In 2021, CPC contracted the University of California Davis Arboretum to recollect seed from a population currently held in long term orthodox seed storage as part of an IMLS-funded seed longevity experiment. The National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation will evaluate how germination tested viability and RNA Integrity of seed lots decline over time in storage.
Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden holds 40 accessions of Lasthenia burkei in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 1367267 seeds of this species in their collection - although some may have been used for curation testing or sent to back up.
Based on an August 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden has collected 4 seed accessions of Lasthenia burkei from 2 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass 12 maternal plants
Endemic to California, Lasthenia burkei is likely known from fewer than ten viable occurrences in Lake, Mendocino, and Sonoma Counties. Its status is declining rapidly (it could easily be extinct by 2025) due to runaway urban development in its wetland habitat. Other threats are agriculture and grazing. All remaining populations of any size and quality should be protected.
Urbanization, agriculture and widening along Highway 101 have negatively impacted this species in Sonoma County. Gully erosion at Manning Flat, Lake County is degrading the habitat at that site (USFWS 1992).
Populations are reported from Manning Flat and Steurmer Winery in Lake County historically from Ukiah in Mendocino County. Several populations have been found at the Sonoma County Airport.
In 1993, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden created 30 small vernal pools as part of their plant display as well as part of a long term gene flow study by the Garden's Research Department and Endangered Species Program. Artificial vernal pools have also been created by the University of California's Botanic Garden. Because these pools require careful tending it has been concluded that recreated pools are not self-sustaining and therefore not a viable option to replace the loss of naturally occurring vernal pools.
A management plan for the Santa Rosa plains (Sonoma County) was recently completed using Tax check-off funds and addresses the protection of endemic vernal pool plants (USFWS1992).
Under the terms of a settlement agreement approved Monday, July 23, 2001 by the U.S. District Court in Sacramento, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will map critical habitat for 15 endangered and threatened species that are dependent on vernal pool wetlands in California. The critical habitat designation will add protection to California's remaining vernal pool habitat.
Population monitoring, seed ecology and relationship to other vernal pool plants and animals would aid in conservation efforts as well as general understanding of Vernal Pool ecosystem processes.
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