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.
Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) Identifier
Data Policies: This dataset is released to the public and may be freely downloaded. Please keep the designated Contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement of the Sevilleta LTER. Datasets must be cited as in the example provided. A copy of any publications using these data must be supplied to the Sevilleta LTER Information Manager. By downloading any data you implicitly acknowledge the LTER Data Policy (http://www.lternet.edu/data/netpolicy.html).
SEV LTER, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87131
1992-09-02 - 1998-05-28
Location: Five Points Black Grama is on the transition between Chihuahuan Desert Scrub and Desert Grassland habitat. The site is subject to intensive research activity, including assessments of net primary productivity, phenology, and pollinator diversity, amongst other projects. It is the site of the unburned black grama (GU) component of the Burn NPP study. On August 4, 2009, a lightning-initiated fire began on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. By August 5, 2009, the fire had reached the Five Points Black Grama site. Portions of this site were burned, but not the entirety. See individual projects for further information on the effects of the burn. Vegetation: The Five Points Black Grama site is ecotonal in nature, bordering Chihuahuan Desert Scrub at its southern extent and Plains-Mesa Grassland at its northern, more mesic boundary. Characteristically, the dominant grass is black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda)., Location: The Five Points area emcompasses both the Five Points Black Grama and Five Points Creosote study sites. Five Points falls along the transition between the Chihuahuan Desert Scrub and Desert Grassland habitats. Both core sites are subject to intensive research activities, including NPP measurements, phenology observations, pollinator diversity studies, and ground dwelling arthropod and rodent population assessments. There are rain-out shelters for drought studies in both the Five Points Black Grama and Five Points Creosote sites.Vegetation: The Five Points Creosote site is characterized as Chihuahuan Desert Scrub, dominated by a creosote overstory, with broom snakeweed, purple pricklypear (Opuntia macrocentra), and soapweed yucca as co-occurring shrubs. The site is also characterized by numerous, dense, grass-dominated patches, reflecting proximity to the Five Points Black Grama Site. Dominant grasses are black grama, fluffgrass (Dasyochloa pulchellum), burrograss (Scleropogon brevifolia), bushmuhly (Muhlenbergia porteri), and galleta (Pleuraphis jamesii). Notable forbs include field bahia (Bahia absinthifolia), baby aster (Chaetopappa ericoides), plains hiddenflower (Cryptantha crassisepala), Indian rushpea (Hoffmannseggia glauca), Fendlers bladderpod (Lesquerella fendleri), and globemallows (Sphaeralcea spp.)., siteid: 3Location: The Cerro Montosa Pinyon-Juniper site has been the location of major Sevilleta LTER research since 1989. Meteorological trends, net primary productivity, rodent and ground-dwelling arthropod populations, mycorrhizal responses to fertilizer, pinyon-juniper fruit and nut production, and pinyon mortality are all being investigated at this site. Previous studies have included analyses of pinyon tree rings for regional climate reconstruction.Vegetation: The vegetation is New Mexico Pinyon-Juniper Woodland, dominated by Colorado pinyon (Pinus edulis) and one-seed juniper (Juniperus monosperma), and accompanied by gray oak (Quercus grisea). There is a diverse shrub component, including scrub live oak (Q. turbinella), mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus), broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), sacahuista (Nolina microcarpa), red barberry (Mahonia haematocarpa), Apache plume (Fallugia paradoxa), tree cholla (Opuntia imbricata), skunkbush (Rhus trilobata), and banana yucca (Yucca baccata). Grass diversity is also high, and open spaces between trees are dominated by blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), with hairy and sideoats grama (B. hirsuta and B. curtipendula) and black grama (B. eriopoda) also being significant. Other common grasses include purple threeawn (Aristida purpurea), wolftail (Lycurus phleoides), mountain and ring muhly (M. montanus and M. torreyi), and New Mexican porcupinegrass (Heterostipa neomexicana). Common forbs include small-flowered milkvetch (Astragalus nuttallianus), white sagebrush (Artemesia ludoviciana), Fendler’s arabis (Arabis fendleri), Fendler’s sandmat (Chamaesyce fendleri), New Mexico thistle (Cirsium neomexicanum), false pennyroyal (Hedeoma oblongifolia), bastard sage (Eriogonum wrightii), pingüe rubberweed (Hymenoxys richardsonii), large four o’clock (Mirabilis multiflora), Fendler's penstemon (Penstemon fendleri), and globemallows (Sphaeralcea hastulata and S. wrightii). , Location: The Blue Grama core site is one of five core SEV LTER study sites. Meteorological trends, rodent abundance, pollinator diversity, phenology, and NPP are all being investigated. Additional studies have examined the Bootleg Canyon fire of 1998 and subsequent effects on the patch dynamics of grasses.Vegetation: Vegetation is characterized as Plains-Mesa Grassland, dominated by blue and black grama (Bouteloua gracilis and B. eriopoda) and galleta grass (Pleuraphis jamesii).
Lightfoot, David (2010): Long-Term Core Site Grasshopper Dynamics for the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (1992-2013). Long Term Ecological Research Network. http://dx.doi.org/10.6073/pasta/c1d40e9d0ec610bb74d02741e9d22576