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Am J Bot. 2003 Jun;90(6):905-10. doi: 10.3732/ajb.90.6.905.

Environmental influences on the phenology and abundance of flowering by Androsace septentrionalis (Primulaceae).

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1
Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742-4415 USA;

Abstract

We studied the timing and abundance of flowering by Androsace septentrionalis L. (Primulaceae), an indeterminate winter annual or short-lived perennial, in 2 × 2 m plots at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado, USA, from 1982 to 2000. Flowers were counted every other day for most or all of the growing season in seven plots in a rocky meadow habitat and nine plots in a wet meadow habitat. The phenology and abundance of flowering were both highly variable, with mean dates of first flowering ranging from 16 May to 12 July and maximum daily counts of flowers ranging from 1 to 1187. Snowmelt date was the primary determinant of timing of flowering. For rocky meadow plots, the previous year's summer precipitation and the current year's average minimum temperature in May had significant effects on maximum number of flowers produced, but no environmental variable we considered was significantly correlated with flower abundance in the wet meadow plots. Length of flowering in individual plots ranged from 2 to 85 d, and many plot-years had both primary (about 1 mo) and secondary (about 10-12 d) flowering periods. The predicted increase in variability of precipitation accompanying climate change will affect negatively the long-term abundance and persistence of this species at our study site.

PMID:
21659185
DOI:
10.3732/ajb.90.6.905
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