Lomatium cookii - J.S. Kagan
Agate Desert Lomatium
Other English Common Names: Agate Desert-parsley, Cook's Lomatium
Other Common Names: agate desertparsley
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lomatium cookii J.S. Kagan (TSN 503533)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.133801
Element Code: PDAPI1B250
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Carrot Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Apiales Apiaceae Lomatium
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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: Lomatium cookii
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 15Oct2012
Global Status Last Changed: 02Aug1988
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: A narrow endemic, restricted to 2 small valley bottoms in Jackson and Josephine counties in southwestern Oregon. Fairly complete surveys of this species' limited vernal pond habitat have been conducted and 32 occurrences were found with a total of about 50,000 reproductively mature plants. Both of the areas in which the species occurs are being threatened by residential and urban development and one area is also threatened by mining and off-road vehicle traffic.
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 Oregon (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (07Nov2002)
Comments on USESA: Lomatium cookii was proposed endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on May 15, 2000. It was listed as endangered on November 7, 2002.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R1 - Pacific

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Narrow, local endemic. Restricted to two counties in the southwestern portion of the state of Oregon. It is limited to two small areas: the Agate Desert area north of the city of Medford, Jackson County, and the Illinois River Valley area near Cave Junction, Josephine County. Both are highly developed valley bottoms. Range extent 939 sq km by convex hull method and including area between the two populations.

Area of Occupancy: 26-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Thirty 4 sq km grid cells occupied.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Sixteen EOs using a 1 km separation distance.

Population Size Comments: Surveys of the largest population (including subpopulations) at French Flat found a total about 200,000 plants (Kaye 2003). Other sites are much smaller. Reproductive individuals probably number < 60,000 in total for all the sites.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Six EOs with good or excellent viabilty, using 1 km separation distance.

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Currently, habitat destruction from land (industrial and residential) development, mining, and ORV use is the major threat to this species. Of the 15 occurrences in the Agate Desert area, 11 have the potential for commercial and industrial development. The remaining 4 are located in Nature Conservancy preserves, a state wildlife management area and a county park. Mining activity is a threat as well as residential development for the Cave Junction area. Three of the 20 populations have known mining activity while the remaining sites in public ownership (Bureau of Land Management) are also exposed to this risk.

Grazing by cattle at more than a moderate level is also a threat to this species. Of the 35 known populations, 6 are on land used for grazing, although most of the Agate Desert area has been historically grazed. Cattle and horses have been observed eating L. cookii, and populations have not been found at heavily grazed sites.

Off-road vehicular traffic is a concern for many of the occurrences with mention of ORV tracks running through the population and severely damaging the habitat, especially in the important, large populations in the alluvial floodplain areas in the Illinois Valley.

Gophers (mostly in mound and flank areas) and possibly wireworms are predators, however under natural conditions are not considered threats to the species.

Thatch buildup from Taeniatherum caput-medusae (medusahead) may contribute to the observed decrease in L. cookii population density after several years without grazing. Thatch reduction by mechanical removal or burning has been demonstrated to increase seedling survival. The second year post burn ratio of seedlings relative to the number of reproducing plants prior to the burn was between 4 and 100 times as great as the number of seedling per adult in unburned areas on the Agate Desert Preserve. Other invasive species such as yellow starthistle (Centauria solstitialis) may compete with seedlings and juvenile plants of Lomatium cookii for light and water.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: All potential habitat for this species has been searched for and surveyed near both known areas. More populations may be located but it is unlikely that the current range will be greatly increased or additional large populations found. Most known populations are unprotected and threatened, and the global trend is clearly declining. Since most populations are on private lands, and since mining on public lands is a major threat, it is not clear that federal listing will slow the decline. The largest subpopulation is expected to grow and viability analysis shows a very low risk of catastrophic decline over the next 20 years; a very small subpopulation (<50 individuals) is estimated to have a high risk of catastrophic decline over the same period (Kaye 2003). Review of population data in 2012 revealed a mix of trends for individual populations: many are increasing, many are decreasing, and a few are stable. The largest populations are stable or increasing.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: The species is moderately resistant to disturbance.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Narrow, local endemic. Restricted to two counties in the southwestern portion of the state of Oregon. It is limited to two small areas: the Agate Desert area north of the city of Medford, Jackson County, and the Illinois River Valley area near Cave Junction, Josephine County. Both are highly developed valley bottoms. Range extent 939 sq km by convex hull method and including area between the two populations.

