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  • Insects take a bigger bite out of plants in a higher CO2 atmosphere

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      Leaves grown under high CO2 lose a vital defense pathway, said plant biology professor and department head Evan DeLucia, an author on the new study.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      The Soybean Free Air Concentration Enrichment (Soy FACE) facility at Illinois can expose the plants in a soybean field to a variety of atmospheric CO2 and ozone levels - without isolating the plants from other environmental influences, such as rainfall, sunlight and insects.

      Photo courtesy of Evan DeLucia

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      Plant defenses go down as carbon dioxide levels go up, the researchers found. Soybeans grown at elevated CO2 levels attract many more adult Japanese beetles than plants grown at current atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

      Photo courtesy of Evan DeLucia

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