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WAGENINGEN – Insects are choosier than you might think: whether or not they end up feeding on a particular plant depends on much more than just the species to which that plant belongs. The quality of the individual plant is an important factor as well. As is the variety of other plants growing around it. But what, ultimately, makes an insect choose one plant over another?
It’s no secret that many insects are struggling worldwide. But we could fix these insects’ problems, according to more than 70 scientists from 21 countries. Their road map to insect conservation and recovery is published in Nature Ecology & Evolution this week. From urgent ‘no-regret’ solutions to long-term global comparisons.
Thiacloprid, a widely-used pesticide, can cause a large-scale decline in freshwater insects. This was discovered by a team of researchers from Leiden University, including current NIOO-director Geert de Snoo.
‘If no action is taken to better understand and reduce the impact of climate change on insects, we will drastically limit our chances of a sustainable future with healthy ecosystems.’ This warning in a very topical paper in Ecological Monographs comes from 70 scientists from 19 countries around the world. But, they also provide ways to help insects in a warming world complete with management strategies.