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Rod

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #150 on: July 12, 2019, 05:09:18 PM »
Early arrival of spring disrupts the mutualism between plants and pollinators

Quote
Global warming has affected the phenology of diverse organisms, such as the timing of plant flowering and leafing, animal hibernation and migration. This is particularly so in cold ecosystems, increasing the risk of disturbing mutual relationships between living organisms. It could also affect the relationship between plants and insects that carry pollen, but few studies have been conducted and the subject remains largely unknown.

The researchers examined Corydailis ambigua growing in cold-temperature forests in Hokkaido in northern Japan, and bumblebees, which collect nectar from the flowers. Usually the bloom of the flowers and emergence of the bumblebees are in sync.

They monitored the plant and insect for 19 years in a natural forest of Hokkaido, recording the timing of snowmelt, flowering and emergence of bumblebees as well as the seed-set rate. In this way, they were able to observe how the snowmelt timing and ambient temperatures affect the local phenology.

Long-term monitoring revealed that snowmelt timing dictates when Corydailis ambigua flowers. The earlier the snowmelt, the earlier the flowering. The researchers also found that bumblebees, which hibernate underground during winter, become active when soil temperatures reach 6 C. When the snowmelt is early, flowering tends to occur before the bees emerge, creating a mismatch. The wider the mismatch, the lower the seed-set rate due to insufficient pollination.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-07/hu-eao071219.php


vox_mundi

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #151 on: July 12, 2019, 06:25:03 PM »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

petm

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #152 on: July 13, 2019, 12:47:12 AM »
Long-term monitoring revealed that snowmelt timing dictates when Corydailis ambigua flowers. The earlier the snowmelt, the earlier the flowering. The researchers also found that bumblebees, which hibernate underground during winter, become active when soil temperatures reach 6 C. When the snowmelt is early, flowering tends to occur before the bees emerge, creating a mismatch.

This requires evolution. Plants that flower later will become more likely to be pollinated, passing on the alleles causing earlier pollination. Bumblebees that become active earlier will gather more pollen, similarly resulting in selection.

At the current rates of environmental change, is there sufficient time (generations of these species) for evolution to save this and other systems? It's becoming increasingly unlikely.

This should be the top argument for action, regardless of arbitrary temperature thresholds. The more GWGs we pump into the atmosphere, the greater the chance of complete ecosystem collapse.

But frankly those in power don't give a s**t.

kassy

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #153 on: July 20, 2019, 10:47:41 AM »
Russia alarmed by large fall in bee populations

Large areas of central and southern Russia have seen a major decline in their bee populations in recent months.

The head of the Russian beekeepers' union, Arnold Butov, said 20 regions had reported mass bee deaths.

The affected regions include Bryansk and Kursk, south of Moscow, and Saratov and Ulyanovsk on the Volga River.

Mr Butov, quoted by Russian media, said the crisis might mean 20% less honey being harvested. Some officials blamed poorly regulated pesticide use.

Yulia Melano, at the rural inspection service Rosselkhoznadzor, complained that her agency had lost most of its powers to control pesticide use since 2011.

Russia produces about 100,000 tonnes of honey annually. Mr Butov said the union's members were collecting data on bee losses, so that by 1 August a detailed report could be submitted to the Russian government.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49047402
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Pmt111500

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #154 on: July 20, 2019, 02:16:10 PM »
Russia alarmed by large fall in bee populations

Large areas of central and southern Russia have seen a major decline in their bee populations in recent months.

<Cliip>

Yulia Melano, at the rural inspection service Rosselkhoznadzor, complained that her agency had lost most of its powers to control pesticide use since 2011.
<Clip>
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49047402

And an article from 2013 apparently claims otherwise
https://windowstorussia.com/russian-bees-save-world.html

It looks like this is not going to happen.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #155 on: July 20, 2019, 06:02:45 PM »
From two recent posts:
Quote
[U.S.] States Get Approval to Use Bee-Killing Pesticide
https://www.rawstory.com/2019/07/usda-indefinitely-suspends-honey-bee-tracking-survey-as-states-get-approval-to-use-bee-killing-pesticide/
Quote
Large areas of central and southern Russia have seen a major decline in their bee populations in recent months.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49047402
Now, where did all those American bee-killing pesticides get sprayed???  :o
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nanning

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #156 on: July 20, 2019, 06:04:15 PM »
<clip>
It looks like this is not going to happen.
With "this" I assume you mean the 2013 article?
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
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Rod

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #157 on: July 29, 2019, 04:53:14 AM »
I live in the Midwest.  I specifically plant native wildflowers for the birds and insects. 

My anecdotal observations agree 100% with this article.  The monarch butterflies are nothing like they used to be.  Even my kids mentioned it the other day. 

I do have milkweed growing in my yard and a few monarchs, but it is nothing like it was even ten years ago.  Unfortunately, milkweed is a hard plant to cultivate and you can’t buy it at garden stores.  I dug up a few plants along the road about 15 years ago and planted them in my yard.  It is an annual so it spreads by seed and never pops up where you want it to.  Most people who want pretty manicured lawns and gardens will never propagate something like wild milkweed because it is really hard to control where it decides to sprout up each year. 

The herbicides around the farms have all but wiped it out in the wild.  After I read this article I drove around on gravel roads out in the country and could not find a single milkweed plant anywhere.   

It is sad what we are losing.  Monarchs are beautiful, but they are so specialized (between needing milkweed for larva and wintering in a small area in Mexico) that I am worried they are not going to be around much longer. 

