A steep decline in flying insects?

You may have seen some of the articles about this in the newspapers over the last couple of days but I have read a bit further and think we should all take note!

Research into numbers of flying insects has been carried out by volunteers at several protected sites across Germany over the last 27 years. Simply measured by weight(biomass) in the first instance (further studies are on-going) they have published a rather shocking statistic and that is that the weight(biomass) had decreased by 75% over that time period.  And of course this has big implications along the food chain or food web as it is now referred to ~ think of all the bird species that depend on insects for food and of course there's the need for pollination for many plants both wild and all the plants grown for food.  

Amongst other papers there is a write up in the Guardian (click to link here) and the research paper is available with open access from here. Definitely worth reading up in more detail than just the headlines. The research paper is quite a hard read but the diagrams and graphs show their findings clearly; the methods describe demonstrate great attention to detail.

Another interesting article in British Wildlife magazine is about microscopic life which makes up most of the mass of life on the planet and yet is unseen.... If anyone would like to borrow my copy, let me know.