The agenda for the seminar is listed below.

Speaker: Xueke Lu

Title: Food webs from Genetically Modified crops preserve their structural and functional rigidity

Genetically modified (GM) crops have been recognized to contain potential risks to the agricultural ecosystem’s sustainability. Traditional analysis tend to focus on focal species traits while ignoring the influence from species interactions in the ecosystem. Recent agricultural food web analysis lacks a replication in empirical data, which may lead to inaccurate estimation of the potential impact. Here we used genetically-modified herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) crops to conduct a large-scale comparison of food web responses to different management regimes and different crop types in 502 sites across UK. We found that GMHT crops did not differ significantly in terms of food web structure and network robustness from their conventional counterparts. In contrast, switching crops had overwhelmingly stronger impact on structure. Our approach highlights the limitations of current autecological assessments in agriculture in which potential compensatory effects, via species interactions within food webs, are overlooked. The system-level evaluations applied here complement existing approaches and help guide future agricultural food web analysis.

For more details, please go to the link​

Venue: Eng. 216

Time and Date: 2 to 3 PM, Wednesday, 27/01/16.

Any comments, advice would be appreciated.

2016 Jan 27th — Xueke Lu