Environ. Biosafety Res.
Volume 3, Number 1, January-March 2004
|Page(s)||55 - 66|
|Published online||15 March 2004|
Monitoring the impact of Bt maize on butterflies in the field: estimation of required sample sizes
Bavarian State Research Centre for Agriculture, Institute of Plant Protection, Lange Point 10, 85354 Freising, Germany
Corresponding author: Andreas.Lang@LfL.bayern.de
The monitoring of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) after deliberate release is important in order to assess and evaluate possible environmental effects. Concerns have been raised that the transgenic crop, Bt maize, may affect butterflies occurring in field margins. Therefore, a monitoring of butterflies was suggested accompanying the commercial cultivation of Bt maize. In this study, baseline data on the butterfly species and their abundance in maize field margins is presented together with implications for butterfly monitoring. The study was conducted in Bavaria, South Germany, between 2000–2002. A total of 33 butterfly species was recorded in field margins. A small number of species dominated the community, and butterflies observed were mostly common species. Observation duration was the most important factor influencing the monitoring results. Field margin size affected the butterfly abundance, and habitat diversity had a tendency to influence species richness. Sample size and statistical power analyses indicated that a sample size in the range of 75 to 150 field margins for treatment (transgenic maize) and control (conventional maize) would detect (power of 80%) effects larger than 15% in species richness and the butterfly abundance pooled across species. However, a much higher number of field margins must be sampled in order to achieve a higher statistical power, to detect smaller effects, and to monitor single butterfly species.
Key words: Lepidoptera / abundance / species richness / field margins / genetically modified organisms / transgenic crop / Bacillus thuringiensis / surveillance / monitoring / non-target effects / sample size calculation / statistical power analysis
© ISBR, EDP Sciences, 2004