Comparative demography of a rare species in Florida scrub and road habitats
Abbreviated Journal Title
endemic species; human disturbance; Hypericum cumulicola; population; dynamics; Lake Wales Ridge; TIME-SINCE-FIRE; HYPERICUM-CUMULICOLA; ERYNGIUM-CUNEIFOLIUM; POPULATION; VIABILITY; LOCAL ADAPTATION; ROSEMARY SCRUB; UNITED-STATES; ENDEMIC; PLANT; PLASTICITY; EVOLUTION; Biodiversity Conservation; Ecology; Environmental Sciences
Anthropogenic habitats can offer opportunities for expansion of rare species. The federally listed herb Hypericum cumulicola is virtually restricted to natural gaps within fire-maintained Florida scrub, but also occurs within and along sandy roads traversing scrub. To test the hypothesis that sandy roads provide suitable habitat for H. cumulicola, we compared the demographic performance of scrub and road populations at the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest and Archbold Biological Station in south-central Florida. Twice a year in February and August 1997-2006, we assessed recruitment and survival; annually in August we also measured maximum height and estimated reproductive output of tagged individuals. Scrub population dynamics were more stable than road populations. Recruitment increased with rainfall in scrub populations, but not always in road populations. Compared with scrub populations, road populations were weedier, with more variable life spans, earlier flowering, and higher fecundity. Germination rates did not differ between individuals from different habitats, but varied depending on simulated weather conditions. The weedier life history may reflect a divergent selective environment (and perhaps an evolutionary and ecological trap). Alternatively, adaptive plasticity in H. cumulicola may allow the species to maintain populations in anthropogenic habitats that can serve as refugia for fire-suppressed scrub populations. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
"Comparative demography of a rare species in Florida scrub and road habitats" (2007). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 7547.