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2023 Update: Random points in prairie remnants and restorations

For the ENRTF-funded research project investigating fire effects on ground-nesting bees, plant-pollinator
interactions, and other insects within fragmented prairies, Team Echinacea sampled 45 total prairie sites (30 remnants and 15 restorations).

To obtain robust inferences, it is important to sample randomly so that our sampling effort is not biased by what we perceive to be “good” or “bad” habitat, even subconsciously. To this end, we sampled at random locations within each site. At each site, we established between 30 and 72 sampling locations with unique identifiers (four-digit bbpts, for “burning and bees sampling points”). Early in the summer, before sampling at these points began, we ground truthed the points to ensure we were not choosing in places where we could not sample at all (e.g., think a big rock, a water body, a big patch of poison ivy, a gravel road, etc.).

Jared generated a large number of random points for each site, more points than we actually intended to sample. trap. We visited these points using a high precision gps unit and evaluated whether to “keep” the points and assign them a bbpt or “reject” the point if it could not be sampled safely or effectively.

Jan, 2023 pollinator team member, ground truths bb points at Torgen.
  • Start year: 2023
  • Location: prairie remnants and restorations in Solem Township, MN
  • Overlaps with: ground nesting bees, fire x fragmentation, soils in remnants and restorations, floral resources in remnants and restorations, microhabitats in prairie remnants and restorations
  • Data collected: spatial locations of accepted bb points are in “~/Dropbox/geospatialDataBackup2023/convertedXML2023/bbptsForEnrtf”. Maps of bb points are located in “~/Dropbox/enrtf/emergenceTrapping2023”
  • Samples or specimens collected: NA
  • Products: Stay tuned!

2023 Update: Microhabitats in prairie remnants and restorations

During summer 2023, Team Echinacea Echinacea characterized local environmental conditions to better understand which environmental factors are associated with good habitat for ground-nesting bees. This microhabitat assessment complemented emergence trapping for our ENRTF funded research on fire’s influence on ground nesting bees habitats. We sampled local environmental conditions near randomly placed bbpts in remnants and restorations.

We used a light meter to quantify light availability via a measure of photosynthetically active radiation. We took PAR readings at 1 meter and at ground level ~40 cm NE of the bb point. We also used a soil penetrometer to quantify soil compaction at ~40 cm NE of the bb point.

Team Echinacea conducted microhabitat assessments for three rotations of bb points (rotations 1,2,&3) across 46 sites. Over the summer, we took microhabitat assessment measurements at a total of 1,238 bb points.

Blaire, high school participant 2023, takes a light measurement at a bb point. We were particular about position and timeframe to ensure consistent measurements.
  • Start year: 2023
  • Location: prairie remnants and restorations in Solem Township, MN
  • Overlaps with: ground nesting bees
  • Data collected: light availability (par measurements) and Soil Compaction (psi measurements) are stored in ~Repos/bbnest/data/microhabitatDataCuration/curate2023MicrohabitatData.R
  • Samples or specimens collected: NA
  • Products: Stay Tuned!

2023 Update: floral resources in prairie remnants and restorations

During the summer of 2023, Team Echinacea conducted floral surveys at randomly selected bb points in remnant prairies and restorations. We are interested in quantifying floral resources (i.e., food for bees) and we want to understand how fire influences the diversity and abundance of flowering plants.

At each focal point (bbpt) we identified species rooted within a 2 meter radius and recorded the furthest stage of development. We measured abundance by binning a range of floral units (i.e., 1-5 flowering units got label “5”).

Floral surveys were split into “visit group A” and “visit group B”. We surveyed different random points when revisiting sites. In total, we conducted 415 floral surveys across 45 sites.

Liam Poitra, a 2023 Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Participant, contributed to this research project investigating the effects of fire on diversity and abundance of flowering plants. Liam assisted in fieldwork and data organization. Inventory, protocols, and blank datasheets for floral assessments are located in ~/Dropbox/enrtf/floralSurveys2023.

Liam Poitra, REU 2023, navigates to a floral assessment focal point at Staffanson Prairie Preserve. The 2-meter stick he carries will help keep track of what is in the bounds for survey.
  • Start year: 2023
  • Location: prairie remnants and restorations in Solem Township
  • Overlaps with:  Ground nesting bees
  • Data collected: Floral survey datasheets can be found in ~/Dropbox/teamEchinacea2023/z.scanned/floralsurvey2023scans.pdf.zip”
  • Samples or specimens collected: NA
  • Products: Stay tuned!

