And now a bit of Cicada Data...from the National Science Foundation.
Announcer: Indiana State University researcher James Speer is a dendochronologist--he uses tree trunk rings to study environmental trees'
growth patterns, and how they're affected by precipitation...temperature...even (you guessed it)...cicadas.
Speer: Because the trees are recording everything that happens to them, we can study these effects specifically on the trees.
Announcer: We tend to think of cicadas "doing their number" on trees by depositing eggs in branches. But the damage that causes, says
Speer, is...just scratching the surface.
Speer: The majority of the lifecycle of the insect is underground. And during that time they're a root parasite, so they're feeding off the trees.
Announcer: Speer's tree ring studies tell the tale.
Speer: You can actually see a decrease in growth in the tree. This is as the nymphs are maturing in the soil.
Announcer: Speers says in the year the cicadas emerge and leave the roots alone, the trees actually get a break! His conclusion?
Speer: There's less of a damage on the trees the year that we see them--the year that they are most obvious.
Announcer: For Cicada Data, I'm Emilie de Azavedo.