Effects of Gypsy Moth Defoliation on Host Plant Utilization by Papilio canadensis and Papilio glaucus
Sands, William C., IV
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The defoliation caused by gypsy moths (Lymantria dispar) can have negative effects on other phytophagus species. At the Kellogg Biological Station's Long Term Ecological Research facility, there are four plots of Populus trees that have been consecutively defoliated for three years by gypsy moth larvae. It has been hypothesized that defoliation can induce a defensive response by the plant. Papilio canadensis and Papilio glaucus swallowtail butterflies were implemented to explore this theory. It is well documented that P. canadensis can detoxify Populus and that P. glaucus cannot. These two butterflies were hybridized to create a more sensitized caterpillar for use in bioassay studies to identify whether the Populus exhibits an induced defense. Both lifetime and 72-hour feeding experiments were conducted to test the hybrids and this hypothesis. These experiments were inconclusive and yielded data that do not provide any statistical significance which supports the hypothesis.