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    Great-spurred violet (Viola selkirkii Pursh ex Goldie; Violaceae) is an early spring flowering herb that occurs in the boreal and Rocky Mountain regions of North America, and cool temperate regions of Eurasia, eastern China and Japan. In the Black Hills, the species is restricted to spruce-dominated forests in cold, shady ravines from 5,400 to 7,000 ft (1,645 to 2,135 m) elevation on soils derived from granitic parent material. There are currently 17 known occurrences of great-spurred violet in the Black Hills: ten on Black Hills National Forest land, including eight sites in the Black Elk Wilderness and two in the Norbeck Wildlife Management Area, and seven in Custer State Park administered by the State of South Dakota. Occurrences on Black Hills National Forest lands are not currently at risk from management activities; in the future, recreationists, wildlife use and weed invasion and treatment could potentially impact localized patches. Periodic flooding may reduce the size and extent of some patches, but create habitat for others. The occurrence of the species in the upper portions of several disjunct watersheds, as well as in a variety of topographic positions within each watershed offer opportunities for reestablishing patches impacted on lower landscape positions. Unfortunately, conservation management cannot prevent the impacts of persistent dry and warm periods that have the potential of drastically reducing both the distribution and occurrence levels of this boreal species.

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    Hornbeck, J. Hope; Sieg, Carolyn Hull; Reyher, Deanna J. 2003. Conservation assessment for great-spurred violet in the Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota and Wyoming. Custer, SD: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, Black Hills National Forest. 29 p.


    great-spurred violet, Viola selkirkii, Black Hills, boreal forest, myrmecochory

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