Effects of vegetation, burning and mowing on soil macroarthropods of tallgrass prairie

TitleEffects of vegetation, burning and mowing on soil macroarthropods of tallgrass prairie
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1986
AuthorsSeastedt, TR, Hayes, DC, Petersen, NJ
EditorClambey, GK, Pemble, RH
Pagination99 -102
PublisherNorth Dakota State University: Tri-College Center for Environmental Study
Conference LocationFargo, ND
Accession NumberKNZ00125
Keywordstallgrass prairie

Tallgrass prairie was burned annually, mowed and raked three times yearly, or left undisturbed for two years, and soil anthropods were censused after the first and second years of treatment. Total arthropod densities increased from about 75 individuals/m2 to 132 individuals /m2 and arthropod biomass increased from about 24 kg/ha to 43 kg/ha from November 1981 to March 1983. These increases were associated with increased productivity of prairie vegetation during the initial year of the study. Annual burning resulted in increased biomass of root xylem feeders (cicada nymphs), mowing and raking resulted in increased biomass of root chewing insects (white grubs). Smaller herivores (mostly chrysomelid larvae), predaceous beetle larvae and insect detritivores were most abundant on unburned plots. Overall, arthropod biomass was highest on burned plots; however, densities of arthropods were not significantly different among treatments. Of the arthropods found to be abundant in tallgrass prairie soil, only the white grubs are known to adversely affect plant productivity. Results from this study suggest that drought or land use practices that stress the vegetation will increase densities of these pest insects