University of Minnesota

Ecology Fair University of Minnesota Monarch Lab

Abstracts from New London Spicer Middle School 2006

New London Spicer Middle School
101 4th Ave SW
New London, MN 56273

Year: 2006
Teacher(s): Laura Molenaar

Border Battle

Libby S

Are monarchs more successful in

New London, Minnesota or New London, Wisconsin?

I monitored monarchs last summer at Stoney Ridge Farm in New London, Minnesota, and when looking at the data from the season I found that there is a New London, Wisconsin. New London, Wisconsin and New London Minnesota have similar latitudes and they both are old fields. So I wondered if there would a difference in the population between the two sites. 

This investigation supported my first hypothesis.  There were more monarchs in New London, Minnesota then New London, Wisconsin all three of the years we compared. Since I have never been to New London, Wisconsin’s site I can only use the information I got from the MLMP web site.   So Minnesota Monarch Habitat Rules. 

City Slickers -vs- Country Kids

Eric V

This summer I monitored monarchs each week at at Stoney Ridge Farm in New London,Minnesota.  Stoney Ridge Farm is very secluded with almost no human activity.  I wondered if that was the reason we found so many monarchs and how our site compared to a site in an urban area.  I picked the Falcon heights site because it is at a similar latitude.

My hypotheses were;

(H1) An rural habitat will be a more successful habitat for monarchs than a urban habitat.

(H2) An urban habitat will be a more successful habitat for monarchs than a rural habitat.

   (Null) There will be no difference between the success of the rural and the urban habitats.

I gathered the data from the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project website, , for the years 2004, 2005, and 2006 for Stoney Ridge and Falcon Heights.  I took the average number of milkweed looked at compared to the number of monarchs.  Then I compared the two sites.       

     My investigation supported H2 - An urban habitat will be a more successful habitat for monarchs than a rural habitat.

     I have never visited the Falcon Heights site so I can only make guesses as to why it has been a more successful site for raising monarchs.  A few ideas I have are;  the park at Falcon Heights may be watered, the monarchs may have fewer places to lay their eggs in the urban area so Falcon Heights may be the only available spot,  or even that Falcon Heights may have more variety of habitat at the site like shade or a nearby wetland.


Picky Eaters?

Evan V, Christopher M

  We monitored monarchs in the field last summer and collected data on milkweed and monarchs.  The dry summer caused the milkweed to yellow very soon in August.  So, we wondered if the yellowed milkweed would effect the monarchs.  

        Our science teacher, Mr. Ninneman had both of his fourth grade classes do an investigation on how yellow leaves effect the growth of monarch larvae. 

      The class came up with a long list of hypotheses:

HA 1  The yellow milkweed will cause the

            monarch larvae to grow.

HA 2  The yellow milkweed will cause the

            monarch larvae to die.

HA 3  The yellow milkweed will cause the

            monarch larvae to explode.

HA 4  The yellow milkweed will cause the

            monarch larvae to grow faster.

HA 5  The yellow milkweed will cause the

            monarch larvae to grow slower.

Null – The monarch larvae of both groups

       will grow the same.

          We had 4th instar larvae in 6 tubs.  Three of them with yellow milkweed and three with fresh green milkweed.  We changed the milkweed and measured them each day until they pupated.

         Our data supported the HA 4- The yellow milkweed will cause the monarch larvae to grow faster.  We were surprised by the results.  Most of the class believed that the investigation would support the HA 5.  We think that the yellow monarchs were more actively looking for food, so they would more often be stretched out and easier to measure.  We feel it may have been more accurate to weigh the monarch larvae.        

        We would like to repeat the experiment again using found in the wild and with an improved technique for comparing the monarchs, like weighing them.

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