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Replication, effect sizes and identifying the biological impacts of pesticides on bees under field conditions

Woodcock, Ben A.; Heard, Matthew S.; Jitlal, Mark S.; Rundlöf, Maj LU ; Bullock, James M.; Shore, Richard F. and Pywell, Richard F. (2016) In Journal of Applied Ecology 53(5). p.1358-1362
Abstract

Honeybees have world-wide importance as crop pollinators. To ensure their persistence in agricultural systems, statistically robust field trials of plant protection products are vital. We consider the implications of regulations from the European Food Safety Authority that require the detection of a 7% effect size change in bee colony sizes under field conditions. Based on a power analysis, we argue that the necessary levels of replication (68 replicates) may pose practical constraints to field testing. Policy implications. Regulatory studies benefit from data sources collated over a range of spatial scales, from laboratory to landscapes. Basing effect size thresholds solely on expert judgement, as has been done, may be inappropriate.... (More)

Honeybees have world-wide importance as crop pollinators. To ensure their persistence in agricultural systems, statistically robust field trials of plant protection products are vital. We consider the implications of regulations from the European Food Safety Authority that require the detection of a 7% effect size change in bee colony sizes under field conditions. Based on a power analysis, we argue that the necessary levels of replication (68 replicates) may pose practical constraints to field testing. Policy implications. Regulatory studies benefit from data sources collated over a range of spatial scales, from laboratory to landscapes. Basing effect size thresholds solely on expert judgement, as has been done, may be inappropriate. Rather, definition through experimental or simulation studies that assess the biological consequences of changes in colony size for bee populations is required. This has implications for regulatory bodies outside the European Union.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
agriculture, bumblebees, experimental design, honeybees, neonicotinoids, pesticides, pollinators, regulatory risk assessment, statistical power testing
in
Journal of Applied Ecology
volume
53
issue
5
pages
5 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84987748115
ISSN
0021-8901
DOI
10.1111/1365-2664.12676
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6c2a40fe-b198-4960-bb47-a03e2589f9a8
date added to LUP
2016-10-17 12:02:35
date last changed
2016-10-17 12:03:59
@misc{6c2a40fe-b198-4960-bb47-a03e2589f9a8,
  abstract     = {<p>Honeybees have world-wide importance as crop pollinators. To ensure their persistence in agricultural systems, statistically robust field trials of plant protection products are vital. We consider the implications of regulations from the European Food Safety Authority that require the detection of a 7% effect size change in bee colony sizes under field conditions. Based on a power analysis, we argue that the necessary levels of replication (68 replicates) may pose practical constraints to field testing. Policy implications. Regulatory studies benefit from data sources collated over a range of spatial scales, from laboratory to landscapes. Basing effect size thresholds solely on expert judgement, as has been done, may be inappropriate. Rather, definition through experimental or simulation studies that assess the biological consequences of changes in colony size for bee populations is required. This has implications for regulatory bodies outside the European Union.</p>},
  author       = {Woodcock, Ben A. and Heard, Matthew S. and Jitlal, Mark S. and Rundlöf, Maj and Bullock, James M. and Shore, Richard F. and Pywell, Richard F.},
  issn         = {0021-8901},
  keyword      = {agriculture,bumblebees,experimental design,honeybees,neonicotinoids,pesticides,pollinators,regulatory risk assessment,statistical power testing},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {1358--1362},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xb1e5428)},
  series       = {Journal of Applied Ecology},
  title        = {Replication, effect sizes and identifying the biological impacts of pesticides on bees under field conditions},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12676},
  volume       = {53},
  year         = {2016},
}