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Chinquapin Archives

The quarterly newsletter of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society from 1993 - present

Castanea Archives

The complete archives of Castanea from 1936 to 2020.

SABS Archives - Castanea

Occasional Papers in Eastern Botany Archives

An occasional collection of papers published by the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society.

Articles from our Current Issue

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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Scientific Note: Facultative Perenniality in the Dwarf Sundew (Drosera brevifolia)

Please note that the initial PDF issued was paginated incorrectly.  The correctly paginated article appears at this link. ABSTRACT: The dwarf sundew (Drosera brevifolia) occurs from Uruguay to Virginia. Disjunct populations occur in the southeastern U.S. with the northernmost in Kentucky. Despite this wide distribution, relatively little is known about the biology of this species. It has been described as both annual and biennial. The endangered Kentucky population is considered biennial, but occasionally, live, mature plants have dead flower stalks in early autumn suggesting some may be perennial. In 2013, 40 sundews that germinated in the fall of 2012 were marked as they flowered in 2013. They were observed into a third growing season in 2014 until the end of July. Sixteen plants (40%) died after setting seeds in their second growing season, while nine (22.5%) remained alive, flowered, and set seeds again the following year. Seven of these were still alive at the end of July 2014. Fifteen plants were puzzling as the leaves were dead after setting seeds in their second growing season, but were alive May 2014, of which 12 flowered. This study confirms that at least a portion of the Kentucky population of D. brevifolia is perennial. This is probably facultative perenniality because some plants only survive to a third growing season when precipitation falls evenly over the growing seasons and when no hot, dry periods occur. Mild winters without extensive snow cover may contribute to facultative perenniality as well.

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The Demography of Gentiana autumnalis in Populations Under Varying Management Regimes in New Jersey

Please note that the initial PDF issued was paginated incorrectly.  The correctly paginated article appears at this link. ABSTRACT: Gentiana autumnalis (pine barren gentian) is a rare, fall-flowering perennial that is endemic to pine barren habitat from New Jersey to South Carolina. This disturbance-adapted, early successional species is at risk in New Jersey as a result of human interactions, namely growing season mowing and fire suppression. We used a repeated measures design to compare the differences between managed (mowing and prescribed fire) and unmanaged G. autumnalis populations for density, life stage, mortality, and fecundity. Managed populations had a greater gentian density, proportion of reproductive individuals, and seedlings compared to unmanaged populations. Implementing prescribed burns and mowing at previously unmanaged sites prior to spring growth increased gentian density, flowering, and seed set the same year. Our data support that prescribed burning and mowing can be beneficial management tools for the conservation of G. autumnalis and other disturbanceadapted species that require open early-successional habitat. However, their implementation can have negative consequences if conducted during the growing season, especially for roadside populations that are periodically mowed. Declining rare plant populations have the potential to benefit from management practices that facilitate ideal growing conditions and influence life stage transitions that will best improve population growth rate over time.

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The Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Geum radiatum: Effects of a Past Augmentation of an Endangered Hexaploid

ABSTRACT Geum radiatum is a federally endangered high-elevation rock-outcrop endemic herb that is widely recognized as a hexaploid and a relic species. Little is known about G. radiatum genetic diversity, population interactions, or the effect of past augmentations of populations. This study sampled every known population of G. radiatum and used microsatellite markers to measure genetic diversity and population structure. The analysis demonstrates that there is interconnectedness and structure among populations. In addition, the analysis was able to differentiate transplanted individuals and identify putative anthropogenically admixed individuals within augmented populations. Geum radiatum exhibits diversity within and among populations and current gene flow connects the northern populations. This information provides a greater understanding of the genetic sustainability of G. radiatum and what conservation efforts will most help this imperiled species to survive.

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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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Vascular Plant Flora of Stone Mountain Park, DeKalb County, Georgia, Based on Digitized Specimens in the University of Georgia Herbarium (GA)

ABSTRACT: Stone Mountain in DeKalb County, Georgia, is a large exposed granite monolith, 514 m (1,686 ft) above sea level and covering 230 ha (560 ac). This monadnock is located in the southwestern portion of Stone Mountain Park, comprising 1,300 ha (3,212 ac) owned by the state of Georgia. Recent specimen digitization efforts at the University of Georgia Herbarium (GA) have greatly facilitated capture of data from historic vouchers collected from this park. Based on these newly available data, the goals of this project were to (1) prepare a vouchered species list for the park, (2) produce a vegetation map based on georeferenced label data, and (3) identify all plant collectors and track collection activities through time and taxon focus. Eighty-one individuals and teams collected 1,207 vouchers (709 species) dated 1846–2011. The largest families were Asteraceae (96 spp.), Poaceae (70 spp.), Fabaceae (49 spp.), Cyperaceae (33 spp.), Rosaceae (21 spp.), and Lamiaceae (20 spp.). Approximately 17.5% of the species were exotic. Eighteen species are listed as rare in Georgia with state protection status conferred on five species; Gratiola amphiantha (threatened) and Isoetes melanospora (endangered) are also federally ranked. Specimen label data and various map resources were used to plot the locality of each specimen. Habitat data were recorded on 808 specimen labels, allowing assignment of 612 taxa to at least one of five general habitat types. GPS coordinates, assigned through GeoLocate, were combined with habitat data and infrared imagery to create a general vegetation map of Stone Mountain Park

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