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Rare Plants in Alberta – Green Milkweed and Sticky Purple Geranium

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Tory Blanchard

Rare Plants in Alberta – Green Milkweed and Sticky Purple Geranium

Assessing the Community Co-occurrence Patterns and Pollinator-mediated Relationships of Green Milkweed and Purple Geranium in Southern Alberta

Thursday, February 22, 2024 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Presented by Tory Blanchard, Masters of Ecology Student – University of Calgary

Conservation needs a greater focus on how rare species interact within their neighborhoods. Rare plants have been found to exist in areas that are positively associated. These are areas with plant communities that facilitate or help one another. One example of facilitation occurs through shared pollinators. Common plants may attract numerous pollinating species, such as bees and butterflies, to a community and the rare plants who rely on these pollinators for their reproduction will benefit indirectly from the common plants. Although studies have examined how pollinators can facilitate indirect relationships with other plants, few works have addressed how rare plants may benefit from pollination facilitation that does not involve co-flowering, such as sequential mutualism. Tory’s work will examine the distribution, assembly, and pollinator-mediated plant interactions of two rare species in southern Alberta: Green Comet Milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora) and Sticky Purple Geranium (Geranium viscosissimum). The study will involve collaboration with members of the Kainai First Nation and will use data from community science platforms such as iNaturalist to address these occurrences.

Tory Banchard is Ojibway from Batchewana First Nation. Their Anishinaabe name is Espana Eque. Tory grew up in various places—the Netherlands, Calgary, and Venezuela—but calls Calgary their home. Receiving an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto, Tory completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts with a major in English Literature, and minors in Environmental Biology and Book and Media Studies, and is now pursuing a Master’s degree in Ecology from the University of Calgary. Tory is interested in studying plant ecology and pollinator relationships and working on projects that involve collaboration with Indigenous communities, and enjoys practicing the bass guitar, producing music, and skateboarding.

Free for Friends members and $10 for non-members. Registration required. 

Photo courtesy of Tory Blanchard

Event Details

February 22 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm