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Citation. Goldburg, R. J. 1987. Sequential flowering of neighboring goldenrods and the movements of the flower predator Epicauta pennsylvanica. Oecologia 74:247-252. [1054 LTER]
Summary. As neighboring plants flower sequentially, do flower feeders preferentially remain in the area, rather than move to another area with flowering plants? I examined the movements of the meloid beetle Epicauta pennsylvanica, a flower predator specializing on Solidago, in four types of replicated experimental plots- monocultures of Solidago altissima or S. altissima interplanted with members of the same genus, same family, or different taxonomic orders. I released marked beetles only in the "genus" plots, which contained four species of Solidago, two that bloom before S. altissima. The number of beetles in the genus plots declined steadily as S. altissima came into flower in all the plots; the total number of beetles in all the plots remained fairly constant. I found no evidence that plant neighborhoods affected beetle distribution. Beetles foraging on the early blooming Solidago species did not remain in the genus plots as S. altissima came into flower. In addition, beetles that left the genus plots did not differentially accumulate in any of the other plot types, even though one type of plot was a monoculture with four times the density Or S. altissima than the other plots.
Keywords. Flowering phenology, Facilitation, Resource concentration, Epicauta pennsylvanica, Solidago