Link to the full article:

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2019/07/22/Scientists-scramble-to-learn-why-monarch-butterflies-are-dying-so-quickly/6961563481223/

vox_mundi

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #158 on: August 01, 2019, 05:32:45 PM »
Continuing Slaughter: Mass Bee Deaths Sting Russian Beekeepers
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-mass-bee-deaths-russian-beekeepers.html



... Rubtsov, who keeps a large honeybee farm on the edge of a small village in the Tula region south of Moscow, is one of hundreds of beekeepers across Russia to report mass bee deaths that have robbed them of their livelihood.

Eighty-two bee colonies—almost the entire farm—have died since early July, and the survivors will unlikely make it through the winter, he said.

That is over three million dead bees and Rubtsov estimated his losses at 1.6 million rubles ($25,000).

All the bees in the vicinity have met the same fate.

People around Bobrovka are certain that the culprit is a local company growing rapeseed, a cash crop with yellow flowers used for cooking oil, cattle feed, and biofuel, that treated its fields with insecticides on July 4.

Viktor Morozov, another beekeeper who kept hives in a nearby forest, filmed empty pesticide containers lying on the ground alongside the rapeseed fields, but said the workers denied using a strong insecticide that contains fipronil.

A lab in Moscow eventually confirmed the presence on the rapeseed plants of fipronil, which is legal in Russia provided certain precautions are taken but banned in the EU.

... "Flowering rapeseed is a big attraction for the bees, so it was like an ambush," said Rubtsov.

Russia's agriculture watchdog confirmed the bee deaths were caused by uncontrolled use of insecticides and acknowledged that their use is not being monitored closely.

"The volumes of pesticides being used and their quality aren't checked by the government," spokeswoman Yulia Melano told Russian news agencies.

Not only is use of pesticides not monitored, she noted, but nobody coordinates between beekeepers and farmers about their use.


Studies have shown that the neurotoxin fipronil, along with so-called neonicotinoid substances used in other pesticides, can cause bee colonies to collapse and harm other insects such as butterflies, as well as worms and fish.

The EU banned the use of fipronil and most neonicotinoids on outdoor crops in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Russians are bitter that Europe makes environmentally-friendly biodiesel from Russian rapeseed grown with pesticides that the EU has banned for use at home.

Quote
"... The pesticides banned in Europe have all been dumped here in Russia"

Rapeseed cultivation has doubled in Russia over the past decade with most of the processed oil exported abroad.[/b]

... Brandorf believes that following the loss of their hives many beekeepers will simply quit, as with no government support, the profession is becoming unprofitable.

"It's becoming easier to just close bee farms," she said.

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

nanning

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #159 on: August 02, 2019, 05:58:47 AM »
They're not insects but I put this best here I think.

I am worried about the spiders. It looks like a large loss of populations since a couple of years. You'd say with the loss of flying insects, one would expect a serious decline, but what I expect is adding to the pressure are predators that get creative in finding other foodsources. Predators such as birds and especially bats. Can someone confirm this? I haven't found articles on this in a quick search.

Personal emotional:
Please please come back, insects spiders fish birds mammals frogs! I miss you! Where has the living nature of my youth gone? And I'm only 53. I see some strange signs from trees as well. Aaargh.
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TerryM

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #160 on: August 02, 2019, 10:19:06 AM »
Good news for a change!


I saw 2 apparently healthy Monarch Butterflys today. The first I've seen in years.


Locally here in Southern Ontario there used to be millions of them every year. A decade ago a local conservation site counted 14 over a week long count & everyone assumed that this was the end of an era.


A relative in Indiana reports that she too has seen Monarchs this last week.


Is it too much to hope?
Terry

DrTskoul

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #161 on: August 02, 2019, 12:20:54 PM »
I am trying to save as much milkweed in my yard as I can for that reason...

be cause

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #162 on: August 02, 2019, 12:57:19 PM »
I'm having to control some weeds .. by scythe and hand .. yesterday I pulled a benweed/ragwort . The insects that followed it to my compost heap have persuaded me to leave the rest ; it was like a funeral procession .. b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 ...

DrTskoul

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #163 on: August 02, 2019, 01:02:31 PM »
I'm having to control some weeds .. by scythe and hand .. yesterday I pulled a benweed/ragwort . The insects that followed it to my compost heap have persuaded me to leave the rest ; it was like a funeral procession .. b.c.

Ragwort and mugwort are the worst. I do not like invasive weeds ..all work done by hand. No herbicides. I have a frog pond after all as a safe heaven for the local amphibian population. 

Gray-Wolf

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #164 on: August 02, 2019, 01:07:31 PM »
On a more positive note we , here in the UK, are in a bit of a 'Painted Lady' invasion!

Numbers were up in spring/early summer in the parts of Europe they come from so we are in a 'decadal' spike in numbers

My buddleia is earning its nickname this summer!!!
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nanning

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #165 on: August 02, 2019, 07:40:00 PM »
On a more positive note we , here in the UK, are in a bit of a 'Painted Lady' invasion!

Numbers were up in spring/early summer in the parts of Europe they come from so we are in a 'decadal' spike in numbers

My buddleia is earning its nickname this summer!!!
What a coincidence. This morning a painted lady (distelvlinder, Vanessa cardui) sat sometime on my windowsill and I have taken a nice photo.
This is in the North of the Netherlands.
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be cause

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #166 on: August 04, 2019, 06:22:18 PM »
while thinking about painted ladies yesterday one landed beside me .. 5 years since I last played host to a few . In 2009 I watched thousands arrive in NE Donegal from Scotland  .. on 31st May .. b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 ...

