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Author Topic:   The Silence of the Bugs
Tanypteryx
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Posts: 1690
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 1 of 14 (834073)
05-30-2018 2:34 AM


The Silence of the Bugs

A recent study in Germany found a surprising decline in insects that cannot be easily explained.

quote:
A study published last fall documented a 76 percent decline in the total seasonal biomass of flying insects netted at 63 locations in Germany over the last three decades. Losses in midsummer, when these insects are most numerous, exceeded 80 percent.

quote:
This alarming discovery, made by mostly amateur naturalists who make up the volunteer-run Entomological Society Krefeld, raised an obvious question: Was this happening elsewhere? Unfortunately, that question is hard to answer because of another problem: a global decline of field naturalists who study these phenomena.

In my own experience in the field I have not noticed a decline, but then that hasn't been something I was specifically paying attention to. I expect it to be a major topic of discussion at the meetings I'm attending this summer and the next few years it will provide grad students with potential research topics.

Generally, bugs don't get much attention from the public. If anything, they are considered an irritant and the less of them the better, but without them not just agriculture would completely collapse, but so would every terrestrial ecosystem.

quote:
The eminent biologist Edward O. Wilson, who has spent much of his life studying ants, has warned: “If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.”

Links and Information please.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Phat, posted 05-30-2018 2:39 AM Tanypteryx has responded
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AdminPhat
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Posts: 1875
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 2 of 14 (834075)
05-30-2018 2:36 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the The Silence of the Bugs thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Phat
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Posts: 10971
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 3 of 14 (834076)
05-30-2018 2:39 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tanypteryx
05-30-2018 2:34 AM


What Bugs Me
quote:
A study published last fall documented a 76 percent decline in the total seasonal biomass of flying insects netted at 63 locations in Germany over the last three decades. Losses in midsummer, when these insects are most numerous, exceeded 80 percent.
Now I just read the article in full. Looks like pesticides are the likely culprit, and coupled with a drought of naturalist students, the world could be headed for disaster from this alarming decline.

Edited by Phat, : just read article


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
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Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1690
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 4 of 14 (834078)
05-30-2018 3:14 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Phat
05-30-2018 2:39 AM


Re: What Bugs Me
Looks like pesticides are the likely culprit, and coupled with a drought of naturalist students, the world could be headed for disaster from this alarming decline.

I think it will turn out to be multiple human causes, but it will not be the same causes and at the same levels everywhere.

I haven't read the study yet, so I don't know which specific insect orders were included. I suspect that some insect groups will be affected way more than others and that may give us our best clues about what is happening.

My experience on my job was that certain groups of insect species have exploding populations and rapidly expanding ranges when they are introduced as exotic invasives. I do find it interesting and ironic that the pest insects seem to be the ones the evolve resistance to pesticides most readily, while the most beneficial insects perish. Both are the result of pesticide misuse and limited understanding of insect biology.

There are fewer and fewer insect taxonomists being trained and less and less funding for research programs. Now we have a Republican controlled government that is stifling all science.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Phat, posted 05-30-2018 2:39 AM Phat has not yet responded

    
frako
Member
Posts: 2778
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 5 of 14 (834081)
05-30-2018 4:44 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tanypteryx
05-30-2018 2:34 AM


In my own experience in the field I have not noticed a decline,

Um i did, but mostly because of butterflies, the pastures arround here used to be full of them, now your lucky to notice one. Cant be too sure since i haven't fished in a while with grasshoppers, but i think there are far fewer of them also. But as fare as pesticides and the like go my country is strict so there is probably another cause besides the obvious one pesticides.


Christianity, One woman's lie about an affair that got seriously out of hand

What are the Christians gonna do to me ..... Forgive me, good luck with that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Tanypteryx, posted 05-30-2018 2:34 AM Tanypteryx has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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ringo
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Posts: 14912
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 6 of 14 (834102)
05-30-2018 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by frako
05-30-2018 4:44 AM


frako writes:

... i haven't fished in a while with grasshoppers, but i think there are far fewer of them also.


A few years ago we had a plague of grasshoppers of almost Biblical proportions.

An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo

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Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1690
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 7 of 14 (834104)
05-30-2018 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by ringo
05-30-2018 3:33 PM


A few years ago we had a plague of grasshoppers of almost Biblical proportions.

Some species of grasshoppers go through cycles of population booms where they build up over several years until there is a year with truly stunning numbers and then a period of years of decline. They have a huge impact on agriculture in the boom years.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by ringo, posted 05-30-2018 3:33 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

    
frako
Member
Posts: 2778
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 8 of 14 (834140)
05-31-2018 3:50 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by ringo
05-30-2018 3:33 PM


Cause all your bats died off and no one is eating them. Though Tanypteryx is probably right.

Thing is we have no idea on how much a single species or its absence can effect the ecosystem until they do.

This docu shows the impact that a single species can have. Once the pollinating bugs are gone or to few we will probably have only one course of action left to us. That is to bend over tuck our hed between our knees and kiss our ass goodbye.


Christianity, One woman's lie about an affair that got seriously out of hand

What are the Christians gonna do to me ..... Forgive me, good luck with that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by ringo, posted 05-30-2018 3:33 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2763
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


Message 9 of 14 (834171)
05-31-2018 4:32 PM


I use to think that perhaps now that I am an adult; I simply do not pay attention to insects like I use to. But no...I think there are less bugs about. I do not see fire flies any longer, I mean it has been probably decades since I seen them dotting the woods of Central Texas nights. Another insect I have not seen for many many years is the large red ants...or large black ants. I mean the really big ones that made tremendous mounds. I would crawl on to a mound and observe them go about their business and believe it or not they would not attack me as long as I did not start molesting them. It may be the imported fire ant has displaced them. Heaven help you if you accidentally crawl onto one of their mounds.

I do not see the really big electric green flies any longer. Sure I see the boring normal house flies but them big green ones with the red eyes where cool!! I haven't seen a bumble bee for some years either. I miss the great big green and blue June bugs we called them. As kids we would tie ones legs with a piece of thread secured by a shirt button like mini flying pets. Of course this was learned from older more sadistic kids.
I will keep a look out for them. Happy bug hunting!!


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

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Tangle
Member
Posts: 5972
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 10 of 14 (834173)
05-31-2018 4:54 PM


If it's any consolation I went fishing yesterday and watched several species of damsels and dragon flies doing their thing. They don't appear to be very endagered where I live. I hadn't seen this guy before or even heard of 'chasers' but there were hundreds darting around the lake.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


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frako
Member
Posts: 2778
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 11 of 14 (834204)
06-01-2018 7:00 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by 1.61803
05-31-2018 4:32 PM


I do not see fire flies any longer,

Definitvely they have gotten so rare i forgot about them. I even the remember the last time i saw 2. it was more then a year ago, and there used to be swarms of them.


Christianity, One woman's lie about an affair that got seriously out of hand

What are the Christians gonna do to me ..... Forgive me, good luck with that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by 1.61803, posted 05-31-2018 4:32 PM 1.61803 has not yet responded

    
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1690
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 12 of 14 (834209)
06-01-2018 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by frako
05-31-2018 3:50 AM


Thing is we have no idea on how much a single species or its absence can effect the ecosystem until they do.

This is true, although we have more knowledge about larger animals like wolves, bears, or big horned sheep and can make some predictions based on what we see where they still survive and where they have been eradicated.

Most insect species have not been studied so we have little knowledge of their function within their ecosystem.

Introduction of single species of insects can happen accidentally more easily with insects and can have devastating impact.

Dendroctonus ponderosae, the Mountain Pine Beetle is causing heavy damage to forests throughout the Rocky Mountain region.

Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic

There are hundreds of species of bark beetles some which infect the trees with a fungus that is as deadly for the trees as the beetles themselves.

Another species, Halyomorpha halys, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, attacks numerous fruits and vegetables and is very hard to control.

Brown marmorated stink bug

I worked on projects to study these species along with many others. In the case of Halymorpha we found several species of parasitoid wasps that may ultimately control them but we will probably never be able to eradicate them.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by frako, posted 05-31-2018 3:50 AM frako has not yet responded

    
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1690
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 13 of 14 (834210)
06-01-2018 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by 1.61803
05-31-2018 4:32 PM


I do not see fire flies any longer, I mean it has been probably decades since I seen them dotting the woods of Central Texas nights.

I have been lucky enough to see fireflies (actually a beetle). We don't have them in Oregon. Some of the places I go looking for dragonflies still seem to have lots of fireflies. One of the magical things about summer evenings.

We are already seeing some insect species and plants they eat or pollinate get out of sync in their development. Climate change has caused plants to bloom when the pollinators adult stages have not yet emerged or adult insects are ready to lay eggs before their host plant is at a stage to provide food for larvae. What impact these changes will have for tens of thousands of species of insects and thousands of species of plants is completely unknown.

The number of scientists qualified to study these things is rapidly dwindling and in the U. S. they are being forced out of the governmental agencies that have been historically tasked with protecting our forests and agriculture.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by 1.61803, posted 05-31-2018 4:32 PM 1.61803 has not yet responded

    
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1690
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 14 of 14 (834214)
06-01-2018 11:52 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Tangle
05-31-2018 4:54 PM


I hadn't seen this guy before or even heard of 'chasers' but there were hundreds darting around the lake.

Cool, Libellula depressa.

If it's any consolation I went fishing yesterday and watched several species of damsels and dragon flies doing their thing. They don't appear to be very endagered where I live.

In general, dragonflies seem to be doing pretty well. Habitat destruction has the most negative impact on them. Chemical pesticides sprayed on aquatic areas can kill them, but one of the newer techniques using Bti for Mosquito Control is more directly targeting mosquitoes and does not affect the dragonfly nymphs even if they eat the mosquito larvae.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Tangle, posted 05-31-2018 4:54 PM Tangle has not yet responded

    
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