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Update to the status review of Howellia aquatilis : field surveys, monitoring studies, and transplant experiments, 1990 online

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MONTANA
STATE







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STATE DOCUMENTS COLLECT;::. /& - 7 ~f $

FEB 12 1993

MONTANA STATE LIBRARY

1515 E. 6th AVE.
HELENA. MONVANA 59620



UPDATE TO THE STATUS REVIEW
OF Howellia aquatilis

FIELD SURVEYS, MONITORING STUDIES,
AND TRANSPLANT EXPERIMENTS

1990



Prepared for:

U.S.D.A. Forest Service
Flathead National Forest
1935 Third Avenue East
Kalispell, MT 59901



Prepared by:

Lisa A. Schassberger

Montana Natural Heritage Program

State Library Building

1515 E. 6th Avenue

Helena, MT 59620

and

J. Stephen Shelly

U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Region 1

Range, Air, Watershed and Ecology

P.O. BOX 7669

Missoula, MT 59807



Order No. 43-0385-0-0279



March 1991




fc _ i C I I ¬Ђ



This is an abridged report



For the full report please contact:



The Montana Natural Heritage Program

1515 E Sixth Ave

Helena, Montana 59620

406-444-3009



TABLE OF CONTENTS



Page



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS i

SUMMARY ii

I . INTRODUCTION 1

II . REVIEW OF PRESENT STATUS 1

III. UPDATE OF GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION 2

IV. MONITORING STUDIES 2

V. TRANSPLANT EXPERIMENTS 14

VI . STUDY RECOMMENDATIONS 20

VII. ELEMENT OCCURRENCE PRINT-OUTS AND MAPS: NEW SITES... 21

VIII. ELEMENT OCCURRENCE PRINT-OUTS: RESURVEYED SITES 26

IX. MAPS OF PONDS SURVEYED WITHOUT SUCCESS 53

X. LITERATURE CITED 56



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Tom Wittinger and Nancy Warren, Flathead National Forest, and
Angie Evenden, U.S. Forest Service Region 1, have been very
supportive throughout these studies. Ron Mellem, Flathead
National Forest, provided aerial photographs for use during field
surveys. Peter Lesica provided valuable insights regarding
transplant methods. Jim Stimson put in a great deal of time on
the climatological maps. Maria Mantas provided assistance with
field surveys, and the monitoring studies.



SUMMARY

Howell ia aquatilis Gray (Campanulaceae) is currently included on
the sensitive (Montana) and watch (Idaho) species lists in Region
1 of the U.S. Forest Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture
1988; Reel et al. 1989), and the sensitive list in Region 5
(Shelly and Moseley 1988) . It was recently recognized (1990) as
a Category 1 (candidate) species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, and is being considered for listing under the Federal
Endangered Species Act of 1973. Survey work for this species has
been ongoing in Montana since 1987, resulting in a total of 59
occurrences, clustered into 9 pond groups. Two of the 59
populations were located in 1990. Thirty-eight populations (50%
of those known globally) occur wholly or partially on Flathead
National Forest lands. Also, six ponds were surveyed which did
not contain H. aquatilis , bringing the total number of ponds
surveyed in Montana to 4 28. Results of population size estimates
(1987, 1989, 1990) and data obtained from transects utilizing
line-intercept (1987, 1989, 1990) and frequency measures (1989,
1990) show that the population sizes of this annual species
fluctuate from year to year. Population size fluctuations
correlate well to climate factors of precipitation and
temperature; these factors affect the drying time of ponds in
fall when germination occurs. Seeds of H. aquatilis do not
germinate under water, thus it is hypothesized that in years when
precipitation is above normal and temperatures are below normal
(such as in 1988 and in 1989) , ponds do not dry out or dry out
late in the year. The result may be a reduction in population
size the following year (as was observed in 1989 and 1990) . The
transplant experiments were partially successful. A small number
of plants were established in two of the transplant ponds in 1990
(Pond A: 32 plants, and Pond B: 5 plants) . Both ponds
contained plants that were reproductive. Two other ponds (C and
D) contained no plants; these ponds had water in them when the
transplants were done in September, and probably did not dry out
much more prior to freezing. This appears to confirm the fact
that H. aquatilis seeds do not germinate under water. While the
transplants to ponds A and B could be considered a success in
1990, it remains to be seen whether or not these small H.
aquatilis populations are present next year or thereafter.
Recommendations are made for continuing studies.



li



I . INTRODUCTION

This report summarizes the results of monitoring studies and
field surveys conducted from 1987-1990, to assess the status of
Howell ia aquatilis Gray (Campanulaceae) . This species is
designated as a sensitive plant by Region 1 of the U.S. Forest
Service, and occurs on the Flathead National Forest. Previous
reports summarize the status of research conducted prior to the
1990 field season (Shelly 1988, 1989; Shelly and Schassberger
1990) .

The field work conducted in 1990 represents the second year of a
three-year inventory and analysis project. The purpose of this
project is to assemble adeguate information on the distribution
and status of the species, in order to prepare a U. S. Forest
Service species management guide. The 1990 goals were:

1.) continue field surveys of potential habitat for H. aquatilis
on the Flathead National Forest and adjacent lands.

