Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT OF GRASSHOPPERS AND OTHER INSECT PESTS IN THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS Title: Relationships between plant diversity and grasshopper diversity and abundance in the Little Missouri National Grassland

Author
item Branson, David

Submitted to: Psyche
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 5, 2010
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/50082
Citation: Branson, D.H. 2011. Relationships between plant diversity and grasshopper diversity and abundance in the Little Missouri National Grassland. Psyche. Vol. 2011, 7 pp., Article ID 748635, DOI:10.1155/2011/748635.

Interpretive Summary: Grassland insect diversity is often linked to plant species composition and habitat structure, with insect herbivore diversity thought to generally increase with increased plant species richness due to increased resource diversity. It remains a continuing challenge in grasshopper ecology to understand what determines species diversity in a given area. In most grassland ecosystems the nature of relationships between plant species richness and grasshopper abundance remains unclear. In this system with relatively low plant diversity, grasshopper species richness and abundance was not associated with plant species richness. Although a number of significant associations between plant species richness and diversity were found in this study, results differed between years. Most grasshopper species found are generalists that feed on multiple plant species. As a result, plant species richness appears to be too coarse grained to lead to accurate predictions of grasshopper species richness.

Technical Abstract: A continuing challenge in Orthoptera ecology is to understand what determines grasshopper species diversity at a given site. In this study, the objective was to determine if variation in grasshopper abundance and diversity between 23 sites in western North Dakota (USA) could be explained by variation in plant species richness and diversity. In this system with relatively low plant diversity, grasshopper species richness and abundance was not associated with plant species richness. Although a number of significant associations between plant species richness and diversity were found through the regression analyses, results differed greatly between years. Plant species richness appears to be too coarse grained to lead to accurate predictions of grasshopper species richness in this system.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page