The Tennessee purple coneflower, Echinacea tennesseensis (Beadle) Small [Asteraceae], is a state (Tennessee) and formerly federal endangered species naturally found in cedar glades in middle Tennessee. A loss of habitat and a naturally restrictive geographic range contributed to this coneflower being listed as endangered. E. tennesseensis has recently been delisted from the federal Endangered Species List due to meeting the criteria of its recovery plan. These criteria included conservation efforts and the establishment of new populations of E. tennesseensis. Although the species had met the criteria for delistment, it was unknown how the reproductive fitness of the introduced colonies compared with that of the natural colonies.
Statistical analysis of germination rates found a marginally significant interaction between introduced and natural populations, especially at the Couchville site. Statistical analysis of seed set levels found significant differences in seed production between natural and introduced populations at the Vine and Vesta sites, with introduced populations having higher seed production than the natural populations at those sites. Introduced populations at the Vine site also had higher viable seed set. However, there were no differences at the Couchville site between the natural and introduced populations. In these analyses of seed traits that relate to fitness success, introduced colonies are just as, if not more, successful than natural colonies of E. tennesseensis. Seed production and viable seed set are similar or greater in introduced than natural colonies. Thus, introduced colonies appear to have the same regeneration potential as natural colonies and are just as reproductively functional, a key component when evaluating restoration success.
|Advisor:||Esselman, Elizabeth J.|
|Commitee:||Barry, Kelly, Fowler, Thomas, Luesse, Darron|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 53/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Plant biology, Plant sciences|
|Keywords:||Echinacea, Endangered, Endemic, Glade, Recovery, Tennessee|
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