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The Center for Native Grasslands Management




Title: Numbers and biomass of selected insect groups on burned and unburned sand prairie
Year: 1989
Author(s): Anderson, R. C., Leahy, T., Dhillion, S. S.
Source Title: American Midland Naturalist
Source Type: Journal
pages: 151-162
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Abundance and biomass of selected insect groups were sampled on adjacent burned and unburned sand prairie for 3 years following a single spring burn. The abundance of all insects combined was significantly lower on the burned site than on the unburned site in the 1 st yr postburn but not in subsequent years of the study. Of the selected insect groups, ants were significantly (P < 0.05) more abundant on the burned site than the unburned site for the 1st yr after the fire but not during the 2nd or 3rd. However, for Homoptera the pattern of abundance on burned and unburned sites was reversed. No significant differences in numbers of grasshoppers occurred between burned and unburned sites for any year. However, grasshopper biomass was significantly greater on the unburned site than on the burned site 1 yr postburn but not 2 or 3. Of the two most abundant grasshoppers, Conocephalus strictus was more abundant on the burned site than the unburned site for the 1st and 2nd yr after the burn but not the 3rd, whereas, for Melanoplusflavidus, the pattern of abundance was reversed on burned and unburned sites. The results indicate that while there were varied responses of these insects to fire, none experienced a severe decline in abundance following fire, suggesting they are adapted to habitats experiencing periodic burning.
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