Three species of root aphid (Pachypappa vesicalis Koch, Pachypappa tremulae L. and Prociphilus (Stagona) xylostei De Geer) were found feeding on Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karsten] that were exposed to elevated concentrations of O3, and/or SO2 in a field manipulation experiment at Liphook, England. The experiment exposed conifer trees to controlled concentrations of these gases between 1987 and 1990. Root-aphid populations feeding on Norway spruce were monitored in autumn 1990, the third year of fumigation and in autumn 1991, 10 months after fumigation had ceased. In 1990 the numbers of aphids in the high-SO2, high-SO2+ O3 and O3 treatments were significantly less than in ambient plots. Although after fumigation had ceased in 1991 the ambient plots still had higher numbers than the treatment plots, most of these differences were no longer statistically significant. In all plots sampled, total numbers of root aphids were higher in 1991 than in 1990. These results indicate that the numbers of root aphids in the experiment were negatively related to pollution levels. This relationship is the same as that shown in controlled laboratory experiments and is the converse of that generally reported in experiments using shoot-feeding aphids.