Neoparrya lithophila - Mathias
Rock-loving Aletes
Synonym(s): Aletes lithophila (Mathias) W.A. Weber ;Aletes lithophilus (Mathias) Weber
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Neoparrya lithophila Mathias (TSN 29770)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.157964
Element Code: PDAPI1E010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Carrot Family
Image 12094

Public Domain

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Apiales Apiaceae Neoparrya
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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: Neoparrya lithophila
Taxonomic Comments: Weber and Wittmann (2012) list as Aletes lithophilus (Mathias) W.A. Weber; Ackerfield (2015) lists as Neoparya lithophila Mathias.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 18Jul2011
Global Status Last Changed: 29Dec1999
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Known only from south central Colorado and reported from one site in New Mexico. There are approximately 30 occurrences. Several occurrences have very large numbers of individuals and many are naturally protected in the inaccessible habitat in which they occur.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3

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 (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Mostly in south central Colorado where it is restricted to seven counties: Chaffee, Conejos, Fremont, Huerfano, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache. Also reported from one site in New Mexico, collected by Ron Hartman in 2005 in the Carson National Forest (Hartman et al. 2006).

Area of Occupancy: 6-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: The total occupied habitat is about 2600 acres. Occurrences without specific information on occupied habitat were considered to occupy 0.5 acre.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are 30 principal occurrences documented in the Colorado Natural Heritage Program database. All of the principal occurrences have been observed fairly recently, at least within 20 years (as of 2011).

Population Size Comments: The total number of individuals documented for this species is at least 50,000, as of 2011.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some (13-40)
Viability/Integrity Comments: There are 17 occurrences ranked A or B.

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Motorized recreation is considered to be the primary threat to the species at this time (Rondeau et al. 2011). Recreational activities and livestock grazing are potential threats to the populations. Many of the sites are on land subject to moderate to heavy grazing, although the populations themselves are often inaccessible (i.e., steep rock outcrops). In some cases, this has resulted in a flourish of exotics (e.g., Bromus tectorum, Plantago patagonica), which may compete for N. lithophila habitat. At the Elephant Rocks site in Rio Grande County, recreational impacts such as fire rings, trash and trampling have combined with overgrazing to damage a large portion of the landscape. These activities do not seem to be an immediate threat to N. lithophila, but continued use of this kind could be detrimental (O'Kane 1986). The Farisita Dike occurrence showed signs of deer occupation (numerous pellets), although no individuals exhibited signs of having been grazed (Carpenter 1993). Most of the N. lithophila individuals at Farisita Dike are inaccessible to cattle. O'Kane (1986) noted that its "palatability is probably low because of aromatic oils present in the herbage."

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: This species has only been known since 1957 and is not known to have declined. The Colorado Program of The Nature Conservancy is monitoring this species.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: This species mainly occurs on steep slopes or very rocky ledges, and appears to be well adapted to this environment.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Mostly in south central Colorado where it is restricted to seven counties: Chaffee, Conejos, Fremont, Huerfano, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache. Also reported from one site in New Mexico, collected by Ron Hartman in 2005 in the Carson National Forest (Hartman et al. 2006).

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 Chaffee (08015), Conejos (08021), Fremont (08043), Huerfano (08055), Rio Grande (08105), Saguache (08109)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
11 Arkansas Headwaters (11020001)+, Huerfano (11020006)+
13 Rio Grande headwaters (13010001)+, Alamosa-Trinchera (13010002)+, Saguache (13010004)+, Conejos (13010005)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb, up to 3 dm tall. Leaves are glossy-green. Flowers are pale yellow.
General Description: An herbaceous perennial that produces new leaves and leafless inflorescences each year. The plants grow in clumps, are taprooted, and 8 to 29 cm tall. Large clumps of vegetation more than two feet in diameter can form, but it is sometimes unclear whether these clumps are a single individual or represent multiple individuals that have coalesced. Plants have thick, glossy, leathery leaves that are once pinnate, with linear, remote pinnae that are 5 to 32 millimeters long and 1.5 to 4 millimeters broad (Anderson 2004). Fruit are oblong, 3-5 mm long, not winged. Some umbel rays are reflexed (Spackman et al. 1997).


