EKU Faculty and Staff Scholarship


High levels of seed inviability among seven populations of the endangered Short’s goldenrod (Solidago shortii – Asteraceae)

Author ORCID Identifier

Patrick CalieORCID iD iconhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3705-4742


Biological Sciences

Document Type


Publication Date



The physical conditions of mature seeds were examined from representatives of six Kentucky populations and one Indiana population of the endangered species Short's goldenrod (Solidago shortii, Asteraceae.) A random sample of seeds from the Kentucky populations revealed the majority (71%-99%) were incapable of successful seedling development, being damaged due to either an insect predator or to unsuccessful fertilization or embryo abortion. Successful seedling development from phenotypically normal seeds ranged from 71% to 96% in the sampled Kentucky populations. The majority of the damaged seeds were necrotic, ranging from 62%-90%. The Indiana population exhibited the lowest level of herbivory (2%) observed for the species. Two congener goldenrod species (S. canadensis var.altissima and S.nemoralis) found growing either within or adjacent to three populations of Short's goldenrod exhibited lower levels of necrosis and higher levels of herbivory. A third congener species (S.gigantea) exhibited equal levels of the two seed conditions (herbivory and necrosis). The influence of seed inviability upon the persistence of natural populations of Short's goldenrod is at present unknown.

Journal Title

SIDA, Contributions to Botany

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