2.) resurvey 26 populations, emphasizing those found on Flathead
National Forest lands, to obtain ongoing estimates of
population size, condition, persistence, and response to
management practices.

3.) monitor transplant experiments (soil plugs from ponds with
high densities of H. aquatilis were placed in unoccupied
potential habitats at four locations in September of 1989) ;
read transects to determine success of transplants.

5.) continue quantitative monitoring studies established at five
locations in 1988; includes line intercept and frequency
measurements .

Field studies were conducted by the authors (Montana Natural
Heritage Program/U.S. Forest Service) . Surveys and monitoring
studies were conducted 10-13 and 16-19 July 1990.



II. REVIEW OF PRESENT STATUS

Howellia aquatilis is currently included on the sensitive
(Montana) and watch (Idaho) species lists in Region 1 of the U.S.
Forest Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture 1988; Reel et al .
1989) , and the sensitive list in Region 5 (Shelly and Moseley
1988) . It was recently recognized as a Category 1 (candidate)
species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and is being
considered for listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act
of 1973. A Category 1 species is one for which there is
substantial biological information on file to support the
appropriateness of proposing to list the species as endangered or
threatened (U.S. Department of Interior 1990). It was



recommended by Shelly and Moseley (1988) that this species be
moved from Category 2 to Category 1 for several reasons: (1) the
species has been extirpated from a large portion of its
previously known global range, (2) it has a narrow ecological
amplitude, (3) it lacks detectable inter- and intrapopulation
genetic variation, and (4) habitat alteration continues in a
major portion of its extant range.

III. UPDATE OF GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION

Upon conclusion of the 1990 field season, H. aquatilis was
documented from a total of 76 extant populations worldwide: 1 in
Idaho, 59 in Montana, and 16 in Washington. All known Montana
populations are located in the Swan River drainage (Lake and
Missoula counties) . Within this drainage, a total of 428
wetlands have been surveyed; H. aquatilis has been found in 59
(13.8%) of them. The Montana populations constitute 77.6% of
those known globally for the species. Thirty-eight populations
(50% of those known globally) occur wholly or partially on
Flathead National Forest lands. The land ownership status of the
Montana populations is summarized in Table 1, p. 3.

Two new populations were discovered in previously unsurveyed
ponds (occurrence numbers 058 (Salmon Prairie) , and 059 (Lost
Creek-Cilly Creek Ponds) ) . Six other previously unsurveyed ponds
were also examined, but did not contain H. aquatilis . Element
occurrence print-outs and location maps for the two new
populations are included in Section VII, pp. 21-25. The
locations of the ponds that were surveyed, but do not support H.
aquatilis . are indicated on maps in Section IX, pp. 53-55.

Although H. aquatilis has not been found to occur outside of the
Swan Valley in Montana, on the recommendation of Maria Mantas
(Flathead National Forest) , ponds which look suitable in the Lake
Five area near West Glacier, Montana, should be surveyed in 1991.



IV. MONITORING STUDIES

Details regarding population size and condition for the two newly
discovered occurrences are summarized in Table 2, p. 4.

During 1990, 26 previously documented populations were re-
surveyed, and estimates of population size and percent of each
pond occupied by H. aquatilis were made. Updated occurrence
records for these ponds are provided in Section VIII., pp. 26-52.
Quantitative monitoring studies of five populations (008, 009,
013, 020, and 027) were continued. The locations of the
resurveyed ponds and the long-term monitoring ponds are in an
earlier status review (Shelly 1988) . The methods for the
quantitative monitoring studies are described in a report by
Shelly (1989) .



Table 1,


Summary of
Howellia a


lam
quat


a own

ilis


iership fc
(1990) .


>r Montana popi:


ilations of


County


Site name




Number of
populations on
Flathead N.F.
lands


Number of
populations on
Flathead N.F. and
private lands


Number of
populations on
private lands


Lake


Lost Creek-
Cilly Creek




12










Lake


Dog Creek




2










Lake


Swan River West




1










Lake


Salmon Prairie









1


1


Lake


Swan River Oxbow









1





Missoula


Condon Creek




9







A


Missoula


Elk Creek




1




1





Missoula


Kraft Creek












1


Missoula


Lindbergh Lake




9




1


15


TOTAL






34




4


21



Table 2. Population size and condition for Hovel lia aquatilis
occurrences newly documented in 1989.

Occurrence number: 058
Site name: SALMON PRAIRIE
Acreage: 1

Population size and condition: 11-50 PLANTS COUNTED IN 1990; POND CURRENTLY SURROUNDED BY DENSE,

UNDISTURBED TIMBER STANDS.

Occurrence number: 059

Site name: LOST CREEK-CILLY CREEK PONDS

Acreage: 1

Population size and condition: CA. 150 PLANTS COUNTED; ALL INDIVIDUALS OCCUR NEAR MIDDLE OF POND NEXT TO

LOG; SHALLOW POND (


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Online LibraryLisa Schassberger RoeUpdate to the status review of Howellia aquatilis : field surveys, monitoring studies, and transplant experiments, 1990 → online text (page 1 of 4)