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #167 on: August 13, 2019, 03:39:15 AM »
Bolsonaro approves 290 new pesticide products.
Also, 1,942 registered pesticides were quickly reevaluated, with the number considered extremely toxic dropped from 702 to just 43.
https://news.mongabay.com/2019/08/bolsonaro-administration-approves-290-new-pesticide-products-for-use/
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TerryM

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #168 on: August 13, 2019, 03:56:10 AM »
Strictly anecdotal, but two friends complained bitterly about the swarms of mosquitoes that ruined their summer vacation in Prince Edward Island.


Locally (So. Ontario) there's no change, but for an unusual number of "tent caterpillars" seen from the road.
Terry

nanning

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #169 on: August 13, 2019, 06:42:42 AM »
Interesting animals: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tent_caterpillar

In '94 I had a nice drive with a friend in his jagV12convertible  :-X over the blue ridge mountains and saw many trees covered in these 'tent's'. I thought they were normal for North America. This was in may/june.
Terry, you write that it's unusual. Is that because of the timing? Since it's already mid august?
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #170 on: August 13, 2019, 01:12:37 PM »
Anecdotal but when I was a kid highway driving would spatter your windshield with bugs. Now there are hardly any.
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gerontocrat

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #171 on: August 13, 2019, 01:44:20 PM »
Interesting animals: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tent_caterpillar

In '94 I had a nice drive with a friend in his jagV12convertible  :-X over the blue ridge mountains and saw many trees covered in these 'tent's'. I thought they were normal for North America. This was in may/june.
Terry, you write that it's unusual. Is that because of the timing? Since it's already mid august?
It looks very late to me for caterpillars of any description.

Quote
https://www.manitoulin.ca/predicting-the-forest-tent-caterpillar-population-in-2019/
The forest tent caterpillar is a common and natural insect herbivore across central and southern Canada. Its preferred hosts are aspen poplar, birch, maple and ash. In most years, populations remain low and small clusters are found widely dispersed in forests with rapid increases in populations usually prevented by the actions of parasitic wasps and flies.

However, for poorly understood reasons, the numbers start to increase dramatically every 10-12 years and host trees are heavily defoliated. Fortunately, healthy trees are usually not harmed during such outbreaks and produce new leaves about two weeks after the defoliation.

Caterpillars hatch in early spring and start feeding on newly flushed leaves. They grow rapidly in the next five to seven weeks becoming full grown by mid-June.
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TerryM

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #172 on: August 13, 2019, 02:15:28 PM »
As kids (teens) we built small fires under affected trees, sawed off the branch carefully & incinerated the bugs that were thought of as tree killers.
Good to learn they don't actually do much harm to healthy trees.


I haven't seen these amounts since 2004 when I returned to Canada - actually I've seen very few since my return. Perhaps it is a natural cycle that I'm winessing.
Terry


Sebastian Jones

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #173 on: August 13, 2019, 06:47:55 PM »
Bolsonaro approves 290 new pesticide products.
Also, 1,942 registered pesticides were quickly reevaluated, with the number considered extremely toxic dropped from 702 to just 43.
https://news.mongabay.com/2019/08/bolsonaro-administration-approves-290-new-pesticide-products-for-use/
I think it is important to bear in mind that ALL pesticides are toxic. The reason is because they are literally designed to be toxic, so that they can kill things.

It is difficult to imagine that the liberal spraying of poisons all around the world could happen without actually killing a whole lot of organisms, and stupid to think that only the organism that has been condemned to death will be killed and naive to think that there will not be unintended consequences from removing a species from the biosphere.

vox_mundi

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #174 on: August 14, 2019, 12:38:12 AM »
Goodbye Monarchs? Protection Changes Imperil Butterflies
https://m.phys.org/news/2019-08-goodbye-monarchs-imperil-butterflies.html

The Trump administration's new order weakening the Endangered Species Act could well make things worse for the monarch, one of more than 1 million species that are struggling around the globe.

With its count falling 99% to the low tens of thousands in the western United States last year, the monarch is now under government consideration for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. But if the Trump administration's latest action survives threatened legal challenges, there will be sweeping changes to how the government provides protections, and which creatures receive them.

Administration officials say the changes, expected to go into effect next month, will reduce regulation while still protecting animals and plants. But conservation advocates and Democratic lawmakers say the overhaul will force more to extinction, delaying and denying protections.

The administration will for the first time reserve the option to estimate and publicize the financial cost of saving a species in advance of any decision on whether to do so. Monarchs compete for habitat with soybean and corn farmers, whose crops are valued in the low tens of billions of dollars annually. For mountain caribou, sage grouse, the Humboldt marten in California's old-growth redwoods and other creatures, it's logging, oil and gas development, ranching, and other industry driving struggling species out of their ranges.

Another coming change will end across-the-board protections for creatures newly listed as threatened. Conservation groups say that will leave them unprotected for months or years, as officials, conservationists and industries and landowners hash out each species' survival plan, case by case.

The rule also will limit consideration of threats facing a species to the "foreseeable" future, which conservation groups say allows the administration to ignore the growing harm of global warming. Along with farming, climate change is one of the main drivers of the monarch's threatened extinction, disrupting an annual 3,000-mile migration synched to springtime and the blossoming of wildflowers. In 2002, a single wet storm followed by a freeze killed an estimated 450 million monarchs in their winter home in Mexico, piling wings inches deep on a forest floor.

A decision on whether the monarch will be listed as threatened is expected by December 2020.

