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Assessing the effects of pesticides on non-target soil organisms involved in the degradation of organic matter - PN0938

Description
Decomposition of soil organic matter (OM) regulates nutrient availability for plants and is important for the maintenance of soil fertility in sustainable agriculture. Decomposition is a complex of manifold interacting processes conducted by microorganisms and soil animals. Moreover, decomposing litter provides habitats for a wide range of soil organisms, not all of which are directly involved in decomposing OM but usually are important in regulating its temporal dynamics. To protect soil fertility and the biodiversity of soil organisms, and hence also the general ‘health’ of the environment, European Directive 91/414/EC requires that plant protection products (PPPs) should be evaluated for their potential effects on OM decomposition. Fulfilling this requirement is difficult however, because several key areas of the decomposition process are not understood sufficiently well to allow OM decomposition to be reliably evaluated or predicted using information currently prescribed by the Directive. This proposal aims to bring together the information necessary to permit future development of the protocol for assessing effects of PPPS on OM decomposition as required under 91/414/EEC, Annex 10.6.2. The proposal comprises three critical literature reviews that will each be carried out by an experienced senior European researcher.These reviews will form the basis for recommendations on how ecotoxicological information should be obtained to fulfil the requirements of the Directive concerning the evaluation of effects of PPPs on OM decomposition. The information gathered in this proposal will also underpin decisions on future research priorities in support of the Directive.The onus is on the regulatory authorities of EU Member States to properly develop and implement Directive 91/414/EEC, meaning that this work has high national and international policy relevance.
Objective
Scientific objectives:

1. To determine the state of knowledge of the importance of different soil macro-organisms for OM decomposition, and their relevance to risk assessments required under the Directive 91/414/EEC. This would be achieved by a critical review of the relevant literature under the supervision of Professor Juliane Filser at the University of Bremen in Germany.

2. To determine the state of knowledge of the roles of different microbial processes for OM decomposition, and their relevance to risk assessments required under the Directive 91/414/EEC. This would be achieved by a crititical review of the relevant literature by Dr Susan Jones at Southampton University, UK.

3. To determine the methods available for assessing effects of plant protection products on OM decomposition and their relevance to risk assessments under the Directive 91/414/EEC. This would be achieved by a critical review of the relevant literature under the supervision of Dr Thomas Knacker at ECT Oekotoxikologie GmbH in Flörsheim, Germany.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Assessing the effects of pesticides on non-target soil organisms involved in the degradation of organic matter   (46k)
• Final Report - Annex : Assessing the effects of pesticides on non-target soil organisms involved in the degradation of organic matter   (4k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2001

Cost: £91,454
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ECT Oekotoxilogie GmbH, University - Bremen, University - Southampton
Keywords
Environmental Effects              
Pest and Weed Control              
Pesticide use              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Pesticide Safety