8. Elemental Analysis of Brood V Periodical Cicadas

Thomas Payne Thomas More College
Faculty Sponsor(s): William Wetzel Thomas More College, Jyoti Saraswat Thomas More College
Periodical cicadas spend the majority of their thirteen- or seventeen-year lifespan underground feeding on the root system of trees. Consequently, periodical cicadas may potentially be an interesting bioindicator of their local environment by representing the elemental characteristics of soil at a specific location. In this work, the influence of location on trace metal levels in periodical cicadas was examined. Brood V periodical cicadas (native to specific regions of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) were collected in May-June 2016, dried to a constant mass, dissolved in nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide using microwave-assisted digestion, and analyzed by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES). The results obtained suggest that a number of elements (e.g. calcium, cadmium, iron, and manganese) vary widely across the 200-mile geographic distribution of Brood V. To determine if geographic location influenced the pattern of trace-metals present in periodical cicadas, trace-metal levels for the 29 elements under investigation (monitored at 88 analytical wavelengths) were also examined with Principal Component Analysis (PCA), a multivariate statistical technique. These results indicate that elemental information can be used to discriminate between multiple locations.
Chemistry
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