Responses to varied light environments and propagation techniques of the federally endangered shrub, Lindera melissifolia (Lauraceae)
Aleric, Katherine Marie
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Increasing vigor of existing populations and reintroduction of propagules will be necessary for persistence of the federally endangered shrub, Lindera melissifolia. The objectives of this study were to examine growth, morphology, and photosynthesis of plants under natural and controlled light regimes (19%, 42%, and 100% sunlight). Stem propagation, reintroduction, and seed germination were also investigated relative to re-establishment potential. Plants showed typical sun-shade morphological responses, and photosynthetic capacities (3-6 µmol CO2 m-2s-1) of a shade-tolerant species. Plants grown under 100% sunlight had reduced photosynthesis and plant biomass. Canopy conditions at irradiance levels below 42% sunlight appear to be adequate for maintaining plant growth. Low success with stem propagation indicates further investigations are needed. Young transplants into field conditions can tolerate some degree of flooding but cannot survive submergence, suggesting plants may require dry down periods for establishment. A high percentage of seed germination is possible in containers without scarification.