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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Schultz, Bettina [1], Meyer, Susan [2], DeNittis, Alyson [3], Rominger, Kody [4].

Growing an endangered species, Astragalus holmgreniorum, for seed.

Astragalus holmgreniorum is an edaphically restricted rare endemic perennial of the Mojave Desert. The species is a spring ephemeral that enters dormancy after seed production and re-emerges the following spring. It occurs only in an area around St. George, Utah, one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Listed in 2001, it is a USFWS “spotlight species” because its habitat faces so many threats. Many years of previous research have shown that the persistent seed bank is the key to survival of this species. Since 2015, we have been learning how to propagate this plant ex situ to produce seed. The process involves scarifying and chilling the seeds, planting germinated seeds in a well-drained potting mix, and potting tubelings up into deep pots to accommodate the taproot. After vernalization, the plants flowered but had to be hand pollinated because the native bees in central Utah emerge later than the flowering period of this southern Utah species. After several attempts, we were able to harvest over 27,000 seeds from 71 plants. Those plants were kept through their dormant period; 45 of them returned from dormancy the following spring. A new, larger cohort is in the process of producing seed as well this year. The ultimate goal is to augment existing populations as well as to establish new populations in suitable habitat farther from human disturbance.

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1 - USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Shrub Sciences Laboratory, 735 North 500 East, Provo, UT, 84651-9528, United States
2 - USFS SHRUB SCIENCES LABORATORY, 735 North 500 East, Provo, UT, 84606, United States
3 - Utah Valley University, Department of Biology, 800 W. University Parkway, Orem, UT, 84058, USA
4 - Utah Valley University, 800 W University Pkwy, Orem, UT, 84058, United States

Endangered Species
ex situ propagation
seed production.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Conservation Biology
Location: Grand Ballroom - Exhibit Hall/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PCB003
Abstract ID:332
Candidate for Awards:None

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