Packera malmstenii - (Blake ex Tidestrom) Kartesz
Podunk Groundsel
Other English Common Names: Podunk Ragwort
Synonym(s): Senecio malmstenii Blake ex Tidestr.
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Packera malmstenii (S.F. Blake ex Tidestr.) Kartesz (TSN 565365)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.140963
Element Code: PDAST8H450
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Aster Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Asterales Asteraceae Packera
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: 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.
Concept Reference Code: B99KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Packera malmstenii
Taxonomic Comments: Welsh et al. (1987) included Senecio malmstenii in S. streptanthifolius, but Welsh et al. (1993) treat it as a distinctive endemic which "is probably more closely allied to S. werneriifolius". Kartesz (1994) does not treat S. malmstenii (as recognized or in synonymy), but accepts S. malmstenii (as Packera malmstenii) in his 1999 dataset.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 21Sep2009
Global Status Last Changed: 12Feb2001
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Endemic to Claron Formation limestone in Garfield, Kane, and Iron counties, southwestern Utah; occurs on the Markagunt and Paunsaugunt Plateaus, Canaan Peak, and the Table Cliff and Aquarius Plateaus. Approximately 19 occurrences are currently known (nearly all believed extant), and some new occurrences may yet be discovered within the restricted habitat type that this species occupies. Most known occurrences are within the Dixie National Forest, with a few in the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness Area (part of the Forest), a few in the Cedar Breaks National Monument, and one on the border of Bryce Canyon National Park. With not all occurrences counted, at least 11,500 plants have been documented; the total population may be on the order of 20,000-25,000 plants. Largely unthreatened by direct human activities because of its largely inaccessible habitat; no issues with invasive plants because the high calcium carbonate content of this species' substrate restricts their establishment.
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 Utah (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Endemic to three counties in southwestern Utah. Occurs on the Markagunt and Paunsaugunt Plateaus, in locations such as the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness and Cedar Breaks National Monument (Iron County) and just outside southwest corner of Bryce Canyon National Park (Kane County); also known from Canaan Peak and Table Cliff Plateau (including Barney Top and Horse Creek Top) to Aquarius Plateau (including south end of Boulder Mountain) (Garfield County). Populations are fairly scattered, within 60-70 air miles of each other (M. Madsen pers. comm. 2009). Flora of North America (2006) shows this species occurring in Nevada and Idaho, so it is assumed that their taxonomic concept is different than the one followed here; we follow Kartesz (1999) and Welsh et al. (2008) in considering this species to be a southwest Utah endemic.

Area of Occupancy: 26-500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Collections by M. Madsen in the Dixie National Forest (mostly 2000, 2004) and a survey of the Cedar Breaks National Monument by W. Fertig and D. Reynolds (2007-2008) bring the total number of known occurrences to approximately 19, 14 of which have been observed since 1999 (M. Madsen pers. comm. 2009, W. Fertig pers. comm 2009). Additional occurrences may yet be discovered, as the plant is small and easily overlooked, and it occurs in many remote and/or very difficult to access areas (W. Fertig pers. comm. 2009). Although apparently not confirmed within the boundaries of Bryce Canyon National Park at this time, it likely occurs there (M. Madsen pers. comm. 2009).

Population Size Comments: In general, this species tends to be sporadic where it occurs (M. Madsen pers. comm. 2009). Exact plant counts are difficult, as it forms extensive rhizomes and sobols and a single plant can extend for a long distance (W. Fertig pers. comm. 2009). The total population at Cedar Breaks National Monument has been conservatively estimated at about 1500 plants, with plants at any one sample site (sub-occurrence) typically numbering less than 100 (Fertig and Reynolds 2009). On the Dixie National Forest, the occurrence on Canaan Peak has been estimated to contain over 10,000 plants (M. Madsen pers. comm. 2009), but other censused occurrences are smaller (a number have 11-50 plants). The total number of plants in the Dixie National Forest may be on the order of 20,000-25,000 plants (M. Madsen pers. comm. 2009).

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Largely unthreatened by direct human activities because of its largely inaccessible habitat (W. Fertig pers. comm. 2009, M. Madsen pers. comm. 2009). One occurrence appears to be in the vicinity of a trail to a scenic point, but in general trampling near trails is not a significant threat to the species because its steep, erodible habitat is not conducive to trail construction (M. Madsen pers. comm. 2009). Approximately 12% of occupied and potentially suitable habitat for the species within the Dixie National Forest is within 500 feet of routes open to motorized access (Madsen 2009), but again, direct impacts from vehicles are unlikely due to the low accessibility of sites. Rodriguez (2004) states that "this species is not affected by grazing because plants are generally on steep Claron limestone talus slopes where grazing does not occur." Furthermore, there are currently no issues with invasive species because the high calcium carbonate content of this species' preferred substrate creates harsh abiotic conditions in which only specifically-adapted plants can succeed (M. Madsen pers. comm. 2009).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Endemic to three counties in southwestern Utah. Occurs on the Markagunt and Paunsaugunt Plateaus, in locations such as the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness and Cedar Breaks National Monument (Iron County) and just outside southwest corner of Bryce Canyon National Park (Kane County); also known from Canaan Peak and Table Cliff Plateau (including Barney Top and Horse Creek Top) to Aquarius Plateau (including south end of Boulder Mountain) (Garfield County). Populations are fairly scattered, within 60-70 air miles of each other (M. Madsen pers. comm. 2009). Flora of North America (2006) shows this species occurring in Nevada and Idaho, so it is assumed that their taxonomic concept is different than the one followed here; we follow Kartesz (1999) and Welsh et al. (2008) in considering this species to be a southwest Utah endemic.

