Astragalus diversifolius - Gray
Mesic Milkvetch
Other English Common Names: Meadow Milkvetch
Other Common Names: meadow milkvetch
Synonym(s): Astragalus diversifolius var. diversifolius
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Astragalus diversifolius Gray (TSN 25497)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.144195
Element Code: PDFAB0F2Z0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Pea Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Fabales Fabaceae Astragalus
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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: Astragalus diversifolius
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 27May2016
Global Status Last Changed: 09Oct2002
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Apparently quite rare. Currently known only from southeastern Idaho (valleys of the Lost and Lemhi Rivers, and upper Snake River Plains), the western edge of the Great Salt Lake Desert in Utah, and from Spring Valley in White Pine County, Nevada (Barneby 1964; Cronquist 1989) and six occurrences in the Great Divide Basin, Wyoming. Threatened by habitat loss to agriculture and livestock grazing.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Idaho (S2), Nevada (S1), Utah (S1), Wyoming (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: East-central Idaho, the south edge of the Salt Lake Desert in Utah, southern Nevada, south-central Wyoming and a historical report in southwest Wyoming.

Area of Occupancy: 6-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: 21, 4km2 grid cells were calculated, based on NatureServe element occurrence data.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are 16 occurrences of this species as of 2015 (Heidel 2015).  In a 2015 study, 2 new occurrences were discovered in Wyoming (Heidel 2015), but most of the occurrences are known from Idaho.  

Population Size Comments: While the state of Idaho contains the greatest number of historic and extant occurrences of this species, the largest population is in Wyoming with between 300-600 individuals (Heidel 2015).  No information was found on rangewide population counts.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: There are only a handful of populations with good viability; 6 as of 2016 based on NatureServe element occurrence data.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Considered very threatened in Idaho and Utah due to habitat loss to agriculture (Handley and Fertig 2001). It is threatened in Wyoming by alteration of the natural hydrology, typically in activities that draw water away for other uses.  The most common water altering activity is stock pond management which negatively impacts the habitat suitability upstream and downstream of the inundation zone.  Ditching and draining also have caused hydrology changes.  These threats as well as oil, gas, and uranium drilling are all reported by Heidel (2015).  Lastly, noxious weeds that are salt-tolerant are a threat to this species.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: The Idaho Conservation Status Rank has increased from S2 (imperiled) to S1 (critically imperiled) so it is possible that it is declining in that state.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: East-central Idaho, the south edge of the Salt Lake Desert in Utah, southern Nevada, south-central Wyoming and a historical report in southwest Wyoming.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ID, NV, UT, WY

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Bingham (16011)*, Butte (16023)*, Clark (16033), Custer (16037), Lemhi (16059)
NV White Pine (32033)
UT Juab (49023)*, Tooele (49045)*
WY Fremont (56013)*, Sublette (56035)*, Sweetwater (56037)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 Upper Wind (10080001)+*, Little Wind (10080002)+*, Popo Agie (10080003)+*, Sweetwater (10180006)+*
14 Upper Green (14040101)+*, New Fork (14040102)+*, Upper Green-Slate (14040103)+*, Big Sandy (14040104)+*, Great Divide closed basin (14040200)+
16 Southern Great Salt Lake Desert (16020306)+*, Lower Sevier (16030005)+*, Spring-Steptoe Valleys (16060008)+
17 American Falls (17040206)+*, Birch (17040216)+, Little Lost (17040217)+, Big Lost (17040218)+, Pahsimeroi (17060202)+, Lemhi (17060204)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Riverine Habitat(s): SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous, Shrubland/chaparral
Habitat Comments: Moist, often alkaline meadows and swales in sagebrush valleys or closed drainage basins (4400-6620 ft) (Barneby, 1964, Heidel 2009).
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
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: 27May2016
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Broaddus, Lynn (1991), rev. L. Morse (1994), rev. A. Olivero (2003), rev. B. Heidel (2009), rev. L. Oliver (2016)

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
  • Andersen, M.D. and B. Heidel. 2011. HUC-based species range maps. Prepared by Wyoming Natural Diversity Database for use in the pilot WISDOM application operational from inception to yet-to-be-determined date of update of tool.

