Some students asked me if other insects can vary their reproductive rate and/or grow as a consequence of global warming…. unfortunately the reply is yes!!
For instance, global warming means not only more aphids (as I suggested in some previous post In the aphid room), but also less aphid predators. Indeed as reported by Gao F and colleagues in the paper entitled “Interactive Effects of Elevated CO2 and Cotton Cultivar on Tri-Trophic Interaction of Gossypium hirsutum, Aphis gossyppii, and Propylaea japonica” published some years ago on Environmental Entomology: “stage-specific larval durations of the lady beetle Propylaea japonica were significantly longer when fed aphids from elevated CO2 concentrations.”
Furthermore, Gao’s results indicated that high gossypol in the cotton host plant had an antibiotic effect on A. gossypii and produced a positive effect on growth and development of P. japonica at the third trophic level. However, elevated CO2 concentrations showed a negative effect on P. japonica… so that as a whole A. gossypii (in the photo*) may become a more serious pest under an environment with elevated CO2 concentrations because of increased survivorship of aphid and longer development time of lady beetle…. that means more aphid and less lady beetles that can predate aphids.
*A. gossypii photo is from Washington State University