2023 Update: Pollinators on roadsides

In 2023, Team Echinacea did not conduct any fieldwork for this experiment.

Pollinator populations are declining worldwide, and pollinator habitat in western Minnesota has diminished over the years, but it is unclear whether the native bee community is changing as well. The Pollinators on Roadsides project, also known as the Yellow Pan Trap (YPT) study, is investigating how native bee diversity and abundance have changed from 2004-2022 and learning about whether the amount of agricultural land and grassland correspond to the nearby bee community.

In the lab, rock star pinner and volunteer Mike Humphrey finished pinning all 789 bees from 2022 on 6 April, 2023. Intern Alex Carroll brought the bees to Zach Portman, the bee taxonomist at the University of Minnesota, for identification on 6 June, 2023. Zach recently reported that he’s all done with our 2022 bees, and we will be picking them up from UMN next chance we get!

Mike shows off a finished bee case

Alex worked to put datasets together (view in Dropbox/ypt2004in2017/yptDatasets/) for this experiment to prepare us for when Zach finishes his identifications. Alex also created this to-do list of next steps:

  • When Zach finishes identifying the 2022 specimens, fill in zachGenus, zachSpecies, and zachSex for 2022 spids.
  • Remove 2022 spids that are nonbees.
  • Update 2017 collectDate. In 2017, traps were put out one day and then collected the next day.
    Some of the 2017 dates are the day the trap was put out and some are the collection day. These should be standardized.
    MAS figured out most of the timeline here: ypt2004in2017/yptDataAnalysis2022/collectionDatesAndMowedTraps/2017listOfCollectionDatesAndMowedTraps-11-May-2022.csv
    These dates are based on the 2017 summer datasheets: ypt2004in2017\YPT2017\YPTsummer2017\ypt2017FieldDatasheets.pdf
  • Locate missing trap numbers for 35 bees, all collected on 07/26/2004.
    There is a memo for half of the traps collected on 07/26/2004, but half (the outerloop) are missing.
    See ypt2004in2017/YPT2004/yptMemos2004/ypt04-js.doc
  • Determine what to do about missing specimens.
    Some specimens were identified by Sam Drogee in the past, but we couldn’t find the bee.
    SW remembers that Sam took some specimens, so he may still have them.
    A few specimens have gone missing. See the notes column.

Summary

  • Start year: 2004, rebooted in 2017
  • Location: Roadsides and ditches around Solem Township, Minnesota. GPS coordinates for each trap are located here: ~Dropbox\teamEchinacea2022\YPTsummer2022\yptTrapLocations2022.csv
  • Overlaps with: Ground nesting bees
  • Data collected: All YPT data can be found in ~Dropbox\ypt2004in2017
    • Most recent update on state of data/experiment, including metadata and to-do list: Dropbox/ypt2004in2017/yptDatasets/readMe.txt
    • Most current YPT specimen data with Zach’s IDs
      • Dropbox/ypt2004in2017/yptDatasets/yptDataIncludingNonbees2023.10.25.csv
      • Dropbox/ypt2004in2017/yptDatasets/yptDataBeesOnly2023.10.25.csv
  • Specimens collected: 
    • Zach Portman identified all specimens from 2004-2019, and the specimens are stored in eight cases at the CBG lab.
    • Mike finished pinning specimens from 2022 on April 6th, 2023. Alex delivered 2 cases of specimen to Zach on June 6th 2023. A little over a month ago, Zach said he had a backlog and wouldn’t get to them for a month. So, hopefully he’ll be working on them soon!
  • Team members involved with this project: Geena Zebrasky (2022), Mia Stevens (2020-2023), Alex Carroll (2021-2023), Erin Eichenberger (2019-2020), Anna Stehlik (2020), Shea Issendorf (2019), Mike Humphrey (2018-2021), John Van Kampen (2018-2019), Kristen Manion (2017-2018), Evan Jackson (2018), Alex Hajek (2017), and Steph Pimm Lyon (2004)
  • Products: Mia and Alex presented preliminary results at the Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference (MEEC) and at The Prairie Enthusiasts (TPE) conference in spring 2022.

Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources
Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources
(LCCMR). The Trust Fund is a permanent fund constitutionally established by the citizens of Minnesota to assist in the protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources. Currently 40% of net Minnesota State Lottery proceeds are dedicated to growing the Trust Fund and ensuring future benefits for Minnesota’s environment and natural resources.

You can read more information about the pollinators on roadsides project here.

