Survival, reproductive output, and transplant success were studied for an Iowa population ofPenstemon tubiflorus (tube penstemon), a species that is rare to uncommon through much of its range. The population was discovered in 2003 and is one of only 6 populations that have been documented in Iowa. I began monitoring the new population when 2 cohorts were permanently marked, the first in 2005 and the second in 2007. I estimated survival, flowering, and reproductive output. Then, I introduced greenhouse-grown transplants to 2 new sites and the original site. Survival data showed that P. tubiflorus is a short-lived perennial (approximately 50% survival after 3 years) with substantial variation in the percentage of individuals that flower in a given year. Recruitment over the 5 years of monitoring varied from zero to 26 individuals per year. Transplant survival was site-specific. However, high survival and robust reproduction output of transplants at one site indicated that there are additional suitable sites near the parent population and suggested that these sites remain unoccupied due to limited seed dispersal. While it is unlikely that pollinator limitation is the cause of low reproduction, further study is needed on the pollination syndrome of the Iowa populations of this and other Penstemon species. Future studies should investigate the possibility that the species is limited by site-specific factors that inhibit germination and the survival of small seedlings.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/catherine_mcmullen/4/