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More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas

Published on Oct 18, 2017in PLOS ONE 2.78
· DOI :10.1371/journal.pone.0185809
Caspar A. Hallmann7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Radboud University Nijmegen),
Martin Sorg1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 9 AuthorsHans de Kroon45
Estimated H-index: 45
(Radboud University Nijmegen)
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Abstract
Global declines in insects have sparked wide interest among scientists, politicians, and the general public. Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and to jeopardize ecosystem services. Our understanding of the extent and underlying causes of this decline is based on the abundance of single species or taxonomic groups only, rather than changes in insect biomass which is more relevant for ecological functioning. Here, we used a standardized protocol to measure total insect biomass using Malaise traps, deployed over 27 years in 63 nature protection areas in Germany (96 unique location-year combinations) to infer on the status and trend of local entomofauna. Our analysis estimates a seasonal decline of 76%, and mid-summer decline of 82% in flying insect biomass over the 27 years of study. We show that this decline is apparent regardless of habitat type, while changes in weather, land use, and habitat characteristics cannot explain this overall decline. This yet unrecognized loss of insect biomass must be taken into account in evaluating declines in abundance of species depending on insects as a food source, and ecosystem functioning in the European landscape.
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  • Citations (234)
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References54
Newest
Gerardo Ceballos39
Estimated H-index: 39
(UNAM: National Autonomous University of Mexico),
Paul R. Ehrlich97
Estimated H-index: 97
(Stanford University),
Rodolfo Dirzo51
Estimated H-index: 51
(Stanford University)
Abstract The population extinction pulse we describe here shows, from a quantitative viewpoint, that Earth’s sixth mass extinction is more severe than perceived when looking exclusively at species extinctions. Therefore, humanity needs to address anthropogenic population extirpation and decimation immediately. That conclusion is based on analyses of the numbers and degrees of range contraction (indicative of population shrinkage and/or population extinctions according to the International Union ...
216 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2017in Journal of Animal Ecology 4.36
Osgur McDermott Long1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UEA: University of East Anglia),
Rachel Warren29
Estimated H-index: 29
(UEA: University of East Anglia)
+ 3 AuthorsAldina M. A. Franco19
Estimated H-index: 19
(UEA: University of East Anglia)
There is growing recognition as to the importance of extreme climatic events (ECEs) in determining changes in species populations. In fact, it is often the extent of climate variability that determines a population's ability to persist at a given site. This study examined the impact of ECEs on the resident UK butterfly species (n = 41) over a 37-year period. The study investigated the sensitivity of butterflies to four extremes (drought, extreme precipitation, extreme heat and extreme cold), ide...
18 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2016in Nature Communications 11.88
Ben A. Woodcock31
Estimated H-index: 31
,
Nick J. B. Isaac35
Estimated H-index: 35
+ 4 AuthorsR. F. Pywell40
Estimated H-index: 40
Neonicotinoid as insecticide on oilseed rape can reduce bee colony density, but its effect at a large geographical scale is unclear. This study describes 18-year long wild bee tracking data in England and show neonicotinoid use is correlated with wild bee population declines at real landscape scales.
91 Citations Source Cite
Published on Aug 1, 2016in Biological Reviews 10.29
Roman Furrer2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Swiss Ornithological Institute),
Gilberto Pasinelli20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Swiss Ornithological Institute)
Assessing the role of local populations in a landscape context has become increasingly important in the fields of conservation biology and ecology. A growing number of studies attempt to determine the source–sink status of local populations. As the source–sink concept is commonly used for management decisions in nature conservation, accurate assessment approaches are crucial. Based on a systematic literature review of studies published between 2002 and 2013, we evaluated a priori predictions on ...
19 Citations Source Cite
Published on Aug 1, 2016in Conservation Biology 6.19
Jan Christian Habel25
Estimated H-index: 25
(TUM: Technische Universität München),
Andreas Segerer1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 3 AuthorsThomas Schmitt26
Estimated H-index: 26
(MLU: Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg)
Environmental changes strongly impact the distribution of species and subsequently the composition of species assemblages. Although most community ecology studies represent temporal snap shots, long-term observations are rather rare. However, only such time series allow the identification of species composition shifts over several decades or even centuries. We analyzed changes in the species composition of a southeastern German butterfly and burnet moth community over nearly 2 centuries (1840-20...
32 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 15, 2016in Science 41.04
Jeremy A. Thomas36
Estimated H-index: 36
(University of Oxford)
Butterflies are better documented and monitored worldwide than any other nonpest taxon of insects ( 1 ). In the United Kingdom alone, volunteer recorders have sampled more than 750,000 km of repeat transects since 1976, equivalent to walking to the Moon and back counting butterflies ( 2 ). Such programs are revealing regional extinctions and population declines that began before 1900 ( 3 , 4 ). In a recent study, Habel et al. report a similar story based on inventories of butterflies and burnet ...
26 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2015in Global Change Biology 8.88
Julie A. Ewald8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust),
Christopher J. Wheatley4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust)
+ 4 AuthorsMichael B. Morecroft1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Natural England)
Cereal fields are central to balancing food production and environmental health in the face of climate change. Within them, invertebrates provide key ecosystem services. Using 42 years of monitoring data collected in southern England, we investigated the sensitivity and resilience of invertebrates in cereal fields to extreme weather events and examined the effect of long-term changes in temperature, rainfall and pesticide use on invertebrate abundance. Of the 26 invertebrate groups examined, ele...
17 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 12, 2014in Science 41.04
Jeff Ollerton34
Estimated H-index: 34
(University of Northampton),
Hilary E. Erenler3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Northampton)
+ 1 AuthorsRobin G M Crockett14
Estimated H-index: 14
(University of Northampton)
It is increasingly recognized that many pollinator populations are declining. Ollerton et al. looked at British historical distribution records for bees and flower-visiting wasps across the past century. Though it is well known that agricultural intensification after World War II had a negative impact on many species, pollinator declines began in the decades preceding this time, when other changes were made to agricultural practices and policies. Science , this issue p. [1360][1] [1]: /lookup/vo...
114 Citations Source Cite
Published on Aug 1, 2014in Current opinion in insect science 3.78
Louie H. Yang23
Estimated H-index: 23
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis),
Claudio Gratton39
Estimated H-index: 39
(UW: University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Insects and other small invertebrates are ubiquitous components of all terrestrial and freshwater food webs, but their cumulative biomass is small relative to plants and microbes. As a result, it is often assumed that these animals make relatively minor contributions to ecosystem processes. Despite their small sizes and cumulative biomass, we suggest that these animals may commonly have important effects on carbon and nutrient cycling by modulating the quality and quantity of resources that ente...
38 Citations Source Cite
Published on Aug 1, 2014in Journal of Applied Ecology 5.78
Richard Fox33
Estimated H-index: 33
(Butterfly Conservation),
Tom H. Oliver26
Estimated H-index: 26
+ 3 AuthorsDavid B. Roy59
Estimated H-index: 59
Summary 1. Species’ distributions are likely to be affected by a combination of environmental drivers. We used a data set of 11 million species occurrence records over the period 1970–2010 to assess changes in the frequency of occurrence of 673 macro-moth species in Great Britain. Groups of species with different predicted sensitivities showed divergent trends, which we interpret in the context of land-use and climatic changes. 2. A diversity of responses was revealed: 260 moth species declined ...
75 Citations Source Cite
Cited By234
Newest
Published on Feb 19, 2019in Environmental Sciences Europe
Matthias Liess47
Estimated H-index: 47
(Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ),
Toni Ratte1
Estimated H-index: 1
+ 1 AuthorsHenner Hollert40
Estimated H-index: 40
(RWTH Aachen University)
Pesticides contribute to this reduction of biodiversity in ecosystems. Obviously, environmental risk assessment did not prevent adverse pesticide effects on non-target organisms. This called for an identification of processes that are relevant to extrapolate from simplified investigations to the reality of pesticide effects in the field, one of the prominent research areas at the SETAC GLB since two decades. We identify research areas that are relevant to link toxicant effects from test systems ...
