Endowment Grant Recipients

Recipient: Andrea Appleton
Year Grant Awarded: 2020
Institution: Georgia Southern University

The evolution of dioecy in Florida-endemic species of Paronychia (Caryophyllaceae).

Recipient: Brendan Scherer
Year Grant Awarded: 2020
Institution: Florida State University

Bacterial diversity across the leaves of Florida mangroves and their relatives.

Recipient: Daniel Revillini
Year Grant Awarded: 2020
Institution: University of Miami

Chemical warfare or microbial manipulation? Identifying indirect impacts of allelopathy on plant-microbial interactions in the Florida scrub. 

This grant is being funded by a contribution from the Tarflower Chapter in honor of Sam Hopkins.
Recipient: Karim Dawkins and Nwadiuto Esiobu
Year Grant Awarded: 2020
Institution: Florida Atlantic University

Evaluation of the effects of microbial remediation treatments on the performance of South Florida slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. densa) and Shepherd’s needle (Bidens alba) seedlings during Brazilian pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius) invasion.

Recipient: Charles Ray
Year Grant Awarded: 2019
Institution: Auburn University

Understanding how pollination can guide conservation of Spigelia gentianoides, a Federally-listed endangered plant.

Recipient: James W. Horn
Year Grant Awarded: 2019
Institution: Florida Gulf Coast University

Testing species boundaries and inferring the biogeographic history of Stillingia (Euphorbiaceae) in the North American Coastal Plain, with a focus on Florida.

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Stillingia aquatica.  Photo by Shirley Denton

Recipient: Jasmine S. Peters
Year Grant Awarded: 2019
Institution: Cornell University

Do prescribed burns control a viral plant pathogen in native and endemic prairie grass species?

Recipient: Kasey Kiesewetter
Year Grant Awarded: 2019
Institution: University of Miami

Effects of soil microbiome on growth and dispersal of a native plant (Croton linearis) in a fragmented landscape.

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Croton linearis.  Photo by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Anthony Rossi and Dale Casamatta
Year Grant Awarded: 2018
Institution: University of North Florida, Department of Biology

Assessing genetic diversity of the highly endangered native semaphore cactus Consolea corallicola and its potential for breeding programs

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Consolea corallicola.  Photo by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Arian Farid and Alan Franck
Year Grant Awarded: 2018
Institution: University of South Florida, CMMB, Herbarium

Molecular ecology of Monotropsis reynoldsiae

Recipient: Brigette Williams
Year Grant Awarded: 2018
Institution: Saint Louis University

Conservation epigenetics in the highly endangered ‘Florida ziziphus’ (Ziziphus celata, Rhamnaceae) located at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida

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Ziziphus celata.  Image is of a cutting being grown in a research setting.  Photo by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Milton H. Diaz
Year Grant Awarded: 2018
Institution: University of Florida, Department of Biology

Belowground nonstructural carbohydrate total contents and concentrations in pine savanna species

Recipient: Andre Naranjo
Year Grant Awarded: 2017
Institution: Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida

Understanding the evolution of narrow endemics for conservation

Recipient: Iwan E. Molgo
Year Grant Awarded: 2017
Institution: University of Florida, Department of Biology

Determining the origin of two recently discovered Florida endemics: Tetraploid and hexaploid Callisia ornata (Commelinaceae)

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Callisia ornata.  Photo by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Lydia M. Cuni
Year Grant Awarded: 2017
Institution: Florida International University, Department of Earth and Environment

Drivers of species composition and diversity in pine rockland-hardwood hammock ecosystem transitional gradients: Implications for restoration efforts of fragmented communities

Recipient: Brittany Harris
Year Grant Awarded: 2016
Institution: Florida International University

Pesticides and pollination of imperiled plants of the Lower Florida Keys

Pine rockland in the Lower Florida Keys supports a large diversity of flowering plants, including many endemic and rare species. Use of broad spectrum insecticides for seasonal mosquito abatement throughout fragmented pine rockland poses unclear challenges for managing these imperiled flowering plants and their pollinators. We analyzed effects of mosquito spray on pollinators and indirect effects to plant reproduction in Linum arenicola, an endangered pine rockland endemic, and Pentalinon luteum, a self-incompatible pine rockland obligate. In 2015, we simultaneously observed pollinator frequency and fruit set to each plant species following insecticide applications within unsprayed areas and within frequently treated areas for three separate spray missions. We took measurements again in 2016 before the mosquito spray season to account for natural variation in pollinators between different study sites. After each mosquito spray event, flower visits to both plant species were significantly lower; this also coincided with a decrease in fruit set, although only significant for the self-incompatible species. Mosquito insecticides frequently sprayed near conservation lands pose risks to invertebrate pollinators and flowering plants that require pollinators for reproduction. Although the self-pollinating species received fewer flower visits after mosquito spray, selfing allows pollination to occur when flower visits are low.

