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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Weber, Justine [1], Leopold, Donald J. [1].

Conservation challenges due to ontogenetic niche shifts in Houghton’s Goldenrod, a federally-listed species and Great Lakes endemic.

Rare plants garner significant conservation attention, but many have knowledge gaps associated with their life histories. This missing information presents a substantial hurdle for applied conservation, especially if the species’ ecology is complex or contains ontogenetic niche shifts. Houghton’s goldenrod (Solidago houghtonii) is a Great Lakes endemic that is often locally abundant but is limited to a small region along the Niagara Escarpment. Approximately 80 populations occur in Michigan and Ontario, and one population occurs in western New York. This species is federally-listed as threatened, state-listed as threatened in Michigan and endangered in New York, and is a species of concern in Canada. While Houghton’s goldenrod is generally uncommon, there may now be enough protected populations to meet the federal recovery criterion, and it may be appropriate to consider the species for delisting from federal protection. However, like many rare plant species, more data are needed regarding long-term trends within and across Houghton’s goldenrod populations. As part of a range wide study on the species, we collected field and greenhouse data to evaluate its niche characteristics. Preliminary analyses of these data suggest differences between Houghton’s goldenrod’s survival and reproductive niches: this result has major implications for conservation decision-making and prioritization. Incorporating ontogenetic niche shift data into management decisions will increase the success of applied conservation science for Houghton’s goldenrod and many other rare plant species.

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1 - SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Environmental Biology, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY, 13210, USA

Rare plants

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: CB01, Conservation Biology 1
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 10:30 AM(EDT)
Number: CB01003
Abstract ID:379
Candidate for Awards:None

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