Neoparrya lithophila is an herbaceous perennial that produces new leaves and leafless inflorescences each year. The plants grow in clumps, are taprooted, and 8 to 29 cm tall. Large clumps of vegetation more than two feet in diameter can form, but it is sometimes unclear whether these clumps are a single individual or represent multiple individuals that have coalesced. Neoparrya lithophila has thick, glossy, leathery leaves that are once pinnate, with linear, remote pinnae that are 5 to 32 millimeters long and 1.5 to 4 millimeters broad (Anderson 2004).

Technical Description: Plants of Neoparrya lithophila occur in clumps 8-29 cm. high. The leaves are oblong in general outline, somewhat rigid, the blades 4.5-11.5 cm. long, 1.2-5.3 cm. broad, pinnately divided. The pinnae are distinct, linear, remote, 5-32 mm. long and 1.5-4 mm. broad; peduncles are 8-26 cm. long, bracts of involucre wanting. Rays number 5-10, are subequal or unequal, 5-18 mm. long and reflexed in flower and fruit. Bractlets of involucel inconspicuous, linear-lanceolate, sometimes minutely scaberulous on the margins; pedicels 6-10, 1-5 mm. long, reflexed in fruit; styles 2-3 mm. long; fruit oblong, 3.5-5 mm. long, 1-2.5 mm. broad; ribs deltoid in transection, not winged; vittae scattered throughout the pericarp in both immature and mature fruits (Theobald et al., 1964).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Neoparrya lithophila is distinguished from Aletes humilis and A. acaulis in having linear lateral leaf lobes rather than broad and incised lobes with flaring tips. It also differs from these species, as well as A. anisatus and most other members of the Apiaceae, in having reflexed umbel rays, giving the inflorescence a ball-shaped appearance. Although it is quite aromatic, it lacks the strong anise odor of A. anisatus (Anderson 2004).
Ecology Comments: Little is known about N. lithophila other than general taxonomic information. The plants appear widely varied in age and size, ranging from single stem shoots to plants with several dozen stems. Plant dispersion within evidently appropriate habitat is sporadic, seemingly based on availability of acceptable seed beds. Flowering occurs in June and July, fruiting in late July and early August. Estimated populations at different sites range from >380 (Trickle Mtn) to >6000 (Flat Top) individuals, though most are in the 2000 individual range. No dead plants were observed at the Farisita Dike site when I visited on May 24, 1990, and there were many young recruits. It would appear that the population is at least stable, if not growing in number.
Habitat Comments: Grows on volcanic substrates, in cracks or shelves usually with minimal talus. It is seen in moderate to steep rock outcrops, or outcrops of volcanic soils. It also occurs on sedimentary rock derived from extrusive volcanics (Dry Union Formation at Salida). The surrounding habitat is typically grasslands or pinon-juniper woodlands. Associated taxa often include: Festuca, Artemisia, Muhlenbergia, Hymenoxys, and Ribes (Neely 1986; O'Kane, 1986). Although Neoparrya lithophila is found on all aspects, reports in element occurrence records suggest that it favors north slopes (Anderson 2004). This species occurs east and (mostly) west of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. Average rainfall is about 7 to 16 inches (180-410 mm) annually.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: The focus of stewardship at this time should be on monitoring and research programs. Active management needs are minimal, as most of the occurrences are under defacto protection due to their location. Additional protection should be sought via ACEC designation of two sites (Elephant Rocks and Flat Top).
Restoration Potential: With the possible exception of Elephant Rocks, none of the sites are candidates for a recovery program. The other sites are remote enough to not require management. Public awareness through designation of Elephant Rocks as an ACEC will probably alleviate the threat at that site.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: This element can and does flourish on very small pieces of land, although some of the minute populations may not be viable. The key factors to preservation of the element is providing habitat which is inaccessible to ORV use and livestock trampling. This plant is found exclusively on volcanic rock. There are many potential sites for element occurrences in the area of the known occurrences, although most of these sites have yet to be surveyed for additional populations.
Management Requirements: The Elephant Rocks site might benefit from public awareness and some management of recreational use.
Monitoring Requirements: N. lithophila should be monitored, because little is known about its biology or ecology. Information regarding viable population limitations and habitat limitations is a must in order to ensure the long-term survival of the species. Also, the effects of trampling, if any, on certain sites should be monitored and incorporated into management plans.

