Understanding direct response of insects to elevated CO2 should help to elucidate the mechanistic bases of the effects of elevated CO2 on interactions of insects with plants. This should improve our ability to predict shifts in insect population dynamics and community interactions under the conditions of climate change. Effects of elevated CO2 levels on the fitness-related parameters were examined for multigenerations in the Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenée). The larvae were allowed to feed on artificial diet, and reared in the closed-dynamic environment chambers with three CO2 levels (ambient, 550 µl/liter, and 750 µl/liter) for six generations. In comparison with the ambient CO2 level, mean larval survival rate decreased 9.9% in 750 µl/liter CO2 level, across O. furnacalis generations, and larval and pupal development times increased 7.5–16.4% and 4.5–13.4%, respectively, in two elevated CO2 levels. Pupal weight was reduced more than 12.2% in 750 µl/liter CO2 level. Across O. furnacalis generations, mean food consumption per larva increased 2.7, 7.0% and frass excretion per larva increased 14.4, 22.5% in the two elevated CO2 levels, respectively, compared with ambient CO2 level. Elevated CO2 levels resulted in the decline mean across O. furnacalis generations in mean relative growth rate, but increased in relative consumption rate. These results suggested that elevated CO2 would reduce the fitness-related parameters such as higher mortality, lower pupal weight, and longer development times in long term. It also reduced the larval food digestibility and utilizing efficiency; in turn, this would result in increase of food consumption.
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Vol. 44 • No. 4