Suitable and relevant species must be selected for studies assessing the risk posed by GM plants, pesticides or biological control organisms for beneficials. We are currently developing a database to support the European arthropod species selection process.
To be able to assess the potential risk posed by novel genetically modified (GM) plants, a pesticide, or a biological control agent for beneficial species in Europe, knowledge on the most important species occurring in the respective crop is needed. Abundance and geographical distribution of the species are therefore of decisive importance.
As part of a project commissioned by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), we are developing a database with information on arthropods in European cereals, maize, oilseed rape, potato, beet, cotton, soya, and rice crops. The database also contains information on arthropods in field margins. This database can be an important instrument for risk assessment, by providing a scientific rationale for the identification of relevant species, and the selection of species for laboratory and field studies and post-market monitoring during cultivation.