This spring, restoration ecologists at Kew will undertake field studies in the UK to understand better the regeneration niche and pollination mechanism of the calcareous grassland rarity Anemone pulsatilla (syn. Pulsatilla vulgaris; pasqueflower). Fieldwork will take place at a species-rich chalk grassland site in the Chilterns in collaboration with the National Trust.
The aim of one study is to determine the optimum regeneration conditions for pasqueflower through the manipulation of microsite conditions and seedling herbivory, and the use of primed seed . Seed priming is a treatment that allows limited water uptake under controlled conditions and can result in better germination and seedling performance under environmental stress. Seed priming will be performed by staff from the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership and is part of ongoing work into the benefits of seed priming for use in in situ restoration.
Another study will use a new automated motion- and vision-sensitive recording system (Rana) to record flower-visiting insects to pasqueflowers throughout the flowering season. Rana, developed by Tumbling Dice Ltd, is a major advance in the study of plant-pollinator interactions and this study is one of the first to use it.
Item from Dr Sarah Barlow (Researcher in Restoration Ecology, RBG Kew)
Kew Scientist, issue 43