Section 6, 2012

In 2012 we received 15 proposals totaling $237,148; we had ~$117,000 to distribute. The Section 6 Committee (FWS, UofA, and ADA members) ranked these proposals 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 are the proposals that we funded in 2012; these projects will be completed by September 2013.

1) Research on Arizona Rare and Endangered Plants: Program Facilitation and Rare Plant List Development
Principal Investigator: Dr. Michelle McMahon, University of Arizona Herbarium
Federal Share: $6,767
Objectives: (1) Continue participation in Section 6 program by advertising the program on the UofA Herbarium website, providing scientific review of proposals, interim reports, and final reports, and to facilitate researcher’s access to herbarium specimens in our facility or through loans with other herbaria. (2) Participate in the development and growth of a regional, curated, rare plant list to be published for viewing by the public. Funds are sought here to support a part-time student who will assist staff (already funded elsewhere) in these endeavors. The student employee will gather literature and add data to the database under the supervision of project staff.

2) Abundance, seed production and seedling establishment of Amsonia kearneyana
Principal Investigator: Dr. Juliet C Stromberg, Arizona State University
Federal Share: $20,200
Objectives: (1) Assess current population size of Amsonia kearneyana. (2) Quantify flower and seed production of adult plants in relationship to plant size. (3) Describe soil properties of an extant population, with respect to particle size, moisture, and temperature. (4) Determine how seed germination, seedling growth and seed survivorship vary in response to soil traits and to seed burial depth.

3) Survey and Census of Lemmon's Fleabane (Erigeron lemonnii) in the Huachuca Mts., Arizona
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jim Malusa, University of Arizona
Federal Share: $1,667
Objectives: (1) Census the permanent monitoring plots in Scheelite Canyon (for the first time since set-up in 2006), and (2) Extend the survey into Garden Canyon to assess the total population of E. lemmonii.

4) Surveys of Echinomastus erectocentrus var. acunensis in northwestern Sonora
Principal Investigator: Dr. Thomas R. Van Devender, Sky Island Institute
Federal Share: $26,213
Objectives: (1) Assess the distribution, abundance, and status (including threats) of E. e. var. acunensis in northwestern Sonora through field surveys, (2) Record other plants encountered during the surveys. Field activities and collections will be made under a Mexican collecting permit to J. Jesús Sánchez-Escalante, a collaborator and the Curator of USON. These observations and collections will be available in the online Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment (MABA) database (Madrean.org).

5) Emergency actions to determine recent declines in the endangered Pediocactus bradyi
Principal Investigator: Dr. Kristin Haskins, Arboretum at Flagstaff and others
Federal Share: $15,607
Objectives: There is an urgent need to determine why this species is declining, and whether new populations can be established in apparently suitable un-occupied habitat. There are seven principal objectives of this project, and an optional 8th objective: (1) Complete surveys in potential habitat to provide a reasonable estimate of the total population size; This will be done using GIS data layers and sampling of randomly selected points in known potential habitat. The NPS will complete this sampling prior to field work. (2) Characterize and document the invasive exotic plant species associated with known P. bradyi populations, to be included in population monitoring. (3) Develop a uniform integrated monitoring program that follows the fates of individuals across the species range. (4) Conduct additional biological work on pollination ecology and seed viability. (5) Compile existing and new data and prepare a status report. (6) Provide data to the USFWS to support completion the 5-year status review. (7) Analyze long-term population trends over the last 25 years on BLM plots to determine stochastic growth rates. (8*) Optional: Seed Transplant Experiment.

6) Identifying reproductive barriers to geographic relocation as a conservation strategy for Echinocereus spp.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Clare Aslan, Sonoran Desert Museum
Federal Share: $21,153
Objectives: Identify geographic patterns of and likely limitations to Arizona hedgehog pollination and reproduction through (1) Identify pollination phenology and relative frequencies and efficiencies of pollinators across an elevational gradient in natural populations of both Echinocereus coccineus and E. triglochidiatus. (2) Identify pollination phenology and relative frequencies and efficiencies of pollinators in transplanted populations of both Echinocereus coccineus and E. triglochidiatus. (3) Quantify pollinator abundances during the flowering season in sites containing natural and transplanted populations of both Echinocereus species. (4) Assess early reproductive metrics in both natural and transplanted populations of both Echinocereus spp (seed production, seed viability, seedling occurrence).

7) Writing a Draft Recovery Plan for Echinocereus arizonicus ssp. arizonicus
Principal Investigator: Dr. Marc A. Baker, Southwest Botanical Research
Federal Share: $25,778
Objective: Prepare a draft recovery plan for Echinocereus arizonicus ssp. arizonicus, including all sections: biology, recovery strategy, and recovery actions.

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