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 UT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
UT Garfield (49017), Iron (49021)*, Kane (49025)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
14 Paria (14070007)+
16 East Fork Sevier (16030002)+, Escalante Desert (16030006)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small, smooth perennial herb with more or less upright stems 4.5-7 cm tall. The smooth green leaves are essentially all basal; they are thick, stalked, and round to egg-shaped with the widest part at the top. There are 1-2 flower heads per plant with yellow to orangish discoid flowers only, surrounded by 12-16 purplish bracts. Flowering June-August.
General Description: A smooth perennial herb that is soboliferous (with slender rhizomes to 20 cm or longer connecting the buried upslope caudex to the year's stems); each year, the stems arise from the ends of the sobols. Plants are typically 4.5-7 cm tall above ground, with above-ground stems more or less upright. Leaves (essentially all basal) are thick, stalked, and round to egg-shaped with the widest part at the top; they are 1-3 cm long and are either unlobed or have a few, regular lobes. There are 1-2 flower heads per plant. The involucre is 7-10 mm high with 12-16 suffused purple, narrowly lance-subulate flower bracts. All flowers in the head are discoid (no ray flowers) and are yellow to orangish. The pappus is white with smooth bristles and the achene is smooth (Rodriguez 2004, Utah Native Plant Society 2008, Fertig and Reynolds 2009).
Technical Description: From Welsh et al. (2008): "Perennial glabrous, scapose, typically strongly soboliferous herbs, with stems of the season arising from slender (ca 1 mm thick) sobol apices, the sobols to 20 cm long or longer, often suffused with a soft lavender, the caudex per se (seldom collected) typically buried upslope from the leafy branch apices; plants mainly 4.5-7(-13) cm tall (above ground), the short above-ground portions erect or ascending; herbage green and glabrous (except in some leaf axils); basal leaves (actually the tuft of lowermost cauline leaves) petiolate, the blades 0.4-2.4(-3.3) cm long, 3-13(-26) mm wide, orbicular or obovate-orbicular, entire or regularly few lobed; largest cauline leaves above the base, much reduced upward, bracteate; heads solitary (or 2); involucres 7-10 mm high, 8-12 mm wide when pressed; main bracts 12-16, narrowly lance-subulate, attenuate to acute, suffused purple, the narrow margins scarious or hyaline, glabrous; outer bracts very short or lacking; ray flowers lacking; pappus white; achenes glabrous."
Diagnostic Characteristics: Distinguished from S. werneriifolius primarily by its lack of ray flowers, and also by its thinner sobols (1mm thick vs. 2-3 mm thick in S. werneriifolius) and glabrous foliage (the pubescence of S. werneriifolius varies from copious to almost none, but there is usually a hint of pubescence) (Welsh et al. 2008). Distinguished from Senecio musiniensis and S. castoreus by its glabrous foliage; these other species are grayish to white woolly pubescent (Fertig and Reynolds 2009). Other co-occurring Senecio species differ in having yellow ray flowers, taller and leafier stems, tomentose herbage, or leaf blades that are either narrower or pinnately lobed (Fertig and Reynolds 2009). Distinguished from Senecio soldanella and Senecio (Packera) porteri of adjacent Colorado by its smaller flower heads.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Bare rock/talus/scree, Barrens, Forest/Woodland, Woodland - Conifer
Habitat Comments: Occurs at high elevations primarily on steep creeping talus slopes (also eroding outcrops and cliff edges) of the Tertiary Claron (also known as Wasatch) Limestone Formation, an Eocene-age sandy limestone derived from an ancient deep lake. Few other plants typically establish in these habitats, due to the high pH and erodibility of the rock, the fact that slopes are underlain by thick clay that is very hard when dry, and the exposure of sites to the elements (strong winds, intense sunlight, blowing snow, freeze-thaw cycles, intense thunderstorms). The special soil conditions (particularly the high pH) have resulted in several endemic plants. This species' soboliferous habit appears to be an adaptation to mantle-creep of the limestone slopes (Welsh et al. 2008). In the Cedar Breaks area, populations are often found associated with shallow erosional channels or rills that run parallel to the slope axis and expose bare, clayey soil (Fertig and Reynolds 2009). The immediate community typically has very low vegetation cover (averaging less than 10%, often 1-2%), and has been described as "barrens" and as a "cushion-plant community." The surrounding community is conifer woodland (western bristlecone pine, western bristlecone pine-limber pine, spruce-fir, western bristlecone pine-douglas fir, mixed conifer); sometimes some of these trees manage to establish on the slopes. Associated species include Cymopterus minimus, Silene petersonii, Senecio atratus, Astragalus miser var. oblongifolius, Eriogonum panguicense var. alpestre, Haplopappus zionis, Calamagrostis scopulorum, and Monardella odoratissima. 2250-3200 m.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: No management actions are needed for this species at this time, as its largely inaccessible habitat and unique substrate protects it from the most common threats to rare plants of this region (trampling near trails, invasive plants, livestock grazing) (M. Madsen pers. comm. 2009, W. Fertig pers. comm. 2009). However, periodic low-impact monitoring should be conducted to confirm that populations are still present and have not been impacted by larger-scale issues such as climate change or disease (Fertig and Reynolds 2009).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A natural occurrence of one or more plants.
Separation Barriers: EOs are separated by either: 1 kilometer or more across unsuitable habitat or altered and unsuitable areas; or 2 kilometers or more across apparently suitable habitat not known to be occupied.
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: 29May2002
Author: Ben Franklin
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: SIZE: There are no quantitative data available for this species. 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 species is endemic on the south-central Utah plateaus growing only on the steep talus slopes of the pink Claron Limestone.
Good Viability: SIZE: There are no quantitative data available for this species. CONDITION: There are no quantitative data available for this species. LANDSCAPE CONTEXT: 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.
Fair Viability: SIZE: The surrounding landscape should contain the ecological processes needed to sustain the occurrence but may be fragmented and/or impacted by humans. CONDITION: There are no quantitative data available for this species. LANDSCAPE CONTEXT: 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).
Poor Viability: SIZE: There may be significant human disturbance, but the ecological processes needed to sustain the species are still intact. CONDITION: There are no quantitative data available for this species. LANDSCAPE CONTEXT: 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.
Justification: SIZE: 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. 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. CONDITION: 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. 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. LANDSCAPE CONTEXT: 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. 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).
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: 21Sep2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Gravuer, K.
Management Information Edition Date: 21Sep2009
Management Information Edition Author: Gravuer, K.

