Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Forestry and Environmental Conservation
The rocky shoals spider lily (Hymenocallis coronaria) is a culturally and ecologically important emergent macrophyte endemic to the biodiverse shoals of fall line streams in the southeastern United States. H. coronaria has declined throughout its range as shoal habitat has become increasingly threatened by flow modification and other anthropogenic stressors. The genetics and botany of H. coronaria have been given considerable attention, but quantitative habitat research has been lacking. Furthermore, despite substantial need, public interest, and its status as an indicator species for fall line streams, no research has been conducted on H. coronaria restoration. Our main objectives were to identify habitat characteristics most important to H. coronaria colonization at the microhabitat and shoal scale and to establish results-based standard practices for implementing H. coronaria restoration. We conducted this research in Stevens Creek, South Carolina, a free-flowing and minimally stressed fall line stream. Our results indicate that shallow water depth and coarse substrate are the best predictors of H. coronaria presence at the microhabitat scale, with depth being the most influential. At the shoal scale, we determined that shoal length, hydrology, and substrate all influence H. coronaria density. When considering restoration, we recommend that future efforts utilize a wedge technique with H. coronaria seedlings during the summer to maximize efficiency. If success is the top priority, we recommend using bulbs in the spring or summer and considering large-scale seed broadcasting if minimal effort is desired. We hope that advancements in H. coronaria conservation and restoration will improve shoal management for the benefit of biodiversity and ecosystem services and contribute to process-based restoration of fall line streams in the Southeast through the use of H. coronaria as an indicator species for restoration success.
Grunwald, Andrew Paul, "Advancing Hymenocallis coronaria Conservation and Restoration for Improved Habitat Management in Fall Line Streams of the Southeast" (2022). All Theses. 3773.