Paris, Nathan , Boyd, Robert .
Reproductive Biology of the Federally Threatened Apios priceana.
Land managers require knowledge of the reproductive biology of rare plants to tailor a management plan most suitable for conservation efforts. In 2011 population structure was assessed within a population of Apios priceana occurring on Redstone Arsenal, Madison County, Alabama. We found half of the population (1,075) was composed of juvenile individuals, indicating past successful fruit production and seedling survival. A subsample of reproductively active plants from this population was selected for a reproductive attrition study. These selected plants produced floral buds which were marked and monitored throughout development. During 2010, five plants were monitored producing 4,299 floral buds and 7 mature fruits. In 2011, ten plants were monitored producing 12,228 floral buds and no mature fruits. Due to drought conditions experienced in these years, we attribute reproductive failure primarily to a lack of precipitation during the critical summer months. A study was also performed in 2011 to compare the fruiting success of flowers hand pollinated from an out-crossed source and those treated with self pollen. Of the eighty-seven replicates in each treatment, no fruits were produced by self-pollinated flowers and only 3 fruits (3.4%) were initiated from out-crossed flowers. Although out-crossed flowers were more successful producing fruit, the result was confounded by drought during flowering and fruit initiation. Finally, post-dispersal seed predation and the ability of A. priceana to create a seed bank were also evaluated. Over a three-week period of monitoring (22 January-11 February, 2011), 33% of seeds placed in predation trays were removed or eaten. To evaluate seed bank formation, on 29 January, 2011 60 seeds were placed in 15 mesh sleeves positioned under the leaf litter throughout the population. By the end of July 2011, 63% of seeds had germinated and no living seeds remained, indicating Apios priceana does not form a seed bank. Although a number of factors decreased reproductive output of this species, we concluded that precipitation may be the most influential factor for successful fruit production and suggest that supplemental watering in drought years may be beneficial to the species.
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1 - 500 Webster Road Lot 207, Auburn, AL, 36832, USA
2 - Auburn University, Department Of Biological Sciences, 101 LIFE SCIENCES BLDG, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AL, 36849-5407, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM