Mystery Graph: Hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae)

Use this activity to kick off a Vital Signs investigation focused on hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). Use your graphing skills to figure out and explain the introduction and spread of hemlock woolly adelgid in Maine from 1999 to 2010.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
High school (grades 9-12)
Resources I used: 
WCSH6 video: (Direct link: HWA news articles from May 2010: Map of official HWA sites in Maine (2010): Note: You need Google Earth on your computer to view this map Maine Forest Service website:
How should others reference your work?: 
vitalteach, Mystery Graph: Hemlock woolly adelgid, Vital Signs Program, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, 2010


Working toward these performance expectations:
MS-LS2-1 - Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

MS-LS2-4 - Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Using these science practices:
-Asking Questions and Defining Problems
-Analyzing and Interpreting Data
-Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
-Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Using these disciplinary core ideas:
LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
-Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors. (MS-LS2-1)
-In any ecosystem, organisms and populations with similar requirements for food, water, oxygen, or other resources may compete with each other for limited resources, access to which consequently constrains their growth and reproduction. (MS-LS2-1)
-Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources. (MS-LS2-1)

LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
-Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations. (MS-LS2-4)

Using these cross cutting concepts:
Cause and Effect
-Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems. (MS-LS2-1)
Stability and Change
-Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part. (MS-LS2-4)