Environmental Changes and Decline in Insect Population
Scientists from around the world are fully aware of the burning climate change issue so the different types of research are conducted yearly with regards to warming temperature’s influence on the Planet’s environment. It is extremely important to foresee the dangers and potential negative consequences of global warming until it gets too late.
Reportedly, insects are a part of an ecosystem that is hugely influenced by climate change. Scientists analyzed UK data worth 50 years and concluded that insects have no place to hide from the changes in the atmosphere.
The thing is that previously it was considered that woodlands would work as a shield for its many ecosystems, including insects. Unfortunately, the shade from the trees didn’t manage to regulate the temperature regardless of scientific expectations. According to the study results, the woodlands ended up being as unprotected from the influence of temperature increase as open grasslands.
The focus of the research was put on examination of the data related to the first flights of butterflies and different types of moths and aphids in the springtime. An average temperature kept rising and its influence on the first appearance of bird eggs between 1965 and 2012 was also a focal point of the research. It appeared that there is a connection between emerging of insects and eggs of birds. The former group shows up a month earlier while the latter one emerges only a week earlier than usual. This demonstrates how animals get desynchronized with their prey and this process may cause a serious imbalance in many involved ecosystems.
Study Reveals That Butterfly Numbers Plummet by Staggering 84%
According to one of the multiple studies, butterfly number fell by a shocking 84% over the course of 130 years in the Netherlands only. Puerto Rico and Germany data also showed dropping numbers in the last 30 years. There is no place for insects to hide in UK woodlands either and the plummeting numbers are also seen in this area. The population of birds that depend on insects as a food option dropped by 13% across Europe and by 28% in Denmark. The omnivorous birds though did not show a similar decline in the general dynamics of their development.
Falling of Insect Numbers Threatens to Cause Nature Collapse
Birds appear to be on the top of several food chains and the shifting availability of insects causes their delayed breeding.
Even though the habitat does influence the timing of egg-laying and insect emerging, the difference can’t be called crucial. Still, the location, in particular how far north a specific species lives, does add to the slight variations in the received data.
The first flights of aphids are estimated to happen about a month earlier in comparison to similar data received 50 years ago. There is a similar situation with butterflies and moths, which also appear several weeks earlier than decades before.
The trouble is that such environmental change influences people because the shift in timing affects farming. The aphids, which appear too early, start attacking young plants with the immature immune system so the crops become very susceptible to viruses transmitted by the insects.
Wildlife also experiences damaging consequences of timing shifts. The leafing date of some trees is determined by the appearance of caterpillars, which in their turn affect the nesting time of some birds, which need to lay eggs. Exceptionally warm weather also determines bird mating time and migratory schedule, which has a cascading effect through the food chains eventually leading to negative consequences for the human being.