CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/ 15_003/0000453

Back to news

Growth Rates of Lymantria dispar Larvae and Quercus robur Seedlings at Elevated CO2 Concentration and Phytophthora plurivora Infection

Slobodan Milanović, Ivan Milenković ,Jovan Dobrosavljević, Marija Popović, Alejandro Solla, Michal Tomšovský and Libor Jankovský


Interactions between plants, insects and pathogens are complex and not sufficiently understood in the context of climate change. In this study, the impact of a root pathogen on a leaf-eating insect hosted by a tree species at elevated CO2 concentration is reported for the first time. The combined and isolated effects of CO2 and infection by the root pathogen Phytophthora plurivora on English oak (Quercus robur) seedlings were used to assess growth rates of plants and of gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) larvae. For this purpose, two Q. robur provenances (Belgrade and Sombor) were used. At ambient CO2 concentration, the relative growth rates of larvae consuming leaves of plants infected by P. plurivora was higher than those consuming non-infected plants. However, at elevated CO2 concentration (1000 ppm) higher relative growth rates were detected in the larvae consuming the leaves of non-infected plants. At ambient CO2 concentration, lower growth rates were recorded in L. dispar larvae hosted in Q. robur from Belgrade in comparison to larvae hosted in Q. robur from Sombor. However, at elevated CO2 concentration, similar growth rates irrespective of the provenance were observed. Defoliation by the gypsy moth did not influence the growth of plants while P. plurivora infection significantly reduced tree height in seedlings from Belgrade. The results confirm that a rise of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere modifies the existing interactions between P. plurivoraQ. robur, and L. dispar. Moreover, the influence of the tree provenances on both herbivore and plant performance at elevated CO2 concentrations suggests a potential for increasing forest resilience through breeding

Link to publisher