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Abstract

While much research has been done on periodical cicadas, apparently no quantitative studies have been carried out to determine the vegetational structure of periodical cicada brood emergence sites or oviposition sites. We determined large tree and small tree densities and dominance in five forest stands which experienced high densities of Brood XIX cicada emergence in 1998. Paired observations were made at one of these sites to determine whether there was a preference for egg deposition in woodland edges versus the forest interior. A list was compiled of all the tree species which exhibited evidence of egg deposition. We found that the canopies of emergence sites can be dominated by loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), oaks (Quercus spp.), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), hickories (Carya spp.), and beech (Fagus grandifolia), with red maple (Acer rubrum) or holly (Ilex opaca) important in the understory. The abundance of loblolly pine, the only common species in which no egg deposition was found, suggests that 13 years earlier, periodical cicadas found a sufficient number of other tree species in which to deposit their eggs. This also suggests that the roots of pine trees might be capable of sustaining the cicada nymphs. Brood XIX cicadas showed a significant preference for depositing their eggs on twigs on forest edges rather than depositing on shaded twigs in the forest interior.

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