grasshoppers

Keystone species have large impacts on community and ecosystem properties, and create important ecological interactions with other species.  Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and banner-tailed kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spectabilis) are considered keystone species of grassland ecosystems, and create a mosaic of unique habitats on the landscape.

Pino Gate Prairie Dog Study: Landscape-scale Grasshopper Plot Data from the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (2000-2002)

Abstract: 

Keystone species have large impacts on community and ecosystem properties, and create important ecological interactions with other species. Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and banner-tailed kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spectabilis) are considered keystone species of grassland ecosystems, and create a mosaic of unique habitats on the landscape. These habitats are known to attract a number of animal species, but little is known about how they affect arthropod communities. Our research evaluated the keystone roles of prairie dogs and kangaroo rats on arthropods at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico, USA. We evaluated the impacts of these rodents on ground-dwelling arthropod and grasshopper communities in areas where prairie dogs and kangaroo rats co-occurred compared to areas where each rodent species occurred alone. Our results demonstrate that prairie dogs and kangaroo rats have keystone-level impacts on these arthropod communities. Their burrow systems provided important habitats for multiple trophic and taxonomic groups of arthropods, and increased overall arthropod abundance and species richness on the landscape. any arthropods also were attracted to the aboveground habitats around the mounds and across the landscapes where the rodents occurred. Detritivores, predators, ants, grasshoppers, and rare rodent burrow inhabitants showed the strongest responses to prairie dog and kangaroo rat activity. The impacts of prairie dogs and kangaroo rats were unique, and the habitats they created supported different assemblages of arthropods. Where both rodent species occurred together on the landscape, there was greater habitat heterogeneity and increased arthropod diversity.

Core Areas: 

Data set ID: 

197

Additional Project roles: 

350

Keywords: 

Data sources: 

sev197_pdoghopperplot_01142009.txt

Methods: 

Experimental Design

Landscape-scale plots: We compared grasshoppers on plots occupied by:1) both species (Pdog+Krat plot);2) only kangaroo rats (Krat plot); and 3) both species, but where prairie dogs inhabited one half of the plot and kangaroo rats inhabited the other half (Transition plot).

Sampling Design

The landscape-scale plots were 180 m x 180 m. Grasshoppers were visually sampled along strip  transect lines established along each gridline of the landscape-scale plots, using a 5 x 5 grid array. Strip transects on the landscape-scale plots measured 1 m x 30 m.

Field methods

Grasshoppers were sampled by walking slowly along each transect,tapping the soil and vegetation with a 1 m long, 1.27 cm diameter white PVC pipe. Grasshoppers flushed from the ground were counted and identified to species, and the substrate (i.e., plant species, bare soil) they were  observed on was recorded. This is the standard method used at both the SEV and Jornada LTER sites, and is similar to that developed by Paftd (1982). Grasshoppers were sampled during spring (April) and fall (September), from fall 1999 through spring 2002 at the SNWR.

Laboratory Procedures

Grasshopper voucher specimens from this study were deposited in the collection of the Arthropod Division, Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico.

Maintenance: 

01/09/2009 (YX): the metadata was entered from metadata supplied by Ana Davidson 1/25/2008

(Yang Xia) - updated and modified metadata to correct format;checked data for missing data points and
errors;- any empty cells were filled in with either -999 for missing data

Additional information: 

Additional Personnel with Data Collection

Julie McIntyre was part of the field crew in collecting/processing samples.

Additional Study Area Information

Study Area Name: Pino Gate

Study Area Location: The study site was located near the base of the Los Pinos mountains and directly adjacent to the nothern fencline of the SNWR at Pino Gate.

Elevation: 1600 m

Vegetation: Burrograss (Scleropogon brevifolius), sand dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus), and black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda) were the dominant vegetation.

Soils: Deep clayey loam soils

Geology: On an upper bajada slope, in a broad swale

Climate: Long-term mean annual precipitation is 243 mm, about 60% of which occurs during the summer. Long-term mean monthly temperatures for January and July are 1.5°C and 25.1°C, respectively.

