Graduation Year

2014

Location

Atrium, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

20-4-2013 2:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2013 3:00 PM

Description

Sullivant’s milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii) (SM) and Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)(CM) are native Illinois plants that are often used in prairie restoration efforts. Before the seeds can be planted using traditional mechanical planters, the filamentous coma (i.e., silk-like ballooning material) must first be physically removed from each seed, which requires hours of tedious manual labor. A more expedient way to remove the comas is to burn them. However, the impacts of burning on seed germination and seedling growth rates are unknown, which was the purpose of my study. Germination rates from unburned CM seeds (0%) were significantly lower than that from burned CM seeds (20.8%; Χ21 = 5.58, p= 0.02). There was no significant difference in germination rates of unburned (45.8%) and burned SM seeds (45.8%; Χ21= 0, p=1.0). A two-way ANOVA indicated no significant main effects of treatment (burned or unburned) (F1,24 = 2.2, p=0.15) or species (F1,24 = 0.28, p=0.60) on milkweed growth rates. Therefore, burning the coma of milkweed seeds of both species is a more efficient way of processing before planting.

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Apr 20th, 2:00 PM Apr 20th, 3:00 PM

The Effect of Burning On Seed Germination and Seedling Growth Rates of Sullivant’s Milkweed (Asclepias Sullivantii) and Common Milkweed (Asclepias Syriaca)

Atrium, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Sullivant’s milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii) (SM) and Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)(CM) are native Illinois plants that are often used in prairie restoration efforts. Before the seeds can be planted using traditional mechanical planters, the filamentous coma (i.e., silk-like ballooning material) must first be physically removed from each seed, which requires hours of tedious manual labor. A more expedient way to remove the comas is to burn them. However, the impacts of burning on seed germination and seedling growth rates are unknown, which was the purpose of my study. Germination rates from unburned CM seeds (0%) were significantly lower than that from burned CM seeds (20.8%; Χ21 = 5.58, p= 0.02). There was no significant difference in germination rates of unburned (45.8%) and burned SM seeds (45.8%; Χ21= 0, p=1.0). A two-way ANOVA indicated no significant main effects of treatment (burned or unburned) (F1,24 = 2.2, p=0.15) or species (F1,24 = 0.28, p=0.60) on milkweed growth rates. Therefore, burning the coma of milkweed seeds of both species is a more efficient way of processing before planting.