Recipient: Jerald Pinson
Year Grant Awarded: 2016
Institution: University of Florida, Department of Biology

Florida’s hammocks and the separation of generations in ferns

Ferns and lycophytes are the only lineages of plants in which both stages of the life-cycle, the sporophyte (diploid) and gametophyte (haploid), are independent and free-living. In approximately 10% of ferns, the gametophytes can also be long-lived, many of which have a spatial separation of the two generations, in which the gametophytes never produce sporophytes in at least part of their range. There are several such species in eastern North America that likely haven’t produced a viable sporophyte for thousands of years and yet still maintain large ranges throughout several states. It is currently unknown what inhibits the production of sporophytes in fern species that show a spatial separation of generations, but there is evidence to suggest that fine scale micro-climatic conditions may be driving this pattern in several species.  In southern Florida, Lomariopsis kunzeana is known to grow as gametophytes in the moist crevices of solution holes, some of which support sporophytes and some of which do not, making it an ideal system in which to study the effects of environmental conditions on sporophyte production. We measured both light and temperature in these sinkholes in an attempt to determine what environmental factors preclude the production of sporophytes in ferns. 

Recipient: Lauren Trotta
Year Grant Awarded: 2016
Institution: University of Florida, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

Improving analyses of diversity in the imperiled Pine Rockland plant community

Community phylogenetic methods can be used to explore shared evolutionary history between co-existing species. Closely related species are thought to possess similar traits, while distantly related species may have evolved to persist in different niches allowing for coexistence.  In the face of global anthropogenic change, we are interested in predicting whether species become pervasive invaders or increasingly rare based on patterns of relatedness. Florida’s pine rockland habitat is a model natural system for understanding dispersion of threatened, endangered, and invasive species across habitat fragments. Pine Rockland habitat is a critically imperiled savannah-like forest perched at the confluence of North American and Caribbean species ranges. This habitat hosts a unique community of endemic as well as threatened and endangered plant taxa.  However, rapid urban and agricultural development has lead to habitat loss, fragmentation, fire suppression, and increased incidence of invasive species. We use a species level pine rockland community phylogeny in combination with species presence and abundance data to evaluate the relatedness of threatened, endangered, and invasive species across pine rockland fragments.

Recipient: Barbara Whitlock
Year Grant Awarded: 2015
Institution: University of Miami, Department of Biology

A DNA barcode to identify native species of air plants

Recipient: Natali Miller
Year Grant Awarded: 2015
Institution: Florida State University, Department of Biology

Population viability analysis for three populations of the threatened Florida endemic, Euphorbia telephioides

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Euphorbia telephioides.  Photo taken at the St. Joseph Buffer Preserve State Park by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Sebastian Palmas-Perez
Year Grant Awarded: 2015
Institution: University of Florida, School of Forest Resources and Conservation

Growth rings in Florida’s hardwood hammocks: Can X-rays precisely estimate the age and growth rates of trees in South Florida?

Resulting publication:

Palmas-Perez, S. 2016. Can X-ray scans precisely estimate the age and growth rates of trees in South Florida? The Palmetto 36(4): 4-5, 15.

Recipient: Jennifer Schafer
Year Grant Awarded: 2014
Institution:

Population density and root nodulation of Chapmannia floridana in natural and disturbed habitats.

Resulting publication:

Schafer, J. 2017. Tricks of the trade: Characteristics of Florida Alicia that facilitates its persistence in Florida habitats. The Palmetto 34(1): 8-11.

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Photo by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: John Schenk
Year Grant Awarded: 2014
Institution: Tulane University, Department of Biology

Evolutionary origins of Paronychia on Florida’s sand ridges.

Resulting publications:

Schenk, J.J. 2014. The origin of Florida scrub plant diversity. The Palmetto 31(3): 12-14.

Schenk, J.J., S. Koptur, H. Wilson, M. Noble, and E. Derryberry. 2018. Allopatric speciation drives diversification of ecological specialists on sandhills. International Journal of Plant Science 179(4): 329-339.

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Paronychia chartacea.  Photo by Shirley Denton

Recipient: Wyatt Sharber
Year Grant Awarded: 2014
Institution: University of Miami, Department of Biology

Estimating genetic diversity and population fragmentation in the South Florida Pine Rockland endemic, Ayenia euphrasifolia.

Recipient: Jason A. Smith
Year Grant Awarded: 2013
Institution: University of Florida, School of Forest Resources & Conservation

Propagation and testing of putatively canker-resistant Florida torreya (Torreya taxifolia), a critically endangered conifer of the Apalachicola River region.

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Torreya taxifolia.

Recipient: Matthew Richardson
Year Grant Awarded: 2013
Institution: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service

Determining ploidal diversity in two varieties of Dicerandra immaculata and the influence on spatial distribution.

Publication:

Richarson, M.L. and C.L. Peterson. 2018. Toward understanding Lakela's and Savannas Balm, Dicerandra immaculata. The Palmetto 34(3): 4-7, 11.

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Dicerandra immaculata.  Photo taken near the type location by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Ryan Moraski
Year Grant Awarded: 2013
Institution: University of Florida, Gainesville and Florida Museum of Natural History

Species delimination of the endangered Fuschs bromeliad (Guzmania monostachia L.): Integrating environmental niche modeling and next-generation phylogenetics.

