LIFE HISTORY OF RUSH MILKWEED (ASCLEPIAS SUBULATA) RESTORATION POPULATIONS IN SOUTHWEST ARIZONA

picture of Priscila Navarrete presenting his/her poster: LIFE HISTORY OF RUSH MILKWEED (ASCLEPIAS SUBULATA) RESTORATION POPULATIONS IN SOUTHWEST ARIZONA

Priscila Navarrete , Ryan Price, Johnathan Vera, Colin Wendt, Christine Rouff, Emma English, Dorothy Flores, Jasmin Evangelista

LIFE HISTORY OF RUSH MILKWEED (ASCLEPIAS SUBULATA) RESTORATION POPULATIONS IN SOUTHWEST ARIZONA

In an attempt to protect monarch butterflies, efforts are being made throughout its range to conserve habitat containing their host plant, milkweed (Asclepias spp.). Through a grant from the Xerces Society, AWC is growing 2,000 rush milkweed (A. subulata) to harvest seeds for habitat restoration and understand its life history for effective management practices. Our research closely monitors A. subulata germinated under various treatments including seeds germinated in the field compared to greenhouse plants later transplanted in the field, planting date (spring, summer), and soil composition (organic content). We are measuring growth rate, time to flowering, seed production, and survivorship for a subset of individuals from each treatment. We predict individuals will have the greatest success when germinated outdoors in conditions most similar to what native populations experience, as this species is adapted to an arid climate, nutrient poor soils, and daily temperature maximums during germination and growth (Parmesan et al., 2005).

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