Rare Plant Conservation task force

April Report 2018

Report Synopsis: In April, the 2018 Rare Plant Task Force was successfully held in coordination with partners at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. The 2nd quarter progress report for our Florida Forest Service grant was prepared and submitted, and a proposal to the AAZK-TFYM grants program was prepared.

Field work in April included a habitat improvement volunteer work day for Lakela’s Mint in Fort Pierce, a survey of a private property in Fort Pierce for listed species, collecting spatial seedling recruitment data and population count data on Lupinus aridorum at Shadow Bay Park, L. aridorum counts at Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve, completion of annual surveys of Campanula robinsiae, assisting the Florida Forest Service in rare plant surveys in the Lake Wales Ridge State Forest, introduction of 94 plants in the Sandhill restoration demonstration area at Mackay Gardens and Lakeside Preserve, setting up irrigation lines at Lake Louisa State Park in preparation for the summer population introductions of Clasping Warea, meeting with Nancy Dodd form Duke Energy to discuss the Duke Energy Signature Event at Lake Blue Scrub scheduled for May 7 th , re-collection of microhabitat data and soil samples in several Chrysopsis floridana experimental quadrats at Bell Creek Nature Preserve, Duette Preserve, Lake Manatee State Park, Little Manatee River Southfork Tract, the Moody Branch Mitigation Area, Paynes Creek Historic State Park and Rhodine Scrub Preserve, re-introducing 71 plants that had been rescued after hurricane Irma from Highlands Hammock State Park, assisting the Florida Forest Service with annual monitoring of Conradina brevifolia, and preliminary surveys and collection of Vicia ocalensis from Salt Springs in the Ocala National Forest. Educational activities included the display of two research posters at the 2018 Rare Plant Task Force, outlining research needs for a new master’s student at Nova Southeastern University to complete her research project with us, and discussions for a collaborative educational project with a new intern at

Archbold Biological Station. Content development for a smartphone app about the rare plants of Bok Tower Gardens was completed. Students continued screening DNA samples of Warea amplexifolia at Tabor College, and graduate student Yasmin Khan continued final data collection for her thesis project. On April 12 th and 13 th , the Rare Plant Conservation Program, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens successfully held the 2018 Florida Rare Plant Task Force meeting at
the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens . Curation of the National Collection continued with ongoing inventory and general maintenance. Species currently flowering in the National Collection beds include Asimina tetramera, Bonamiagrandiflora, Calamintha ashei, Chionanthus pygmaeus, Chrysopsis delaneyi, Conradina brevifolia, Conradina glabra, Conradina grandiflora, Eriogonum longifolium var. gnaphalifolium, Helianthus carnosus, Nolina brittoniana, Polygonella myriophylla, Prunus geniculata, and Stylisma abdita.
Research continued this month with the 2017 germination trial on Ziziphus celata, the germination trial to compare soil media on several rare species, a germination trial on W. amplexifolia, restoration of Sandhill habitat within a transmission line easement, restoration of two Scrub habitat sites, determining seed coat thickness in two Florida lupines, and assessing the genetic diversity of W. amplexifolia. Upcoming field work was planned including preliminary surveys and collections of Deeringothamnus rugelii in Volusia County, a TNC workday to reestablish the fire breaks at the Mountain Lake restoration site in preparation for the prescribed burn, a staff/volunteer workday at Lake Louisa State Park to finish set up of the irrigation lines for the June population introductions of W. amplexifolia, annual surveys of W. amplexifolia populations in Polk and Lake Counties, collection of spatial seedling recruitment and microhabitat data of W. amplexifolia ‘maternal parents’ within Polk and Lake county populations, a
workday at Circle B Bar Reserve to clean Gopher Tortoise enclosures in preparation for the project to investigate whether germination rates of Z. celata seeds are enhanced by mastication or following transit through the gopher tortoise digestive tract, and a multi-day expedition in May along the springs shorelines in the Ocala National Forest for V. ocalensis surveying. All conservation projects continued as described in the following paragraphs, listed by project or species.