Operational-Scale Demonstration of Propagation Protocols and Comparative Demographic Monitoring for Reintroducing Five Southeastern Endangered and At-Risk Plants
Technical Report,08 Dec 2011,30 Sep 2017
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Construction Engineering Research Laborato Champaign United States
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Military installations are subject to extensive encroachment by urban development. The growing burden of managing listed and at-risk plant species falls to installations, which manage much of the remaining suitable habitat. The overall objective of this project was to increase the diversity and success of rare-plant conservation strategies available to managers. We executed an operational-scale demonstration of recently developed protocols for propagating and reintroducing one endangered Lysimachia asperulifolia and four at risk plant species Amorpha georgiana, Astragalus michauxii, Lilium pyrophilum, and Pyxidanthera brevifolia found on multiple southeastern installations. Over three consecutive years we propagated and outplanted 6,075 transplants of different agesize classes of each species to four sites. We monitored survivorship, growth, and reproduction of these outplants and more than 1,500 individuals in natural populations over four years. Using demographic matrix modeling, life-table response experiments, and generalized linear models we compared the vital rates of the different classes and population growth rates lambda s between the natural and reintroduced populations. We also decomposed the influence of vital rates on lambda s in order to optimize population reintroduction viability and cost. Although many specific performance objectives were not met due to lambda s 1.0 in both population types, cost thresholds for establishing populations were met.