2021 Update: Fire in recruitment experiment

This recruitment experiment was originally established in 2000 to quantify seedling emergence and juvenile survival of Echinacea angustifolia during its reintroduction to sites with varying land-use history and burn schedules. Before 2014, detailed data was collected on each plant in the plots. Since 2014, Team Echinacea has censused each plot yearly to collect demographic data for every flowering plant.

In 2021, Team Echinacea visited 7 recruitment plots and searched for 176 Echinacea angustifolia plants that had flowered previously. The team found 94 basal plants, 1 dead this year’s leaves, 2 dead last year’s leaves, and 49 flowering plants. In addition, the team discovered 12 plants that flowered for the first time in 2021, for a total of 70 flowering plants in the recruitment plots. For each flowering plant, the team took demographic data (number of rosettes and flowering heads) and shot a GPS point at the exact location of the plant. The team did not find the remaining 30 plants that had flowered previously, and there were 9 flowering plants with old tags that were not in the demo stakefile.

There was at least one flowering Echinacea plant at each of the 7 recruitment plots. The 4 plots at Hegg Lake WMA, a site managed by the Minnesota DNR, contained 51 flowering plants, and 13 plants bloomed in the plot at Eng Lake WMA. Four plants bloomed in the two recruitment plots at Kensington WMA.

On September 9, a crew from the DNR drove a Marsh Master through Hegg Lake WMA to spray invasive cattails. On their way from one patch of cattails to the next, they drove through one of the recruitment plots as well as experimental plots 7 and 9 and the Liatris transect, and they left distinct tire tracks through the prairie in those areas.

  • Start year: Plantings in 2000-2002
  • Location: Seven study plots on state land with different land use histories: old-field and restored grassland
  • Overlaps with: Demographic census in remnants
  • Data collected: Plant status (basal, flowering, not present), rosette count, flowering head count, GPS point for each flowering plant in each recruitment plot
  • Samples or specimens collected: NA
  • Products: A paper (Wagenius et al. 2012) published in Restoration Ecology

You can read more about the fire in recruitment experiment, as well as links to prior flog entries about this experiment, on the background page for this experiment.


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