Key demographic traits in insect herbivores (survival, growth, and egg production) are often responsive to variation in diet quality, especially to dietary nitrogen (N) levels. Soluble carbohydrates may also be limiting. Using defined diets under controlled laboratory conditions, we examined survival, growth, and egg production in response to a range of diet qualities in adult females of a grass-feeding grasshopper Ageneotettix deorum (Scudder). Diets varied factorially within naturally occurring ranges of total N (1–7%) and carbohydrate (4–27%) levels. N concentrations significantly impacted weight gain, egg production rate, the elapsed time until the first egg pod, and the time between the first and second egg pod. These responses were typically quadratic in nature with a maximum response near 4–5% total N. The rate of pod production rather than number of eggs per pod best explained changes in reproductive rate. Dietary carbohydrate levels seldom exerted a significant impact on demographic parameters except when interacting with N on survival, egg weight, and the period between egg pods. Clearly, factors that alter the availability of quality diet, especially total N levels, can contribute to demographic responses in A. deorum.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Received: 5 August 1996 / Accepted: 26 April 1997
About this article
Cite this article
Joern, A., Behmer, S. Importance of dietary nitrogen and carbohydrates to survival, growth, and reproduction in adults of the grasshopper Ageneotettix deorum (Orthoptera: Acrididae). Oecologia 112, 201–208 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004420050301
- Key words Artificial diets
- Demographic responses
- Food quality
- Nutrient limitation
- Nutrient limitation hypothesis