|Title||Sustainable management of insect herbivores in grassland ecosystems: new perspectives in grasshopper control|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2006|
|Authors||Branson, DH, Joern, A, Sword, GA|
|Keywords||Grassland ecology, habitat manipulation, insect population dynamics, prevention of grasshopper outbreaks, sustainable pest management|
Grasshoppers are insect herbivores common to grassland ecosystems worldwide. They comprise important components of biodiversity, contribute significantly to grassland function, and periodically exhibit both local and large-scale outbreaks. Because of grasshoppers' potential economic importance as competitors with ungulate grazers for rangeland forage, periodic grasshopper outbreaks in western US rangeland often elicit intervention over large areas in the form of chemical control. Available information combined with alternative underlying conceptual frameworks suggests that new approaches for sustainable management of grasshopper outbreaks in US rangeland should be pursued. There are many reasons to believe that approaches to grasshopper management that aim to reduce or prevent outbreaks are possible. These habitat manipulation tactics maintain existing ecological feedbacks responsible for sustaining populations at economically nonthreatening levels. Sustainable strategies to minimize the likelihood and extent of grasshopper outbreaks while limiting the need for chemical intervention are a rational and attainable goal for managing grasslands as renewable resources.