Team work for the win! A site assessment was conducted at Alabama EO#1. Across 3 subsites, 642 reproductive individuals were observed. 61 of these individuals had their achenes bagged for subsequent seed collection. Only achenes that appeared more developed and likely to set seed were bagged. However, we found that not every achene bagged reliably produced seeds when we returned to collect seeds. In all from this population, 106 fresh seeds from 19 maternal lines were collected and shipped to NLGRP, correlating with North Carolina Botanical Garden’s original accession collected in 1993. This seed collection is one of many that contribute to CPC's Seed Longevity Study.
In 2021, CPC contracted the Atlanta Botanical Garden to recollect seed from a population currently held in long term orthodox seed storage at North Carolina Botanica Garden as part of an IMLS-funded seed longevity experiment. The National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation will evaluate how germination tested viability and RNA Integrity of seed lots decline over time in storage.
Population dynamics, fire management and logging management studies are being conducted in Alabama (TNC and USFWS)
Genetic work on this species was also done at Auburn University (Trusty et al., 2009). Based on the genetics work done at Auburn University, it was recommended that "additional in vitro collections be made from each of the five extant populations and placed in cryostorage" (Trusty et al., 2009).
Based on the genetics work done at Auburn University, it was recommended that "additional in vitro collections be made from each of the five extant populations and placed in cryostorage" (Trusty et al., 2009). A tissue culture propagation protocol and a shoot tip cryopreservation protocol for this species were developed at CREW. Tissue culture lines were used to provide shoot tips for long-term storage in liquid nitrogen in CREW's CryoBioBank. Genetic work on this species was also done at Auburn University (Trusty et al., 2009).
Only known from a few occurrences in northeastern Alabama and northwestern Georgia. Sexual reproduction is limited in this species, so there are probably few genetic individuals. Populations mostly occur in areas subject to right-of-way maintenance activities, such as along highways or pipelines. Highway crews are working with the Fish and Wildlife Service to find maintainance techniques that are compatible with the species.
The loss of habitat is the main threat to C. socialis. This includes overgrowth of hardwood canopy, competition from other plants, herbicide use, mowing, road maintenance, and logging.
Active management is under way at one protected site in Alabama. This includes maintaining an open canopy and reducing competition from surrounding vegetation. Prescribed burns and selective logging have also been implemented at some sites as a management tools. All landowners and other involved parties have been notified in regards to the presence of this rare plant on their properties. Some monitoring is currently carried out by the USFWS.
More extensive monitoring programs are needed as well as basic research on C. socialis reproduction biology and associated community structure. Land use history of the extant populations is also needed.
Land management that opens the canopy, such as prescribed burning and selective logging, is needed.
Seed collection from all populations not represented in collection.
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