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


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The aim of the project was to gain knowledge on what effects low doses of herbicides have on non-target plants, and what consequences this may have on populations and ecosystems.

The project consisted of four individual studies consisting of both labs. and field studies.

The lab. Studies have suggested that low doses of herbicides have significant effects on biomass, flowering, seed production, and germination. A reduction in the total number of flowers and a delayed flowering time were observed.

The competition experiment suggested that competition among plants affected the pesticide sensitivity. 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 deposited in the neighboring habitat resulted in a significant reduction in the total number of flowers in two of four tested plant species. . Furthermore, there was a tendency for a delayed flowering time 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 flow time may influence the plants' ecosystems. 

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