Survivors in central South Dakota plot

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Here is a picture of 2 of the 3 surviving plants in my experimental plot at Perch Lake Waterfowl Production Area, southwest of Leola, SD.
P7081761forFlog.jpgEach of the 2 Echinacea seedlings is marked with a red party toothpick. We (Shelby, Janelle and I) found them in May when we censused my 2 SoDak plots. We found a total of 10 new seedlings at the Perch Lake site, all of which had 2 cotyledons but no true leaves. I returned to Perch Lake last Thursday, July 8. Sadly, 7 of the seedlings were gone, but I was able to verify that the 3 survivors are, indeed, Echinacea angustifolia.

The Perch Lake site is 1 of 3 experimental plots I (and my assistants) sowed in November 2008, to ask whether Echinacea from western South Dakota, central South Dakota and Minnesota exhibit local adaptation in seedling recruitment. More background and results from the 1st 2009 census are displayed in a poster that you can find in the September 2009 archives of the FLOG.

Unfortunately, the Perch Lake site was sprayed with a combination of herbicides (Tordon and Telar) in August 2009. The treatment was lethal to ALL the Echinacea seedlings that emerged in 2009. Thus, the 3 surviving seedlings from this year are the only living Echinacea in this plot! Fortunately, I was able to census the plot shortly after it was sprayed, and I am confident that I found the survivors up to that point.

I plan to present a talk about my local adaptation experiment at the North American Prairie conference in August.

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