Summer 2019 Projects

Here is a list of projects planned for the 2019 field season. Links to some protocols are provided. This list includes just a few links to descriptions of the experiments. To learn more, read the background and updates from 2018 on these experiments. Note that each project has a unique number. We hope these numbers will help us stay organized this summer.

101. Orientation

  • Tour Staffanson and Hegg Lake
  • Distribute tools, equipment, and pouches
  • Clean Hjelm house & g3
  • Learn how to use visors
  • Build Team

Prepare plots for measuring


  1. Cut new path through woods
  2. Flag & post signs
  3. Uniquely identify all flowering heads


  1. Flag & post signs
  2. Cut & treat ashes
  3. Pull pi


  1. Establish new path (avoid edge effects)
  2. Flag & post signs
  3. Uniquely identify all flowering heads

Any other plots?

  1. Search for flowering plants in plots 3-7 & 9

Plant new plot!

  1. plant >1400 Echincaea plugs in 12 plots at the ELC at WCA

Assess flowering phenology

  1. Assess flowering phenology in SPP & other remnants. Read two protocols: Protocol 2016 and psp Protocol 2016. Here’s some background information. Amy W is collecting phenology data to assess geneflow within and among remnant populations as part of her dissertation work.
  2. Assess flowering phenology in experimental plot 1. Read background on p1 & p2.
  3. Assess flowering phenology in experimental plot 2. Read background.
  4. Assess flowering phenology of Echinacea pallida. This non-native species grows in a prairie restoration in our study area.

Investigate plant-insect interactions.

  1. Characterize the community of bees across our fragmented prairie landscape. This pollinators on roadsides project is also known as the “yellow pan trap study.”
  2. Conduct the ongoing aphid addition and exclusion experiment in p1.

Measure survival, growth, and flowering effort of Echinacea angustifolia in experimental plots.

You can read updates from last year about about some experiments. Five in plot 1: NAT96, NAT99, INB1, INB2, and qGen1. One in plot 2: Heritability of flowering time. Two experiments in plot 3: Local adaptation and Interpopulation crosses. Plot 4: Ridley’s next generation rescue. Plot 8: qGen2&qGen3 heritability of fitness experiment.

Not all plants in plots are Echinacea angustifolia. We investigate how non-native Echinacea plants impact populations of the native Echinacea angustifolia. We have experiments in plots p6, p7, and p9 that include Echinacea pallida plants and E. pallida X E. angustifolia hybrids.

We use one data collection form for p1, p2, p6, p7, p8, and p9. Different forms are necessary for the other plots. Riley T is in charge of visor data collection forms this summer.

List of plots with their names (and some protocols):

  1. exPt01 Main & 99s
  2. exPt02 Jennifer’s
  3. exPt03 Amy’s
  4. exPt04 Caroline’s
  5. exPt05 Staffanson
  6. exPt06 Josh’s & hybrids
  7. exPt07 Hybrids at Hegg
  8. exPt08 q2 & q3 Measuring PROTOCOL from 2017.
  9. exPt09 Lydia’s

Measure survival & reproduction of Echinacea angustifolia in remnant populations.

We observe survival, reproduction, and incidence of disease in Echinacea angustifolia plants in natural prairie remnants in our study area. Read about reproductive fitness, our demographic census, seedling establishment, and fire.

Three main projects:

  1. Do Demo & Surv, our annual census & mapping of flowering plants demo2014Protocol. Michael manages this huge database and is supervising demo & surv this summer (also totalDemo, next).
  2. Conduct totalDemo – census of previously flowering plants 2016totalDemoProtocol.
  3. Refind seedlings from previous years. Amy D is analyzing data from this experiment and hoping another plant flowers plant this summer.

Measure fitness in other plant species.

  1. Assess survival and reproduction of Hesperostipa spartea in exPt01. Drake is leading this effort.
  2. Assess survival and reproduction in Cirsium hillii (location not disclosed).

Manage experimental plots

  1. Inventory plant species in the new plot in SE corner of farm. We burned it last spring!
  2. Weed plots as necessary & assess effectiveness of ash treatments from 2018
  3. Manage invasive Hawkweed in p1.
  4. Weed Bird’s Foot Trefoil in p1.
  5. Cut or treat grasses in p6.
  6. Collect seed of target species for broadcasting in fall.
  7. Harvest EA heads in p1, p2 & p8 (tplot). See harvestProtocol2018v1.pdf.
  8. Broadcast seed in p1, p2, p8, and maybe new plot.
  9. Pull in signs & flags for winter.

Projects that don’t neatly fit into above categories

  1. Assess feasibility for Lou’s quadrapod to help map seedlings. New in 2019!
  2. Collect tissue to learn ploidy of non-native Echinacea and hybrids.
  3. Conduct the long-term pollen addition and exclusion experiment in p1. This involves measuring plants and summer-time experimental treatments.
  4. Independent projects. Summer participants will make proposals, provide updates, and present preliminary results. Stay tuned on the flog this summer! New in 2019!
  5. Measure cool-season grasses in p1-99s: Dichanthelium leibergii, Elymus trachycaulus, Bromus Kalmii.
  6. Update protocols for ongoing projects in html format and post on the website.
  7. Assemble photos & videos of summer projects and burned areas for website, posters, protocols, and presentations.
  8. Select plants for an experiment to test if smoke triggers flowering in Echinacea plants. New in 2018!
  9. Quantify effects of pulse and steady pollination on seed set in Echinacea.