Monday, April 25, 2011

Morris Arboretum’s Botany Department Receives Grant to Create Recovery Plans for Most Critically Imperiled Pennsylvania Plant Species

The Botany Department at the Morris Arboretum has received a grant from the Pennsylvania Wild Resource Conservation Program (WRCP) to create resource recovery plans for three plant species considered among the most critically imperiled in Pennsylvania. The species of concern in this project are glade spurge (Euphorbia purpurea), Torrey’s mountain-mint (Pycnanthemum torreyi), and spreading globe-flower (Trollius laxus).

Trollium laxus

Pycnanthemum torreyi

JohnLynch Euphorbia purpurea

These plans will delineate a strategy that promotes protection of the species and their habitats and allows for species recovery and stability. The ultimate goal is to create objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would result in a determination that the species be removed from Pennsylvania’s list of species of special concern.

Morris Arboretum Botany Department staff will visit the few sites where these species are known to occur to provide up-to-date data on population information for extant populations. The data collected will include population size, potential threats, reproductive capacity, and overall population health.

Historic sites will also be visited to assess whether or not the species could remain at those sites. The potential for previously unknown sites will be assessed using geographic information system (GIS) analysis based on various physical parameters. All background and laboratory research associated with this project will be conducted at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Wild Resource Conservation Program (WRCP) is part of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and is the only dedicated source of funding for research and conservation of wild plants in our state. Visit to find out how you can help support this vitally important program.

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