Site history: Historically, prairie dogs were common throughout the area, but were exterminated by the early 1970’s (John Ford, United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, personal communication). Gunnison’s prairie dogs began to re-colonize the study site from adjacent private land in 1998. During our study, the colony occurred within a 5 ha area, near the base of the Los Piños Mountains in an area with deep clayey loam soils. The site has been long inhabited by kangaroo rats, and represents typical northern Chihuahuan Desert grassland

North Coordinate:34.406954
South Coordinate:34.406954
East Coordinate:106.606269
West Coordinate:106.606269

Long-Term Core Site Grasshopper Dynamics for the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (1992-2013)

Abstract: 

Grasshoppers are important animals in semi-arid environments, both as herbivores and as food resources for higher level consumer animals. Grasshoppers tend to be numerous and represented by many species in semi-arid environments, especially in desert grasslands. Grasshopper species range from environmental specialists, to environmental generalists. Grasshopper populations tend to change considerably from year to year, often in response to annual variation in rainfall and plant production. The purpose of this study was to monitor grasshopper species composition and abundance over a period of many years from black grama grassland, blue grama grassland, creosotebush shrubland, and pinyon/juniper woodland environments at the Sevilleta, in relation to seasonal and annual variation in precipitation and plant production. Data were collected for all individual species to provide information on community dynamics as well as population dynamics. The working research hypothesis for this study was that grasshopper populations in all environments will correlate positively to seasonal and annual variation in precipitation and plant production. Spring grasshopper populations will be especially high during El Nino years, and late summer populations especially high during La Nina years. This study was initiated in 1992, and is ongoing to the present time.

Data set ID: 

106

Core Areas: 

Keywords: 

Data sources: 

sev106_hopperdynamics_20150826.txt

Methods: 

Sampling Design

Physical Dimensions of Sampling Area: 50-meter by one-meter strip transects, between 6, alternating end-points of rodent trap lines on each of 5 rodent trapping webs at each of the 4 sites.

Plot size: Each trapping web is 200-meters diameter, each grasshopper count strip is 50-meters long, by one-meter wide.

Transect Length: 50-meters.

Sample Unit

A sample unit consists of 50 by 1-meter strip transect; 6 strip transects per web, 5 webs per site.

Frequency of Sampling

Samples are collected twice each year, early summer and late summer.

Sample Size

Sample size consists of 50-meter by one-meter strip transects.

Measurement Techniques

Visual counts of all grasshoppers on each strip transect. The observer slowly walks each transect, flushing grasshoppers ahead with a one-meter long - inch white PVC pipe. The observer records data on to a voice-activated micro-cassette recorder. Information recorded includes for each individual grasshopper: species, geneder, age class, and the substrate from which the grasshopper was flushed.

Additional information: 


Additional Study Area Information

Study Area 1

Study Area Name: Goat Draw (Cerro Montosa)

Site Location Description: Cerro Montosa draw, at north base of Cerro Montosa, Sierra Los Pinos.

Soil: rocky loam.
Slope/Aspect: variable steep slopes, all aspects.
Vegetation Community: pinyon/juniper woodland, blue grama understory.
Terrain/Physiography: rough, dissected erosional montane hills, slopes, and drainages.
Geology/Lithology: variable, rhyolite.
Hydrology - surface/groundwater: extensive steep arroyo drainages.
Size: approximately 1 by 3 km.
History (if known): grazed by cattle until 1973.
Elevation: approximately 2,000 meters.
Climate (general): semi-arid montane, summer rain.

Study Area 2

Study Area Name: Five Points Creosotebush.

Site Location Description: approximately 2km west of Five Points, McKenzie Flats.
  
