Many farmers rely on regular pesticide applications to avoid losses from arthropod pests and the diseases they vector. However, widespread and injudicious use of pesticides is detrimental to the environment, poses a health risk, and undermines biocontrol services. Researchers are increasingly required to develop techniques to quantify the trade-offs and risks associated with pesticides. Laboratory studies, though useful for assessing short-term impacts (e.g., mortality), cannot detect longer-term or indirect effects that can potentially be assessed using semifield studies. Here we review the range and scope of studies that have used semifield methods for regulatory testing and risk assessment of pesticides and for understanding the community-level effects of pesticide use in agricultural landscapes. We include studies on target and nontarget species, with an emphasis on quantifying effects when the target species is highly mobile. We suggest improvements in the design and analysis of semifield studies to more effectively assess effects on highly mobile species.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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