Effects of transgenic cry1Ie maize on non-lepidopteran pest abundance, diversity and community composition
Non-lepidopteran pests are exposed to, and may be influenced by, Bt toxins when feeding on Bt maize that express insecticidal Cry proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). In order to assess the potential effects of transgenic cry1Ie maize on non-lepidopteran pest species and ecological communities, a 2-year field study was conducted to compare the non-lepidopteran pest abundance, diversity and community composition between transgenic cry1Ie maize (Event IE09S034, Bt maize) and its near isoline (Zong 31, non-Bt maize) by whole plant inspections. Results showed that Bt maize had no effects on non-lepidopteran pest abundance and diversity (Shannon–Wiener diversity index, Simpson’s diversity index, species richness, and Pielou’s index). There was a significant effect of year and sampling time on those indices analyzed. Redundancy analysis indicated maize type, sampling time and year totally explained 20.43 % of the variance in the non-lepidopteran pest community composition, but no association was presented between maize type (Bt maize and non-Bt maize) and the variance. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis showed that sampling time and year, rather than maize type had close relationship with the non-lepidopteran pest community composition. These results corroborated the hypothesis that, at least in the short-term, the transgenic cry1Ie maize had negligible effects on the non-lepidopteran pest abundance, diversity and community composition.