The Insect Problem
The windshield phenomenon: a shorthand used by entomologists to describe the observation people make of having fewer insects stuck to their windshield after a drive, of seeing fewer insects flying about under streetlights at night, of swallowing less insects while making a summer bike ride.
Insect groups are struggling. In Germany, scientists reported a decline in the biomass of flying insects by 75% in only 27 years. In Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest, researchers repeated a study on insect populations conducted in the 70s, leading them to conclude that the dry weight biomass of arthropods captured in sweep samples declined by 4 to 8 times, and in sticky traps, the decline was up to 30 to 60 times.
Most recent to have ringed the alarm bell is a group of scientists who analyzed 73 scientific reports on the decline of insect population that have appeared in the past 40 years (though to note a point of criticism: they left out studies on population increases or stability). In Biological Conservation, they write: “Our work reveals dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40% of the world’s insect species over the next few decades.”
Verschenen en te lezen op Dysfunctional, 28 april 2019