Pesticides Threatening Invertebrates Essential for Biodiversity, Reveals Study
Pesticides are widely used by agriculturists for the protection of their crops from pests and for better crop production. However, these pesticides come with consequences of their own. Not only pesticides are harmful to the health of humans and other inhabitants of the planet, but it also contributes to the destruction of biodiversity and the environment.
A recently published study has warned that these pesticides are threatening the invertebrates. Invertebrates are very essential for biodiversity, healthy soil and carbon sequestration for fighting climate change.
Scientists have dubbed it as an insect apocalypse. The study has been published in the journal Frontiers in Environmental Science.
Scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity and co-author of the study Nathan Donley said,
Below the surface of fields covered with monoculture crops of corn and soybeans, pesticides are destroying the very foundations of the web of life. Study after study indicates the unchecked use of pesticides across hundreds of millions of acres each year is poisoning the organisms critical to maintaining healthy soils. Yet our regulators have been ignoring the harm to these important ecosystems for decades.
The authors reviewed nearly 400 studies on the “effects of pesticides on non-target invertebrates that have egg, larval or immature development in the soil.” These included earthworms, ants, beetles and ground-nesting bees.
The researchers looked around 275 unique species, taxa or combined taxa of soil organisms, and 284 different pesticide active ingredients or unique mixtures of active ingredients.
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The study found that about 70.5 percent of tested parameters have shown negative effects. Furthermore, about 1.4 percent and 28.1 percent of test parameters showed positive or no significant effects from pesticide exposure, respectively.
The study has indicated that all types of pesticides pose a clear hazard to the soil invertebrates. The researchers identified and extracted relevant data in relation to mortality, abundance, behavior, biomass, growth, reproduction, biochemical biomasses, richness, diversity and structural changes.
The importance of biodiversity beneath the soil was highlighted by a report of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations that was published in 2020. The report had emphasized the importance of these organisms for the production of food and for battling climate change.