High levels of pollution found in many of the world’s major cities are having negative effects on plants and insects, according to new research from the University of Sheffield. This research was led by Grantham Centre supervisor Dr Stuart Campbell
The study, published in Nature Communications, reveals that plants exposed to high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – similar to levels recorded in major urban centres – are able to better defend themselves against herbivorous insects.
Results from the study show that insects feeding on these leaves grew poorly, which suggests high levels of air pollution may be having cascading negative effects on communities of herbivorous creatures.
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