2018 update: Richardson’s Liatris and Solidago phenology

In the summer or 2018, Lea collected data for the third year of her observational study quantifying

Flowering Liatris

flowering phenology and reproductive success (seed set) 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. In 2018, the east unit burned. Data collected this year combined with data collected in 2016 and 2017 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. She also mapped the seven nearest neighbors of all flowering plants within her transect in 2018. Additionally, Lea visited all plants in the 2016 and 2017 datasets to see if they were still present and if they were flowering. To assess reproduction (seed set), 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: 

  • ~80 harvested Liatris aspera specimens from summer 2018, located at the CBG
  • ~80 harvested Solidago speciosa specimens from summer 2018, 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 brought back to CBG.

GPS points shot: ~543 GPS points were visited or shot, one point was visited for each plant monitored in summer 2016 and 2017, and points were shot for each plant in the 2018 dataset along with its seven nearest neighbors.


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