Is Seedling Establishment Very Rare in the Oklahoma Seaside Alder, Alnus maritima ssp. oklahomensis?

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Stanley A. Rice
J. Phil Gibson


The Oklahoma seaside alder (Alnus maritima ssp. oklahomensis) is a shrub that grows almost exclusively in Johnston County. While individuals resprout vigorously from rootstocks, few seedlings have been observed in the wild. We surveyed 1,848 one-meter- square plots of suitable microhabitat at two locations on the Blue River and a location on Pennington Creek. We found only 20 alder seedlings, all of them in their first year, and most of them in unsuitable, shaded conditions. These observations are consistent with the interpretation that, despite its abundant production of viable seeds, the Oklahoma seaside alder has effectively no long-term successful seedling establishment. These observations serve as a basis for seedling establishment experiments planned for the near future.

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