Posts Tagged ‘escholtzia mexiana’

14,380

April 19, 2012

The intrepid Portal adventurers counted 14,380 individual plants on 382 sampling quadrats (0.25 m2 each), while also trapping >150 rodents, in only 4 days (March 12-15)!┬áIt was a whirlwind trip, but we had a lot of fun and learned a lot about plants! The numbers show Astragalus nuttalianus (Nuttall’s milk vetch, a very small plant) and Erodium cicutarium (Stork’s Bill, a dominant, spreading rosette) to be the most common annuals by far, followed by Lesquerella gordoni (Gordon’s Bladderpod, with pretty yellow flowers), Chaenactis steviodes (Esteve’s pincushion, a fleshy plant with white flowers), and Descurainia pinnata (western tansy mustard, a leggy, inconspicuous mustard).

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Portal rodent-plant extravaganza: Day 4

March 13, 2012

My lab mates, Glenda and Xiao, and I left early Saturday morning to drive from northern Utah to Portal Arizona. It’s about an 18 hour drive, but the scenery is beautiful, so it’s not that bad. We stopped at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park along the way, near the Utah-Arizona border. I’d highly recommend a stop!

Between Sunday and Tuesday night, we repaired our trap shed, trapped 127 rodents and counted plants on 13 of the 24 plots. We still have a lot of work to do… Here are a few photographic highlights from the data collection so far:

A desert pocket mouse sits near some very scenic poppies.

Xiao and Glenda count plants on a poppy-filled plot.

Bees really dig the Gordon’s bladderpod (Lesquerella gordoni).