--------------------


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Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

nanning

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #175 on: August 14, 2019, 07:32:54 AM »
Quote
the financial cost of saving a species
>:( :'(

We are a species. What is the financial cost of saving us? Can we afford it?
How would Rachel Carson have described this?
Sorry for the off-topic
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

TerryM

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #176 on: August 14, 2019, 08:33:27 AM »
Quote
the financial cost of saving a species
 >:( :'(

We are a species. What is the financial cost of saving us? Can we afford it?
How would Rachel Carson have described this?
Sorry for the off-topic
Perhaps we could bid up some of our personal favorites?
I'll give you 3 black rhino herds and 7 Tazmanian devils for 10,000 monarchs butterflies.
Terry

nanning

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #177 on: August 14, 2019, 09:02:17 AM »
That's not fair Terry. I give you 10000 and you only give me 10 back. Oh, you wrote "herds". Anyway they are far too expensive.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

vox_mundi

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #178 on: August 20, 2019, 02:54:44 PM »
500 Million Bees Died in Brazil
https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-49406369

- More than 500 million bees have died in Brazil in the last three months.

- In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, 400 million dead bees were found - with beekeepers in four states reporting the mass deaths.

- Researchers have blamed the use of pesticides - chemical substances which are used to kill pests.

... in 2018 Brazil lifted restrictions on pesticides - despite opposition from environmentalists who called it the "poison package".

The use of pesticides in Brazil has increased, according to Greenpeace, with 193 products containing chemicals banned in the EU being registered in Brazil in the last three years.



Things aren't looking good for bees around the world.

In the United States, beekeepers lost four in 10 of their honeybee colonies in the past year, making it the worst winter on record.

In Russia 20 regions reported mass bee deaths, with officials also warning it could mean 20% less honey being produced.

At least one million bees died in South Africa in November 2018, with fipronil being blamed.

And countries such as Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Turkey have all also reported mass die-offs of bees in the last 18 months
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Sebastian Jones

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #179 on: August 20, 2019, 05:24:59 PM »
500 Million Bees Died in Brazil
https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-49406369
<SNIP>
Things aren't looking good for bees around the world.

In the United States, beekeepers lost four in 10 of their honeybee colonies in the past year, making it the worst winter on record.

In Russia 20 regions reported mass bee deaths, with officials also warning it could mean 20% less honey being produced.

At least one million bees died in South Africa in November 2018, with fipronil being blamed.

And countries such as Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Turkey have all also reported mass die-offs of bees in the last 18 months

Bees are just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Domesticated honey bees are easy to monitor, and of course their loss has an economic  impact. The same poisons that are killing honey bees are almost definitely killing other bees and other insects and the flora and fauna that depends on them.
No wonder we cannot get a grip on GHGs if we cannot even see that literally spraying poisons into our environment is a bad idea.

nanning

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #180 on: August 24, 2019, 08:23:45 AM »
I notice here in the northern Netherlands an absence of ladybird beetles.
Years ago they were always abundant but I've only seen two this year  :(

Do any of you share this observation?
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blumenkraft

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #181 on: August 24, 2019, 09:24:14 AM »
Yes, same here.

But another sort has become pretty common now. Apparently, they are from Japan.

Photos are OC.
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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #182 on: August 24, 2019, 10:39:19 AM »
I notice here in the northern Netherlands an absence of ladybird beetles.
Years ago they were always abundant but I've only seen two this year  :(

Do any of you share this observation?

Insect surveying is one of my things. Here in Mid Wales I'm monitoring an organic community orchard in a wildflower meadow, and we have about ten species of ladybirds recorded this year. The Harlequin is present, but in low numbers (doesn't like the cold and rain, it seems!), so the 2-spot and 7-spot (its main victims) are  not really affected. Nonetheless, numbers of those two species are very low indeed - I often see only one or two in a survey. The same goes for 10-spot, 14-spot, 22-spot and cream-spot: present, but numbers are very low. Even the herbivorous/fungivorous 24-spot, which lives among grasses and therefore should be abundant, is scarce. The only common one is Rhizobius litura, a small orange/brown one that also lives in grasses and doesn't really look like a ladybird.

And this, I might add, is in a site 40 miles from the nearest factories, managed by minimal scything, and where many insects (like grasshoppers, hairy shieldbugs and burnet moths) are actually thriving due to sensitive management. It is worrying, but I think it's tied to aphid populations, which are also in demand because the hoverflies and lacewings are doing quite well. It's going to take some time for all sides of the ecological balance to build up, even with ideal circumstances.

One thing to note: there are quite a few ladybird pupae around, and these should emerge around early September; perhaps more will become obvious then.

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #183 on: August 24, 2019, 10:48:49 AM »
We do have a problem with invasive ladybirds in Europe but i have not seen much of either here this year. Location is city in the middle of the Netherlands.

What i also ´miss´ is swarms of tiny insects above garbage cans and those swarms who fly above bicycle roads at the right height to get into your mouth.

The modern seasons are different from the old normal progression so summers might be too dry for them now?

Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #184 on: August 25, 2019, 06:20:02 PM »
We do have a problem with invasive ladybirds in Europe but i have not seen much of either here this year. Location is city in the middle of the Netherlands.

What i also ´miss´ is swarms of tiny insects above garbage cans and those swarms who fly above bicycle roads at the right height to get into your mouth.

The modern seasons are different from the old normal progression so summers might be too dry for them now?