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Guzmania monostachia in Fakahatchee Strand.  Photo by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Chris Buddenhagen
Year Grant Awarded: 2012
Institution: Department of Biology, Florida State University

Genetic resources for identifying beaksedges (Rhynchospora) and understanding their diversity in Florida and the Coastal Plain

Recipient: Emily Warschefsky
Year Grant Awarded: 2012
Institution: Department of Biology, Florida International University

Determining parentage and ploidy of hybrid Tillandsia: Achieving a better understanding of Florida’s native plant diversity

Recipient: Kristen Sauby
Year Grant Awarded: 2012
Institution: Department of Biology, University of Florida

Determining the consequences of herbivory by the invasive South American cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) to native Opuntia populations in Florida

Recipient: Glenn Bupp
Year Grant Awarded: 2011
Institution: Florida Institute of Technology

Evaluating ploidy in the endangered Florida endemic Lupinus aridorum to aid conservation efforts

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Lupinus aridorum near Orlando.  Photo by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Mizuki Takahashi
Year Grant Awarded: 2011
Institution: Bucknell University

Clonal spread and ages of Serenoa repens in a threatened ecosystem

Resulting Publication:

Takahashi, M.K., T. Kubota, L.M. Horner, N.A. Keller, and W.G. Abrahamson. 2012. The spatial signature of biotic interactions of a clonal and non-clonal palmetto in a subtropical plant community. Ecosphere 3(7):68; doi:10.1890/ES12-00101.1

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Serenoa repens.  Photo by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Tonya Fotinos
Year Grant Awarded: 2011
Institution: Florida International University

Conservation genetics of the endangered Key Tree Cactus Pilosocereus robinii

Recipient: Adam C. Payton
Year Grant Awarded: 2010
Institution: University of Florida-Department of Biology

Investigating rarity: Species delimitation and evolution in Dicerandra (Lamiaceae) annuals

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Dicerandra linearis.  Photo by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Christopher G. Oakley
Year Grant Awarded: 2010
Institution: Department of Biological Science, Florida State University

Can among-population variation in mating system help to explain patterns of adaptive genetic diversity in the endangered endemic Hypericum cumulicola?

Resulting Publications:

Oakley, C.G. and A.A. Winn. 2012. Effects of population size and isolation on heterosis, mean fitness, and inbreeding depression in a perennial plant. New Phytologist 196:261-270.

Oakley, C.G. 2014. The genetic consequences of small population size in the endangered plant Hypericum cumulicola (Small) P.B. Adams (Hypericaceae) The Palmetto 31(4): 4-7, 15.

Oakley, C.G. 2015. The influence of natural variation in population size on ecological and quantitative genetics of the endangered endemic plant Hypericum cumulicola. International Journal of Plant Sciences 176:11-19.

Recipient: Alice A. Winn
Year Grant Awarded: 2009
Institution: Florida State University - Department of Biological Science

Demographic analysis to understand what determines the success and failure of populations of the endangered Florida endemic Conradina glabra

The objective was to collect data on survival and preproduction from three introduced and three natural populations of C. glabra to construct and analyze demographic models. The primary objective was to use these models to determine which life cycle stages and demographic processes contribute most to population success or demise. The outcome of the research was reported to both applied conservation and basic science audiences in the form of an oral presentation (2010 FNPS meetings in Tallahassee, and Annual Meeting of Ecological Society of America) and papers published in professional journals

Resulting publication:

Bladow, J.M., T. Bohner, and A.A. Winn. 2017. Comparisons of demography and inbreeding depression in introduced and wild populations of an endangered shrub. Natural Areas Journal 37:294-308.

Recipient: Herbert Kesler and Jennifer Trusty
Year Grant Awarded: 2009
Institution: Folius Consulting

Evaluation and conservation of Harperocallis flava, a federally endangered plant in the savannas of the Apalachicola River Basin.

The objectives of this project were:

  1. Determine the current status of populations in the ANF
  2. Estimate the fire frequency and season that maximizes population growth rates for this species Identify which stage in the plants life cycle management can target to ensure the persistence and success of populations.
  3. Based on these analyses, outline focus for management practices.

This project directly addressed actions outlined in the USFWS Recovery Plan of this species. It was designed to measure the decline or growth of selected populations and their response to fire aiding in the conservation of this species.

Recipient: James M. Heaney
Year Grant Awarded: 2009
Institution: University of Florida and Florida Museum of Natural History – Department of Biology

Systematics, biogeography, and conservation genetics of two Florida endemics, Nolina brittoniana and N. atopocarpa (Ruscaceae)

This project was a phylogenetic study of Nolina, based on molecular and anatomical evidence from various localities in Florida. Additional objectives were to quantify patterns of genetic diversity in and among populations and to compare these measures among congeneric species.

Recipient: Nicholas Buckley
Year Grant Awarded: 2009
Institution: University of Tennessee – Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Mating system biology of the Florida native plant: Illicium parviflorum

Investigated the mating system and pollination biology of the early diverging angiosperm Illicium parviflorum, a close relative to I. floridanum. Prior to this research, there was no pollination biology known on this species. Illicium parviflorum is endemic to Florida and Georgia; however, the populations in Georgia are thought to have gone extinct (NatureServe 2009). Understanding the mating system biology is essential in determining future conservation strategies. This information will be used in expanding the current knowledge of early diverging angiosperm mating systems.

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Illicium parviflora.  Photo by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Beyte Barrios Roque
Year Grant Awarded: 2008
Institution: Florida International University

Fire, flowering, and fragmentation: The effects of seasonal fire on the reproductive biology of pineland allamanda (Angadenia berteroi), a rare shrub of the pine rocklands

Resulting Publications:

Barrios, B., G. Arellano, and S. Koptur. 2011. The effects of fire and fragmentation on the occurrence and flowering of a rare perennial plant. Plant Ecology 212:1057-1067.

