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Award Abstract #1313693

CNH: Linking Livestock Markets and Grazing Practices with the Nutritional Ecology of Grasses and Locusts Under Alternative Property Rights Regimes

Division Of Environmental Biology
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Initial Amendment Date: September 10, 2013
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Latest Amendment Date: September 10, 2013
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Award Number: 1313693
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Betsy Von Holle
DEB Division Of Environmental Biology
BIO Direct For Biological Sciences
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Start Date: September 15, 2013
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End Date: August 31, 2017 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $955,001.00
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Investigator(s): Arianne Cease acease@asu.edu (Principal Investigator)
James Elser (Co-Principal Investigator)
Jon Harrison (Co-Principal Investigator)
Eli Fenichel (Co-Principal Investigator)
Joleen Hadrich (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: Arizona State University
TEMPE, AZ 85281-6011 (480)965-5479
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Program Reference Code(s): 1691, 9169, 9278, EGCH
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Program Element Code(s): 1691


Research has recently shown that overgrazing of livestock in a grassland in China lowered the nitrogen content of the grasses and that this caused a rise in the abundance of a locust likely to lead to locust swarms. This proposal will test whether this is also true for related species of locust in Australia and western Africa, and link both grazing practices and locust swarms to economics and social policy in the three contrasting regions. Three biologists and three social scientists will team up to help answer: (1) How do insect-nutrient relations and livestock grazing strategies interact to affect food prices, food security, and rangeland degradation? (2) How do property rights regimes affect the adaptive capacity of societies to respond to the link between overgrazing and locust outbreaks? Because both market forces and locust swarms operate over long distances, these effects are likely to be global.

Locust outbreaks have had devastating effects on food security, impacting crop and livestock yields. This proposal aims to develop new, sustainable strategies to understand and manage locust outbreaks, accounting for feedbacks among ecological, agricultural, and economic systems. Results will be translated directly into management and policy recommendations through collaborations with agricultural agencies. The project will also strengthen international scientific collaboration, train undergraduate and graduate students, and develop a multi-media outreach program for K-12 students and teachers.


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Arianne J. Cease, James J. Elser, Eli P. Fenichel, Joleen C. Hadrich, Jon F. Harrison, Brian E. Robinson. "Living with locusts: connecting soil nitrogen, locust outbreaks, livelihoods, and livestock markets," BioScience, v.65, 2015, p. 551.

Hao SG, Wang SP, Cease AJ, Kang L.. "Landscape level patterns of grasshopper communities in Inner Mongolia: interactive effects of livestock grazing and precipitation gradient," Landscape Ecology, 2015, p. 1. 

Zijia Zhang, James J. Elser, Arianne J. Cease, Ximei Zhang, Qiang Yu, Xingguo Han, Guangming Zhang. "Grasshoppers regulate N:P stoichiometric homeostasis by changing phosphorus contents in their frass," PLoS ONE, v.9, 2014. 


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