Basic Information
Common Name: San Diego Button-celery
Scientific Name: Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii
Species Code: ERYARI
Management Category: VF (species with limited distribution in the MSPA or needing specific vegetation characteristics requiring management)
Occurrence Map
Table of Occurrences
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Goals and Objectives

Goal: Protect, enhance, and restore vernal pool habitat on Conserved Lands in the MSPA that supports or has the potential to support VF and SL species (i.e., California Orcutt grass, Otay mesa mint, San Diego button-celery, San Diego mesa mint, spreading navarretia, Riverside fairy shrimp, San Diego fairy shrimp, and western spadefoot) so that the vegetation community has high ecological integrity, and these species are resilient to environmental stochasticity and threats, such as altered hydrology, climate change and invasive plants, and will be likely to persist over the long term (>100 years).

Regional and/or Local NFO 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 VF
MON-IMP-MONPL ERYARI-1

Management units: 3, 6

Beginning in 2018, conduct annual surveys for San Diego button-celery in occupied, historically occupied and potentially suitable vernal pools to determine cover clases in each basin and cover of each nonnative species using a standardize protocol as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Nonnative cover classes will be combined to determine if management triggers for Level 1, 2 or 3 management are met. Management recommendations will be made, noting individual nonnative species that pose a threat to direct specific management actions. Management actions will be implemented annually as part of the general vernal pool habitat management objectives for different management levels (ML1, ML2, ML3).

Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Submit project metadata, monitoring datasets and management recommendations to the MSP Web Portal. On hold
Criteria Deadline year
Annual Surveys Completed with Management Recommendations 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Altered hydrologyALTHYD
Climate changeCLICHN
Human uses of the PreservesHUMUSE
Invasive plantsINVPLA
Urban developmentURBDEV
Code Obj. code Statement
NAVFOS-1 MON-IMP-MONPL Beginning in 2018, conduct annual surveys for spreading navarretia in occupied, historically occupied and potentially suitable vernal pools to determine cover clases in each basin and cover of each nonnative species using a standardize protocol as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Nonnative cover classes will be combined to determine if management triggers for Level 1, 2 or 3 management are met. Management recommendations will be made, noting individual nonnative species that pose a threat to direct specific management actions. Management actions will be implemented annually as part of the general vernal pool habitat management objectives for different management levels (ML1, ML2, ML3).
ORCCAL-1 MON-IMP-MONPL Beginning in 2018, conduct annual surveys for California Orcutt grass in occupied, historically occupied and potentially suitable vernal pools to determine cover clases in each basin and cover of each nonnative species using a standardize protocol as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Nonnative cover classes will be combined to determine if management triggers for Level 1, 2 or 3 management are met. Management recommendations will be made, noting individual nonnative species that pose a threat to direct specific management actions. Management actions will be implemented annually as part of the general vernal pool habitat management objectives for different management levels (ML1, ML2, ML3).
POGABR-1 MON-IMP-MONPL Beginning in 2018, conduct annual surveys for San Diego mesa mint in occupied, historically occupied and potentially suitable vernal pools to determine cover clases in each basin and cover of each nonnative species using a standardize protocol as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Nonnative cover classes will be combined to determine if management triggers for Level 1, 2 or 3 management are met. Management recommendations will be made, noting individual nonnative species that pose a threat to direct specific management actions. Management actions will be implemented annually as part of the general vernal pool habitat management objectives for different management levels (ML1, ML2, ML3).
POGNUD-1 MON-IMP-MONPL Beginning in 2018, conduct annual surveys for Otay mesa mint in occupied, historically occupied and potentially suitable vernal pools to determine cover clases in each basin and cover of each nonnative species using a standardize protocol as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Nonnative cover classes will be combined to determine if management triggers for Level 1, 2 or 3 management are met. Management recommendations will be made, noting individual nonnative species that pose a threat to direct specific management actions. Management actions will be implemented annually as part of the general vernal pool habitat management objectives for different management levels (ML1, ML2, ML3).
VERPOO-1 MON-SURV-VEG Beginning in 2018, conduct annual qualitative monitoring of all vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to document threats such as trampling, dumping and invasive plants, and as defined in the City of San Diego's Vernal Pool Managment and Monitoring Plan (VPMMP; City of San Diego 2015). Qualitative surveys should be conducted during the wet season using standardized protocols and should assess threats, whether pools are inundated, and verify fairy shrimp viability and reproduction. Three visits should be made during the wet season to determine pool inundation. The monitoring results should be used to determine the overall disturbance category (i.e., Levels 1-3), formulate management recommendations and to determine whether more comprehensive threats monitoring is required.
VERPOO-2 MON-SURV-VEG Beginning in 2018, conduct baseline hydrological surveys of vernal pools on Conserved Lands in the MSPA to characterize the hydrology of each basin within a vernal pool complex and prepare a report with survey results for each pool complex. Use a standardized methodology and protocol to determine maximum pool depth, define pool inlet and outlets, and geomorphic setting of the complex, as described in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015).
VERPOO-3 MON-EVAL-DIST Starting in 2018, conduct a topographic disturbance assessment if annual qualitiative monitoring indicates there is topographical and/or hydrological disturbance at a vernal pool (see City of San Diego VPMMP). Measure maximum pool depth for each basin, determine inlet and outlet locations. These data can be compared against baseline hydrological survey data to inform management recommendations. If there is a need to reconstruct a basin because of disturbance, then monitoring should be repeated to determine if the restored pool has achieved hydrological function.
VERPOO-4 MGT-IMP-VPML1 Beginning in 2018, conduct annual routine stewardship management to maintain vernal pool habitat and existing MSP species populations as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Level 1 pools are those where little maintenance is needed, other than routine access patrols and enforcement, removal of trash and debris, edge effects maintenance (e.g., offsite erosion control and irrigation management), maintaining fencing and signage, reparing trespass damage, repairing minor topographic disturbances, and controlling invasive plants for MSP species and general habitat maintenance (2 visits per spring).
VERPOO-5 MGT-IMP-VPML2 Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 2 management to enhance and stabilize vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 2 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those moderate topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in = 20-foot surrounding site-specific management buffers followed up with invasive plant control 2 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 3 per year. For Level 2 management, seed banking, bulking and redistribution may be needed to enhance declining populations of MSP plant species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.
VERPOO-6 MGT-IMP-VPML3 Beginning in 2018, conduct Level 3 management to restore vernal pool habitat and MSP species that monitoring has shown to be in decline or in very poor condition based on VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015) management triggers. Level 3 management includes implementing all Level 1 actions in addition to other more intensive management. This more intensive management includes restoring existing pools to increase populaitons of MSP species, mechanized and hand repair to baseline conditions those extensive topographic disturbances that affect pool integrity, ponding potential and overall size as defined in the VPMMP (City of San Diego 2015). Vernal pools with MSP species should be dethatched as needed to clear thatch from vernal pool basins and in a 35-foot watershed management buffer followed up with invasive plant control 4 times in the spring. General invasive plant control should be conducted in other vernal pool basins and/or associated upland watersheds, with the number of visits increased to 4 per year. For Level 3 management, some MSP species may be absent from the seed bank, requiring off-site collection from genetically appropriate populations, bulking and redistribution to restore the MSP species seed bank. Container plantings may also be needed to restore MSP species. For declining MSP fairy shrimp populations, additional monitoring is required to determine what is causing the decline followed by management to mitigate the threat. Shrimp cysts may need to be collected from other pools in the complex and redistributed into the impacted pool, although with no collection from pools containing Lindahl's fairy shrimp. Off-site cyst collection may be implemented if there is no on-site cyst bank or it is too depauperate.
Otay Mesa Vernal Pool Restoration
The primary goal is to expand on previous grant projects to protect, and enhance vernal pool ecosystems, maritime succulent scrub (MSS) and Western burrowing owl habitats in the Goat Mesa and Wruck Canyon vernal pool complexes to create a buffer from invasive weed species and reduce sediment erosion. The main objectives to reach these goals are 1) perform brush/thatch removal and weed control within enhancement areas, 2) collect and broadcast vernal pool species seed within pools and install MSS habitat plants and seed in the upland enhancement areas and 3) install fence around Wruck Canyon vernal pools to protect them from illegal off-road activity. Contracted crews will be hired to perform brush/weed control, herbicide application and be used to collect, grow and bulk vernal pool species seed from nearby pools to seed the vernal pools and install MSS container plants/cuttings/seeds in the habitat enhancement areas. Contracted crews will also be used to install fence, erosion control materials and perform access road repairs as needed to safely access the areas. Container plants, seeds, plant protectors, fence materials and erosion control materials will be purchased directly by City staff or supplied by the contractors. City staff will perform project management.
Proctor Valley Vernal Pools and Uplands Habitat Restoration Project
The Proctor Valley Vernal Pool and Uplands Habitat Restoration Project will complete restoration of 19 acres of vernal pools and coastal sage scrub in Proctor Valley on the City of San Diego's Otay Lakes Cornerstone Lands, a biological core area under the San Diego MSCP. The Project includes restoration of vernal pools and coastal sage scrub habitat and establishment of occurrences of two high-priority Management Strategic Plan (MSP) plants with seed collection, seed bulking, propagation, planting and seeding, and maintenance. The Project also includes restoration of habitat specific to the needs of several MSP animal species through seeding and planting of host and nest plants, construction of artificial burrows, and other measures. Project partially funded by SANDAG TransNet EMP Land Management Grant #5001972 and #5004955.

Current Distribution Rangewide

Southwestern California south to a few occurrences in coastal northwestern Baja California, Mexico near San Quintin [1, 2].

Known Populations in San Diego County

Ten regional locations include Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Ramona, Carmel Mountain, Del mar Mesa, Kearny Mesa, Otay Lakes, and Otay Mesa [3]. Within the MSPA it is known from MU2 (Kearny Mesa, Clairemont Mesa, Tierrasanta), MU3 (Otay Lakes, Otay Mesa), MU5 ( Ramona), MU6 (Del Mar Mesa, Carmel Mountain, Mira Mesa), MU7 (San Marcos, Carlsbad) [4].

List Status

FE and CE [5].

Habitat Affinities

San Diego button-celery is a clay soil, surface and non-surface hard pan, vernal pool obligate species but can also occur adjacent to and around vernal pools [1]. It occurs across various types of vernal pool soils but doesn't appear to be tied to any particular soil type [6]. Specifically adapted to surviving in vernally wet conditions due to the presence of aerenchyma tissue (air channels in the roots) that facilitates necessary gas exchange in submerged plants [7].

Taxonomy and Genetics

San Diego button-celery is one of three varieties of Eriastrum aristulatum and belongs to Apiaceae family. It is separated from Eryngium aristulatum var. aristulatum by having styles in fruit that are about the same length as the calyx (outer whorl of protective structures around the flower) and is separated from Eryngium aristulatum var. hooveri (Hoover’s button-celery) by having bractlets (modified leaves) without callused margins [8].The majority of populations once associated with E. aristulatum var. parishii on Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base have been placed under a recently described species: Eryngium pendletonensis [9]. San Diego button-celery is distinguished from E. pendletonensis by a combination of leaf and flower structures. Chromosome number is 2n = 32 [10].

Life History Demography

Gray-green perennial herb with a persistent tap root [3]. Spreading to erect from 1 to 8 dm in length and 41 cm or more in height [10].

