Effects of Seasonal Rainfall on Range Condition and Grasshopper Population, San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, Arizona1

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From 1953 through 1960 a study was made on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation to determine the effects of fall and winter precipitation and the response of range plants to weather conditions on populations of spring-hatching grasshoppers. Four sub areas of Ash Creek Flat with sparse-to-moderate short-grass associations were used. A rain gauge was located in each sub area. Vegetation surveys were made in spring and summer and grasshopper counts were made biweekly. Results indicate that rain- fall from October 1 to March 31 had a direct effect on vegetation and an indirect effect on grasshopper populations. In two '2-year periods (1953-54 and 1957-58) with good rainfall, the spring vegetation was abundant and grasshoppers increased. In the following dry springs of 1955 and 1959 annual weedy Vegetation was sparse and stunted. Grasshopper populations were high but decreased drastically by summer. populations were low in the spring seasons of 1056 and 1060 regardless of range conditions.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1961

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