Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (4): 419-432.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018316

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of transgenic maize on arthropod diversity

Ma Yanjie1,He Haopeng1,Shen Wenjing2,Liu Biao2,*(),Xue Kun1,2,*()   

  1. 1 College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Minzu University of China, Beijing 100081
    2 Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Nanjing 210042
  • Received:2018-11-23 Accepted:2019-02-28 Online:2019-04-20 Published:2019-06-05
  • Contact: Liu Biao,Xue Kun


The species and numbers of arthropods in fields of transgenic herbicide-tolerant (EPSPS) and insect-resistant (Cry1Ab) maize DBN9936, receptor maize DBN318, conventional maize Xianyu 335, and spraying herbicide transformant DBN9936, were investigated to assess the effect of genetically modified maize on the arthropod communities. Direct observations, pit-fall trapping and longitudinal section methods were used to investigate the field arthropod species in 2015 and 2017. A cluster analysis and species accumulation curves, as well as the Margalef richness index, Shannon-Wiener index and Simpson index, Pielou evenness index, dominant concentration index, community similarity index, were calculated and compared. The recorded arthropod species belonged to 20 orders and 80 families. The number of Lepidopteron insects in the fields of herbicide-free transformant DBN9936 (2015: 10.3 ± 2.6, 2017: 3.3 ± 1.7) and transformant DBN9936 spraying herbicides (2015: 6.0 ± 1.5, 2017: 17.0 ± 0.6) were significantly lower than the corresponding parameters of receptor DBN318 (2015: 20.0 ± 3.2, 2017: 24.0 ± 6.0) and Xianyu 335 (2015: 21.0 ± 8.9, 2017: 26.7 ± 2.0). The species accumulation curves show a typical parabola and there was little difference in the overall species richness. There were no significant differences in the total number of arthropods, functional group composition, richness, diversity, evenness and dominant concentration in the maize fields and there was a high similarity between the arthropods communities. The dynamic of the richness index, diversity index, evenness index, dominant concentration index and community similarity index of those arthropods in the maize fields tended to be consistent. Transformant DBN9936 has obvious resistance to Lepidopteron insects and has no significant negative effects on non-target arthropods. The results suggest that the transformant DBN9936 maize has no significant effect on community richness, diversity, evenness and dominance concentration of arthropods in the fields.

Key words: genetically modified maize, biodiversity, arthropods, diversity index, biosafety