Faculty Publications

Title

Assessing long-term risks of prairie seed harvest: What is the role of life-history?

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Extinction risk, Grasslands, Life history, Matrix models, Seed harvest, Tallgrass prairie

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Botany

Volume

95

Issue

11

First Page

1081

Last Page

1092

Abstract

To meet the demand for more and larger tallgrass prairie restorations, seed is frequently collected en-masse from remnant native plant populations. Overharvesting of seed may lead to population extinctions, but these risks are not well studied. Species’ reproductive strategies may provide a basis for risk assessment. We assessed extinction risks associated with seed harvest for grassland plant species with different reproductive strategies (clonal vs. non-clonal). Using stage-based matrix models, we projected the extinction risk for two clonal and four non-clonal prairie species subjected to five harvest scenarios: (i) no harvest, (ii and iii) annual harvest at low/high intensity (50% and 75% seeds removed), and (iv and v) triennial harvest at low/high intensity. We compared the magnitude of growth or decline (λ) and mean extinction risk among populations during a 25-year modeling period. Non-clonal species were robust to triennial and low-intensity harvest, but susceptible to decreases in population growth (λ) up to 0.5 and elevated extinction risks up to 95% with high intensity annual harvest. Clonal species were unaffected by seed harvest, owing to a compensatory effect of vegetative propagation on growth rates. To maintain populations of non-clonal species in remnant grasslands, high intensity annual harvest should be avoided.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2017

DOI of published version

10.1139/cjb-2017-0069

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language

en

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