Title Genotype-specific response of a lycaenid herbivore to elevated carbon dioxide and phosphorus availability in calcareous grassland
Author/s Marcel Goverde, Andreas Erhardt, Jürg Stöcklin
Year 2004
Journal Oecologia 139:383-391
Abstract Effects of elevated CO₂ and P availability on plant growth of the legume Lotus corniculatus and consequences for the butterfly larvae of Polyommatus icarus feeding on L. corniculatus were investigated in screen-aided CO₂ control chambers under natural conditions on a calcareous grassland in the Swiss Jura mountains. Elevated CO₂ conditions and P fertilisation increased the biomass production of L. corniculatus plants and affected the plant chemical composition. CO₂ enrichment increased the C/N ratio and sugar concentration and decreased the N and P concentrations. C- and N-based allelochemicals (cyanoglycosides, total polyphenols and condensed tannins) were only marginally affected by CO₂ enrichment. P fertilisation increased the specific leaf area and concentrations of water, N, sugar and P, while the C/N ratio and the concentration of total polyphenols decreased. Furthermore, P availability marginally enhanced the effect of elevated CO₂ on the total dry mass and sugar concentration while the opposite occurred for the total polyphenol concentration. The changes in food-plant chemistry as a result of P fertilisation positively affected larval mass gain and accelerated the development time of P. icarus. Only a marginal negative effect on larval mass gain was found for CO₂ enrichment. However, we found genotype-specific responses in the development time of P. icarus to elevated CO₂ conditions. Larvae originating from different mothers developed better either under elevated CO₂ or under ambient CO₂ but some did not react to CO₂ elevation. As far as we know this is the first finding of a genotype-specific response of an insect herbivore to elevated CO₂ which suggests genetic shifts in insect life history traits in response to elevated CO₂.
Keywords Elevated carbon dioxide · Lotus corniculatus - Nutrient availability - Plant-insect interaction · Polyommatus icarus
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