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75 percent decline in flying insect biomass

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arirish View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 19 2017 at 7:00am
More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas

Abstract

Global declines in insects have sparked wide interest among scientists, politicians, and the general public. Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and to jeopardize ecosystem services. Our understanding of the extent and underlying causes of this decline is based on the abundance of single species or taxonomic groups only, rather than changes in insect biomass which is more relevant for ecological functioning. Here, we used a standardized protocol to measure total insect biomass using Malaise traps, deployed over 27 years in 63 nature protection areas in Germany (96 unique location-year combinations) to infer on the status and trend of local entomofauna. Our analysis estimates a seasonal decline of 76%, and mid-summer decline of 82% in flying insect biomass over the 27 years of study. We show that this decline is apparent regardless of habitat type, while changes in weather, land use, and habitat characteristics cannot explain this overall decline. This yet unrecognized loss of insect biomass must be taken into account in evaluating declines in abundance of species depending on insects as a food source, and ecosystem functioning in the European landscape.

for complete study see:http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0185809
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 19 2017 at 9:36pm
Thanks!  I was just writing to someone about the marked reduction in insects in Illinois over the past decade or so. 

Fireflies have been almost non-existent, although we had a comeback of sorts this past summer.  Grasshoppers and other similar insects are almost not to be found, and they were very common when I was young in the 1960s.  

Probably a combination of GMO grain like Starlink, widespread use and bioaccumulation of pesticides, and climate change is responsible.  

Not a good sign. 
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