Week of 5/26 Update

This week I continued monitoring the plants for monarchs. Unfortunately, there seem to be no living monarchs from last month’s cohort in the field. The lab monarchs are doing very well, however. Most of the lab monarchs have started to pupate. I have never had such a close look at a monarch chrysalis, and I must admit I was more than pleasantly surprised. I didn’t realize how beautiful they were at this stage. The light green pupae with its gold trim and gold spots looks almost like a piece of jewelry.

I caught up with the all the data entry pertaining to monarch monitoring, and ran a  quick check on the plants of Putah Creek, Chamberlain and LTRAS.

At both North Davis Creek and Putah Creek se are having problems with root rot. The symptoms of the plants losing color and drying out that I described last week were indicative of root rot, I learned from Louie. He dug up some of the dying plants and showed me the roots. Since the root rot is cause by soil that is both warm and too wet, my misdiagnosis of the drying as water stress only exacerbated the problem. I gave the plants an extra watering, but thankfully the problem hasn’t seemed to expand too greatly. 48 plants have perished to the root rot at Putah Creek and 24 at North Davis Creek. Fortunately, this problem is mostly affecting specific sections. The last 25 plants in each row at Putah Creek and from plot 580 to 620 at North Davis Creek.

Out at North Davis Creek, I planted replacement seedlings and installed plant protectors from plot 399 to 840. A tray of the seedlings  I planted are pictured above! From 399 to 516 on Tuesday, I made 52 replacements. Wednesday I made 159 replacements from plot 517 to 840. Though only a small paragraph these were tasks that took up much time this week.

For next week I plan to:

  1. Check all plants and start replacement planting at North Davis Creek, Putah Creek, LTRAS and Chamberlain.
  2. Pick up a wheelbarrow and large scoop from Higby’s and spread mulch around the plots at North Davis Creek.
  3. Finish up the last of the plant survey data entry.
  4. Measure and record leaf area and mass from last month’s samples.


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