Impact of RR Soybeans and Glyphosate on the Community of Soil Surface Arthropods

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Abstract or Summary

The cultivation of transgenic soybean plants using the glyphosate resistant gene (RR soybeans), takes up about 47% of the world’s cropping area. Despite the large area planted with soybeans resistant to glyphosate, there are very few studies of the environmental impact of this technology, especially in tropical areas. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the impact of the cultive of RR soybeans and the use of glyphosate on the community of soil surface arthropods. The experiment was conducted in Coimbra, Minas Gerais state for two agricultural years. The experimental design was conducted in randomized blocks with five replications. The treatments were: non-transgenic soybean with mechanical weeding; RR soybean with mechanical weeding; RR soybean with one application of glyphosate and RR soybean with three applications of glyphosate. The populations of the soil surface arthropods were sampled over two years of cultivation (2007/2008 and 2008/2009). The cultive of RR soybean did not affect the richness and abundance of arthropods. A lower number of predators and detritivorous arthropods were observed in the treatments with one or three applications of glyphosate. Lower densities of arthropods were observed on the cultive of transgenic soybeans with three applications of glyphosate compared to the other treatments, especially the predators Achaearanea sp. (Araneae: Theridiidae), Oxypodini sp. (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), Solenopsis spp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), the detritivorous Entomobryidae (Collembola), Hypogastrura sp. (Collembola: Hypogastruridae) and Xyleborus sp. (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). The results indicate that the insertion of the glyphosate resistant gene does not affect the richness and abundance of the arthropods, however the use of glyphosate reduce the densities of predators and detritivorous on the soil surface.

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