Lesquerella congesta - Rollins
Dudley Bluffs Bladderpod
Other Common Names: Dudley Bluffs bladderpod
Synonym(s): Physaria congesta (Rollins) O'Kane & Al-Shehbaz
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lesquerella congesta Rollins (TSN 195786)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.137180
Element Code: PDBRA1N1T0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Mustard Family
Image 12092

Public Domain

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Capparales Brassicaceae Lesquerella
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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: Lesquerella congesta
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 20Mar2012
Global Status Last Changed: 21Dec1984
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Endemic to the Piceance Basin in Rio Blanco County of northwestern Colorado. Although there are 7 occurrences currently known, they are all within a 35 mile range, and are imminently threatened by oil and gas extraction, particularly oil shale mining, and surface mining for sodium mineral deposits.
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

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LT: Listed threatened (06Feb1990)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R6 - Rocky Mountain

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Known from Rio Blanco County, Colorado; it is found only along the Piceance and Yellow Creek drainages. Estimated range is 88 square kilometers (34 square miles), 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 903 acres (calculated by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program in 2012).

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are 7 principal occurrences documented in the Colorado Natural Heritage Program database. All of the 7 occurrences have been observed fairly recently, at least within 20 years.

Population Size Comments: Total estimated sum of individuals from documented occurrences is 696,000.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: There are 7 occurrences with an A or B rank.

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Mining and oil and gas development are considered to be the primary threats to the species (Rondeau et al. 2011). Mining of oil shale and/or nahcolite solution could impact up to 100% of the occupied habitat. A new nahcolite plant at Yankee Gulch, across from Dudley Bluffs was built in 2000. The lease may extend into Ryan Gulch. Additionally, a new drill pad was observed near Dudley Bluffs in 2000 (CNAP 2000). Other threats include livestock grazing and trampling by wild horses. ORV's can cause severe damage if access is allowed into the habitat.

Short-term Trend: Unknown
Short-term Trend Comments: Reported to decline in years of drought.

Long-term Trend: Unknown
Long-term Trend Comments: Unknown. There is insufficient data to characterize long-term trends.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Vulnerable to any surface disturbance.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Known from Rio Blanco County, Colorado; it is found only along the Piceance and Yellow Creek drainages. Estimated range is 88 square kilometers (34 square miles), 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 Rio Blanco (08103)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
14 Piceance-Yellow (14050006)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small, cushion-shaped, herbaceous perennial, up to 3 cm in diameter, with a congested mass of bright yellow flowers and silvery leaves rising from a long, thin taproot.
General Description: Very small, densely tufted perennial, usually less than 2 cm across. Yellow flowers are in umbelliform racemes that barely exceed the basal leaves in height; the pedicels curved or sigmoid. Basal and cauline leaves are similar, spatulate, 1-5 mm wide, with no distinction between the blade and the petiole. Fruit are almost spherical. Plants have stellate hairs throughout. Very long, thin taproot (Spackman et al. 1997).
Technical Description: Densely tufted perennial forming a tight and dense crown. Basal and cauline leaves similar, 1 to 5 mm wide with no distinction between the blade and the petiole. Flowers in umbelliform racemes that barely exceed the basal leaves in height; the pedicels curved or sigmoid. Stellate hair throughout including the semi-spherical fruits.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Bare rock/talus/scree
Habitat Comments: Barren, white shale outcrops of the Green River and Uinta Formations.  Outcrops are exposed along drainages through erosion from downcutting of streams (Spackman et al. 1997).  Dominant associated plant community is Pinyon-Juniper woodland.  Other associated taxa include: Purshia tridentata, Cercocarpus montanus, Gutierrezia sarothrae, and Achnatherum hymenoides.
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A natural occurrence of one or more plants.
Separation Barriers: Unsuitable habitat or altered areas; or markedly distinct features on the landscape such as ridges, rivers, or roads.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 2 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 occurrences will eventually be found to be more closely connected. No information on mobility of pollen and propagules is available on which to base the separation distance for this species.

Date: 14Aug2003
Author: Jill Handwerk
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: Size: 10,000 or more individuals (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 needed to sustain this species. This includes the presence of the appropriate, very specific edaphic requirements of this species, i.e. barren, white shale outcrops derived from the oil-bearing shale of the Green River and Uinta Formations.

Good Viability: Size: 1000-9999 individuals (based on available EOR data).
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: 50 to 999 individuals (based on available EOR data).
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 moderate 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.

Justification: Large populations in high quality sites ("A", "B" or "C" ranked EOs) 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. "D" ranked occurrences have a low probability of long-term persistence due to inbreeding depression, natural stochastic events, and their intrinsic vulnerability to human impacts.
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: 20Mar2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Jill Handwerk, rev. Neuhaus, K., J. Handwerk, and S. Spackman Panjabi (2006), rev. Handwerk, J. (2012)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 20Nov2014
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Panjabi, Susan

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


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

  • Elliott, B. A., S. Spackman Panjabi, B. Kurzel, B. Neely, R. Rondeau, M. Ewing. 2009. Recommended Best Management Practices for Plants of Concern. Practices developed to reduce the impacts of oil and gas development activities to plants of concern. Unpublished report prepared by the Rare Plant Conservation Initiative for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2010. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 7. Magnoliophyta: Salicaceae to Brassicaceae. Oxford University Press, New York. xxii + 797 pp.

  • Goodrich, S., and E. Neese. 1986. Uinta Basin flora. U.S. Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Ogden, Utah. 320 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.

  • 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.

  • O'Kane, S. L. 1988. Colorado's Rare Flora. Great Basin Naturalist. 48(4):434-484.

  • Roberts, R. 1990. White River RMP/EIS Management Situation Analysis, Resource Area Profile.

  • Roberts, R. 1990. White River RMP/EIS Management Situation Analysis, Resource Area Profile.

  • 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.

  • Rondeau, R., K. Decker, J. Handwerk, J. Siemers, L. Grunau, and C. Pague. 2011. The state of Colorado's biodiversity 2011. Prepared for The Nature Conservancy. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

  • Rondeau, R., K. Decker, J. Handwerk, J. Siemers, L. Grunau, and C. Pague. 2011. The state of Colorado's biodiversity 2011. Prepared for The Nature Conservancy. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 

  • 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. 1990. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants: final rule to determine Lesquerella congesta and Physaria obcordata to be threatened species.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1990. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants: final rule to determine Lesquerella congesta and Physaria obcordata to be threatened species.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1993. Dudley Bluffs bladderpod and Dudley Bluffs twinpod recovery plan. Denver, Colorado.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1993. Dudley Bluffs bladderpod and Dudley Bluffs twinpod recovery plan. Denver, Colorado.

  • 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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