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2021 Update: Community flowering phenology in remnants

In 2021, Lea Richardson conceived and initiated a 2-year study designed to test how fire affects community flowering phenology in remnant prairies in MN. We randomly sampled points in burned and unburned remnants for a total of 294 points. In a 1m radius around each random point, the number of flowering stems were counted for every plant species present in the circle twice a week from July 1-August 31. For some species, the radius extended past 1m. Random points used in this study were the same points used in the stipa project as well as other projects associated with Jared Beck’s postdoc studying fire in remnants. Lea also obtained estimates of total number of flowering plants of certain species for the whole site if the species in question was not in any of the random circles placed on the site (these additional observations should allow for more accurate flowering abundance curves to be obtained). Sites were divided into two driving routes with roughly half of the points visited on Monday and Thursday, and the other half visited Tuesday and Friday. This sampling protocol for the same sites will be repeated in 2022 to be able to compare points with and without fire across two years and among sites. Over 100 flowering species were identified within the circles. Data analysis will proceed on this first year of data in Spring 2022 and will be included as Chapter 4 of Lea’s dissertation.

  • Start year: 2021
  • Location: Remnants including: eri.n, rrx.w, lc.w, lc.e, yoh.e, yoh.w, aa.s, aa.n, sgc, eelr, kj, nnwlf, lf.w, lf.e, sap.w, sap.e, dog, on27, spp.w, spp.e
  • Overlaps with: Hesperostipa fire and flowering, prescribed fire in remnants, random points in remnants
  • Data collected: community phenology data, using visor form ptPhen (all data in aiiSummer2021 repo in ptPhen folder)
  • Samples or specimens collected: none
  • Products: [eventually] chapter 4 of Lea Richardson’s dissertation and hopefully a manuscript after 2022 data collection

You can read more about the community flowering phenology in remnants experiment, as well as links to prior flog entries about this experiment, on the background page for this experiment.

2021 Update: Random points in remnants

In 2021, Team Echinacea established 378 random points across 27 prairie remnants in western Minnesota. After delineating the boundaries of remnant prairie patches of interest, we established between 6 and 24 random points within each patch (number of points roughly proportional to patch area). These points serve as sampling locations to help Team Echinacea characterize fire effects on the reproduction of plant species like Hesperostipa spartea and Andropogon gerardii. These points may also serve as infrastructure for future research projects.

  • Start year: 2021
  • Location: Roadsides, railroad rights of way, and nature preserves in and around Solem Township, MN
  • Overlaps with: Hesperostipa fire and flowering in remnants, Andropogon fire and flowering in remnants
  • Data collected: stakefile with 378 random point locations can be found: ~Dropbox/geospatialDataBackup2021/stakeFiles2021/randomPointsInRems/stakeRandomPointsInRems2021.csv
  • Samples or specimens collected: NA
  • Products: NA

You can read more about Random points in remnants, as well as links to prior flog entries about this experiment, on the background page for this experiment.

2021 Update: Hesperostipa fire and flowering in remnants

During late summer 2021, we began collecting data in remnant patches of prairie to quantify fire effects on the reproduction of Porcupine grass (Hesperostipa spartea). We visited 209 random points established during the summer across 17 remnant patches and counted the number of flowering Hesperostipa culms rooted within 1 m of the random point. Across the 209 plots, we counted 1159 culms. The highest density we observed was 101 culms in one plot at Landfill East. In addition to counting culms, we also counted the number of fruits produced by culms in each plot. The plot with 101 culms at Landfill East also held the record for fruit count at 523!

  • Start year: 2021
  • Location: Remnant patches of prairie in and around Solem Township, MN
  • Overlaps with: Random points in remnants
  • Data collected: ~Dropbox/burnRems/remStipa/data2021/remStipa2021Data.csv
  • Samples or specimens collected: Seeds collected and counted during June 2021 were broadcast in exPt08
  • Products: Stay tuned!

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

2021 Update: Andropogon fire and flowering in remnants

During late summer 2021, we began collecting data in remnant patches of prairie to quantify fire effects on the reproduction of Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii). We visited 276 random points established during the summer across 27 remnant patches and counted the number of flowering Andropogon culms rooted within 1 m of the random point. Across the 376 plots, we counted 1450 culms. The highest density we observed was 163 culms in one plot at KJs. We also collected seed heads from all culms within 1 m of the random points to x-ray and quantify seed set.

  • Start year: 2021
  • Location: Patches of remnant prairie in and around Solem Township, MN
  • Overlaps with: Random points in remnants
  • Data collected: ~Dropbox/burnRems/remAndro/fieldData2021/remAndro2021DataVerified.csv
  • Samples or specimens collected: Seed heads collected during summer 2021 have been dried and currently reside in Jared’s office. These samples will be cleaned, processes, and x-rayed to quantify seed set.
  • Products: Stay tuned!

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