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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  2. Xerophyllum asphodeloides (Xerophyllaceae), known as eastern turkeybeard, is an herbaceous perennial found in eastern North America. Due to decline and destruction of its habitat, several states rank X. asphodeloides as “Imperiled” to “Critically Imperiled”. Protocols for seed cryopreservation, in vitro germination, sustainable shoot micropropagation, shoot establishment in soil, and seed germination are presented. Seeds from two tested sources were viable after 20 months of cryopreservation. Germination of isolated embryos in vitro was necessary to overcome strong seed dormancy. Shoot multiplication and elongation occurred on ½ MS medium without PGRs. Shoots rooted in vitro without PGRs or with 0.5 mg/L NAA or after NAA rooting powder treatment and placement in potting mix. When planted in wet, peaty soil mixes, shoots grew for two months and then declined. When planted in a drier planting mix containing aged bark, most plants continued growth. In the field, plant survival was 73% after three growing seasons. Safeguarding this species both ex situ and in situ is possible and offers a successful approach to conservation. Whole seeds germinated after double dormancy was overcome by incubation under warm moist conditions for 12 weeks followed by 12 weeks cold at 4 °C and then warm.
  3. Abdelaziz, Mohamed (Ed.)
    Abstract Individuals within natural populations can experience very different abiotic and biotic conditions across small spatial scales owing to microtopography and other micro-environmental gradients. Ecological and evolutionary studies often ignore the effects of micro-environment on plant population and community dynamics. Here, we explore the extent to which fine-grained variation in abiotic and biotic conditions contributes to within-population variation in trait expression and genetic diversity in natural plant populations. Furthermore, we consider whether benign microhabitats could buffer local populations of some plant species from abiotic stresses imposed by rapid anthropogenic climate change. If microrefugia sustain local populations and communities in the short term, other eco-evolutionary processes, such as gene flow and adaptation, could enhance population stability in the longer term. We caution, however, that local populations may still decline in size as they contract into rare microhabitats and microrefugia. We encourage future research that explicitly examines the role of the micro-environment in maintaining genetic variation within local populations, favouring the evolution of phenotypic plasticity at local scales and enhancing population persistence under global change.