Date of this Version
U.S. Government Works
Neonicotinoids are considered a superior insecticide for agricultural pest management, although their impacts on non-target insects is a rising concern. Aside from laboratory and mesocosm studies, limited research has been directed towards the role neonicotinoids may have in structuring aquatic invertebrate communities in field settings. Therefore, we simultaneously collected aquatic invertebrate and surface water samples from 26 wetlands within a highly modified agricultural landscape of Nebraska’s Rainwater Basin during spring 2015. Water samples were tested for six different neonicotinoids, nutrients, and physical properties. Trace levels of clothianidin and imidacloprid were the only neonicotinoids detected, occurring in 85% and 15%, respectively, of wetlands sampled. All measurements for clothianidin and imidacloprid were below chronic toxicity benchmarks set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Neonicotinoid concentrations were significantly lower (W26, 0.05 = 42.5) at wetlands with vegetative buffer strips >50m wide compared to wetlands with vegetative buffers strips<50 m. Although neonicotinoids were below benchmark concentrations proposed by government regulations, a significant negative association between neonicotinoid concentrations and aquatic invertebrate biomass was observed across all wetlands studied (Parameter Estimate = -0.031; SE=0.014).