I think we are witnessing ecosystems collapsing. At an accelerating pace.  >:( :'(
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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #185 on: August 29, 2019, 10:43:36 PM »
The Alarming Case of the Missing Insects
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/08/are-puerto-ricos-insects-disappearing/597007/
Quote
In the biological wonderland of Puerto Rico’s Luquillo Mountains, slinky boas and emerald anoles hang out in lowland tabonuco trees, delicate bromeliads decorate the mountaintop cloud forests, and the island’s eponymous parrots forage in the canopy. At dawn, the rain forest swells with the mating calls of thousands of coquí frogs. Underpinning this ecological tapestry is a world teeming with arthropods—which is why, when a pair of scientists reported last fall that Luquillo’s arthropod populations were crashing due to climate change, the internet reacted with horror.
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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #186 on: August 30, 2019, 07:09:45 AM »
    Why have 500m bees died in Brazil in the past three months?
   The likely culprit of the sudden deaths? The loosening of pesticide restrictions

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/29/500-million-bees-brazil-three-months
by Thor Hanson

Some quotes:
Brazil faces a quieter tragedy playing out in farm country: the silence of empty hives. Earlier this year, beekeepers reported losing over 500m honeybees in only three months. The speed and scale of the die-offs recall colony collapse disorder, a malady that began decimating bees across North America and Europe in 2006. But the symptoms are tellingly different. Where colony collapse caused worker bees to abandon their hives and disappear, the bees in Brazil are dropping dead on the spot. And where scientists blamed colony collapse on a combination of factors, the evidence in Brazil points to one overarching cause: pesticides.

The parallels between Brazil’s Amazon crisis and its bee die-offs are many. Just as the relaxation of forestry rules has led to more fires, so have loosened pesticide restrictions exposed more bees to lethal doses.

And just as burning a rainforest impacts a lot more than trees, so does the loss of bees stretch far past the walls of the hive.


Buried in recent news coverage on Brazil is a remarkable uptick in the demand for organic foods, reflecting a global trend expected to double sales and production in less than five years. It’s a reminder that how we buy food directly impacts the way that we grow it, and organic methods – even if interspersed with conventional fields – support a far greater diversity of pollinators.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #187 on: September 03, 2019, 02:31:48 AM »
Birds in Serious Decline at Lake Constance
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-birds-decline-lake-constance.html

Within 30 years, the bird population around Lake Constance declined with increasing rapidity. While in 1980 around 465,000 breeding pairs were still living in the region, by 2012 the number had fallen to 345,000—a loss of 25 percent. These are the findings of a study carried out by researchers from the Ornithological Working Group at Lake Constance and the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior. Bird species that were once common like the house sparrow, the common blackbird, or the common starling have dwindled particularly rapidly. The numbers of many other species are too small for survival and their habitats in the Lake Constance region are shrinking.

... One of the main reasons for this decline is the scarcity of food. According to the ornithologists, 75 percent of the bird species that eat flying insects and 57 percent of those that eat terrestrial invertebrates have decreased in number around Lake Constance. "This confirms what we have long suspected: the human extermination of insects is having a massive impact on our birds," says Bauer.
In addition, today's efficient harvesting methods leave hardly any seeds behind for granivorous species. Moreover, the early, frequent mowing of large areas of grassland, the agricultural practice of monoculture, the early ripening of winter grains, the implementation of drainage measures and the shortage of fallow land are destroying the habitats of many species that live in the open countryside.

... "The increasing need for order and decreasing tolerance of dirt and noise are making life more and more difficult for local birds. It appears that successful breeding is becoming increasingly rare since the birds are being forced to nest amid tower blocks, ornamental trees and immaculate kitchen gardens," says Bauer. Even species that can survive virtually anywhere, such as blackbirds (down 28 percent), chaffinches and robins (each down 24 percent) are suffering greatly due to the deteriorating conditions in settled areas.

With its diverse structure and location in the foothills of the Alps, the Lake Constance region actually provides excellent living conditions for birds. However, the changes it has undergone over the last few decades are typical of densely populated regions with intensive farming and forestry. "This means that the rapid decline in the populations of many species that we have observed around Lake Constance is sure to be happening in other regions as well," says Bauer.

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #188 on: September 04, 2019, 04:10:53 PM »
Germany to Ban Glyphosate to Protect Insects, Biodiversity
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-germany-glyphosate-insects-biodiversity.html

Germany said Wednesday it would phase out the controversial weed killer glyphosate because it wipes out insect populations crucial for ecosystems and pollination of food crops.

The chemical, which is also suspected by some experts to cause cancer in humans, is to be banned by the end of 2023 when the EU's current approval period for it expires, ministers said.

Herbicide and insecticide use will also be restricted or banned in more species-rich areas such as grasslands and orchard meadows, and along many river and lake shores.

... Austria became the first EU member to forbid all glyphosate use in July, with restrictions also in force in the Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands. France is phasing it out by 2023.

--------------------

3 Ways Insecticides Can Be Counterproductive in Agriculture
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-ways-insecticides-counterproductive-agriculture.html
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #189 on: September 04, 2019, 06:27:47 PM »
Re: Birds in Serious Decline at Lake Constance
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-birds-decline-lake-constance.html

On the other hand
Climate change has created more bird winners than losers in England
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2214952-climate-change-has-created-more-bird-winners-than-losers-in-england/
Quote
Out of 68 species that breed in England, 23 had their number significantly affected by climate change between 1966 and 2015. There was a positive effect on 19 of the 23, but it was negative for the other four, researchers at the British Trust for Ornithology and at the government adviser Natural England found.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #190 on: September 11, 2019, 05:29:37 PM »
Transgenic Mosquitoes Pass on Genes to Native Species
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-transgenic-mosquitoes-genes-native-species.html

Transgenic mosquitoes released in Brazil in an effort to reduce the population of disease-bearing insects have successfully bred and passed on genes to the native mosquito population, a new Yale research study published Sept. 10 in the journal Scientific Reports has found.

