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Regional impacts of periodical cicadas on oak radial increment

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We investigated the effects of periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) on growth of their hosts using records of radial tree-ring growth on oaks (Quercus spp., a common host genus) and pines (Pinus spp., a common nonhost genus) growing within the ranges of 13- and 17-year broods. Growth of oaks was significantly depressed during years of adult emergence by about 4%. Effects in years following emergences or in years prior to emergences were variable or absent. Spectral analyses revealed a significant tendency for periodicity in the growth of oaks, but not pines, matching that of the life cycle of the broods. These results provide some of the first evidence for landscape-level effects of a root-feeding insect and demonstrate that periodical cicadas have a small but detectable effect on growth of their hosts on a geographical scale, considerably larger than previously suspected.

Nous avons étudié les effets des cigales dix-sept ans (Magicicada spp.) sur la croissance de leurs hôtes en utilisant des données dendrochronologiques pour les chênes (Quercus spp., un genre qui sert communément d'hôte) et pour les pins (Pinus spp., un genre qui n'est pas un hôte commun) dont la croissance correspond à l'écart de 13 à 17 ans entre les générations. La croissance des chênes a été significativement réduite d'environ 4 % pendant les années d'émergence des adultes. Les effets étaient variables ou absents pendant les années qui suivaient ou précédaient les périodes d'émergence. Des analyses spectrales ont révélé une tendance significative concernant la périodicité de la croissance dans le cas des chênes, mais non dans le cas des pins. Cette périodicité correspond à celle du cycle vital des nouvelles générations. Ces résultats constituent une des premières preuves des effets, à l'échelle du paysage, d'un insecte qui se nourrit à partir du système racinaire et démontrent que les cigales dix-sept ans ont un effet modeste, quoique détectable, sur la croissance de leurs hôtes à une échelle géographique considérablement plus vaste qu'anticipé précédemment.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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