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Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Population Biology of the Federally Threatened Floodplain Species, Boltonia Decurrens (Decurrent False Aster): Stage Based Demography and Patterns of Succession in Freshwater, Wetland Habitats

EPA Grant Number: U915781
Title: Population Biology of the Federally Threatened Floodplain Species, Boltonia Decurrens (Decurrent False Aster): Stage Based Demography and Patterns of Succession in Freshwater, Wetland Habitats
Investigators: Mettler-Cherry, Paige A.
Institution: Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
EPA Project Officer: Jones, Brandon
Project Period: August 1, 2000 through August 1, 2003
Project Amount: $88,469
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2000)
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Fellowship - Ecology and Ecosystems



The objectives of this research are to: (1) apply a series of stage-based transition models to Boltonia decurrens (B. decurrens) and use it to quantify the rate of population growth (lambda) and the sensitivity of lambda when specific life stages are affected; and (2) determine patterns of wetland succession at population sites of B. decurrens.


To collect data for the stage based transition model, nine plots will be established in four separate treatment areas using plowing frequency (every year, every other year, every third year, and no plowing) to simulate different disturbance regimes. All individuals of B. decurrens will be marked and followed throughout each year of the study. To study wetland succession, three transects, 10 meters in length, will be established at five different populations sites representing the known range of the species. Vegetation located on the transects is identified at anthesis and stem density estimated monthly throughout the growing season. Species richness, evenness, and diversity will be calculated, and ordination will be used to compare sites.

Expected Results:

Determination of wetland succession patterns are vital to the management of B. decurrens, whose populations are extirpated within 3-5 years of establishment when flooding does not occur. By identifying the pivotal point between population growth and decline, management practices can be formulated to begin population regeneration anew.

Supplemental Keywords:

Boltonia decurrens, Illinois River, stage-based demography, transition matrix model, lambda, disturbance, richness, evenness, diversity, ordination, threatened, endangered, population, conservation, succession., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Midwest, exploratory research environmental biology, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Chemical Mixtures - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecosystem Protection, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecological Effects - Human Health, Ecological Risk Assessment, Ecology and Ecosystems, Ecological Indicators, demographic, flood plain species, Boltonia Decurrens (B. decurrens), freshwater species, stage-based demography, lambda, Illinois River, diversity, endangered species, threatened floodplain species, conservation, wetland habitat, wetland succession, transition matrix model, ecosystem, ordination, population

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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