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Populations of the Northern Grasshopper, Melanoplus borealis (Orthoptera: Acrididae), in Alaska Are Rarely Food Limited.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22251631     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
In some systems, grasshoppers appear to be food limited in most years, whereas in other systems top down forces, for example, predators, are more often implicated in population regulation. Sustainable strategies to manage grasshopper populations through habitat management require knowledge of the forces that regulate grasshopper populations. This experiment was undertaken to determine whether populations of Melanoplus borealis (Fieber), a common pest species in Alaska, are food-limited in Alaska. Cages were set up in a fallow field near Delta Junction, AK, in 3 yr (2007-2009). In 2007 and 2008, fertilizer was added to half the plots to increase primary production, and, in all years, cages within each plot were stocked with 0, 5, 9, or 13 fourth-instar M. borealis (equivalent to 0, 20, 36, or 52 grasshoppers/m(2)). Grasshoppers in each cage were counted weekly. Near the end of the growing season, surviving female grasshoppers (≍40% of the original number) were collected. Femur length was taken as a measure of adult size, and functional ovarioles were counted as a measure of current fecundity. If the grasshoppers were food limited, we expected to see significant effects of either density or fertilizer on grasshopper survival, size, or fecundity. The fertilizer treatment greatly increased primary production in both years. Neither fertilizer treatment nor grasshopper density had consistent effects on survival, size, or potential fecundity, leading us to conclude that food is seldom limiting to populations in the interior of Alaska at densities <50 m(-2).
Mingchu Zhang; Dennis J Fielding
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental entomology     Volume:  40     ISSN:  1938-2936     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Entomol.     Publication Date:  2011 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-01-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7502320     Medline TA:  Environ Entomol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  541-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Mingchu Zhangm, School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, USA.
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