Navigation Links
Commonly used herbicides seen as threat to endangered butterflies
Date:3/7/2012

PUYALLUP, Wash.A Washington State University toxicologist has found that three commonly used herbicides can dramatically reduce butterfly populations.

The research was aimed at possible effects on the Lange's metalmark, an endangered species in northern California, but it has implications for other at-risk and endangered butterflies wherever herbicides are used, says John Stark, an ecotoxicologist and director of the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center.

Stark and his colleagues tested triclopyr, sethoxydim and imazapyr on butterfly larvae at the request of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which uses the herbicides to maintain habitat for the Lange's metalmark in its last habitat, the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge in northern California. The researchers used the Behr's metalmark as a proxy for the Lange's metalmark, whose endangered status precludes using it for tests.

The researchers found adult numbers of the Behr's metalmark butterfly dropped by one-fourth to more than one-third when their larvae were exposed to regularly applied rates of the herbicides.

In a small population of endangered animals, says Stark, "any kind of reduction like that is going to be a problem."

While the dunes may have harbored 25,000 Lange's metalmarks 50 to 100 years ago, damage to the dunes reduced the population to 5,000 by 1972 and as low as 45 in 2006.

Key to the butterfly's survival is the naked stem buckwheat plant, which is easily overgrown by the non-native plants ripgut brome, vetch and yellow starthistle.

Refuge managers have tried to weed by hand but the process risks disturbing the buckwheat plants and butterfly eggs and larvae. And when the refuge managers started spraying the plants with herbicides, they noticed the butterfly populations were dropping even more, says Stark.

The study, funded by the Fish and Wildlife Service and published in the journal Environmental Pollution, is one of the first to document the effects of herbicides on butterflies. Several studies have shown herbicides can adversely affect animal life, even though they are designed to kill plants.

Each of the three herbicides in the Stark study operate differently, leading the researchers to think butterflies are being affected by inert ingredients or an effect on the butterflies' food source.


'/>"/>

Contact: John Stark
starkj@wsu.edu
253-445-4519
Washington State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. A sleep strategy commonly used by night nurses throws off their circadian clocks
2. The first DNA barcodes of commonly traded bushmeat are published
3. Feasibility of using mycoherbicides to control illicit drug crops is uncertain
4. Which direction are herbicides heading?
5. How grass buffers keep agricultural herbicides at bay
6. Common herbicides and fibrates block nutrient-sensing receptor found in gut and pancreas
7. Understanding how weeds are resistant to herbicides
8. Nowhere to hide: Study finds future of Sumatran tigers threatened by human disturbances
9. World nourishment at risk of being diminished: Wild cereals threatened by global warming
10. Irish mammals under serious threat from invasional meltdown
11. Climate change threatens tropical birds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... MELBOURNE, Florida , April 11, 2017 ... "Company"), a security technology company, announces the appointment of independent ... John Bendheim to its Board of Directors, furthering the ... ... behalf of NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... SEATTLE , April 5, 2017  The Allen ... the Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic ... large-scale 3D imaging data, the first application of deep ... edited human stem cell lines and a growing suite ... the platform for these and future publicly available resources ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast ... the primary factor for the growth of the stem ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell ... application, and geography. The stem cell market of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/17/2017)... , ... July 17, 2017 ... ... technology-enabled clinical trial solutions, today announced safety software company AB Cube has ... eHealth Solutions business segment to advance technology innovation across life sciences and ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 17, 2017 , ... ... Hsing, Ph.D. , recently participated in the BiG (Biomedical Innovation Group) annual meeting ... by discussions of CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor T-cell) therapy, a rapidly developing highly ...
(Date:7/16/2017)... N.J. (PRWEB) , ... July 16, 2017 , ... ... laboratory equipment and analytical instruments announced the launch of its new line of ... introduced five rocking and waving shaker models (both analog and digital) for laboratory ...
(Date:7/14/2017)... ... July 14, 2017 , ... ... company . Sonic Manufacturing Technologies has installed a solar system on its roof ... three-year period,” the President of Sonic, Kenneth Raab stated. The company’s proud history ...
Breaking Biology Technology: