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Jon Abbatt (10)
Lecture 11

lecture 11 notes from prof. Thomson

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Jon Abbatt

Lecture 11: Putting things together:Species interactions in subalpine meadows Subalpine zone • Erythronium grandiflorum (glacier lily)(zoom in) o Observed the most where the soil surface is very rocky. o Half part of the plant grows in the soil, during most of the time,all parts are underground, grows up when flowering. o Nutrients stored in the bulbs. Primary seed dispersal distanceexperiment • Mark seeds in fruits with fluorescent powders, lay out fabric sprayed with adhesive • Result: dispersal distance about 20cm; pathetic! • Glacier lily does not have elaiosome. o Doesn’t have anything to do with growth, extremely nutritious, attracts antsàprovide a secondary dispersal Seed germination experiments • Plant the seed in 4 treatment combination: o Buried, organic soilà live! o Exposed, organic soilàdied! o Buried, gravel soilàdied! o Exposed, gravel soilàdied! Summary • Long-lived, iteroparous; grows as a“vegetative” plants for years before flowering. o At least 6-7 years to grow • Resource storage organ is underground corm • Seeds subject to desiccation unless in moist conditions • Seed dispersal distance minimal What do the experiments suggest about distribution? • Desiccation: should find more plants on the deep soil, less plant on the shallow soil (but we see the opposite) • Weak dispersal: should find mostseeding near flowering plants (expect to find those) • Need to gather quantitative date on plant abundance andenvironmental factors Set up study plot, 16X16 grid of 2X2m squares; measure variables in eachsquare; make maps • Factors measuring o Flowering plants (count) o Vegetative plants (count) o Seedlings (subsample) o Soil moisture o Rockiness o Predation risk § Attacked underground by pocket gopher; eat corm § Digging specialist; claws and teeth § Huge cheek pouches to store food • Quantified by the amount of soil they pushed up to make tunnel Results: • Number of flowers vs. number of vegetative plants o Living in the same area, makes sense • Number of flowers vs. numbers of seedling o No correlation between the two. o Not as expected. • Rockiness vs. soil moisture o Rockiness and moisture are inversely related o Seedling is located in the moist a
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