Taxonomy
Scientific Name
Conophytum roodiae N.E.Br. subsp. sanguineum (S.A.Hammer) T.Smale
Higher Classification
Dicotyledons
Family
AIZOACEAE
Synonyms
Conophytum rugosum S.A.Hammer subsp. sanguineum S.A.Hammer
National Status
Status and Criteria
Critically Endangered A2ad+4ad; B1ab(v); C1+2a(i,ii); D
Assessment Date
2021/12/07
Assessor(s)
A.J. Young, P.G. Desmet, I. Ebrahim, D. Guo, A. Harrower, L. Jabar, L. Knoetze, C. Rodgerson, P.C.V. Van Wyk & N.N. Mhlongo
Justification
This succulent is endemic to the Northern Cape province of South Africa with an extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) of 12 km2. The population is only known from a single locality and is in severe decline due to illegal collection for the international trade in ornamental succulents with more than 90% of the population removed from habitat since 2019. According to a field survey by South African National Biodiversity Institute carried out in 2021 just 25 mature individuals remain in habitat. This taxon has a short generation length and is challenging to grow in cultivation. The continued threat of illegal collection is therefore regarded as extremely high for this particular succulent. A complete decline of 100% of the population is very likely within the next 15 years (one generation). It therefore qualifies as Critically Endangered under criteria A ,B, C and D.
Distribution
Endemism
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Northern Cape
Range
This taxon is endemic to the Northern Cape province of South Africa where it is known from a single location.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Terrestrial
Major habitats
Namaqualand Klipkoppe Shrubland
Description
This succulent is endemic to the Namaqualand Hardeveld bioregion of the Succulent Karoo biome. The plants are found on granite domes where they mainly occupy shallow grit-filled depressions. This taxon has a generation length of 15 years. It is expected to be sensitive to the impacts of climate change as it does not disperse and while adapted to arid conditions, is dependent on limited seasonal rainfall. Species in the genus are sensitive to long periods of drought. Drought related mortality has been observed for other closely related taxa within the genus.
Threats
Plants have been subject to illegal collection of mature individuals for the international trade in ornamental succulents with more than 90% of the population removed from habitat since 2019. This particular taxon has been highly sought after by collectors and is highly likely to remain so in future. There is no decline in habitat quality for this taxon as inferred by changes in vegetation cover determined from changes in Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) between 1984 and 2018 using Landsat data (Venter et al. 2020). Anthropogenic climate change is a long-term threat to this succulent. Climate models for the likely emission scenarios where emissions stay at present day levels (RCP 2.6) (Hausfather and Peters 2020) and worst case scenarios where emissions continue to increase during the 21st century (RCP 8.5) indicate that there will be a loss of suitable bioclimatic envelope of between 78% and 99% by 2080 for this taxon. Species in this genus have limited dispersal ability and migration to suitable habitats elsewhere is regarded as highly unlikely. However, as this taxon possesses traits that may provide some resilience, and given the uncertainty of the response to climate change and the fact that it has a generation length of only 15 years, climate predictions are not used to inform the overall assessment. Due to the highly localised nature of the population trampling and grazing by livestock constitutes a major threat to this taxon.
Population

This taxon is known from a single population. The population is in severe decline due to illegal collection for the international trade in ornamental succulents. A site survey by South African National Biodiversity Institute in 2021 recorded 25 mature individuals.


Population trend
Decreasing
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Conophytum roodiae N.E.Br. subsp. sanguineum (S.A.Hammer) T.SmaleCR B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v)2020.1
Conophytum roodiae N.E.Br. subsp. sanguineum (S.A.Hammer) T.SmaleVU D2Raimondo et al. (2009)
Conophytum roodiae N.E.Br. subsp. sanguineum (S.A.Hammer) T.SmaleVU D2Victor (2002)
Conophytum rugosum S.A.Hammer subsp. sanguineum S.A.HammerRare Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Bibliography

Hammer, S. 2002. Dumpling and his wife: New view of the genus Conophytum. EAE Creative Colour, Norwich.


Hammer, S.A. 1993. The genus Conophytum: A conograph. Succulent Plant Publications, Pretoria.


Hausfather, Z. and Peters, G.P. 2020. Emissions - the 'business as usual' story is misleading. Nature 577(618-620).


Opel, M.R. 2004. The rediscovery of Crassula alcicornis. Haseltonia 10:38-40.


Citation
Young, A.J., Desmet, P.G., Ebrahim, I., Guo, D., Harrower, A., Jabar, L., Knoetze, L., Rodgerson, C., Van Wyk, P.C.V. & Mhlongo, N.N. 2021. Conophytum roodiae N.E.Br. subsp. sanguineum (S.A.Hammer) T.Smale. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/06/22

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Distribution map

© A.J. Young


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