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Maize Yield vs Asian Corn Borer Activity in CO2 Enriched Air

Paper Reviewed
Xie, H., Liu, K., Sun, D., Wang, Z., Lu, X. and He, K. 2015. A field experiment with elevated atmospheric CO2-mediated changes to C4 crop-herbivore interactions. Scientific Reports 5: 10.1038/srep13923.

In a two-year (2012, 2013) study conducted in open-top chambers located at the Experimental Station of the Institute of Plant Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences located in Jilin Province, China, Xie et al. (2015) grew maize plants exposed to either ambient air or air they enriched to either 550 or 750 ppm CO2, which plants they also infected twice yearly with Ostrinia furnacalis, or what is better known as the Asian Corn Borer or merely ACB.

As for the consequences of their experiment, the six Chinese scientists report that (1) "survival of the ACB larvae declined in the maize plants exposed to elevated CO2 compared with the ambient treatment level," that (2) "the elevated CO2 also reduced the suppression of maize plant height caused by the ACB infestation," and, therefore, that (3) ACB-infected "larval damage to maize under elevated-CO2 appears to be offset by [CO2's] 'air-fertilizer' effect," which Xie et al. found to be able to successfully enhance "the accumulation of maize biomass," even when the maize crops were infested with the voracious corn borer.

Posted 19 January 2016