Short-term peaks of contaminant concentrations and flows go undetected at many minesites. Recent biological studies have shown that short peaks can contribute significantly to toxicity due to aspects like damage per unit of time, accumulating damage through time, damage at any concentration, temporally aligned or offset synergistic and antagonistic interactions, and slowly reversible or non-reversible uptake and binding of some metals and other elements.
Since 2013, a European Union (EU) moratorium has restricted the application of three neonicotinoids to crops that attract bees because of the harmful effects they are deemed to have on these insects. Yet researchers from the CNRS, INRA, and the Institut de l'Abeille (ITSAP) have just demonstrated that residues of these insecticides -- and especially of imidacloprid -- can still be detected in rape nectar from 48% of the plots of studied fields, their concentrations varying greatly over the years.
Succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor’ (SDHI) fungicides are used against fungi and mould. On the basis of a report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published in April 2017, the French NGO ‘Générations futures’ established that boscalid, a very frequently used SDHI, was the most frequent pesticide residue found in food samples tested in Europe. However, the way SDHIs work is atypical and is not picked up by European toxicity tests.
Two scientific studies of the number of insects splattered by cars have revealed a huge decline in abundance at European sites in two decades. The research adds to growing evidence of what some scientists have called an “insect apocalypse”, which is threatening a collapse in the natural world that sustains humans and all life on Earth. A third study shows plummeting numbers of aquatic insects in streams.
Neonicotinoid insecticides, also known as neonics, are doing more than killing bees and other insects in record numbers, according to a report issued last month by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an international environmental advocacy group. Neonics, the council says, are contaminating New York State’s soil and water and “hollowing out ecosystems from the bottom up.”
A team of scientists from the United Kingdom, Brazil, and New Zealand tracked dung beetles in 30 forest plots scattered throughout the Brazilian state of Pará from 2010 to 2017. In total, they counted more than 14,000 dung beetles from 98 species. They also monitored how effectively the beetles were moving dung out of the plots, and how many seeds they were dispersing.
Amphibians across the world are experiencing “catastrophic population declines” from a widening range of interacting pathogens, scientists say. Fungal disease chytridiomycosis is thought to have caused the extinction of 90 amphibian species around the world and the marked decline of at least 491 others over the last 20 years. According to Dr Benjamin Scheele, the lead author of a study into chytridiomycosis, it is “the greatest recorded loss of biodiversity attributable to a disease”.
Bumblebee populations in North America and Europe have plummeted, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science. The number of areas populated by bumblebees has fallen 46 percent in North America and 17 percent in Europe. The loss of bumblebee populations is alarming because they play a central role in pollinating many plants, including key crops such as tomatoes and cranberries.
The emergence of Hexagenia limbata mayflies, throughout the Great Lakes and parts of the mid-Atlantic region, is nearly a religious event in angling circles. Each year in early June, these enormous mayflies blanket the landscape, emerging by the billions each night, smothering waterways, riverbanks, roadways and more with thousands of tons of trout-candy biomass. Not long ago, these historic and essential emergences were almost wiped out. By 1970, Hexagenia were gone from large swaths of the Midwest.
The breeding bird population in Germany declined by around 14 million or eight percent over the period between 1992 and 2016, the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) said on Wednesday. The "significant decline" in the number of native birds in meadows, pastures and fields has been continuing, according to an evaluation of thousands of data sets by the agency. "In the open agricultural landscapes, the population of breeding pairs has declined by about two million over a quarter of a century," BfN President Beate Jessel said.