TITLE: Understanding the Chemical Relationship between Monarchs and Milkweeds to Inform Management Strategies
Abigail Brake, Research biologist, ERDC-CERL
ABSTRACT: Monarch populations have been declining and are vulnerable to extinction, with a record low of >90% reduction in migration numbers in 2014. These declines are ongoing, and so significant that the species will be considered again for listing under the Endangered Species Act on December 15, 2020. In addition to its importance as a petitioned species, the monarch can act as a model research organism, relevant to a large number of listed and at-risk butterfly species. Several other butterfly species are either federally listed or petitioned for listing, with potential for training restrictions and cost burdens for DoD Installations. Information regarding chemosensory perception in monarchs and communication with their preferred milkweed host plants remain undiscovered. An understanding of the chemical relationship between monarchs and milkweeds could inform butterfly management strategies, such as invasive species and host plant management, across the landscape.
Host: ERDC-CRREL, Justin Berman, Ph.D., Biogeochemical Sciences