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Alarming decline in flying insects

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Alarming decline in flying insects

Post Neon Knight on Tue 24 Oct - 21:12

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-41670472 Selected quoting:

Scientists have long suspected that insects are in dramatic decline, but new evidence confirms this. Research at more than 60 protected areas in Germany suggests flying insects have declined by more than 75% over almost 30 years. And the causes are unknown.

The study is based on measurements of the biomass of all insects trapped at 63 nature protection areas in Germany over 27 years since 1989. The data includes thousands of different insects, such as bees, butterflies and moths.

Scientists say the dramatic decline was seen regardless of habitat, land use and the weather, leaving them at a loss to explain what was behind it. They stressed the importance of adopting measures known to be beneficial for insects, including strips of flowers around farmland and minimising the effects of intensive agriculture. And they said there was an urgent need to uncover the causes and extent of the decline in all airborne insects.

The loss of insects has far-reaching consequences for entire ecosystems. Insects provide a food source for many birds, amphibians, bats and reptiles, while plants rely on insects for pollination. The decline is more severe than found in previous studies.

Dr Lynn Dicks, from the University of East Anglia, UK, who is not connected with the study, said the paper provides new evidence for "an alarming decline" that many entomologists have suspected for some time. "If total flying insect biomass is genuinely declining at this rate (around 6% per year), it is extremely concerning," she said. "Flying insects have really important ecological functions, for which their numbers matter a lot."

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Re: Alarming decline in flying insects

Post Aëlwenn on Tue 24 Oct - 22:44

Very sad and alarming. And UE want to continue with glyphosate...
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Re: Alarming decline in flying insects

Post Sary on Thu 26 Oct - 23:12

It is debatable what is causing the decline of flying insects,it could be something man made like pesticides or global warming. Nobody is really sure .

What ever the case,we can not sit back and watch it happen. Honey bees in particular play an important role in our ecosystem. It gives me hope ,that scientists are making progress on some sort of solution,even though it is a bit creepy.

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Re: Alarming decline in flying insects

Post de Burgh on Fri 27 Oct - 16:40

Its a pity because such imbalances in nature will have a direct consequence on the world around us. Which is why its good that such dire situations are being monitored as it should be; to help ensure nature's stability/preservation one step at a time! :-P

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'The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piercing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age. [...]'
˜ H.P. Lovecraft
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Re: Alarming decline in flying insects

Post Neon Knight on Fri 27 Oct - 23:17

I'm not fan of insects, flying or crawling, but obviously many of them are important for ecosystems. It seems we are relying upon science to solve our environmental problems in future because most of us are not willing to give up our consumer lifestyles, or even to moderate them. It is quite a gamble.

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Re: Alarming decline in flying insects

Post de Burgh on Sat 28 Oct - 19:30

@Neon Knight wrote:I'm not fan of insects, flying or crawling, but obviously many of them are important for ecosystems. It seems we are relying upon science to solve our environmental problems in future because most of us are not willing to give up our consumer lifestyles, or even to moderate them. It is quite a gamble.

Nicely said! :-P
This part is very true for modern day lifestyles. This is merely a byproduct of capitalism, globalized markets and highly technological societies where convenience is the utmost virtue. Where our conveniences weigh more in importance at nature's expense. Not to sound gloomy and all (lol :-P), but it is simply human nature. We are innately overly-hedonistic and selfish by nature.

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'The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piercing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age. [...]'
˜ H.P. Lovecraft
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