Tens of millions of genetically modified male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were released over more than two years in the city of Jacobina, in Bahia, Brazil. Females who mated with males carrying these modified genes were supposed to be unable to produce viable offspring, thereby reducing people's risk of contracting a host of dangerous diseases such as Zika, dengue fever, and yellow fever. However, samples of native mosquitoes harvested in the region and analyzed at Yale revealed that some members of the native population had retained genes from the transgenic release strain.

Quote
..."It is the unanticipated outcome that is concerning" ... "The claim was that genes from the release strain would not get into the general population because offspring would die, ... that obviously was not what happened."

- Jeffrey Powell - Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - Yale Univ.

Mosquito-borne diseases are a huge public health problem in developing countries and is of increasing concern in more developed areas, such as the southern United States. In an effort to curtail use of insecticides in combating the threat, the Brazilian government purchased a new strain of transgenic mosquitoes originating from a strain that came from Cuba and was crossed with another from Mexico, which was developed by an English biotech company. Laboratory tests had shown the females that mated with the genetically modified males only produced offspring about 3 percent of the time, and the survivors were feeble and were believed to be unable to reproduce.

But the Yale study showed not only that offspring from the transgenic mosquitoes had reproduced but the population of mosquitoes in Jacobina is now a mix of their original types plus those from Cuba and Mexico, likely leading to a more robust population, according to the researchers. And the population of mosquitoes, after initial decline, had rebounded about 18 months after introduction of genetically modified males.

Open Access: Benjamin R. Evans et al. Transgenic Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes Transfer Genes into a Natural Population, Scientific Reports (2019)

---------------------------



Dr. Ian Malcolm: But again, how do you know they're all female? Does somebody go out into the park and pull up the dinosaurs' skirts?

Henry Wu: We control their chromosomes. It's really not that difficult. All vertebrate embryos are inherently female anyway, they just require an extra hormone given at the right developmental stage to make them male. We simply deny them that.

Dr. Ellie Sattler: Deny them that?

Dr. Ian Malcolm: John, the kind of control you're attempting simply is… it's not possible. If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is.

John Hammond: [sardonically] There it is.

Henry Wu: You're implying that a group composed entirely of female animals will… breed?

Dr. Ian Malcolm: No. I'm, I'm simply saying that life, uh… finds a way.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #191 on: September 11, 2019, 08:07:58 PM »
Quote
No. I'm, I'm simply saying that life, uh… finds a way.
Not usually, or extinction would never happen.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #192 on: September 12, 2019, 08:25:17 PM »
Controversial Insecticides Shown to Threaten Survival of Wild Birds
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-controversial-insecticides-shown-threaten-survival.html

New research at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) shows how the world's most widely used insecticides could be partly responsible for a dramatic decline in songbird populations.

A study published in the journal Science on Sept. 13 is the first experiment to track the effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide on birds in the wild.

The study found that white-crowned sparrows who consumed small doses of an insecticide called imidacloprid suffered weight loss and delays to their migration—effects that could severely harm the birds' chances of surviving and reproducing.

"We saw these effects using doses well within the range of what a bird could realistically consume in the wild—equivalent to eating just a few treated seeds," said Margaret Eng, a post-doctoral fellow in the USask Toxicology Centre and lead author on the study.

Although the toxic effects of neonicotinoids were once thought to affect only insects, most notably pollinators such as bees, there is growing evidence that birds are routinely exposed to the pesticides with significant negative consequences.

"Our study shows that this is bigger than the bees—birds can also be harmed by modern neonicotinoid pesticides which should worry us all," said Stutchbury.

... results seem to be associated with the appetite suppression effect of imidacloprid. The dosed birds ate less food, and it's likely that they delayed their flight because they needed more time to recover and regain their fuel stores,"

Because the researchers used controlled dosing, they were able to confirm a cause and effect between neonicotinoid exposures and delayed migration, not just a correlation that is more typical of field studies.

... In North America, three-quarters of bird species that rely on agricultural habitat have significantly declined in population since 1966. The results of the new study show a mechanism by which pesticides could be directly contributing to this drop-off.


M.L. Eng el al., "A neonicotinoid insecticide reduces fueling and delays migration in songbirds," Science (2019)
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vox_mundi

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #193 on: October 09, 2019, 12:07:33 AM »
Pesticide Companies Leverage Regulations for Financial Gains
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-pesticide-companies-leverage-financial-gains.html

A researcher at Princeton University shows that companies lobby for stricter standards on their less profitable products. By acquiring regulations that ban older, out-of-patent products, innovative companies can make room for more expensive, patented alternatives. They may also strategically provide and withhold data to produce more favorable results.

Take the chemical corporation Syngenta, for example, which sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to ban a risky pesticide. Yet, Syngenta was the patent-holder and sole-seller of the product. Why would a company go against its own product in this way?

"While companies might claim this is corporate responsibility, my work suggests this is largely about increasing profits," said Rebecca Perlman, assistant professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

... The first part of the study was quantitative. Perlman's sample covered the years 1996 to 2015, and she used it to evaluate changes to the maximum amount of pesticide residue allowed to be present on food, standards known as "tolerances."

