Climate warming effects on leaf herbivory and leaf quality in eastern temperate forest species
Lehman, Fern Raffela
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Herbivory may be indirectly affected by warming via warming-induced phytochemical and structural changes. The goal of the following two studies was to examine leaf herbivory on tree species growing under elevated soil and air temperature. In the first study, I examined chewing leaf herbivory on red maple (Acer rubrum L.) and white oak (Quercus alba L.) seedlings in a natural forest setting. In the second study, I fed leaves from the warmed white oaks to black-dotted brown moths (Cissusa spadix C.) in laboratory feeding preference trials. The effect of warming on chewing leaf herbivory depended on leaf quality (e.g. C:N) as well as the phenology of leaves. Overall, however, warming led to reduced herbivory in the field for both species. The feeding study results complimented the field study results for white oak in that the larvae fed less on warmed white oak leaves.