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 OR

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
OR Jackson (41029), Josephine (41033)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Upper Rogue (17100307)+, Middle Rogue (17100308)+, Illinois (17100311)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb, 1-4 dm tall, with narrowly dissected leaves and clusters of pale yellow flowers. Blooms between mid-March and mid-May, depending on seasonal conditions.
General Description: Perennial herb, about 6" to 20" tall, with yellow flowers, a leafless stem, smooth leaves and large, corky thickened fruit.
Technical Description: Plant perennial, glabrous, acaulescent or subacaulescent, 1.5-5 dm tall; root elongate, narrow, 1.5-3 dm long, simple, occasionally surmounted by a thickened 2-8-branched caudex. Leaves oblong, 8-17 cm long excluding petiole, 2.5-10 cm broad, ternate then tripinatisect, ultimate segments linear, acute, or sometimes apiculate, 6-12 mm long, less than 1 mm broad; petioles vaginate, 5-22 cm long. Peduncles exceeding leaves, 1.5-4 dm long; umbels 6-12-radiate, fertile rays 2-9 cm long, unequally elongate, sterile rays 1-2 cm long; involucre none; involucel bracklets 8-12, 6-10 mm long, linear, green, margins scarious; fruiting pedicels 1-3 mm long; flowers yellow. Fruits oblong, 8-13 mm long, 4-6 mm wide, lateral wings corky, thick, dorsal ribs three, filiform, elevated; oil tubes obsolete (Kagan 1986).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Lomatium cookii can be distinguished from the common L. utriculatum, with which it grows, by L. cookii's linear, narrow involucel bracts compared to the broad L. utriculatum bracts, its acaulescent habit (L. utriculatum is obviously caulescent), its longer ultimate leaf segments, and larger, corkier fruits. Also, L. utriculatum does not grow in pools (it grows on the mounds). L. macrocarpum is distinguishable from L. cookii by L. macrocarpum's pubescent herbage, pale to tan flowers, long involucel bracts that extend beyond the flowers, and narrow, winged fruits. L. cookii seedlings can be distinguished from other Lomatium seedlings by their lack of a reddish, scabrous petiole and their fewer and more linear ultimate leaf segments.
Reproduction Comments: All reproduction occurs via seed production. Lomatium cookii blooms from mid-March through mid-May depending on the season. Some initiate flowering the last week of February. Plants in pools generally flower 1 week earlier than those on pool flanks or mounds, and some rooted in pools flower under water. There are usually 2-5 flowering umbels, 8-20 umbellets, and 100-250 flowers. The earliest inflorescences are almost all male, with undeveloped ovaries; later flowers are perfect and produce almost all of the fruits. Flowers are protogynous, with the stigmas exposed and receptive before anther dehiscence in the same flower, but some had receptive stigmas after anther dehiscence as well, which may allow for self-pollination. The main insect pollinator is a small bee of the Adrenae family; wind and other invertebrates are also likely pollinators (Brock 1987). Fruits begin development 14-20 days after stigma exsertion, and mature in 4-5 weeks. The dispersal distance is 30-60 cm. Fruits are knocked off the plant by wind or other physical disturbance. Flotation on the ponds does not seem to be a dispersal mechanism (Brock 1987).

Seeds require 7 weeks to 4 months stratification at cool temperatures to germinate. Seed germination in the field begins the first week of February, peaking during the first week, but continuing for more than a month. Seeds in pools germinate about a week later than those on pool flanks or mounds.

Both non-flowering and mature plants grow fastest from February to late April when they start to dry up. Mature plants also grow at a more moderate rate from mid-late fall to December.

