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      Scientific Opinion supplementing the conclusions of the environmental risk assessment and risk management recommendations for the cultivation of the genetically modified insect resistant maize Bt11 and MON 810 : Scientific Opinion supplementing previous conclusions and recommendations on maize Bt11 and MON 810 for cultivation

      EFSA Journal

      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Impacts of an agri-environment field margin prescription on the flora and fauna of arable farmland in different landscapes

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            Wildlife-friendly farming benefits rare birds, bees and plants.

            Agricultural intensification is a leading cause of global biodiversity loss, especially for threatened and near-threatened species. One widely implemented response is 'wildlife-friendly farming', involving the close integration of conservation and extensive farming practices within agricultural landscapes. However, the putative benefits from this controversial policy are currently either unknown or thought unlikely to extend to rare and declining species. Here, we show that new, evidence-based approaches to habitat creation on intensively managed farmland in England can achieve large increases in plant, bee and bird species. In particular, we found that habitat enhancement methods designed to provide the requirements of sensitive target biota consistently increased the richness and abundance of both rare and common species, with 10-fold to greater than 100-fold more rare species per sample area than generalized conventional conservation measures. Furthermore, targeting landscapes of high species richness amplified beneficial effects on the least mobile taxa: plants and bees. Our results provide the first unequivocal support for a national wildlife-friendly farming policy and suggest that this approach should be implemented much more extensively to address global biodiversity loss. However, to be effective, these conservation measures must be evidence-based, and developed using sound knowledge of the ecological requirements of key species.
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              A mathematical model of exposure of non-target Lepidoptera to Bt-maize pollen expressing Cry1Ab within Europe

              Genetically modified (GM) maize MON810 expresses a Cry1Ab insecticidal protein, derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), toxic to lepidopteran target pests such as Ostrinia nubilalis. An environmental risk to non-target Lepidoptera from this GM crop is exposure to harmful amounts of Bt-containing pollen deposited on host plants in or near MON810 fields. An 11-parameter mathematical model analysed exposure of larvae of three non-target species: the butterflies Inachis io (L.), Vanessa atalanta (L.) and moth Plutella xylostella (L.), in 11 representative maize cultivation regions in four European countries. A mortality–dose relationship was integrated with a dose–distance relationship to estimate mortality both within the maize MON810 crop and within the field margin at varying distances from the crop edge. Mortality estimates were adjusted to allow for physical effects; the lack of temporal coincidence between the susceptible larval stage concerned and the period over which maize MON810 pollen is shed; and seven further parameters concerned with maize agronomy and host-plant ecology. Sublethal effects were estimated and allowance made for aggregated pollen deposition. Estimated environmental impact was low: in all regions, the calculated mortality rate for worst-case scenarios was less than one individual in every 1572 for the butterflies and one in 392 for the moth.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                EFSA Journal
                EFSA Journal
                Wiley-Blackwell
                18314732
                December 2012
                December 2012
                : 10
                : 12
                : 3016
                Article
                10.2903/j.efsa.2012.3016
                © 2012

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1

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