Media attention for insects and their relatives
Two projects from our research group are featured in the freshly released issue of the scientific magazine Apollon (2/2018). One of the projects was also featured on forskning.no and on several radio shows yesterday (Monday). All features are in Norwegian, but here on our blog you can read an English summary.
Neonicotinoids give pollinators brain damage
Bumblebees and other bees are getting brain damage from neurotoxic pesticides called neonicotinoids, used to protect crops from harmful insects and parasites. Non-targeted organisms, such as bumblebees are also exposed to the toxic compound, and we see negative effects of neonicotinoids on their learning ability and foraging rate. When they forage less, this can result in negative consequences for the entire hive. A decline in bumblebees reduces the pollination of important crops and wild plants, which might cause implications both for food production and for the ecosystem.
Click to read in Apollon about bumblebees and brain damage.
The feature in Apollon was also featured at forskning.no, which is a Norwegian website about research news, bringing new scientific knowledge to the public in an engaging manner. You can access the forskning.no article
Julie Sørlie Paus-Knudsen is the PhD candidate working with the effect of insecticides on the learning ability and behavior in bumblebees as part of the project NEOPOLL: Effects of Neonicotinoids and Temperature on Crop Pollination. Based on the feature articles, she was interviewed by the Norwegian Broadcast Radio (Norgesglasset, NRK P2, Monday 04.06), and you can listen to it here.
Luckily for the bees, the interview was also repeated on the news later that day.
Neonicotinoids - effects in non-target species
Springtails are not insects, but they are important, tiny and everywhere. These small organisms are about 2 mm large and distributed worldwide, contributing to decomposition of organic matter and mineralization, giving good soil quality. Our newly started research project, will examine how springtails are affected by both neonicotinoids and climate change in terms of increased temperature and drought. The PhD candidate in MULTICLIM, Silje Marie Kristiansen are running experiments with the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, examining a springtail population’s somatic growth rate, reproduction and hatching success.
Read the springtail feature in Apollon by clicking