Soil: sandy loam.
Slope/Aspect: slight north-facing slope.
Vegetation Community: Chihuahuan Desert creosotebush/black grama grass.
Terrain/Physiography: top of Palo Duro Canyon escarpment to south, gentle slope to north.
Geology/Lithology: alluvial outwash, extensive caliche near surface.
Hydrology - surface/groundwater: slight drainage to the north.
Size: approximately 1 by 2 km.
History (if known): intensively grazed by cattle until 1973.
Elevation: approximately 1,600 meters.
Climate (general): semi-arid, summer rain.

Study Area 3

Study Area Name: Five Points Grass.

Site Location Description: approximately 2km NW of Five Points, McKenzie Flats.
 
Soil: sandy loam.
Slope/Aspect: gentle rolling terrain.
Vegetation Community: black grama grassland.
Terrain/Physiography: gentle rolling terrain.
Geology/Lithology: alluvial outwash, limestone and caliche.
Hydrology - surface/groundwater: slight drainage to the west.
Size: approximately 2 by 2 km.
History (if known): intensivey grazed by cattle until 1973.
Elevation: approximately 1,600 meters.
Climate (general): semi-arid, summer rain.

Additional Information on the Data Collection Period

Data are collected in the early summer (April/May) and late summer (September/October).

SEVILLETA LTER CORE SITE GRASSHOPPERS
Grasshopper Species List
Updated: 01/19/00

CODE, FRM L-H, LATIN NAME

ACPI, G, U, Acantherus piperatus
AGDE, GT, U, Ageneotettix deorum
AMCOG, U, Amphitornus coloradus
ARCO, T, P, Arphia conspersa
ARPS, T, U, Arphia pseudonietana
AUEL, GT, U, Aulocara elliotti
AUFE, GT, U, Aulocara femoratum
BOAR, A, U, Bootettix argentatus
BRMA, GT, U, Brachystola magna
CIPA, T, P, Cibolacris parviceps
COCR, GT, U, Cordillacris crenulata
COOC, GT, U, Cordillacris occipitalis
COTE, T, U, Conozoa texana
DABI, GT, U, Dactylotum bicolor
ERSI, G, U, Eritettix simplex
HATR, T, U, Hadtrotettix trifasciatus
HERU, T, U, Heliaula rufa
HEVI, A, U, Hesperotettix viridis
HICA, T, U, Hippopedon capito
LAAZ, T, U, Lactista azteca
LEWH, T, U, Leprus wheeleri
MEAR, A, U, Melanoplus aridus
MEAZ, GT, U, Melanoplus arizonae
MEBO, A, U, Melanoplus bowditchi
MEGL, GT, U, Melanoplus gladstoni
MELA, GT, U, Melanoplus lakinus
MEOC, GT, U, Melanoplus occidentalis
METE, G, U, Mermeria texana
OPOB, G, U, Opeia obscura
PAPA, G, U, Paropomala pallida
PHQU, GT, U, Phlibostroma quadrimaculatum
PHRO, T, P, Phrynotettix robustus
PSDE, GT, P, Psoloessa delicatula
PSTE, GT, P, Psoloessa texana
SCNI, A, U, Schistocerca nitens
SYMO, G, U, Syrbula montezuma
TRCA, T, U, Trimerotropis californicus
TRFO, H, U, Tropidolophus formosus
TRKI, T, U, Trachyrhachis kiowa
TRPA, T, U, Trimerotropis pallidipennis
TRPI, T, U, Trimerotropis pistrinaria
XACO, T, P, Xanthippus corallipes
XAMO, T, P, Xanthippus montanus

Pino Gate Prairie Dog Study: Mound-scale Grasshopper Plot Data from the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (2000-2001)

Abstract: 

