Effects of genetically modified plants on soil ecosystems

Research reports | 01.04.2002 |

The influence of biotechnology is growing rapidly. The engineering of genetically modified plants (GMP) has increased in both the variety and number of GMPs produced in recent years. This has great potential for future agriculture, but asks for well-defined risk assessment as well. To date environmental risk assessments regarding the cultivation of GMPs have mainly addressed aboveground effects. However, plants are the primary source of energy to life, both above and below ground, and soils are the key essential functions of terrestrial ecosystems, such as support of plant growth, and nutrient recycling. This study has sought to identify soil functions or groups of micro-organisms that are most relevant for determining and monitoring effects of GMPs on terrestrial ecosystems.

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