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Title:The reproductive ecology of Minuartia patula Michx. Mattf. (Caryophyllaceae)
Author(s):Pearion, Michelle
Advisor(s):Molano-Flores, Brenda
Department / Program:Natural Res & Env Sci
Discipline:Natural Res & Env Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):breeding system
reproductive ecology
Abstract:Minuartia patula, slender sandwort (Caryophyllaceae), is a winter annual found in barrens, glades, rocky outcrops, and dolomite prairies of the eastern and central United States. This species is rare in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio; and vulnerable in Kentucky, Missouri, and Virginia. Though research on environmental pollution, seed germination, and allelopathic effects have been conducted for this species, little is known about its reprodcutive biology. For many rare plants a thorough understanding of their reproductive ecology is essential for the development of effective conservation strategies. In a two year study, I researched several aspects the reproductive ecology of Minuartia patula at five populations in northeastern Illinois. In particular, I asked three questions: 1) Can variation in population size of Minuartia patula be related to reproductive output or local weather patterns? 2) What can data regarding the reproductive ecology, including the breeding system, phenology, and pollinators tell us about M. patula? 3) Are there differences in fruit set, seed set and germination rates among populations of Minuartia patula? Based on caging studies, flower phenology and pollen to ovule ratio, M. patula can be considered a facultative autogamous species. Also, significant differences were found among populations of M. patula for fruit set, seed set, and seed germination. No correlation was found between population size and reproductive output or local weather data. Based on the findings of this study, habitat management recommedations have been made to increase reproductive success of Minuartia patula and the continuation of long-term population surveys was also recommended.
Issue Date:2014-01-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Michelle Pearion
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-01-16
Date Deposited:2013-12

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