Specialists consume a specific plant species or genus

Info icon This preview shows pages 3–5. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
subcategories being that of specialists and generalists. Specialists consume a specific plant species or genus, whereas generalists consume a variety of plant species. The specialist herbivore which galls the examined goldenrod species is that of Eurosta solidaginis or more commonly known as the ball gall (Carson 2012). The larvae of the ball gall are the direct cause of the swelling observed on the stem of the goldenrod. This is due to the life cycle of the ball gall that begins with larvae emerging from their respective goldenrods, which then mate and oviposit with one another in the spring season. The female will then insert the egg in Mid-May into the terminal bud of the goldenrod. Once hatched about eight days later the larvae will tunnel through the bud into the stem that occurs below the apical meristem of the plant. The gall will then reach maturity after about three weeks, and the larvae will then feed on the internal tissues of the gall until October at which point they will then enter diapause. Thus, resulting in the completion of this cycle until the spring at which point repetition of the above outlined events will occur (Weis et al. 1985). In regards to how plants are affected by galling insects, little is understood (Hartnett et al. 1979). Therefore, the following experiment was designed in order to acquire more data on this fundamentally important ecological interaction through the testing of the following hypothesis; galling by the larvae of Eurosta solidaginis reduce the performance of Solidago canadensis through their impact on the plant’s size and weight. Materials and Methods:
Image of page 3

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
O’Connor The goldenrod data for this experiment was obtained from an old field site within the University of Pittsburgh owned Pymatuning Laboratory research facility located near Linesville Pennsylvania (40° 4' N, 80° 25' W). The species of Solidago canadensis was the focal plant species of this experiment. Solidago canadensis is a clonal plant that produces its annual above ground shoots from its rhizomes that are located below ground. The individual clones produced by this plant are recognized through the formation of ramet patches. Solidago canadensis seeds are dispersed by the wind and are copious in number (Weber 1996). This experiment also concentrated on the galling species of Eurosta solidaginis . Early in the season many individual pairs of Solidago canadensis were marked within the described old field plant population community. The plant pairs were selected based upon the observation that their stem heights were similar to one another. Another criterion for the selection and marking of these plant pairs was that one of the stems was attacked by the corresponding galling insect of Eurosta solidaginis while the other stem was not. The field site was then returned to later in the season and each marked pair was relocated. Each stem was then measured from the base located near the ground to the top. This number was then recorded and the stem was then clipped at its’ base. It was then observed and recorded whether or not the individual possessed a gall or a flower before it was stored within a paper bag. The collected stems were
Image of page 4
Image of page 5
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern