Conserving the Flora of Limestone Cedar Glade Communities of the Southeastern United States


The calcareous glades and barrens of the southeastern United States, often referred to as ‘cedar glades,’ comprise a diverse and unique flora. Many of the plant species in these communities are threatened or endangered. The highest concentration of limestone cedar glades lies in the Central Basin of Middle Tennessee, where these habitats are highly fragmented as a consequence of mining, urban development, and other factors. In this chapter, we detail conservation actions and impacts in selected case studies of four limestone glade endemics or near-endemics: Pyne’s ground-plum [Astragalus bibullatus Barneby & Bridges; Fabaceae], leafy prairie clover [Dalea foliosa (A. Gray) Barneby; Fabaceae], Tennessee coneflower [Echinacea tennesseensis (Beadle) Small; Asteraceae], and Nashville breadroot [Pediomelum subacaule (Torr. & A. Gray) Rybd.; Fabaceae]. For each case study, we describe the reasons for conservation need, actions taken and their subsequent outcomes, the lessons learned, and suggestions for future research. Given the biodiversity and documented threats to the cedar glades, we propose that securing the future of these unique sites will require protection that goes beyond species-specific efforts to preserving the habitat as a whole.

Publication Title

Imperiled: The Encyclopedia of Conservation: Volume 1-3