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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Hildebrand, Terri [1].

Effects of Land management on a rare Great Basin endemic Penstemon franklinii (Plantaginaceae).

Plant species of special concern offer challenges to land manager and other interested parties, particularly if their numbers have declined and federal threatened or endangered species (TES) listing is considered. Ideally, information on imperiled plant species would be available prior to TES listing, thereby providing a guide for management and, potentially, preventing a precipitous decline in status. The objective of this study was to provide such information on Penstemon franklinii, an endemic that is currently listed as critically imperiled by the Bureau of Land Management. Plants occur only in the Cedar Valley area of Iron County, Utah in the three-awn needlegrass and black sagebrush community that dominates between 5400 and 5900 feet elevation. Fieldwork that began in 2008 established ten plots (five excluded from cattle grazing) at three locations and individual plant occurrences were mapped over the subsequent four growing seasons. Distance to and percent cover of associated species was recorded. Plant form (vegetative or reproductive), stem number and height, as well as the number of fruits on each stem, were documented. Collection of leaf material for molecular studies occurred as well. Preliminary data analyses have provided valuable P. franklinii life history information (mean life span and number of reproductive seasons) and suggest that annual precipitation levels may be a greater determinant in population persistence than the exclusion from winter cattle grazing. Results from this study provide valuable information for federal land administrators responsible for management of this globally rare species. With land practices based on informed discussions, the presence of P. franklinii on the Great Basin landscape may be expected to continue.

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1 - Southern Utah University, Biology, 351 W University Boulevard, Center for Health & Molecular Sciences 213, Cedar City, UT, 84720, USA

endemic species
black sagebrush community.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PCB008
Abstract ID:914
Candidate for Awards:None

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