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PM 2/21 : Methods for assessing the effects of plant protection products on biodiversity

Lindström, Sandra LU ; Andersson, Georg K.S. LU ; Nilsson, Lovisa LU ; Rundlöf, Maj LU and Smith, Henrik G. LU (2021)
Abstract
Lund University was commissioned by the Swedish Chemicals Agency to map and describe emerging methodologies that assess the indirect impact of plant protection products on nontarget organism individuals and populations, and studies that evaluates if current risk assessment methodologies are sufficient to assess direct effects of plant protection products on biodiversity. The commission was performed in two parts. First, we made an inventory of
emerging methods to assess indirect effects of plant protection products on non-target organisms among risk assessment authorities in nine countries. Second, we reviewed the scientific literature by performing a systematic search of scientific databases and mapped research discussing method... (More)
Lund University was commissioned by the Swedish Chemicals Agency to map and describe emerging methodologies that assess the indirect impact of plant protection products on nontarget organism individuals and populations, and studies that evaluates if current risk assessment methodologies are sufficient to assess direct effects of plant protection products on biodiversity. The commission was performed in two parts. First, we made an inventory of
emerging methods to assess indirect effects of plant protection products on non-target organisms among risk assessment authorities in nine countries. Second, we reviewed the scientific literature by performing a systematic search of scientific databases and mapped research discussing method development to assess indirect effects of plant protection products on non-target individuals and populations, and direct effects of plant protection products on biodiversity.

The inventory shows that there are few ongoing attempts to assess indirect effects of plant protection products in the light of environmental risk assessment schemes among the countries we asked. In Germany, requirements were introduced in 2018 to assess the indirect effects of plant protection products via trophic interactions when registering new plant protection products, but these requirements were withdrawn in the autumn of 2019 due to lack of legal basis for their implementation.

Our literature review showed that approaches to assess indirect effects on individuals or populations of plant protection products in a risk assessment context involves both model ecosystems (cosms), field studies, and mathematical, mainly mechanistic effects models. Knowledge of species interactions is a key to understand the underlying mechanisms that
shape how plant protection products impact biodiversity.

While plenty of papers suggest that current risk assessment methodologies are insufficient to safeguard biodiversity, few papers have actually compared how well different environmental risk methodologies protect biodiversity. The current risk assessment methods are based shortterm laboratory studies on single test species, or on simplified communities in mesocosm experiments, which provide information on acute toxicity. The validity and usefulness of such laboratory studies have been criticized for not including variation in space and time,
interactions with other stressors and indirect effects caused by competition and trophic interactions between populations. This hampers the possibility of using them to assess effects on biodiversity in field situations. Furthermore, it is proposed that the current risk assessment of plant protection products can be improved by increasing the representation of test species, including previously neglected taxonomic groups, such as microorganisms and fungi.

According to several studies, future environmental risk assessment methods should to a larger extent than today combine laboratory, field and semi-field studies and mathematical models to capture indirect effects and direct effects on biodiversity. Other proposals are to complement and combine the bottom-up approaches of the current environmental risk assessment, that largely relies on extrapolation of effects on individuals assessed in standard laboratory tests to communities, with top-down approaches such as monitoring of landscape and communities, as well as combine bottom-up and top-down methods, to make accurate assessments of the risks plant protection products poses to biodiversity. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Lunds universitet fick i uppdrag av Kemikalieinspektionen att kartlägga och beskriva ansatser till metoder som bedömer indirekta effekter av växtskyddsmedel på individer och populationer och studier som utvärderar om nuvarande riskbedömningsmetoder är tillräckliga för att bedöma direkta effekter av växtskyddsmedel på biologisk mångfald. Uppdraget utfördes i två delar. För det första inventerade vi metoder för att bedöma indirekta effekter av
växtskyddsmedel bland riskbedömningsmyndigheter i nio länder. Parallellt granskade vi den vetenskapliga litteraturen genom att genomföra en systematisk sökning efter litteratur i vetenskapliga databaser för att kartlägga relevant forskning om indirekta effekter av växtskyddsmedel på individer och... (More)
Lunds universitet fick i uppdrag av Kemikalieinspektionen att kartlägga och beskriva ansatser till metoder som bedömer indirekta effekter av växtskyddsmedel på individer och populationer och studier som utvärderar om nuvarande riskbedömningsmetoder är tillräckliga för att bedöma direkta effekter av växtskyddsmedel på biologisk mångfald. Uppdraget utfördes i två delar. För det första inventerade vi metoder för att bedöma indirekta effekter av
växtskyddsmedel bland riskbedömningsmyndigheter i nio länder. Parallellt granskade vi den vetenskapliga litteraturen genom att genomföra en systematisk sökning efter litteratur i vetenskapliga databaser för att kartlägga relevant forskning om indirekta effekter av växtskyddsmedel på individer och populationer och direkta effekter av växtskyddsmedel på biologisk mångfald.

Inventeringen visade att det finns få pågående ansatser att bedöma indirekta effekter av växtskyddsmedel mot bakgrund av miljöriskbedömningssystem bland de länder vi tillfrågade. I Tyskland infördes år 2018 krav på att bedöma indirekta effekter av växtskyddsmedel via trofiska interaktioner vid registrering av nya växtskyddsmedel, men dessa krav återtogs hösten 2019 eftersom de saknade rättslig grund för att implementeras.

