Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Large manipulative experiments revealed variations of insect abundance and trophic levels in response to the cumulative effects of sheep grazing

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Jingchuan Ma, Xunbing Huang, Xinghu Qin, Yong Ding, Jun Hong, Guilin Du, Xinyi Li, Wenyuan Gao, Zhuoran Zhang, Guangjun Wang, Ning Wang, Zehua Zhang

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Livestock grazing can affect insects by altering habitat quality; however, the effects of grazing years and intensities on insect abundance and trophic level during manipulative sheep grazing are not well understood. Therefore, we investigated these effects in a large manipulative experiment from 2014 to 2016 in the eastern Eurasian steppe, China. Insect abundance decreased as sheep grazing intensities increased, with a significant cumulative effect occurring during grazing years. The largest families, Acrididae and Cicadellidae, were susceptible to sheep grazing, but Formicidae was tolerant. Trophic primary and secondary consumer insects were negatively impacted by increased grazing intensities, while secondary consumers were limited by the decreased primary consumers. Poor vegetation conditions caused by heavy sheep grazing were detrimental to the existence of Acrididae, Cicadellidae, primary and secondary consumer insects, but were beneficial to Formicidae. This study revealed variations in insect abundance and trophic level in response to continuous sheep grazing in steppe grasslands. Overall, our results indicate that continuous years of heavy- and over- sheep grazing should be eliminated. Moreover, our findings highlight the importance of more flexible sheep grazing management and will be useful for developing guidelines to optimize livestock production while maintaining species diversity and ecosystem health.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number11297
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Sep 2017

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Population dynamics and transcriptomic responses of Chorthippus albonemus (Orthoptera: Acrididae) to herbivore grazing intensity

    Qin, X., Ma, J., Huang, X., Kallenbach, R. L., Lock, T. R., Ali, M. & Zhang, Z. 6 Nov 2017 In : Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 5, 12 p., 136

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  2. Molecular ecological basis of grasshopper (Oedaleus asiaticus) phenotypic plasticity under environmental selection

    Qin, X., Hao, K., Ma, J., Huang, X., Tu, X., Ali, M. P., Pittendrigh, B. R., Cao, G., Wang, G., Nong, X., Whitman, D. W. & Zhang, Z. 10 Oct 2017 In : Frontiers in Physiology. 8, 16 p., 770

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  3. Biology, physiology and gene expression of grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus exposed to diet stress from plant secondary compounds

    Huang, X., Ma, J., Qin, X., Tu, X., Cao, G., Wang, G., Nong, X. & Zhang, Z. 17 Aug 2017 In : Scientific Reports. 7, 9 p., 8655

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  4. Gut transcriptome analysis shows different food utilization efficiency by the grasshopper Oedaleous asiaticus (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

    Huang, X., McNeill, M. R., Ma, J., Qin, X., Tu, X., Cao, G., Wang, G., Nong, X. & Zhang, Z. 1 Aug 2017 In : Journal of Economic Entomology. 110, 4, p. 1831-1840 10 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  5. Biological and ecological evidences suggest Stipa krylovii (Pooideae), contributes to optimal growth performance and population distribution of the grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus

    Huang, X., McNeill, M., Ma, J., Qin, X., Tu, X., Cao, G., Wang, G., Nong, X. & Zhang, Z. Jun 2017 In : Bulletin of Entomological Research. 107, 3, p. 401-409 9 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Related by journal

  1. Native electrospray mass spectrometry approaches to probe the interaction between zinc and an anti-angiogenic peptide from histidine-rich glycoprotein

    Martin, E. M., Kondrat, F. D. L., Stewart, A. J., Scrivens, J. H., Sadler, P. J. & Blindauer, C. A. 5 Jun 2018 In : Scientific Reports. 8, 13 p., 8646

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  2. Ocean acidification promotes otolith growth and calcite deposition in gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) larvae

    Coll-Lladó, C., Giebichenstein, J., Webb, P. B., Bridges, C. R. & Garcia de la Serrana, D. 30 May 2018 In : Scientific Reports. 8, 10 p., 8384

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  3. Hot-Hole cooling controls the initial ultrafast relaxation in methylammonium lead iodide perovskite

    Hedley, G. J., Quarti, C., Harwell, J. R., Prezhdo, O., Beljonne, D. & Samuel, I. D. W. 25 May 2018 In : Scientific Reports. 8, 9 p., 8115

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  4. Intensified summer monsoon and the urbanization of Indus Civilization in northwest India

    Dixit, Y., Hodell, D. A., Giesche, A., Tandon, S. K., Gázquez, F., Saini, H. S., Skinner, L. C., Mujtaba, S. A. I., Pawar, V., Singh, R. N. & Petrie, C. A. 9 Mar 2018 In : Scientific Reports. 8, 8 p., 4225

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  5. Vector species-specific association between natural Wolbachia infections and avian malaria in black fly populations

    Woodford, L., Bianco, G., Ivanova, Y., Dale, M., Elmer, K., Rae, F., Larcombe, S. D., Helm, B., Ferguson, H. M. & Baldini, F. 8 Mar 2018 In : Scientific Reports. 8, 11 p., 4188

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Related by journal

  1. Scientific Reports (Journal)

    Borst, A. M. (Reviewer)
    10 Feb 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  2. Scientific Reports (Journal)

    Somorjai, I. M. L. (Reviewer)
    2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Scientific Reports (Journal)

    Emma Louise Carroll (Member of editorial board)
    3 Oct 2016

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  4. Scientific Reports (Journal)

    Pulver, S. (Editor)
    12 Feb 201512 Feb 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  5. Scientific Reports (Journal)

    Bruce, G. D. (Reviewer)
    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

ID: 251088304