Liatris Update #7:

I know it has been a while since I last gave you all an update, but we have some good news to share! We managed to finish cleaning the third batch and are close to completing randomization for the second batch. I will say our progress has been pretty steady before the last update I shared with you, but we decided to out some ways to accelerate processes, such as randomization. We created an assembly line (shown in the image above). We tasked people to either set up the stations by pouring and spreading out the achenes onto the randomization grids or randomly select grids in which achenes will be inspected for predation. We found this setup to be much more efficient, and hopefully, by the end of next week, we may have three batches fully cleaned and randomized. However, our initial goal of completing five batches may be somewhat too ambitious, so instead, we decided to just focus on three batches so there may be time to collect and analyze the data. In the figure below, you will find our overall progress made on the project, and given that my focus would be on studying predation rates on Liatris plants, the stuff that comes after randomization does not necessarily apply to the findings I will need. With that said, those other sets of data will most likely be of use for other studies, and the Echinacea Project will most certainly take a look into those things. Overall, things are looking good for us with the project, and I cannot wait to see the results soon.

P.S., I did not have a chance to specifically address my project’s intentions in an ABT prompt, so here it is: “We know that Liatris plants get eaten more often than Echinacea plants, and predation rates tend to be higher in the absence of fires, but we do not know which types of which types of Liatris plants may be more likely to be eaten than others. Therefore, we are studying how the number heads of a Liatris plant affects the predation rate on the plant’s achenes.”


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