Barrios, B. and S. Koptur. 2011. Floral biology and breeding system of Angadenia berteroi (Apocynaceae): Why do flowers of the pineland golden trumpet produce few fruits? International Journal of Plant Science 172:378-385.

Barrios, B., S.R. Pena, A. Salas, and S. Koptur. 2016. Butterflies visit more frequently but bees are better pollinators: The importance of mouthpart diemnsions in effective pollen removal and deposition. AoB Plants 8:plw001; doi:10.1093/aobpla/plw001.

Barrios Roque, B., S. Koptur, and J.P. Sah. 2016. The effect of habitat fragmentation on the reproduction and abundance of Angadenia berteroi. Journal of Plant Ecology: doi:10.1093/jpe/rtw024.

 

Recipient: Elizabeth L. Stephens
Year Grant Awarded: 2008
Institution: University of Central Florida

Effects of habitat, microsite and seed density on seed limitation and seedling establishment in native scrubland and scrub undergoing restoration.

Resulting Publications:

Stephens, E.L., L. Castro-Morales, and P.F. Quintana-Ascencio. 2012. Post-dispersal seed predation, germination, and seedling survival of five rare Florida scrub species in intact and degraded habitats. American Midland Naturalist 167:223-239.

Stephens, E.L., M.R. Tye, and P.F. Quintana-Ascencio. 2014. Habitat and microsite influence demography of two herbs in intact and degraded scrub. Population Ecology 56:447-461.

Recipient: Tania Wyss
Year Grant Awarded: 2008
Institution: University of Miami

Do mycorrhizal fungi limit establishment of Slash Pine Pinus elliottii var. densa seedlings?

Recipient: Alan Franck
Year Grant Awarded: 2007
Institution: University of South Florida

Conservation genetics of three endangered Florida endemic Harrisia cacti

Resulting Publications:

Franck, A.R. 2012. Synopsis of Harrisia including a newly described species, several typifications, new synonyms, and a key to species. Haseltonia 18:95-104.

Franck, A.R., B.J. Cochrane, and J.R. Garey. 2012. Low-copy nuclear primers and YCF1 primers in Cactaceae. American Journal of Botany 99: e405-e405.

Franck, A.R., B.J. Cochrane, and J.R. Garey. 2013. Phylogeny, biogeography, and infrageneric classification of Harrisia (Cactaceae). Systematic Botany 38:210-223.

Franck, A.R., B.J. Cochrane, and J.R. Garey. 2013. Relationships and dispersal of hte Caribbean species of Harrisia (sect. Harrisia; Cactaceae) using AFLPs and seven DNA regions. Taxon 62:486-497.

Recipient: Jennifer Schafer
Year Grant Awarded: 2007
Institution: University of Florida

Effects of time since fire on nutrient limitation of plant productivity in Florida scrub ecosystems: Does disturbance shift nitrogen vs. phosphorus limitation?

Resulting Publications:

Schafer, J.L. and M.C. Mack. 2010. Short-term effects of fire on soil and plant nutrients in palmetto flatwoods. Plant and Soil 334:433-447.

Schafer, J.L. and M.C. Mack. 2013. Efects of time-since-fire on soil nutrient dynamics in Florida scubby flatwoods. Florida Scientist 76:417-435.

Schafer, J.L. and M.C. Mack. 2014. Foliar nutrient concentrations and ratios of scrubby flatwoods species change with time after fire. Castanea 79:237-245.

Schafer, J.L. and M.C. Mack. 2018. Nutrient limitation of plant productivity in scrubby flatwoods: does fire shift nitrogen versus phosphorus limitations. Plant Ecology (doi.org/10.1007/s11258-018-0859-6).

Recipient: John Pascarella with Joyce Maschinski
Year Grant Awarded: 2007
Institution: Valdosta State University (John Pascarella) and Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden (Joyce Maschinski)

Population structure and dynamics of restored and natural populations of the federally endangered Florida endemic Jacquemontia reclinata (Convolvulaceae)

Resulting Publication:

Pascarella, J.B., J. Maschinski, and S.J. Wright. 2011. Soil seedbanks and long-term seed survival in the endangered Florida beach clustervine (Jacquemontia reclinata House [Convolvulaceae]). Native Plants Journal 12(3):233-240.

Recipient: Charlotte Germain-Aubrey
Year Grant Awarded: 2006
Institution: University of Florida - Department of Botany

Genetic diversity of rare species on the Lake Wales Ridge compared to the genetic diversity of closely kin species that are more wide-spread

Resulting Publications:

Germain-Aubrey, C.C., P.S. Soltis, D.E. Soltis, and M.A. Gitzendanner. 2011. Microsatellite marker development for the federally listed Prunus geniculata (Roasaceae). American Journal of Botany 98(3): e58-e60.

Gitzendanner, M.A., C.W. Weekley, C.C. Germain-Aubrey, D.E. Soltis, and P.S. Soltis. 2012. Micosatellite evidence for high clonality and limited genetic diversity in Ziziphus celeta (Rhamnaceae), an endangered, self-incompatible shrub endemic to the Lake Wales Ridge, Florida, USA. Conservation Genetics 13:223-234.

Germain-Aubrey, C.C., P.S. Soltis, K.M. Neubig, T. Thurston, D.E. Soltis, and M.A. Gitzendanner. 2014. Using comparative biogeography to retrace the origins of an ecosystem: The case of four plants endemic to the Central Florida Scrub. International Journal of Plant Sciences 175:418-431.

Recipient: Diana Hurlbut
Year Grant Awarded: 2006
Institution: Central Michigan University - Biology Department

Genetics and taxonomy of Schoenoplectus, commonly known as bulrush

The FNPS grant was restricted to that portion of her research that relates to Florida.

Resulting publication:

Shiels, D.R., D.L. Hurlbut, S.K. Lichtenwald, and A.K. Monofils. 2014. Monophyly and phylogeny of Schoenoplectus and Schoenoplectiella (Cyperaceae): Evidence from chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences. Systematic Botany 39:132-144.

Recipient: John Geiger
Year Grant Awarded: 2006
Institution: Florida International University - Department of Biology

Population genetic structure of the endangered vine Ipomoea microdactyla Griseb. (Convolvulaceae) over the global extent of its range (south Florida and nearby Caribbean islands

Resulting Publication:

Geiger, J.H., A.W. Meerow, C. Lewis, R. Oviedos, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2014. Genetic diversity and conservation of Ipomoea microdactyla (Convolvulaceae): an endemic vine from the Bahamas, Cuba, and southeastern Florida. Plant Species Biology 29:2-15.

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Ipomoea microdactyla.  Photo by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Lisa McCauley
Year Grant Awarded: 2006
Institution: University of Central Florida - Department of Biology

Effects of urbanization on gene flow and recruitment of pond cypress (Taxodium distichum var. imbricarium (Nutt.) Croom) among cypress domes in central Florida

The following publication was partially funded by this Endowment Research Grant:

Lisa A. McCauley & David G. Jenkins & Pedro F. Quintana-Ascencio.  2013. Isolated Wetland Loss and Degradation Over Two Decades in an Increasingly Urbanized Landscape.  Wetlands: 3:117–127.
 
Abstract:
 
Urbanization is a leading cause of species loss in the United States because of habitat destruction and fragmentation. Wetlands can be affected by urbanization and the condition of wetlands can be compared across land use categories. Cypress domes are isolated wetlands dominated by cypress (Taxodium distichum) and often remain in urban areas. The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of urbanization on cypress dome number, size and spatial pattern through two decades of rapid urbanization in Orlando, Florida, a large city in the southeastern US. Over 3,000 cypress domes, in a region typical of urban growth in the cypress range, were identified in images from 1984. Over a 20-year period, 26 % were destroyed or degraded (i.e., no longer cypress-dominated) and almost half in managed forests were degraded, destroyed, or became surrounded by urban or agricultural land uses. The smallest and largest cypress domes were lost, leaving only mediumsized wetlands and decreasing landscape-level diversity. Despite the fact that these wetlands are common and partially protected by legislation, cypress in isolated wetlands may be at risk from urbanization.
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Recipient: Christine Edwards, Douglas Soltis, and Pamela Soltis
Year Grant Awarded: 2005
Institution: University of Florida

Phylogeny, phylogeography, and conservation genetics of a clade of southeastern US endemics in the mint family (Lamiaceae)

The intent was to use various DNA sequencing techniques to investigate patterns of genetic diversity within and among populations of each species of Conradina, Clinopodium, Piloblephis, and Stachydeoma and to apply the resulting information to understanding the phylogeny and geographical patterns of genetic variation in these dry site mints.

Resulting Publications:

Edwards, C.E., D.E. Soltis, and P.S. Soltis. 2006. Molecular phylogeny of Conradina and other scrub mints (Lamiaceae) from the Southeastern USA: Evidence for hybridization in a Pleistocene Refugia? Systematic Botany 31:193-2017.

Edwards, C.E., D.E. Soltis, and P.S. Soltis. 2008. Using patterns of genetic structure based on microsatellite loci to test hypotheses of current hybridization, ancient hybridization and incomplete lineage sorting in Conradina (Lamiaceae). Molecular Ecology 17:5157-5174.

Edwards, C.E., D. Lefkowitz, D.E. Soltis, and P.S. Soltis. 2008. Phylogeny of Conradina and related Southeastern scrub mints (Lamiaceae) based on GapC gene sequences. International Journal of Plant Sciences 169:579-594.

Recipient: Elizabeth Boughton
Year Grant Awarded: 2005
Institution: University of Central Florida - Department of Biology

Applying plant facilitation to maidencane marsh retoration in Florida ranchlands.

This project looked at the roles of maidencane (Panicum hemitomon) and soft rush (Juncus effusus) in degraded maidencane marshes.  In specific, she will be looking at the role soft rush may play as a nurse plant in recovering maidencane marshes.  The study was conducted in wetlands at the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center.

Resulting Publication:

Boughton, E.A., P.F. Quintana-Ascencio, and P.J. Bolen. 2011. Refuge effects of Juncus effusus in a grazed, subtropical wetland plant community. Plant Ecology 212:451-460.

Recipient: John Kunzer, Jr.
Year Grant Awarded: 2005
Institution: University of South Florida

Vascular floristic inventory of Tomoka State Park, Bulow Creek State Park, Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park, and Addison blockhouse Historic State Park, Volusia and Flagler counties, FL

This was a detailed floristic inventory of over 6000 acres of publicly owned lands.

