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2017 Update: Inbreeding experiment–INB2

Reina, Pamela, and Mike with the photosynthesis machine used in Kittelson et al. (2015)

In 2017, of the original 1,470 plants in INB2, 473 were still alive. Of the plants that were alive this year, only 4 were flowering (0.8%) and 71% have never flowered. Interestingly, there are differences in survival for each cross level. 31% of the most inbred plants were living in 2017, compared to 39% of the plants in the between-remnant cross level. All individuals were planted in 2006.

The INB2 experiment investigates the relationship between inbreeding level and fitness in Echinacea angustifolia. Each plant in experiment INB2 originates from one of three cross types, depending on the relatedness of the parents: between maternal half siblings; between plants from the same remnant, but not sharing a maternal or paternal parent; and between individuals from different remnants. We continued to measure fitness and flowering phenology in these plants.

Read previous posts about this experiment.

Start year: 2006

Location: Experimental plot 1

Overlaps with: Phenology and fitness in P1, Inbreeding experiment–INB1

Physical specimens: We harvested 2 heads from INB2 that will be processed in the lab with other heads harvested from P1.

Data collected: We used handheld computers to collect fitness data on all plants in INB2.

Products: The below papers were published in summer 2015:

Kittelson, P., S. Wagenius, R. Nielsen, S. Qazi, M. Howe, G. Kiefer, and R. G. Shaw. 2015. Leaf functional traits, herbivory, and genetic diversity in Echinacea: Implications for fragmented populations. Ecology 96:1877–1886. PDF

Shaw, R. G., S. Wagenius and C. J. Geyer. 2015. The susceptibility of Echinacea angustifolia to a specialist aphid: eco-evolutionary perspective on genotypic variation and demographic consequences. Journal of Ecology 103:809-818. PDF

You can find more information about the Inbreeding experiment–INB2 and links to previous flog posts regarding this experiment at the background page for the experiment.

2016 update: Inbreeding experiment–INB2

Reina, Pamela, and Mike with the photosynthesis machine used in Kittelson et al. (2015)

In 2016, we continued the INB2 experiment to investigate the relationship between inbreeding level and fitness in Echinacea angustifolia. Each plant in experiment INB2 originates from one of three cross types, depending on the relatedness of the parents: between maternal half siblings; between plants from the same remnant, but not sharing a maternal or paternal parent; and between individuals from different remnants. We continued to measure fitness and flowering phenology in these plants.

This year, of the original 1,470 plants in INB2, 557 were still alive. Of the plants that were alive this year, 2% were flowering and 75% have never flowered.

Read previous posts about this experiment.

 

Start year: 2006

Location: Experimental plot 1

Overlaps with: Phenology and fitness in P1, Inbreeding experiment–INB1

Physical specimens: We harvested 9 heads from INB2 that will be processed in the lab with other heads harvested from P1.

Data collected: We used handheld computers to collect fitness data on all plants in INB2.

Products: The below papers were published in summer 2015:

Kittelson, P., S. Wagenius, R. Nielsen, S. Qazi, M. Howe, G. Kiefer, and R. G. Shaw. 2015. Leaf functional traits, herbivory, and genetic diversity in Echinacea: Implications for fragmented populations. Ecology 96:1877–1886. PDF

Shaw, R. G., S. Wagenius and C. J. Geyer. 2015. The susceptibility of Echinacea angustifolia to a specialist aphid: eco-evolutionary perspective on genotypic variation and demographic consequences. Journal of Ecology 103:809-818. PDF

You can find more information about the Inbreeding experiment–INB2 and links to previous flog posts regarding this experiment at the background page for the experiment.

Project status update: Inbreeding experiment – INB2

Reina, Pamela, and Mike with the photosynthesis machine used in Kittelson et al. (2015)

In 2015, we continued to study the effects of inbreeding on Echinacea angustifolia fitness. This experiment was planted in 2006 where each plant was produced from one of three cross types: between maternal half siblings; between plants originating from the same remnant, but not sharing a maternal parent; and between individuals from different remnants. We continued to measure fitness and flowering phenology in these plants.

