Viewpoint: New study provides clear evidence of substantial insect biomass and biodiversity losses

Image: Animals Worlds

There are certain times in life …. when we think that we know something but the evidence is less than conclusive …. In such situations, it can be a relief to finally get a definitive answer, even if the news is bad. Once we know that a problem definitely exists, we may be able to do something about it.

Readers might feel the same way when they read the results reported in Nature by Seibold et al., which provide compelling evidence of a major problem — large-scale declines in the numbers and diversity of insects ….

Seibold and colleagues finally complete the circle by reporting species richness, abundance and biomass for a wide range of arthropod taxa recorded using standardized sampling. They describe the results of monitoring over nearly ten years of intensive study in grasslands and woodlands in three regions of Germany ….

Related article:  Next-generation GMO crops poised to make major contributions to sustainable farming and medicine

The results show clear evidence of substantial declines in arthropod abundance and biodiversity. Grasslands were particularly badly affected: species richness of arthropods fell by 34% over the monitoring period, and the arthropod biomass and numbers recorded dropped by 67% and 78%, respectively.

These declines were particularly strong in landscapes dominated by farmland, suggesting that agricultural management could be driving this drop.

Read full, original article: Robust evidence of declines in insect abundance and biodiversity

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