2022 Update: Seedling establishment (aka sling)

In 2022, the team continued the seedling recruitment experiment begun in 2007. The original goal of the project was to determine seedling establishment and growth rates in remnant populations of Echinacea angustifolia. Seedling recruitment rates are rarely studied in the field, and this is one of the few studies tracking recruitment in the tallgrass prairie. From 2007 to 2013 in spring, Team Echinacea visited plants which had flowered in the preceding year, and they searched near these maternal plants to find any emerging seedlings. Each fall since then, the team has searched for the seedlings, then juveniles, and measured them.

This summer, my goal was to make the sling search as easy as possible. When assembling the list of plants to visit, I removed 19 sling plants that had not been found for 3 years. This meant that we did not visit any plants at East of Town Hall or Northwest Landfill. Last year, we used our high-precision GPS to record the coordinates of many sling plants, which made them much easier to find. I created a stakefile with a point for each maternal plant and as many slings as possible. We mapped an additional 5 sling plants in 2022, so they can be added to the stakefile for next year.

This year, we visited 56 focal maternal plants at 10 prairie remnants and searched for 102 sling plants, a subset of the original 955 seedlings. The whole team participated, and we completed almost all of the searches in one day, August 31st. I visited the remaining four sling plants at Staffanson on September 1st. Like last year, team members used the demo form to collect data on the visors, and sling records were assigned locs 311 to 412. In total, the team found 50 basal plants and 5 flowering plants!

The million-dollar question: Is there an Echinacea here?
  • Start year: 2007
  • Location: Remnants in Douglas County, MN
  • Sites with seedling searches in 2022: East Elk Lake Road, East Riley, KJ’s, Loeffler’s Corner, Landfill, Nessman, Riley, Steven’s Approach, South of Golf Course, Staffanson Prairie
  • Overlaps with: Demographic census in the remnants
  • Data collected:
    • The data were collected on a visor using the demo form. The team recorded plant status (can’t find, basal, dead this year’s leaves, dead last year’s leaves, flowering), number of rosettes, leaf count, nearest neighbors, and head count, if flowering.
    • Scanned datasheets are in Dropbox: ~Dropbox\remData\115_trackSeedlings\slingRefinds2022
    • The 2022 demography data are located here: ~Dropbox\remData\115_trackSeedlings\slingRefinds2022\slingRefindsData2022WithSlingCd.csv
    • The 2022 stakefile is here: ~Dropbox/geospatialDataBackup2022/stakeFiles2022/stakeSling2022.csv
    • Surv data for sling plants mapped in 2021 and 2022 have been added to demap, and demo data will be added shortly
  • Samples collected: NA
  • Team members who searched for slings in 2022: Alex Carroll, Geena Zebrasky, Johanna Steensma, Lindsey Paulson, Daytona Hoberg, Amy Waananen
  • Products:

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


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