This year, of the original 1443 plants in INB2, 561 were still alive. Of the plants that were alive this year, 8.3% were flowering and 76.3% have never flowered – we’re still waiting! Among the plants that were flowering, mean head count was 1.53 heads, with a maximum of five heads.

Read more posts about this experiment here.

Start year: 2006

Location: Experimental plot 1

Overlaps with: Phenology and fitness in P1

Products: Fitness measurements were collected during our annual assessment of fitness in P1.

The following paper was published in summer 2015 based on fieldwork conducted in 2013.

Kittelson, P., S. Wagenius, R. Nielsen, S. Qazi, M. Howe, G. Kiefer, and R. G. Shaw. 2015. Leaf functional traits, herbivory, and genetic diversity in Echinacea: Implications for fragmented populations. Ecology 96:1877–1886. PDF

Project status update: Phenology and fitness in experimental plot 1

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Experimental plot 1 (P1) encompasses 11 different experiments originally planted with a total of 10673 Echinacea individuals. These experiments include long-term studies designed to compare the fitness of Echinacea from different remnant populations (“EA from remnants in P1”), examine the effects of inbreeding on plant fitness (“INB” and “INB2”), and explore other genetic properties of Echinacea such as trait heritability (“qGen”). In 2014, Team Echinacea measured plant traits for the 5409 Echinacea plants that remain alive and followed the daily phenology of 567 flowering heads. Echinacea began producing florets on July 1 and continued flowering in P1 until August 24. The data collected in 2014 will allow us to estimate the heritability of various traits and assess the lifetime fitness of plants from the numerous experiments.

Experiment Year planted # alive # flowering # planted
1 1996 1996 314 115 650
2 1997 1997 270 57 600
3 1998 1998 32 3 375
4 1999 1999 542 106 888
5 1999S 1999 297 37 418
6 SPP 2001 318 14 797
7 Inbreeding 2001 221 15 557
8 2001 2001 170 11 350
9 Monica 2003 2003 28 3 100
10 qGen 2003 2501 122 4468
11 INB2 2006 716 41 1470

Start year: 1996

Location: experimental plot 1

Products:

Overlaps with: aphid addition exclusion, Pamela’s functional traits, pollen longevity, pollen addition exclusion

Thursday, August 1st

Hello Everyone!

Today was a very nice day today. There were clear skies, it was sunny, there was just enough wind to keep the mosquitos at bay, but no pollinators. Up at Hegg Lake the wild Monarda have started blooming in force, along with the swamp milk weed (which is shown below).

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In the morning Sara and Sarah went out to work on their individual projects, while Lydia, Marie, Gretel, Ilse, Per and Hattie worked on phenology.

In the afternoon Gretel, Lydia and Ilse worked on the QGen- which meant continuing the pollenating that has been going on since flowering began. Myself, Sarah, Sara, and Marie started and finished measuring the echinacea in the INB2 garden! Woot!

17 July 2013

It was another hot day on the prairie front. We all broke off into little groups today to take care of business. This morning Reina, Mike, and Pam assed herbivory in INB1 and INB2. Kory, Marie, Sarah B, and Dayvis were all scattered about working on their independent projects. Lydia and Sara Z assed the maternal plants in the common garden that are to be involved in the crosses of the quantitative genetic experiment, and on the other side of things Gretel, Shelley (Gretel’s Mother), Ruth and I went to Landfill Core to gather pollen from the sires that are to be involved in the crossing experiment. We used toothpicks to scrape off the pollen into vials that will be used for pollenating the maternal plants in the common garden. We were able to get pollen from about 40 of 55 plants at the site. The 15 others were just a little too immature to collect pollen from today.

