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> Bugs, Counting flowers amid the mosquitoes
Tom_Crumrine
post Jun 25 2005, 04:13 AM
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Bugs arrive in force
24 June 2005

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As you can see here there were quite a bit of mosquitoes on my back. Today they came out in force as the wind died down and the temperature rose. This was the first day that we had to wear our bug nets the whole day. Not that fun. But we were lucky to have the bug jackets or we would have been really bad off.

A small celebration is necessary because today we finished weeding all of the plots. That means that all of the things that need to be pulled out of the plots have been pulled out. Yay!

Now, on to the counting of flowers and many other things. Today Peter instructed us on how to count flowers. It seems like we will be counting about 6 species of flowers this summer. Peter told us that the flower counts have really shown an indication of what is going on in the plots. There is really an effect of one species on the flowering of another. I'll get more specifics on this for later.

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This is a picture of Peter showing us what to count and what not to count. Below you can see the grid that we have divided the plot with--this makes it easier to count sections.

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As you can see, this picture shows the size of what we were dealing with today--this plant is called Rubus. We counted how many leaves there were and we counted how many flowers there were. This gives the percentage of flowering.

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Here Joe and I are counting flowers and leaves. A typical 1/2 plot would have 30 flowers and 150 leaves but some had over 100 flowers and as many as 700 leaves--that's a lot of counting.

So that's all for today--we are on to counting flowers. There is a lot of data that needs to be collecdted from all of these plots. I think they will work on collecting data most of the summer. I was actually told that some data from 2 years ago is still being statistically analyzed.

Tomorrow I'm headed to Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay. If all goes well I will get a tour of the oil fields and get to see the Arctic Ocean. We shall see.
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Leslie_Pierce
post Jun 25 2005, 06:45 PM
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Hi Tom,

Seeing all of the bugs reminds me what I'll probably be facing as well. I have my bug jacket and I'm ready! What kind of bug repellent do you have? Bullfrog?

Here's a question that some of the scientists at Toolik might know after spending a few seasons there. How many hatches of mosquitoes typically occur during the summer in the Toolik area? It seems like you had no bugs, and then all of a sudden hoards! How long does each hatch cycle last?

As far as counting plants goes, you'll be able to relate to my project as I'm counting grasses and sedges and other stuff on the delta, too.

Have fun at Prudhoe! Are you going to jump in the Arctic Ocean to join the Polar Bear Club?

Leslie
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Tom_Crumrine
post Jun 26 2005, 04:20 AM
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Leslie,

Well I made it to as close to your house as I could drive--still a long way off though. I did swim in the Ocean--not bad but there was a bit of ice in the way and it was not that deep so it was a little anticlimactic. Saw caribou and musk ox the whole way up.

Hope your counting goes well.
Tom
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