Thursday happenings

Today was a great day for Team Echinacea. Most of us began our mornings searching for stipa and then went out to Hegg Lake where we finished measuring plants in Jennifer’s common garden! Woot woot! I took an photo of the group and was so excited that my finger made it into the photo…whoops! Dayvis continued to observed pollinators and Reina and Pam were super productive measuring photosynthetic rates of plants in INB2 (maybe it’s the new wagon they got for lugging around Helga).


At lunch Kory updated us with his progress on his pollinator efficiency project and Jennifer surprised us with a delicious watermelon as a treat for finishing up stuff at Hegg Lake. Marie did the honors of cutting up the watermelon (little did we know it was her first time).


The afternoon felt a bit like deja vu of the morning. We did another round of searching for stipa (rumor has it we’re just about half way done!) and then returned to Hegg Lake. Turns out we didn’t actually “finish” measuring plants…now it’s time to double check all the ones we didn’t find the first time. Looks like we’ll finish that up tomorrow though, and then be actually done with Hegg Lake for the weekend.

Happy Thursday!

A Lovely Wednesday


Today, the weather was beautiful and the team was able to make a lot of progress on several projects. In the morning, twist-tieing the heads in the common garden was finished up after several days of working on it. Most of the team then headed out to Hegg Lake to make a ton of progress inventorying the status of all the echinacea plants in common garden 2. My day consisted on making huge strides in gathering data on photosynthetic rate of the echinacea in the INB2 part of the common garden. We are almost 2/3 of the way done measuring! Later that day and back at the town hall, the team feasted on some delicious fajitas that Sarah Z. prepared for supper. image-7.jpg

Monday Movements

Today in Douglas County, Minnesota, Team Echinacea labored under a cloudless sky and oppressively high temperatures and humidity levels.

First thing in the morning, Sarah B. visited the remnants she is monitoring to study flowering phenology. Dayvis also departed to work on his own project, and was not seen again until 1pm. Today is the second day of flowering for Echinacea pallida at Hegg Lake, and Dayvis appeared elated to finally observe pollinators at work. Kory and Jennifer also went to Hegg Lake in the morning to visit Common Garden 2.

Those who did not have morning projects to attend to flagged and twist-tied flowering plants in the Common Garden. After lunch, the team departed to CG2 to measure plants. Throughout the day, Pam and Reina measured photosynthesis rates in the basal leaves of Echinacea in INB2. Marie and Reina also made/improvised pollinator exclusion cages. The technique for doing so remains unperfected.


fl pla in CG

Four plants are flowering in Andrea’s garden this year. Andrea Southgate planted this experiment (aka inb2) in 2006 as part of her Master’s research project. Andrea and Jennifer made a photo essay about their plantings that year. These are the first plants to flower in this experiment–about 4/1500 in their fifth growing season!

Common Garden Measuring 2009

Yesterday we finished measuring in the Common Garden! Here are some details about the protocol used for 2009:

Gardens: Inbreeding & INB2 we used the same form as in 2008. Basal and Flowering Rosettes were counted separately. Crisp leaves were included in the leaf counts.

Gardens: 2001, Monica’s, SPP, Big Batch, and 96-99 we used an abbreviated form. We did not record data on insect damage. Insects on all rosettes (basal and flowering) were recorded on the main form. Insects on the heads were recorded on the subform. Cauline leaves were not counted. The longest cauline leaf (longest leaf on the tallest flowering rosette) was recorded on the main form. For basal leaves, crisp leaves were included in leaf counts and also noted, as were leaves that were “gone.” Pips or duds with no florets were only recorded if there was a peduncle long enough for a twist-tie collar.

Staples 2009

Staples mark positions in the Common Garden where plants have died. Our policy has been to add a staple to a position where a plant has not been found for 3 years. This year, we’ve followed that protocol for the Inbreeding and INB2 gardens. However, we have added staples in Big Batch, 2001, SPP, Monica’s, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 1999s where plants have only been “Can’t Find” for TWO years. This should minimize the time it takes to search positions. We hope that plants and staples won’t both be found at the same position in the future.