Herbivory can influence ecosystem productivity, but recent evidence suggests that damage by herbivores modulates potential productivity specific to damage type. Because productivity is linked to photosynthesis at the leaf level, which in turn is influenced by atmospheric CO 2 concentrations, we investigated how different herbivore damage types alter component processes of photosynthesis under ambient and elevated atmospheric CO 2. We examined spatial patterns in chlorophyll fluorescence and the temperature of leaves damaged by leaf-chewing, gall-forming, and leaf-folding insects in aspen trees as well as by leaf-chewing insects in birch trees under ambient and elevated CO 2 at the aspen free-air CO 2 enrichment (FACE) site in Wisconsin. Both defoliation and gall damage suppressed the operating efficiency of photosystem II (ΦPSII) in remaining leaf tissue, and the distance that damage propagated into visibly undamaged tissue was marginally attenuated under elevated CO 2. Elevated CO 2 increased leaf temperatures, which reduced the cooling effect of gall formation and freshly chewed leaf tissue. These results provide mechanistic insight into how different damage types influence the remaining, visibly undamaged leaf tissue, and suggest that elevated CO 2 may reduce the effects of herbivory on the primary photochemistry controlling photosynthesis.
- Climate change
- Plant-insect interactions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics