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Practically no information is available regarding the population size and habitat requirements of Clematis socialis Kral, a federally-listed endangered species. This study was conducted to document population size and habitat characteristics for each of the four known populations. Population mapping revealed that most (75%) of the 17,866 stems counted occurred at a single site, and no plants were found on one site that had been grazed by cattle. Soils associated with all sites were mapped as Conasauga or Firestone series. A detailed study of the largest population included analysis of soil characteristics, light level patterns, and associated plant species. Neither soil chemical traits, soil textural traits, nor light levels varied significantly between microsites containing and lacking C. socialis. Examination of associated plant species in the largest population revealed that Phlox glaberrima was an indicator of C. socialis habitat on both macro- and micro-scales. Other species showing increased abundance in the zone containing C. socialis included Cynodon dactylon, Duchesnea indica, and Aster sp. Vernonia noveboracensis was less abundant in plots containing C. socialis.
Castanea © 1994 Southern Appalachian Botanical Society