sedifolia (Brandeg.) J.M. Porter
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Gilia sedifolia Brandeg. (TSN 502774)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.130087
Element Code: PDPLM04200
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Phlox Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Solanales Polemoniaceae Gilia
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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: Gilia sedifolia
Taxonomic Comments: This species was once classified in the Gilia genus until Porter (1998) reclassified it as part of the Aliciella genus.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 08Sep2010
Global Status Last Changed: 23Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: An extremely rare endemic of the alpine zone of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. It had been thought to be extinct. Two locations are known as of 2007.
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 Colorado (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Endemic to Colorado (the San Juan Mountains in Hinsdale County). Estimated range is 8 square kilometers (3 square miles), calculated in GIS by drawing a minimum convex polygon around the known occurrences (calculated by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program in 2008).

Area of Occupancy: 1-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: The total occupied habitat is about 175 acres. Occurrences without specific information on occupied habitat were considered to occupy 0.5 acre.

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are 2 principal occurrences documented in the Colorado Natural Heritage Program database. One of the 2 occurrences had not been observed in over 100 years and its location was considered imprecise ("Gunnison County: Uncompahgre Range, Sheep Mtn.", but it could well have been east of here; note there are 33 Sheep Mountains in Colorado), however, a recent survey in July 2007 uncovered the species at the supposed type locality south/southeast of Silverton (UCM spms.) The other site is on Half Peak, Hinsdale Co., Colorado, which was discovered in 1995 (Clark and Hogan, 2000) and has been resurveyed successfully in (Anderson, 2004) and 2007 (UCM spms.).

Population Size Comments: Total estimated sum of individuals from 1 of 2 documented occurrence is 1,100. The other occurrence is historical and does not report the number of individuals (Anderson, 2004), however 14 plants were found within 100 m in its recent rediscovery in 2007 (UCM spms.).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: None (zero)
Viability/Integrity Comments: There are no occurrences with an A or B rank. Too little is known about the species to apply an element occurrence rank. However, due to high elevation, relative inaccessibility, and public (USFS) ownership, the one recently documented occurrence is assumed to be of good viability.

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The primary threat at this time is considered to be non-motorized recreation (Hogan pers. comm. 2008). This species is found in areas popular for hiking. Other threats, in order of decreasing priority, are off-road vehicle use and other recreation, sheep grazing and its secondary impacts, mining, exotic species invasion, effects of small population size, global climate change, and pollution (Anderson 2004).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Until recently, trends were largely unknown. Despite its rarity, it has always been known from only one, and more recently two, sites and there is currently no evidence of drastic population declines. Originally collected in 1892, then not recollected until 1995 by Sue Komarek (Clark and Hogan, 2000), targeted surveys were attempted unsuccessfully in 1992, 1994, and untargeted surveys in the Needle Mountains (Michener-Foote and Hogan, 1999) and San Juan County (Lyon and Denslow, 2002; Lyon et al., 2003) also did not find the species. The original occurrence had previously not been relocated for over 100 years but was rediscovered in 2007 (UCM spms.) while the second one (originally found in 1995) was found in two strands in 2003 (Komarek, 2003) and again in 2007 (UCM spms.). It is likely that other occurrences remain to be discovered, so more species inventory work is needed before the population trend can be accurately assessed (Anderson, 2004).

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Likely stable but not precisely known (always considered rare).

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: It is likely that the combination of stresses (short growing season and xeric conditions during the growing season) and disturbance (from mass wasting and erosion) in sites occupied preclude the advancement of successional processes and maintain its habitat in a state of arrested succession (Anderson 2004).

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: As a habitat specialist, population sizes are naturally limited by the availability of habitat. The high elevation outcrops of ash-flow tuff on which the species lives are insular and often separated from other suitable patches by many miles of unsuitable habitat. Within an area of suitable habitat, the availability of microsites suitable for this species is probably also limited, possibly precluding the development of a large population (Anderson 2004).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Endemic to Colorado (the San Juan Mountains in Hinsdale County). Estimated range is 8 square kilometers (3 square miles), calculated in GIS by drawing a minimum convex polygon around the known occurrences (calculated by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program in 2008).

