The impact of pesticides on the environment - a Living Lab research

Living Lab provides insights into the consequences of pesticides in nature. Ecotoxicologist Prof. dr. Martina Vijver conducts research on chemicals in the water. According to her, standard research is insufficient. With her living lab, she researches what the consequences of pesticides are for the environment.

Martina Vijver
Picture from: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/news/2017/03/research-on-the-effects-of-pesticides-and-manure-on-water-quality-in-ditches

Following up on the research findings, the local newspaper "Leidsch Dagblad" wrote an article about the Living Lab. In this article, Vijver explains the need of a living lab to test the impact of chemicals on insects. 

The Living Lab is a unique research project about the consequences of pesticides on the environment. It's an area of land with 36 small canals where Prof. dr. Martina Vijver (CML) conducts regulated tests. According to her, standard tests and research in a regular lab is insufficient. In a standardized lab, insects are stuffed into a tiny flask and increasing amounts of toxins are continously added in order to assess at what concentration the insects can no longer survive. This however, is not at all comparable to what happens in the natural environment. According to Vijver, the Living Lab is 2500 times more sensitive than a standardized lab. The results of pesticides on insects isn't something to simply look over: 9 ditches got the toxins "Thiacloprid" added to it, which led to a reduction of 51% of the insects compared to the controlled ditches that were kept clean. With this, she brings more conclusive evidence to build on earlier research conducted about the enormous decrease in the number of insects, like in the well known research led by prof. dr. De Kroon (Radboud University Nijmegen).

     9 ditches got the toxins "Thiacloprid" added to it, which led to a reduction of 51% of the insects

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Read the full article (in Dutch)