Lygodesmia doloresensis - S. Tomb
Dolores River Skeleton-plant
Other Common Names: Dolores River skeletonplant
Synonym(s): Lygodesmia grandiflora var. doloresensis (Tomb.) Welsh
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lygodesmia grandiflora var. doloresensis (S. Tomb) S.L. Welsh (TSN 537312)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.132834
Element Code: PDAST63070
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Aster Family
Image 10842

© Loraine Yeatts

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Asterales Asteraceae Lygodesmia
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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: Lygodesmia doloresensis
Taxonomic Comments: Colorado Heritage questions taxonomy. Dr. William Weber doubts that this is a distinct species (pers. com. with Susan Spackman 94-09-13). Welsh (1993) only reluctantly treats it as a distinct VARIETY of L. grandiflora, saying "it is the least convincing of the infraspecific taxa considered here, the plant simulates var. dianthopsis, and when growth form is not evident or atypical could be keyed to that variety. Perhaps it would best be treated as a synonym."
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04Dec2009
Global Status Last Changed: 06Jan2006
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Currently known from 11 occurrences in Mesa County, Colorado and along an 8 km stretch of the Colorado River Canyon (Professor Valley) in adjacent Grand County, Utah. Several of the occurrences are within a 2 km separation distance and could be combined in the future. The Dolores River Canyon, where most of the plants occur, is heavily grazed, and L. dolorensis tends to be found on sites that are physically inaccessible to cattle, in protected spots within larger vegetation, or along roadsides.
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 (S1S2), Utah (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Known from one county in Utah and one adjacent county in Coloado (USDA NRCS 2012).

Area of Occupancy: 6-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Colorado occurrences occupy approximately 1100 acres, Utah occurrences approximately 35 acres.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Five occurrences in Utah and eleven in Colorado; some of the Colorado occurrences are within a 2 km separation distance and could be combined in the future.

Population Size Comments: 4000 individuals documented within ten occurrences in Colorado, the remaining Colorado and Utah occurrences do not document population size.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very few (1-3)
Viability/Integrity Comments: There are three B ranked occurrences in Colorado, Utah occurrences are not ranked.

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Overgrazing has been documented as the primary threat to the species, however, Lyon 1996 indicates that the species seems to be surviving with grazing (Rondeau et al. 2011). Additionally, several of the Colorado occurrences are found along roadsides and are impacted by road maintenance activities, and the possible introduction of noxious weeds.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Last documented observation in 2008 by Lyon who indicates that the plants seem to be surviving in spite of heavy grazing by cattle and disturbance from road maintenance (CNHP 2006). The species was monitored by the BLM in Colorado in the late 1980's to determine the effects of grazing. Preliminary data indicated that there seemed to be no immediate danger to the plants (Lambeth 1993).

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

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Unknown.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Known from one county in Utah and one adjacent county in Coloado (USDA NRCS 2012).

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, UT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CO Mesa (08077)
UT Grand (49019)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
14 Colorado headwaters-Plateau (14010005)+, Westwater Canyon (14030001)+, Lower Dolores (14030004)+, Upper Colorado-Kane Springs (14030005)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb with narrow leaves and several flowering stems, about 3 dm tall. Numerous pink or lavender flower heads bloom in June. The plants produce a milky juice.
General Description: Lygodesmia doloresensis is a pink flowered, broomy plant with reduced leaves, appearing to be nearly all stem. Like other members of its tribe, it has milky juice. Each head has (usually) five ray flowers, which distinguish it from the closely related L. grandiflora with 8 or more rays. It is similar to L. grandiflora var. dianthopsis, which is distinguished by being less branched and by having broader leaves (FNA 2007).
Technical Description: Lygodesmia doloresensis has large flower heads with 5 (rarely 7) ray flowers, each about 1.5-2.5 cm long, and with 5 or 6 principal phyllaries.  Involucre bract tips with a small bell-shaped appendage.  Disk flowers absent; flowers rose to lavender; pappus of capillary bristles; all leaves very narrow and filiform (1-3 mm wide); plants perennial, much branched from the base, 2-3 dm tall; plants with white latex sap.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous, Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral
Habitat Comments: Juniper-desert shrub or juniper-grassland communities on alluvial soils derived from sandstone outcrops associated with the undivided lower portion of the Cutler Group, which appears in the vicinity of Moab, Utah. 1341-1441 m elevation.
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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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: 07Aug2013
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Edmondson, L., rev. B. Franklin/K. Maybury (1996), rev. Handwerk, J. (2006), rev. Handwerk, J. (2009), rev. Handwerk, J. (2013)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 12May2010
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Parker, J. (2010), rev. SSP (2014)

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, J. 1987. Lygodesmia doloresensis. Unpublished report to files, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Grand Junction, Colorado.

  • Anderson, John. 1985. File report of Lygodesmia doloresensis.

  • Atwood, D., J. Holland, R. Bolander, B. Frnaklin, D. E. House, L. Armstrong, K. Thorne, and L. England. 1991. Utah Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Plant Field Guide. US Forest Service Intermountain Region, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Utah Natural Heritage Program, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Navajo Nation, and Skull Valley Goshute Tribe.

  • 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. 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.

  • Cronquist, A., A. H. Holmgren, N. H. Holmgren, J. L. Reveal, and P. K. Holmgren. 1994. Intermountain flora: Vasculr plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A., Volume 5. Published for The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

  • Dorn, R., Mt. West Environmental Services. 1988. Rare plant inventory: final report to the Bureau of Land Management, Grand Junction, Colorado.

  • Harrington, H.D. 1954. Manual of the plants of Colorado. Sage Press, Chicago. 666 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • Panjabi, S., B. Neely and P. Lyon. 2011. Preliminary Conservation Action Plan for Rare Plants in the Gateway Priority Action Areas. Prepared by The Nature Conservancy and the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. Unpublished report prepared for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. 29 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.

  • 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. 

  • Tomb, A.S. 1980. Taxonomy of Lygodesmia (Asteraceae). Systematic Botany Monographs 1: 48-49.

  • Tomb, S. A. 1980. Taxonomy of Lygodesmia (Asteraceae). Systematic Botany Monographs 1: 1-51.

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

  • Utah Natural Heritage Program. 2006. Biological Conservation Datasystem. Salt Lake City, UT

  • 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.

  • Welsh, S. L., N. D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L. C. Higgins [eds]. 1993. A Utah Flora (2nd ed., revised). Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 986 pp.

  • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L.C. Higgins (eds.) 1993. A Utah flora. 2nd edition. Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah. 986 pp.

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