Concurrent anthropogenic air pollutants enhance recruitment of a specialist parasitoid

Ryalls, James M.W.; Bromfield, Lisa M.; Bell, Luke; Jasper, Jake; Mullinger, Neil J. ORCID:; Blande, James D.; Girling, Robbie D.. 2022 Concurrent anthropogenic air pollutants enhance recruitment of a specialist parasitoid. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 289 (1986), 20221692. 9, pp.

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Air pollutants—such as nitrogen oxides, emitted in diesel exhaust, and ozone (O3)—disrupt interactions between plants, the insect herbivore pests that feed upon them and natural enemies of those herbivores (e.g. parasitoids). Using eight field-based rings that emit regulated quantities of diesel exhaust and O3, we investigated how both pollutants, individually and in combination, altered the attraction and parasitism rate of a specialist parasitoid (Diaeretiella rapae) on aphid-infested and un-infested Brassica napus plants. Individual effects of O3 decreased D. rapae abundance and emergence by 37% and 55%, respectively, compared with ambient (control) conditions. When O3 and diesel exhaust were emitted concomitantly, D. rapae abundance and emergence increased by 79% and 181%, respectively, relative to control conditions. This attraction response occurred regardless of whether plants were infested with aphids and was associated with an increase in the concentration of aliphatic glucosinolates, especially gluconapin (3-butenyl-glucosinolate), within B. napus leaves. Plant defensive responses and their ability to attract natural aphid enemies may be beneficially impacted by pollution exposure. These results demonstrate the importance of incorporating multiple air pollutants when considering the effects of air pollution on plant–insect interactions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0962-8452
Additional Keywords: air pollution, aphid population, diesel exhaust, glucosinolates, ozone, parasitoid recruitment
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
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Date made live: 01 Feb 2024 13:52 +0 (UTC)

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