From: Oregon, USA
Member Rating: 6.9
Message 1 of 2 (834072)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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