Foliar quality influences tree-herbivore-parasitoid interactions: effects of elevated CO2, O3, and plant genotype
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- Holton, M.K., Lindroth, R.L. & Nordheim, E.V. Oecologia (2003) 137: 233. doi:10.1007/s00442-003-1351-z
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This study examined the effects of carbon dioxide (CO2)-, ozone (O3)-, and genotype-mediated changes in quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) chemistry on performance of the forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) and its dipteran parasitoid (Compsilura concinnata) at the Aspen Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) site. Parasitized and non-parasitized forest tent caterpillars were reared on two aspen genotypes under elevated levels of CO2 and O3, alone and in combination. Foliage was collected for determination of the chemical composition of leaves fed upon by forest tent caterpillars during the period of endoparasitoid larval development. Elevated CO2 decreased nitrogen levels but had no effect on concentrations of carbon-based compounds. In contrast, elevated O3 decreased nitrogen and phenolic glycoside levels, but increased concentrations of starch and condensed tannins. Foliar chemistry also differed between aspen genotypes. CO2, O3, genotype, and their interactions altered forest tent caterpillar performance, and differentially so between sexes. In general, enriched CO2 had little effect on forest tent caterpillar performance under ambient O3, but reduced performance (for insects on one aspen genotype) under elevated O3. Conversely, elevated O3 improved forest tent caterpillar performance under ambient, but not elevated, CO2. Parasitoid larval survivorship decreased under elevated O3, depending upon levels of CO2 and aspen genotype. Additionally, larval performance and masses of mature female parasitoids differed between aspen genotypes. These results suggest that host-parasitoid interactions in forest systems may be altered by atmospheric conditions anticipated for the future, and that the degree of change may be influenced by plant genotype.