Ecology Comments: Grows in vernally wet habitats. Blooms and fruits early in the spring. Has been observed to survive wildfire and experimental and management burns quite well. There appears to be a source-sink relationship between the habitat provided in some vernal pools relative to the surrounding mounds. At the Jackson County International Airport, leveling of the soil mounds in some areas created a soil layer over the hardpan bottom that mimics the vernal pool margins, leading to an extensive population of the plant in a non-natural setting. That particular population is ungrazed, but mowed annually around the time that annual grasses cure.
Palustrine Habitat(s): TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous, Savanna
Habitat Comments: In the Agate Desert area, Lomatium cookii grows along the margins and less frequently on the bottoms of vernal pools or the tops of the mounds, usually with native forbs and introduced annual grasses in a mound-vernal pool habitat. Native plant species include Alopecurus geniculatus, Deschampsia danthonioides, Danthonia californica, Brodiaea sp., Lupinus sp., Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora, and Limnanthes floccosa ssp. floccosa. The pools that support Lomatium cookii generally have either stony bottoms or shallow layers of clay and contain standing water from approximately December through March, April or May. The mounds are relatively rock-free, with loan and clay loam soils.

In the Illinois Valley, it occurs on seasonally moist alluvial floodplains, with native bunchgrasses, Poa scabrella (pine bluegrass) and Danthonia californica (California oatgrass), adjacent to Pinus ponderosa-Quercus garryana (Ponderosa pine-Oregon white oak) savanna with Ceanothus cuneatus (common buckbrush) and Arctostaphylos species (manzanita). The habitats are almost all surrounded by serpentine, Pinus jeffreyi (Jeffrey pine) upland savannas.

Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Economic Comments: There are no known economic uses of this plant.
Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Lomatium cookii is a rare perennial herb. Management concerns for the species include livestock grazing, invasive non-indigenous species, altered fire regime, thatch accumulation, conversion of habitat to agriculture by leveling or irrigation, and other surface disturbance for gravel mining, or residential and commercial development, and off-road-vehicle use. Modification of the surface hydrology on the mounded prairie by nearby development such as construction of roadside ditches and waste flow from neighboring irrigated tracts are also a concern. Fragmentation of the habitat in which Lomatium cookii occurs is a concern for the genetic integrity of individual occurrences and the species.
Restoration Potential: Degraded populations in habitat with intact topography and hydrology have been partially restored by The Nature Conservancy. Populations increased at two sites when they were acquired for conservation, and grazing was removed. Thatch accumulation must be managed in habitat on the Agate Desert landform where medusahead is the dominant species and where livestock have been removed. Small experimental populations of Lomatium cookii have been established from seed at a protected site and under horticultural conditions in the Central Point sandy loam soil at the Oregon State University Agricultural Research Station. Because of the apparent source-sink relationship between population in the vernal pool habitat relative to the surrounding mounds, restoration efforts on the Agate Desert should target areas where the mounded topography and vernal pool hydrology is intact. Restoration is probably less likely to succeed on farmed habitat in the Illinois Valley where the community composition of the surface and soil has been severely degraded.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Natural area preserves targeting conservation of Lomatium cookii should consider the size of intact habitat and surrounding uses as they affect the ability to control alterations of hydrology, encroachment of invasive species, and use of fire. Selection criteria should include proximity and contiguity of the target habitat with a variety of other natural habitat types. Fire management requires a site large enough to allow rotation among several units such that sufficient unburned habitat is maintained to allow recolonization of species of terrestrial invertebrates that may be impacted by burns. Consideration should be given to ameliorating threats from adjoining land uses such as irrigation that may impact the surface hydrology of the target conservation site, or roadsides that act as vectors for weed species. Residential use adjoining a conservation site will require special care in the use of fire and other management practices.
Management Requirements: Livestock grazing should be limited to its use as a management tool. Use of prescribed fire should be coordinated with restoration practices such as seeding native prairie species and weed control efforts such as carefully timed mechanical control, including mowing and hand pulling and cutting. Restoration of the upland prairie (i.e., targeting reduction of weeds and re-establishment of the native perennial bunchgrasses as the dominant component of the upland prairie) should be implemented. Frequent burning (2-3 year interval) may need to be implemented during early phases of restoration, however the fire free interval may be increased as the composition of the grassland shifts toward dominance by native species. Early restoration burns should target reducing seed set of invasive species such as medusahead and starthistle-- probably conducted in late June on the Agate Desert. Later, fire management may shift to periodic late summer and fall burns to mimic the natural fire regime. It may be possible to develop compatible grazing practices for lands under secondary conservation management, but such practice would probably require reducing the duration of grazing, possibly increasing the intensity, and carefully selecting the timing for livestock use.
Monitoring Requirements: Monitoring of Lomatium cookii populations includes careful surveys and mapping conducted in early spring when it first starts flowering to estimate the geographic extent of populations. In mid March the large flowering individuals stand out most from other vegetation that has not yet grown tall. A simple complete census of individuals can be used where populations numbers are small (e.g. <2,000). For more abundant and highly patchy populations sampling methods become more efficient. Permanent narrow belt transects have proven useful and efficient

