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First week wrap-up

We had a good first week at the Echinacea Project! It’s a good group of caring and dedicated people and I’m looking forward to spending the summer with them. On Friday we discussed our ideas for individual summer projects, which demonstrated the collaborative, supportive, and ecological science-fostering environment that this team cultivates. It was fun hearing about everyone’s projects, which ranged in topics from aphid-ant-plant interactions to the role of parasitic plants in prairies, to Echinacea pallida/angustifolia hybrids, to Echinacea seedling persistence in microhabitats, to planning prairie research projects for a high school class. It will be exciting to see how they develop!

In plant ID this week I’m jazzed to share that I figured out what the plant Amy and I were trying to identify at the Landfill site on Friday was! It was Amorpha nana, aka fragrant false indigo or dwarf false indigo. It’s a relative of Amorpha canescens (leadplant) and looks similar, but has distinctive red stems.

Next week I look forward to more monitoring of Echinacea phenology as its flowers develop, getting more practice with GPS data collection, and working on my project idea. I’m thankful for the patience of more experienced team members showing me how it’s done!

What I believe is Amorpha nana, seen at the Landfill prairie remnant. Surrounded by brome grass and litter–maybe this site would benefit from a burn!
A brilliant tiger beetle also seen at Landfill
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