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No net insect abundance and diversity declines across US Long Term Ecological Research sites

Citation

Crossley, Michael et al. (2020), No net insect abundance and diversity declines across US Long Term Ecological Research sites, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cc2fqz645

Abstract

Recent reports of dramatic declines in insect abundance suggest grave consequences for global ecosystems and human society. Most evidence comes from Europe, however, leaving uncertainty about insect population trends worldwide. We used > 5,300 time series for insects and other arthropods, collected over 4-36 years at monitoring sites representing 68 different natural and managed areas, to search for evidence of declines across the United States. Some taxa and sites showed decreases in abundance and diversity while others increased or were unchanged, yielding net abundance and biodiversity trends generally indistinguishable from zero. This lack of overall increase or decline was consistent across arthropod feeding groups, and was similar for heavily disturbed versus relatively natural sites. The apparent robustness of U.S. arthropod populations is reassuring. Yet, this result does not diminish the need for continued monitoring and could mask subtler changes in species composition that nonetheless endanger insect-provided ecosystem services. 

Methods

Data curated from NSF Long-Term Ecological Research Site public repositories.

Usage Notes

R code used to curate and analyze data is included.

Funding

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Award: NIFA-OREI 2015-51300-24155

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Award: NIFA-SCRI 2015-51181-24292