Abstract Detail


Sims, Caity [1], McCartha, Grace [2], Kosnik, Brendan [2], Mathew, Jones [2], Benton, Ben [3], Mangan, Scott [2], Marsico, Travis D. [4].

Influence of seasonal flooding on plant reproductive phenology on Buck Island Wildlife Management Area, a Lower Mississippi River island.

Plant reproductive phenology is sensitive to environmental factors such as temperature, precipitation, soil moisture, nutrient availability, light duration, and flooding. The influence of flooding on reproductive fitness is understudied in temperate systems. The Mississippi River experiences an annual flood cycle and islands in the Lower Mississippi River are subjected to high river levels in winter and spring, which may inundate entire islands or leave only the highest island elevations unflooded. We hypothesized that (1) plants at lower elevations that experience longer periods of flooding have later average peak flowering and fruiting periods compared to plants at higher elevations and (2) plants at higher elevations produce more fruits than plants at lower elevations (i.e., have higher fecundity) due to a putative longer reproductive season. In spring, summer, and fall 2021, six native, herbaceous dicot species were monitored on Buck Island Wildlife Management Area, an island east of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. Monitoring patches were established throughout the elevation gradient of the island and were selected for similar species composition and habitat. The number of reproductive structures in a phenophase (e.g., flower buds, open flowers, developing fruits, mature fruits) were counted twice per week on individually marked and tracked plants, and mature fruits were collected for all tracked individuals. By the end of data collection, 523 individual plants were tracked in 64 habitat patches ranging in elevation from 45-57 m. During the 245-day field season, the three annual plant species were found in wider elevation ranges than the three perennial species. As expected, peak reproductive phenology is correlated with island elevation and analyses on plant fecundity are being conducted.

1 - 1515 Aggie Rd, Apt C15, Jonesboro, AR, 72401, United States
2 - Arkansas State University, Biological Sciences, 2105 East, Aggie Road, Jonesboro, AR, 72401, USA
3 - Arkansas State University, 12 Sethstone Dr, Greenbrier, AR, 72058, United States
4 - Arkansas State University, Department Of Biological Sciences, PO Box 599, State University, AR, 72467, United States


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: EC06003
Abstract ID:440
Candidate for Awards:None

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