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Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 10-31-2017, 08:45 AM  
Thematic Insects
Posted By Doundounba
Replies: 699
Views: 35,112
Totally, but let's not confuse bio-diversity with biomass. If an invasive species replaces a native one, there is a loss of diversity, but not necessarily one of biomass. Other insects could thrive instead, as you note.

But this is not what the authors are seeing, and that's why their study is important. It shows that there is not just a decline in some species, but a catastrophic decline across all species, even inside nature preserves. This doesn't mean other problems (like habitat loss, or, as you note, invasive species, for instance) don't exist, it means our problems are even bigger and more widespread than we thought... :( And, unsurprisingly, the authors call for further research to accurately pinpoint causes.

Here's another pic, because - photos! (Re-posted from Show Me Your Insects.)


Autumn Meadowhawk Says Hi! by Pascal Gaudette, on Flickr
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 10-31-2017, 06:46 AM  
Thematic Insects
Posted By Doundounba
Replies: 699
Views: 35,112
Not sure if you read the fine article. The study was conducted within a set of nature preserves, so what they measured is local biomass. The effect of habitat loss on total insect populations likely compounds the issue that was observed by the researchers. Locally, the authors opine that changes in habitat did not play a large role:

The authors also think changes in climate are an unlikely source for the decline, as the main climate variable that changed - an increase in temperature - would rather favor an increase in insect biomass.

The authors speculate on agricultural intensification as a possible culprit:
To come back to your comment:
Indeed!
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 10-30-2017, 10:33 AM  
Thematic Insects
Posted By Doundounba
Replies: 699
Views: 35,112
No worries - I didn't mean to imply you'd done anything wrong, I just had some shots handy. :) The study is topical for this thread and very important...
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 10-30-2017, 09:26 AM  
Thematic Insects
Posted By Doundounba
Replies: 699
Views: 35,112
What's most crucial about this new study is that it's both long term and "horizontal" - they measured general biomass of all low-flying insects, and not just one or a few species, over 27 years in 63 nature protection areas in Germany. As such it corroborates previous studies based on single species and shows that what we're seeing is a general and catastrophic decline across all (low-flying) species. This is a very important result and should leave all of us seriously concerned...

BTW, here's a link to the actual research article, for those who care to go to the source.

And here are some pics, because this is a pictures thread. :)


If Humpty Dumpty Was a Ladybug by Pascal Gaudette, on Flickr


More Aster Galore! [Explore 2017-10-28] by Pascal Gaudette, on Flickr
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