CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Dalea foliosa

Photographer:
Kimberlie McCue

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Dalea foliosa


Family: 
Fabaceae  
Common Name: 
leafy prairie-clover
Author: 
(Gray) Barneby
Growth Habit: 
Forb/herb
CPC Number: 
1350

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Dalea foliosaenlarge
Photographer: Kimberlie McCue
kmccue[at]dbg.org

Dalea foliosaenlarge
Photographer: Kimberlie McCue
kmccue[at]dbg.org


Dalea foliosa is Fully Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Kimberlie McCue, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Dalea foliosa


Dalea foliosa is a perennial in the legume family (Fabaceae) that produces dense clusters of small purple flowers in early August. Leafy prairie-clover was first observed and documented in the late 1850's. Since then, known occurrences of the species have declined dramatically due to habitat destruction, overgrazing, and habitat loss due to fire suppression (USFWS 1996). One historic population of Dalea foliosa in Illinois was eliminated through overcollection, and at least one population in Alabama was likely extirpated by road maintenance and storm sewer installation.

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Alabama
Illinois
Tennessee
State Range of  Dalea foliosa
Habitat
  Dalea foliosa is found only in the open habitat of limestone cedar glades, limestone barrens, and thin-soiled mesic dolomite prairies (Baskin and Baskin 1973). All of these habitats share a few features, such as high soil temperature, high soil moisture in the spring and fall, and low soil moisture in the summer (Baskin and Baskin 1973).

Distribution
  Limestone cedar glades of central Tennessee and northern Alabama, and dolomite prairie of northeastern Illinois (Pyne et al. 1995).

Number Left
  Two to four populations in Alabama and Illinois, the majority of sites occur in Central Tennessee (~20). Most populations have fewer than 100 plants (USFWS 1996).

Protection

Global Rank:  
G2G3
 
2/13/1997
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LE
 
5/1/1991
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
Yes
 
9/30/1996

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Alabama S1 LE 8/1/1996  
  Illinois LE 1/1/2002  
  Tennessee S2S3 E 5/1/1998  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Although the breeding system of Dalea foliosa is still unknown, it is likely that insect pollination by Bombus spp. (bumblebee species) is required for successful seed set, as is the case for other species in the Dalea genus.
Very few Dalea foliosa seedlings survive to maturity, as they are killed by summer drought and frost heave. In a demographic study at a site in Illinois, only about 5% of all seedlings survived to the age of 5 years. The oldest plants monitored to date lived to be 8 years old (Bowles and Jones 1992).

Threats
  Over-collecting, trampling
Habitat degradation by woody plant succession and exotic species invasion
Habitat destruction
Herbivore damage
Extended summer drought
(USFWS 1996)
In Illinois, frost heave, severe rabbit grazing and drought were found to be the main causes of mortality in this species. (Bowles and Jones 1992)

Current Research Summary
  Baskin and Baskin (1998) performed the only in-depth study of this species to date. They assessed the ecological life cycle of Dalea foliosa through a series of greenhouse and laboratory studies. The goals of this project included determination of dormancy-breaking and germination requirements, analysis of potential seed persistence in the seed bank, and flowering requirements and phenology.
A preliminary genetic study assessed diversity of the species throughout its range (Wiltshire 1994). Genetic diversity is relatively low, with nearly all variation occurring among Tennessee populations.

Current Management Summary
  A monitoring study performed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources over the course of 7 years found that moisture was a limiting factor in mature plant vigor and seed germination (Bowles and Jones 1992). This species is fire-dependent, as the heat of a spring burn scarifies its seeds, which will then germinate if adequate moisture is available. However, it was observed that fall burning increased the likelihood and severity of winter frost heave damage.
Seeds collected in Illinois were germinated, and juvenile plants were transplanted to re-created habitat that features endangered and threatened plants at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. This site functions as source material for restoration and recovery projects as well as an educational exhibit.
Population viability indexes have been assigned to all extant populations. Targets have been set for recovery efforts, and the criteria that need to be met for delisting to occur have been delineated.

Research Management Needs
  Research needs include an in-depth demographic study, including the cycle of dormant life stages, as well as the effect of fire on seed viability and germination . It is also important to expand on knowledge of the breeding system of the species.
From a management perspective, historic locations of this species need to be searched out and their restoration potential assessed. If restoration is possible, management methods, perhaps including a prescribed burning regime, should be implemented to trigger the germination of any seeds in the seed bank. If this is unsuccessful, reintroduction of the species should be considered. In addition, it is important to maintain the habitat quality of this species, which involves management that keeps woody plants and invasive species encroachment at bay.

Ex Situ Needs
  Maintain ex situ seed collections for use in research and as restoration material.

References

Books (Single Authors)

Gleason, H.A.; Cronquist, A. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Bronx: The New York Botanical Garden.

Isely, D. 1990. Vascular flora of the southeastern United States. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. 258p.

Books (Sections)

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.

Electronic Sources

(2002). Endangered Species. Alabama Forestry Commission--Alabama's TREASURED FORESTS magazine. http://www.forestry.state.al.us/publication/Endangered_Species_Articles_Index.htm. Accessed: 2002.

(2002). New York Botanical Garden--The Virtual Herbarium. [Searchable Web site] New York Botanical Garden. Fordham Road Bronx, New York. http://scisun.nybg.org:8890/searchdb/owa/wwwspecimen.searchform. Accessed: 2002.

USFWS. (1990). Endangered and Threatened Species Accounts. [Web page] U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Endangered Species. http://ecos.fws.gov/servlet/TESSSpeciesQuery. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

Baskin, J.M.; Baskin, C.C. 1973. The Past and Present Geographical Distribution of Petalostemon foliosus and notes on its ecology. Rhodora. 75: 132-140.

Baskin, J.M.; Baskin, C.C. 1986. Distribution of geographical-evolutionary relationships of cedar glade endemics in southeastern USA. ASB Bulletin. 33, 4: 138-154.

Baskin, J.M.; Baskin, C.C. 1998. Greenhouse and laboratory studies on the ecological life cycle of Dalea foliosa (Fabaceae), a federal endangered species. Natural Areas Journal. 18, 1: 54-62.

Schwegman, J.E. 1991. The vascular flora of Langham Island, Kankakee County, Illinois. Erigenia. 11: 1-8.

USFWS. 1991. Dalea foliosa (leafy prairie-clover) determined to be endangered. Federal Register. 56, 84: 19953 - 19959.

Reports

Bowles, M.L.; Jones, M.D. 1992. Results of a survey to relocate historic Illinois populations of the leafy prairie clover. Springfield, IL: Unpublished report to the Illinois Department of Conservation.

Glass, B.; Schwegman, J.E.; DeMauro, M.M. 1992. Plant species biology summary for Leafy Prairie Clover. Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Division of Natural Heritage.

Pyne, M.; Gay, M.; Shea, A. 1995. Guide to rare plants - Tennessee Division of Forestry District 5. Nashville, TN: Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry.

USFW. 1996. Recovery plan for Dalea foliosa (leafy prairie clover) (Gray) Barneby. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Southeast Region. p.60.

Theses

Wiltshire, B. 1994. Assessment of genetic diversity in Astragaleus tennesseensis and the federally endangered Dalea foliosa (Fabaceae). [M.S. Thesis]: Southern Illinois University. Carbondale, Illinois.


  This profile was updated on 12/13/2010
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