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Parasites and their effects on communities

Year: 2017
Project Description:

Parasitic plants form connections to neighboring plants that drain their neighbors of their nutrients. This interaction often stunts the growth of the host plants being parasitized. However, this interaction may have positive effects for the parasitized host in the form of changes to its’ pollinator and herbivore interactions. We aim to investigate these indirect positive effects of parasites in communities in the field by conducting pollinator observations and monitoring herbivory. Students involved in the project may also help with parasitic plant germination experiments by counting, x-raying, and plating seeds.

Subject(s):
Location:
Chicago Botanic Garden/Field Sites in Illinois
Lab/Field:
Lab & Field
Fieldwork Conditions:
Bees, Insects, Pollen