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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Rivercane (Arundinaria gigantea) flowering but no seed production: A potential answer
Year: 2010
Author(s): Baldwin, B., Wright, J., Perez, C., Kent-First, M., Reichert, N.
Source Title:
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 18
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Rivercane, Arundinaria gigantea, brakes are found though out the southeastern U.S., but are only remnants of their former populations. Canebrakes were an important ecosystem, being critical to the well-being of many animal species. However, agricultural and urban expansion have reduced stands to small clonal clumps along roadsides, edges of agricultural fields, and right-of-ways between housing developments. Such depletion would impact genetic diversity/variability, which compromises rivercane’s ability to propagate sexually, since it is obligately out-crossed. A decrease in genetic diversity could exacerbate an already problematic situation. Like many bamboo species, rivercane is monocarpic and undergoes gregarious flowering, once flowering occurs, seed must be produced to replace the parent plant. During the last three years flowering events among isolated canebrakes in Mississippi have been observed, but seed production is nearly non-existent. Flowering brakes were sampled and evaluated via DNA fingerprinting to determine number of individuals and genetic composition. Data suggests that brakes examined in Mississippi are derived from one or a small number of related individuals. Seed production from these brakes is unlikely unless an adjacent unrelated brake is also flowering. This information will help in the making decisions on sound re-establishment of rivercane in restoration projects around the South.
Publisher: Proceedings of the Seventh Eastern Native Grass Symposium. Knoxville, TN, October 5-8, 2010
Editor(s): C. Harper