The importance of testing multiple environmental factors in legume–insect research: replication, reviewers, and rebuttal

Johnson, Scott N. and Gherlenda, Andrew N. and Frew, Adam and Ryalls, James M. W. (2016) The importance of testing multiple environmental factors in legume–insect research: replication, reviewers, and rebuttal. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7 (489). pp. 1-4.

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Abstract

Investigating the impacts of predicted changes in our atmosphere and climate change on insect–plant interactions is a widely pursued area of research. To date, the majority of experimental studies have tested the impacts of single environmental factors on insect–plant interactions, but meta-analyses have clearly illustrated the importance of investigating multiple factors in tandem (Zvereva and Kozlov, 2006; Robinson et al., 2012). In particular, environmental change factors often interact with each other which can either strengthen or mitigate the effects of environmental factors acting alone (Robinson et al., 2012). For example, the positive effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations (e [CO2]) on plant growth are stronger under high nitrogen (N) conditions compared to low N conditions (+ 32 and+ 19%, respectively; Robinson et al., 2012). Likewise, from the limited number of studies available, Robinson et al.(2012) showed that e [CO2] had different impacts on plant nitrogen, plant biomass, and secondary metabolites under elevated air temperature (eT) conditions. This does not invalidate single factor studies, of which we have published numerous examples, but this is an important consideration for making realistic predictions about how plants and insects will respond to future climates (Facey et al., 2014).


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: This article is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2019 04:29
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2019 05:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: atmospheric change; biological nitrogen fixation; climate change; insect-plant interactions; legumes; pastures
Fields of Research : 06 Biological Sciences > 0602 Ecology > 060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
06 Biological Sciences > 0607 Plant Biology > 060799 Plant Biology not elsewhere classified
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960904 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management
Identification Number or DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00489
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/37283

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