How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

Click to locate material archived on our website by topic

Effects of Elevated CO2 and O3 on an Aspen Leafminer
Kopper, B.J. and Lindroth, R.L.  2003.  Responses of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) phytochemistry and aspen blotch leafminer (Phyllonorycter tremuloidiella) performance to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 and O3Agricultural and Forest Entomology 5: 17-26.

What was done
At the Aspen FACE site in northern Wisconsin, USA, trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michaux) trees were exposed to one of four atmospheric treatments -- elevated CO2 (560 ppm), elevated O3 (1.5 x ambient), elevated CO2 and O3, or ambient air -- while the aspen blotch leafminer (Phyllonorycter tremuloidiella Braun) was allowed to naturally colonize the trees.

What was learned
Although there were some minor alterations in foliar chemistry in the CO2- and O3-enriched treatments, they produced, in the words of the authors, "little to no change in larval performance," although both elevated CO2 and O3 "reduced colonization rates by nearly half."

What it means
From the point of view of the trees, the last mentioned result would probably be considered a real plus, as Kopper and Lindroth note that "this leafminer is univoltine and can occur in epidemic numbers (Auerbach (1991)."

Auerbach, M.  1991.  Relative impact of interactions within and between trophic levels during an insect outbreak.  Ecology 72: 1599-1608.
Reviewed 20 August 2003