2023 Update: soils in remnants and restorations

In July, 2023, a team from Minnesota State University, Mankato visited Team Echinacea to sample prairie soil. They are investigating how fire and management history influences physical, chemical and biological soil properties. Differences in soils may also help explain plant fitness and native bee nesting patterns. After three hot days, 263 samples were collected from 28 sites!

Back in Mankato, four undergraduate students processed the soil samples by sieving and weighing out the field collections. The preliminary results show soil bulk density is lower in remnant prairies compared to restored prairies. This makes sense in that remnant prairies have retained their organic-matter rich topsoil, infiltrated with plant roots and filled with pore spaces that develop over time in natural prairies. The soil bulk density is also lower on flat (no slope) topography, in part due to illuviation (deposition) of nutrients and organic material from nearby sloped areas.

The team hopes to continue its investigations to understand which soil properties are sensitive to different management histories and how the patchwork of fragmented prairies in the region vary in carbon, nitrogen and biological activity. These data should provide foundational information for many additional projects.

The Mankato soil team gathers around a bbPoint to discuss sampling. The team visited bbPoints in remnants and restorations over a 3 day period.
  • Start year: 2023
  • Location: : 28 study plots on private, federal and state land with different land use histories: remnant and restored grassland
  • Overlaps with: Fire x Fragmentation; Ground Nesting Bees
  • Data collected: Soil bulk density, maximum water-holding capacity, gravimetric soil moisture content, soil aggregate stability (SLAKES), total organic C, total N, inorganic N (plant available forms: ammonium and nitrate), aerobic respiration rate (proxy for microbial activity and decomposition)
  • Samples or specimens collected: Topsoil bulk density and additional soil (top 15 cm) for each bee nesting trap
  • Products: Stay tuned!

2022 Update: Pollinators on roadsides

In 2022, Team Echinacea collected an additional summer of data for the Pollinators on Roadsides project after receiving funding through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF). Pollinator populations are declining worldwide, and pollinator habitat in western Minnesota has diminished over the years, but it is unclear whether the native bee community is changing as well. The Pollinators on Roadsides project, also known as the Yellow Pan Trap (YPT) study, is monitoring how native bee diversity and abundance have changed from 2004-2022 and investigating whether the amount of agricultural land and grassland correspond to the nearby bee community.

In summer 2022, Team Echinacea installed pan traps at 39 of the 40 locations that were used in previous years. The traps were placed along roadsides in Solem Township, and Geena Zebrasky also surveyed the plant diversity surrounding each trap. Geena and Alex set out the traps 7 times during the summer, once per week starting on July 7th and ending on August 17th. We filled the yellow bowls with soapy water each morning starting at ~8:00 am and collected bees from the traps in the afternoon starting at ~4:00 pm. We strained the bees through a sieve and stored them in vials filled with 70% ethanol. Over the summer, we collected seven coolers full of vials, which are now stored in the freezer in Illinois.

At the lab, volunteer Mike Humphrey has been pinning the bees that we collected during the summer. So far, Mike has emptied three of the seven coolers, and he has pinned 420 specimens from 90 vials. Each specimen is assigned a specimen id number (SPID), which started with SPID 20001 this year. In previous years, we glued tiny bees to point mounts, but this year we are gluing them directly to a #2 pin based on a recommendation by Zach Portman, the bee taxonomist at the University of Minnesota.

Last winter, we sent Zach the insects that had been collected in 2004, 2017, 2018, and 2019, and he identified the bees to species. Over the 4 years, we caught 1,901 bees from 76 different species!

The next steps are to finish pinning the bees from summer 2022, add descriptive specimen labels, and send the bees to Zach for identification. Mia and Alex are working on a bee community analysis and a landscape analysis.

