Population dynamics in central and edge populations of a narrowly endemic plant

  • Aikens M
  • Roach D
  • 39

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 5

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Species' range limits can be caused by environmental gradients, and in such cases, abundance is thought to be highest in the center of a species range and decline towards the edge (the abundant-center model). Although in theory decreased abundance is caused by a decline in performance at the edge, it has been shown that performance and abundance are not necessarily related. Few studies have compared abundance and performance in center and edge populations of endemic species, whose ranges may be restricted by the availability of specialized habitat rather than environmental gradients across their range. Additionally, range-wide studies that examine both northern and southern edge populations are rare. We used Roan Mountain rattlesnake-root (Prenanthes roanensis), a perennial plant endemic to the Southern Appalachians (USA), to compare abundance and performance between central populations and populations at the northern and southern edges of the range. To account for multiple fitness components across the life cycle, we measured performance of edge populations as vital-rate contributions to population growth rate compared to the center. Abundance did not decline at the range edge, but some vital-rate contributions were lower in edge populations compared to central populations. However, each edge population differed in which vital-rate contributions were lower compared to the center. Our results do not support the abundant-center model, and it appears that local factors are important in structuring the range of this endemic species. It is important to recognize that when implementing conservation or management plans, populations in close proximity may have substantial variation in demographic rates due to differences in the local environment. Read More: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/13-1478.1

Author-supplied keywords

  • Abundant-Center Model
  • Demography
  • Endemic Species
  • Integral Projection Model
  • Life-Table Response Experiment (Ltre)
  • Population Growth Rate
  • Prenanthes Roanensis, Roan Mountain Rattlesnakeroot
  • Range Limits
  • Southern Appalachians, Usa
  • Vital Rates

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Get full text

Authors

  • Melissa L. Aikens

  • Deborah A. Roach

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free