Ragan, Izabela K. , Drummond, Boyce A. , Heschel, Shane .
Ecophysiology of Liatris punctata Seed Germination in Colorado.
Liatris punctata is a perennial forb found in drier habitats of the central plains of North America from southern Canada to Texas. In Colorado, L. punctata populations are of special interest because flowers of this plant are the primary adult food source of the Pawnee montane skipper butterfly (Hesperia leonardus montana), a species listed as threatened by the USFWS because of its limited geographical range, small population size, and narrow habitat requirements (USFWS 2000). Successful recovery of the butterfly depends on regeneration of L. punctata in burned areas, yet little is known about the ecophysiology of seed germination of this species. By determining what factors promote seed germination in L. punctata, we hope to better inform recovery efforts that depend on re-seeding of burned areas with L. punctata. Ponderosa pine/blue grama habitats with healthy populations of L. punctata have been shown to promote population growth of the skipper butterfly (Drummond 2008). This study tests the effects of gibberillic acid (GA4+7) and smoke exposure on seed germination of L. punctata during late spring conditions. L. punctata that germinates during the late spring reaches full flowering at the time of peak abundance of the skipper butterfly in the late summer. Also, a comparison was made of germination rates between L. punctata seeds collected from a thinned habitat versus seeds from a unthinned (control) habitat.
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1 - Colorado College, Biology, 14 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, CO, 80903, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Event Tent/Cliff Lodge
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM