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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Hartung, Eli [1].

Seedling Emergence Microsite Characterization for the Endangered Gypsophile Endemic Arctomecon humilis (Dwarf Bear Poppy) in the Northeastern Mojave Desert Eli Hartung and .

Arctomecon humilis (dwarf bear-poppy) is an endangered species endemic to gypsum outcrops in the northeastern Mojave Desert. Previous studies have shown that seedling recruitment is a bottleneck in its life history. We studied A. husmilis recruitment microsites at three populations, each of which are experiencing different disturbance regimes, to characterize seedling establishment at the microsite level. We examined seedling occurrences in small plots by evaluating soil cover type, topography, roughness, and disturbance. We also aimed to specifically characterize the emergence point for each seedling. Based on preliminary data for the Beehive Dome population, dwarf bear-poppy seedlings here most often occurred on slightly sloping surfaces, primarily on cuesta backslopes with heavy cryptobiotic crust and/or large gravel cover that generates moderate surface roughness. A majority of plots at this population were disturbed by cattle tracks, as is much of the general area. However, at the emergence point level, poppies tended to grow out of undisturbed cryptobiotic soil and/or gravel cover, with only about 10% directly associated with cattle tracks. The most common pattern at Beehive Dome was emergence at the junction of two cover types, e.g., between cryptobiotic crust and gravel of various sizes. These results suggest that cattle disturbance does not benefit recruitment but also provide little evidence of negative effects. Currently we are researching recruitment site characteristics for a population at an ungrazed site, and one that is experiencing human disturbance for comparative purposes. Preliminary analysis shows similarities in recruitment between these populations and Beehive Dome. Seedlings at the White Dome and Redbluffs populations also seem to most often occur on gradually sloping surfaces that are of a moderate surface roughness. This study gives insight into the establishment requirements of A. humilis, which can potentially allow us to better protect habitat, introduce seed more effectively, and ultimately better work for the conservation of this plant.

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1 - Utah Valley University, Biology, 800 W University Pkwy, Orem, UT, 84058, USA

Recruitment limitations.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P1, Conservation Biology Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: P1CB009
Abstract ID:586
Candidate for Awards:None

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