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Population size and reproduction in the declining endangered forest plant Chimaphila umbellata in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Number of Authors: 3
2015 (English)In: Folia Geobotanica, ISSN 1211-9520, E-ISSN 1874-9348, Vol. 50, no 1, 13-23 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The rare forest plant Chimaphila umbellata (Ericaceae) has decreased drastically during the last century, approximately by 80 % in some regions in Sweden. We examined associations between various biotic and abiotic conditions related to changes in forest management and nitrogen deposition, and C. umbellata population size, flowering frequency, fruit set and seed production. Environmental conditions at 38 C. umbellata sites in the provinces of Uppland and Sodermanland, Sweden, included light inflow, cover of competitive species, soil nitrogen, continuity of forest cover and soil texture. The results suggested that population size was negatively affected by cover of competitive species. Population size was not related to light availability although increased shading was associated with decreased flowering frequency. Fruit set was negatively affected by cover of competitive species, and seed production decreased with increasing soil nitrogen content. Fruit set and seed production increased with increasing population size. This study shows that denser forest stands and increased abundance of Vaccinium myrtillus and graminoid species may have strong negative effects on C. umbellata. This species' longevity and clonal propagation may buffer some negative impacts, which in turn might contribute to an extinction debt. To maintain viable populations of Chimaphila umbellata in Swedish forests, there is a need for targeted management in forest habitats, i.e. reintroducing moderate disturbance regimes to reduce competition and increase light inflow.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 50, no 1, 13-23 p.
Keyword [en]
clonal plants, demography, dust seeds, forest management, fruit set, plant conservation, seed production
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119767DOI: 10.1007/s12224-015-9212-1ISI: 000358065400002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-119767DiVA: diva2:848569
Available from: 2015-08-25 Created: 2015-08-24 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Lundell, AnnaCousins, Sara A. O.Eriksson, Ove
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