Both the reduced N concentrations and the hypothesized increases in C-based secondary compounds could potentially alter herbivore feeding behaviour (Lindroth, 1995). Herbivores might need to consume more of the nutrient-poorer foliage, which could have detrimental effects on trees (Williams et al., 1997). Results of several experiments indicate that the magnitude and direction of the herbivore response depend on how the concentrations of specific compounds determining insect fitness will be affected. For example, increased levels of some of these compounds could reduce the palatability of the leaves and subsequent herbivore consumption rates (Hunter and Lechowitcz, 1992). More studies on the characteristics of the biology of the herbivore population and on the interaction between trees and herbivores under elevated [CO2] are needed before general conclusions can be drawn on the final effects on forest ecosystems.
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