Pesticides reduce tropical amphibian and reptile diversity in agricultural landscapes in Indonesia

Thomas Cherico Wanger, Barry W. Brook, Theodore Evans, Teja Tscharntke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pesticide use on tropical crops has increased substantially in recent decades, posing a threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services. Amphibians and reptiles are common in tropical agricultural landscapes, but few field studies measure pesticide impacts on these taxa. Here we combine 1-year of correlative data with an experimental field approach from Indonesia. We show that while pesticide application cannot predict amphibian or reptile diversity patterns in cocoa plantations, our experimental exposure to herbicides and insecticides in vegetable gardens eliminated amphibians, whereas reptiles were less impacted by insecticide and not affected by herbicide exposure. The pesticide-driven loss of a common amphibian species known to be a pest-control agent (mainly invertebrate predation) suggests a strong indirect negative effect of pesticides on this service. We recommend landscape-based Integrated Pest Management and additional ecotoxicological studies on amphibians and reptiles to underpin a regulatory framework and to assure recognition and protection of their ecosystem services.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15046
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


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