CTAHR NEWS

Think Globally, Act Aphidly

  • 12 April 2019
  • Author: Frederika Bain
  • Number of views: 462
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Think Globally, Act Aphidly

Want to know more about how something as far-reaching as climate change affects something as small as an aphid? Join Andrei Alyokhin, a professor at the School of Biology and Ecology at the University of Maine, for a special guest seminar on plant pests, invasive species, and climate change: “Scaling Up: What Can Aphids and Viruses in Maine Potato Fields Tell About Global Change?”

  • Date: Wednesday, April 17
  • Time: 11:30 a.m.–12:30 a.m.
  • Location: Gilmore Hall 301

The Earth’s biosphere is currently undergoing a rapid change, the mechanisms and consequences of which are often difficult to understand. Examination of a long-term (more than a half-century) data set on amounts of potato-colonizing aphids in northern Maine revealed considerable changes in their populations. Researchers used time series analyses, followed by laboratory and greenhouse experiments, to investigate possible biotic and abiotic factors influencing this phenomenon. They also investigated the aphids' contributions to the recent outbreak of non-persistently transmitted Potato Virus Y. Their results, as the seminar will detail, suggest that the three major present-day anthropogenic forces (climate change, biological invasions, and landscape alteration) may be responsible for the observed changes.

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