You are here:
TERRESTRIAL PLANT REPRODUCTIVE TESTING: SHOULD WILDLIFE TOXICOLOGISTS CARE?
PFLEEGER, T. G. TERRESTRIAL PLANT REPRODUCTIVE TESTING: SHOULD WILDLIFE TOXICOLOGISTS CARE? Presented at SETAC Europe 17th Annual meeting, Porto, PORTUGAL, May 20 - 24, 2007.
Standard phytotoxicity testing using the seedling emergence and vegetative vigor tests have been shown to be inadequate for the protection of plant reproduction. Both experimental evidence and unintended field exposures have shown vegetation can be minimally or not significantly impaired while reproductive effects can be significant. When unintended exposures occur to agricultural fields from the off target movement of pesticides resulting in reduced crop yields, affected growers are frequently compensated for their losses through lawsuits. The impacts of off target pesticide movement to natural ecosystems are not well known. The consequences of loss or decline of plant reproductive output on natural ecosystems is even less known. Lack of plant reproductive output for a single season could range from no effect for perennial species to the loss of local populations for annual species. Changing plant community structure as well as lack of seed or fruit production will directly affect wildlife that depend on vegetation for cover and/or a food source and indirectly affect those that feed on phytophagous invertebrates. Generally, the small scale of off target pesticide movement would allow mobile organisms to move to areas not impacted. Organisms predicted to be most at risk would be nesting birds, invertebrates and small mammal granivores.