Aconitum nrweboracense, Ranunculaceae, threatened plant, life history, algific talus slopes, glacial relict
Aconitum noveboracense Gray (Ranunculaceae), commonly known as northern monkshood, is a federally threatened herbaceous perennial that occurs in disjunct populations in Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio and New York. It appears to be a glacial relict, existing today only in unique areas with cool, moist microenvironments, such as algific talus slopes. Field studies reveal that A. noveboracense has a complex life history. Perennation of individual plants occurs through the annual production of daughter tubers. Vegetative reproduction is commonly observed, and can occur by means of aerial and subterranean bulbils, as well as by development of adventitious root buds. Populations also reproduce sexually and often produce large numbers of seeds and seedlings, though herbivore damage to inflorescences can sometimes significantly reduce seed production. The seeds possess a high degree of viability and germinate readily when exposed to an appropriate stratification regime. Taken together, these life history traits appear to make A. noveboracense populations long-lived and quite resilient to environmental perturbations, thus making the species a promising candidate for recovery through habitat protection.
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science
© Copyright 1996 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Kuchenreuther, Margaret A.
"The Natural History of Aconitum noveboracense Gray (Northern Monkshood), a Federally Threatened Species,"
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science: JIAS: Vol. 103:
, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uni.edu/jias/vol103/iss3/3