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Press Release 12-189

Why We Need Insects--Even "Pesky" Ones

Hard evidence of evolution: a five-year study shows that plants may quickly lose important traits through evolution soon after insects are removed from the environment

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Photo of yellow flowers of evening primrose in Ithaca, New York.

A large natural population of evening primrose (yellow), which is a common plant in eastern North America.

Agrawal's team set up 16 identical plots. During each growing season for five years, eight of the plots were treated biweekly with an insecticide; the other eight were controls.

Credit: Anurag Agrawal


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Anurag Agawal provides hard evidence of evolution.

Credit: National Science Foundation

 

Cover of the October 5, 2012, issue of the journal Science.

The research results are described in the Oct. 5, 2012, issue of the journal Science.

Credit: AAAS copyright 2012


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