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Non-target plants are defined as non-crop plants outside the treatment area. Non-target plants are primary producers supporting organisms at higher trophic levels. These supporting services include primary production, habitat provision and food for other trophic levels. Since it is known that phytotoxic effects may occur for products other than herbicides, some level of testing of all active constituents is necessary, unless it can be shown that exposure will not occur.
The general protection goal is to protect biodiversity and ecosystems. The protection goal for higher terrestrial plants aims to protect both plant species abundance (eg numbers and/or cover of individuals for single species) and plant diversity in an agricultural area (EFSA 2014). It is assumed that the biodiversity is maintained when the plant populations will not be affected by the use of pesticide product.