Insect apocalypse

Stuff that’s happening in the world that may pertain to our survival. Please keep political debates off the forum.

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the_alias
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Insect apocalypse

Post by the_alias » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:30 pm

Take your pick of news articles:

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47198576

The actual study they are all referencing:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 0718313636
Abstract
Biodiversity of insects is threatened worldwide. Here, we present a comprehensive review of 73 historical reports of insect declines from across the globe, and systematically assess the underlying drivers. Our work reveals dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40% of the world's insect species over the next few decades. In terrestrial ecosystems, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera and dung beetles (Coleoptera) appear to be the taxa most affected, whereas four major aquatic taxa (Odonata, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Ephemeroptera) have already lost a considerable proportion of species. Affected insect groups not only include specialists that occupy particular ecological niches, but also many common and generalist species. Concurrently, the abundance of a small number of species is increasing; these are all adaptable, generalist species that are occupying the vacant niches left by the ones declining. Among aquatic insects, habitat and dietary generalists, and pollutant-tolerant species are replacing the large biodiversity losses experienced in waters within agricultural and urban settings. The main drivers of species declines appear to be in order of importance: i) habitat loss and conversion to intensive agriculture and urbanisation; ii) pollution, mainly that by synthetic pesticides and fertilisers; iii) biological factors, including pathogens and introduced species; and iv) climate change. The latter factor is particularly important in tropical regions, but only affects a minority of species in colder climes and mountain settings of temperate zones. A rethinking of current agricultural practices, in particular a serious reduction in pesticide usage and its substitution with more sustainable, ecologically-based practices, is urgently needed to slow or reverse current trends, allow the recovery of declining insect populations and safeguard the vital ecosystem services they provide. In addition, effective remediation technologies should be applied to clean polluted waters in both agricultural and urban environments.
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Re: Insect apocalypse

Post by Stercutus » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:39 am

Mankind is killing every other species on the planet at a record pace. By the end of this century I reckon everything not on a farm or in a zoo will be dead.
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Re: Insect apocalypse

Post by flybynight » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:04 am

Stercutus wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:39 am
Mankind is killing every other species on the planet at a record pace. By the end of this century I reckon everything not on a farm or in a zoo will be dead.
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Re: Insect apocalypse

Post by MPMalloy » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:30 am

This is a critical, maybe leading to a fatal blow, for the ecology. This could cause something akin to The Road, though in the movie what ever happened, happened suddenly.

Now to search fanfic.

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Re: Insect apocalypse

Post by Stercutus » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:03 pm

The road was nuclear war.
These days of dust
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Will blow away with this new Son

But I'll kneel down wait for now
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Re: Insect apocalypse

Post by MPMalloy » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:19 pm

Stercutus wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:03 pm
The road was nuclear war.
Was that from the book?

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Re: Insect apocalypse

Post by flybynight » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:14 am

Stercutus wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:03 pm
The road was nuclear war.
" the Road is a 2006 novel by American writer Cormac McCarthy. It is a post-apocalyptic novel detailing the journey of a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blasted by an unspecified cataclysm that has destroyed most of civilization and, in the intervening years, almost all life on Earth." ( Wikipedia )
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Re: Insect apocalypse

Post by Ellywick » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:00 am

It is disturbing simply from a concern over the general ecosystem and how fast it is being altered. It is even more concerning when you think about the fact that Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths) and Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, etc) are the primary pollinating species for the entire planet. I have noticed in my own garden the past few years I see a lot fewer bees than I have previously and have started (only because it is small and I can do so) hand-pollenating my squash, zucchini, cucumber, cantalope, etc. when I can because otherwise the yield is much, much lower than it should be. And I have a flower bed with tons of plants bees love and a backyard with bunches of blooming clover and honeysuckle that I use absolutely no pesticides or herbicides on, so normally bees should be a buzzing all over the place.

I think through tech or human-tended populations of the above species our crops could survive the decline/disappearance of the above taxa in the wild. That being said, the extra manpower and money that would require would cause plant-based food (already more expensive than it should be) to raise in price, creating even further issues for humanity. Soylent Green, anyone?
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