Review of available evidence regarding the vulnerability of off-crop non-target arthropod communities in comparison to in-crop non-target arthropod communities

Non-target arthropods, communities, off-crop, in-crop, vulnerability, pesticides, review
First published in EFSA Supporting Publications
12. Oktober 2012
External Scientific Report

The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as authors. In accordance with Article 36 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, this task has been carried out exclusively by the authors in the context of a grant agreement between the European Food Safety Authority and the authors. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the European Food Safety Authority is subject. It may not be considered as an output adopted by EFSA. EFSA reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.


EFSA is revising and updating the Ecotoxicology Guidance Document on Terrestrial Risk Assessment of Pesticides (SANCO/10329/2002). For this purpose an overview was written of available scientific information on the composition of non-target arthropod species that occur in and outside crops and their vulnerability to pesticides. The taxonomic groups for which sufficient scientific information was found were ground beetles (Carabidae), rove beetles (Staphylinidae), spiders (Aranea), hoverflies (Syrphidae) springtails (Collembola) and bugs (Heteroptera). Most studies of these groups were conducted in Europe and for the larger part in cereals. Types of off-crop habitats varied greatly (hedgerows, flower strips, grass edges, trees, etc.). For the six taxonomic groups, the number of species and their abundance was higher in the off-crop habitat than in the crop. Additional vulnerability analysis based on species traits showed that for insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, the average vulnerability of typical off-crop species was higher than that of typical in-crop species. The average vulnerability of species that occur in both habitats was intermediate. The difference between off-crop and in-crop species can be explained by specific differences in exposure and especially recovery.

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