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Title: The demography of a small population of yellow columbines in the Organ Mountains

Author: Stubben, Chris J.; Milligan, Brook G.;

Date: 2001

Source: In: Maschinski, Joyce; Holter, Louella, tech. eds. Southwestern rare and endangered plants: Proceedings of the Third Conference; 2000 September 25-28; Flagstaff, AZ. Proceedings RMRS-P-23. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 70-77.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Yellow-flowered columbines (Aquilegia chrysantha Gray) are usually found in small, isolated populations near streams and pools in mountain ranges throughout the southwestern United States. To study the long-term dynamics of these populations, which are vulnerable to extinction, we have monitored the demography of a population in Fillmore Canyon in the Organ Mountains of southern New Mexico. Annual estimates of growth, survival, and reproduction were recorded for 2,152 individuals in 15 one-meter square plots for 6 years. We estimated a seed bank survival rate from experimental plots and constructed annual size-structured transition matrices to determine population growth rates. Annual growth rates varied widely between 0.46 and 1.72 and were strongly correlated with spring precipitation. We calculated a weighted mean matrix, based on the historical frequency of spring rainfall events, resulting in a population growth rate of 1.02. The relationship between population growth rate and precipitation was used to calculate a mean growth rate from 75 years of recorded climate data and to project future growth rates under different climate conditions. These methods provide both an additional approach to modeling population persistence and a clearer understanding of the likelihood of extinction for a species dependent on mesic habitat in Fillmore Canyon.

Keywords: plant conservation, genetics, demography, reproductive biology, monitoring, endangered species

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Stubben, Chris J.; Milligan, Brook G. 2001. The demography of a small population of yellow columbines in the Organ Mountains. In: Maschinski, Joyce; Holter, Louella, tech. eds. Southwestern rare and endangered plants: Proceedings of the Third Conference; 2000 September 25-28; Flagstaff, AZ. Proceedings RMRS-P-23. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 70-77.

 


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