– October 11, 2018
My systematic review and meta-analysis on feeding preferences of acridid grasshoppers on native vs. introduced plants has just been published in Plants, Special Issue “Plants Interacting with other Organisms: Insects”. It has been quite a long and challenging process with 3 rounds of revision and incorporating comments from 5(!) reviewers, but I’m really excited to see it published.
This systematic review entitled “Should I eat or should I go? Acridid grasshoppers and their novel host plants: potential for biotic resistance” aimed to identify patterns of grasshopper feeding preferences for native versus introduced plants and, consequently, a potential of grasshoppers to provide biotic resistance of native communities. I’ve worked on this review for a total of almost 2 years: I collected 2146 studies (from six databases) published during 1967–2017. Only 13 studies satisfied all of my inclusion criteria; from these, I was able to extract 63 records of feeding preference trials for 28 North-American grasshopper species. These trials involved direct comparison between consumed native and introduced plant material, and these records were included in the analysis.
I’m going to present a poster on this paper at the upcoming ESA meeting in Vancouver, CA. So I discussed with my PI the best way of presenting it since it is virtually impossible to fit all the details and analysis in one poster. His advice was very simple: to present the main message I’d like to tell people and support it with evidence. I was thinking about this one message, and I came up with five(!) things which were the most surprising for me and which I definitely would want to share:
I collected these data and wrote the main parts of these manuscript while we lived in Iowa. So the graphical abstract (see above) is special for me: it is a shot of a grasshopper eating our palm tree on our balcony in Iowa, on the 3rd floor!