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2019 update: Amy Dykstra’s local adaptation experiment

This experiment was designed to study how well adapted Echinacea populations are to their local environments. Amy collected achenes from Echinacea populations in western South Dakota, central South Dakota, and Minnesota, and then sowed seeds from all three sources into experimental plots near each collection site. You can read more about the experiment and see a map of the seed source sites on the background page for this experiment.

This summer, during our annual census of the experimental plots, we found 67 living Echinacea plants in the western South Dakota plot, including 9 flowering plants. We found 116 living plants, including one flowering plant in the Minnesota plot. This was the first flowering plant in the Minnesota plot! (We abandoned the central SD plot after it was inadvertently sprayed in 2009, killing all the Echinacea). For more details and graphs, please read this brief report.

First flowering plant in the MN local adaptation plot!

Start year: 2008

Location: Grand River National Grassland (Western South Dakota), Samuel H. Ordway Prairie (Central South Dakota), Staffanson Prairie Preserve (West Central Minnesota), and Hegg Lake WMA (West Central Minnesota).

Overlaps with: Dykstra’s interpopulation crosses

Data/ materials collected: Plant fitness measurements (plant status, number of rosettes, number of leaves, and length of longest leaf), heads from all flowering plants

Products: Dykstra, A. B. 2013. Seedling recruitment in fragmented populations of Echinacea angustifolia. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Minnesota. PDF

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