This is the last week with Team Echinacea this summer. We still have some plants to measure in the common garden experiment and there are still some plants flowering. We'll get this done! Our main plan this week is to visit plants in the prairie remnants to see if they are alive. Last week we made a good start, but got rained out on Friday and the previous Monday (over 3" of rain).
We've been to 4 remnant Echinacea populations and refound the seedlings that we identified & mapped in May or June. We have 8 remnants to visit this week. Our maps have worked quite well--we have found almost all of the locations and the majority of seedlings were still alive.
We also have to map the new flowering plants in our remnants and note which old plants are flowering this year. That's a big job and we are making progress. We won't finish all the sites, so we'll have to come back this fall. But I hope we can finish up all of the big sites.
Assessing the survival and reproduction of Echinacea plants is important for understanding the population dynamics of these remnant populations. We want to know if the populations are growing (and perhaps expanding), holding their own, or shrinking (and perhaps heading toward local extinction).
We call our visits to remnants to find and refind plants "demography," or demo for short. We call mapping the plants surveying because we use a survey station.
Click here to read our equipment list:
DEMO/SURV Equipment list
reel tapes & pins