jueves, 16 de enero de 2020

Linking global crop and livestock consumption to local production hotspots Author links open overlay panel
Sun et al., 2019

The first spatial assessment of crops and livestock embodied in trade.

A road network served to allocate between domestic consumption and exports.

Food production for high-income countries is spread over larger areas.

Per-capita food consumption in high-income countries far exceeds tentative targets.

International trade plays a critical role in global food security, with global consumption having highly localized environmental impacts. It has been difficult to gain insights into these effects due to the diversity of food production, and complexity of supply chains in international trade. We present a Spatially-explicit Multi-Regional Input-Output (SMRIO) model which couples primary crops and livestock at a high spatial resolution with a global Multi-Regional Input-Output (MRIO) model. We then identify hotspots (the most significant production regions) for primary crops and livestock driven by international consumption. We present the method and data behind this approach, and provide illustrative case studies for Indonesian palm oil and Brazilian soy and beef production. Regionally, China is the largest primary crop consumer, while the EU28 is the largest livestock consumer. Primary crops and livestock hotspots are highly unequal, and the embodied primary crops and livestock for high-income countries are distributed over larger areas when compared to lower-income countries since high-income countries have more numerous trade links. Identified hotspots could allow for increased cooperation between consumers (high-income countries) and producers (lower-income countries) to improve sustainability programs for global food security.


lunes, 13 de enero de 2020

The universe exists solely of waves of motion.There exists nothing other than vibration.

Walter Russell

sábado, 11 de enero de 2020


“Bienen” (Bees) 
Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 1905.

jueves, 9 de enero de 2020

International scientists formulate a roadmap for insect conservation and recovery

Harvey et al., 2020.

To the Editor — A growing number of studies are providing evidence that a suite of anthropogenic stressors — habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution, invasive species, climate change and overharvesting — are seriously reducing insect and other invertebrate abundance, diversity and biomass across the biosphere1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. These declines affect all functional groups: herbivores, detritivores, parasitoids, predators and pollinators. Insects are vitally important in a wide range of ecosystem services9 of which some are vitally important for food production and security (for example, pollination and pest control)10. There is now a strong scientific consensus that the decline of insects, other arthropods and biodiversity as a whole, is a very real and serious threat that society must urgently address11,12,13. In response to the increasing public awareness of the problem, the German government is committing funds to combat and reverse declining insect numbers13. This funding should act as a clarion call to other nations across the world — especially wealthier ones — to follow suit and to respond proactively to the crisis by addressing the known and suspected threats and implementing solutions.
We hereby propose a global ‘roadmap’ for insect conservation and recovery (Fig. 1). This entails the immediate implementation of several ‘no-regret’ measures (Fig. 1, step 1) that will act to slow or stop insect declines. Among the initiatives we encourage are the following immediate measures:

