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2021 Update: Fire and seedling fitness in remnants

As part of the 2020 NSF grant to study fire effects on plant reproduction and population dynamics, we are implementing a seed addition experiment in numerous remnants. From previous studies, we know that fire can improve recruitment, which is important for population growth. However, our previous observations of recruitment in remnants conflate the amount of seed entering the seed bank and the seedlings emerging from the seed bank. The goal of this seed addition experiment is to help us directly quantify the effects of fire on seedling emergence and early seedling fitness. We will use these data to parameterize demographic models for Echinacea.

For the seed addition experiment, we established 76 transects distributed across 32 prairie remnants with Echinacea. One segment per transect was chosen at random to be planted in fall 2021 and one transect chosen at random to be planted during fall 2022. The study includes 9 sites burned during spring 2021 as well as 7 sites slated to burn during spring 2022. Seeds were sowed in groups of 50 (either one or two packets of 50 per segment planted). All seeds were derived from the 2016 heads harvested in p2.

  • Start year: 2021
  • Location: 32 patches of remnant prairie in and around Solem Township, MN
  • Overlaps with: Seed addition transects in remnants
  • Data collected: All data related to planting can be found here: ~Dropbox/burnRems/seedExp
  • Samples or specimens collected: Seed packets to be planted in fall 2022 are stored in see-through glass cabinets in the population biology lab at CBG.
  • Products: Stay tuned!

You can read more about the fire and seedling fitness in remnants experiment, as well as links to prior flog entries about this experiment, on the background page for this experiment.

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