  • Start year: 2004, rebooted in 2017
  • Location: Roadsides and ditches around Solem Township, Minnesota. GPS coordinates for each trap are located here: ~Dropbox\teamEchinacea2022\YPTsummer2022\yptTrapLocations2022.csv
  • Overlaps with: Ground nesting bees
  • Data collected: All YPT data can be found in ~Dropbox\ypt2004in2017
    • Pinning datasheets are located here: ~Dropbox\ypt2004in2017\YPT2022
    • Zach’s species identifications are located here: ~Dropbox\ypt2004in2017\yptDataAnalysis2022\speciesIdDataEntryBySpidVerified.csv
    • Field datasheets from summer 2022 are located here: ~Dropbox\ypt2004in2017\YPTsummer2022
  • Specimens collected: 
    • Bees collected in summer 2022 were stored 7 coolers of vials. Mike has pinned bees from coolers 1-3, and these specimens are labeled with SPIDs and stored in a case in the lab. Cooler 4 is in the freezer at CBG, and Stuart has coolers 5-7.
    • Zach Portman identified all specimens from 2004-2019, and the specimens are stored in eight cases at the CBG lab.
  • Team members involved with this project: Geena Zebrasky (2022), Mia Stevens (2020-2023), Alex Carroll (2021-2023), Erin Eichenberger (2019-2020), Anna Stehlik (2020), Shea Issendorf (2019), Mike Humphrey (2018-2021), John Van Kampen (2018-2019), Kristen Manion (2017-2018), Evan Jackson (2018), Alex Hajek (2017), and Steph Pimm Lyon (2004)
  • Products: Mia and Alex presented preliminary results at the Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference (MEEC) and at The Prairie Enthusiasts (TPE) conference in spring 2022.

Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources
Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources
(LCCMR). The Trust Fund is a permanent fund constitutionally established by the citizens of Minnesota to assist in the protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources. Currently 40% of net Minnesota State Lottery proceeds are dedicated to growing the Trust Fund and ensuring future benefits for Minnesota’s environment and natural resources.

You can read more information about the pollinators on roadsides project here.

2021 Update: Pollinators on roadsides

Tallgrass prairie once covered vast expanses of western Minnesota, but it has been almost entirely converted to agriculture, and only fragmented patches remain, often along roadsides. Insecticide use has also dramatically increased since the early 2000s, especially the use of neonicotinoids. In addition, pollinator populations are declining worldwide, likely due to this loss in habitat quantity and quality. In our study area, student Ben Lee found that pollinator habitat decreased by 6.8 km2 from 2006 to 2014.

More research is needed to understand how pollinator communities are changing in the fragmented prairies of western Minnesota. Native bees are critical for pollinating both native plants and commercial crops, and many plants depend on specialized pollinators, and so the decline of these pollinators may threaten the long-term survival of native plant populations as well as human food systems.

Therefore, the Pollinators on Roadsides study, also known as the Yellow Pan Trap project (YPT), is measuring changes in native bee diversity and abundance from 2004-2019 and investigating how the amount of agricultural land and grassland corresponds to the nearby bee community. One hypothesis is that all bee species are declining in abundance equally. Alternatively, some bee populations may be shrinking while others take advantage of the decreased competition and become more prevalent, which would change the community composition. We hope to find out!

This study is based on the original 2004 experiment by Wagenius and Lyon, who studied the relationship between characteristics of land and the abundance and diversity of pollinators. In 2004, 2017, 2018, and 2019, Team Echinacea set out yellow pan traps at 20-40 locations along roadsides in Solem Township which were surrounded by varying amounts of agricultural land. We collected the bees that fell into the traps and stored them at the Chicago Botanic Garden where patient volunteers pinned all the specimens. Many thanks to all the people who have contributed to this project over the past 18 years!

After a hiatus due to COVID-19, the Yellow Pan Trap project (YPT) is finally back on the road! In December 2021, we completed an inventory of all 1,988 YPT bees and delivered them in 8 cases to Zach Portman at the University of Minnesota. Volunteers Mike Humphrey and Anna Stehlik previously grouped the specimens by genus, and Zach will now identify the bees to species. Mia Stevens is working on a preliminary community analysis, and Alex Carroll is tackling the GIS landscape analysis.

Working with data that has been compiled by many different people over numerous years has been both exciting and challenging. Many thanks to intern Erin Eichenberger for leaving clear documentation from 2020. There are still a few problems that need to be resolved. During inventory, we discovered 9 pairs of duplicate specimen id numbers (SPIDs) from 2017, and the specimen labels will need to be changed. In addition, some of the date and trap numbers on the specimen labels were edited in pencil, and these should be cross-checked with the existing dataset.

