Increasing neonicotinoid use and the declining butterfly fauna of lowland California

Biology Letters
By: , and 

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Abstract

The butterfly fauna of lowland Northern California has exhibited a marked decline in recent years that previous studies have attributed in part to altered climatic conditions and changes in land use. Here, we ask if a shift in insecticide use towards neonicotinoids is associated with butterfly declines at four sites in the region that have been monitored for four decades. A negative association between butterfly populations and increasing neonicotinoid application is detectable while controlling for land use and other factors, and appears to be more severe for smaller-bodied species. These results suggest that neonicotinoids could influence non-target insect populations occurring in proximity to application locations, and highlights the need for mechanistic work to complement long-term observational data.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Increasing neonicotinoid use and the declining butterfly fauna of lowland California
Series title Biology Letters
DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2016.0475
Volume 12
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Royal Society
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Description 20160475: 5 p.
Country United States
State California
County Sacramento County, Solano County, Yolo County
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N