Experiments with duckweed–moth systems suggest that global warming may reduce rather than promote herbivory
Article first published online: 18 NOV 2005
Volume 51, Issue 1, pages 110–116, January 2006
How to Cite
VAN DER HEIDE, T., ROIJACKERS, R. M. M., PEETERS, E. T. H. M. and VAN NES, E. H. (2006), Experiments with duckweed–moth systems suggest that global warming may reduce rather than promote herbivory. Freshwater Biology, 51: 110–116. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2005.01479.x
- Issue published online: 18 NOV 2005
- Article first published online: 18 NOV 2005
- (Manuscript accepted 3 October 2005)
1. Wilf & Labandeira (1999) suggested that increased temperatures because of global warming will cause an increase in herbivory by insects. This conclusion was based on the supposed effect of temperature on herbivores but did not consider an effect of temperature on plant growth.
2. We studied the effect of temperature on grazing pressure by the small China-mark moth (Cataclysta lemnata L.) on Lemna minor L. in laboratory experiments.
3. Between temperatures of 15 and 24 °C we found a sigmoidal increase in C. lemnata grazing rates, and an approximately linear increase in L. minor growth rates. Therefore, an increase in temperature did not always result in higher grazing pressure by this insect as the regrowth of Lemna changes also.
4. At temperatures below 18.7 °C, Lemna benefited more than Cataclysta from an increase in temperature, causing a decrease in grazing pressure.
5. In the context of global warming, we conclude that rising temperatures will not necessarily increase grazing pressure by herbivorous insects.