Reintroduction of Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis L.) Depends on Variation in Canopy, Vegetation, and Litter Cover

Authors

  • Noel B. Pavlovic,

    Corresponding author
    1. United States Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, 1100 North Mineral Springs Road, Porter, IN 46304, U.S.A.
      N. B. Pavlovic, email npavlovic@usgs.gov
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  • Ralph Grundel

    1. United States Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, 1100 North Mineral Springs Road, Porter, IN 46304, U.S.A.
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N. B. Pavlovic, email npavlovic@usgs.gov

Abstract

We experimentally examined the effects of canopy, vegetation, and leaf litter cover on the demography of Wild lupines (Lupinus perennis) in a central North American oak savanna spanning 9 years. We also compared the distribution of Wild lupine across the landscape to results predicted by the demographic experiments. With less canopy cover, soil temperatures were warmer and seedlings emerged earlier. Seedling survival increased 14% with each additional leaf grown. Seedling survival was four times greater in openings and partial shade than in dense shade. Seedling survival was also influenced by interactions between canopy cover and vegetation cover, between canopy cover and leaf litter, and among canopy cover, vegetation cover, and litter cover. In openings, seedlings had higher survival when vegetative cover was present, suggesting a positive shading effect on survival, but with greater canopy cover vegetative cover reduced survival. Seedling survival was greater for plants that experienced herbivory, a result that was probably related to plant size and quality rather than having been eaten. Survival of lupines to 9 years after seed planting was greatest in the partial shade, moderate in openings, and least in dense shade. Wild lupine cover across the landscape was greatest when litter cover was low and canopy cover and ground layer cover were moderate. Reduction of canopy cover by burning or cutting, and reduction of leaf litter by prescribed burning will benefit the reintroduction of Wild lupine by increasing light, reducing litter cover, and creating disturbances; however, the reduction of vegetation cover in openings may hinder lupine reintroduction.

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