, Volume 113, Issue 1, pp 126–132 | Cite as

A trophic cascade in a diverse arthropod community caused by a generalist arthropod predator

  • Matthew D. Moran
  • L. E. Hurd


We tested the hypothesis that a generalist arthropod predator, Tenodera sinensis Saussure, could trigger a trophic cascade in an old-field ecosystem. These mantids had relatively weak effects on abundance and biomass of other carnivorous arthropods as a group. The effect of mantids on herbivores was stronger than on carnivores, mainly concentrated in Homoptera and Diptera. Herbivore load was reduced by mantids with the consequence that overall plant biomass (mainly grasses) was increased. Percapita interaction strengths between mantids and other arthropod taxa were, for the most part, weakly negative. Our study demonstrates that a significant trophic cascade can be triggered by a generalist predator even within the framework of a diverse community with relatively diffuse interactions.

Key words Arthropod assemblage Generalist predator Interaction strength Tenodera sinensis Trophic cascade 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew D. Moran
    • 1
  • L. E. Hurd
    • 2
  1. 1.Ecology Program, Department of Biology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USAUS
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA 24450, USAUS

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