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Old 07-09-2009, 08:40 PM   #1
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cricket Bugs: The Forgotten Victims of Climate Change

Bugs: The Forgotten Victims of Climate Change
By Lily Whiteman, National Science Foundation
posted: 03 July 2009 09:53 am ET

Bugs: The Forgotten Victims of Climate Change | LiveScience
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If it were up to Jessica Hellmann, insects such as butterflies and beetles would wield just as much conservation clout as traditional conservation icons, such as polar bears, tigers and dolphins.

Why?

“Animals such as polar bears, tigers and dolphins are tremendously important, but mostly because they help define how we think about our relationship with the natural world,” says Hellmann. “But when it comes to the functioning of ecosystems, insects are where it’s at.”

Why are insects so ecologically important? “They carry diseases, they pollinate and they have economic impacts on crops and timber,” says Hellmann, a biologist at the University of Notre Dame. In fact, almost 80 percent of the world’s crop plants require pollination, and the annual value of insect pollinated crops in the U.S. is about $20 billion. What’s more, most of the living organisms on Earth are insects.

They are also particularly sensitive to climate change — as invertebrates, they can’t regulate their own body temperatures — making them “great little thermometers,” Hellmann adds.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:27 AM   #2
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Oh my gosh. I couldn't agree more. Doug Tallamy's book has gone far to spread this message.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:04 AM   #3
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"Bugs" are also a critical source of nutrition and energy for many birds and small animals.
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