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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Steinwand, Christine [1], Johnson, Simone [2], Stephan, Kirsten [3].

Fire and Climate Effects on Delphinium exaltatum in the Ozark Region of Missouri.

In Missouri, tall larkspur (Delphinium exaltatum) is imperiled due to rarity and loss of habitat due to encroachment of trees, shrubs and exotic species. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of prescribed fire and climate on the dynamics of Missouri’s tall larkspur populations. From 2010 to 2013, plant counts were conducted annually in nine 10m×25m plots located across four populations. Five and three plots had been subject to spring prescribed burning in 2011 and 2012, respectively. We conducted Analysis of Variance comparing stem counts in different years in a given site or comparing different populations. Total precipitation and average daily maximum temperature data for each growing season was regressed against stem data from the unburned control plot. From 2011 to 2012, stem counts declined in seven of the nine plots by 18% to 64%. This was likely due to hot and dry conditions in 2012 as supported by a high degree of correlation between stem counts at the control plot and precipitation (R2=0.99, P<0.05). Notably, in two of the three plots that were burned in 2012, stem counts were actually higher in 2012 than 2011 and stem counts were higher in 2013 than 2012 (by 22%-99%) in all three plots. Thus, though more data are required for robust analyses, our data indicate that tall larkspur might respond positively to fire. However, climate change and an associated increase in frequency and severity of droughts could negatively affect the persistence of these small populations.

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1 - University of Missouri- Columbia, Forestry, 124 and 203 Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Bulding, Columbia, MO, 65211, USA
2 - Lincoln University of Missouri, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, 904 Chestnut Street, Jefferson City, MO, 65101, USA
3 - Lincoln University of Missouri, Life and Physical Sciences, 816 Chestnut St. , Jefferson City, MO, 65101, USA

Climate change
Delphinium exaltatum

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 16
Location: Firs North/Boise Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 16010
Abstract ID:166
Candidate for Awards:None

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