Klemow, Kenneth M. and D. J. Raynal. 1979. The population ecology of Erucastrum gallicum (Cruciferae). Contributed paper: Ecological Society of America meeting. Abstract: Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 60:112.
Erucastrum gallicum (Willd.) O.E. Schulz is a summer annual plant that colonizes disturbed gravelly sites in the northeastern U.S. To assess seasonal trends in emergence, survival, and reproduction, and to determine how such trends may be affected by year to year variability in temperature and rainfall, individuals colonizing an abandoned limestone quarry near Syracuse were mapped within permanent quadrats and periodically censused in 1976, 1977, and 1978. In each year, most seedlings emerged in April and May. Cohorts appearing in the spring exhibited greater survival and reproduction than those appearing in summer or fall. Year to year differences in temperature and precipitation profoundly affected emergence densities and survival to reproduction. During the hot, dry spring of 1977, seedling emergence densities were far lower than during the cooler, more moist springs of 1976 and 1978. Mortality during the spring drought of 1977 was much greater than during the summer or fall hot, dry periods in 1976 and 1978. Adaptations allowing Erucastrum to thrive in such a temporally variable environment will be discussed.