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Interspecific competition between prairie grass species

Greetings floggers!

This past week steered off the E. angustifolia path for an exciting development on related research. I am beginning my experiment by researching two c3 prairie grasses- Elymus canadensisBromus kalmii, and one c4 prairie grass- Panicum virgatum. In the weeks to come, I will randomly plant two differing species in a plot and observe their competition for resources. To begin this process, I have prepared a pre-treatment of cold-stratification to help break seed dormancy. Pre-treatment consisted of filling fifteen 150 x 50mm petri dishes with agar, bleach treating seeds (to prevent growth of any possible bacteria or fungi), plating the seeds on the solidified agar, and refrigerating for two weeks. Each species filled five petri-dishes (1oo seeds per dish). After their pre-treatment of  cold stratification, the seeds will stay in their dishes and be transferred to our grow chamber for germination. Once germination is observed, they will find their home in the soil. 🙂 This is very much a summery of the experimental process. However, it’s exciting news and relates to the Echinacea project on the grounds of prairie restoration. Upon completion of the experiment, the prairie grasses will be transported to our common gardens in Minnesota, which each species happens to be native to. Stay tuned for more exciting updates!

Sincerely,

Danielle

Weighing out agar

 

Heating agar mixed with deionized water

Agar solidifying into gel under UV light to assist in sterilization

Moving seeds (after bleach treatment) to petri dish on top of agar gel

From left to right- B. kalmii, E. canadensis, and P. virgatum – ready for cold-stratification in the refrigerator

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