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 Hinsdale (08053), San Juan (08111)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
13 Rio Grande headwaters (13010001)+
14 Upper Gunnison (14020002)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial, taprooted herb with a basal rosette of leaves. Leaves are suculent, linear. Flowers are borne in a somewhat spikelike cluster.
General Description: A small-statured, taprooted herb with a basal rosette of leaves. Leaves are linear, entire, terete, and suculent. Flowers are are dark purple-blue and have corollas with lobes longer than the tube. Flowers are borne in a somewhat spikelike, few-flowered cluster. Like many other members of this family it appears to be a biennial, or possibly a short-lived, monocarpic perennial. An abundance of old leaves at the base of the stem that suggests it may be a perennial (Komarek 1995).
Reproduction Comments: It appears to be a biennial, or possibly short-lived, monocarpic perennial but the extent to which it is capable of selfing is unknown. Both self-compatibility and self-incompatibility are present in the genus Aliciella. (Anderson, 2004).
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Alpine
Habitat Comments: Aliciella sedifolia occurs in the high alpine zone on a substrate of white volcanic ash (Anderson 2004). It is apparently restricted to dry, rocky or gravelly talus of tuffaceous sandstone (Porter 1998; Komarek 2003).  Habitat is very sparsely vegetated.  Associated species include Erysimum capitatum, Elymus scribneri, Thalictrum alpinum, and Acomastylis rossii (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: The only verified occurrences are those from Half Peak, Hinsdale County, on the Gunnison National Forest, where it is unlikely to be impacted by some threats such as residential development; and the rediscovered type locality south/southeast of Silverton. However, these occurrences are not in designated wilderness areas and is potentially subject to impacts from recreation, grazing, and resource extraction. Conservation efforts are needed for the Half Peak occurrence to ensure the long-term viability of this species. Research is needed to better understand any threats to the persistence of the species, and threat mitigation is needed to ensure that the loss of this species is prevented. A protective land status designation, such as research natural area, is one possible means of safeguarding this site. Further species inventory work is a high priority and is likely to identify other occurrences. Research is needed to investigate the population biology and autecology so that conservation efforts on its behalf can be most effective.
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.
Date: 27Sep2000
Author: Spackman, S., and D. Anderson.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: Size: No population size information is available for this species at this time. 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 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. The type locality is the only occurrence known for this species. There is no quantitative information regarding population size or quality. When this information is acquired or other occurrences are found, the eospecs should be reassessed.
Good Viability: Size: No population size information is available for this species at this time. Condition: The occurrence should have a good 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. Anthropogenic disturbance within the occurrence is minimal. 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: No population size information is available for this species at this time. Condition: The occurrence may be less productive than the above situations, but is still viable, with multiple 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 anthropogenic 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 10 individuals. 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. 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. We estimate that the effects of inbreeding depression would become severe over time in an isolated population of less than 10 individuals, although there is no data available on the population biology of this species or on the sizes of known populations at this time.
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: 05Oct2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Thunhorst, G., rev. Maybury (1997), rev. Spackman, S. and D. Anderson (2000), rev. Doyle, G. (2006), rev. J. Cordeiro (2010), rev. Handwerk, J. (2010)
Management Information Edition Date: 13Sep2010
Management Information Edition Author: Cordeiro, J.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 01Aug2012
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Cordeiro, J.; Handwerk, J., and S. Panjabi, rev. SSP (2013)

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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  • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.


  • Anderson, D.G. 2004. Gilia sedifolia Brandeg. (stonecrop gilia): A Technical Conservation Assessment. [Online]. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/projects/scp/assessments/giliasedifolia.pdf [2006-01-09]

  • Clark, D. and T. Hogan. 2000. Noteworthy collections from Colorado. Madroņo 47:142-144.

  • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2005. The Second Annual Colorado Rare Plant Symposium: G1 Plants of Colorado. Symposium Minutes. Available on-line http://www.cnhp.colostate.edu/teams/botany.asp#symposia.

  • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2005. The Second Annual Colorado Rare Plant Symposium: G1 Plants of Colorado. Symposium Minutes. Available on-line http://www.cnhp.colostate.edu/teams/botany.asp#symposia.

  • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2010. The Seventh Annual Colorado Rare Plant Symposium: G1 Plants of Colorado. Symposium Minutes. Available on-line http://www.cnhp.colostate.edu/teams/botany.asp#symposia.

  • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2012. Biodiversity Tracking and Conservation System. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.


  • Heil, K.D., S.L. O'Kane Jr., L.M. Reeves, and A. Clifford, 2013. Flora of the Four Corners Region, Vascular Plants of the San Juan River Drainage; Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, Missouri. 1098 pp.

  • 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.

  • Komarek, S. 1995. Element occurrence data for Gilia sedifolia. Unpublished report provided to the Colorado Natural Heritage Program.

  • Komarek, S. 2003. Plant species of special concern survey form submitted to the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Boulder, Colorado.

  • Lavender, A.E., M.M. Fink, S.E. Linn, D.M. Theobald. 2011. Colorado Ownership, Management, and Protection v9 Database. Colorado Natural Heritage Program and Geospatial Centroid, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (30 September).

  • Lyon, P. and M. Denslow. 2002. Rare Plant Survey: San Juan National Forest. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Fort Collins, Colorado.

  • Lyon, P., D. Culver, M. March, and L. Hall. 2003. San Juan County Biological Assessment. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Fort Collins, Colorado. 256 pp.

  • Michener-Foote, J. and T. Hogan. 1999. The Flora and Vegetation of the Needle Mountains, San Juan Range, Southwestern Colorado. Natural History Inventory of Colorado No. 18. University of Colorado Museum, Boulder, Colorado.

  • 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.

  • Porter, J.M. 1998. Aliciella, a recircumscribed genus of Polemoniaceae. Aliso 17(1):23-46.

  • 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, Western Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 532 pp.

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