Post-market environmental monitoring of Bt maize in Spain: Non-target effects of varieties derived from the event MON810 on predatory fauna
Farinós, G. P.
Pérez Hedo, Meritxell
Poza, M. de la
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The Spanish Government has established post-market environmental monitoring (PMEM) as mandatory for genetically modified (GM) crop varieties cultivated in Spain. In order to comply with this regulation, effects of Bt maize varieties derived from the event MON810 on the predatory fauna were monitored
for two years in northeast and central Spain. The study was carried out with a randomized block design in maize fields of 3-4 ha on which the abundance of plant-dwelling predators and the activity-density of soil-dwelling predators in Bt vs. non-Bt near-isogenic varieties were compared. To this end, the plots were sampled by visual inspection of a certain number of plants and pitfall traps 6 or 7 times throughout two seasons. No significant differences in predator densities on plants were found between Bt and non-Bt varieties. In the pitfall traps, significant differences between the two types of maize were found only in Staphylinidae, in which trap catches in non-Bt maize were higher than in Bt maize in central Spain. Based on the statistical power of the assays, surrogate arthropods for PMEM purposes are proposed; Orius spp. and Araneae for visual sampling and Carabidae, Araneae, and Staphylinidae for pitfall trapping. The other predator groups recorded in the study, Nabis sp. and Coccinellidae in visual sampling and Dermaptera in pitfall trapping, gave very poor power results. To help to establish a standardized protocol for PMEM of genetically modified crops, the effect-detecting capacity with a power of 0.8 of each predator group is given.