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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Insecticides and arable weeds: effects on germination and seedling growth.

The decline of many arable weed species in Northern Europe has been attributed to the intensification of modern agriculture and in particular, increasing pesticide use. In this study, we examined the effect of two insecticides, dimethoate and deltamethrin, on the germination and seedling growth of six arable weed species. Although germination was unaffected by insecticide application, seedling growth of four species was decreased by exposure to deltamethrin (Capsella bursa-pastoris and Poa annua), dimethoate (Agrostemma githago), or by both insecticides together (Urtica urens). While increased herbicide use, seed cleaning, and changing sowing times may be of primary importance in explaining the reduction of northern Europe's arable weed flora, our results indicate that insecticide use may also be a contributory factor. Moreover, those species that exhibit apparent tolerance of the insecticides tested, particularly the grass Avena fatua, may benefit from continued insecticide use. The ability to tolerate these agrochemicals, in tandem with reduced herbivory and competition from plants, whose growth is reduced by insecticide application, is likely to confer a significant competitive advantage on insecticide-resistant weed species.[1]


  1. Insecticides and arable weeds: effects on germination and seedling growth. Hanley, M.E., Whiting, M.D. Ecotoxicology (2005) [Pubmed]
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