Seasonal Phenology

Blooms from April to June; the tiny white flowers vary in length from 1.5 to 2.5 mm, occur on short stalks with rigid spiny bracts, and are found in 1 to many flowered heads in cymes [10, 11]. Stems are gray-green with toothed leaves giving it a prickly appearance [10].

Pollination Seed Dispersal

Thought to be insect pollinated, with potential pollinators including bee flies (Bombyliids) and solitary bees (Apoidea) [12, 13]. Relies completely on ephemerally wet conditions associated with seasonal wetlands (vernal pools, swales) to reproduce [3]. Reproduces entirely by seed.

Threats

Threatened by habitat loss and degradation, urbanization and agricultural conversion, off-road vehicle use, livestock grazing, trampling/foot traffic, watershed alteration (drainage), and competition with non-native species throughout much of its range [3, 14] . Habitat loss remains the primary threat.

Special Considerations:

Although it can be common where found, it has a patchy distribution making it more susceptible to local extinction [1]. Conservation is dependent on maintaining hydrology and the surrounding watershed for the occupied vernal pools, as well as protecting adjacent upland habitats for pollinators [12]. Extant populations need to be managed to reduce stressors from on-site and adjacent activities [14]. Regular monitoring is essential to gauging population trends and stressor effects. Currently, the level of synecological relationships between pollinators and E. a. var. parishii is unknown. If a close ecological relationship exists with E. a. var. parishii and its pollinators, conservation of the pollinators at all life stages in habitat proximal to the vernal pool may be needed to preserve the efficiency of the pollination service [13].

Literature Sources

[1] California Natural Diversity Database. 2016. Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii, unpublished report, Natural Heritage Division, California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento, California.

[2] Reiser, C.H. 2001. Rare Plants of San Diego County. Imperial Beach, CA: Aquafir Press.

[3] U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2010. Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii San Diego button celery 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation. Carlsbad, CA: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office

[4] MSP-MOM. 2014. Management Strategic Plan Master Occurrence Matrix. San Diego, CA. Available: http://sdmmp.com/reports_and_products/Reports_Products_MainPage.aspx

[5] U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1993. Determination of Endangered Status for Three Vernal Pool Plants and the Riverside Fairy Shrimp. Federal Register 58: 41384–41392.

[6] U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1998. Recovery Plan for Vernal Pools of Southern California. Portland, OR.

[7] Keeley, J.E. 1998. CAM Photosynthesis in Submerged Aquatic Plants. Botanical Review 64:121-175.

[8] Constance, L. 1993. Apiaceae in The Jepson Manual, Higher Plants of California, J.C. Hickman, edit. Berkeley: University of California Press.

[9] Marsden, K. and M. Simpson. 1999. Eryngium pendletonensis (Apiaceae): a New Species from Southern California. Madroño 46:61-64.

[10] Preston R.E., M.S. Park, and L. Constance. 2016. Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Accessed Nov. 8, 2016.

[11] California Native Plant Society. 2016. Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants (online edition, v7-09c). California Native Plant Soc. Sacramento, CA. Available: http://www.cnps.org/inventory.Accessed on November 8, 2016.

[12] Schiller, J.R., P.H. Zedler, and C.H. Black. 2000. The Effect of Density-dependent Insect Visits, Flowering Phenology, and Plant Size on Seed Set of the Endangered Vernal Pool Plant Pogogyne ambramsii (Lamiaceae) in Natural Compared to Created Vernal Pools. Wetlands 20:386-396.

[13] Thorp, R.W. 2007. Biology of Specialist Bees and Conservation of Showy Vernal Pool Flowers. A review. In: R.A. Schlising and D.G. Alexander (Eds.). Vernal Pool Landscapes. Studies from the Herbarium, # 14. California State University, Chico.

[14] Bauder, E.T. 1987. San Diego Vernal Pools, Recent and Projected Losses; Their Condition; and Threats to Their Existence 1979-1990, Volume 1. Endangered Plant Program, California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento, CA.