Predictions of Biodiversity Response to Genetically Modified Herbicide-Tolerant Crops

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Science  01 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5484, pp. 1554-1557
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5484.1554

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We simulated the effects of the introduction of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) crops on weed populations and the consequences for seed-eating birds. We predict that weed populations might be reduced to low levels or practically eradicated, depending on the exact form of management. Consequent effects on the local use of fields by birds might be severe, because such reductions represent a major loss of food resources. The regional impacts of GMHT crops are shown to depend on whether the adoption of GMHT crops by farmers covaries with current weed levels.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: a.watkinson{at}

  • Present address: Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.

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