Neonicotinoid insecticides are currently the fastest‐growing and most widely used insecticide class worldwide. Valued for their versatility in application, these insecticides may cause deleterious effects in a range of non‐target (beneficial) arthropods. However, it remains unclear whether strong patterns exist in terms of their major effects, if broad measures of arthropod performance are negatively affected, or whether different functional groups are equally vulnerable. Here, we present a meta‐analysis of 372 observations from 44 field and laboratory studies that describe neonicotinoid effects on 14 arthropod orders across five broad performance measures: abundance, behavior, condition, reproductive success, and survival. Across studies, neonicotinoids negatively affected all performance metrics evaluated; however, magnitude of the effects varied. Arthropod behavior and survival were the most negatively affected and abundance was the least negatively affected. Effects on arthropod functional groups were inconsistent. Pollinator condition, reproductive success, and survival were significantly lower in neonicotinoid treatments compared to untreated controls; whereas, neonicotinoid effects on detritivores were not significant. Although magnitude of arthropod response to neonicotinoids varied among performance measures and functional groups, we documented a consistent negative relationship between exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides in published studies and beneficial arthropod performance.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Neonicotinoid insecticides negatively affect performance measures of non‐target terrestrial arthropods: a meta‐analysis|
|Series title||Ecological Applications|
|Publisher||Ecological Society of America|
|Contributing office(s)||Coop Res Unit Atlanta|