Recipient: Katherine R. Goodrich
Year Grant Awarded: 2005
Institution: University of South Carolina

Floral biology and molecular phylogenetics of the genus Asimina (Annonaceae)

The study  investigated several the phylogeny and patterns in floral morphology in the genus Asimina, specifically seeking answers to the following questions:

  • What are the basal and derived traits within the genus Asimina and how do they differ from tropical relatives?
  • How has Asimina spread geographically into its current range in North America ?
  • Do the two floral phenotypes represent an early divergence event, or “suites” of traits which have been gained or lost multiple times?
  • What trends in pollinator attraction can be inferred from floral trait evolution within Asimina?

Resulting Publication:

Goodrich, K.R. and R.A. Raguso. 2009. The olfactory component of floral display in Asimina and Deeringothamnus. New Phytologist 183:457-469.

Recipient: Melinda Donnelly
Year Grant Awarded: 2005
Institution: Biology Department, University of Central Florida

Is the exotic Brazilian pepper Schinus terebinthifolius a threat to mangrove ecosystems in Florida ?

The purpose of this study was to determine if and how Schinus terebinthifolius out-competes or inhibits growth of the red, black and white mangroves. In Mosquito Lagoon, this was accomplished by determining the ability of Schinus terebinthifolius to:

  • chemically inhibit growth of mangrove propagules,
  •  invade coastal habitats by dispersing seeds in water,
  • tolerate conditions within the mangrove canopy, and
  • alter species richness and abundance of the flora when present in a mangrove system.

By better understanding the invasibility and impact of Schinus terebinthifolius on mangroves, coastal resource managers will be able to develop the most effective management strategies to prevent this exotic from altering the structure and productivity of the mangrove ecosystem.

Resulting Publication:

Donnelly, M.J. and L.J. Walters. 2008. Water and boating activity as dispersal vectors for Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian pepper) seeds in freshwater and estuarine habitats. Estuaries and Coasts 31:960-968.

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Schinus terebinthifolius.  Photo by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Brian J. Sidoti
Year Grant Awarded: 2004
Institution: Florida International University - Department of Biological Sciences

Morphological and Molecular Systematics of the Tillandsia fasciculata (Bromeliaceae) Complex: Biogeographical and Evolutionary Implications

The purpose of this project was to gain greater insight into the speciation and radiation of species within the Tillandsia fasciculata (Bromeliaceae) complex that occurs in Florida and Cuba . Specifically, anatomical, morphological, and molecular studies were used to examine the T. fasciculata complex in order to support taxonomic decisions and species boundaries. This baseline data was to be used to construct and solidify conservation measures.

Recipient: Eliane Norman and Sandra Carnival
Year Grant Awarded: 2004
Institution: Stetson University (Eliane Norman) and Tosohatchee State Preserve (Sandra Carnival)

Demography and Phenology of the Endangered Fern, Ophioglossum palmatum, at the Tosohatchee State Preserve

This study evaluated the growth patterns of hand ferns on the Tosohatchee State Preserve. Plants were selected randomly from different sites. Each plant as well as each leaf was tagged. The following parameters were measured or observed 4 times a year: length of stipe; length and width of blade; # of lobes; # of fertile spikes; size of fertile spike and stage of maturation; % of damaged leaves. The data obtained were used to assess of the longevity of the Hand Fern and to relate phenological patterns in leaf growth and spike production and maturation to sesonal variation at the Tosohatchee State Preserve.

Recipient: Herbert 'Tug' Kesler
Year Grant Awarded: 2004
Institution: Auburn University - Dept. Biological Sciences

Evaluation and Conservation of a Threatened Carnivorous Plant (Godfrey’s Butterwort, Pinguicula ionantha)

Pinguicula ionantha R. K. Godfrey (Lentibulariaceae) is a recently described species endemic to a 25-mile radius in the panhandle of Florida . Due to its shrinking population size, P. ionantha was listed as threatened by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service on July 12, 1993 and is currently listed as Florida State endangered. This study conducted field and laboratory experiments to gain information needed to conserve federally threatened P. ionantha populations in the panhandle of Florida . The results of both types of research were integrated to create a better understanding of 1) the current status of all 62 known populations, 2) how the survival and fecundity of wild P. ionantha populations are directly effected by prescribed fire, and 3) whether a soil seed bank exists for this species. The goal of the project was to develop recommendations for conservation and management practices that will ensure the long-term survival of federally threatened and Florida endangered, Pinguicula ionantha populations.

Resulting Publication:

Kesler, H.C., J.L. Trusty, S.M. Hermann, and C. Guyer. 2008. Demographic responses of Pinguicula ionantha to prescribed fire: A regression design LTRE approach. Oecologia 156:545-557.

Recipient: Tania Kim
Year Grant Awarded: 2004
Institution: University of Florida - Department of Zoology

Trophic cascades: influences of herbivory and predation influence on post-fire succession

The direct effects of prescribed fire on plant communities have been extensively studied yet little is known about the effects of fire on other trophic levels and trophic interactions. Interspecific interactions, such as herbivory and predation, play important roles in maintaining ecosystem function, however very little is known about their roles in post-fire succession. Predators may indirectly benefit plant communities by alleviating intense herbivory pressures typically associated with post-fire habitats. If predator, top-down controls are strongly felt by plant communities, then herbivory and predation play extremely important roles in post-fire succession. The goal of this research project was to determine whether insect herbivores and vertebrate predators play significant roles in influencing plant growth and reproduction following fire in longleaf pine sandhills. This was accomplished by setting up insect herbivore and vertebrate predator exclosures in longleaf pine sandhill habitats throughout two reserves in north-central Florida .