  • Start year: 2004, rebooted in 2017
  • Location: Roadsides and ditches around Solem Township, Minnesota. GPS coordinates for each trap are in a Google Map which Stuart Wagenius can share as needed.
  • Overlaps with: Ground nesting bees
  • Data collected: All YPT data can be found in Dropbox/ypt2004in2017.
    • The most up-to-date files are in this folder: Dropbox\ypt2004in2017\yptDataAnalysis2022
    • The inventory list can be found here: Dropbox\ypt2004in2017\yptDataAnalysis2022\masterYptChecklist2021Verified.csv
  • Specimens collected: Eight cases containing 1,988 specimens were delivered to Zach Portman at the University of Minnesota for further identification.
  • Team members involved with this project: Mia Stevens (2020-2022), Alex Carroll (2021-2022), Erin Eichenberger (2019-2020), Anna Stehlik (2020), Shea Issendorf (2019), Mike Humphrey (2018-2021), John Van Kampen (2018-2019), Kristen Manion (2017-2018), Evan Jackson (2018), Alex Hajek (2017), and Steph Pimm Lyon (2004)
  • Products: Stay tuned!

You can read more information about the pollinators on roadsides project here.

2019 Update: Pollinators on Roadsides

The diversity and abundance of bees native to the tallgrass prairies of Minnesota are declining; one potential reason is changes in how land is used and managed. Native bees provide vital pollination services to our native prairie plants as well as agricultural crops. It is important to understand the factors involved in the decline of pollinators so they can be combatted and our plants be protected. In summer 2019, the focus of the Pollinators on Roadsides project was to collect bees using yellow pan traps and to take into account the burn history of the collection sites. We investigated the burn history of the collection sites to compare the bee collections from the last three years and determine if there is a relationship between burning and pollinator community composition. Thanks to local government records, inquiry with private land owners, and observation of recent burn evidence we discovered which of the 38 sites had a history of prescribed burning.

In summer 2019 Shea Issendorf and John Van Kampen collected a total of 422 bees from 38 yellow pan traps placed six times throughout the field season (June 28, July 11, July 18, July 31, August 8 and August 19). Trap locations include different land types such as agriculture, restored prairie and developed land. We determined the burn history of the trap locations in the last three years (2019, 2018 and 2017,) and whether the burns occurred in the spring, fall or both. We stored the bees in in vials of ethanol in freezers until they were pinned by Shea Issendorf and Mike Humphrey. We found that a lunchbox with ice packs could comfortably hold all the vials from a collection date for transportation from the field to the CBG.

The design and goal of this experiment is based on the original 2004 experiment by Wagenius and Lyon. They studied the relationship between characteristics of land and the abundance and diversity of pollinators. Using the data that came out of 2004, the reboot in 2017, and the continuation throughout 2018 and 2019, we observe how pollinator abundance and diversity has changed. With this valuable evidence of declining native pollinator communities, there is opportunity to change the way in which natural lands are used and how surrounding lands are treated (such as through burning, herbicide application and fragmentation).

Yellow pan traps resemble the yellow flowers of the Asteraceae family that native bees are attracted to.

 Start Year: 2004, rebooted 2017

Location: Roadsides/ditches around Solem Township. GPS coordinates for each trap are in a Google Map which Stuart Wagenius can share as needed.

Overlaps With: Ground nesting bees

Data/Materials Collected: 386 bee specimens collected; currently dried, pinned and stored at the Chicago Botanic Garden.  Specimens will be classified by Mike Humphrey before being sent to the University of Minnesota for further identification

Pinning records:

~Dropbox\teamEchinacea2019\sheaIssendorf\YPT 2019 Si\Si_YPTdatasheets2019.xlsx

 Land uses/7 traps that have burn history within last 3 years:

~Dropbox\teamEchinacea2019\sheaIssendorf\YPT 2019 Si\YPT trap land uses 1.xlsx

Other files associated with the project can be found in the folder

~Dropbox\ypt2004in2017\YPT2019

Team Members involved with this project: Shea Issendorf (2019), Mike Humphrey (2018-2019), John Van Kampen (2018-2019), Kristen Manion (2017-2018), Evan Jackson (2018), Alex Hajek (2017), and Steph Pimm Lyon (2004)

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

Recap of past year & summer 2018 field season

It’s time to recap everything that’s been going on with the Echinacea Project for the last 12(ish) months – and trust me, it’s a lot! We report all of this info annually to our two major grant providers, CBG & UMN. This includes all of our lab and field activity.

