Experimental reintroduction of plants from greenhouse-grown stock with the goal of establishing new, self-perpetuating populations. Approximately 89% of seedlings survived the first growing season. (CH2M 1986) By 1997, approximately 57% of the original transplants remained (CH2M 1997).
In an attempt to establish new populations capable of self-perpetuating, 200 rhizomes were collected in early September of 1986. They were transplanted to a similar habitat in the vicinity, By 1997, approximately 87% of the original transplant remained. (CH2M 1997).
Experiments were conducted to study the germination requirements and patterns. Fully mature seeds were found to germinate successfully without treatment but immature seeds only occasionally germinated if scarified. In order for water and oxygen to enter the seed and promote embryo expansion, a large piece of the seed coat from the dorsal surface of the seed had to be removed. Germination occurred 1-4 days after scarification (Halse and Mishaga 1988).
Determination of detailed habitat conditions including vegetation cover type, air temperature, soil pH, soil temperature, soil moisture, soil texture, and soil chemistry at the largest population. S. nelsoniana was found to be tolerant of a wide variety of habitats (Glad et al. 1987).
Taxonomic studies a) comparing S. nelsoniana, S. cusickii, S. campestris, and S. virgata and b) comparing various populations of S. nelsoniana were conducted. All four were found to be distinct species. S. nelsoniana was found to be morphologically consistent throughout its range, and the study supported the hypothesis that the Walker Flat population was not genetically distinct (Halse et al. 1989).
Monitoring of reintroduced plants at Walker Flat, Neverstill and South McGuire populations. (Guerrant 1997).
The effects of weevils on plants were studied. Researchers found that seed mortality rates from weevil parasitism ranged from 0% to 84% of total ovules. Consequently, seed abortion and weevil predation limited fitness and could potentially inhibit any seed set for an individual plant.
Frequency of seedling and juvenile plants was low, suggesting that many population structures are skewed towards older, more established plants (Gisler and Meinke 1997).
Preliminary results suggest that weevils prefer Sidalcea nelsonia over other, more common related species. There is no correlation between population size and parasitism, suggesting that small populations are just as vulnerable as large populations (Gisler and Meinke 1997).
Research on controlling seed predation by weevils with insecticides (Gisler, pers comm.).
Research on hybridization between Sidalcea nelsoniana and related species found in the same area (Gisler, pers comm.).