Taking aggressive steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; reversing recent trends in agricultural intensification including reduced application of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and pursuing their replacement with agro-ecological measures; promoting the diversification and maintenance of locally adapted land-use techniques; increasing landscape heterogeneity through the maintenance of natural areas within the landscape matrix and ensuring the retention and creation of microhabitats within habitats which may be increasingly important for insects during extreme climatic events such as droughts or heatwaves; reducing identified local threats such as light, water or noise pollution, invasive species and so on; prioritizing the import of goods that are not produced at the cost of healthy, species-rich ecosystems; designing and deploying policies (for example, subsidies and taxation) to induce the innovation and adoption of insect-friendly technologies; enforcing stricter measures to reduce the introduction of alien species, and prioritizing nature-based tactics for their (long-term) mitigation; compiling and implementing conservation strategies for species that are vulnerable, threatened or endangered; funding educational and outreach programs, including those tailored to the needs of the wider public, farmers, land managers, decision makers and conservation professionals; enhancing ‘citizen science’ or ‘community science’ as a way of obtaining more data on insect diversity and abundance as well as engaging the public, especially in areas where academic or professional infrastructure is lacking; devising and deploying measures across agricultural and food value chains that favour insect-friendly farming, including tracking, labelling, certification and insurance schemes or outcome-based incentives that facilitate behavioural changes, and investing in capacity building to create a new generation of insect conservationists and providing knowledge and skills to existing professionals (particularly in developing countries).
To better understand changes in insect abundance and diversity, research should aim to prioritize the following areas:
Quantifying temporal trends in insect abundance, diversity and biomass by extracting long-term datasets from existing insect collections to inform new censuses; exploring the relative contributions of different anthropogenic stressors causing insect declines within and across different taxa; initiating long-term studies comparing insect abundance and diversity in different habitats and ecosystems along a management-intensity gradient and at the intersection of agricultural and natural habitats; designing and validating insect-friendly techniques that are effective, locally relevant and economically sound in agriculture, managed habitats and urban environments; promoting and applying standardized monitoring protocols globally and establishing long-term monitoring plots or sites based on such protocols, as well as increasing support for existing monitoring efforts; establishing an international governing body under the auspices of existing bodies (for example, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) or the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)) that is accountable for documenting and monitoring the effects of proposed solutions on insect biodiversity in the longer term; launching public–private partnerships and sustainable financing initiatives with the aim of restoring, protecting and creating new vital insect habitats as well as managing key threats; increasing exploration and research to improve biodiversity assessments, with a focus on regional capacity building in understudied and neglected areas, and performing large-scale assessments of the conservation status of insect groups to help define priority species, areas and issues.
Most importantly, we should not wait to act until we have addressed every key knowledge gap. We currently have enough information on some key causes of insect decline to formulate no-regret solutions whilst more data are compiled for lesser-known taxa and regions and long-term data are aggregated and assessed. Implementation should be accompanied by research that examines impacts, the results of which can be used to modify and improve the implementation of effective measures. Furthermore, such a ‘learning-by-doing’ approach ensures that these conservation strategies are robust to newly emerging pressures and threats. We must act now.


lunes, 6 de enero de 2020

The historical record makes Homo sapiens look like an ecological serial killer. 

Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

viernes, 3 de enero de 2020

Increase in crop losses to insect pests in a warming climate      
Deutsch et al., 2019

Crop responses to climate warming suggest that yields will decrease as growing-season temperatures increase. Deutsch et al. show that this effect may be exacerbated by insect pests. Insects already consume 5 to 20% of major grain crops. The authors' models show that for the three most important grain crops—wheat, rice, and maize—yield lost to insects will increase by 10 to 25% per degree Celsius of warming, hitting hardest in the temperate zone. These findings provide an estimate of further potential climate impacts on global food supply and a benchmark for future regional and field-specific studies of crop-pest-climate interactions.

Insect pests substantially reduce yields of three staple grains—rice, maize, and wheat—but models assessing the agricultural impacts of global warming rarely consider crop losses to insects. We use established relationships between temperature and the population growth and metabolic rates of insects to estimate how and where climate warming will augment losses of rice, maize, and wheat to insects. Global yield losses of these grains are projected to increase by 10 to 25% per degree of global mean surface warming. Crop losses will be most acute in areas where warming increases both population growth and metabolic rates of insects. These conditions are centered primarily in temperate regions, where most grain is produced.

Global loss of crop production owing to the impact of climate warming on insect pests. Crop production losses for (A) wheat, (B) rice, and (C) maize are computed by multiplying the fractional change in population metabolism by the estimated current yield loss owing to insect pests, summed over worldwide crop locations. Results are plotted versus mean global surface temperature change, for four climate models, for two different values of the demographic parameter governing survival during diapause (ϕo = 0.0001, asterisks; ϕo = 0.001, circles), and for the metabolic effect alone (triangles). Mt/yr, metric megatons per year. The year in which a given global mean temperature anomaly is reached (D) depends on the greenhouse gas emissions scenario (RCP, representative concentration pathway) and varies across models (shading) owing to uncertainty in climate sensitivity to those emissions.


miércoles, 1 de enero de 2020

Nothing is invented, for it's written in nature first

Antonio Gaudí 
Cuban Blue Passion Flower (1826), by Anne Kingsbury Wollstonecraft (1791-1828).

viernes, 27 de diciembre de 2019

jueves, 26 de diciembre de 2019