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In this laboratory exercise, students examine hypotheses about the interactions between goldenrod plants and the gall-forming insects that feed on them. Students collect and analyze data to determine 1) whether certain traits make the plants more susceptible to attack by the insects and 2) how plant reproduction is affected by the insects' feeding. Students are introduced to several competing hypotheses that they evaluate using their data and previous research.
Associated files
Resource Group TIEE
Resource Group Link
Primary or BEN resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords herbivory, gall, susceptibility, reproduction, negative impact, overcompensation, plant tolerance, gall fly, hypothesis, parasitism, old field, data analysis, data interpretation, stress, tolerance, n
Key taxa goldenrod, Solidago altissima, Rhopalomyia solidaginis, parasitic fly, goldenrod bunch gall
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description Teachers can use this activity to teach students about plant-herbivore interactions and the scientific method. Students collect and analyze data to evaluate several conflicting hypotheses. This activity could be used to lead into a discussion about how scientists determine which hypothesis among several others is best supported by evidence. Teachers could also prompt discussion on whether students would expect the same hypothesis to be supported in varying growing conditions.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Christopher Sacchi
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Department of Biology, Kutztown University
Primary Author email
Added By Id
  • educationintern
Rights Copyright 2006
Christopher F. Sacchi 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 1999-11-30
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use No
Date Of Record Release 2010-02-16 01:47:55
Last Modified By Id
  • educationintern
Date Last Modified 2018-07-25 09:53:44
Release Flag Published

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