CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Berberis pinnata ssp. insularis

Photographer:
Dieter Wilken

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Berberis pinnata ssp. insularis


Family: 
Berberidaceae  
Common Name: 
island barberry
Author: 
Munz
Growth Habit: 
Vine, Shrub
CPC Number: 
2778

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Berberis pinnata ssp. insularisenlarge
Photographer: Dieter Wilken
dwilken[at]sbbg.org

Berberis pinnata ssp. insularisenlarge
Photographer: Dieter Wilken
dwilken[at]sbbg.org


Berberis pinnata ssp. insularis is Fully Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Dieter Wilken, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Berberis pinnata ssp. insularis


Although once known from three California Channel Islands, island barberry survives today at only 3 known localities on Santa Cruz Island, perhaps represented by only 1-3 plants in each. Intensive sheep and cattle grazing for over 150 years contributed to its loss on Santa Rosa Island. The last remaining plants on Anacapa Island died in the 1980s.

Island barberry is a shrub about 2-3 meters tall, and produces new shoots from short underground runners. Thus, mature plants often have multiple trunks, which form colonies up to 3 meters wide. The bright yellow flowers are produced in February, followed by grayish blue fruits in late May. Plants have been successfully cultivated at several botanic gardens in California. Collectively they show variation among leaf structure and color, suggesting that ex situ collections may be an important resource for recovery purposes.

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  California
State Range of  Berberis pinnata ssp. insularis
Habitat
  Rocky soils of cool, moist, north-facing slopes and canyons in mixed chaparral and oak woodland. Common associates on Santa Cruz Island include Quercus agrifolia, Comarostaphylis, Heteromeles, Pinus muricata, and Toxicodendron.

Distribution
  Formerly known from Anacapa, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa islands, California.

Number Left
  One extant locality has at least two plants separated by about 200 meters. Attempts to find additional plants have been unsuccessful, because of dense vegetation and inaccessibility. A second locality has a single, large cluster of multiple stems (Jeff Howart, pers. comm.). The remaining locality may have had as many as seven individuals in the 1980s (Wilken 1996), but recent observations indicate the presence of a single large cluster of multiple stems (Steve Junak, pers. comm.).

Protection

Global Rank:  
G5T1
 
4/2/2003
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LE
 
7/25/1995
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
Yes
 
9/26/2000

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  California S1.2 1  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Plants derived from seedlings are slow growing, averaging only about 50 cm per year. However, vegetative shoots from established rhizomes may grow as much as 1 meter per year.
Plants are self-compatible, but flowers depend on insect visitation for maximum seed set (Wilken 1996).
Natural pollination has not been studied, but honeybees are common visitors on plants at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.
Fruits are dispersed by birds, including the endemic Santa Cruz Island blue jay (Wilken, pers. observations).

Threats
  As listed in the recovery plan for thirteen plants from the northern channel islands (USFWS 2000):
Habitat alteration by feral pigs, including erosion.
Erosion associated with a road at one site.
Reduced reproduction from low pollinator activity, predation of fruits, and reduced fitness of inbred offspring.

Current Research Summary
  Studies at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden have focused on germination and cultivation requirements, which include moist cold stratification for 3 months and shaded conditions for container plants.
Wilken (1996) has also studied the reproductive strategy of this species.

Current Management Summary
  Sites on Santa Cruz Island occur on lands are owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. The latter, in cooperation with the National Park Service, is developing a plan for feral pig removal and reduction of exotic weeds. However, no short-term measures have been taken to protect vulnerable plants from erosion or pig rooting.

Research Management Needs
  Genetic relationships among plants of ssp. insularis, and to mainland populations of ssp. pinnata.
Surveys for undiscovered populations.

Ex Situ Needs
  Development of a living collection representing all known genets.

References

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.

Books (Edited Volumes)

James C. Hickman, Editor. 1993 The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1400p.

Electronic Sources

CDFG. (2002). California's Plants and Animals, Threatened and Endangered Plants. List and Species Accounts. California Department of Fish and Game, Habitat Conservation Planning Branch. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/hcpb/species/t_e_spp/teplant/teplanta.shtml. Accessed: 2002.

USFWS. (2002). Threatened & Endangered Plants Within Ventura Field and Wildlife Office Area of Responsibility. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office. http://ventura.fws.gov/plant.html. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

USFWS. 1995. Proposed rule for 16 plant taxa from the northern Channel Islands, California. Federal Register. 60, 142: 37993-38010.

USFWS. 1997. Final rule for 13 plant taxa from the northern Channel Islands, California. Federal Register. 62, 147: 40954-40974.

USFWS. 1997. Notice of Reopening of Comment Period on Proposed Endangered Status for Sixteen Plants from the Northern Channel Islands of California. Federal Register. 62, 14: 3263.

Reports

1995. TNC "Plants in Need" List. The Nature Conservancy. p.3.

Sanguamphai. 1989. 1988 Annual Report on the Status of California's State Listed Threatened and Endangered Plants and Animals. State of California, Department of Fish and Game.

USFWS. 2000. Thirteen plant taxa from the northern Channel Islands Recovery Plan. Portland, Oregon: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Region 1. p.93.

Wilken, D. 1996. Reproductive strategies of four plants restricted to the northern California Channel Islands. Report to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. p.42.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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