A good chunk of my field work was trying to collect seeds from plants in my plots. Over all, I collected at least 12,000 envelopes worth of seeds... now we know why I was in the field for 4 months.
Now it is time to count the number of sees in my envelopes. Ever since coming back from the field in November, I have been trying to make a dent in the pile. Even with some help in the lab, I am still not halfway through. For most plants from the Goodeniaceae family, I pop-out the seeds from the pod and count them by hand as they are large a pretty easy to see (IMG 4). For Arctotheca seeds, I need to palpate the seed mass and feel whether each bit of fluff has a seed (IMG 1). For many other species the seeds are tiny (IMG 2 & 3)and I will have to use a mass-based estimate to "count" the seeds.
Soo... I might have my samples processed by the time next field season rolls around... So far my lab helper and I have done 2,818 envelopes and 78,518 seeds. If we take the average of 28 seeds per envelope I might have around 340,000 seeds by the end of this!