Vineyard fungicides pose a threat to wild bird survival – Eurasia Review

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A new study reveals that wild birds living in vineyards are much more susceptible to contamination from triazole fungicides than other agricultural land. It turns out that realistic levels of exposure to these fungicides in the field can disrupt hormones and metabolism, affecting reproduction and survival in birds.

“We found that birds may be highly contaminated with triazole in vineyards,” says Dr. Frédéric Angelier, senior researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research. “This pollution is much higher in vineyards than in other crops, highlighting that pollutants may endanger birds in particular in these particular agroecosystems.”

Triazoles are commonly used fungicides applied to agricultural crops such as wheat to eliminate pest fungi by disrupting cell membranes.

Previous studies on wildlife decline have assessed the impact of various agricultural industries, but largely ignored the role of vineyards. “However, in some European countries vineyards occupy a large part of the land and, importantly, high use of fungicides (up to five to seven times higher than other crops) is associated with vineyards. There is,” says Dr. Angelier. “Vineyards therefore represent a very important agroecosystem in assessing the impact of fungicides on wild birds.”

For this study, Dr. Angelier and his team conducted field experiments measuring real-world fungicide levels and controlled experiments testing the effects of these levels of fungicide on specific aspects of bird health. combined laboratory experiments.

Laboratory studies of the effects of pesticides on wildlife often use higher concentrations of pesticides than typically seen in real-world scenarios to provoke a stronger response. However, Dr. Angelier and his team measured the actual contamination by the fungicides not only in birds living in vineyards, but also in other ecosystems such as forests, cities and fields.

We then precisely replicated the fungicide concentrations found in vineyards under laboratory conditions and examined sublethal effects on bird physiology and health. “In that respect, our study helps us better understand how wild birds are affected by pesticides in the real world,” says Dr. Angelier. “Impacts on reproduction and survival can lead to loss of biodiversity and services (such as birds eating other pests).”

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