The Effects of Climate Gradients on the life cycle of the Galerucella spp
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The invasion of foreign and native nuisances has becoming an increasing problem in society. Thus there is a constant need to find a better control in order to slow the progress or eliminate these species. One of the most well known invasives is Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife). Currently the most popular control for purple loosestrife is the use of beetles from the Galerucella spp. Currently there is some debate on the effectiveness of these beetles in the environment. This debate stemming from the issue of non-target feeding. A study incorporating potential limiting factors (i.e. temperature) for the beetles was conducted. It was hypothesized that when treated with these beetles 1) areas that experience higher annual temperatures would see a greater amount of damage on purple loosestrife and 2) areas that are treated with multiple species (other than the Galerucella spp.) would see less damage on loosestrife. Both GIS and SPSS were used to create maps and conduct a t-test and regression analysis. It was found that increases in temperature had a direct correlation to the amount of damage done on loosestrife. Similarly, areas that were treated with multiple species experienced less damage than areas only treated with one. Other limiting factors could include the amount of precipitation an area receives.
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