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 7, 2019
David J. Duffy (Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience), Mark Q. Martindale58
Estimated H-index: 58
(Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience)
Our recent Communications Biology research article revealed the genomic drivers and therapeutic vulnerabilities of sea turtle fibropapillomatosis tumors. Fibropapillomatosis is a debilitating tumorous disease afflicting populations of green sea turtles globally. While a virus is involved in the development of this disease, it is increasingly understood that the key trigger is linked to anthropogenic disturbances of the environment. The specific environmental co-trigger(s) has yet to be functiona...
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Published on Jan 16, 2019
Ana Paula Simões-Wüst13
Estimated H-index: 13
,
Pieter C. Dagnelie39
Estimated H-index: 39
(UM: Maastricht University)
Worldwide, traditional diets are being replaced by diets with high proportions of ultra-processed industrial foods, meat products and refined sugars, fats and oils. By contrast, the (slowly) growing consumption of unrefined organic food products and the more and more popular organic-type of diets are associated with lower consumption of these foods. In this comment, we argue that the growth of the organic food chain is already now contributing to the goal of improving public health in global ter...
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Published on Jan 3, 2019in Nature Communications 11.88
Nico Eisenhauer42
Estimated H-index: 42
(Leipzig University),
Aletta Bonn26
Estimated H-index: 26
(FSU: University of Jena),
Carlos A. Guerra4
Estimated H-index: 4
(MLU: Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg)
Invertebrates are central to the functioning of ecosystems, yet they are underappreciated and understudied. Recent work has shown that they are suffering from rapid decline. Here we call for a greater focus on invertebrates and make recommendations for future investigation.
3 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 16, 2019in Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation 3.58
Richard B. Woodward1
Estimated H-index: 1
(NU: Northwestern University),
Levi J. Hargrove29
Estimated H-index: 29
(NU: Northwestern University)
Background Pattern recognition technology allows for more intuitive control of myoelectric prostheses. However, the need to collect electromyographic data to initially train the pattern recognition system, and to re-train it during prosthesis use, adds complexity that can make using such a system difficult. Although experienced clinicians may be able to guide users to ensure successful data collection methods, they may not always be available when a user needs to (re)train their device.
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Published on Feb 12, 2019in Environmental Evidence
Romain Sordello2
Estimated H-index: 2
(CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique),
Frédérique Flamerie de Lachapelle2
Estimated H-index: 2
+ 1 AuthorsSylvie Vanpeene2
Estimated H-index: 2
Background For decades, biodiversity has suffered massive losses worldwide. Urbanization is one of the major drivers of extinction because it leads to the physical fragmentation and loss of natural habitats and it is associated with related effects, e.g. pollution and in particular noise pollution given that many man-made sounds are generated in cities (e.g. industrial and traffic noise, etc.). However, all human activities generate sounds, even far from any human habitation (e.g. motor boats on...
2 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 29, 2019in Forest Ecosystems
Ernst-Detlef Schulze111
Estimated H-index: 111
(MPG: Max Planck Society),
Dylan Craven19
Estimated H-index: 19
+ 8 AuthorsChristian Ammer24
Estimated H-index: 24
(GAU: University of Göttingen)
Background The global decrease in wildlife populations, especially birds, is mainly due to land use change and increasing intensity of land use (Parmesan and Yohe 2003). However, impacts of management tools to mitigate biodiversity loss at regional and global scales are less apparent in forest regions that have a constant forest area, and which did not suffer from habitat degradation, and where forests are sustainably managed, such as in Central Europe or the northeastern USA. A biodiversity ass...
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 29, 2019in Nature Communications 11.88
Andreas Schuldt17
Estimated H-index: 17
(MLU: Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg),
Anne Ebeling17
Estimated H-index: 17
(FSU: University of Jena)
+ 19 AuthorsFelix Fornoff4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Freiburg)
Humans modify ecosystems and biodiversity worldwide, with negative consequences for ecosystem functioning. Promoting plant diversity is increasingly suggested as a mitigation strategy. However, our mechanistic understanding of how plant diversity affects the diversity of heterotrophic consumer communities remains limited. Here, we disentangle the relative importance of key components of plant diversity as drivers of herbivore, predator, and parasitoid species richness in experimental forests and...
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