Present address: Institute of Ecology and Environmental Chemistry, Ecosystem Functioning, Leuphana University of Lüneberg, Scharnhorststr, 1, 21335 Lüneberg, Germany.
The impact of an insecticide on insect flower visitation and pollination in an agricultural landscape
Article first published online: 1 JUN 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Royal Entomological Society
Agricultural and Forest Entomology
Volume 12, Issue 3, pages 259–266, August 2010
How to Cite
Brittain, C., Bommarco, R., Vighi, M., Barmaz, S., Settele, J. and Potts, S. G. (2010), The impact of an insecticide on insect flower visitation and pollination in an agricultural landscape. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, 12: 259–266. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-9563.2010.00485.x
- Issue published online: 8 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 1 JUN 2010
- Accepted 14 November 2009First published online 1 June 2010
- ecosystem service;
- 1Pesticides are considered a threat to pollinators but little is known about the potential impacts of their widespread use on pollinators. Less still is known about the impacts on pollination, comprising the ecosystem service that pollinators provide to wildflowers and crops.
- 2The present study measured flower visitation and pollination in an agricultural landscape, by placing potted flowering plants (Petunia sp.) in vine fields sprayed with a highly toxic insecticide (fenitrothion). During two sampling rounds, insect visitors to the petunias were observed and measures of pollination were recorded by counting and weighing seeds.
- 3In the earlier sampling round, a lower species richness of insect visitors was observed in fields that had received an early application of insecticide. No negative impacts were found from later applications. The results obtained suggest a greater potential harm to insect pollinators and flower visitation as a result of insecticide application early in the season.
- 4No reduction in pollination was found in fields that received an early insecticide application. Pollination was greater with two insecticide applications between sampling rounds rather than one application.
- 5In the present study system, insecticide application had a negative effect on pollinators but a possible positive effect on pollination services. In some cases, it may be that actions for conserving biodiversity will not benefit pollination services to all plants.