REU: TED NAKATANI  
I am a geekazoid!

Upward elevational range shifts are a well documented consequence of warming global climate. Such a shift has been observed in the willow leaf beetle Chrysomela aeneicollis in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. In my study, I sought to determine how this range shift by the beetles is affecting the wasp Symmorphus cristatus which specializes on the beetle. I employed various methods to examine how S. cristatus hunts and how it provisions its nests at different elevations along the north fork of Big Pine Creek. The study demonstrates that at low elevations, the hunting ability of the wasp is being negatively impacted by the lowered beetle abundances and also by temperature effects. Therefore, it is probable that if C. aeneicollis continues to move upward, S. cristatus will experience local extinctions at low elevations.

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