For Educators

Order Products

Login / My Account



And Then There Were Nun: Trees That Could Be Endangered by a Nun Moth Invasion

This article is from Issue Invasive Species - Vol. 8 No. 1.

* Note: All editions of the Natural Inquirer starting with Volume 5 and including future editions require the newest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 in order to be downloaded. We have upgraded in order to ensure greater accessibility to PDF files. Please click on the following link if you need to upgrade your Adobe Acrobat reader: Upgrade now to Adobe Reader 6.0. It is a free upgrade.



Welcome to the Invasive Species edition

Note to Educators

Invasive Species Lesson Plan

Student Notes Page

Reflection Section Answer Guide

Education Standards Correlations

Meet the scientists that contributed to this article:

"Science Topics" covered in this article:
  • Life Science
  • People and Science
  • Technology and Science

"Environmental Topics" covered in this article:
  • Protecting Trees and Other Plants (Students)
  • Vegetation Management (Educators)

Regions covered in this article:
  • Alaska
  • Forest Products Lab
  • Intermountain
  • International Institute of Tropical Forestry
  • Northern
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Pacific Southwest
  • Rocky Mountain
  • Southern
  • Southwestern

"Thinking About Science Themes" covered in this article:
In today's world, we often think about our Nation's security. There are many different types of threats to our Nation, including biological threats from nonnative animal and plant species. In this research, the scientist studied a species of moth that has not yet been found in the United States. In Europe and Asia, this moth has done much damage to trees. The scientist wanted to know what tree species in the United States would be damaged if the moth were to come into the country. To do her study, the scientist brought the moth eggs to the United States. When she did her experiments, she had to be certain the eggs, larvae, or moths did not escape into the natural environment. When scientists work with dangerous organisms, they must use extreme care to make sure their experiments are totally secure.
Specific "Thinking About Science" Themes:
  • Scientific Topics
  • Uses and Benefits of Science

"Thinking About Environmental Themes" covered in this article:
Over a period of hundreds or thousands of years, organisms adapt to survive in their environment. Often, similar species living in different areas have adapted from a common ancestor. They may share many characteristics, but because they have adapted to different environments, they may also have different characteristics. In this study, the scientist examined the preferred reproductive habitat of a certain type of moth. In Europe and Asia, this moth prefers to lay her eggs in particular tree species. When the eggs are laid and the larvae hatch, the larvae eat the leaves as they grow and develop. Eating the leaves damages the tree and may even kill it. The scientist wanted to know which tree species in the United States would be the preferred reproductive habitat for this moth, if it were to invade.
Specific "Thinking About the Environment" Themes:
  • Adaptation

NSE Standards covered in this article:
  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (A)
  • Diversity and adaptations of organisms (C)
  • Nature of science (G)
  • Populations and ecosystems (C)
  • Regulation and behavior (C)
  • Reproduction and heredity (C)
  • Risks and benefits (F)
  • Science and technology in society (F)
  • Science as a human endeavor (G)
  • Understandings about science and technology (E)
  • Understandings about scientific inquiry (A)