Since the idea of researching Manzanita in Arizona came to me in February I have wanted to create some sort of research plan. I figured that this would take me most of a year to create but I think that now at least an outline is beginning to form:
I’d like to combine all the data I have found into a mapping project which can give me information at a variety of levels.
I think a study of the reproductive characters of both Arizona species is in order with emphasis of between and within species variation.
Determine sympatry of the two Arizona species in several locations. The question is: Do they hybridize?
Morphology of leaf shape and leaf skeleton network quantification will give me more needed characters for study of between and within character variation.
Some way to field quantify “stickiness” is needed.
I want to study association and the behavioral aspects affecting plant reproduction as a character of the plant. Again, variation within and between. Also, what got me started on this: ‘The mystery of the holes.’
What I have found
I have found A. pungens in the Hualapi Mts., Santa Catalina Mts., Reddington Pass, Cochise Stronghold, Pena Blanca Lake, southern end of the Santa Rita Mts., Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mts., Canelo Hills, Parker Canyon Lake and Sunnyside Canyon on the west side of the Huachuca Mts., Carr Canyon on the east side of the Huachuca Mts., Whetstone Mts., Penaleños Mts., and Pinal Mts. I have collected specimens and GPS coordinates or at least pictures for most of these findings. I have also started collecting fruits for the analysis of number endocarp structure. Looking at the California Consortium of Herbariums data (Consortium of California Herbaria, 2013) I found that there is a population in the New York Mts. in the Mojave Preserve. This represents a point between the Hualapi Mts. in Arizona and the more western San Jacinto Mts.
In Carr Canyon I noticed a second flowering after this year’s particularly heavy monsoon season. This is particularly interesting as California has a single pulse winter rainy season while Arizona has a double pulse winter/summer rainy season. This is the first time I’ve heard about this, there are allusions to later flowering but not a double flowering. This would be pretty intermittent, as the monsoon rains get less strong as you go north and west. i got lucky this year. A second possibility is that this a factor of the Madrean Encinal, A. pungens does change here, for one thing the plant gets much larger, the second flowering could be a part of this. I didn’t notice any of the round holes in the flowers but I did notice what could be vertical slits in dried flowers, although hard to tell at this state. I noticed honey bees, an unknown bee and some flower flies but no Osmia bees.
I have found and collected plants from the Hualapi Mts., Santa Catalina Mts. and Penaleños Mts. I have also collected fruit from the Penaleños location. I looked for plants supposedly in the Mustang Mts., but I believe the specimen data is mistaken as I found nothing near the published location. Also, I have a feeling that the specimen data for Sunnyside Canyon in the Huachuca Mts. is mistaken.
I have found the two species in sympatry in the Hualapi Mts. and the Penaleños Mts. and I think I have spotted sympatric plants in the Santa Catalina Mts.
I have the published A. pringlei data (IRHN, 2013) in a spreadsheet and am presently cleaning it of mistakes and controlled terms for slope, phenology, soil type and plant associates. This is nearing completion. I have the much larger A. pungens data (IRHN, 2013) to do but after some experimentation I have a specific plan of attack. I would like to relate this to the siting data for Callophrys augustinus annetteae (SoWestLep, 1999) in Arizona. There are no GPS point at all, only descriptions but I might be able to get something useful for at least some of the data