Research Topic

Non-Target Effects of Pesticides on Organisms Inhabiting Agroecosystems

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Pesticide usage is increasing worldwide in various sectors of agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Since agriculture is covering almost 50% of the terrestrial ice-free surface of our planet, biodiversity effects in this newly recognized “biome” are of global importance. Evidence is mounting that many ...

Pesticide usage is increasing worldwide in various sectors of agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Since agriculture is covering almost 50% of the terrestrial ice-free surface of our planet, biodiversity effects in this newly recognized “biome” are of global importance. Evidence is mounting that many pesticides show detrimental effects on the abundance, diversity, reproduction, performance and ecological interactions of non-target organisms inhabiting agricultural landscapes. In this Research Topic, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the state of knowledge regarding non-target effects of pesticides by collating studies conducted in the laboratory, glasshouse or field up to landscapes from different climatic zones and agricultural practices. We welcome original research papers from terrestrial agroecosystems studying effects on single species up to communities, but also gladly accept meta-analyses, systematic reviews, mini-reviews, as well as opinion papers. Contributions examining all categories of pesticides, i.e. herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, acaricides, rodenticides, biological pesticides as well as effects of genetically modified organisms with pesticidal effects (e.g. Bacillus thuringiensis) will be considered. Particularly welcome are contributions studying effects of pesticide cocktails, i.e. interactive effects of different pesticides as in agricultural practice several pesticides are being applied within a season but only very little is known on potential cross reactions. Studies that tease apart the effects of active ingredients and formulation additives are of particular interest. Papers could also examine to what extent climate change or other environmental stressors might interact with pesticide effects or deal with cascading effects on ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services. Possible papers might also critically evaluate test protocols used for regulatory risk assessments. While most papers will assess effects on terrestrial agroecosystems, organisms living in the soil-water interface, nearby aquatic, marine and benthic habitats that might be affected by pesticide drift or leaching will also be considered. A concluding paper will identify major knowledge gaps regarding impacts of pesticides on non-target organisms.


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