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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Weekley, Carl W. [1], Tucker, Josephine [2], Neimeister, Stephanie V. [2], Menges, E.S. [1].

Germination ecology of Liatris ohlingerae, a perennial herb endemic to Florida scrub.

Many factors - including seed source, absence of favorable microhabitat conditions, and presence of competitors, predators or allelochemicals - may limit the germination percentages of viable seeds. Lack of seedling recruitment, despite abundant annual seed crops, is a crucial problem for the federally-endangered Liatris ohlingerae, a long-lived perennial herb endemic to pyrogenic Florida scrub. To explore the reasons for this recruitment failure, we conducted a series of field and lab experiments to investigate the effects of seed source, physical or chemical presence of co-occurring species, and litter presence on germination percentages of L. ohlingerae. We relied primarily on logistic regression to evaluate the effect of these factors on germination percentages, and on AIC to assess logistic regression models.Germination did not differ when seeds from scrub and roadside habitats were sown into their own and the contrasting habitat. We found no evidence of chemical inhibition from a co-occurring ground lichen or from the allelopathic Florida rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides), the dominant shrub in L. ohlingerae’s preferred habitat. However, higher rates of post-sowing seed predation closer to Florida rosemary shrubs limited germination. Germination was higher in shallow than in deep litter, and was slightly suppressed by oak and pine litter compared to Florida rosemary litter. Germination of viable Liatris ohlingerae seeds generally exceeded 60% under a range of field and lab conditions. Poor recruitment in this scrub endemic is not likely caused by problems with seed germination.

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Related Links:
Archbold Bilogical Station

1 - Archbold Biological Station, Plant Ecology Lab, P.O. Box 2057, Lake Placid, Florida, 33862, USA
2 - Archbold Biological Station, PO Box 2057, Lake Placid, FL, 33862, USA

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Lake Wales Ridge

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: CP55
Location: Boulevard A/Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
Time: 1:45 PM
Number: CP55004
Abstract ID:1218

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