Resulting Publication:

Kim, T.N. and R.D. Holt. 2012. The direct and indirect effects of fire on the assembly of insect herbivore communities: Examples from the Florida scrub habitat. Oecologia 168:997-1012.

Recipient: Ashley B. Morris withPamela S. Soltis
Year Grant Awarded: 2003
Institution: University of Florida (Morris) and Florida Museum of Natural History (Soltis)

The Illicium parviflorum Michx. ex Vent. (Illiciaceae) paradox: an endangered Florida endemic and its role in the horticultural trade

The goal of this study was to assess levels of genetic diversity in natural populations of Florida anise,  I. parviflorum, as well as that of horticultural stocks. 

This rare species is quite popular in the horticultural trade, and is commonly sold as far north as North Carolina and as far west as Arkansas. It is common practice in plant nurseries to increase their inventories by propagating cuttings, resulting in a genetically homogeneous stock. In addition, many nurseries obtain their original cuttings from the same source, resulting in homogeneity among nurseries. Such practices may have serious consequences for natural populations exhibiting self-incompatibility.

Resulting Publication:

Newell, D.L. and A.B. Morris. 2010. Clonal structure of wild populations and origins of horticultural stocks of Illicium parviflorum (Illiciaceae). American Journal of Botany 97:1574-1578.

Recipient: Cindy Bennington
Year Grant Awarded: 2003
Institution: Stetson University

The genetics of gender flexibility in passionflower

To test ideas related to the evolution of andromonoecy in passionflower, the investigator proposed an experiment toexamine the response of gender expression to resource limitation (imposed through herbivory). Three main questions were addressed:

  • Is fruit production limited by the number of cosexual flowers produced by a plant? 
  • Is there genetic differentiation among populations in the proportion of male flowers per plant? 
  • Is there genetic differentiation among populations in the degree to which floral gender is influenced by the environment? Genetic differences among populations may be fixed or plastic. 
Recipient: Philip A. Gonsiska
Year Grant Awarded: 2003
Institution: Florida International University

Effects of invasive exotic trees On the seedling demography of the endangered bromeliad Catopsis berteroniana

South Florida is subject to invasion by exotic species, such as Australian pine (Casuarina spp.), Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), and melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia). These species have the capacity to invade habitats, such as mangrove and buttonwood communities where C. berteroniana is found. Since Australian pine, Brazilian pepper, and melaleuca have the capacity to exclude native vegetation in the habitats they invade, if they are less suitable epiphyte hosts than native tree species, the possibility exists for the decimation of Florida's epiphyte communities. This could result in the extirpation of endangered epiphytes, such as Catopsis berteroniana.

The purpose of the observational portion of this project was to determine the fate of C. berteroniana seedlings during their first year of life on their naturally occurring native host species. The experimental portion of this study determined the effects of host species on seedling recruitment and thereby demonstrated potential effects of invasive woody species on bromeliad communities in south Florida.

Recipient: Amethyst Merchant
Year Grant Awarded: 2002
Institution: University of Florida - Department of Botany

Variation in functional morphology and ecophysiological responses within the southeastern endemic genus Dicerandra

Objective: to determine how species of Dicerandra compensate for resource limitations within native habitats by comparing variation in functional morphology and ecophysiology.

Recipient: Ashley Morris
Year Grant Awarded: 2002
Institution: University of Florida - Department of Botany

Population genetic structure of an endangered Florida endemic plant, Illicium parviflorum

Objective: to assess levels of genetic variation within and among populations of Illicium parviflorum, a state-endangered shrub that is endemic to six counties in central Florida (Lake, Marion, Orange, Polk, Seminole, and Volusia).

Resulting Publication:

Newell, D.L. and A.B. Morris. 2010. Clonal structure of wild populations and origins of horticultural stocks of Illicium parviflorum (Illiciaceae). American Journal of Botany 97:1574-1578.

Recipient: John Geiger
Year Grant Awarded: 2002
Institution: Florida International University

Habitat fragmentation and Ipomoea microdactyla (wild-potato morning glory)

Objective: to study the pollination and breeing system of this rare vine and to determine the effects of habitat fragmentation on reporductive success.

Resulting Publication:

Geiger, J.H., A.W. Meerow, C. Lewis, R. Oviedos, and J. Francisco-Ortega. 2014. Genetic diversity and conservation of Ipomoea microdactyla (Convolvulaceae): An endemic vine from the Bahamas, Cuba, and southeastern Florida. Plant Species Biology 29:2-15.

Recipient: Elena Pinto-Torres
Year Grant Awarded: 2001
Institution: Department of Biological Sciences Florida International University

Pollination and conservation of an endangered coastal endemic plant: Jacquemontia reclinata

Resulting Publication:

Pinto-Torres, E. and S. Koptur. 2009. Hanging by a coastal strand: Breeding system of a federally endangered morning-glory of the south-eastern Florida coast, Jacquemontia reclinata. Annals of Botany 104:1301-1311.

