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New evidence links insect population collapse to dams by Liam N. Nash, The Conversation


Insects are the most numerous group of animals on the planet. There are an estimated 5.5 million species, 80% of which remain to be discovered. Yet insects are experiencing steep, widespread declines across the world: a "death by a thousand cuts" because of human activity.

Insects perform almost every role imaginable in an ecosystem, including pollinating crops, keeping pests under control, and acting as food for other animals. The potential consequences of their decline are so dire that it has been dubbed the "insect apocalypse."

Following the flurry of attention this impending environmental catastrophe generated, a more complex picture has emerged—with one gap in our understanding glaringly clear. Despite tropical and subtropical regions housing an estimated 85% of Earth's insects, what is happening in those regions is critically understudied.

Dams and declines

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