Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Nathan J Sanders

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources

Program/Major

Environmental Studies

Primary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

Presentation Title

Sodium limitation: the impact of sodium chloride on functional traits in a terrestrial ecosystem

Time

3:00 PM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Biological Sciences

Abstract

Sodium availability is a limiting factor to many organisms’ diets, particularly herbivores. However, it is vital to biological processes such as neural development and osmotic regulation, and is thought to drive the evolution of specific foraging behavior in search of this resource. Here, we tested whether sodium limitation effects insect community structure. To do this, we manipulated sodium (Na) availability as well as nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) at plots in Williston, Vermont during the summer of 2018. We sampled insect abundance and community composition using standard techniques (e.g., sweep net and bug vac). We also investigated whether insect herbivory varied among treatments. We found strong effects of NP addition, but not Na addition, on insect biomass and abundance. In particular, there were 64% more insects in NP treatment plots, than in control plots. There was no significant change in total insect herbivory among treatments. Our results indicate that sodium limitation does not directly create a response in insect community structure.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Sodium limitation: the impact of sodium chloride on functional traits in a terrestrial ecosystem

Sodium availability is a limiting factor to many organisms’ diets, particularly herbivores. However, it is vital to biological processes such as neural development and osmotic regulation, and is thought to drive the evolution of specific foraging behavior in search of this resource. Here, we tested whether sodium limitation effects insect community structure. To do this, we manipulated sodium (Na) availability as well as nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) at plots in Williston, Vermont during the summer of 2018. We sampled insect abundance and community composition using standard techniques (e.g., sweep net and bug vac). We also investigated whether insect herbivory varied among treatments. We found strong effects of NP addition, but not Na addition, on insect biomass and abundance. In particular, there were 64% more insects in NP treatment plots, than in control plots. There was no significant change in total insect herbivory among treatments. Our results indicate that sodium limitation does not directly create a response in insect community structure.