Reasons to Believe

Cicada Resource Pulses in Forest Ecosystems

TNRTB Archive - Retained for reference information

An American ecologist has found more evidence for the optimal design of Earth’s life for the benefit of humanity. He discovered that cicadas (of eastern North America) experience synchronized reproductive events that benefit the entire ecosystem. For 17 years cicada nymphs feed on tree xylem, incorporating into their bodies nitrogen absorbed by the trees’ roots. The nymphs emerge all at the same time to produce gigantic mating swarms. Birds feast on the mating adults but are able to consume no more than 15 percent of them. After reproduction the remainder die and fall to the forest floor. The nitrogen accumulated in their carcasses is released in the soil after a burst of activity by microbial decomposers. This spike in soil nitrogen content significantly increases nitrogen content and seed sizes for a large number of plant species. Such optimal designs of the life cycle and behavior of cicadas and of their relationships with all the other species in their ecosystem is evidence for the supernatural design of life on Earth for the maximal benefit of all life and for human beings in particular.

o   Louie H. Yang, “Periodical Cicadas as Resource Pulses in North American Forests,” Science 306 (2004): 1565-67.


o   Richard S. Ostfield and Felicia Keesing, “Oh the Locusts Sang, Then They Dropped Dead,” Science 306 (2004): 1488-89.


·         Related Resource

o   Hugh Ross, “Anthropic Principle: A Precise Plan for Humanity

·         Product Spotlight

o  Journey Toward Creation 2nd ed., by Hugh Ross

Subjects: Life Design

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross.