ecology final lab report

In plant species the individuals who acquire more

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population (Weiner 1986). In plant species, the individuals who acquire more resources get big whereas the small individuals are known to have acquired fewer resources. Having a larger height enhances a plant’s survivorship and fecundity otherwise thought of giving the individual a higher fitness (bCarson 2012). Generally meaning, that non-galled Solidago canadensis plants will have an increased performance level over galled individuals. Not only was the height between individual plants that possessed and did not possess galls significantly different from one another, but the flower weight of the two individual types was also significant. This outlined pattern was also discussed and solidified by Hartnett et al (1979). The flower of the Solidago canadensis is an important morphological structure to the overall performance of this plant. Meaning that Solidago canadensis reproduces sexually through its inflorescences thus, a decrease in weight of the flowers is a decrease in sexual reproduction output (Dong et al. 2006). The fitness of the individual is then decreased by definition,
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O’Connor consequently leading to a decrease in performance of the plant. A decrease in percent inflorescence was also described within Harnett et al. (1979). Specifically, the non-gall bearing plants had 2% more inflorescence than their gall bearing counterparts (Harnett et al 1979). A possible reason for such a significant reduction in the seed resource of the plant could be that since this reproduction method is considered to be high risk the gall possessing individual instead allocates more of its’ resources to vegetative reproduction that is considered low risk. Since the individual is being drained of resources by the larvae insect that created the gall, the change in resource allocation will allow for the probability of the plant having a lower fitness to be reduced (Hartnett et al 1979). On the other hand, the weight of the stem and leaves between gall bearing and non-gall bearing Solidago canadensis plants was found to contain no significant difference. The percent weight of the stem and leaves between the two varying types of individuals were found to be similar as well. This can be explained by the fact that although gall bearing plants on average to not have as large of a stem height as non-gall bearing plants do, they will compensate via lateral growth or production of a greater amount of leaves (Cain et al. 1991). Thus, causing the measured difference in weight of the stem and leaves to remain non-significant. Due to the reduction effects on both plant height and flower weight by the individual’s status of possession of a gall, it can be concluded that the galling insect of Eurosta solidaginis does indeed have a negative effect on the performance of the respective Solidago canadensis plant.
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  • Fall '12
  • TA
  • Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis

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