Overgrazed Grasslands Tied to Locust Outbreaks

In a recent study, it has been concluded that overgrazing can promote locust growth. This was determined by researchers fertilizing grasslands with nitrogen, only to find that the nitrogen hindered the growth of the locusts. As well, the locusts preferred low-nitrogen fertilized plants to high-nitrogen plants. Further testing these findings in a laboratory setting, scientists found that locusts preferred low protein, high carbohydrate diets. This explains why overgrazing, where plants have lower protein levels, “promotes populations” of locusts. In addition, the researchers concluded that this discovery could lead to the use of nitrogen as an inexpensive “environmentally less-damaging alternative pest control solution.”

Steven Angueira
AP Environmental Science
Topic #6: Overgrazing


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