  • Barneby, R. C. 1964. Atlas of North American Astragalus. Pages 1-1188. Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 13:(II).

  • Barneby, R. C. 1989. Intermountain Flora; Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Volume 3, Part B: Fabales. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY.

  • Barneby, R.C. 1964. Atlas of North American Astragalus. 2 Vols. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 1188 pp.

  • Barneby, R.C. 1989. Fabales. In A. Cronquist, A.H. Holmgren, N.H. Holmgren, J.L. Reveal, and P.K. Holmgren (eds.). Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 3, Part B. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 279 pp.

  • Dorn, R. D. 1992. Vascular Plants of Wyoming, second edition. Mountain West Publishing, Cheyenne, WY.

  • Dorn, R. D. 2001. Vascular Plants of Wyoming, third edition. Mountain West Publishing, Cheyenne, WY.

  • Dorn, R.D. 1988. Vascular plants of Wyoming. Mountain West Publishing, Cheyenne, WY. 340 pp.

  • Evert, E. F. 2010. Vascular Plants of the Greater Yellowstone Area: Annotated Catalog and Atlas. Park Ridge, IL.

  • Fertig, W. 2000. Rare vascular plant species in the Wyoming portion of the Utah-Wyoming Rocky Mountains Ecoregion. Prepared for the Wyoming Nature Conservancy by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, WY.

  • Fertig, W., C. Refsdal, and J. Whipple. 1994. Wyoming Rare Plant Field Guide. Wyoming Rare Plant Technical Committee, Cheyenne, WY.

  • Fertig, W., L. Welp, and S. Markow. 1998. The status of rare plants in southwest Wyoming. Unpublished report prepared for the Bureau of Land Management by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, WY.

  • Handley, J. and W. Fertig. 2001. State Species Abstract: Astragalus diversifolius. Wyoming Natural Diversity Database. Rewritten by B. Heidel in 2008. Available on the internet at www.uwyo.edu/wyndd.

  • Handley, J., and W. Fertig. 2001. November 10-last update. Astragalus diversifolius State Species Abstract. Online. Available: http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/WYNDD/PDF_files/Plant_Summaries/A/Astragalus%20diversifolius%20diversifolius.pdf. Accessed 2003, May 2.

  • Heidel, B. 2008. Chain Lakes botanical survey. Unpublished report prepared for the Bureau of Land Management Rawlins Field Office by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, WY.

  • Heidel, B. 2009. Status of Astragalus diversifolius (meadow milkvetch) in south-central Wyoming. Unpublished report prepared for the Bureau of Land Management, Rawlins and Rock Springs Field Offices by the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, WY.

  • Heidel, B. 2015. Inventory of alkaline meadows for BLM Sensitive plant species: Antennaria arcuata (Meadow pussytoes), Astragalus diversifolius (Meadow milkvetch) and Cleome multicaulis (Many-stemmed spiderflower), with field-testing of potential distribution models; Fremont and Sweetwater Counties, Wyoming.  Accessed online on 5_27_16 at:  http://www.uwyo.edu/wyndd/_files/docs/reports/wynddreports/u15hei03wyus.pdf

  • Heidel, B. and J. Larson. 2009. Noteworthy collections: Wyoming. Madroņo 56:118-119.

  • Hitchcock, C. L. and A. Cronquist. 1961. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest, Part 3: Saxifragaceae to Ericaceae. Pages 1-597. University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA.

  • Isely, D. 1998. Native and Naturalized Leguminosae (Fabaceae) of the United States (exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii). MLBM Press, Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.

  • 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.

  • Moseley, R.K. 1992. Ecological and floristic inventory of Birch Creek Fen, Lemhi and Clark counties, Idaho.Report prepared for Targhee National Forest. Idaho Conservation Data Center. Boise, ID.

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