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June 21st, 2015

Ecosystem services, agriculture and neonicotinoids

Published by EASAC,

This report (PDF) of EASAC by a group of researchers, highlights the importance of the relation between agriculture and ecosystem services, as a critical part of a sustainable agricultural system. More and more studies show the severe effects of the use of neonicotinoids on a wide range of organisms that provide ecosystem services like pollination and natural pest control, as well as on biodiversity. The report is based on research a detailed review of the literature since 2012 with particular focus on laboratory, greenhouse experiments, field experiments and descriptive studies in the field. The research considers the effects of neonicotinoids on ecosystem services and their impact on non-target organisms. An important finding is that while the public and political focus has been very much on the effect on honey bees as a source of pollination, many other pollinators have a (more) valuable role while their numbers are declining. Concern is expressed towards large-scale prophylactic use of neonicotinoids. Even though this report writes its recommendations for the European Union policies, the wider implications and conclusions drawn can be of interest on a global level.

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