Pesticide Research 182, 2019

Pesticide effects on non-target terrestrial plants at individual, population and ecosystem level



The aim of the project was to gain knowledge on which effects low doses of herbicides have on non-target plants, and which consequences this may have on populations and ecosystems.
The project consisted of four individual studies consisting of both lab. and field studies.
The lab. studies suggested that low doses of herbicides have significant effect on biomass, flowering, seed production, and germination. A reduction of the total number of flowers and a delayed time of flowering were observed.
The competition experiment suggested that competition among plants affected the pesticide sensibility. These effects were seen both for inter- and intraspecies competition.
The field experiment on wind induced pesticide drift using a field sprayer mounted with low-drift nozzles suggested that the low doses of glyphosate that were deposited in the neighboring habitat resulted in a significant reduction of the total number of flowers in two of tested four plant species. Furthermore, there was a tendency to a delayed time of flowering in three of the four tested plant species.
However, more information and additional studies are necessary before it will be possible to extrapolate from lab trials to effects on population levels. In addition, there is a need for more information on whether competition and delayed time of flowering may influence the ecosystems the plants inhabit.

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