Document Detail

Influence of a large late summer precipitation event on food limitation and grasshopper population dynamics in a northern Great Plains grassland.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18559174     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The complex interplay between grasshoppers, weather conditions, and plants that cause fluctuations in grasshopper populations remains poorly understood, and little is known about the ecological processes that generate grasshopper outbreaks. Grasshopper populations respond to interacting extrinsic and intrinsic factors, with yearly and decadal weather patterns and the timing of precipitation all potentially important. The effects of initial and increasing grasshopper densities on grasshopper survival and reproductive correlates were examined at a northern mixed-grass prairie site through manipulations of grasshopper densities inside 10-m2 cages. High-quality grass growth occurred after a 9.1-cm mid-August rain. Reduced proportional survival was apparent in the two higher density treatments before the rain, indicative of food-limited density-dependent mortality. However, the large late summer rainfall event mediated the effects of exploitative competition on demographic characteristics because of the high-quality vegetation growth. This led to weaker effects of food limitation on survival and reproduction at the end of the experiment. The results indicate a direct link between weather variation, resource quality and grasshopper population dynamics led to a severe grasshopper outbreak and show that infrequent large precipitation events can have significant effects on population dynamics. Additional research is needed to examine the importance of infrequent large precipitation events on grasshopper population dynamics in grassland ecosystems.
David H Branson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental entomology     Volume:  37     ISSN:  0046-225X     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Entomol.     Publication Date:  2008 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-06-18     Completed Date:  2008-08-21     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7502320     Medline TA:  Environ Entomol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  686-95     Citation Subset:  IM    
USDA-ARS, Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory, 1500 N. Central Ave., Sidney, MT 59270, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Poaceae / growth & development*
Population Density
Population Dynamics

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