Castanea Archives

Articles published in Castanea from 2008 to present (Volumes 75 to 84) may be downloaded directly from our archives below.

SABS members can use the JSTOR portal on this page to access Castanea articles from Volumes 1 through 80.

2010 Archives

2009 Archives

Volumes 68 (2002) – Current

(BioOne access not included in SABS membership)

Volumes 1 (1937) – 80 (2015)

Articles from our Current Issue

The Vascular Flora of Orchard Knob Reservation, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Orchard Knob is a 2.5 ha National Military Park near downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. This historic site protects a bubble of limestone glade and xeric limestone prairie habitat in an otherwise heavily developed, urban area. A floristic survey was conducted across two growing seasons, yielding 212 taxa across 152 genera and 58 families. Seventy-four non-native taxa were documented, about 35% of the total flora. Six rare, state-ranked species were documented: Baptisia aberrans, Clematis fremontii, Hypericum dolabriforme, Packera paupercula var. appalachiana, Symphyotrichum ericoides var. ericoides, and Viola egglestonii. An exploration of Civil War-era herbarium specimens and historical documents illuminated the historical flora of the site, and through the geolocation of herbarium specimens of select “indicator species,” the authors demonstrated that grassland habitats were once more abundant in the Chattanooga area.

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Phenotypic Variation in Climate-Associated Traits of Red Spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) along Elevation Gradients in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

Red spruce (Picea rubens) is a long-lived tree species that thrives in cool, moist environs. Its ability to adapt to rapidly changing climate is uncertain. In the southern Appalachian Mountains, red spruce reaches its greatest abundance at high elevations, but can also occur across a range of mid and lower elevations, suggesting the possibility of a correlation between genetic variation and habitat. To assess clinal phenotypic variation in functional traits related to climate adaptation, we collected seed from 82 maternal sib families located along replicated elevational gradients in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN (GSMNP) and Mount Mitchell State Park, NC (MMSP). The percentage of filled seeds and seed mass increased with elevation, indicating that successful pollination and seed development was greatest at the highest elevations. Seedlings sourced from GSMNP displayed a strong relationship between elevation and bud set when grown under common garden conditions. High elevation families set bud as many as 10 days earlier than low elevation families, indicating adaptation to local climate. Across parks, no effect of elevation was noted for bud flush. Our results demonstrate that red spruce in the southern Appalachian Mountains displays clinal variation in bud set that may reflect local adaptation to climate, although this varied between the two parks sampled. We suggest that genetic adaption of red spruce to different climate regimes, at both local and broad spatial scales, is in need of more intensive study, and should be carefully considered when selecting seed sources for restoration.

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Noteworthy Collections: An Overlooked Specimen of Conyza ramosissima from Virginia

Conyza ramosissima Cronquist (ASTERACEAE) Page County: Rocky slope along road, 5 mi. NW of Luray, 20 June 1950, Bernard Mikula 5222 (FARM). Significance: This is the first report of Conyza ramosissima (syn. Erigeron divaricatus Michaux) from Virginia. The specimen collected by Mikula establishing this record was encountered in the course of a study of herbarium material of C. canadensis (L.) Cronquist to distinguish its varieties [var. canadensis and var. pusilla (Nuttall) Cronquist] as they occur in Virginia; Mikula’s specimen had been initially identified as Erigeron canadensis L. Conyza ramosissima is best distinguished from other species in the genus by its profusely branched habit, generally lacking a well-defined main stem, its relatively low stature, usually ranging 1–3 dm tall, and strigose stem pubescence (Fernald 1950; Strother 2006). It also has distinctive white-margined phyllaries that lack the characteristic green tips found in C. canadensis var. canadensis or the red to purple tips typical of var. pusilla. In all respects, Mikula 5222 matches typical Conyza ramosissima. Examination of Conyza from FARM, GMUF, JMU, LFCC, LYN, ODU, URV, VPI, and WILLI failed to reveal any other specimen of Conyza ramosissima from Virginia, nor are specimens of this species held at the Shenandoah University herbarium (Woodward Bousquet, pers. com.). While geographic data for Mikula’s specimen are somewhat vague, the fact that Massanutten Mountain and the George Washington National Forest dominate the landscape northwest of Luray, Virginia, limits the likely locations for his roadside collection. Searches in the vicinity of all accessible pullouts on Rt. 675 on the mountain failed to reveal any trace of this plant on June 19–20, 2019. Distribution maps from the Biota of North America Program (BONAP) (Kartesz 2018) show C. ramosissima to occur widely in North America between, roughly, the 85th and 110th meridians; it appears to be most frequent in Kansas and Missouri. Notably, Conyza ramosissima was documented once in the late 19th C, presumably as a weed, from the Japanese Gardens, Fairmont Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Isaac Burk s.n., without collection date (PH). The Page County, Virginia, station reported here is at least 300 miles east of the nearest documented native occurrence on the BONAP map. The ruderal roadside habitat of this one known Virginia specimen is consistent with the weedy characteristic of the species and suggests that the status of waif is appropriate for this species in Virginia.

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Germination, Survival, and Establishment of a Rare Riparian Species Alnus maritima

Abstract: Seed mortality due to low winter temperatures has been proposed as an explanation for the lack of seedling recruitment in natural populations of the rare riparian species Alnus maritima, but other factors such as the absence of essential root symbionts or canopy clearing disturbances could also limit establishment of new individuals. We investigated whether any of these factors could be identified as preventing recruitment into existing seaside alder populations. Stratification studies showed that not only can seeds withstand low temperatures, longer periods of cold stratification promote earlier seed germination and expand the temperature range for germination. Root microbiome studies unexpectedly found that seedlings inoculated with the native microbiome prior to planting had lower survival compared to uninoculated individuals, and uninoculated individuals declined in survivorship after natural inoculation in the field. Canopy disturbance by burning or clipping vegetation promoted neither seedling growth nor survival initially, with seedling survival lower in burned plots due to the release of an aggressively growing competitor. Our results show that physiological stress by microbial symbionts and competition with other species are likely primary limiting factors—more so than seed mortality from low temperatures—and should be the focus of future conservation efforts.

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An Assessment of the Vulnerability of Illinois’ Rarest Plant Species to Climate Change

Illinois is home to approximately 2,107 native plant species of which about 16% are listed as threatened or endangered (T & E). In addition to the common threats associated with the decline of these species, climate change is a rapidly emerging threat. Climate predictions for Illinois have estimated that summer temperatures will resemble present-day summers in Texas by mid- to latecentury, while precipitation patterns are less predictable. Using NatureServe’s Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) tool we evaluated the climate change vulnerability for all 331 of Illinois T & E plant species. Overall, we found that over 80% are vulnerable to climate change. Barriers to migration are a leading factor associated with vulnerability in Illinois, where 97% of listed species are affected by anthropogenic barriers and 24% are affected by natural barriers. The sensitivity of species to changes in temperature, precipitation, and hydrology are also associated with vulnerability. The CCVI score was associated with most of the dozen or so other factors incorporated in the tool, though to a lesser degree. This study provides insights into the most vulnerable plant species in Illinois and provides much needed information to land managers, policy makers, and researchers. By highlighting which T & E species are most vulnerable to climate change, and what factors are most responsible for their vulnerability, this work will aid in prioritizing limited resources and developing adaptation strategies for them.

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