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  • 1.
    Rämö, Robert A.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    van den Brink, Paul J.
    Ruepert, Clemens
    Castillo, Luisa E.
    Gunnarsson, Jonas S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Environmental risk assessment of pesticides in the River Madre de Dios, Costa Rica using PERPEST, SSD, and msPAF models2018In: Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344, E-ISSN 1614-7499, Vol. 25, no 14, p. 13254-13269Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study assesses the ecological risks (ERA) of pesticides to aquatic organisms in the River Madre de Dios (RMD), which receives surface runoff water from banana, pineapple, and rice plantations on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Water samples collected over 2 years at five sites in the RMD revealed a total of 26 pesticides. Their toxicity risk to aquatic organisms was assessed using three recent ERA models. (1) The PERPEST model showed a high probability (>50 %) of clear toxic effects of pesticide mixtures on algae, macrophytes, zooplankton, macroinvertebrates, and community metabolism and a low probability (<50 %) of clear effects on fish. (2) Species sensitivity distributions (SSD) showed a moderate to high risk of three herbicides: ametryn, bromacil, diuron and four insecticides: carbaryl, diazinon, ethoprophos, terbufos. (3) The multi-substance potentially affected fraction (msPAF) model showed results consistent with PERPEST: high risk to algae (maximum msPAF: 73 %), aquatic plants (61 %), and arthropods (25 %) and low risk to fish (0.2 %) from pesticide mixtures. The pesticides posing the highest risks according to msPAF and that should be substituted with less toxic substances were the herbicides ametryn, diuron, the insecticides carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, ethoprophos, and the fungicide difenoconazole. Ecological risks were highest near the plantations and decreased progressively further downstream. The risk to fish was found to be relatively low in these models, but water samples were not collected during fish kill events and some highly toxic pesticides known to be used were not analyzed for in this study. Further sampling and analysis of water samples is needed to determine toxicity risks to fish during peaks of pesticide mixture concentrations. The msPAF model, which estimates the ecological risks of mixtures based on their toxic modes of action, was found to be the most suitable model to assess toxicity risks to aquatic organisms in the RMD. The PERPEST model was found to be a strong tool for screening risk assessments. The SSD approach is useful in deriving water quality criteria for specific pesticides. This study, through the application of three ERA models, clearly shows that pesticides used in plantations within the RMD watershed are expected to have severe adverse effects on most groups of aquatic organisms and that actions are urgently needed to reduce pesticide pollution in this high biodiversity ecosystem.

  • 2. Sanderson Bellamy, Angelina
    et al.
    Svensson, Ola
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    van den Brink, Paul J.
    Gunnarsson, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Tedengren, Michael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Insect community composition and functional roles along a tropical agricultural production gradient2018In: Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344, E-ISSN 1614-7499, Vol. 25, no 14, p. 13426-13438Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    High intensity agricultural production systems are problematic not only for human health and the surrounding environment, but can threaten the provision of ecosystem services on which farm productivity depends. This research investigates the effects of management practices in Costa Rica on on-farm insect diversity, using three different types of banana farm management systems: high-input conventional system, low-input conventional system, and organic system. Insect sampling was done using pitfall and yellow bowl traps, left for a 24-h period at two locations inside the banana farm, at the edge of the farm, and in adjacent forest. All 39,091 individual insects were classified to family level and then morphospecies. Insect species community composition and diversity were compared using multivariate statistics with ordination analysis and Monte Carlo permutation testing, and revealed that each of the management systems were significantly different from each other for both trap types. Insect diversity decreased as management intensity increased. Reduced insect diversity resulted in fewer functional groups and fewer insect families assuming different functions essential to ecosystem health. Organic farms had similar species composition on the farm compared to adjacent forest sites, whereas species composition increasingly differed between farm and forest sites as management intensity increased. We conclude that while organic production has minimal impact on insect biodiversity, even small reductions in management intensity can have a significantly positive impact on on-farm insect biodiversity and functional roles supported.

  • 3.
    Sanderson Bellamy, Angelina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Svensson, Ola
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    van den Brink, Paul J.
    Tedengren, Michael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    What is in a label? Rainforest-Alliance certified banana production versus non-certified conventional banana production2016In: Global Ecology and Conservation, ISSN 2351-9894, Vol. 7, p. 39-48Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Export banana production in Latin America is pesticide intensive, receiving much negative publicity regarding human health problems and environmental degradation. The Rainforest Alliance (RA) certification scheme was established to certify farms that met a number of social, occupation health and environmental standards set by RA and their certifying body, the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). This study was one of the first, independent studies of the environmental impact of some of the principles set by RA and SAN. The study focuses on insect and bird diversity as an indicator of ecosystem health. Five RA certified farms, six non-RA certified farms, and five organic certified farms were sampled. The data was analyzed with RDA multivariate analyses and Monte Carlo permutation tests. The results showed that RA certified farms had less insect diversity compared to non-RA certified farms and that both farm types had less insect diversity than organic farms. There was little difference between RA and non-RA certified farms with regards bird community composition. Thus, organic farming conserves biodiversity, while alternative environmental labels (e.g. a Rainforest alliance seal) may not have any visible positive effect on in-farm biodiversity. This study points to the need for improvements in SAN certification standards to achieve improved environmental conditions.

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