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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Elevated CO2 Concentrations Impact the Semiochemistry of Aphid Honeydew without Having a Cascade Effect on an Aphid Predator

Laboratory of Functional and Evolutionary Entomology, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liege (ULg), Passage des déportés, 2-5030 Gembloux, Belgium
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These authors contributed equally to this work.
Insects 2018, 9(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects9020047
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Ecology)
Honeydew is considered a cornerstone of the interactions between aphids and their natural enemies. Bacteria activity occurring in aphid honeydew typically results in the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are used by the natural enemies of aphids to locate their prey. Because atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration directly impacts the physiology of plants, we raise the hypothesis that elevated CO2 concentrations impact the quantity of honeydew produced by aphids, as well as the diversity and quantity of honeydew VOCs, leading to cascade effects on the foraging behavior of aphids’ natural enemies. Using solid-phase microextraction, we analyzed the VOCs emitted by honeydew from pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris) reared under 450 ± 50 ppm of CO2 (aCO2) or 800 ± 50 ppm CO2 (eCO2). While the total amount of honeydew excreted was only slightly reduced by eCO2 concentrations, we detected qualitative and quantitative differences in the semiochemistry of aphid honeydew between CO2 conditions. Three VOCs were not found in the honeydew of eCO2 aphids: 3-methyl-2-buten-1-ol, 2-methyl-1-butanol, and isobutanol. However, no difference was observed in the searching and oviposition behaviors of hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus (De Geer)) females exposed to plants covered with honeydew originating from the different CO2 conditions. The present work showed the effect of a particular aspect of atmospheric changes, and should be extended to other abiotic parameters, such as temperature. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; carbon dioxide; Acyrthosiphon pisum; Episyrphus balteatus; searching behavior; honeydew production; volatile organic compounds climate change; carbon dioxide; Acyrthosiphon pisum; Episyrphus balteatus; searching behavior; honeydew production; volatile organic compounds
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MDPI and ACS Style

Boullis, A.; Blanchard, S.; Francis, F.; Verheggen, F. Elevated CO2 Concentrations Impact the Semiochemistry of Aphid Honeydew without Having a Cascade Effect on an Aphid Predator. Insects 2018, 9, 47.

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