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Plans for the week

Here’s a list of our objectives for the week. Our goal is to gain greater understanding of the ecology and evolution of plants and their associated insects in fragmented prairie habitat. This week will be a peak flowering week for Echinacea this year (1 – 2 weeks earlier that most years). We will spend most of our time observing things related to reproduction. Get down, Echinacea!

Flowering phenology–successfully mating depends on being at the right place at the right time. We can map _where_ all the action occurs later, because our plants don’t move much. Now, we have to figure out _when_ the action is happening and which plants are participating. Some plants are almost done flowering and others are just thinking about flowering.

Style persistence is a signal of which plants are not receiving compatible pollen. We can quantify SP at the same time we observe phenology. We will make phenology and SP observations in the common garden on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday and at Staffanson on Tuesday & Friday.

We will set up ~10 video cameras in the common garden each day. Each camera will be trained on a specific head to watch for pollinator visits. If we can figure out how, we will post a video online for your viewing pleasure.

The Bee Team will mark bees on Monday morning and probably Tuesday too. They will train all of us to make good observations and record high-quality data. We will do that all week. Here’s the link to _the_ online bee identification resource for Eastern North America. This is a great resource!

http://stri.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=apoidea#Identification

(It’s certainly good enough for our purposes in western Minnesota.)

The KAP team will take photos of our remnants, if the wind allows. They will be all ready to go when it does. We’ll be keeping track of local weather. Here are some key resources:

Kensington general forecast and 48-hour surface wind forecast (from NWS in Minneapolis).

Hoffman general forecast and 48-hour surface wind forecast (from NWS in Grand Forks).

Current conditions at nearby weather stations.

We will take head photos for symmetry measurements in the afternoons. Colin, now that you made one rig, could you easily & quickly make another one? If so, we could have two pairs of folks taking photos.

One afternoon we will take data on herbivory of ray florets in the common garden.

If weather on Thursday permits, we will take a field trip to visit the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid and help Gretel monitor her long-term experiment.

If it rains this week, we will weed sweet clover & thistle in the CG right after the rain stops–or during if there is no thunder. Bring gloves!

Finally, everyone will post a profile with a photo.

I am looking forward to the coming week! I’d better get some sleep so I can appreciate it.

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