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Nutrient cycling by the herbivorous insect Chrysomela tremulae: Nutrient content in leaves and frass and measurements of ingestion, egestion and exuviation rates
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Näringsomsättning hos den herbivora insekten Chrysomela tremulae : Näringsinnehåll i blad och spillning och mätningar av födointags-, defekerings- och ömsningshastighet (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Insect herbivory on forest canopies strongly affects ecosystem nutrient cycling and availability in a variety of ways, e.g. by changing the quantity, quality and timing of nutrient input to forest soils. A qualitative method for measurements of ingestion, egestion and exuviation rates of the insect Chrysomela tremulae on leaves of the hybrid Populus tremula x tremuloides were tested in this study with the aim to detect differences in relative nutrient cycling efficiencies. The assimilation efficiency (AD), efficiency of conversion of digested food (ECD) and efficiency of conversion of ingested food (ECI) increased from 1st, through 2nd and 3rd instar larvae with generally higher efficiencies for nitrogen than carbon. Effects on nutrient limitations for the insect were also tested by increasing the C:N ratio of insect diet. A carbohydrate solution was painted onto leaves which resulted in a significant increase in C:N (p<0.0001). This lead to a trend of lengthened developmental time for each ontogenetic stage, as well as higher ingestion rate and lower egestion- and exuviation rates. However, a different method of increasing the C:N ratio is recommended in future experiments since the leaves never truly absorbed the solution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 20 p.
Keyword [en]
Insect herbivory, nutrient cycling efficiencies, approximate digestibility, Chrysomela tremulae, increased C:N
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-125632OAI: diva2:968919
Educational program
Bachelor of Science in Biology and Earthscience
Available from: 2016-09-16 Created: 2016-09-13 Last updated: 2016-09-16Bibliographically approved

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