San Diego Management & Monitoring Program

Track MSP progress

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San Diego thorn-mint Acanthomintha ilicifolia

Goal: Maintain large populations, enhance small populations, and establish new populations of San Diego thornmint or pollinator habitat to buffer against environmental stochasticity, maintain genetic diversity, and promote connectivity, thereby enhancing resilience within and among MUs over the long-term (>100 years) in native habitats.

Regional NFO 2017 SO


Management units: 3, 4, 5, 6

In 2017, continue field research into soils and habitat relationships and development of habitat suitability and climate change models for San Diego thornmint and other edaphic endemic plants to better understand habitat requirements and to identify and prioritize geographic areas important for connectivity, restoration, and range shifts due to climate change and other threats.
Action Statement Action status Projects
RES-1 Test soils at potential expansion sites and compare to occupied reference sites to determine site suitability based on soils. In progress Enhancing the Resilience of Edaphic Endemic Plants
RES-2 Prepare habitat suitability models under current environmental conditions and for different scenarios of climate change to delineate potential future habitat. In progress Enhancing the Resilience of Edaphic Endemic Plants
RES-3 Collect covariate data on vegetation composition and cover (alliance and association-level mapping), soils, invasive plants and other threats for selected populations. In progress Enhancing the Resilience of Edaphic Endemic Plants
RES-4 Prioritize locations for conservation, management, and future surveys based on predicted distributions and environmental correlates. In progress Enhancing the Resilience of Edaphic Endemic Plants
RES-5 Submit project metadata, monitoring data and report to MSP web portal. In progress Enhancing the Resilience of Edaphic Endemic Plants
Criteria Deadline year
Refined Models and Prioritized Future Survey Locations for San Diego Thornmint by 2018 2021
Code Obj. code Statement
ACAILI-2 MON-IMP-IMG Beginning in 2017, annually inspect conserved populations of San Diego thornmint (see occurrence table) using the regional rare plant IMG monitoring protocol to record abundance and collect covariate habitat and threats data to determine management needs.
ACAILI-5 MON-RES-GEN In 2017, continue a study begun in 2016 to characterize the population genetic structure, gene flow, and genetic diversity for San Diego thornmint occurrences (see occurrence table). The study will determine if there is evidence of mixed ploidy levels within or among occurrences; evaluate vulnerability of occurrences to genetic drift and loss of genetic diversity; assess the level of gene flow among occurrences; identify if there are signatures of genetic bottlenecks or low genetic diversity in occurrences that have undergone recent reductions; and look for evidence of local population adaptation. Based on the results of the genetic analyses, management recommendations will include whether common garden and reciprocal transplantations are necessary before proceeding with population enhancement or restoration and will provide specific recommendations for collecting, bulking and distributing seed to enhance existing occurrences or establish new occurrences.
ACAILI-6 MGT-PRP-MGTPL In 2018, begin preparing a section for San Diego thornmint the MSP Rare Plant Management Plan that prioritizes management actions to maintain or expand occurrences on Conserved Lands based upon an assessment of data on occurrence status, habitat and threats. Prioritize management recommendations to maintain large occurrences and enhance at least 3 small occurrences (see occurrence table). Minimum criteria for enhancement are to reduce invasive annual nonnative plants and thatch to less than 20% absolute cover within the occurrence