Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Brood X cicadas will cause limited damage to trees, yard plants across eastern U.S.

31.03.2004


The world’s largest insect emergence of "Brood X" cicadas in May will result in some damage to fruit trees and prized yard trees and shrubs, but the large insects will not cause crippling harm to common farm crops, an Indiana University scientist says.


Two cicadas mate during their brief above-ground reproductive period.
Copyright Holder: Chris Simon, University of Connecticut



"There will be some crop damage, especially to orchards, but we don’t expect a disaster," said IU Bloomington biologist Keith Clay, who recently received a three-year, $300,000 National Science Foundation grant to study Brood X. "The cicadas don’t harm evergreen trees or leafy, non-woody plants. But isolated shrubs, broad-leafed trees, and trees with soft, woody branches are vulnerable. People who have just spent thousands of dollars on landscaping may want to consider throwing netting over the trees during the two-to-three-week period when the adult cicadas are out."

Clay recommends that concerned gardeners, vintners and farmers place netting -- with holes no greater than one-half inch across -- securely over the top of vulnerable plants.


Brood X’s population is densest in southern Indiana, Kentucky and southwestern Ohio, but it has pockets in Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, New Jersey, Missouri, northern Georgia, New York (Long Island), eastern Pennsylvania (including Philadelphia) and the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Scientists expect Brood X cicadas to crawl out of the ground and begin the reproductive segment of their life cycle when soil temperatures reach 62 degrees Fahrenheit. While it’s hard to know just how many cicadas will appear in late May, Clay said the total number of emergent cicadas in the state of Indiana alone could reach the trillions.

Contrary to what one might expect, the population of 17-year periodical cicadas doesn’t cause much damage to trees and smaller plants by feeding on them. After more than 16 years of slowly sucking tree roots, Brood X cicadas arise from their subterranean chambers sated with most of the energy they’ll need to breed. Many adult cicadas don’t feed at all. Rather, the damage cicadas cause occurs when females use a special, razor-sharp appendage to cut open branches and twigs, into which they insert their fertilized eggs.

Clay hopes to dispel worries people may have about Brood X.

"Cicadas don’t bite, and they don’t attack people," Clay said. "They are not very active when the sun goes down, so the massive noise we’ll hear in the daytime will subside, allowing people to sleep."

In addition to filling knowledge gaps in scientists’ understanding of Brood X, Clay’s NSF project, which officially began March 1, will also explore the broader impacts of ecological disturbances on forests. Clay hopes to eventually secure long-term funding for the project, right up to Brood X’s next above-ground appearance in 2021.

"Given that Brood X is not going to emerge for another 17 years, this opportunity represents a once-in-a-researcher’s-lifetime opportunity to study the impacts of such an event," said Michael Bowers, program director in NSF’s division of environmental biology, which funded the research. "This is the first study to experimentally determine the impact of cicada emergence, adult movement and their impact on woody plants. Cicadas are a major insect herbivore for which we have only limited information."

Four other IUB scientists -- geographer John Odland, biologist Heather Reynolds, geologist Greg Olyphant and anthropologist Emilio Moran -- have also received NSF grants to study periodical cicadas in general or Brood X specifically.

David Bricker | Indiana University
Further information:
http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/1348.html?emailID=434

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New study shows producers where and how to grow cellulosic biofuel crops
17.01.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

nachricht Robotic weeders: to a farm near you?
10.01.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>