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This study examined whether an individual plant's risk of herbivory was affected by its nearest neighbor. Individually potted tillers of Bouteloua gracilis were placed in a natural habitat with one of two neighbors (B. gracilis conspecifics or Aristida spp.), and in one of two cover treatments (high: in center of neighbor canopy, and low: at periphery of canopy). After one month, the experimental tillers were collected and scored for herbivory. We found that the less palatable neighbor, Aristida spp., reduced the probability that herbivores would feed upon experimental tillers in one of the two years of our study, but in both years increased the amount of feeding on those tillers that were attacked. The amount of...
The indirect effects of native generalist insect herbivores on interactions between exotic and native grassland plants have received limited attention. Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) is the most common exotic rangeland grass in western North America. Crested wheatgrass communities are resistant to colonization by native plant species and have strong competitive effects on native species, imposing problems for the restoration of native grasslands. Grasshoppers are generalist herbivores that are often abundant in Crested wheatgrass?dominated sites in the northern Great Plains. We conducted two experiments in a Crested wheatgrass?dominated grassland in western North Dakota to test the hypothesis that grasshopper...
Synopsis: A simulation model, modified from percolation theory, was empirically tested to determine if population distribution patterns correlated with different landscape patterns, for different species across a landscape. Using two grasshopper species in a short-grass prairie of north-central Colorado, the experiment found that the threshold for population aggregation (random to clumped distribution) was differentially affected by dispersal ranges and habitat specialization for habitat generalists and habitat specialists, respectively. Habitat generalists aggregated differentially depending on dispersal abilities. Generalist species with good dispersal abilities aggregated when <35% of the landscape consisted...

    map background search result map search result map Critical thresholds in species responses to landscape structure. Critical thresholds in species responses to landscape structure.