Preliminary selection of non-target Lepidoptera species forecological risk assessment of Bt canola in Sicily


Abstract: It is essential to assess the environmental risk that Bt canola resistant to Lepidopteranpests may hold and to study its effect on species assemblages that fulfil a variety of ecosystemfunctions. Environmental risk assessment can be improved through the use of an ecologicalmodel which can be applied to a specific environment, so that local species can be classifiedfunctionally and prioritized to identify potential test species. Several other Lepidoptera speciesare also directly exposed to Bt toxin. In this paper an ecological approach was followed forselection of non-target Lepidoptera species for ecological risk assessment of Bt canola in Sicily,using data collected over a one-year period on Lepidoptera biodiversity on different habitats.Non-target Lepidoptera most likely to be affected were identified and prioritized for futuretesting and inclusion in risk assessments. Through use of the selection matrix, knowledge gapswere identified for future research and guidance for the design of ecologically realisticexperiments.

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