Altered performance of forest pests under CO2- and O3-enriched atmospheres

Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service-Atlantic Forestry Centre, Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 5P7, Canada.
Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 12/2002; 420(6914):403-7. DOI: 10.1038/nature01028
Source: OAI


Human activity causes increasing background concentrations of the greenhouse gases CO2 and O3. Increased levels of CO2 can be found in all terrestrial ecosystems. Damaging O3 concentrations currently occur over 29% of the world's temperate and subpolar forests but are predicted to affect fully 60% by 2100 (ref. 3). Although individual effects of CO2 and O3 on vegetation have been widely investigated, very little is known about their interaction, and long-term studies on mature trees and higher trophic levels are extremely rare. Here we present evidence from the most widely distributed North American tree species, Populus tremuloides, showing that CO2 and O3, singly and in combination, affected productivity, physical and chemical leaf defences and, because of changes in plant quality, insect and disease populations. Our data show that feedbacks to plant growth from changes induced by CO2 and O3 in plant quality and pest performance are likely. Assessments of global change effects on forest ecosystems must therefore consider the interacting effects of CO2 and O3 on plant performance, as well as the implications of increased pest activity.

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    • "In a field experiment by Pinto et al. (2008) designed to replicate the natural ecosystem as much as possible, it was found that neither the searching behavior nor the parasitism rate of the parasitoid C. plutellae were disturbed by O 3 fumigation. Finally, Awmack et al. (2004) and Percy et al. (2002) showed that O 3 fumigation had respectively no impact or led to a major decline in the abundance of natural enemy communities in forests. These contrasting results obtained at the same study site (Aspen FACE, Wisconsin) illustrate the complex effect of increased greenhouse gas concentrations on trophic interactions, and demonstrate the idiosyncratic characteristics of natural enemy responses. "
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    • "In parallel with the recent trend of rising atmospheric CO 2 , the concentration of O 3 has been increasing rapidly because of the anthropogenic emissions of several O 3 -forming precursors (Kostiainen et al., 2006). O 3 is not only a strong phyto-toxic pollutant but also an important green-house gas (Percy et al., 2002). In industrialized countries of the northern hemisphere, 8 h tropospheric O 3 is estimated to have increased from approximately 10 ppb (parts per billion) prior to the industrial revolution to a current level of approximately 60 ppb during summer months, and is predicted to increase 20% more by 2050 (IPCC, 2007). "
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