After bees and birds, insects and other arthropods have also suffered massive losses, a study from a Puerto Rico forest published on Monday showed, citing the impact of climate change.
Measuring the population of arthropods, which includes insects, caterpillars, and spiders, is not simple but one method is to place sticky traps on the ground and in the forest canopy.
They found that the dry weight biomass of arthropods captured in sweep samples had declined by four to eight times, and by 30 to 60 times in sticky traps, according to their findings published in the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .
This decline was accompanied by parallel reductions in insectivorous lizards, frogs, and birds, according to observations by the researchers.
If the tropical forests go, it will be yet another catastrophic failure of the whole Earth system.
The mean maximum temperatures, recorded by a forest weather station, increased 2°C between 1978 and 2015.