In the early fifties, governments and the forest industry teamed up in New Brunswick to launch a massive aerial assault against spruce bud worms.
The pests had probably been eating their way through conifer stands in eastern Canada and the U.S. for thousands of years. But now, they were causing hundreds of millions of dollars of damage yearly to forests of mostly spruce and fir, highly valued by a growing human population.
By 1968, almost six million kilograms of DDT had been unleashed on the worms. The area treated, varied widely from year to year - from about 80 thousand hectares to two million. Some years, the same area was treated once - others, twice.
“Budworm City,” established in the early 1950s and used
as a base for DDT spray operations in northern
New Brunswick. Photo credit: D.C. Anderson.
But not before copious amounts had washed off the land and settled into the water directly from the air.
L. to r. Environmental Scientist and lead author Dr Josh Kurek,
study co-author Sarah Veinot, field assistant Marley Caddell, and study
co-author Paul MacKeigan at a remote New Brunswick lake.
The study's lead author, Dr. Joshua Kurek, tells PinP, "Just to be clear, the loss/reduction of Daphnia is a concern, as Daphnia eat algae and are also food for fish. Fewer Daphnia mean less food for fish (and other organisms). It also means less grazing pressure on algae. It's very difficult to quantify. But other studies do show more algae (and blooms of algae), when Daphnia are fewer in lakes."
|A swift, as depicted in|
Bird Craft - 1897.
- Read another version here.
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