Demography

Kristin Haskins and Sheila Murray,The Arboretum at Flagstaff

In 2013, The Arboretum at Flagstaff partnered with the Center for Plant Conservation and the Bureau of Land Management in New Mexico to examine conservation concerns of Chihuahua scurfpea (Pediomelum pentaphyllum), a tuber-forming legume. Our primary objective was to determine any changes in population size. In 2015, we established two demography study plots representing two different populations. The ability to retract aboveground tissues underneath the soil is a common drought adaptation found in desert-dwelling species. We were challenged in establishing these plots by the ephemeral nature of aboveground presence of biomass needed to identify the species. The timing of plot site selection coincided with a winter that received average to above average precipitation, improving the likelihood of scurfpea plant emergence, and insuring that plots were indeed placed to capture multiple individuals. Furthermore, the duration of annual monitoring visits was set at 6-years to capture the minimum required 3-years of data for determining population projections, despite potentially uncooperative weather patterns. We recently collected our 5th year of data. Upon completion, these data will be analyzed and suggestions shared with land managers at the BLM in New Mexico and Arizona.

Contributing Author(s): 
Date Recorded: 
Friday, May 3, 2019

Are others collecting demographic data from reintroduced populations?

I'm interested in comparing reintroduced populations to wild populations of the same species to assess reintroction "success" relative to wild sites.  Are others collecting this kind of data?

rare plant demography data for at least 5 years?

CPC is interested in exploring several questions using long-term rare plant demography data.  Interested?

Jennifer Neale, Denver Botanic Gardens

As scientific programs at Denver Botanic Gardens continue to grow we are working to standardize data collection across all projects to enhance and improve data utility. We have developed uniform protocols for documenting biodiversity for all studies whether they regard demographic studies, ecological monitoring, seed conservation, or floristic surveys. Collection of specimens and associated tissue samples has been incorporated into all studies, along with a methodical approach for tracking field photography, to ensure robustness, consistency, and cross-application of data. With the implementation of these new protocols we are readily able to share data with larger platforms such as the Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN), Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio), and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

Contributing Author(s): 
Date Recorded: 
Friday, May 4, 2018

Kristin E. Haskins and Sheila Murray (The Arboretum at Flagstaff), and Andrea Hazelton (Desert Butte Botany)

Acquisition of a long-term dataset is truly rare and can represent decades of hard work and thousands of dollars or more in exhausted resources. The standard model of monitoring year after year is unsustainable for most organizations and begs the question, when should it stop? The Arboretum at Flagstaff has a demography data set for Arizona cliffrose (Purshia subintegra) that has been on-going since 1996. Different ‘levels’ of monitoring have occurred over the years depending on available resources. With some recent funds, we set out to address the following questions with long-term data: 1) What is the long-term viability of the population? 2) Which life stages are most important to capture in the monitoring? And 3) can we monitor less often and still capture important life history events? Challenges included determining starting population sizes for population matrix models and gaps in data. Using the 22 years of monitoring data combined with data from published papers, anecdotes, and historic weather data, we produced population growth rates for P. subintegra and identified key life stages correlated with precipitation events, thus enabling implementation of a modified monitoring protocol, which will conserve valuable resources.

Contributing Author(s): 
Date Recorded: 
Friday, May 4, 2018