Multi-residue pesticide analysis of soil, vegetation, water, and insect matrices along transects

The University Koblenz-Landau contributes to the DINA project with chemical analysis of pesticide residues in the environmental matrices soil, vegetation, water and residues on insects. For a period of 2 years approximately 1,000 environmental samples from 21 nature reserve areas and adjacent agricultural field and field margins will be analysed. More than 100 of the most used current pesticides are included in the high resolution chemical analysis. The work package provides information on the current status of environmental contamination with pesticides and allows a realistic characterisation of insect pesticide exposure.

Because of the broad spectrum of toxicity of pesticides and their widespread use in agriculture, contamination of environmental matrices is a critical issue, since many functional groups of insects use soil, plants and water as essential resources. Therefore, the occurrence of pesticides and their distribution in those environmental matrices may provide a causal link between the contamination and the status of the local insect abundance and diversity. The massive decline of insects currently shown for Germany (70 – 75% biomass decline for 1989 – 2013) is possibly also associated with pesticide use in modern, industrial agriculture.

For the first time, information on the current pesticide contamination of the environmental matrices essential to insects and the status of the local insect abundance / diversity will be available for 21 nature reserve areas in Germany. The results of this work package will help to understand the role of pesticide residues in insect declines by using acute toxicity values known for a range of non-target insects from literature and approval documents to estimate their risk.

Dr. Carsten Brühl - Head of Working Group Ecotoxicology and Community Ecology

Nikita Bakanov - Research assistant

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