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Monday August 6th

What a day! The kitchen at Town Hall was busier at 7:20 this morning than I’ve ever seen. It seems like everyone had the same idea to get up early and give their poster one last look before submitting it for printing. Thankfully we all got our posters in on time and we are enjoying a nice reprieve from poster-work this evening.

At work today, we completed demography on East Riley. There were lots and lots of flowering plants within a meter or so of the road that had been mowed and did not get chance to flower this year. In the afternoon, we worked on more demography at East Elk Lake Road and Around Landfill.

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In the morning, Stuart told us about some roadwork that was happening along the Douglas-Grant County line by our Landfill sites. Katherine, Jill, and I stopped by to check it out. It looks like the road workers have dug up about 3 meters of roadside along the North-northwest of Landfill site. On the positive side, it’s lucky that this is happening after the plants had finished flowering, but on the negative side, one row of Jill’s pitfall traps have been buried. We met some of the construction workers who told us that they were working to improve the drainage of the road by evening out the roadside ditches. He also showed us the seed they were replanting: a mixture of brome, timothy, alfalfa, and clover among other things.

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I guess this is a prime example of the habitat fragmentation and altered disturbance patterns that we’re here to study. It’s hard to watch the plants go, but in the long run these disturbances and our ability to monitor if/how the plants recover will teach us how to better manage prairie remnants in order to maintain stable plant populations.

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