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Abstract Detail

Pteridological Section/AFS

Chau, Marian M. [1], Ranker, Tom A. [1].

Effects of light, flooding, and weeding on Marsilea villosa growth in a common garden experiment: Implications for in situ restoration and management.

A major goal of restoration ecology is to provide sound science upon which practitioners can base natural resource management strategies. Conservation of rare plant species can be accomplished by the restoration practice of outplanting new populations, but ecological management is often required before new populations can be self-sustaining. In species with narrow ranges and specific habitat requirements, it can be difficult to predict what management methods will be successful at new locations. Marsilea villosa (‘ihi‘ihi) is an endangered, endemic Hawaiian fern with excellent restoration potential. Among its unique traits are long-lived sporocarps (i.e., highly modified leaves containing sporangia and spores), a requirement of flood and drought to complete its sexual life cycle, and extended vegetative growth in the absence of flood. A common garden experiment was performed to evaluate potential restoration management techniques on outplanted plots of M. villosa. The following effects were tested in a split-plot factorial design: two flooding levels (once or none), two light levels (shade or full sun), two weeding levels (bi-monthly weeding or none), and the interactions of these factors. Clumps of M. villosa rhizomes were collected from a natural population at Lualualei Valley, O‘ahu and grown up in pots, and 48 similar plants were randomly transplanted into the experimental plots, in soil also collected from Lualualei. Percent cover was measured for M. villosa and analyzed using multiple-factor ANOVA to determine how much it expanded in response to different treatment combinations. Preliminary analyses showed significantly greater cover of M. villosa in sun versus shade treatments. Further results from this study will expand our limited knowledge of Marsilea villosa and will lead to specific restoration and management recommendations, with the ultimate long-term goal of de-listing this endangered species and restoring the degraded ecosystems in which it occurs.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Botany, 3190 Maile Way, Room 101, Honolulu, HI, 96822, USA

Marsilea villosa
Restoration Ecology
Endangered species

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 2
Location: 556B/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: 2005
Abstract ID:668

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