Keystone species have large impacts on community and ecosystem properties, and create important ecological interactions with other species. Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and banner-tailed kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spectabilis) are considered keystone species of grassland ecosystems, and create a mosaic of unique habitats on the landscape. These habitats are known to attract a number of animal species, but little is known about how they affect arthropod communities. Our research evaluated the keystone roles of prairie dogs and kangaroo rats on arthropods at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico, USA. We evaluated the impacts of these rodents on ground-dwelling arthropod and grasshopper communities in areas where prairie dogs and kangaroo rats co-occurred compared to areas where each rodent species occurred alone. Our results demonstrate that prairie dogs and kangaroo rats have keystone-level impacts on these arthropod communities. Their burrow systems provided important habitats for multiple trophic and taxonomic groups of arthropods, and increased overall arthropod abundance and species richness on the landscape. Many arthropods also were attracted to the aboveground habitats around the mounds and across the landscapes where the rodents occurred. Detritivores, predators, ants, grasshoppers, and rare rodent burrow inhabitants showed the strongest responses to prairie dog and kangaroo rat activity. The impacts of prairie dogs and kangaroo rats were unique, and the habitats they created supported different assemblages of arthropods. Where both rodent species occurred together on the landscape, there was greater habitat heterogeneity and increased arthropod diversity.

Core Areas: 

Data set ID: 

198

Additional Project roles: 

351

Keywords: 

Data sources: 

sev198_pdoghoppermound_01142009.txt

Methods: 

Experimental Design

Mound-scale plots- To evaluate arthropods associated with mound disturbance patches and rodent burrow systems, we established replicate mound-scale plots with paired “non-mound” control plots. The mound and non-mound plots were spatially intermixed within each landscape-scale plot. Samples were collected from 10 kangaroo rat mounds on the Krat plot, 10 prairie dog and 10 kangaroo rat mounds on the Pdog+Krat plot, and on paired non-mounds located 10 m away from sample mounds, in areas with minimal rodent disturbance.

Sampling Design

Grasshoppers were visually sampled along strip transect lines established through each mound-scale plot. Strip transects on the mound-scale plots measured 1 m x 5 m.

Field methods

Grasshoppers were sampled by walking slowly along each transect, tapping the soil and vegetation with a 1 m long, 1.27 cm diameter white PVC pipe. Grasshoppers flushed from the ground were counted and identified to species, and the substrate (i.e., plant species, bare soil) they were observed on was recorded. This is the standard method used at both the SEV and Jornada LTER sites, and is similar to that developed by Paftd (1982). Grasshoppers were sampled during spring (April) and fall (September), from fall 1999 through spring 2002 at the SNWR.

Laboratory Procedures

Grasshopper voucher specimens from this study were deposited in the collection of the Arthropod Division, Museum of Southwestern Biology at the University of New Mexico.

Maintenance: 

01/09/2009 (YX): the  metadata was entered  from metadata supplied by Ana Davidson

1/25/2008(YX):updated and modified metadata to correct format;checked data for missing data points and errors;- any empty cells were filled in with either -999 for missing data

Additional information: 

Additional Personnel involved in Data Collection

Julie McIntyre was part of the field crew in collecting and processing samples.

Additional Study Area Information

Study Area Name: Pino Gate

Study Area Location: The study site was located near the base of the Los Pinos mountains and directly adjacent to the nothern fencline of the SNWR at Pino Gate.

Elevation: 1600 m

Vegetation: Burrograss (Scleropogon brevifolius), sand dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus), and black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda) were the dominant vegetation.

Soils: Deep clayey loam soils.

Geology: On an upper bajada slope, in a broad swale.

Climate: Long-term mean annual precipitation is 243 mm, about 60% of which occurs during the summer. Long-term mean monthly temperatures for January and July are 1.5°C and 25.1°C, respectively.

Site history: Historically, prairie dogs were common throughout the area, but were exterminated by the early 1970’s (John Ford, United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, personal communication). Gunnison’s prairie dogs began to re-colonize the study site from adjacent private land in 1998. During our study, the colony occurred within a 5 ha area, near the base of the Los Piños Mountains in an area with deep clayey loam soils. The site has been long inhabited by kangaroo rats, and represents typical northern Chihuahuan Desert grassland.

North Coordinate:34.406954
South Coordinate:34.406954
East Coordinate:106.606269
West Coordinate:106.606269

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