Demographic consequences of seed germination patterns in Lespedeza leptostachya
Temperature and precipitation patterns are predicted to affect the early growth rates of temperate grassland species such as Prairie Bush Clover, particularly germination responses that are critical to maintaining viable populations. Preliminary population projection models of PBC suggest that both of these factors have strong effects on the population growth rate of this species. The student will be asking how changing temperatures and rainfall patterns will affect seed germination, seedling establishment and survivorship via lab and field experimentation. These results will serve to parameterize population projection models to determine the effects of climate change on the population viability of this species.