The biodiversity of an agroecosystem is not only important for its intrinsic value but also because it influences ecological functions that are vital for crop production in sustainable agricultural systems and the surrounding environment. A concern about genetically modified (GM) crops is the potential negative impact that such crops could have on diversity and abundance of nontarget organisms, and subsequently on ecosystem functions. Therefore, it is essential to assess the potential environmental risk of the release of a GM crop and to study its effect on species assemblages within that ecosystem. Assessment of the impact of Bt maize on the environment is hampered by the lack of basic checklists of species present in maize agroecosystems. The aims of the study were to compile a checklist of arthropods that occur on maize in South Africa and to compare the diversity and abundance of arthropods and functional groups on Bt maize and non-Bt maize. Collections of arthropods were carried out during two growing seasons on Bt maize and non-Bt maize plants at two localities. Three maize fields were sampled per locality during each season. Twenty plants, each of Bt maize and non-Bt maize, were randomly selected from the fields at each site. The arthropods collected during this study were classified to morphospecies level and grouped into the following functional groups: detritivores, herbivores, predators, and parasitoids. Based on feeding strategy, herbivores and predators were further divided into sucking herbivores or predators (piercing-sucking mouthparts) and chewing herbivores or predators (chewing mouthparts). A total of 8,771 arthropod individuals, comprising 288 morphospecies and presenting 20 orders, were collected. Results from this short-term study indicated that abundance and diversity of arthropods in maize and the different functional guilds were not significantly affected by Bt maize, either in terms of diversity or abundance.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 43 • No. 1