Having a weed-free rice field is ideal, but not at the expense of nature. IRRI, through the Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia with Reduced Environmental Footprints (CORIGAP) project, continues to do cutting-edge research to boost rice productivity while safeguarding environmental health.
According to Molly Shuman-Goodier, a CORIGAP-supported PhD student from the Northern Arizona University, amphibians species, such as frogs, contribute a number of beneficial ecosystem services to wetlands and irrigated rice fields. However, the application of herbicides like butchalor, which is used extensively in rice fields in Southeast Asia, affect the amphibians’ reproductive and developmental cycles.
“We would like to find out whether the application of the herbicide affect the growth and thyroid physiology of the cane toads, at what stage it is mostly affected, and to test the degree to which tadpoles can acclimatize to sub-lethal herbicide exposure,” Molly says.