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Rare Plant Abundance in an Endangered Species "Hot Spot"

Keith Killingbeck, Bob Deegan and Ron Flores
Northeastern Naturalist
Vol. 5, No. 4 (1998), pp. 283-292
Published by: Eagle Hill Institute
DOI: 10.2307/3858560
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3858560
Page Count: 10
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Rare Plant Abundance in an Endangered Species "Hot Spot"
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Abstract

In 1996, we measured the abundance and distribution of two of the six rare plant species growing within an endangered species "hot spot" in the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge in southern Rhode Island. Mean densities and total population estimates of Aletris farinosa (18.0 plants/m2; 41,400 individuals) and Platanthera ciliaris (10.7 plants/m2; 24,610 individuals) were extremely high within the 2300 m2 core of the "hot spot," yet fewer than 40 stems of both species combined were found outside the core. Data on soil moisture, organic matter, and texture, along with abundance of Drosera, lichens, mosses, and unvegetated ground provided insights into the distribution of A. farinosa and P. ciliaris. The fact that there appear to be more individuals of P. ciliaris at this single location than in all of the rest of New England underscores the importance of this site.

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