Studying The Effects Of Greenhouse Gases On Insects

Most published studies on the effect of CO2 on insects tell of experiments in which plants and insects are confined to CO2 levels of 700 to 710 ppm, or about double the current level. Such experiments are typically conducted in the laboratory, where well-watered potted plants are grown in nutrient-rich soil and maintained under elevated CO2 for several months. Insects are introduced onto these experimental plants, and their feeding rates and performance are measured.

Studying the effects of elevated CO2 on altered temperature and rainfall patterns, and the effects on insects of these modifications of the environment is much more problematic. It is not easy to warm whole communities in the field, except through the use of greenhouses—which tend to change many other features such as precipitation patterns. Thus the effect of temperature is often studied on laboratory populations. In addition, mathematical models are used to determine the likely range alterations of plants and insects in the face of increased global temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns.

0 0

Post a comment