Germination potential, updated population surveys ...

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Title Germination potential, updated population surveys and floral, seed and seedling morphology of Symphyotrichum laurentianum, the Gulf of St. Lawrence Aster, in the Prince Edward Island National Park
Author(s) S. E. Stewart, Christian R. Lacroix
Journal Canadian Field Naturalist
Date 2001
Volume 115
Issue 2
Start page 287
End page 295
Abstract S. laurentianum, the Gulf of St. Lawrence Aster, is an endemic aster of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and the Magdalene Islands. It is considered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada to be of special concern in Canada and to be critically imperiled in Prince Edward Island. One goal of this study was to conduct test germination to clarify the relationship between dormancy and germination in this species. Seeds germinated in culture media had an overall mean germination of 68.37%, whereas seeds germinated in soil had an overall mean germination of 17.38%. Kinetin supplements positively affected germination rates. However, these kinetin supplements eventually led to abnormal morphological development in S. laurentianum seedlings. Cold treatments had no significant effects on the germination of S. laurentianum seeds. Micropropagation of this type of explant and reintroduction should therefore be considered by Prince Edward Island as potential techniques for the conservation of S. laurentianum on Prince Edward Island. A complementary goal of this study was to survey the Blooming Point and Covehead sites to update the population status of S. laurentianum within the Prince Edward Island National Park. The size of the S. laurentianum population at Covehead Pond during 1999 was very similar to the population size at this site in 1993. Population sizes showed more fluctuation at Blooming Point between 1993 and 1999. No asters were found in the East Marsh in 1999, however, there was a large increase in population numbers at the Dune Slack site. Seeds of S. laurentianum appear to respond well to tissue culture. Annual monitoring of S. laurentianum populations should also occur to ensure appropriate management of this species on Prince Edward Island..

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