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Plant-herbivore-parasitoid interactions in an elevated CO2 environmentCO2 effects on tree phytochemistry and on the performance of Lymantria dispar and its natural enemy Glyptapanteles liparidis

Project Leader
Schafellner Christa, Project Leader
Type of Research
Basic Research
Project partners
University of Basel, Insitute of Botany, Schönbeinstrasse 6, 4056 Basel, Switzerland.
Contact person: Prof. Christian Körner;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
University of Vienna, Insitute of Ecology and Conservation Biology, Althanstraße 14, 1090 Wien, Austria.
Contact person: Prof. Dr. Marianne Popp;
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Forest Entomology, Forest Pathology and Forest Protection
Funded by
Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF) , Sensengasse 1, 1090 Wien, Austria
Predicted increases in atmospheric CO2 levels may alter important plant-insect-parasitoid associations due to the indirect effects of CO2 enrichment on phytochemicals important for herbivore and parasitoid nutrition. We will follow CO2-induced changes in leaf chemistry of three hardwood tree species, consequent effects on a leaf feeding lepidopteran generalist, and the direct and indirect host-mediated impacts on the third trophic level, an endoparasitoid of the herbivore larvae. The outcomes of the project will enhance our predictability of how the forecast atmospheric CO2 enrichment may increase the risks of gypsy moth outbreaks due to altered host tree-insect-parasitoid interactions.
The proposed study will be conducted within the Swiss Canopy Crane Project in a full-size natural mixed-species forest at the web-FACE study site near Basel, Switzerland. We will investigate the effects of CO2 on the interaction between gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.) larvae and mature oak (Quercus petraea), beech (Fagus sylvatica) and hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) trees by bagging larvae from second instar within the canopy at (1) ambient CO2 and (2) elevated CO2 (520 µl l-1 CO2). Larvae will be reared to pupation in the tree canopy and leaf samples will be taken biweekly to determine levels of total nitrogen, carbon, water, fiber, non-structural carbohydrates, fatty acids and an estimate of phenolic defensive compounds (condensed and hydrolyzable tannins, protein precipitating ability) in the tree foliage.
Effects of elevated CO2 on the third trophic level will be studied by keeping bagged gypsy moth larvae previously parasitized by the braconid wasp Glyptapanteles liparidis Bouché in the tree canopy until the parasitoids emerge from their host. Gypsy moth and parasitoid growth and development parameters will be recorded.
A second set of experiments will be done under laboratory conditions: both unparasitized and parasitized gypsy moth larvae will be fed with leaf powder diet made from lyophilized foliage of either oak, beech or hornbeam grown under ambient and elevated CO2 levels, respectively. Growth, consumption, and utilization patterns of the larvae on the different diets will be recorded. In the parasitization experiment, we will follow parasitoid development success, wasp sex ratio, weight, and longevity.
In a parasitization choice experiment with preconditioned larvae feeding leaf powder diets from either ambient or elevated CO2 foliage, we will demonstrate if female wasps are able to develop oviposition strategies for low-quality and high-quality hosts.
elevated CO2; Parasitization; Plant-Insect Interaction; Phytochemistry;

Schafellner, C; Schopf, A (2010): Insect pests in an elevated CO2 atmosphere: a multiyear study with gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar and its natural enemy Glyptapanteles liparidis. . [Poster]
[9th European Congress of Entomology 2010, Budapest, Hungary, 22.08.2010 - 27.08.2010]

In: National Organising Committee of ECE 2010 (Eds.), Programme and Book of Abstracts, p. 83-84

Schafellner, C; Schopf, A (2008): Living in a greenhouse: insect responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment. [Poster]
[10. Österreichischer Klimatag 2008 - Forschung zu Klima, Klimawandel und Auswirkungen in Österreich, Vienna, Austria, 13.03.2008 - 14.03.2008]

In: Klimaforschungsinitiative AustroClim, Tagungsband, S. 93-94

Schafellner, C (2007): The greenhouse effect: Host-parasitoid responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment . [Poster]
[IUFRO Conference 2007 - Natural enemies and other multi-scale influences on forest insects, Vienna, Austria, 09.09.2007 - 14.09.2007]

In: IUFRO (Ed.), Abstracts

Schafellner, C (2006): Altered performance of forest pests under elevated atmospheric CO2: a case study with gypsy moth.
[8th European Congress of Entomology 2006, Izmir, Turkey, 17.09.2006 - 22.09.2006]

In: VIIIth European Congress of Entomology, Abstract Book , p. 80

Schafellner, C (2006): Multitrophic species interaction in a CO2 enriched world: A case study with gypsy moth.
[3rd Multitrophic Interactions Workshop 2006, Göttingen, Germany, 23.03.2006 - 24.03.2006]

In: Institut für Zoologie und Anthropologie und Büsgen-Institut der Universität Göttingen (Hrsg.), Abstracts

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