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Managing maize under pest species competition: is Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) maize the solution?

Catarino, R., Ceddia, G., Areal, F., Parisey, N. and Park, J. (2016) Managing maize under pest species competition: is Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) maize the solution? Ecosphere, 7 (6). e01340. ISSN 2150-8925

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1340

Abstract/Summary

Transgenic crops that contain Cry genes from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have been adopted by farmers over the last 17 years. Unlike traditional broad spectrum chemical insecticides, Bt's toxicity spectrum is relatively narrow and selective, which may indirectly benefit secondary insects that may become important pests. The economic damage caused by the rise of secondary pests could offset some or all of the benefits associated with the use of Bt varieties. We develop a bioeconomic model to analyze the interactions between primary and secondary insect populations and the impact of different management options on insecticide use and economic impact over time. Results indicate that some of the benefits associated with the adoption of genetically engineered insect resistant crops may be eroded when taking into account ecological dynamics. It is suggested that secondary pests could easily become key insect pests requiring additional measures - such as insecticide applications or stacked traits – to keep their populations under the economic threshold.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Economic and Social Sciences Division > Food Economics and Marketing (FEM)
ID Code:43137
Publisher:Ecological Society of America

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