Is an “insect apocalypse” upon us?

via UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT

via UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT

Is an “insect apocalypse” upon us?

A period of mass extinction threatens insects – and the humans and animals who depend on them

It’s not just bees and butterflies that are under threat: UConn entomologist and Professor David Wagner says all kinds of insects are at risk for “a death by a thousand cuts.” This is alarming, since insects play vital roles in earth’s ecosystems, including pollination of plants, driving food webs around the planet, and cycling nutrients.

The insect decline is attributed to multiple factors, including the climate crisis, agricultural intensification, development, deforestation, and the introduction of exotic and invasive species into new environments. Wagner cautions that many of these creatures will not be with us for much longer, and says people must act swiftly to help prevent these tremendous losses before it is too late.

Wagner remains hopeful, and says there are many actions that can be taken now — from encouraging political leaders to enact policy changes, to simply letting part of the front lawn grow freely to provide a food-rich environment for insects.

“This planet isn’t here for us to exploit,” Wagner says.

 

Original Article: Confronting the ‘Insect Apocalypse’

See Also
Experimental set-up for the training stage (aerial view). A nest was connected to a colored chamber via a tunnel. The chamber was connected to a flight arena with feeders providing ad libitum sucrose (S) or pollen (P); their positions were swapped each experimental day. The colored training chamber was either yellow or blue. One of the colored chambers contained movable balls and the other was empty. Baffles at the entrance of the colored chamber prevented bees seeing the presence/absence of objects. Only one colored chamber was presented at a time and they were alternated every 20 min (six times each) for a total of 2 h exposure for each color. One group of bees was trained with the yellow chamber containing balls and the other group with the blue chamber containing balls. This experimental stage was carried out on 2 consecutive days for each bee. Credit: Animal Behaviour (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2022.08.013

More from: University of Connecticut

 

 

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