Aspen Leaf Miners

University of Montana Professor Art Woods tells us about ongoing research on aspen trees and their specialist herbivores: aspen leaf miners.

Posted on 8/1/2018 by Beau Larkin

Habitat Type: 


Aspen Leaf Miners
 We are in year two of research on the thermal ecology of aspens and aspen leaf miners.
To measure leaf temperatures, we built tiny temperature sensors, called thermocouples, that we can tape to leaf surfaces.
With a thermal camera, we captured images of aspen canopies and leaves.
 These larvae are too fragile to remove them from the mine and weigh them without killing them.
For leaf miner larvae, a common cause of death is parasitoid wasps.
We use a custom device (built by SensorSpace at the Flathead Lake Biological Station) to test the maximum temperature that leaf miners can tolerate.