Pediocactus nigrispinus - (Hochstätter) Hochstätter
Snowball Cactus
Other Common Names: snowball cactus
Synonym(s): Pediocactus simpsonii var. nigrispinus Hochstätter
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.796904
Element Code: PDCAC0E100
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Cactus Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Caryophyllales Cactaceae Pediocactus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2003b. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 4, Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, part 1. Oxford University Press, New York. 559 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B03FNA04HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Pediocactus nigrispinus
Taxonomic Comments: Heil and Porter's treatment of Pediocactus in the Flora of North America (Vol. 4, 2003) recognizes Pediocactus nigrispinus as a species, distinct from P. simpsonii. The text says, "Pediocactus nigrispinus has been referred to P. simpsonii var. robustior (J. M. Coulter) L. D. Benson, which remains well within the range of variation for P. simpsonii. An unpublished study by J. M. Porter et al. of noncoding chloroplast DNA sequences shows P. simpsonii is less closely related to P. nigripsinus than to P. knowltonii, P. winkleri, and P. despainii." Kartesz (1994, 1999) did not mention Pediocactus nigrispinus (or Pediocactus simpsonii var. nigrispinus) either as an accepted name or as a synonym.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 19Aug2013
Global Status Last Changed: 06Jul2007
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Occurs in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Locally abundant. Some localized threats from collecting and grazing but no major threats are known.
Nation: United States
National Status: NNR

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 Idaho (SNR), Oregon (S4), Washington (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Eastern Washington, eastern Oregon and west-central Idaho (Butterworth and Porter 2013).

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Approximately 20 extant occurrences in Washington (EO data in the NatureServe central database as of August 2013). In Oregon, the number of occurrences may be 75+ (S. Vrilakas, pers. com., 2013). Occurrence data for Idaho needed.

Population Size Comments: Locally abundant (Butterworth and Porter 2013).

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Horticultural collecting is a threat (EO data in the NatureServe database as of August 2013). Some occurrences may be threatened by cattle ranching (Butterworth and Porter 2013). Other potential threats include off-road vehicle use and exotic grasses (Bromus tectorum and Poa bulbosa) (EO data in the NatureServe database as of August 2013). "The susceptibility of this taxon to fire is not known and thus effects of increased fire frequency are likewise unknown." (EO data in the NatureServe database as of August 2013).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Suspected declines in number of locations and area of occupancy (Butterworth and Porter 2013).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Eastern Washington, eastern Oregon and west-central Idaho (Butterworth and Porter 2013).

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 ID, OR, WA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Nez Perce (16069)
OR Malheur (41045)
WA Douglas (53017), Grant (53025), Kittitas (53037), Yakima (53077)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Upper Columbia-Entiat (17020010)+, Moses Coulee (17020012)+, Banks Lake (17020014)+*, Lower Crab (17020015)+, Upper Columbia-Priest Rapids (17020016)+, Upper Yakima (17030001)+, Lower Yakima, Washington (17030003)+, Lower Owyhee (17050110)+, Lower Snake-Asotin (17060103)+, Lower Salmon (17060209)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Members of Pediocactus produce dry, dull-colored fruit which are presumed not to be dispersed by birds or rodents, but rather wind or water. Little variation exists within populations. These populations can be separated by distances of several miles even when there is suitable habitat. Further, dispersal within populations appears to be staggered throughout the growing season from shortly after seeds are produced in June to fall. This dispersal strategy may be disadventageous for the species, however, populations in the genus when left undisturbed seem to be healthy with all age classes represented (Heil et al. 1981).
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Conifer, Forest/Woodland, Grassland/herbaceous, Shrubland/chaparral
Habitat Comments: Sagebrush, grasslands, and coniferous forests; usually below 1500 m elevation (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2003).
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: 19Aug2013
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors 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
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  • Butterworth, C., and J.M. Porter. 2013. Pediocactus nigrispinus. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Online. Available: http://www.iucnredlist.org (accessed 11 July 2013).

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2003b. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 4, Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, part 1. Oxford University Press, New York. 559 pp.

  • Heil, K., B. Armstrong and D. Schleser. 1981. A review of the genus Pediocactus. Cactus and Succulent Journal 53:17-39.

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