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Biodiversité dans l’Anthropocène : Dynamique, fonction et Gestion | EE33

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Nouvel article dans Environmental Pollution

Feeding on grains containing pesticide residues is detrimental to offspring development through parental effects in grey partridge
Agathe Gaffard, Olivier Pays, Karine Monceau, Maria Teixeira, Vincent Bretagnolle, Jérôme Moreau

DOI : 

Abstract : Numerous toxicological studies have shown that ingestion of pesticides can induce physiological stress in breeding birds, with adverse consequences on egg laying parameters and offspring quality through parental effects. However, previous studies do not mimic current levels of pesticide residues in typical landscapes, and they do not consider potential cocktail effects of pesticides as they occur in the wild. Herein, we explored whether realistic pesticide exposure affected reproduction parameters and offspring condition through parental effects in Grey partridge. We fed 24 breeding pairs with either seeds from conventional agriculture crops treated with various pesticides during cropping, or organic grains without pesticide residues as controls. The conventional and organic grain diets mimicked food options potentially encountered by wild birds in the field. The results showed that ingesting low pesticide doses over a long period had consequences on reproduction and offspring quality without altering mortality in parents or chicks. Compared with organic pairs, conventional pairs yielded smaller chicks at hatching that had a lower body mass index at 24 days old. Additionally, these chicks displayed lower haematocrit when body mass index was higher. Therefore, ingestion of conventional grains by parents resulted in chronic exposure to pesticide residues, even at low doses, and this had detrimental consequences on offspring. These results demonstrate a sublethal effect of pesticide residues through parental effects. The consequences of parental exposure on chicks might partly explain the decline in wild Grey partridge populations, which raises questions for avian conservation and demography if current agrosystem approaches are continued.