Abstract In addition to effects on climate and water acidification, anthropogenic atmospheric releases of carbon dioxide may also directly impact terrestrial organisms that use CO2 as a chemical cue. We wondered how common organisms would respond to near-future levels of CO2 – levels that may occur by 2025. We chose two common but taxonomically and ecologically dissimilar organisms (Theba pisana helicid snails and Adesmia dilatata tenebrionid beetles) to examine the behavioral effects of a slight rise (~10 ppm) of CO2 on animal abundance and plant growth in the Negev Desert of Israel. We found that plots with supplementary CO2 exhibited greater plant growth than control plots over a 50-day experiment, but increased growth did not alter beetle or snail numbers.
In laboratory experiments with higher levels of augmented CO2 paired with food rewards, we found that snails did not change their climbing behavior when presented with CO2 alone, but they avoided food and climbed away when CO2 was paired with food. Beetles in the laboratory were attracted to food regardless of CO2 levels although high levels of CO2 (1200–1300 ppm) reduced movement.
The direct effects of near-future CO2 levels may augment plant growth but have only minor influence on terrestrial snails and beetles. However, the effects of CO2 on climate change in desert habitats like the Negev may be more severe due to a predicted rise in temperature and a decline in precipitation.
AmthorJSKochGW. 1996. Biotic growth factor β: stimulation of terrestrial ecosystem net primary production by elevated atmospheric CO2. In: KochGWMooneyHA eds. Carbon dioxide and terrestrial ecosystems. San Diego CA USA: Academic Press399–414.
BernklauEJBjostadLB. 1998. Behavioral Responses of First-Instar Western Corn Root worm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) to Carbon Dioxide in a Glass Bead Bioassay. Journal of Economic Entomology91(2):444–456.
BrownGEElvidgeCKFerrariMOChiversDP. 2012. Understanding the importance of episodic acidification on fish predator–prey interactions: Does weak acidification impair predator recognition?Science of the Total Environment439:62–66.
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Core Writing TeamPachauriRKReisingerA (Eds.). 2007. Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Contributions of Working Groups I II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. p. 104Geneva Switzerland.
KlinglerJ.1957. Über die Bedeutung des Kohlendioxyds für die Orientierung der Larven von Otiorrhynchus sulcatus F., Melolontha und Agriotes (Col.) in Boden :(vorläufige Mitteilung). Imprimerie la Concorde. Mitt. Schweiz. Entomol. Ges.30:317–322.
LeducACRohEBrownGE. 2009. Effects of acid rainfall on juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) antipredator behaviour: loss of chemical alarm function and potential survival consequences during predation. Marine and Freshwater Research60:1223–1230.
MorganJAPatakiDEKörnerCClarkHDel GrossoSJGrünzweigJMKnappAKMosierARNewtonPCDNiklausPANippertJB2004. Water relations in grassland and desert ecosystems exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2. Oecologia140(1):11–25.
NowakRSEllsworthDSSmithSD. 2004. Functional responses of plants to elevated atmospheric CO2 – do photosynthetic and productivity data from FACE experiments support early predictions?New Phytologist162:253–280.
ShamsIAviviANevoE. 2005. Oxygen and carbon dioxide fluctuations in burrows of subterranean blind mole rats indicate tolerance to hypoxic–hypercapnic stresses. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology142:376–382.
SternbergMGabayOAngelDBarneahOGafnySGasithAGrünzweigJMHershkovitzYIsraelAMilsteinDRilovG. 2015. Impacts of climate change on biodiversity in Israel: an expert assessment approach. Regional Environmental Change15(5): 895–906.
StockerTFQinDPlattnerGKTignorMMBAllenSKBoschungJNauelsAXiaYBexVMidgleyPM. 2013. IPCC 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
StrnadSPBergmanMKFultonWC. 1986. First-instar western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) response to carbon dioxide. Environmental Entomology15(4):839–842.
TurnerMGRommeWHGardnerRH. 1999. Prefire heterogeneity, fire severity, and early postfire plant reestablishment in subalpine forests of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. International Journal of Wildland Fire9:21–36.
WandSJMidgleyGJonesMHCurtisPS. 1999. Responses of wild C4 and C3 grass (Poaceae) species to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration: a meta-analytic test of current theories and perceptions. Global Change Biology5(6):723–741.
WoodringJPCliffordCWRoeRMBeckmanBR. 1978. Effects of CO2 and anoxia on feeding, growth, metabolism, water balance, and blood composition in larval female house crickets, Acheta domesticus. Journal of Insect Physiology24:499–509.
WullschlegerSDNorbyRJGundersonCA. 1997. Forest trees and their response to atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment: a compilation of results. In: Advances in carbon dioxide effects research. ASA special publication no. 61. Madison WI USA: ASA 79–100.