The Upside of a CO2-Induced Decrease in Plant Nutritive Value
Yin, J., Sun, Y. and Ge, F. 2014. Reduced plant nutrition under elevated CO2 depresses the immunocompetence of cotton bollworm against its endoparasite. Scientific Reports 14: 10.1038/srep04538.
The three Chinese scientists discovered elevated CO2 decreased the immunity of the cotton bollworm larvae to attacks by M. mediator - the latter of which was not impacted by the CO2-enriched air - as a result of the reduced nutritional quality of the wheat that had been grown in the CO2-enriched air and upon which the cotton bollworms had feasted. In quoting the concluding words of the authors, "our results suggest that lower plant nutritional quality under elevated CO2 could decrease the immune response of herbivorous insects against their parasitoid natural enemies," which could prove to be a huge boon to agriculture the world over.
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