She found that after accounting for the primary safety characteristics of a pesticide, changes to these tolerances could be explained, in significant part, by companies' financial interests. In addition, she showed that companies strategically lobby for stricter tolerances on their own less profitable products.

The second part of the study was qualitative and involved a historical examination of pesticide regulation in the United States. After pouring through Congressional testimonies, Perlman found that innovative companies historically lobbied for regulations that—while seemingly intended to protect the public from dangerous pesticides—also made it easier for these companies to eliminate less profitable products (and the generic competition) on a more systematic basis.

"In a world in which some governments are moving to oust independent scientists from the regulatory process altogether, whereas others are requiring an ever-higher burden of scientific proof through the use of precaution, this article seeks to provide deeper insight into the interplay between science and regulation," Perlman said. "While much of the academic literature has focused on how companies 'capture' complicit regulators, more research is needed to understand how producers leverage information itself to win favorable regulations."



Open Access: R. Perlman, "For Safety or Profit? How Science Serves the Strategic Interests of Private Actors," American Journal of Political Science (2019)
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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vox_mundi

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #194 on: October 26, 2019, 02:48:59 PM »
What's Wrong With the Bees? A New Film, "The Pollinators," Seeks an Answer
http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/peter-nelson/87131/whats-wrong-with-the-bees-our-new-film-the-pollinators-seeks-an-answer

... Beekeepers are anxious about the alarming rate of the bee losses they face, which have been ranging from 33 to 50 percent annually and sometimes more. Not many businesses can sustain losses like this every year. ... Thirty years ago, losing 10 percent of one’s hives was alarming - now any commercial beekeeper would be happy to lose that few hives. They know this is not a sustainable situation and are desperate for other solutions.

... Beekeepers are eager to get the word out about their plight because their current methods are unsustainable and we are in serious trouble if we don’t come up with answers to stem these losses.

If these beekeepers are worried, we all should be: our diet depends upon pollination for one of every three bites we eat.

Quote
... “We really have to create a system, a pattern of eating that supports the kind of diversity and regenerative farm practices that the landscape needs to be healthy”

... Every one of us can do things big and small to make it better. This topic is completely actionable and our own choices really matter. We vote with our dollars when we buy food and make a difference by deciding what we grow in our own landscapes. A green grassy lawns is a monocultures and food desert for bees. Asking questions about our food and learning where our food comes from, supporting local farmers, educating our children and working with our legislators to create pollinator friendly policies in our communities are all key components to changing this broken system.

The answer is not going to come from the top, but is going to come from our own citizen actions on a grassroots level.


A national screening day for "The Pollinators" in the U.S. is taking place on Wednesday, November 6. Find a screening near you here. If there isn't a screening near you, find out how to request one here.

-----------------------------

California Beekeeper Thinks 'Rewilding' Might Save Bees
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-beekeeper/rewilding-one-california-mans-mission-to-save-honey-bees-idUSKBN1X31CE

https://mobile.reuters.com/video/2019/10/24/rewilding-one-california-mans-mission-to?videoId=OVB2GP8Q3&jwsource=cl

Over the past 15 years, there has been a dramatic fall in the number of bees on the planets with 90 percent loss in some areas, a trend that's known as "colony collapse disorder." Now, a California-based apiculturist (beekeeper) has a new idea to help the long-suffering insects. He calls it "rewilding."

The apiculturist, Michael Thiele, describes his idea to Reuters. Instead of trying to control where bees live, Thiele says, let them form hives in logs above ground.

Once a hollowed-out log hive is attached to a tree, it becomes attractive to bee “scouts” looking for a nest site, who then alert their bee colonies to move into it. 

Thiele's strategy won't single-handedly revive bees worldwide. But his anecdotal evidence is compelling: he tells Reuters that within days of making his log hives they become colonized. Thiele doesn't look to make honey off his colonized logs unless the bees move away or die.

His hives, he said, are both a conservation project and a personal mission.

“It’s almost as if honey bees make the fragility of life so palpable,” he said. “And as if they are really mirroring where we are on this time on this planet.”

------------------------

Pesticides Deliver a One-Two Punch to Honey Bees
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-pesticides-one-two-honey-bees.html

Adjuvants are chemicals that are commonly added to plant protection products, such as pesticides, to help them spread, adhere to targets, disperse appropriately, or prevent drift, among other things. There was a widespread assumption that these additives would not cause a biological reaction after exposure, but a number of recent studies show that adjuvants can be toxic to ecosystems, and specific to this study, honey bees.

Jinzhen Zhang and colleagues studied the effects on honey bees when adjuvants were co-applied at "normal concentration levels" with neonicotinoids. Their research, recently published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, found that the mixture of the pesticide and the adjuvant increased the mortality rate of honey bees in the lab and in semi-field conditions, where it also reduced colony size and brooding.

When applied alone, the three pesticide adjuvants caused no significant, immediate toxicity to honeybees. However, when the pesticide acetamiprid was mixed with adjuvants and applied to honeybees in the laboratory, the toxicity was quite significant and immediate. In groups treated with combined pesticide-adjuvant concentrates, mortality was significantly higher than the control groups, which included a blank control (no pesticide, no adjuvant, only water) and a control with only pesticide (no adjuvant). Further, flight intensity, colony intensity and pupae development continued to deteriorate long after the application comparative to the control groups.

https://setac.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/etc.4515
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 01:16:24 AM by vox_mundi »
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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #195 on: October 30, 2019, 10:49:34 PM »
Munich Study Confirms Severe Decline in Insect Populations in Germany
https://dw.com/en/munich-study-confirms-severe-decline-in-insect-populations-in-germany/a-51052955

Two years ago, volunteer insectologists sounded the alarm — the number of flying insects had drastically fallen. Now a new study on three protected regions in Germany confirms these fears.

