2022 Update: Smoke experiment

Prescribed burns increase the flowering rates of Echinacea angustifolia, but what aspect of fire induces flowering? Researchers have proposed many factors, including light, heat, nutrients, decreased competition, and smoke. Applications of liquid smoke increase germination rates in many plant species, but very few studies have tested the impacts of smoke on flowering. Our smoke experiment investigates whether liquid smoke will increase flowering rates of E. angustifolia. Many members of Team Echinacea have proposed this experiment in previous years, most recently Amy and Scott in 2019. However, this is the first year of installing the experiment in the field.

Applying the smoke treatments to a flowering Echinacea!

On July 29th, Alex and I visited the Hutchings property and recorded demographic data on 100 Echinacea plants that Scott and Amy had mapped in 2019. After further discussing methods and sample size with Jared and Stuart, we revisited the Hutching’s property to find additional plants. On September 20th and 22nd, Alex, Manogya, and I mapped and recorded demographic data for 205 more plants using the GPS.

We applied the first half of the smoke treatments on October 27th and 28th, and you can read more about that trip here. We applied liquid smoke to 110 plants, exactly half basal plants and half flowering plants for a balanced experiment. We used 11 different concentrations of smoke in our applications. We plan on conducting the second half of the experiment with an additional 110 plants in the spring.

  • Start year: 2022
  • Location: Hutchings’ property north of Landfill
  • Overlaps with: Fire and seedling fitness in remnants
  • Data collected: Methods, datasheets, and treatment groups can be found in Dropbox at ~/dropbox/burnRems/smokeExPt1. All smoke demographic data collected in summer of 2022 can be found in the aiisummer2022 repo at ~/aiisummer2022/smokeExpt/smokeExpt2022DemoData.csv. This includes coordinates, flowering status, rosette count, and head count for 305 plants. Demographic data will be collected on the plants once they flower in the summer of 2023. The stake file for smoke plants can be found in Dropbox at ~Dropbox\geospatialDataBackup2022\stakeFiles2022\stakeSmokePlants.csv
  • Samples or specimens collected: None at the moment
  • Products: None…yet!

Click here to read more about the smoke experiment!


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