According to research conducted by the University of Sheffield, high levels of pollution found in many of the world’s major cities are having negative effects on plants and insects.
The research study was led by Dr Stuart Campbell from the University’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, which discovered that plants exposed to increased levels of pollution produce more defensive chemicals in their leaves, and insects feeding on these leaves grew poorly.
The study found that air pollution may be having cascading negative effects on communities of herbivorous creatures. According to the study plants that had been fed on by insects absorbed much less NO2.
The study was published in Nature Communications.