Effects of climate change on Kincaid’s lupine
Kincaid’s lupine (Lupinus oreganus), a rare legume found in prairies and oak savannas, is listed as threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and endangered
Kincaid’s lupine (Lupinus oreganus), a rare legume found in prairies and oak savannas, is listed as threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and endangered by the Washington Department of Natural Resources. Extensive land development and alteration in the prairies of western Oregon and southwestern Washington have relegated remaining populations to small, isolated patches of habitat. The historic habitat of L. oreganus may continue to become more inhospitable given that climate models predict temperature increases and decreased precipitation in the Pacific Northwest. We used an experimental common garden to test for interactions between genotype and microclimate to identify management considerations which may be necessary for long-term adaptation to climate change. Treatments included ambient (no treatment) and experimental manipulations of the microclimate to simulate cooler (shading plots) and hotter (warming plots) temperatures. After one year of growth, results suggest:
- Seed source was found to significantly affect height of Kincaid’s lupine in the common garden,
- Both seed source and treatment (ambient, warming, shading) were found to affect number of leaves of Kincaid’s lupine, though the interaction of these two factors was not significant. Though some seed sources did show differences in number of leaves by treatment, these effects were not consistent across all sources. Plants from Coburg Ridge, Oak Basin (both Eugene East recovery zone), and Wren (Corvallis West recovery zone) all tended to have greater number of leaves in the warming treatments.
- Survivorship of Kincaid’s lupine was dependent upon seed source, but not by treatment.
- Reproductive effort was highly variable between seed source at the time of monitoring.
- We observed differences between seed sources in germination time, where species from the southern end of the range germinated far earlier than the rest.
Results of this study help inform management decisions regarding appropriate seed source populations and site selection for future population introduction efforts. In addition, this study has been an innovative approach to involving students and volunteers in learning about climate change and conservation research.