Species biology and life history of the federally endangered Schwalbea americana L. (Scrophulariaceae)
Norden, Amy Heather
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The federally endangered Schwalbea americana L. (Scrophulariaceae) is one of nearly 200 rare, fire-dependent plant species associated with the fire- maintained longleaf pine ecosystem of the southeastern Coastal Plain. Development of appropriate management and recovery plans is hindered by the lack of knowledge of the species biology and life history of this extremely rare species. I examined the fire- induced flowering response, herbivory, species longevity and dormancy, and seed germination requirements of S. americana in both field & greenhouse conditions. Flowering in S. americana is stimulated by a combination of above-ground stem removal and increased light availability. Individuals are relatively long- lived and exhibit periods of dormancy. Seed germination in the field may be associated with earthworm castings.