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Nature crisis: 'Insect apocalypse' more complicated than thought

The global health of insect populations is far more complicated than previously thought, new data suggests.

Previous research indicated an alarming decline in numbers in all parts of world, with losses of up to 25% per decade.

This new study, the largest carried out to date, says the picture is more complex and varied.

Land-dwelling insects are definitely declining the authors say, while bugs living in freshwater are increasing.

Reports of the rapid and widespread decline of insects globally have caused great worry to scientists.

The creatures are among the most abundant and diverse species on the planet and play key roles, from aerating the soil to pollination and recycling of nutrients.



Case studies, such as one from nature reserves in western Germany, indicated a dramatic fall, with around a 75% decrease over 27 years. Many other, similar reports have followed. But many of these were specific to a region or a species.


This new study, the largest on insect change to date, aims to give a more complete understanding of what's really happening to bugs worldwide.


Drawing on data from 166 long-term surveys across 1,676 sites, it paints a highly nuanced and variable picture of the state of insect health.


Read the full article by Matt McGrath here at the BBC


Read the scientific paper here at Science Mag

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