Contamination of wild plants near neonicotinoid seed-treated crops, and implications for non-target insects

A companion to David et al. (2016), this study analyzed samples of foliage of oilseed rape grown from coated seed, as well as plants growing in the field margins (1–2 meters from crops). The maximum detected residues were compared to lethal doses of relevant insect species. While residue levels were variable, some levels overlapped with lethal concentrations. Furthermore, 52% of foliage samples from field margins had at least one neonicotinoid, and 46.3% of foliage samples had detectable levels of two or more neonicotinoids. Other findings of note include that imidacloprid hadn’t been used in at least 3 years but it was still found in 20% of the field margin foliage tested. Providing insight into how different plants uptake neonicotinoids, researchers noted that pesticide concentrations were higher in annuals than perennials. Similarly, concentrations were significantly higher in herbaceous plants than woody.

Authors: 
Botias, C., A. David, E. M. Hill, and D. Goulson
Journal: 
Science of the Total Environment
Year published: 
2016
DOI: 
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.065