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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  • 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.

  • Fertig, W. 2009. Annotated checklist of vascular flora: Cedar Breaks National Monument. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCPN/NRTR-2009/173. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado. [http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/ncpn/Bib_Library/inventory/CEBR_Flora_Report_2009.pdf]

  • Fertig, W. and D. N. Reynolds. 2009. Survey of Rare Plants of Cedar Breaks National Monument: Final Report CPCESU Cooperative Agreement # H1200-004-0002 Survey Rare Plants and Establish Compliance with Conservation Agreement for Arizona Willow at Cedar Breaks National Monument. Prepared for Cedar Breaks National Monument, The Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit, and Southern Utah University. 20 January 2009.

  • 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.

  • Madsen, M. 2001. TES plant survey forms & maps with sensitive plant locations. Section 9 from thesis at Brigham Young University, Provo.

  • Madsen, M. T. 2009. Biological Evaluation of Sensitive Plant Species for the Motorized Travel Plan Project Preferred Alternative with Modifications. Dixie National Forest. [http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/dixie/projects/MTP/feis/specialist_reports/plant_be.pdf]

  • Rodriguez, R. L., compiler. 2004. Life History and Analysis of Endangered, Threatened, Candidate, Sensitive, and Management Indicator Species of the Dixie National Forest. Version 4.0, Revised February 2004. [www.fs.fed.us/r4/dixie/publications/02-2004_dixie_life_history_report.pdf]

  • Smith, L. Y. and B. Monroe. 2008. Rare Plants Specialist Report: Motorized Travel Plan, Dixie National Forest. U.S. Forest Service. May 2008. [www.fs.fed.us/r4/dixie/projects/MTP/deis/specialist_reports/rare_plants.pdf]

  • Tidestrom, I. 1923. New or noteworthy species of plants from Utah and Nevada. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 36: 181-184.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2009. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Partial 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List 206 Species in the Midwest and Western United States as Threatened or Endangered With Critical Habitat. Federal Register 74(23): 6122-6128. 5 February 2009.

  • U.S. Forest Service (USFS). 2009. Record of Decision for the Dixie National Forest Motorized Travel Plan. U.S. Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Dixie National Forest. April 2009. [www.fs.fed.us/r4/dixie/projects/MTP/feis/mtp_rod_with_maps.pdf]

  • Utah Native Plant Society. 2003-2008. Utah Rare Plant Guide. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Rare Plant Guide Home Page. Online. Available: http://www.utahrareplants.org (accessed 2009).

  • 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.) 2008. A Utah Flora. 4th edition, revised. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, U.S.A. 1019 pp.

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