The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences recently issued a report on the status of arthropods in rain forests (Bradford C. Lister and Andres Garcia, Climate-Driven Declines in Arthropod Abundance Restructure a Rainforest Food Web, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018.
The report’s shocking analysis discovered a collapsing food web in tropical rainforests. Oh please! Can ecological news get any worse than this?
Biologists Brad Lister and Andres Garcia of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México returned to Puerto Rico’s Luquillo Rain Forest after 40 years, and what they found blew them away. Abundance of insects, and arthropods in general, declined by as much as 60-fold and average temps had risen by 2°C over the past four decades. According to the scientists, global warming is impacting the rain forest with distinctive gusto.
According to Lister:
It was just a collapse in the insect community. A really dramatic change… The insect populations in the Luquillo forest are crashing.
It doesn’t get much worse than “crashing” of ecosystem support systems; i.e., insects and arthropods in general, which are in the phylum Euarthropoda, inclusive of insects, arachnids, myriapods, and crustaceans. This equates to a loss of basic structures of biosphere life forces.
The research team believes they are already seeing today what the recent IPCC report predicted for climate change in 2040. In their words: “It’s a harbinger of a…