Settling behavior of the desert isopod Hemilepistus reaumuri in response to variation in soil moisture and other environmental cues

Mitchell B. Baker, Moshe Shachak, Sol Brand

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    We report the results of three studies, one observational and two manipulative, that examine the settling behavior of isopods in response to soil moisture and other cues. In a census of isopod settling patterns in twenty-five 5 × 10 m plots arranged on a 200 m2 grid, isopods settled more densely in plots with more successful old burrows from the previous season, and in plots with more shrubs. Isopod settling was not correlated with soil moisture at 10 and 30 cm depths. In a manipulative experiment carried out over two years, isopods settled more densely in 3 × 3 m outdoor pens that received 20 mm of supplemental water in February than in unwatered plots. In a second experiment, 50 mm of water was added to open plots, and two densities of artificial holes were added as well. Isopods settled more densely in plots with added water, and settled much more densely in plots with artificial holes. Water did not significantly affect isopod survival or offspring weight. Unmanipulated plots with higher densities of settlers had higher burrow survival.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)345-354
    Number of pages10
    JournalIsrael Journal of Zoology
    Volume44
    Issue number3-4
    StatePublished - 1 Dec 1998

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Animal Science and Zoology

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