A field season at Cedar Creek

In this post, AlienImpacts postdoc Josh Brian recounts some of his summer activities…


I have just returned from three months at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, an amazing field station run by the University of Minnesota. I was there to set up an experiment on the enemy release hypothesis, which states that alien species succeed because they are released from their native enemies (e.g. predators, parasites and pathogens) which limit them in their native ranges. Using sixteen different grassland species as our ‘invaders’, planted into two different community contexts and hand-treated with combinations of insecticide and fungicide, we will exploring the contexts (if any) under which enemy release facilitates invasion success.

When a photo opportunity presents itself in BigBio you are obliged to say yes!

The season was a busy one – everything adds up fast when you are trying to establish 288 plots, or hand-paint over 1500 seedlings with pesticide! But thanks to a great team of staff and interns at Cedar…

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