6 weeks and growing!

First of all – Happy Canada to all! If I ever get around to it, I’m going to make a page with amusing Canadian items, like the Long John Service Index of Canada.

The ragweed plants are happily growing and are getting huge! Last week I visited all my field sites to do some growth measurements on the plants at 6 weeks. There is a lot of variation in size of plants between the four field sites – the plants at the St.Paul site (urban garden) appear to be the largest, and those at the River Terrace site (rural garden) appear to be the smallest. I don’t know what is driving these size differences, however I have a feeling it might be due to soil differences between the sites. This gives me further motivation to do some sort of follow-up greenhouse experiment with the soil from these field sites to determine whether it is affecting plant growth and fitness.

Ragweed plants at St.Paul field site (6 weeks old!)

Ragweed plants at the St.Paul field site (6 weeks, urban location)

Ragweed plants at the River Terrace field site (6 weeks, rural location)

Ragweed plants at the River Terrace field site (6 weeks, rural location)

The beginning of flower development on a ragweed plant at the Scooterville field site.

The beginning of flower development on a ragweed plant at the Scooterville field site.

The plants have also started to initiate flower development! I was surprised to see this as A. artemisiifolia doesn’t  normally start to flower until late July or early August. I will be tracking and recording the emergence of both the male and female flowers as the season progresses with plastic party swords – I have to keep data collection exciting, right?

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