Recipient: Gantt Boswell
Year Grant Awarded: 2001
Institution: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Tulane University

Nitrogen economy of the pitcher plant Sarracenia rosea

Recipient: Hannah Thornton
Year Grant Awarded: 2001
Institution: Department of Biological Sciences Florida International University

Investigating molecular and quantitative variation within populations of an endangered endemic plant

Recipient: Douglas G. Scofield
Year Grant Awarded: 2000
Institution: Department of Biology University of Miami

Groundwater salinity and leaf and twig carbon storage in native tropical trees of the Florida Keys

Recipient: Hector E. Perez
Year Grant Awarded: 2000
Institution: Department of Environmental Horticulture University of Florida

Applying see technology for the conservation and restoration of several Florida native plants

Resulting Publication:

Bijan, D. and H.E. Perez. 2005. Preliminary study shows germination of Caribbean applecactus (Harrisia fragrans) improved with acid scarification and gibberellic acid. Native Plants Journal 6(1):91-97.

Recipient: Jenny Schafer
Year Grant Awarded: 2000
Institution: Archbold Biological Station

Demography and Ecology of Paronychia chartacea

Paronychia chartacea (Papery whitlow-wort) is a state endangered and federally-threatened plant endemic to Florida.Disturbed firelanes provide an open, unstable, and less fire-dependent habitat for many scrub endemics. Some species show different demographic trends between populations in natural scrub habitats and firelanes.

The goals of the project were:

  • To collect quarterly demographic data on P.chartacea ssp. chartacea and compare populations in rosemary scrub and firelanes.
  • To determine the effects of time-since-fire on growth, reproductive output, and seedling recruitment of P.chartacea ssp. chartacea.

Resulting Publication:

Schafer, J.L., L.L. Sullivan, C.W. Weekley, and E.S. Menges. 2013. Effect of habitat and time-since-fire on recruitment, survival, and reproduction of Paronychia chartaceae ssp. chartaceae, a short-lived Florida scrub endemic herb. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 140:181-195.

Recipient: Laurie L. Walker
Year Grant Awarded: 2000
Institution: Department of Biology, University of South Florida

Distinguishing among Chrysopsis species along the Lake Wales Ridge and central peninsular Florida using molecular genetic methods

Recipient: Sharon Ewe
Year Grant Awarded: 2000
Institution: Department of Biology University of Miami

Comparative gas exchange patterns of Schinus terebinifolius versus native plant species under saline conditions

Resulting Publications:

Ewe, S.M.L. and L. da S.L. Sternberg. 2002. Seasonal water-use by the invasive exotic, Schinus terebinthifolius, in native and disturbed communities. Oecologia 133:441-448.

Ewe, S.M.L. and L. da S.L. Sternberg. 2003. Seasonal gas exchange characteristics of Schinus terebinthifolius in a native and disturbed upland community in Everglades National Park, Florida. Forest Ecology and Management 179:27-36.

Recipient: Chris Lockhart
Year Grant Awarded: 1999
Institution: Habitat Specialists, Inc.

A study of Polygonella smallii in Palm Beach County, FL

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Polygala smallii.  Photo by Shirley Denton.

Recipient: Elizabeth R. Mayo
Year Grant Awarded: 1999
Institution:

Reforestation of Pinus elliottii var. densa in the pine rocklands of South Florida

Recipient: Hong Liu
Year Grant Awarded: 1999
Institution: Department of Biological Sciences Florida International University

Populations dynamics and viability of Chamaechrista keyensis (Caesalpinioideae), an endemic herb of the lower Florida Keys

Resulting Publications:

Liu, H. and S. Koptur. 2003. Breeding system and pollination of a narrowly endemic herb of the Lower Florida Keys: Impacts of urban-wildland interface. American Journal of Botany 90:1180-1187.

Liu, H, and E.S. Menges. 2005. Winter fires promote greater vital rates in the Florida Keys than summer fires. Ecology 86:1483-1495.

Liu, H., E.S. Menges, and P.F. Quintana-Ascencio. 2005. Population viability analyses of Chamaecrista keyensis: Effects of fire season and frequency. Ecological Applications 15:210-221.

Liu, H., E.S. Menges, J.R. Snyder, S. Koptur, and M.S. Ross. 2005. Effects of fire intensity on vital rates of an endemic herb in the Florida Keys, USA. Natural Areas Journal 25:71-76.

Recipient: John Hays
Year Grant Awarded: 1999
Institution: Herbarium, Northeast Louisiana University Monroe, LA

A survey of the Florida Keys for the rare species Agalinis keyensis Pennell (Schrophulariaceae)

Recipient: Laurie Walker Markham
Year Grant Awarded: 1999
Institution: Department of Biology University of South Florida Tampa

Use of molecular markers for determining the geographic range of Chrysopsis fIoridana and distinguishing between Chrysopsis fIoridana and Chrysopsis scabrella

Recipient: Annemarie Jameson
Year Grant Awarded: 1998
Institution: Department of Biology University of Miami

Determination of the distribution, host-plant usage and preference of five native plants used by the endangered swallowtail in hammocks on the Miami Rock Ridge

Recipient: William F. Gray
Year Grant Awarded: 1998
Institution: Breedlove Dennis & Associates, Inc.

Baseline population and habitat analysis of Nemastylis fIoridana Small (fall-flowering ixia) within the Colbert/Cameron Mitigation Bank property, Volusia County, Florida to the east of St. Johns River as it enters Lake Harney

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Nemastylis floridana.  Photo by Shirley Denton.