Tübingen researchers ask: do herbicides alter ecosystems around the world?
Scant research makes it hard to prove.
The number of humans on the planet has almost doubled in the past 50 years ? and so has global food production. As a result, the use of pesticides and their effect on humans, animals and plants have become more important. Many laboratory studies have shown that pesticides can harm organisms which they were not meant to affect. Intensive farming is also linked to collapsing populations of wild animals and the endangerment of species such as amphibians. Can the biochemical effects of pesticides upset entire ecosystems?
Professor Heinz Köhler and Professor Rita Triebskorn from the University of Tübingen’s Institute of Evolution and Ecology (EvE) have published a study on the link between pesticides and changing ecological systems in the latest edition of “Science.” The two ecotoxicologists cite deficits in the research which have prevented recognition of the consequences of biochemical pesticide effects on a species population or on the composition of biological communities. “Although there are many indications of animal populations and ecosystems changing because of pesticides, there are few studies proving the connection without a doubt,” Köhler and Triebskorn say. The researchers point to mathematical and experimental approaches which can be used to recognize links between the effects of pesticides in individuals and ecological changes in biological communities and ecosystems in regions where intensive farming is practiced.
An important role is played by number of rare studies combining experimental fieldwork and research on sections of ecosystems, as well as a broad selection of chemical and biological analyses. An interdisciplinary approach can plausibly demonstrate connections between the effects of chemicals in humans and animals and the often indirect consequences on the population, community and ecosystem levels.
Köhler and Triebskorn also postulate interdependent effects between pesticides and global warming.
The Latest on: Pesticides
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Friends of the Earth Canada warns public about organic pesticides on garden center plants
on April 19, 2018 at 12:19 pm
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Dirty Dozen: These are the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides
on April 18, 2018 at 10:39 am
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EPA could OK pesticides without endangered species review under proposed farm bill
on April 17, 2018 at 5:49 pm
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Scientists Want to Replace Pesticides With Bacteria
on April 16, 2018 at 2:00 am
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on April 12, 2018 at 6:59 pm
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Beyond the Honey Bee: How Pesticides Affect Solitary, Cavity-Nesting Bees
on April 12, 2018 at 10:51 am
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Your Organic Food Is Treated With Pesticides, Too
on April 12, 2018 at 5:29 am
The Environmental Working Group has released their latest “Dirty Dozen” list of supposedly pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables. (This is a misleading list, as we’ve explained before.) You may be tempted to buy organic produce, as the EWG suggests ... […]
Move over pesticides! This new RNA vaccine could help keep crops safe
on April 11, 2018 at 12:46 pm
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