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Spotlight: Crone Lab

Thursday, December 1, 2011
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Butterfly

The researchers working in Senior Ecologist Elizabeth Crone's lab are engaged in a diversity of projects ranging from butterfly population dynamics to sugar maple seed production. Rui Zhang, a post-doctoral fellow who arrived in October, is collaborating with Finnish researcher Anne Jäkäläniemi to investigate how habitat transitions affect populations of Silene tartarica, an endangered riparian plant native to Finland. Post-doc Norah Warchola is studying the endangered Fender's Blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides fenderi) to determine if its movement, behavior, oviposition preference and time budgets differ between burned and unburned vegetation habitats. Her research will guide management decisions regarding the butterfly's native prairie habitat in Oregon. Josh Rapp is investigating seed production in sugar maples at Harvard Forest and whitebark pine in Montana. In both species he is trying to unravel how weather conditions, stored plant resources, and pollen limitation interact to produce highly productive, synchronized seed crops known as masting. With the collaboration of the Massachusetts Butterfly Club, post-doc Greg Breed is using historic and current citizen science data to project butterfly population dynamics for many species and identify populations in decline or at risk of local extinction. Presently, those trends are unknown to science. To learn more about the Crone Lab, visit their new website. 

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