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Abstract Detail


Calloway, Stephanie [1], Guilliams, C. Matt [2], Hasenstab-Lehman, Kristen [2], Ritter, Matt [1], Yost, Jenn [1].

Saving the rare northern island mallow on Anacapa Island.

The California Channel Islands, often described as the Galapagos of North America, harbor some of the most unique plant diversity in California. Over 240 plant species are endemic, or only found on the islands. Unfortunately, introduced herbivores drastically degraded island ecosystems and many habitats remain greatly altered. As a result, the species they support have been pushed to the brink of extinction. One such species is the northern island mallow (Malva assurgentiflora subsp. assurgentiflora), a rare perennial shrub endemic to Anacapa and San Miguel Islands. Introduced herbivores extirpated Malva on Anacapa Island. Fortunately, seed was collected from the last remaining plants and used to create a new population on East Anacapa Island. Currently, 1,000 planted Malva are managed by the National Park Service in a 1-acre restoration site. While adult plants appear to be thriving, there is almost no reproduction of new plants. This alarming lack of recruitment puts Malva at risk for future declines. Factors limiting population persistence of rare plants can occur during several life history stages, yet we lack basic ecological and life history information for many rare Channel Island plants, including Malva. Here, we describe a series of ongoing experiments that will allow us to assess at which life history stage seed and seedling loss have the greatest impact on Malva recruitment. Many experiments center around the role of the endemic Anacapa deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus subsp. anacapae - Anacapa’s only land mammal), as it has been observed to regularly consume Malva seeds. We present an overview of ongoing work and discuss preliminary findings.

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1 - California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Biology, 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93407, USA
2 - Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Conservation and Research, 1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, CA, 93105, USA

rare plant
recruitment limitation
deer mice
seed predation.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: ECO6, Ecology: Restoration and Conservation
Location: /
Date: Thursday, July 22nd, 2021
Time: 3:15 PM(EDT)
Number: ECO6002
Abstract ID:1091
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper

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