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Thread: Bugs are dying off -- why?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    The study confirms that roaches and houseflies will still be with us, or without us.
    I think that is generally true with a loss of biodiversity, whether it is insects or birds or plants. It isn't that all the "whatevers" disappear, it is that we get much less species diversity, whether it is within a specific region or ecosystem, or across the planet. So, we won't see all insects disappear, but the variety that we will see will be greatly diminished. And the ones that are remaining may not be the ones we want/need/like the most.
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  2. #32
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    I have noticed certain garden pests on decline here even though growing things as organically as possible. Mexican Bean Beetles used to chew my plants to bits but I haven't seen one for at least 5 years now. Grass Hoppers do seem to be worse in the late summer though. Lucky here to have a couple of honeybee keepers nearby, they return each Spring to help pollinate the fruit trees. Will the cockroaches still take over after the apocalypse or have we taken them for granite too?

  3. #33
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    Likely overuse of neonicotinoid insecticides, other insecticides, and the breakdown products of human medicines in our ponds and streams.
    It's nice being able to drive from Chicago to Denver without having to clear the Junebubgs and flies off your windshield, it's also a fairly recent and scary change.

  4. #34
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    Maybe insect survivability is not as bad as we fear? Beats me.

    https://phys.org/news/2019-03-insect...sts-major.html

    'Insectageddon' is 'alarmist by bad design': Scientists point out the study's major flaws
    March 19, 2019, Pensoft Publishers

    Amidst worldwide publicity and talks about 'Insectageddon': the extinction of 40% of the world's insects, as estimated in a recent scientific review, a critical response was published in the open-access journal Rethinking Ecology.

    Query- and geographically-biased summaries; mismatch between objectives and cited literature; and misuse of existing conservation data have all been identified in the alarming study, according to Drs Atte Komonen, Panu Halme and Janne Kotiaho of the University of Jyväskylä (Finland). Despite the claims of the review paper's authors that their work serves as a wake-up call for the wider community, the Finnish team explain that it could rather compromise the credibility of conservation science.

    The first problem about the paper, titled "Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers" and published in the journal Biological Conservation, is that its authors have queried the Web of Science database specifically using the keywords "insect", "decline" and "survey". "If you search for declines, you will find declines. We are not questioning the conclusion that insects are declining," Komonen and his team point out, "but we do question the rate and extent of declines."

  5. #35
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    The insect apocalypse, from a German's point of view: the disaster is now.

    https://phys.org/news/2019-07-insect...-watchers.html

  6. #36
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    Ohio butterflies are vanishing. Or are they?

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science...cts-everywhere

  7. #37
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    This is just an isolated experience but after 50+ years of gardening I can say with certain that there has never been a shortage of Stink Bugs, Cuke Beetles, and Squash Bugs in my 3 gardens in difference areas around the city/county over the years. One big difference (and I would assume that it's most likely due to a slightly different location) is that my previous home had all 3 listed garden pests but also there were earwigs which were present in locust-like proportions every year. When we moved about 15 miles away into the county there was not one single earwig to be found after 19 years living here.,,,,,dinner is ready so enough gabbing...chow

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Ohio butterflies are vanishing. Or are they?

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science...cts-everywhere
    Very interesting study and article about it. I actually know two people who do those surveys with The Ohio Lepidopterists.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Ohio butterflies are vanishing. Or are they?

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science...cts-everywhere
    Another synopsis of the study.


    The full paper
    Abstract:
    Severe insect declines make headlines, but they are rarely based on systematic monitoring outside of Europe. We estimate the rate of change in total butterfly abundance and the population trends for 81 species using 21 years of systematic monitoring in Ohio, USA. Total abundance is declining at 2% per year, resulting in a cumulative 33% reduction in butterfly abundance. Three times as many species have negative population trends compared to positive trends. The rate of total decline and the proportion of species in decline mirror those documented in three comparable long-term European monitoring programs. Multiple environmental changes such as climate change, habitat degradation, and agricultural practices may contribute to these declines in Ohio and shift the makeup of the butterfly community by benefiting some species over others. Our analysis of life-history traits associated with population trends shows an impact of climate change, as species with northern distributions and fewer annual generations declined more rapidly. However, even common and invasive species associated with human-dominated landscapes are declining, suggesting widespread environmental causes for these trends. Declines in common species, although they may not be close to extinction, will have an outsized impact on the ecosystem services provided by insects. These results from the most extensive, systematic insect monitoring program in North America demonstrate an ongoing defaunation in butterflies that on an annual scale might be imperceptible, but cumulatively has reduced butterfly numbers by a third over 20 years.
    Last edited by Swift; 2019-Jul-12 at 05:50 PM. Reason: added link to paper and abstract
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  10. #40
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    Could it be that the increase in the amount of genetically modified, bug-resistant (non-insecticide-needing) crops, and land clearing, has depleted the bugs' food and reproduction location supply?

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by clop View Post
    Could it be that the increase in the amount of genetically modified, bug-resistant (non-insecticide-needing) crops, and land clearing, has depleted the bugs' food and reproduction location supply?
    Most GM crops as far as I know are specifically modified to be insecticide resistant. I don't think there are any GM crops that don't need any insecticide. Certainly the monoculture method of intensive farming leaves insects with far fewer food sources and less suitable cover for reproduction.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by headrush View Post
    Most GM crops as far as I know are specifically modified to be insecticide resistant. I don't think there are any GM crops that don't need any insecticide. Certainly the monoculture method of intensive farming leaves insects with far fewer food sources and less suitable cover for reproduction.
    I got the information from here.

    http://www.genewatch.org/sub-568238#...0thuringiensis.

    Quote: "Pest resistant GM crops (primarily cotton and maize), have been genetically modified so they are toxic to certain insects. They are often called Bt crops because the introduced genes were originally identified in a bacterial species called Bacillus thuringiensis. These bacteria produce a group of toxins called Cry toxins.

    Bt crops are grown widely in the USA, where an estimated 40% of GM maize is used in industrial-scale biofuels (agrofuels) subsidised by the US government. The rest of this maize is mostly used in animal feed, as is Bt maize grown in Brazil and Argentina.

    Some Bt maize is also grown in South Africa. Bt maize is also grown in small quantities in Europe, mainly in Spain, where it is used in animal feed. Bt cotton is the only GM crop authorised to be grown in India and China. It has also been grown in smaller quantities in Pakistan, Colombia, Egypt and Burkina Faso."

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