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Unintended Consequences of Plant Domestication on Plant-Insect Interactions


 

Abstract

This case study investigates how plant domestication sometimes produces unintended consequences for plant-insect interactions. The narrative follows a boy in middle school, Podrick, who goes on a class field trip and notices that there are no caterpillar pests on the native sunflowers, in contrast to the farm on which his father grows domesticated sunflowers. When Podrick asks his teacher for an explanation, she agrees to do some research and report back the next day. The students in your course examine the research she finds and are tasked with formulating an answer in terms that Podrick can understand. In addition to offering teachers and students the opportunity to explore multi-trophic level interactions, students also work on writing hypotheses, interpreting data, integrating knowledge, and writing a clear and concise summary of results. This case is appropriate for introductory ecology, entomology, agriculture, or science education courses. Depending on how in-depth teachers want to go with statistics, the case might also be appropriate for similar upper level courses.

   

Date Posted

6/28/2016

Overview

Objectives

  • Make hypotheses regarding how plant domestication (artificial selection) might have unintended consequences for plant-insect interactions.
  • Consider multiple trophic interactions among plants and insects.
  • Interpret bar graphs with multiple treatments and statistical significance.
  • Concisely summarize results from several experiments that showcase one example of how plant breeding had unintended consequences for plant-insect interactions.
  • Research and share findings from other studies that have revealed how plant domestication had unintended consequences for plant-insect interactions with different mechanisms as explanations.

Keywords

plant domestication; plant-insect interactions; food web; food chain; multi-trophic interactions; sunflower; parasitoid; moth

  

Subject Headings

Agriculture
Biology (General)
Botany / Plant Science
Ecology
Environmental Science
Evolutionary Biology
Natural Resource Management
Science Education
Statistics

EDUCATIONAL LEVEL

High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

  

FORMAT

PDF

   

TOPICAL AREAS

N/A

   

LANGUAGE

English

   

TYPE/METHODS

Analysis (Issues), Journal Article

 

 

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