Management Programs: The Nature Conservancy is the only entity actively managing Lomatium cookii on the Agate Desert landform. The Conservancy maintains a stewardship office in the Rogue Valley, with Darren Borgias the key contact (541-488-4485), or in Portland, Oren Pollak (503-230-1221). The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) owns and manages the Denman Wildlife Management Area that harbors several populations of Lomatium cookii, vernal pools, mounded prairie and other habitats (John Theibes, 541-826-8784). ODFW has recently accepted a transfer of an additional tract of mounded prairie on the Agate Desert that may harbor Lomatium cookii as an off-site mitigation for wetland fill elsewhere. The Bureau of Land Management, Grants Pass Resource Area manages occurrences at Rough and Ready Creek ACEC and the French Flat ACEC, where management has included monitoring and demographic studies conducted by the Rare Plant Program of the Oregon Department of Agriculture (Bob Meinke 541-737-2317). The BLM contact is Linda Mazzu (541-770-2200). A few small occurrences are found on the Forks of the Illinois River State Park, managed by the Oregon State Parks from the office in Rogue River (541-582-1118).
Monitoring Programs: The Nature Conservancy uses permanent 90 meter long x 0.25 meter belt transects in which the number of seedling, juvenile, flowering, and multiple flowering individuals are counted. This method has proven efficient and powerful in the dispersed, but highly clustered populations that occupy areas roughly 90 meters long by 30 meters wide on the Agate Desert Preserve. The number of transects established in individual patches ranges from 6 to 12 depending on the variability in the population allowing a 90% probability of detecting a 50% change in the mean number from year to year (Dan Salzer, 503-230-1221). Another monitoring program has been established by the Oregon Department of Agriculture Rare Plant Program on French Flat ACEC managed by the Bureau of Land Management (Linda Mazzu 503-770-2200).
Management Research Programs: Adaptive management monitoring is ongoing at the Conservancy's Agate Desert and Whetstone Savanna Preserves. Control areas have been established for the prescribed burn management treatments there. Dan Gitzendanner, a Ph.D candidate at Washington State University, is conducting genetic research on the species and on related species.
Management Research Needs: Management research needs include: pollinator-plant interactions, response to fire, response to varied grazing regimes, interspecies competition with non-native and natives, native mounded prairie restoration methods, presettlement community composition, interactions with soil faunal community.
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: 25Mar2013
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Borgias, D., Kagan, J.S., Vrilakas, S.
Management Information Edition Date: 29Jul1998
Management Information Edition Author: BORGIAS, D., KAGAN, J.S., VRILAKAS, S.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 29Jul1998

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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  • Brock, R. 1987. The ecology of LOMATIUM COOKII, an endangered species of the Rogue Valley, Oregon. Unpublished document for Oregon Field Office of The Nature Conservancy. 31 pp.

  • Kagan, J.S. 1986. A new species of Lomatium (Apiaceae) from southwestern Oregon. Madrono 33 (1):71-75.

  • Kagan, J.S. 1986. A new species of Lomatium (Apiaceae) from southwestern Oregon. Madrono 33(1): 71-75.

  • Kagan, J.S. 1987. Draft status report for LOMATIUM COOKII. Unpublished document prepared for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Portland, Oregon. 51 pp.

  • Kagan, J.S. 1987. Status report for Lomatium cookii. Oregon Natural Heritage Data Base, The Nature Conservancy, Portland.

  • 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.

  • Kaye, T. N. 2003. Lomatium cookii: Population monitoring in the Illinois Vallye, Josephine County, Oregon. January 2003 progress report. Bureau of Land Management, Medford District and Institute of Applied Ecology, Corvallis, Oregon.

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