A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans. It’s a catastrophe

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Insects have triumphed for hundreds of millions of years in every habitat but the ocean.

Their success is unparalleled, which makes their disappearance all the more alarming

Τhirty-five years ago an American biologist Terry Erwin conducted an experiment to count insect species. Using an insecticide “fog”, he managed to extract all the small living things in the canopies of 19 individuals of one species of tropical tree, Luehea seemannii, in the rainforest of Panama.

Anar 1aHe recorded about 1,200 separate species, nearly all of them coleoptera (beetles) and many new to science; and he estimated that 163 of these would be found on Luehea seemannii only.

He calculated that as there are about 50,000 species of tropical tree, if that figure of 163 was typical for all the…

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