How strong is the evidence for pesticide-effects on stream macroinvertebrates?

In this post, Ralf B. Schäfer talks about his recently published paper in which he discusses the overall evidence of effects on stream invertebrates based on studies from the last decades and future research avenues.

The global insect decline has been subject to extensive media coverage. In this context, a Special Issue edited by Andrew Johnson focuses on the evidence for field effects of chemicals.

Do pesticides affect stream invertebrates? (compilation by R. B. Schäfer)

My review focuses on stream invertebrates and I first give a short introduction into the research of the last century followed by a thorough discussion of the evidence for pesticide effects from the last 20 years.

Overall, the majority of studies establish clear relationships between pesticide pollution and effects on macroinvertebrate communities. The paper includes a critical discussion of the problems of establishing causality from field and monitoring studies. I end with an outline of current research topics, which include questions of adaptation, landscape dynamics and multiple stressors.

For further details, read the paper “Responses of freshwater macroinvertebrates to pesticides: insights from field studies” published in Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health.