Effects of Elevated CO2 on Herbivore Damage to Birch and Aspen Foliage
Nabity, P.D., Hillstrom, M.L., Lindroth, R.L. and DeLucia, E.H. Elevated CO2 interacts with herbivory to alter chlorophyll fluorescence and leaf temperature in Betula papyrifera and Populus tremuloides. Oecologia 169: 905-913.
Against this backdrop and working at the aspen free-air CO2 enrichment (Aspen FACE) site in north-central Wisconsin (USA), Nabity et al. investigated how different herbivore damage types (leaf-chewing, gall-forming and leaf-folding) alter component processes of photosynthesis under both ambient and elevated (ambient + 200 ppm) atmospheric CO2 concentrations in aspen (Populus tremuloides, genotype 216) trees, as well as how leaf-chewing insects impact photosynthesis in birch (Betula papyrifera) trees.
In the words of the four researchers who conducted the work, results indicated that "growth under elevated CO2 reduced the distance that herbivore-induced reductions in photosynthesis propagated away from the point of damage in aspen and birch." Given such findings, Nabity et al. conclude that their findings suggest that "at least for these species," as they put it, elevated CO2 "may reduce the impact of herbivory on photosynthesis," which would be a very positive development indeed.
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