Poster or Presentation Title

A digital catalog of arthropods interacting with Asclepias syriaca, the common milkweed

Presenter Information

Tyler StephensFollow

Location

Hall Memorial Ballroom

Access Type

Campus Access Only

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Start Date

4-4-2018 12:00 PM

Department

Biology

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Student Scholar Showcase 2018

A digital catalog of arthropods interacting with Asclepias syriaca, the common milkweed

The migratory population of the iconic monarch butterfly is in decline, possibly because of contemporaneous declines in common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), the only host plant for monarch caterpillars. In an attempt to conserve monarchs many individuals, groups, and organizations are distributing and planting milkweed seeds, though the geographical source of these seeds is often shown little consideration. This is potentially important because populations of milkweeds might be adapted to local ecological conditions (climate, herbivores, pollinators), thus, compromising re-seeding efforts in locations with different conditions. A collaborative experiment has been developed to test the growth, survival, and reproductive success of transplanted milkweeds from several source populations across their range. A pilot study was conducted during the summer of 2017 to work out experimental methods for the main experiment in 2018-2020. Part of the pilot study was to document the suite of arthropods found on local milkweeds. I photographed the common species of herbivores, predators, and pollinators found on milkweed plants at the Claytor Nature Study Center. These species were identified to order, family, and species if possible. The images will be used to create a guide to milkweed arthropods to aid future students working on the long-term project.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. John Styrsky

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Apr 4th, 12:00 PM

A digital catalog of arthropods interacting with Asclepias syriaca, the common milkweed

Hall Memorial Ballroom

ABSTRACT: Student Scholar Showcase 2018

A digital catalog of arthropods interacting with Asclepias syriaca, the common milkweed

The migratory population of the iconic monarch butterfly is in decline, possibly because of contemporaneous declines in common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), the only host plant for monarch caterpillars. In an attempt to conserve monarchs many individuals, groups, and organizations are distributing and planting milkweed seeds, though the geographical source of these seeds is often shown little consideration. This is potentially important because populations of milkweeds might be adapted to local ecological conditions (climate, herbivores, pollinators), thus, compromising re-seeding efforts in locations with different conditions. A collaborative experiment has been developed to test the growth, survival, and reproductive success of transplanted milkweeds from several source populations across their range. A pilot study was conducted during the summer of 2017 to work out experimental methods for the main experiment in 2018-2020. Part of the pilot study was to document the suite of arthropods found on local milkweeds. I photographed the common species of herbivores, predators, and pollinators found on milkweed plants at the Claytor Nature Study Center. These species were identified to order, family, and species if possible. The images will be used to create a guide to milkweed arthropods to aid future students working on the long-term project.