How Does Grasshopper Feedings Vary Due to Nutrient Additions?
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We looked to explore the relationship between macro- and micronutrient addition on grasshopper feeding rates and their ability to detect the additions of these macro- and micronutrients in Schizachyrium scoparium. In previous studies, it has been determined that plant chemistry is a crucial factor in the feeding habits of herbivores. We then decided to look at whether or not a grasshopper could detect differences in plant nutrient availability by adding different nutrient combinations: Na, NP, NPCaNa, NPNa, and CaNa to grasses in the field. Then we conducted feeding trials to measure how these different nutrient combinations affected grasshopper feeding behavior. We hypothesized that Melanoplus femurrubrum will be able to detect the differences in plant nutrient content and would adjust feeding rates accordingly.