CPC Plant Profile: Santa Cruz Island Dudleya
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Plant Profile

Santa Cruz Island Dudleya (Dudleya nesiotica)

Dudleya nesiotica is found on the seabluffs and terraces of Santa Cruz Island. Photo Credit: Dieter Wilken
Description
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Threatened
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 143428
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 01/17/2019

Santa Cruz Island liveforever occupies an area of about 13 hectares (32 acres) on the west end of Santa Cruz Island. Plants are summer dormant, surviving by means of corms 10-30 mm in diameter. Leaves appear after the first winter rains and senesce coincident with flowering in April and May. Each plant produces 1-5 inflorescences, each with 7-15 white to cream-colored flowers. Historical records indicate that at least half of the present distribution was plowed and cultivated in the late 1890s, followed by sheep and cattle grazing until the 1930s. Thus, the species may have experienced some level of recovery, especially since the last sheep were removed in the 1980s. However, since the mid 1990s, the species has become increasingly threatened by feral pigs, which actively forage for succulent leaves and flowering shoots and uproot corms and roots of associated plants.

Participating Institutions
Updates
  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden holds 18 accessions of Dudleya nesiotica in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 45594 seeds of this species in their collection - although some may have been used for curation testing or sent to back up.

  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden holds 1 accessions of Dudleya nesiotica in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 13071 seeds of this species in their collection - although some may have been used for curation testing or sent to back up.

  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, National Laboratory for Genetic Resource Preservation (USDA-ARS) holds 1 accessions of Dudleya nesiotica in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 500 seeds of this species in their collection - although some may have been used for curation testing or sent to back up.

  • 08/05/2020
  • Seed Collection

Based on an August 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has collected 19 seed accessions of Dudleya nesiotica from 4 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass 1005 maternal plants

  • 08/05/2020
  • Seed Collection

Based on an August 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden has collected 1 seed accessions of Dudleya nesiotica from 1 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass an unknown number of maternal plants

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Known from only 2 occurrences (probably representing 1 large population) on Santa Cruz Island off the coast of southern California. There are 30,000-60,000 plants in total. Threats include predation, and soil loss and other habitat degredation due to the rooting of non-native feral pigs. All of the northern Channel Islands have suffered loss and degradation of their soils and major changes in their plant communities due to the large numbers of non-native mammals introduced to the islands starting in the early 1800's.

Dieter Wilken, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

As listed in the recovery plan for thirteen plant taxa from the northern channel islands (USFWS 2000): Herbivory and soil disturbance by feral pigs. Competition from alien weeds, primarily grasses (Lolium perenne).

Dieter Wilken, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Approximately 30,000 - 60,000 plants, comprising 3-4 discontinuous populations of relatively high densities, occupy an area of about 13 hectares. (USFWS 2000)

Dieter Wilken, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Long-term monitoring, demographic and life history studies, and in situ recovery experiments using several age classes of corms are being conducted by the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. (Wilken 1996)

Dieter Wilken, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Populations occur on land owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. A dirt road that once extended into the easternmost populations has been closed by a barrier. Currently, The Nature Conservancy and the National Park Service are developing a plan for pig removal, but no short-term measures are being taken to protect existing populations from pigs.

Dieter Wilken, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Genetic analyses within and among populations.

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Nomenclature
Taxon Dudleya nesiotica
Authority (Moran) Moran
Family Crassulaceae
CPC Number 1526
ITIS 502177
USDA DUNE
Common Names Santa Cruz Island dudleya | Santa Cruz Island liveforever
Associated Scientific Names Dudleya nesiotica | Hasseanthus nesioticus
Distribution Known only from the west end of Santa Cruz Island, Santa Barbara County, California. (USFWS 1997)
State Rank
State State Rank
California S1
Habitat

Rocky clay soils derived from Quaternary alluvium, probably representing an uplifted Pleistocene beach terrace. Common associates include Hordeum brachyantherum, Atriplex californicum, Frankenia salina, Salicornia subterminalis, and Nassella pulchra. (USFWS 1997)

Ecological Relationships

Plants often occur in small patches, usually in small microsites less than 0.5 meter square, often associated with exposed cobbles or small depressions among subshrubs. It is in such sites that the highest densities of seedlings are also observed. Plants are self-compatible but set seed only when visited by several species of small bees. The minute seeds are dispersed by wind from weakly dehiscent fruits. Persistent fruits borne on deciduous stalks also can serve as dispersal units. Some dispersal is also achieved by weakly rooted 1-year old corms, which are about the size of a large rice grain. Plants cultivated from seed require at least 3 years before flowering, suggesting that age to reproduction in situ may be longer in natural populations.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bees
Bees Confirmed Pollinator Link
Flies
Flies Confirmed Pollinator Link

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