The horrors, I mean wonders, of Hegg

Hi all,
Since this is my first flog entry of the season at quick intro for our new readers. My name is Jennifer and I am a Ph.D. graduate student at University of Illinois-Chicago in an integrated program called LEAP (landscapes ecological and anthropogenic processes) . I just finished up my third year and have been part of the Echinacea project for longer than I often like to admit. If you are an avid flog reader you may remember be from such classic 2007 entries like “Fishing in Minnesota�? and “Microsatellites in Echinacea…they do exist.�? Today I am going to discussing my plot at Hegg Lake. In the summer 2005 we followed the DAILY flowering phenology of the 224 flowering plants in the main Common Garden. We took the seeds from the flowering heads and germinated and planted around 4,000 (3,942 to be exact) and planted them in the spring of 2006 at a new common garden site at on DNR owned land near Hegg Lake (about 7.5 miles from the main Common Garden site). Hegg Lake is a beautiful site and it is, fortunately, on top of a small plateau so there is nearly always a breeze and the mosquitoes stay away.
Measuring at Hegg Lake 2008

We have just finished measuring and rechecking Hegg and I have final survival and growth info for this year. Unfortunately the last winter was really rough on my poor little plants and death was much higher than I would have liked. This also meant measuring and rechecking Hegg took a long time this year. Next year I must come up with a better method for measuring and rechecking. My current plan is to buy 50 meter tapes and measure along the 50 meter tape…I think this will dramatically reduce the time. Below is info for the last three years of survival and growth data. The first number the the year, then the average number of leaves, then the average height of tallest leaf (cm) and finally percent survival (cumulative).
2006- 2.13- 6.36- 94%
2007- 2.14- 13.24- 85%
2008- 2.07- 13.61- 76%

As you can see my plants barely grew (and that is only the ones that survived) and the average number of leaves actually went down. More disappointing is the survival which took at hit with the really long cold winter. That is it for Hegg this year…glad it is done…hopefully next year, with a site burn, my plants will grow more and death won’t be as bad.


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