Last spring the lab was busy as always. Led by Tracie, volunteer citizen scientists at the Chicago Botanic Garden finished cleaning heads harvested in summer 2016 and began cleaning heads harvested in 2017. These volunteers clean heads to remove all the achenes, which are then counted to give us an accurate metric of echinacea plant fitness. There were a lot of heads from 2017, and volunteers continued to clean them through the summer

A bunch of undergraduate students have worked on projects in the lab this past year, including Emily, Emma, Leah, Julie (joining Team Echinacea 2019!), Tris, Sarah, and Evan. It’s always great to have undergrads in the lab – they learn a lot from us, and we learn a lot from them! Of course, graduate students were hard at work as well. Lea not only analyzed her data regarding seed set in Liatris and Solidago, but also set up a whole new experimental plot in California. Kristen, along with volunteer Mike Humphrey, is making a collection from the hundreds of bees she caught this summer in her yellow pan traps and emergence tents.

[STUART – add something here about papers that have been written/ are currently being reviewed by journals?]

Now on to the big part of this report – our super-productive 2018 field season! The 2018 summer team (pictured) included three undergraduate students from Minnesota Colleges (Andy, Brigid, and Riley),  three undergraduates in the Ison Lab at the College of Wooster (Evan, Mia, and Zeke), two high-school students (Anna and Morgan), one high-school teacher (John), one graduate student (Kristen), two recent college grads (Michael and Will), and, of course, Stuart. Gretel and Amy also came to the field intermittently throughout the summer.

We summarized the progress we made on many summer projects this past year and made flog posts about the ones where considerable new progress was made. You’ll notice this part may look remarkably similar to previous years – we’ve been conducting many of these experiments for many years!

As always, we measured survival, growth, phenology, and flowering effort of our model plant, Echinacea angustifolia, in several experimental plots. The earliest was established in 1996 and the most recent in 2015. For many of these experiments it was business as usual, and if you’re interested in learning more about them we’ve linked to their background pages below. We spent quite a bit of time measuring plants in the qGen2 & qGen3 plot (exPt 8), and while many of the plants are doing well, we had almost 50% mortality from 2017 to now. In Amy Dykstra’s experiments, we continued to monitor plant survival and growth. While mortality is low, there are still no flowering plants!

Otherwise, here are new 2018 update flog posts about new data in the experiments that take place in our common garden experiments. Michael is currently working on a manuscript about the effects of pollen limitation in echinacea:

In addition to out common gardens, we make observations of Echinacea plants in natural prairie remnants in our study area. These observations include flowering phenology, survival, reproduction, and incidence of disease. Amy is currently investigating remnant flowering phenology for her PhD.

Echinacea angustifolia interacts with and shares space with many plant and insect species. Here are updates and flog posts about projects on species that are echinacea-adjacent. Kristen is using the data collected about pollinators on roadsides and ground nesting bees for her Master’s thesis.  Andy found this year that aphids have virtually no effect on the fitness of echinacea plants. While no one this year is specifically looking at Hesperostipa, its worth noting that we did go out and check! We found only a few seeds, but collected them anyway.

Also, we have some new projects that don’t necessarily fit into any of the above categories. Here are updates of their projects.

And finally, we are worried about non-native Echinacea plants that are used in restorations and how they impact populations of the native Echinacea angustifolia. We have several ongoing experiments that investigate a population of Echinacea pallida introduced within our study area. Riley used the plants in P7 to gather data for his senior thesis at Gustavus Adolphus College.

Team Echinacea 2018 at exPt2. From left to right: Gretel, Amy, Will, Evan, Morgan, Zeke, Mia, John, Anna, Kristen, Andy, Brigid, Riley, Michael (Stuart took the photo)

MEEC 2019: Evan Jackson’s Pollen bank

Hello Flog!

Over the next few days, I’ll be making a few posts about the various Team Echinacea members who attended MEEC (Midwest Evolution and Ecology Conference) 2019. This conference was hosted by the grad students of Indiana State University at Terre Haute from April 26th to 28th. Six members of Team Echinacea attended: Evan, Kristen, Mia, Michael, Riley, and Tris. Everyone made a poster, execpt for Kristen who gave an excellent talk about her research on ground nesting bees.

In this first post, I wanted to highlight Evan’s poster about the echinacea pollen bank. This was work the he and Zeke did in P2 this summer, and is the basis of Zeke’s senior independent study at Wooster College. Evan, and another member of the Ison lab at Wooster, Nate, presented the poster summarizing this work at MEEC. They had by far the most attractive drawing of native bees of any poster present. You can read all about the pollen bank project on the background page for the experiment!

Evan with his MEEC poster

Title: Specialist pollinator Andrena rudbeckiae removes more Echinacea angustifolia pollen per visit than more generalist bee taxa

Presented at: MEEC 2019 at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN

When: April 27th, 2019

Poster Link: Evan Jackson Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference (MEEC) Poster