Higher-tier Multi-species Studies in Soil: Prospects and Applications for the Environmental Risk Assessment of Pesticides
Agricultural soils provide a multitude of ecosystem services enabling safe and efficient crop production. These services depend on a good ecological status comprising the typical biodiversity of communities of soil organisms. The process of pesticide registration involves an Environmental Risk Assessment to ensure that the general protection of ‘biodiversity’ is achieved. The description of the specific risks to non-target soil communities requires advanced methods in a tiered approach, proposed to be ‘multispecies higher-tier’ test systems at the semi-field level. A well-described and -understood test system could serve as a surrogate reference tier for the calibration of the risk assessment of pesticides.