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Genetically Engineered Organisms, Wildlife, and Habitat: A Workshop Summary GENETICALLY ENGINEERED Organisms, Wildlife, and Habitat A WORKSHOP SUMMARY Paula Tarnapol Whitacre, Rapporteur Planning Committee for the Workshop on Research to Improve the Evaluation of the Impacts of Genetically Engineered Organisms on Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife and Habitats Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Genetically Engineered Organisms, Wildlife, and Habitat: A Workshop Summary THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey Grant Number 07HQGR0005 in collaboration with the National Academy of Sciences. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Government. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-12085-2 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-12085-3 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Suggested citation: National Research Council. 2008. Genetically Engineered Organisms, Wildlife, and Habitat: A Workshop Summary. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.
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Genetically Engineered Organisms, Wildlife, and Habitat: A Workshop Summary THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Genetically Engineered Organisms, Wildlife, and Habitat: A Workshop Summary PLANNING COMMITTEE FOR THE WORKSHOP ON RESEARCH TO IMPROVE THE EVALUATION OF THE IMPACTS OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED ORGANISMS ON TERRESTRIAL AND AQUATIC WILDLIFE AND HABITATS ANNE R. KAPUSCINSKI, Chair, University of Minnesota, St. Paul NORMAN C. ELLSTRAND, University of California, Riverside GUY R. KNUDSEN, University of Idaho, Moscow MICHELLE A. MARVIER, Santa Clara University, California ALISON G. POWER, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York STEVEN H. STRAUSS, Oregon State University, Corvallis BRUCE E. TABASHNIK, University of Arizona, Tucson L. LAREESA WOLFENBARGER, University of Nebraska at Omaha Staff ROBIN SCHOEN, Director, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources SUSAN PARK, Program Officer, Ocean Studies Board KAREN L. IMHOF, Administrative Assistant NANCY CAPUTO, Research Associate, Ocean Studies Board
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Genetically Engineered Organisms, Wildlife, and Habitat: A Workshop Summary BOARD ON AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES W. REG GOMES, Chair, University of California (Emeritus), Oakland ROGER N. BEACHY, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri H.H. CHENG, University of Minnesota (Emeritus), St. Paul DANIEL M. DOOLEY, University of California, Oakland JOAN H. EISEMANN, North Carolina State University, Raleigh KIRK C. KLASING, University of California, Davis VICTOR L. LECHTENBERG, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana ROBERT PAARLBERG, Wellesley College, Watertown, Massachusetts KEITH PITTS, Curragh Oaks Consulting, Fair Oaks, California PEDRO SANCHEZ, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, Palisades, New York HAL SALWASSER, Oregon State University, Corvallis NORMAN R. SCOTT, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York Staff ROBIN A. SCHOEN, Director KAREN L. IMHOF, Administrative Assistant EVONNE P.Y. TANG, Senior Program Officer AUSTIN J. LEWIS, Program Officer CAMILLA YANDOC ABLES, Associate Program Officer KARA N. LANEY, Associate Program Officer PEGGY TSAI, Associate Program Officer RUTH S. ARIETI, Research Associate JANET M. MULLIGAN, Research Associate KAMWETI MUTU, Research Associate ERIN P. MULCAHY, Program Assistant
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Genetically Engineered Organisms, Wildlife, and Habitat: A Workshop Summary Preface Great advances have been made in the development and application of genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) since the first commercial introduction of transgenic corn plants in 1995. These technologies have provided enormous benefits to agricultural crop production and have the potential to transform fields such as aquaculture, biofuel production, bioremediation, biocontrol, and even the production of pharmaceuticals. However, biotechnology is not without risk and continues to be an extremely controversial topic. Chief among the concerns is the potential ecological effects of GEOs that interact with wildlife and habitats. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is charged with providing scientific advice to inform federal agencies that manage natural habitats and wildlife. USGS has identified biotechnology and bioengineering as one of their major challenges for future research. Seeing an opportunity to get ahead of the problem, Kay Briggs and Robert Szaro of the Biological Resources Discipline of USGS approached the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources of the National Research Council (NRC) to organize a two-day workshop to identify research activities with the greatest potential to provide the information needed to assess the ecological effects of GEOs on wildlife and habitats. It was particularly exciting that the workshop was designed to approach the research questions from a habitat, rather than transgenic organism, perspective. An eight-member steering committee met once in person and several times by telephone to organize the workshop. The committee worked
