Newer characters, same story: neonicotinoid insecticides disrupt food webs through direct and indirect effects

John F. Tooker, Kirsten A. Pearsons

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


During the Green Revolution, older classes of insecticides contributed to biodiversity loss by decreasing insect populations and bioaccumulating across food webs. Introduction of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) improved stewardship of insecticides and promised fewer non-target effects. IPM adoption has waned in recent decades, and popularity of newer classes of insecticides, like the neonicotinoids, has surged, posing new and unique threats to insect populations. In this review, we first address how older classes of insecticides can affect trophic interactions, and then consider the influence of neonicotinoids on food webs and the role they may be playing in insect declines. We conclude by discussing challenges posed by current use patterns of neonicotinoids and how their risk can be addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

Cite this