Source: UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA submitted to
PLANT POPULATION DYNAMICS
Sponsoring Institution
Other Cooperating Institutions
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0202202
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
MONZ-0447
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Apr 1, 2003
Project End Date
May 18, 2029
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Crone, E. E.
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
COLLEGE OF FORESTRY AND CONSERVATION
MISSOULA,MT 59812
Performing Department
COLLEGE OF FORESTRY AND CONSERVATION
Non Technical Summary
Certain aspects of plant population dynamics are not well understood by land managers. Land managers need this information in order to prepare better management plans to protect plants including weeds and plants critical to endangered species. Without this information, critical plant species might disappear. In this study we will be exploring the importance of biotic and abiotic factors for spatial and temporal variation in plant demography and abundance. Specifically, we will be quantifying the relative importance of extrinsic environmental (spatial or climate) variation vs. within- and among-population factors for changes in plant performance and/or distribution.
Animal Health Component
(N/A)
Research Effort Categories
Basic
100%
Applied
(N/A)
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
12324991070100%
Goals / Objectives
We will: 1) Quantify the importance of internal resource allocation within plants for individual performance and distribution. 2) Evaluate potential biotic and abiotic factors that interact with individual performance to lead to population dynamics. 3) Measure the extent to which plant distribution and abundance reflect a matching of plants to the external environment, as opposed to interactions within and among species.
Project Methods
This research involves a combination of monitoring in natural populations, mathematical and statistical models, and field and greenhouse experiments.

Progress 01/01/04 to 12/30/04

Outputs
Results of the Astragalus scaphoides research were submitted for publication as two manuscripts in The American Naturalist. I continued long-term monitoring of several perennial geophytes: Anenome patens, Astragalus scaphoides, Balsamorhiza sagitata, Lewisia rediviva and Silene spaldingii, and presented analyses of this research at the 2004 Ecological Society of America annual meeting in Portland, OR. We mapped populations of orange hawkweed (Hieracium auriantiacum), a nonnative plant, in NW Montana, and began experiments to test the effects of competition on seedling establishment and clonal spread in this species. Because the species is apomictic, we developed ISSR markers to test whether all plants are genetically uniform; our initial surveys did not reveal any differences among individuals. We compared the distribution and abundance of species with restricted ranges vs. ecologically similar widespread species. We initiated studies of the spatial scale of synchrony in cone production of whitebark pine, and ecologically-important, mast-seeding tree.

Impacts
These studies are basic research, designed to increase understanding of the natural history of perennial herbs, about which very little is known. Silene spaldingii is a federally-listed threatened species, Astragalus scaphoides is found only in a small part of SW Montana and adjacent Idaho, and Hieracium auriantiacum is an invasive plant in many areas where it occurs. Our research may provide a basis for future management of these species.

Publications

  • Holl, K. D. and E. E. Crone. 2004. Applicability of landscape and island biogeography theory to restoration of riparian understorey plants. Journal of Applied Ecology 41:922-933
  • Irvine, R. L., E. E. Crone, L. J. Jackson, and E. A. MacIsaac, 2004. Does scale affect ecological model predictions? A test with lake responses to fertilization. Ecological Applications 14:1178-1188.
  • Crone, E. E. and P. Lesica, 2004. Causes of synchronous flowering in Astragalus scaphoides, an iteroparous perennial plant. Ecology 85:1944-1954.