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In this experiment, students observe sawfly galls (Hymenoptera) on willow (Salix) trees to investigate some of the ecological consequences of plant-herbivore relationships. The physical and chemical traits of plants vary due to genes and environmental factors, such as soil moisture, nutrient levels, exposure to pathogens, and exposure to herbivores. These traits can lead to differences in susceptibility to herbivores. Therefore, one might expect to find differences among plants in the number of herbivores that feed on them, the ways herbivores select feeding and oviposition sites, and the feeding success of these herbivores.
Associated files
Resource Group TIEE
Resource Group Link
Primary or BEN resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords TIEE; pedagogy; student active; inquiry based
Key taxa Pacific willow; Salix lasiandra; Hymenoptera; Pontania; sawfly
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description This Experiment can be used to teach students about interactions between plants and herbivores using an herbivore species that is relatively easy to find and identify in the field. The activity provides the general framework for a field experiment with one hypothesis tested by the class and a second hypothesis determined by students groups. The experiment is an adaptable opportunity to teach about some of the factors influencing plant traits and plant-herbivore interactions while giving students some experience designing their own experiment, all within the specific context of a local ecosystem.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Kristina Ernest
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Central Washington University, Dept. of Biological Sciences
Primary Author email
Added By Id
  • educationintern
Rights Copyright 2005 by Kristina A. Ernest and the Ecological Society of America.
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 2007-11-01
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use No
Date Of Record Release 2010-02-16 01:26:39
Last Modified By Id
  • educationintern
Date Last Modified 2018-07-25 09:18:43
Release Flag Published

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