2016 Update: Seedling Establishment


Lone seedling 29 cm from the main line!

An Echinacea seedling.

Between the summers of 2007 and 2013, team Echinacea observed the recruitment of Echinacea angustifolia seedlings around focal plants at 13 different prairie remnants. The locations of these seedlings were mapped relative to each focal plant and the seedlings (now former seedlings) are revisited each year. For each of these former seedlings, we make a record each year updating its status (e.g., basal, not found), rosette count, and leaf lengths. We also try to update the maps, which are kept on paper and passed down through the years, and add toothpicks to note useful landmarks when searching. This summer, we checked 119 focal plants at 12 remnants for 239 former seedlings. We found 148 of these former seedlings (out of the original 955). Although challenging to obtain, this data on the early stages of E. angustifolia in remnants is valuable and rare for us, as nearly all of our data from the remnants comes from plants that have already flowered (several years after first establishing). This data can tell us, for example, how long it takes plants to flower, and the mortality rate among seedlings in remnants.


Year started: 2007

Location: East Elk Lake Road, East Riley, East of Town Hall, KJ’s, Loeffler’s Corner, Landfill, Nessman, Riley, Steven’s Aproach, South of Golf Course remnants and Staffanson Prairie Preserve.

Overlaps with: Demographic census in remnants

Data collected:

  • Electronic records of status, leaf measurements, rosette count, and 12-cm neighbors for each seedling. Currently in Pendragon database
  • Updated paper maps with status of searched-for plants and helpful landmarks

Products: Amy Dykstra used seedling survival data from 2010 and 2011 to model population growth rates as a part of her dissertation.

You can read more about the seedling establishment experiment and links to previous flog entries about the experiment on the background page for this experiment.





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