Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Johnson, Sara [1], Coons, Janice [2], Molano-Flores, Brenda [3].

Reproductive biology and seed ecology of the rare endemic Zapata Bladderpod (Physaria thamnophila).

The Zapata Bladderpod (Physaria thamnophila) is a federally endangered endemic of the Tamaulipan shrublands of South Texas. While previous research aimed to document ecological relationships and temporal fluctuations of populations, few studies document the reproductive biology of this species. Other members of Physaria show a range of breeding systems, from self-incompatible to autogamy, however, these traits are unknown for Physaria thamnophila. Additionally, reproductive success (e.g. fruit set, seed set) and primary pollinators have not yet been documented for the species. In 2022, we set to document: 1) population size estimates for Physaria thamnophila in a typical La Niña year, 2) reproductive success including fruit set and seed set, and 3) pollinator functional groups. Overall, population estimates were lower for many sites compared to previous years, low reproductive output was observed among populations, and diurnal and nocturnal pollinators were recorded. Understanding the reproductive biology and seed ecology of this rare plant is critical to conservation and recovery efforts and could provide insights into the species' decline in the wild.

1 - Illinois Natural History Survey, 1816 S. Oak St, MC 652, Champaign, IL, 61820, United States
2 - Eastern Illinois University, Biological Sciences Department, 600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, IL, 61920.0, United States
3 - University Of Illinois, Illinois Natural History Survey, 1816 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL, 61820, United States

seed yield
plant-insect ecology
seed set
reproductive biology
rare plants
breeding system.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: CB2006
Abstract ID:528
Candidate for Awards:None

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