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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 Nov 9. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-0341-3. [Epub ahead of print]

An update of the Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA) on systemic insecticides. Part 2: impacts on organisms and ecosystems.

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Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9QG, UK.
Department of Entomology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
RSPB Centre for Conservation of Science, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2DL, UK.
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney, 1 Central Avenue, Eveleigh, NSW, 2015, Australia.
Laboratory of Soil Biodiversity, University of Neuchâtel, Rue Emile-Argand 11, 2000, Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
Anthropology Institute, University of Neuchâtel, Rue Saint-Nicolas 4, 2000, Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen, Postboks 7805, 5020, Bergen, Norway.
Department of Chemistry, University of Bergen, Postboks 7805, 5020, Bergen, Norway.
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Environmental Sciences, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, 1219 Queen St. East, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6A 2E5, Canada.
Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, LCE, Marseille, France.
Department of Entomology, The Ohio State University, 1680 Madison Ave, Wooster, OH, 44691, USA.
Smithsonian Institution, 701 Seaway Drive Fort Pierce, Florida, 34949, USA.
Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, Pertuis-du-Sault, 2000, Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire, Rue Charles Sadron, 45071, Orléans, France.


New information on the lethal and sublethal effects of neonicotinoids and fipronil on organisms is presented in this review, complementing the previous Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA) in 2015. The high toxicity of these systemic insecticides to invertebrates has been confirmed and expanded to include more species and compounds. Most of the recent research has focused on bees and the sublethal and ecological impacts these insecticides have on pollinators. Toxic effects on other invertebrate taxa also covered predatory and parasitoid natural enemies and aquatic arthropods. Little new information has been gathered on soil organisms. The impact on marine and coastal ecosystems is still largely uncharted. The chronic lethality of neonicotinoids to insects and crustaceans, and the strengthened evidence that these chemicals also impair the immune system and reproduction, highlights the dangers of this particular insecticidal class (neonicotinoids and fipronil), with the potential to greatly decrease populations of arthropods in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. Sublethal effects on fish, reptiles, frogs, birds, and mammals are also reported, showing a better understanding of the mechanisms of toxicity of these insecticides in vertebrates and their deleterious impacts on growth, reproduction, and neurobehaviour of most of the species tested. This review concludes with a summary of impacts on the ecosystem services and functioning, particularly on pollination, soil biota, and aquatic invertebrate communities, thus reinforcing the previous WIA conclusions (van der Sluijs et al. 2015).


Aquatic organisms; Ecosystem services; Fipronil; Insects; Neonicotinoids; Pollinators; Review; Soil biota; Systemic insecticides; Vertebrates


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