Edaphic and morphological variance in running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum) ecology
Advisor:Barker, David J.
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Series/Report no.:2017 Fall Undergraduate Research Student Poster Forum. 11th
A pH study seeks to expand on earlier edaphic investigations, determining the role in RBC growth. Additionally the study explores RBC’s potential soil acidification (Barker and Kubesch 2017, unpublished data). Determining pH optima would, with the additional of other ecological indicators, screen the range for potential remnant populations or selecting priority conservation sites (Burkhart et al 2013; Morris et al 2002). Habitat specificity produces management implications, and with pH determining nutrient availability, pH optima may also correlate with site suitability for edaphic manipulations (Hattenbach 1996; Brady and Weil 2010; Morris et al 2002). Since the primary threat to running buffalo clover is loss or modification of habitat (Selbo et al, 2015), one option for restoration of this species is identification of suitable areas for re-introduction. A morphological characterization study uses common agronomic and taxonomic characters to delineate populations across the Ohio and Kentucky portion of the species range as well as developed initial morphological documentation of underlying genetic diversity. This serves as a cost-effective screen for possible genetic studies as well as supported present efforts to assign management priorities to specific populations. Determining priority populations serves as a practical goal as funding becomes available for genetic investigation. A third study seeks to determine optimal transplantation protocols as well as the role of greenhouse intervention in in situ and ex situ conservation of running buffalo clover.Improving repatriation with this crucial step in propagation should increase success rates and allow researchers to factor in additional population biological information into such projects; logistical challenges overcome, larger genetic and ecological questions in restoration might be addressed.
Academic Major: Evolution and Ecology
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