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Genetically Engineered Organisms, Wildlife, and Habitat: A Workshop Summary very hard over a short period of time to develop an ambitious agenda and recruit an extraordinary list of presenters and participants. It was a true pleasure to work with this group of experts; the members came with diverse perspectives and backgrounds and their thoughtful contributions to the planning process resulted in a very successful workshop. The committee acknowledges the work of Paula Tarnapol Whitacre for attending and faithfully summarizing the events of the workshop in this summary. The committee is also grateful for the support of the NRC staff: Robin Schoen, Susan Park, Nancy Caputo, and Karen Imhof. Anne Kapuscinski, Chair Planning Committee for the Workshop on Research to Improve the Evaluation of the Impacts of Genetically Engineered Organisms on Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife and Habitats
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Genetically Engineered Organisms, Wildlife, and Habitat: A Workshop Summary Acknowledgments This report is a summary of a workshop convened by the National Research Council (NRC) to identify research that could improve the understanding of environmental effects of genetically engineered organisms on natural habitats and the wildlife within those habitats. The workshop would not have become a reality without the support of the Biological Resource Discipline (BRD) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Kay Briggs, Coordinator for BRD’s work in Conservation Biology and Genetics, was the initial catalyst for the workshop. Bob Szaro, Chief Scientist for Biology, and Sue Haseltine, Associate Director for Biology at USGS, identified funding within the agency to support the meeting. We thank our colleagues who served on the planning committee, each of whom brought deep and varied expertise to the process of planning the workshop. Their knowledge and perspectives on a diversity of genetically engineered organisms and ecosystems were critical to the success of the meeting. Although the planning committee designed the workshop, they did not participate in writing this report. That was ably accomplished by Paula T. Whitacre, who attended the workshop and prepared this summary using presentation materials, tapes of the plenary sessions, and the copious notes she took throughout the meeting. We are grateful to the individuals who made presentations at the workshop that set the stage for the group discussions, and we are appreciative to all of the individuals who attended and participated in the working groups. A few of them were also asked to serve as reviewers of the report. They were chosen, along with one individual who was not in attendance,
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Genetically Engineered Organisms, Wildlife, and Habitat: A Workshop Summary for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making sure the published report is as sound as possible, and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards of objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following for their review of this report: Meredith Bartron, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service David Harry, Oregon State University Richard Hellmich, Iowa State University Allison Snow, Ohio State University L. LaReesa Wolfenbarger, University of Nebraska, Omaha Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the workshop summary nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Michael T. Clegg, University of California, Irvine. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the author and the institution.
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Genetically Engineered Organisms, Wildlife, and Habitat: A Workshop Summary Contents 1 SETTING THE STAGE 1 Potential Traits and Effects, 2 Federal Responsibilities, 4 Workshop Purpose and Organization, 5 2 CURRENT RESEARCH: WHAT IS KNOWN AND WHAT ARE THE GAPS? 9 Status of Research on Effects of GEOs on Wildlife and Terrestrial and Aquatic Habitats, 9 Fundamental and Crosscutting Research for Assessing Ecological Effects of GEOs, 24 3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS, APPROACHES, PROJECTS, AND NEEDS 33 Agriculture/Wildland Interface, 34 Silviculture/Wild Forest Interface, 42 Aquaculture/Aquatic Habitat Interface, 45 4 CONCLUDING THOUGHTS 49 REFERENCES 53
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Genetically Engineered Organisms, Wildlife, and Habitat: A Workshop Summary APPENDIXES A Agenda 57 B Participant Biosketches 61 TABLES, FIGURES, AND BOXES Tables 2-1 Research on Factors That Contribute to Invasiveness, and Their Potential Application to the Study of GEOs, 26 2-2 Research of Effects of Invasions and Potential Parallels to GEOs, 27 Figures 2-1 Variables That May Affect Gene Flow and Persistence in the Environment, 28 Boxes 1-1 Genetically Engineered Traits in Experimental Development, 3 1-2 Statement of Task, 6 2-1 UK Farm Scale Evaluation: GE Crops at a Landscape Level, 11 2-2 About FACE, 16 2-3 NEON: New Technologies to Understand Ecological Consequences, 20 3-1 Summary of Research Proposals Identified by Breakout Groups, 34