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This afternoon encompassed an hour of stipa searching for some and then continuation of some independent work on projects. Herbivory assessment continued as well. Stuart, Gretel, Ruth and I went for a nice long walk around SPP. We walked a U-shaped transect and used a randomized scheme for assigning sires to be used in the quantitative genetics experiment. We caged/bagged heads that were to be used and gps-ed the plants.

What a busy day!

Lucky Friday the Twelfth

Having dodged the misfortune of convening on Friday the thirteenth, Team Echinacea had a fruitful day in the field.

The morning was occupied by independent projects. Kory, Jennifer, and Jon went to CG2 at Hegg Lake to look for pollinators visiting flowering Echinacea. Dayvis and Marie also went to Hegg Lake to gather data for their respective projects. Sarah B. once again visited multiple remnants to monitor flowering dates. Meanwhile, Lydia, Ilse, and Gretel assessed phenology and flowering head count in the Common Garden and ’99 South Garden to gear up for this summer’s pollination experiment.

In the afternoon, Pam and Reina finished taking measurements of plants in INB2 for their study. The progress of their work benefited greatly from the recent acquisition of a Red Flyer wagon. Lydia (shown below) braved the wrath of protective ants in her quest to acquire blue aphids for her addition/ exclusion experiment. The rest of the team returned to CG2 to finish measuring plant fitness traits.

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After a long day’s work, Dayvis cooked up a delicious meal of split pea soup and arepas (Venezuelan corn cakes). Many crew members are experiencing discomfort due to chigger bites, although some are more prone to vocalize their displeasure than others.

Thursday happenings

Today was a great day for Team Echinacea. Most of us began our mornings searching for stipa and then went out to Hegg Lake where we finished measuring plants in Jennifer’s common garden! Woot woot! I took an photo of the group and was so excited that my finger made it into the photo…whoops! Dayvis continued to observed pollinators and Reina and Pam were super productive measuring photosynthetic rates of plants in INB2 (maybe it’s the new wagon they got for lugging around Helga).

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At lunch Kory updated us with his progress on his pollinator efficiency project and Jennifer surprised us with a delicious watermelon as a treat for finishing up stuff at Hegg Lake. Marie did the honors of cutting up the watermelon (little did we know it was her first time).

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The afternoon felt a bit like deja vu of the morning. We did another round of searching for stipa (rumor has it we’re just about half way done!) and then returned to Hegg Lake. Turns out we didn’t actually “finish” measuring plants…now it’s time to double check all the ones we didn’t find the first time. Looks like we’ll finish that up tomorrow though, and then be actually done with Hegg Lake for the weekend.

Happy Thursday!

A Lovely Wednesday

 

Today, the weather was beautiful and the team was able to make a lot of progress on several projects. In the morning, twist-tieing the heads in the common garden was finished up after several days of working on it. Most of the team then headed out to Hegg Lake to make a ton of progress inventorying the status of all the echinacea plants in common garden 2. My day consisted on making huge strides in gathering data on photosynthetic rate of the echinacea in the INB2 part of the common garden. We are almost 2/3 of the way done measuring! Later that day and back at the town hall, the team feasted on some delicious fajitas that Sarah Z. prepared for supper. image-7.jpg
-Reina

Monday Movements

Today in Douglas County, Minnesota, Team Echinacea labored under a cloudless sky and oppressively high temperatures and humidity levels.

First thing in the morning, Sarah B. visited the remnants she is monitoring to study flowering phenology. Dayvis also departed to work on his own project, and was not seen again until 1pm. Today is the second day of flowering for Echinacea pallida at Hegg Lake, and Dayvis appeared elated to finally observe pollinators at work. Kory and Jennifer also went to Hegg Lake in the morning to visit Common Garden 2.

Those who did not have morning projects to attend to flagged and twist-tied flowering plants in the Common Garden. After lunch, the team departed to CG2 to measure plants. Throughout the day, Pam and Reina measured photosynthesis rates in the basal leaves of Echinacea in INB2. Marie and Reina also made/improvised pollinator exclusion cages. The technique for doing so remains unperfected.

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