Astragalus lentiginosus var. kernensis - (Jepson) Barneby
Kern Plateau Milkvetch
Other English Common Names: Freckled Milkvetch, Kern Milkvetch
Other Common Names: Kern milkvetch
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Astragalus lentiginosus var. kernensis (Jepson) Barneby (TSN 192571)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.153386
Element Code: PDFAB0FB98
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 lentiginosus var. kernensis
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5T2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 11May2015
Global Status Last Changed: 11May2015
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: T2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Most occurrences of this geographically restricted taxon are found on the Kern Plateau just west of the Sierra Crest in Tulare County, California. There is one disjunct occurrence in Clark County, Nevada, and one additional historical occurrence disjunct in northern Inyo County, California. Forty-one extant occurrences have been mapped, but many of these are in close proximity. Threats include grazing, trails, ORV use, and non-native species.
Nation: United States
National Status: NNR

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

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: The vast majority of occurrences occur in California and are located within a small area a little less than 1000 square km in size in the Kern Plateau. The Nevada occurrence in Spring Mountains is disjunct from these. There is also a second disjunct occurrence (in California), but it is currently ranked Historical. If all occurrences (extant and historical) were included within a single range polygon, the range extent would be nearly 17,000 square km, but this is likely a significant overestimate given the extent of the disjunctions. The Spring Mountains occurrence and the Kern Plateau occurrences are at least 100 aerial miles and several mountain ranges apart (Brickey 2015).

Area of Occupancy: 6-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: California has 44 occurrences, of which 4 are ranked Historical. Nevada has 1 occurrence which was rediscovered as extant in 2003. Additional occurrences are not likely to be found in the mountain range containing Nevada's occurrence, as those mountains have been well-botanized. Few additional occurrences are expected in California as well; this taxon is geographically restricted.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: California ranks 9 of their occurrences as having Excellent or Good viability.

Overall Threat Impact: High - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Grazing, foot traffic, tramping, trails, ORV use, and non-native plants have been identified as threats to this taxon (Element occurrence data in the NatureServe central database as of May 2015; CNDDB 2015). "Prior to the mid-1990?s, botanists did not observe dandelions in the higher elevations of the Spring Mountains" (Beyer 2003 cited by Brickey 2015).  "By the late-1990?s, botanists notice the appearance of dandelions in sensitive high elevation habitats for rare plants, including the meadow in which Kern Plateau milkvetch occurs" (Beyer 2003 cited by Brickey 2015).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Nine occurrences in California ranked as having fair viability.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: The vast majority of occurrences occur in California and are located within a small area a little less than 1000 square km in size in the Kern Plateau. The Nevada occurrence in Spring Mountains is disjunct from these. There is also a second disjunct occurrence (in California), but it is currently ranked Historical. If all occurrences (extant and historical) were included within a single range polygon, the range extent would be nearly 17,000 square km, but this is likely a significant overestimate given the extent of the disjunctions. The Spring Mountains occurrence and the Kern Plateau occurrences are at least 100 aerial miles and several mountain ranges apart (Brickey 2015).

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

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA, NV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA Tulare (06107)
NV Clark (32003)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
16 Ivanpah-Pahrump Valleys (16060015)+
18 Upper Kern (18030001)+, South Fork Kern (18030002)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A sprawling herbaceous perennial forb up to 12 cm tall that flowers from June to July (Baldwin et al. 2012).
 

Terrestrial Habitat(s): Alpine, Forest - Conifer, Forest/Woodland, Grassland/herbaceous, Shrubland/chaparral
Habitat Comments: Dry gravelly or sandy slopes and flats, in two areas: among sagebrush in lodgepole pine forest on granite, and with bristlecone pine on limestone (Barneby 1964).  Sandy or gravelly sagebrush slopes, meadows or grassy openings in pine or fir, to alpine ridges (Isely 1998).  Occurs in sagebrush and ponderosa pine on Kern Plateau, but in bristlecone pine and subalpine in Spring Mountains (Brickey 2015). 
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Prevent impacts from ORV's and grazing.  Assess whether control of dandelions would be beneficial in Spring Mountains.  Revisit sites.  Monitor population trends. 
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: 11May2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Gravuer, K., rev. A. Tomaino (2015)
Management Information Edition Date: 11May2015
Management Information Edition Author: Tomaino, A.

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
  • Baldwin, B. G., D. H. Goldman, D. J. Keil, R. Patterson, T. J. Rosatti, and D. H. Wilken, eds. 2012. The Jepson manual: vascular plants of California. 2nd edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 1568 pp.

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

  • Brickey, J. 2015. USDA Forest Service Region 4 Sensitive Species Evaluation Form for Astragalus lentiginosus var. kernensis.

  • Faegri, K. and L. van der Pijl. 1966. The Principles of Pollination Ecology. Pergamon Press Ltd. Oxford. 248pp.

  • Faegri, K., and L. van der Pijl. 1979. The principles of pollination ecology. 3rd Edition. Pergamon Press, New York.

  • Isely, D. 1998. Native and naturalized Leguminosae (Fabaceae) of the United States (exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii). Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University; MLBM Press, Provo, Utah. 1007 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.

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