iEcoLab Loves Duct Tape!

The Summer is here in the iEcoLab and our crews are heading out to research the ecology of Philadelphia and the surrounding area. This summer we have three projects focused on three major health and environmental issues of the region.

First, we are working on modeling the spotted lanternfly invasion. Victoria Ramirez a senior at Temple was awarded a prestigious Frances Velay Fellowship to estimate density dependence via intraspecific competition that affects the spread of spotted lanternfly. This is just a fancy way of saying that if there are more spotted lanternfly at a location in the previous year, then more of the plants will have been eaten, and because there are fewer plants to be eaten this year, the spotted lanternfly will produce fewer babies at that location this year.

Her data will inform our predictive models of spotted lanternfly spread. She is tracking the density of spotted lanternfly through time at sites from the core of the invasion to the edge. How is she estimating density… with Duct Tape! So if you see a tree wrapped in duct tape (sticky side out) then you may have found a tree that Victoria is tracking!

We will tell you about the other projects in later posts… stay tuned!

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