The procedure for monitoring is as follows. Microsites are established as 5 m radius plots centered on a permanent spot, marked with a cairn or piece of rebar, and a numbered aluminum tag. Individual plants are permanently marked using wire and numbered aluminum tags attached to the plant stems. For each plant, the maximum diameter, the perpendicular to that diameter, aspect (in degrees) and the number of flowering stalks (in multiples of 5) are recorded. Collection of data occurs every year in July, just after the plants have flowered.

A monitoring program will be initiated at Farisita Dike by Alan Carpenter, the Colorado Land Steward for The Nature Conservancy in 1990, to provide a good baseline standard for the populations that are subject to heavier use, or those on a recovery program (i.e., Elephant Rocks, if it becomes an ACEC). The monitoring program (at Farisita Dike) will address the longevity of individuals, population trends (rates of recruitment and mortality), and rate of growth. More in-depth monitoring could include comparisons of soil/talus quality to density of plants, especially between sites. There are currently no monitoring plans at any of the other occurrence locations.


Management Programs: The Nature Conservancy has a management lease on the Farisita Dike (Huerfano County) element occurrence. The management area of 100 acres includes the dike itself, where N. lithophila occurs, and the pinon/juniper land immediately surrounding. Livestock are not fenced out of the critical habitat area, but the lease provides for construction of a fence if it is deemed necessary for protection. The Elephant Rocks site, which is subject to continued recreational use, and the Flat Top site (Conejos County) are both likely candidates for Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) designation by the Bureau of Land Management (Tamara Naumann, pers. com.). The remaining occurrences are split between the BLM, USFS, State Land Board and private owners. Unless the status of N. lithophila changes, the inaccessibility of these sites is adequate defacto protection for the plants (Naumann, pers. com.).
Monitoring Programs:

Maps

Colorado Climate Center. 1984. Colorado Average Annual Precipitation 1951-1980. Colorado State University, Ft. Collins.

Alan Carpenter, The Nature Conservancy, Colorado Field Office 1244 Pine St., Boulder, CO 80302, (303) 444-2950

Ronald Hartman, Rocky Mountain Herbarium, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071,(307) 766-2380

Betsy Neely, The Nature Conservancy,Colorado Field Office 1244 Pine St., Boulder, CO. 80302,(303) 444-2950

Steve O'Kane, Department of Biology, Box 1137, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130,(314) 889-6815

Tamara Naumann, Colorado Natural Areas Program,1313 Sherman St. Denver, CO 80203,(303) 866-3047

Management Research Programs: Dr. Ron Hartman is currently heading a project at the University of Wyoming looking at DNA in N. lithophila and several ALETES species. The results will help justify the species as ALETES or NEOPARRYA. The results will also provide insight to the genetic structure and diversity among populations. The projected date of completion is end of 1990,and would provide a useful update to this abstract.
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.
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. 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: 3000 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 such as major road development, mining, or residential development. Landscape Context: the occurrence is surrounded by an area that is unfragmented and includes the ecological processes needed to sustain this species. This species has narrow habitat requirements, restricted to areas with specific volcanic parent material, and its distribution is thus naturally patchy. It is probably a poor competitor.
Good Viability: Size: 1000 to 3000 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: 20 to 1000 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 significant human disturbance, but the ecological processes needed to sustain the species are still intact.
Poor Viability: Size: Less than 20 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. Most of the D-ranked occurrences of this species are disturbed by recreational uses and residential development. 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: A Rank: 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.

