Wrapping up the field season

It has been a hectic couple weeks for the Echinacea Project. Last week we braved fog, wind, and rain to wrap up the 2021 field season. Mia and Alex drove up from Chicago to help finish planting and pick up flags in the remnants.

On Thursday and Friday, Mia, Alex, and I sowed Echinacea seed in the 76 transects that comprise our seed addition experiment. This experiment will help us quantify the effects of fire and other environmental variables on seedling emergence and survival.

The planting went smoothly, we averaging approximately 2 minutes per transect. Prior to sowing seeds, we located transects and found nails designating the start and end of focal 1-m segments. We laid a meter stick on the ground stretching from start nail to end nail. We then spread seeds evenly between the 5 and 95 cm marks of the meter stick in line with the transect. Once empty, each seed envelope was given one last flick to dislodge any stubborn achenes and we gently tapped the meter stick against the ground to ensure any achenes that landed on blades of grass or other vegetation were not catapulted across the prairie when we picked up the meter stick.

Barring a shift in the weather that brings more favorable conditions for burning, Team Echinacea has moved indoors for the winter.


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