Running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum Muhl. ex A. Eaton) is a species of clover that is federally listed as endangered. Trifolium stoloniferum requires mesic habitats with partially filtered light and will be outcompeted without periodic disturbance, such as grazing, mowing, or trampling. The purpose of this study was to understand rates of flowering and clonal reproduction associated with different growth stages of T. stoloniferum. During this study I visited 6 restoration sites of T. stoloniferum once each week from April to October, marking new individuals with a unique numbered metal tag and assessing the growth stage of individuals. All sites were assessed based on their stage structure, inflorescence production, clonal reproduction, and population growth. I hypothesized that populations with filtered light, reduced plant competition, and near disturbances such as streams and cow grazing, would perform better than populations lacking these conditions. Site two, which had disturbance caused by cows, was located near a stream, and had filtered light, had the highest percent of inflorescence production, highest percent of clonal reproduction, and highest population growth rate out of all 6 sites. Overall, all 6 sites grew in population size and produced new individuals, showing that these restoration populations were successful this season. For most populations, new individuals (ramets) started to appear near the end of July and the beginning of August. These results support previous findings and are an important contribution to the restoration efforts made by researchers at Eastern Kentucky University and all over the nation.
Semester/Year of Award
Jennifer M. Koslow
Open Access Thesis
Perkins, Chelsea L., "Fine-scale monitoring of running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum) restoration populations at Taylor Fork Ecological Area" (2015). Honors Theses. 278.