Vår litteraturöversikt visade att metoder för att bedöma indirekta effekter på individer eller populationer av växtskyddsmedel i en riskbedömningskontext involverar både modellekosystem (cosmer), fältstudier och matematiska, huvudsakligen mekanistiska modeller. Kunskap om interaktioner mellan arter, som är grunden till potentiella indirekta effekter av växtskyddsmedel, är en nyckel för att förstå mekanismerna som ligger bakom växtskyddsmedels påverkan på den biologiska mångfalden.

Medan många studier hävdar att nuvarande riskbedömningsmetoder är otillräckliga för att skydda biologisk mångfald, har få studier jämfört hur väl olika metoder för miljöriskbedömningar skyddar biologisk mångfald. De nuvarande metoderna utgörs till stor del av laboratoriestudier på enstaka testarter, eller experiment med förenklade samhällen i cosmer, som ger information om akut toxicitet. Validiteten och användbarheten av sådana
laboratoriestudier har kritiserats för att inte inkludera variation i rum och tid, interaktioner med andra stressfaktorer och indirekta effekter som uppkommer genom konkurrens eller trofiska interaktioner mellan populationer. Detta begränsar möjligheten att använda flera av de nuvarande metoderna till att bedöma effekter på biologisk mångfald i fältsituationer. Vidare föreslås att nuvarande riskbedömning av växtskyddsmedel kan förbättras genom att
utöka representationen av testarter, inkludering av tidigare försummade taxonomiska grupper, såsom mikroorganismer och svampar, och bedömning av effekter på den genetiska variationen inom arter och populationer.

Framtida miljöbedömningsmetoder bör enligt flera studier i större utsträckning än idag kombinera laboratoriestudier, semifält- och fältstudier och matematiska modeller för att fånga indirekta effekter och direkta effekter på biologisk mångfald. Andra förslag är att komplettera de bottom-up-metoder som används i nuvarande miljöriskbedömningar, vilket i stor utsträckning är beroende av extrapolering av effekter på individer som bedöms i standardiserade laboratorietester till samhällen, med top-down-metoder såsom miljöövervakning av landskap och samhällen, och att kombinera bottom-up och top-down metoder, för att göra mer exakta bedömningar av riskerna för växtskyddsmedel med biologisk mångfald. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
@techreport{d30645bd-e3db-46f3-910f-2a637a929d86,
  abstract     = {Lund University was commissioned by the Swedish Chemicals Agency to map and describe emerging methodologies that assess the indirect impact of plant protection products on nontarget organism individuals and populations, and studies that evaluates if current risk assessment methodologies are sufficient to assess direct effects of plant protection products on biodiversity. The commission was performed in two parts. First, we made an inventory of<br/>emerging methods to assess indirect effects of plant protection products on non-target organisms among risk assessment authorities in nine countries. Second, we reviewed the scientific literature by performing a systematic search of scientific databases and mapped research discussing method development to assess indirect effects of plant protection products on non-target individuals and populations, and direct effects of plant protection products on biodiversity.<br/><br/>The inventory shows that there are few ongoing attempts to assess indirect effects of plant protection products in the light of environmental risk assessment schemes among the countries we asked. In Germany, requirements were introduced in 2018 to assess the indirect effects of plant protection products via trophic interactions when registering new plant protection products, but these requirements were withdrawn in the autumn of 2019 due to lack of legal basis for their implementation.<br/><br/>Our literature review showed that approaches to assess indirect effects on individuals or populations of plant protection products in a risk assessment context involves both model ecosystems (cosms), field studies, and mathematical, mainly mechanistic effects models. Knowledge of species interactions is a key to understand the underlying mechanisms that<br/>shape how plant protection products impact biodiversity.<br/><br/>While plenty of papers suggest that current risk assessment methodologies are insufficient to safeguard biodiversity, few papers have actually compared how well different environmental risk methodologies protect biodiversity. The current risk assessment methods are based shortterm laboratory studies on single test species, or on simplified communities in mesocosm experiments, which provide information on acute toxicity. The validity and usefulness of such laboratory studies have been criticized for not including variation in space and time,<br/>interactions with other stressors and indirect effects caused by competition and trophic interactions between populations. This hampers the possibility of using them to assess effects on biodiversity in field situations. Furthermore, it is proposed that the current risk assessment of plant protection products can be improved by increasing the representation of test species, including previously neglected taxonomic groups, such as microorganisms and fungi.<br/><br/>According to several studies, future environmental risk assessment methods should to a larger extent than today combine laboratory, field and semi-field studies and mathematical models to capture indirect effects and direct effects on biodiversity. Other proposals are to complement and combine the bottom-up approaches of the current environmental risk assessment, that largely relies on extrapolation of effects on individuals assessed in standard laboratory tests to communities, with top-down approaches such as monitoring of landscape and communities, as well as combine bottom-up and top-down methods, to make accurate assessments of the risks plant protection products poses to biodiversity.},
  author       = {Lindström, Sandra and Andersson, Georg K.S. and Nilsson, Lovisa and Rundlöf, Maj and Smith, Henrik G.},
  institution  = {Kemikalieinspektionen},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {PM 2/21 : Methods for assessing the effects of plant protection products on biodiversity},
  url          = {https://www.kemi.se/download/18.53bd575e1770fc5d2a223ee/1611930673289/PM-2-21-Methods-for-assessing-the-effects-of%20plant-protection-products-on-biodiversity.pdf},
  year         = {2021},
}