Herbivory Impact on Grasslands
My basic ongoing research activities include both field- and lab-based studies in three primary areas:
(a) I am continuing to address the importance of non-linear dynamic interactions among species as key factors driving grasshopper population processes. Each of these research areas follows past work to some degree, but each is now going in new directions.
(b) Studies in nutritional ecology, digestion as an ecological problem, and the importance of diet with “imbalanced” nutritional quality as a proximate limit to grasshopper secondary production (also referred to as “ecological stoichiometry”) are areas of active research. These efforts focus primarily on insect herbivory using grasshoppers as a model.
(c) Finally, I am interested in what might be called comparative grassland ecology with an emphasis on herbivores in general. I desire to link my current and past interests within the general context of grazing systems, including both native grazers (bison) and cattle. I continue research in the Nebraska Sand Hills grassland, a huge natural sand dune system, and Konza Prairie (Kansas State University LTER site), a tallgrass prairie with bison grazing and fire manipulations. Some related work is planned for desert short grass prairie in New Mexico based at the Sevilleta Biological Field Station.