Section 6, 2013

In 2013 we received 17 proposals totaling $181,570; we had ~$105,000 to distribute. The Section 6 Committee (FWS, UofA, and ADA members) ranked them based on merit (e.g. if the species is high priority, if the proposed actions were identified in the recovery plan, feasibility of the project, etc.). The following proposals were funded in 2013; these projects will be completed by September 2014.

1) Continued implementation of Grand Canyon National Park Recovery Plan actions for sentry milk-vetch (Astragalus cremnophylax var. cremnophylax)
Principal Investigator: Janice Busco, Lori Makarick, and Gregory Holm
Federal Share: $12,067
Objectives: 1) Refine and finalize a habitat model for sentry milk-vetch to select the most appropriate microsites for planting and seeding, 2) Compare phenology and morphology of all now-known South Rim populations in a greenhouse common garden study, 3) Compare phenology and morphology of the three disjunct Astragalus cremnophylax varieties, as well as a potentially new taxon from the North Rim, in a greenhouse common garden experiment and perform controlled crosses of all varieties, 4) Provide continued, long-term, consistent monitoring and care of natural and introduced sentry milk-vetch at Maricopa Point, and 5) Continue to develop improved techniques for propagating the species from cuttings.

2) Effect of fire on a population of the endangered cactus, Coryphantha robustispina, on three pastures of the King’s Anvil Ranch, State Trust Land, Altar Valley, Pima Co., AZ
Principal Investigator: Pat King, Robert Schmalzel, Kristen Egan, Katie Cline, and Tom Sheridan
Federal Share: $25,556
Objectives: 1) Conduct pre-prescription burn surveys for Pima pineapple cactus on the King-Anvil Ranch in the Altar Valley, 2) Document burn intensity and coverage, 3) Conduct post-prescription burn surveys and compare individuals before and after the fire to increase our knowledge of short-term fire effects on this species, 4) Relocate plants previously mapped in 1994 and 1997-1998 prior to earlier burning, thus also providing a study of long-term effects.

3) A workshop to develop survey and monitoring protocols for Fickeisen’s plains cactus
Principal Investigator: Dr. Steven W. Carothers and William Cardasco
Federal Share: $9,611
Objectives: 1) Review current monitoring and research efforts related to Fickeisen’s Plains Cactus population assessment, 2) Develop range-wide, standardized protocols for surveying and monitoring, and 3) Enhance communication among biologists and managers involved in monitoring efforts.

4) Peebles Navajo cactus: Characterization and assessment of phenotypic attributes between two populations near Joseph City, Arizona
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jony Cockman
Federal Share: $9,889
Objectives: 1) Measure and compare phenotypic characteristics between two metapopulations of Peebles Navajo Cactus located one mile apart near Joseph City, 2) Count individual cacti at both populations, 3) Re-read plots established in 1979 and read periodically since, and 4) Provide reconnaissance of additional potential habitat.

5) Improved genetic resources for the study of Huachuca water umbel
Principal Investigator: Dr. Shannon Fehlberg
Federal Share: $11,178
Objective: Augment a previous population genetic study that described diversity within and among populations of Huachuca water umbel by adding new microsatellite data to the existing data set. The previous study provided significant information about the likely importance of clonal growth, the low amount of genetic diversity maintained in populations, and the distribution of genetic diversity across the species' range. Results also showed that additional microsatellite markers are necessary for definitive conclusions to be made.

6) Monitoring of Cimicifuga arizonica (Arizona bugbane, Ranunculaceae) populations on Bill Williams Mountain related to Forest Service plans to burn the mountain
Principal Investigator: Glenn Rink
Federal Share: $1,289
Objective: Information on the resiliency of Arizona bugbane to fire is lacking. This research will continue the collection of monitoring data on the Bill Williams Mountain population of Arizona bugbane, which was collected every five years between the 1990s and mid-2000s. Collecting data this year is critical for a pre-fire comparison, as the US Forest Service will carry out a prescription burn through the population in the next few years. Follow-up monitoring for plant response will be necessary and will inform management decisions regarding fire disturbance and the response of this species.

7) Demography Studies for Carex specuicola (Navajo sedge, Cyperaceae)
Principal Investigator: Glenn Rink
Federal Share: $13,524
Objectives: 1) Further document and verify the furthest north populations of Carex specuicola at Natural Bridges National Monument and vicinity in Utah, 2) Establish a monitoring protocol for Carex specuicola that is repeatable and will provide an objective measure for determining population trends and changes in hydrology over time; will apply this protocol to eight populations across the range of the species within the Navajo Nation, as well as any Utah populations found, and 3) Document unoccupied habitat.

8) Distribution and morphological studies of Pediocactus peeblesianus (Cactaceae)
Principal Investigator: Dr. Marc A. Baker
Federal Share: $21,873
Objective: Conduct field surveys and use existing data in a multivariate study that compares the degree of morphological variation of stem characters within populations to that among populations of P. peeblesianus throughout its known range.

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