In a 3-yr field experiment, possible effects of Bt transgenic cotton plants expressing cry1A(c) gene from Bacillus thrungiensis Berliner variety kurstaki on diversities of arthropod communities and pest and natural enemy sub-communities were assessed in insecticide treated and untreated cotton fields, as measured by the Shannon-Weaver diversity index. The treatments included: 1) nontransgenic cotton with no insecticide treatment (nontransgenic), 2) nontransgenic cotton with insecticide treatments (nontransgenic insecticide), 3) transgenic Bt-cotton with no insecticide treatment (Bt-cotton), and 4) transgenic Bt-cotton with insecticide treatments (Bt-cotton insecticide). The results indicated that Bt-cotton increased the diversity of arthropod communities and pest sub-communities; however, it decreased the diversities of natural enemy sub-communities. Insecticide treatments increased diversities of communities and sub-communities of arthropods in both transgenic Bt-cotton and nontransgenic cotton agroecosystems, but the increase may be an artifact of increased evenness through mortality of insecticide-targeted species.
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