A population of the dwarf bear-poppy (Arctomecon humilis Coville, Papaveraceae) at Red Bluff, Washington County, Utah, was monitored twice annually between 1987 and 2002. This is a narrowly endemic, gypsophilous species that has been formally listed as endangered since 1979. During the 16 years of observation, density of this species has fluctuated between 3 and 1336 individuals on the 0.07-ha monitoring plot. Moderate to large recruitments of seedlings occurred in 1992, 1995, and 2001. Seedling recruitments from a large, long-lived seed bank are triggered by abundant precipitation during the February–April period. At least 5.0 cm of rainfall is required during that interval to produce any seedlings. Seedlings experienced considerable mortality in the 1st few months of life in all observed cases. The average seedling initiated in the very large recruitment event of 1992 survived for only 2.6 years. Seedlings in that cohort that were alive 1 year after germination had an average longevity of 4.6 years. None of the seedlings that emerged in 1992 were still alive in October 2002. Mortality in this species was poorly correlated with fluctuations in precipitation or temperature. No epidemics of parasites or herbivores were observed. Mortality in the species appears to be caused by a variety of factors acting over a cohort's lifetime.
Harper, K. T. and Van Buren, Renée
"Dynamics of a dwarf bear-poppy (Arctomecon humilis) population over a sixteen-year period,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 64
, Article 8.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol64/iss4/8