Blasini, Davis , Wagenius, Stuart .
Introduction of Echinacea pallida in the Prairies of Western Minnesota and its Possible Effects on Native Echinacea angustifolia.
The narrow-leaved purple coneflower Echinacea angustifolia (Asteraceae) is the only native Echinacea species found in Minnesota tallgrass prairies. Due to high levels of habitat fragmentation in these areas, many restoration projects have been developed in these tallgrass prairies. Some of these restoration efforts have introduced non-native Echinacea pallida. The introduction of this species could potentially have detrimental effects on the native Echinacea angustifolia, as well as on the arthropod communities that depend on this plant. A specific concern is the invasion by hybridization between native and non-native echinacea species. Last year we successfully tested the likelihood of hybridization between Echinacea pallida and Echinacea angustifolia using artificial crosses and demonstrated that each species accepts interspecific pollen and seedling result. Because we did not have any evidence that such hybridization occurs in nature, we identified and contrasted the pollinator species that visit each echinacea species to determine the ultimate possibility of hybridization among these species. Simultaneously, we quantified synchrony in the time of flowering between the local and the introduced species. We observed, recorded, and collected pollinators for later identification using high resolution cameras and an existing reference pollinator collection. After one month of pollinator visitation observation, we found that both echinacea species were predominantly visited for the same pollinator species. Also, our data revealed that although Echinacea pallida flowers earlier than Echinacea angustifolia, their overall time of flowering is mostly synchronized. The information we gathered from this research is indicating the high possibility of hybridization between these two species in nature. This is particularly important since Echinacea pallida has shown superior competitive ability than Echinacea angustifolia under greenhouse conditions. The information gathered in this research demonstrates the importance of going through an exhaustive study of the ecology of a determined ecosystem before trying to restore it.
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1 - Chicago Botanic Garden, Plant Science Center , 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, il, 60022, USA
2 - Chicago Botanic Garden, Plant Science Center , 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, il, 60022, United States
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Undergraduate Presentation Award