Insect populations have fallen worldwide due to the use of pesticides and other factors, with potential "catastrophic" effects on the planet, a study threatens.
More than 40% of insect species may be lost over the next few decades, according to the "Global Initial Disappearance: Review of its Followers" report, published in the journal Biological Conservation.
Insect biomass drops by 2.5% a year, a rate that indicates massive loss
In addition to 40% of the risk of dying, one third of the species is endangered – numbers that can cause the collapse of the planet's ecosystem with a devastating impact on life on earth.
The report, co-authored by scientists from the universities of Sydney and Queensland and the China Academy of Agricultural Sciences, looked at dozens of existing insect loss reports published in the past three decade
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The leading author, Francisco Sanchez-Bayo, of the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney, called the study the first true worldwide review of the issue. While focusing on the past has been in denial of vertebrate biodiversity of the animal, this study studies the importance of insect life in ecosystems and food chain. Bugs make up around 70% of all species.
The effects of insect loss will be "a catastrophe to be said," according to the report, while insects are "in the structure and functional base of many of the world's ecosystems since their rise … almost 400 million years ago. "
The main causes of rejection include" loss of accommodation and conversion to intensive agriculture and urbanization, "pollution, especially pesticides and fertilizers, as well as biological factors , such as "
As large numbers of insect specialists, filling in a specific ecological niche, and general insects fall, a small group of adaptable insects is seeing their number increases – but nowhere near the denial of arrest, the report found.
Little creatures running the world
Don Sands, an entomologist and ret Iranian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research scientist analysts said he agreed to "fully" that the "bottom-up" effects of insect loss were severe.
"If we do not have insects as moderators of other pest populations, we have insect populations that destroy and destroy crops and make it hard to grow," he said.
He added that ecosystem at this level is "going to be a balance.
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Insect fall reports are not new: researchers warn of the phenomenon and effect of these years.
Last year, a study discovered that insect populations in German origin were dropped by more than 75% during a 27-year study, meaning that death occurs even beyond the areas affected by human activity.
"These are non-agricultural areas, these are locations for the preservation of biodiversity, but we still see the insects sliding in our hands," says co-author of the report Caspar Hallman.
Birds that eat birds
Species that rely on insects as food sources – and the predators of the food chain that eat those species – are likely to suffer from the decline , according to scientists. The pollination of both crops and wild plants will also be affected, including nutrient cycling on the ground.
In fact, "the ecosystem services provided by wild insects are estimated to be $ 57 billion annually in the USA," according to a previous study.
Some 80% of wild plants use insects for pollination while 60% of birds rely on insects as food sources, according to the study. Sands said that the immediate danger of falling insects is the loss of insect birds, and the risk of larger birds eating from eating insects in one's diet.
In his native Australia, "the insect-eating birds are becoming
Radical action required
The report authors demand radical and immediate action.
"Since insects make up the world's most abundant and (diversity-diversified) animal groups and provide critical services within ecosystems, such events can not be ignored and should spur of decisive action to prevent the overthrow of the ecosystems of nature, "they wrote.
They suggested overhaul of existing agricultural practices," specifically a serious reduction in the use of pesticide and its replacement there are more sustainable ecological based methods. "
" The conclusions are clear: unless we change our way of making food, insects altogether fall under the decimals of their decades, "they concluded.