C Rank: 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).
Date: 27Sep2000
Author: Spackman, S., and D. Anderson
Notes: COHP
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: 18Jul2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Greene, L., rev. Fayette, K., Spackman/Maybury (1996), rev. Kettler(1999), rev. Spackman Panjabi (2006), rev. Handwerk, J. (2011)
Management Information Edition Date: 25Sep1990
Management Information Edition Author: JOHN C. CARRON
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 18Jul2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): CARRON, J.C. (1990), rev. Susan Spackman Panjabi (2007), rev. Handwerk, J. (2011), 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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  • Ackerfield, J. 2015. Flora of Colorado. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth, TX. 818 pp.

  • Anderson, D.G. (2004, November 8). Neoparrya lithophila Mathias (Bill's neoparrya): a technical conservation assessment. [Online]. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/projects/scp/assessments/neoparryalithophila.pdf [April 18, 2007].

  • Baker, W.L. 1981. Farisita Dike Site Summary. Unpublished Report to the Colorado Natural Areas Program (CNAP) and The Nature Conservancy.

  • Carpenter, Alan. 1993. Monitoring Neoparrya lithophila at Farisita Dike for the Nature Conservancy.

  • Carpenter, Alan. 1993. Monitoring Neoparrya lithophila at Farisita Dike for the Nature Conservancy.

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

  • Hartman, R.L., B. Reif, B.E. Nelson, and B. Jacobs. 2006. New vascular plant records for New Mexico. Sida 22(2): 1225-1233.

  • Kartesz, J. T. 1991. Synonym names from 1991 checklist, as extracted by Larry Morse, TNC, June 1991.

  • 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.

  • Mathias, M.E. 1929. Studies in the Umbelliferae, II. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 16: 393-398.

  • Neely, B.E. 1986. Farisita Dike Preserve Design. Unpublished Prepared for The Nature Conservancy.

  • O'Kane, S.L. Jr. 1986. Floristic reconnaissance of the San Luis Valley. Unpublished report, Colorado Natural Areas Program, Denver, Colorado. 18pp + appendices.

  • O'Kane, S.L., D.H. Wilken, and R.L. Hartman. 1988. Noteworthy Collections. Madrono 35(1):72-74.

  • O'Kane, S.L., Jr. 1986. Floristic Reconnaissance of the San Luis Valley. Unpublished. Prepared for the Bureau of Land Management.

  • O'Kane, S.L., Jr., D.H. Wilken and R.L. Hartman. 1988. Noteworthy Collections (Colorado) of ARALIA RACEMOSA, ASTRAGALUS HUMILLIMUS, A. SERICOLEUCUS, ATRIPLEX PLEIANTHA, CREPIS CAPILLARIS, CRYPTANTHA WEBERI, DITHYREA WIZLIZENII, IPOMOPSIS CONGESTA ssp. CREBRIFOLIA, LOMATIUM BICOLOR, MENTZELIA DENSA, NEOPARRYA LITHOPHILAand RUMEX VERTICILLATUS. Madrono 35(1):72-74.

  • Peterson, J.S., B.C. Johnston, W. Harmon. 1983. Status Report of NEOPARRYA LITHOPHILA Mathias. USFWS and CNAP.

  • 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 the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program.

  • 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.

  • Theobald, W. L., C. S. Tseng, and M. E. Mathias. 1964. A revision of Aletes and Neoparrya (Umbelliferae). Brittonia 16:296-315.

  • USDA, NRCS. 2015. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

  • Weber, W. A. 1984. New names and combinations, principally in the Rocky Mountain flora--IV. Phytologia 55: 1-11.

  • 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. 1996a. Colorado flora: Eastern slope. Revised edition. Univ. Press of Colorado, Niwot, Colorado. 524 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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