CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Ambrosia linearis

Photographer:
J. Locklear

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Ambrosia linearis


Family: 
Asteraceae  
Common Names: 
Colorado bursage, linear-leaf bursage, plains ragweed, ragweed, streaked ragweed
Author: 
(Rydb.) Payne
Growth Habit: 
Subshrub
CPC Number: 
102

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Ambrosia linearisenlarge
Photographer: J. Locklear
jlocklear1[at]unl.edu
Image Owner: Nebraska Statewide Arboretum

Ambrosia linearisenlarge
Photographer: J. Locklear
jlocklear1[at]unl.edu
Image Owner: Nebraska Statewide Arboretum


Ambrosia linearis is Not Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Jim Locklear contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Ambrosia linearis


It may be surprising to find a rare plant in a genus known for its weeds, but such is the case of the Colorado bursage. Known only from the high plains of eastern Colorado, this ragweed relative is associated with unique, temporary rainwater basins known as playa lakes, as well as other seasonally-moist habitats. The cycle of filling and drying in such places creates a natural disturbance of the shortgrass prairie vegetation, and provides a specialized niche for the Colorado bursage. Elevation 4300-6700 ft.
















Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Colorado
State Range of  Ambrosia linearis
Habitat
  Seasonally moist habitats including playa lakes, intermittent streams, small prairie depressions, and county road edges and ditches within shortgrass prairie. Occurs at the upper margins of playa basins and on terraces just above stream beds. Plants growing in these natural settings tend to be scattered, while those growing at roadsides often occur in very dense stands.
















Distribution
  Limited to the plains of eastern Colorado in El Paso, Kiowa and Lincoln counties.
















Number Left
  Probably 50-75 "populations," but many of these are roadside occurrences that occupy ditches. Actual number of populations in high quality natural habitat such as playas and stream terraces is much less, perhaps less than 10 (Locklear 1989).















Protection

Global Rank:  
G3
 
6/29/2001
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
SC
 
1/19/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
No
 

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Colorado S1 1 2/7/1991  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Playa lakes are a unique phenomenon of the high plains. These intermittent bodies of water occur on large upland flats. The clayey soils of these shallow basins have low water permeability, allowing water to stand for a period of time following rains or snow melt. In normal years, playas go through a cycle of filling and drying, making them a dynamic habitat. Playas are especially common on the level plains of the Texas panhandle. The restriction of Colorado bursage to the relatively small region of playas in eastern Colorado is puzzling (Locklear 1990).














Threats
  Activities that cause alteration/degradation of playa lakes.
Plowing and planting habitat to crops.
Excessive livestock concentration leading to trampling.















Current Research Summary
  None known.















Current Management Summary
  Not Available















Research Management Needs
  Population montoring.
Location and protection of high quality natural occurrences.















Monitoring Efforts
  Not Available















Ex Situ Needs
  Seed germination studies.















References

Books (Single Authors)

McGregor, R.L. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence: Univ. Press Kansas. 1392 ppp.

Spackman, S.; Jennings, B.; Coles, J.; Dawson, C.; Minton, M.; Kratz, A.; Spurrier, C.; Skadelandl, T. 1997. Colorado Rare Plant Field Guide. Fort Collins, CO: Prepared for the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program.

Von Bargen, E.; Coles, J.; Denham, M.; Jennings, W.; Martin, S.C.; Richards, V.; Steinkamp, M. 1997. Rare Plants of Colorado. Helena, Montana: Falcon Press. Prepared by the Colorado Native Plant Society.

Weber, W.A.; Wittmann, R.C. 1996. Colorado flora: Eastern slope. Niwot, Colorado: Univ. Press of Colorado. 524p.

Journal Articles

Locklear, J.H. 1990. A Colorado Specialty: Ambrosia linearis. Aquilegia. 14, 5: 10-11.

Rydberg, P.A. 1905. Ambrosia linearis. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanic Club. 32, 3: 123-128.

Reports

Locklear, J. 1987. Plant Conservation Activities: 1987 Annual Report. Lincoln, NE: From the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum to the Center for Plant Conservation. p.3.

Locklear, J.H. 1989. Status of Ambrosia linearis in Colorado. Golden, CO: Unpublished report prepared for U.S. Fish and Wildflife Service. p.38 + appendices.


  This profile was updated on 1/20/2011
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