Now a research team led by Sebastian Seibold and Wolfgang Weisser, who teach terrestrial ecology at the Technical University of Munich, is confirming the reported decline. The biologists published their results on 30 October in the journal Nature.

"Previous studies have concentrated either exclusively on biomass, i.e. the total weight of all insects, or on individual species or groups of species," said Seibold, head of the research group, highlighting the special nature of his new research work. His group combined both approaches.

Between 2008 and 2017, the scientists regularly counted flying insects as well as other arthropods such as spiders and millipedes in three regions of the country. The study looked at 290 sites with forests and grasslands on the Swabian Alb in southern Germany, in Hainich - a wooded ridge in Thuringia - and in Schorfheide in the northern state of Brandenburg.

In total, the scientists analysed data from more than one million insects and other arthropods belonging to more than 2700 species. They also took fluctuations in the weather into account in order to exclude measurement errors as far as possible.

Both on meadows and in forests, the number of species decreased by about one third during the study period. Their total mass also decreased, especially in grasslands, by 67 percent. In the forests it shrank by about 40 percent. According to the researchers, the decline is presumably related to agriculture. "We did not expect such a decline to be observed over only a decade," Weisser said. "This is frightening, but it fits into the picture that more and more studies are drawing

The researchers were able to establish a connection with land use at the individual sites.

S. Seibold, et.al. Arthropod decline in grasslands and forests is associated with landscape-level drivers, Nature, 2019

------------------------

Roundup Weedkiller: 42,000 Plaintiffs Sue Bayer Over Glyphosate
https://dw.com/en/roundup-weedkiller-42000-plaintiffs-sue-bayer-over-glyphosate/a-51043520

The number of plaintiffs, largely brought by US citizens, is now at 42,700 — more than double the 18,400 reported in the middle of July, Bayer announced on Wednesday.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2019, 06:12:39 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

nanning

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #196 on: November 13, 2019, 05:31:00 PM »
  ‘Insect apocalypse’ poses risk to all life on Earth, conservationists warn

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/13/insect-apocalypse-poses-risk-to-all-life-on-earth-conservationists-warn
  by Damian Carrington

Report claims 400,000 insect species face extinction amid heavy use of pesticides

Excerpts:
The analysis, written by one of the UK’s leading ecologists, has a particular focus on the UK, whose insects are the most studied in the world. It said 23 bee and wasp species have become extinct in the last century, while the number of pesticide applications has approximately doubled in the last 25 years.

UK butterflies that specialise in particular habitats have fallen 77% since the mid-1970s and generalists have declined 46%, the report said. There are also knock-on effects on other animals, such as the spotted flycatcher which only eats flying insects. Its populations have dropped by 93% since 1967.

Studies of insect populations over decades are scarce, he said: “But the overwhelming weight of evidence that exists suggests the rapid decline is a real phenomenon. It really worries me to hear people say we need more long-term studies to be sure. That would be great, but we can’t wait another 25 years before we do anything because it will be too late.”

But he said: “The bigger challenge is farming – 70% of Britain is farmland. No matter how many gardens we make wildlife friendly, if 70% of the countryside remains largely hostile to life, then we are not going to turn around insect decline.”
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
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nanning

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #197 on: November 23, 2019, 08:06:18 AM »
   Light pollution is key 'bringer of insect apocalypse'

Exclusive: scientists say bug deaths can be cut by switching off unnecessary lights


https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/22/light-pollution-insect-apocalypse
  by Damian Carrington


A few excerpts from an elaborate article:

Artificial light at night can affect every aspect of insects’ lives, the researchers said, from luring moths to their deaths around bulbs, to spotlighting insect prey for rats and toads, to obscuring the mating signals of fireflies.

“We strongly believe artificial light at night – in combination with habitat loss, chemical pollution, invasive species, and climate change – is driving insect declines,” the scientists concluded after assessing more than 150 studies. “We posit here that artificial light at night is another important – but often overlooked – bringer of the insect apocalypse.”

Insect population collapses have been reported in Germany and Puerto Rico, and the first global scientific review, published in February, said widespread declines threatened to cause a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”.

The latest review says: “Insects around the world are rapidly declining. Their absence would have devastating consequences for life on this planet.”

There are thought to be millions of insect species, most still unknown to science, and about half are nocturnal. Those active in the day may also be disturbed by light at night when they are at rest.

[..]But the daily cycle of light and dark had remained constant for all of evolutionary time, they said.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

Pmt111500

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #198 on: November 23, 2019, 03:48:45 PM »
   Light pollution is key 'bringer of insect apocalypse'

Exclusive: scientists say bug deaths can be cut by switching off unnecessary lights ... <Clip>

What should I say here... It's a nice time to put on Xmas lights. Should do it to our house next week. Maybe I'll get a grant for my study on insects made on dense suburban area having almost 5% of nearly unmanaged land area.


Cooling the outside by heat pump.

nanning

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Re: Decline in insect populations
« Reply #199 on: November 23, 2019, 05:46:55 PM »
You can't offset your carbon footprint. The same goes for the morality of ones behaviour.

If part of your house is on fire, you don't 'offset' your not-acting.. And you woudn't throw just 1 bucket of water on the flames and think you've done enough.
Ah well, who cares eh? One just spreads the effects of ones actions over the whole country or world and, voilá, it is not important anymore.

This is meant as a general, non-personal post.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome