Insect decline

Today post is not news, rather a new piece of evidence regarding #insect decline. I perfectly understand that bad news coming from everywhere can be overwhelming: water, land and air contamination, biodiversity loss, climate change and so on. But despite all the evidence, a lot of people still deny the facts. My goal here is not to depress you, but to motivate you to take local actions for a global change.

Insects and other #invertebrates, are key in land ecosystems in terms of biodiversity, number and functions. They are pollinators, recyclers, they control other populations, they are pivotal in food webs… In 2017, a study made over 27 years, told us about the loss of 75% of insect biomass in Germany. In October of this year, a new study shows similar tendency, and this time also gave some clues about what has been going on with biodiversity over the past 9 years (also in Germany). They found that in grasslands, biomass, abundance and number of species have declined by 67%, 78% and 34%, respectively. In the 30 sampled forests, biomass and species number—but not abundance—decreased by 41% and 36%, respectively. This massive decline in insect diversity and abundance implies ecosystem services are jeopardized and a direct economic cost through reduction in agriculture production. In addition, the study points to land-use intensification as a major driver of decreasing #biodiversity.

We don’t have such exhaustive research worldwide, but more “modest” studies do exist in other regions and even when the numbers can be different, the tendency is there. What is the situation in your country?

We need more of these studies to understand the situation, to find the most important factors that affect them and to take informed decisions, since ignorance is not only dangerous, it is expensive.  


doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1684-3

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185809

doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-03241-9