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1 January 2005 Harvest Recovery of Goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis L
Suzanne Sanders, James B. McGraw
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Goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis L., is a herbaceous understory plant of the eastern deciduous forest that is harvested from natural populations due to its medicinal value. The objectives of this study were to determine if regrowth from harvest varies between patches and also to relate regrowth to pre-harvest leaf and patch size. We used data from three experimentally harvested natural patches and data on recovery of an illegally harvested patch harvested at the end of the growing season. We found variation in patch regrowth which suggests harvest technique and timing may be important. Experimental rhizome removal during mid-summer resulted in slower recovery of leaf size relative to the patch that was illegally harvested. We found a trend for reduced leaf area 2 y post-harvest relative to that pre-harvest. We also found variation in stem count between patches in response to harvest, which may be due to the pre-harvest size of ramets. The patch with larger pre-harvest ramets showed compensatory growth in the year immediately after harvest while the patches comprised of smaller ramets did not. Our results indicate that response to, and recovery from, harvest varies between patches and that individual ramet leaf size may be a better predictor of patch recovery than stem count. Because regrowth may be affected by harvest timing, an established harvest season may alleviate some harvest pressure on H. canadensis.

Suzanne Sanders and James B. McGraw "Harvest Recovery of Goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis L," The American Midland Naturalist 153(1), 87-94, (1 January 2005).[0087:HROGHC]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 1 April 2004; Published: 1 January 2005

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