Review: Environmental risk assessment of pesticides in tropical terrestrial ecosystems

Despite the increasing use of pesticides in tropical countries, research and legislative efforts have focused on their temperate counterparts. In the present publication, the literature on environmental risk assessment of pesticides in tropical terrestrial ecosystems is reviewed. Potential differences in pesticide risks between temperate and tropical regions are evaluated, and research needs for tropical regions are highlighted. Specific risks of pesticides in tropical terrestrial agroecosystems are discussed. The intensive and often inadequate pesticide application practices in tropical areas are likely to result in a greater pesticide exposure, e.g. in edge-of-field water bodies. Since pesticide fate may be different under tropical conditions, tropical scenarios for models estimating predicted environmental pesticide concentrations should be developed. Sensitivity comparisons do not indicate a consistent similar, greater or lower sensitivity of tropical soil organisms as compared to temperate organisms. Methods and procedures for application in the tropics need to be developed. Important issues are (1) the identification and collection of natural soils to be used as reference test substrates, (2) the identification of the range of sensitivity of native tropical test species to soil contaminants, (3) the development of test guidelines applicable to tropical and subtropical conditions, and (4) the development of methods and procedures for higher tier testing for implementation in environmental risk assessment schemes.

For additional information, see the publication in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety:

Daam, M.A., Chelinho, S., Niemeyer, J.C., Owojori, O.J., De Silva, P.M.C.S., Sousa, J.P., van Gestel, C.A.M., Römbke, J. (2019). Environmental risk assessment of pesticides in tropical terrestrial ecosystems: test procedures, current status and future perspectives. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 181, 534-547.

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