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Biotic Change on the Front Range

Weeds and Weevils Unit - High School

Spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe), by H. Zell, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, Wikimedia Commons.

Using a case study and a field and laboratory exercise, students explore the science behind invasive species management through hands-on investigation of plant and insect life cycles.

Hands-on activities meet Colorado Life Science and Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability standards.

The toadflax lessons can be completed year-round since stems are always available for dissection.  In the toadflax lessons, students investigate the characteristics of invasive plants.  Students explore lifecycles and interactions between organisms to learn how biological control agents (in this case insects) can be used to reduce invasive plant populations.


Introduction to unit: Why do ecologists argue for landscaping with native plants? (ppt)

Case study: Response to invasion: Managing spotted knapweed (pdf)

Field and lab exercise: Dalmatian toadflax and stem weevil (ppt)

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