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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 27 No. 1, p. 78-82
    Received: Mar 23, 1962
    Accepted: May 18, 1962

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Cicadas and Their Effect upon Soil Genesis in Certain Soils in Southern Idaho, Northern Utah, and Northeastern Nevada1

  1. V. K. Hugie and
  2. H. B. Passey2



The occurrence, activity and effect of Western species of cicadas on soil formation and their relationship to soil characteristics were studied on 70 semiarid rangeland soils. The distinctive soil structure of some Western soils is attributed to the burrowing of cicada nymphs and has been produced over a long period of time. Filled cicada nymph burrows are called “cicada krotovinas.” Little mixing of soil horizons results from the activities of these insects.

A new type of blocky soil structure, “cylindrical,” is proposed to describe cicada-induced soil structure.

Well-drained, moderately permeable, moderately deep and deep silt loam, Brown and Sierozem soils, formed in loess parent materials, are well suited to cicada nymph activity. Few cicada nymphs or krotovinas are observed in soils with coarse textures, fine textural B horizons, and high bulk density.

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