Tom's Blog

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Purple milkweed article in Ecological Restoration journal

The September 2009 issue of Ecological Restoration is just out and has my article on ecology and conservation of purple milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens). And the cover has Kathie's great photo of the flowers!

Purple milkweed is a State Endangered species which is fairly uncommon throughout the U.S., and there is considerable interest in getting it re-established.

My article describes the work I have done over the past decade to understand the ecology of this endangered species. My work began soon after I found a purple milkweed plant in the first oak savanna area we had restored in 1999. As restoration progressed further plants appeared. Beginning in 2000 I established a permanent marker at each plant, and by 2008 I had twelve separate sites where purples had arisen spontaneously.

I also collected seeds from the few plants that formed pods, and started raising plants in the greenhouse. These plants were then transplanted to likely sites in the field, and my success rate here has been fairly high. In addition to the 12 spontaneous sites, at present I have about a dozen transplants that seem to have become permanently established.

In addition, Kathie and I set up a forbs garden near the cabin where we could grow plants under more controlled conditions. For several years these plants really flourished, and in 2007 we had great seed set, as the second photo below shows.

My paper describes in considerable detail the techniques we developed for raising this attractive plant.

Ecological Restoration
is a scientific journal which is managed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum. The journal is affiliated with the Society for Ecological Restoration, an international organization that plays an important role in fostering ecological restoration research.


Blogger Emily said...

Nice work Dad! Add one more to the loooong list of scientific papers you have authored.
And nice work Mom on the cover image! Suitable for framing!

August 27, 2009 at 9:13 AM  

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