Influence of Reproductive and Environmental Factors on Population Size of Wild Hyacinth [Camassia angusta (Engelm. and A. Gray) Blank. (Liliaceae)], an Illinois Endangered Species

Published:

June 2009

Author

Kevin M. Franken

Additional Authors

Janice M. Coons, Henry R. Owen, Eric L. Smith, John E. Ebinger

ABSTRACT Wild hyacinth (Camassia angusta) is a perennial species native to mesic prairies of the midwestern and south-central United States. In Illinois, the only extant population of this state-endangered species is in a small section of degraded black-soil prairie along a railroad track right-of-way south of Elwin, Macon County. The objectives of this study were to determine the population status, seed production, and effects of scarification and stratification on germination of C. angusta. The population was surveyed from 1990 to 2007. A survey of other plant species present was conducted in 1999. The site consisted of approximately 75% native and 25% exotic species. The number of flowering stems of Camassia angusta fluctuated significantly (28 to 169 plants) during the course of this study. Prescribed spring burns and a construction equipment disturbance may be partially responsible for these fluctuations. A large percentage of undeveloped fruit, resulting in low seed production (,3,000), as well as low seed germination (8%), may be responsible for this population’s inability to increase consistently in number of individuals.

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