Hi Flog! It’s me, Amy!
This winter we’ve been working on ‘demap’, a project to coordinate 20+ years of demography and spatial data from remnant populations of Echinacea in Solem Township. When we are done we will have a great long-term dataset of over 3000 individuals in 27 remnant populations. We can use that information to answer all kinds of questions about flowering dynamics in natural populations, population growth, and the consequences of disturbances such as habitat fragmentation and fire! In particular, this January we focused our efforts on answering questions about the demographic consequences of fire. Does fire’s stimulation of flowering contribute to increased population growth over the long term? Do reproductive benefits of fire outweigh potential survival costs? We’re not sure, but we hope to find out by analyzing four populations– a large population that had one fire event, a large population that has not been burned in the past 20 years, a small population that burned once, and a small population that has not burned in the past 20 years. We’ll combine our demography data about flowering and survival with other information, such as the seedling recruitment and remnant seed set data, to project population growth.
Will was here to help out with the project in the first two weeks of January. We got a lot done with demap and made meaningful progress on other big questions such as “Is kale overrated?” and “What does overrated mean statistically?”. We also made big strides in terms of professional development by studying business mogul DJ Khaled’s keys to success. Stay tuned for updates!