burning androPilot (east) 2022

To kick off our 2022 burn season, we conducted a prescribed burn in our eastern pilot Andropogon experimental plot on Friday, May 6. We burned the western plot in spring 2021.

After staging equipment and checking the weather with our new bluetooth-enabled Kestrel, we ignited a test fire in the NW corner of the plot. The fire looked great and out mowed break was doing its job so we proceeded with the fire. Stuart kept watch over the northern line while Alex and Trygg tended to the western edge. We allowed the fire to back downhill against the wind. After putting in a few strips to quickly widen the black, we ignited along the eastern and southern lines. The headfire quickly ran uphill. Apart from areas with discontinuous fuels along the northern edge, the burn was pretty thorough. Stuart noted that the wind was consistently southeast except for a southern push when we ignited the headfire. We agreed that lighting the headfire sooner would have been possible given conditions and the fire behavior we observed. All-in-all, a successful first burn of 2022 for the Echinacea Project. We are eager to learn how Andropogon gerardii responds to fire.

Temperature: 65 F
Relative Humidity: 37 %
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind Direction: SE
Ignition time: 12:03 PM
End time: 12:24 PM
Burn Crew: Jared, Stuart, Alex C., Trygg

2021 Update: Andropogon fire and flowering in exPt08

In summer 2020, Team Echinacea established two plots south of experimental plot 8 for a pilot experiment examining fire effects on Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) reproduction. Neither plot was burned during 2020. During spring 2021, we randomly selected the western plot to be burned.

Within each rectangular plot, we selected 30 random points. We then counted the number of flowering Andropogon culms within circular 1m2 subplot centered on each random point (within 56.4 cm). After excluding random points that overlapped with the plot boundary or other random points, we were left with 24 usable random points in the eastern plot and 23 usable random points in the western plot.

  • Start year: 2020
  • Location: South of exPt08
  • Overlaps with: Andropogon fire and flowering in remnants
  • Data collected:
    • Stakefile for random plot locations: ~Dropbox/geospatialDataBackup2021/stakeFiles2021/stakeAndroPilot2021.csv
    • Scanned data sheets: ~Dropbox/burnRems/pilotAndro/androPilot2021
  • Samples or specimens collected: Seed heads collected from 2020 and 2021 are currently stored in Jared’s office. These have been dried and will be cleaned / x-rayed to quantify seed set.
  • Products: Stay tuned!

You can read more about the Andropogon fire and flowering in exPt08 experiment, as well as links to prior flog entries about this experiment, on the background page for this experiment.