2016 Results

We owe a big thank-you to the nearly 100 citizen scientists submitted observations from 124 Erythronium americanum populations during the first year of the Trout Lily Project. Here’s what we learned:

  • 24 populations (19%) were composed of yellow-anther flowers only,
  • 44 populations (35%) were composed of the red-orange anther morph only,
  • The remaining 56 populations (45%) included both the yellow and red-orange morphs.
  • There were no latitudinal or longitudinal trends in the occurrence of either morph.

Data submitted during 2016.  Both anther colors were present in 45% of populations.

For 2017, we are especially aiming to increase coverage for Ohio, West Virginia, New England, Quebec, and the Maritimes.  Of course, we continue to welcome submissions from other regions, too!

Alongside the citizen science project, we have been conducting ecological experiments to determine whether trout lily anther color affects a flower’s ability to attract pollinators, deter pollen-feeding beetles, or protect its pollen grains from UV-B damage. Early results from this work were presented at the 2016 meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution.  You can see the poster here.