Conserving Dicerandra Plant Species
About Dicerandra thinicola
Dicerandra thinicola is an endangered, native plant species. Being the only endemic plant species of Brevard County; Dicerandra thinicola is found nowhere else on Earth besides the north-eastern section of the county. The habitat of Dicerandra thinicola falls within the Atlantic Coastal range in a narrow range of 13 miles, between the Titusville wellfield (just north of SR504) to southern Mims.
Diceradra thinicola is listed as endangered by the state of Florida, but not the U.S. federal government; the plant species must be monitored and placed under protection.
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People Behind the Plant
Dr. Eric Menges, and Suzanne Kennedy (both rare, threatened, and endangered plant ecologists), collaboratively have been studying Dicerandra thinicola population demography and see re-introductions in the Titusville well-field III and the Dicerandra Scrub Sanctuary (Environmentally Endangered Lands - managed) since 2001 (15 years). The research team has a City of Titusville Permit for on-going research before and following the proposed 2016 prescribed well-field fire to monitor Dicerandra thinicola's response to the proposed burn.
We thank the City of Titusville and the Brevard County Parks and Recreation's Environmental Endangered Lands (EEL Program for premission to research on their sites.
Scrub endemic species require periodic fire to suppress tree and shrub overgrowth. Forestry partners with the City of Titusville plan a prescribed fire during 2016.
- Following fire, Dicerandra thinicola has increased seedling recruitment (for its dormant seed buried in the soil).
- Post-fire, Dicerandra thinicola grows faster, flower earlier, and produce more flowers.
- In long-unburned areas, few Dicerandra thinicola seedlings are able to develop.
- Dicerandra thinicola plants in open areas, such as those recently burned, appear to receive more visits from pollinators.
- These patterns are similar to other species in the genus Dicerandra, where fires have been shown to increase plant population health.