A tale of springtails, climate and neonicotinoids to be told within the next four years
Will investigate how climate change modulates the effect of imidacloprid - one of the recently EU-banned pesticides - on springtails.
The MULTICLIM research project will focus on the complex question of how springtails (Collembola) deal with multiple stressors. The project has been funded by the RCN for four years.
Springtails are small invertebrates associated with decomposition and nutrient turnover in soil, found in virtually all terrestrial habitats. Tough as they are, populations of the same species can be found from high Arctic to temperate areas.
But no species can live everywhere, and springtails' Achilles heal is drought tolerance: Most species depend on available pockets with high moisture in their habitats. To find out more about their stress tolerance, we will investigate the drought tolerance of two springtail species at different temperatures and estimate changes in life history traits.
Unfortunately, anthropogenic toxicants are present in all environments. These toxicants will inevitably affect the springtails directly, and thus decomposition and nutrient turnover indirectly.
In this research group, effects of neonicotionoids on birds, bumblebees and springtails has been in focus in recent years. These pesticides are still in use, despite the increasing knowledge of their harmful side-effects for beneficiary invertebrates.
But what does actually happen when neonicotinoids are combined with other stressors such as a changing climate? This is hardly known, and this is what the current project seeks to illuminate by use of springtails as model organism.