The Effects of Grasshoppers on Soil Animal Communities in the Shortgrass Steppe of Northern Colorado
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A burgeoning area of research in ecology is on the linkages between aboveground and belowground components of terrestrial systems. Leaf-feeding insects can affect soil communities directly via frass deposition or indirectly through alterations in the quantity or composition of plant roots or the amount of labile carbon exuded belowground. These pathways can affect the three soil energy channels (i.e., root, soil bacterial, and soil fungal) by altering the absolute and/or relative amounts of their source materials and, in turn, impact soil microbial community composition and higher trophic ...