CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Aletes humilis

Photographer:
Carol Dawson

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Aletes humilis


Family: 
Apiaceae  
Common Names: 
Colorado aletes, Larimer aletes
Author: 
Coult. & Rose
Growth Habit: 
Forb/herb
CPC Number: 
70

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Aletes humilisenlarge
Photographer: Carol Dawson
Carol_Dawson[at]blm.gov
Image Owner: Denver Botanic Gardens


Aletes humilis is Not Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Carol Dawson contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Aletes humilis


This species is found on granite outcrops and on cliff-sides. This type of habitat occurs nearly everywhere in north-central Colorado, but in over a century of searching, less than a dozen population of this species have been found. Now known from only seven localities on the Front Range of Colorado, it appears as though something is limiting this species to a few very specific locations.

Larimer aletes was first found in 1898 near Virginia Dale in Larimer County. Currently, part of the range is located in a Nature Conservancy reserve area, Phantom Canyon (Von Bargen 1997). This species can be identified by its bright green, sharply toothed leaves that are thick and leathery in order to combat moisture loss in its arid habitat. It also produces sprays of little yellow, umbrella-shaped flowers that make an appearance in late April and early May. It grows in low mats, which is where it got the name humilis, which means low-growing. (Spackman 1997)

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Colorado
Wyoming
State Range of  Aletes humilis
Habitat
  A. humilis grows in cracks of massive Silver Plume granite, and in adjacent thin soils composed of disintegrated granite and pine needles, usually along west and north-facing cliffs (Jennings 1990).

Associates include Ponderosa pine, Rocky Mountain juniper, wax-current, waxflower and ninebark, muhly grasses, Colorado wildrye, Fendler sandwort and needle-and-thread grass. (TNC)

Distribution
  Limited to one or two counties in Colorado (possibly near the Wyoming state line, but unconfirmed)

Number Left
  300 individuals at Phantom Canyon Preserve, Colorado and seven localities have been identified in Colorado, six in Larimer County and one in Boulder County (Linhart and Premoli 1993).

Protection

Global Rank:  
G2G3
 
1/23/2006
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 S2S3 5/1/1999  
  Wyoming SH 7/25/2002  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Ecological relationships are unknown.

Threats
  Flooding by dam construction. (Von Bargen 1997)

Current Research Summary
  Cooperative project between the Nature Conservancy (1989) and Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG) collected seed during July of 1989. Germination and transplanting of seedlings at Phantom Canyon preserve and at DBG. Permanent marking of approximately 350 species has allowed tracking and lifespan estimation.
Genetic variation between A. humilis and A. acaulis (presumed progenitor) was determined through electrophoretically-detectable protein loci by Yan Linhart and Andrea Premoli at the University of Colorado. (Linhart and Premoli 1993)
The Denver Botanic Garden studied five populations at Phantom Canyon on Nature Conservancy property. Survival of tagged individuals over a 5-year period suggests a life span on the order of several decades.

Current Management Summary
  There is no centralized or formal plan for this species.

Research Management Needs
  Research needs include understanding this species general biology and ecology. Management needs include species protection and continued monitoring.

Ex Situ Needs
  Further seed collection.

References

Books (Single Authors)

Anonymous. No Date. Proposed and recommended threatened and endangered plant species of the Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region. Lakewood, Colorado: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and U.S. Department of Interior U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 169p.

Frankel, O.H.; Soule, M.E. 1981. Conservation and evolution. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. 327p.

Harrington, H.D. 1964. Manual of the plants of Colorado. Chicago, IL: The Swallow Press Inc. 666p.

Kartesz, J.T. 1993. Species distribution data for vascular plants of 70 geographical areas, from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

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.

Books (Sections)

Franklin, I.A. 1980. Evolutionary change in small populations. In: Soule, M.E. ; Wilcox, B.A., editors. Conservation biology: an evolutionary-ecological perspective. Sinauer Associates. Sunderland, Massachusetts. p 135-149.

Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland. In: Kartesz, J.T.; Meacham, C.A., editors. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill, NC.

Conference Proceedings

Schulz, T.T.; Carpenter, A.T. Monitoring survival, Growth, and Reproduction of Aletes humilis. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-283. Proceedings of the Southwestern Rare and Endangered Plant Conference; September 11-14; Flagstaff, AZ. In: Maschinski, J.; Hammond, H.D.; Holter, L., editors. 1996. USDA and US Forest Service. p 281-285.

Journal Articles

Coulter, J.M.; Rose, J.N. 1900. Monograph of the North American Umbelliferae. Contributions to the U. S. National Herbarium. 7: 1-256.

Jennings, B. 1990. Aletes humilis Coulter & Rose (Apiaceae). Aquilegia. 14, 5: 1.

Linhart, Y.B.; Premoli, A.C. 1993. Genetic Variation in Aletes acaulis and Its Relative, the Narrow Endemic A. humilis (Apiaceae). American Journal of Botany. 80, 5: 598-605.

O'Kane, S.L. 1988. Colorado's rare flora. Great Basin Naturalist. 48, 4: 434-484.

Theobald, W.L.; Tseng, C.S.; Mathias, M.E. 1964. A revision of Aletes and Neoparrya (Umbelliferae). Brittonia. 16: 296-315.

TNC. 1989. Colorado News, Phantom Canyon Preserve. Western Region Stewardship News. 6: 2.

TNC. Watch Your Step: The Larimer Aletes. The Nature Conservancy Newsletter. 2.

Weber, W.A. 1984. New names and combinations, principally in the Rocky Mountain flora--IV. Phytologia. 55: 1-11.

Reports

Fertig, W.; Refsdal, C.; Whipple, J. 1994. Wyoming rare plant field guide. Cheyenne, Wyoming: Wyoming Rare Plant Technical Committee.

Jennings, W.F. 1989. Final Report for Eustoma grandiflorum, Spiranthes diluvialis, Malaxdis brachypoda, Hypoxis hirsuta, Physaria belli, and Aletes humilis. Boulder, CO: The Nature Conservancy.

Jennings, W.F. 1990. Status Report on four plants considered rare in Colorado: Aletes humilis, Platanthera sparsiflora, Listera borealis, and Listera convallarioides. Unpublished report to the U.S. Forest Service.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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