2017 update: Aster phenology, fire, and reproduction

Flowering Solidago speciosa at Staffanson Prairie Preserve.

In the summer or 2017, Lea repeated her observational study quantifying flowering phenology and reproductive success (seedset) for Liatris aspera and Solidago speciosa plants located along a transect at Staffanson Prairie Preserve. Staffanson is divided into east and west units. The west unit of Staffanson was burned Spring 2016. In 2016, Lea looked for differences in phenology and reproduction of east vs. west Liatris and Solidago plants. In 2017, neither unit was burned. Data collected this year combined with data collected in 2016 will enable us to to see if burns influence phenology or reproduction. To assess phenology, Lea visited plants three times a week and recorded if they were flowering. She took GPS data for each plant included in the study. To assess reproduction (seedset), plants were harvested and brought back to the Chicago Botanic Garden so that seeds could be removed from the plant and x-rayed. This study helps us understand how fire, phenology, and reproduction are linked in species that are related to Echinacea angustifolia.


Start year: 2016

Location: Staffanson Prairie Preserve

Overlaps with: Fire and fitness of EA, Flowering phenology in remnants

Physical specimens: 

  • 70 harvested Liatris aspera specimens from summer 2017, located at the CBG
  • 70 harvested Solidago speciosa specimens from summer 2017, located at the CBG

Data collected: Phenology data was taken on the visors every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through the growing season. Paper harvest data sheets were used and will remain in Minnesota until the final harvest of the season.

GPS points shot: ~140 new GPS points were shot, one for each plant monitored in summer 2017 and ~180 points were staked to revisit plants that flowered last year. For each point staked, the plant status was recorded as either basal, flowering, or not present.



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