Responses to ozone of insects feeding on a crop and a weed species

J.B. Whittaker, L. W. Kristiansen, Teis Nørgaard Mikkelsen, R. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The influence of ozone on insect herbivore growth and population development was investigated. Fumigation of both pea (Pisum sativum L.) and dock (Rumex obtusifolius L.) at a range of O3 concentrations between 21–206 nl litre−1 produced changes in mean relative growth rates of the aphids Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris and Aphis rumicis L. of between 24 and −6% relative to controls. However, there was no evidence of a dose-related response to O3 fumigation and no clear differences in aphid response when fumigated with the plant on prefumigated or previously unfumigated plant material. It is suggested that this may, in part, be due to the presence of NO contamination during O3 fumigation. However, the MRGR of dock aphids was found to be greater on new compared to old leaves as well as the increase on the new growth and decrease on the old growth of fumigated plants relative to unfumigated controls.The size of egg batches of the chrysomelid beetle Gastrophysa viridula Degeer were found to be larger, survival and productivity of larvae was higher, and the food consumption lower on R. obtusifolius fumigated with 70 nl litre−1 O3 compared with unfumigated controls. This meant that these beetle larvae consumed less leaf area per mg of production on fumigated leaves probably because of their better nutritional quality and/or reduced leaf defences. However, the rate of development of larvae was similar on fumigated and control plants.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number2-3
Pages (from-to)89-101
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


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