Abstract Detail


Madigan, Olivia [1], Metzgar, Jordan [2].

Assessing potential climate change impacts on Two Southern Appalachian Wildflowers (Sanguinaria canadensis & Trillium erectum) and their cultural uses using bioclimatic models and harvester observations.

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot) and Trillium erectum (red trillium) are native North American flowering plants that have been collected for generations for their medicinal properties. These two Appalachian wildflowers have served an important role for modern pharmaceutical uses as well as traditional medicinal uses that treat inflammation and infections. Anthropogenic climate change poses an impending threat that could also increase the risk of overharvesting for some populations of both species. We estimated the potential effects of anthropogenic climate change on Sanguinaria canadensis and Trillium erectum by constructing ecological niche models (ENM) by synthesizing occurrence data with Bioclim climate data. Our model predicts drastic declines for both species in the southern Appalachians and mid-Atlantic under both mild and extreme carbon emission scenarios by 2070. We surveyed current Appalachian harvesters to detect any potential early impacts being seen today and to characterize harvester beliefs and motivations. Appalachian harvesters of both bloodroot and red trillium are primarily motivated by a mixture of personal and financial factors and are highly interested in conserving both species. Most harvesters have not yet seen any changes to the abundance or phenology of these species. Our research will contribute to the conservation of these charismatic species and preserve their valuable role as sources of traditional herbal medicine in many southern Appalachian communities.

1 - Virginia Tech Massey Herbarium, MC 0406, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, USA
2 - Virginia Tech, Biological Sciences, 926 W. Campus Dr, MC 0406, Derring Hall 2119, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, United States

spring ephemeral
Species Distribution Modeling.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: ETH1011
Abstract ID:324
Candidate for Awards:Economic Botany Section best student paper

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