Reproductive ecology of Rudbeckia fulgida Ait. var. sullivantii (C. L. Boynt and Beadle) Cronq. (Asteraceae) in northeastern Illinois

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Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii (Sullivant's Coneflower) is a target species for conservation and restoration at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Will County, northeastern Illinois, due to its classification as a Regional Forester's Sensitive Species by the United States Forest Service (USFS; i.e., a species for which population viability is a concern because of a significant current or predicted downward trend in population numbers/density or in habitat capability that would reduce a species' existing distribution). We collected data on the reproductive ecology of this species including its breeding system, seed set, and flower visitors at seven populations in northeastern Illinois from 2002-2004, to support a conservation plan for the species on USFS lands. We found that R. fulgida var. sullivantii is mostly self-incompatible. Percent seed set ranged from 26.1 to 69.5 with the great majority of populations having over 45 percent seed set. Insects from 32 families were identified as flower visitors to R. fulgida var. sullivantii. Six out of seven populations had between 18-22 insect families and one population had 11 insect families as flower visitors. We concluded that the reproductive ecology of Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii is not the leading cause for its decline in northeastern Illinois.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-368
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Torrey Botanical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
  • Reproductive ecology
  • Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii
  • Sensitive species
  • Sullivant's coneflower

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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