Shanghai Ocean University
Semester 2 2017/18
Research Paper (First Draft)
Name (Pinyin and English) :Zhang Jinxuan (Pinyin) Heather (English)
Student ID Number: 1793225
2017 Cohort – Class: BIS 4
Teachers: David G &David H
Title: The reasons for human society to protect endangered insects in North America
I declare that this paper is all my own work and does not contain unreferenced or unacknowledged material.
I understand that plagiarism may result in zero marks and no chance to rewrite.
Table of Content
TOC o "1-3" u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc10737 1
Body PAGEREF _Toc15374 4
1 Important components in ecosystem PAGEREF _Toc25653 4
1.1 Endangered insects in the food web PAGEREF _Toc7800 4
1.2 As disintegrators PAGEREF _Toc11516 5
2 The insects’ function of providing products PAGEREF _Toc2363 6
2.1 Providing modern consume commodity PAGEREF _Toc24075 6
2.2 Pollinating for crops PAGEREF _Toc24609 7
3 Endangered insects value in science and art. PAGEREF _Toc24761 9
3.1 Scientific value PAGEREF _Toc28949 9
3.2 Artistic value PAGEREF _Toc21897 9
Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc17345 11
Reference List PAGEREF _Toc20942 13
IntroductionInsects, which are disgusting to a number of persons, are decreasing every year. Undoubtedly, some negative impacts have been produced by insects and it is difficult for humans to have desire to protect insects. However, human beings cannot ignore the significance of insects because of several reasons. The ecosystem that humans live in is a large circle. On the earth, creatures have the relation of interdependence, but many insects are currently endangered. It is hard for endangered insects to increase the species individual amount, therefore, endangered insects require assistance from human society. Unfortunately, the aversion to bugs exist in many persons’ minds. Palmer (2013) claims that even though he regards himself as an environmentalist, he still detest household insects. As a result, it is necessary for humans to realize the importance of insects. If endangered insects require protection from humans, the public should understand the reasons why endangered insects deserve the support of the society.
Endangered insects are in a serious situation. Capps ( 2014) claims that the number of majority of foregone invertebrate fell by forty-five percent in the last 40 years provided by an article in Science. In addition, according to Tanos (2017), during the 27 years of the research, the amount of common flying insects decreased by over 75 percent. There has a lot more brutal data like these. In the website of U.S. Endangered Species (2018), there are 85 records of endangered insects. Large amount of insects are in dangerous circumstances according these statistics.
Humans should be responsible for the reduction of insect populations to some extent. Climatic variation and habitat destruction are important reasons for the reduction of a number of species. Insects are probably influenced by deforestation and global warming. Alternatively, humans are inclined to treat insects as injurious insects and miscellaneous chemical reagents are used to kill them, consequently, contaminants and insecticides may become a problem. Pesticides are highly toxic, and the cerebrum and nervous system of insects can be attacked by them. (Pesticide Action Network 2018) At any events, the decline in the number of insect species has connection with the action of humans. As a result, the amount of some endangered insect species is difficult to reach normal standard and a near extinction.
This paper will provide three reasons of to protect endangered insects and focuses on the North America region. The first reason is that insects have important roles in the biosphere. Insects are the basic components of most food webs and also the major decomposers of organic matter. Secondly, many modern day consumer products and corps incorporate the assistance of insects. Finally, insects have high value in the field of science and art, as the most diverse and abundant group of organisms on Earth. The research will introduce these three reasons in detail and show the importance of endangered insects.
The status of insects in most people’s daily life is quite awkward. Insects are usually regarded as disease carriers , disgusting creatures and disasters in droves. Moreover, most people’s impression of insects are numerous, consequently, the disappearance of some insect species cannot be noticed by public. In fact, every species is a present from nature and should be pay attention to. This research paper is written to indicate the importance of endangered insects through describing the reasons for human society of protecting endangered insects.
Body1 Important components in ecosystem1.1 Endangered insects in the food webInsects are the large constituent part in the food web. They are regarded as basic food resource by a number of species. According to Waldbauer (2012) , there are more insects than other animals combined, and insects involve the largest part of animal food effective for potential consumption. Furthermore, insects can provide the most abundant source of meat for animals that do not consume plants directly or indirectly. Insects can have vital status in the food web because of their diversity. The Biodiversity Group (2012) claims that several insects are herbivores, while other insects feed on other insects arthropods, even vertebrates. Many species of insects are parasitic on vertebrate hosts, and some insects are parasites, and females are parasitic on other arthropods, eventually eating the host. The elements in the food web can find insects easily. For this reason, huge influence probably be produced by the disappearance of endangered insects. Many destructive impacts may be produced by the disappearance of a creature because the mutual relation in the food web is fairly complicated. According to a study by Canadian biologists (2010) , the birds feed on insects are fewer than those mainly consume seeds and the gap is increasing. From this evidence, it could be said that the rapid fall of several insect species has influenced birds feeding on these insects. Moreover, there is more than one example. Monarch butterflies used to be familiar, but currently their amount has declined by ninety percent . The world wildlife fund and other organizations have determined that the loss of the monarch butterfly is the reason of a sharp drop in the number. Interestingly, in North America, the expansion of genetically modified crops is associated with a large number of marley weeds.( Kearney 2015) The decline of a butterfly has connection with the increase of genetically modified cropsin the whole of North America. This example indicates the importance of one species in the food web. A broken link in the chain can cause damage to the whole chain. Even though the food web contains a number of species, it consists of several food chains. If one food chain has problems, the whole food web will also suffer a degree of damage. In the words of the World Wildlife Fund, "When you remove one element from a fragile ecosystem, it has far-reaching and long-lasting effects on biodiversity.”( Bove 2018 )
1.2 As disintegratorsInsects appear in city not for spreading disease or disturbing people. They are of great significance on decomposing organic matter. Some people require every areas in cities that are clean and neat, but the benefits provided by insects may disappear because it would destroy their environment. (Savage 2014). An important part of humans’ life has been occupied by insects, which act as disintegrators. There is one endangered insect species called American burying beetle. According to Center for Biological Diversity (2018), American burying beetle can sniff out dead animals from two miles away. Beetles will use the carcasses of animals as shelter and food for their mates and larvae. American burying beetles are one of the most high-efficiency recyclers in nature, they assist to balance the number of ants and flies. If this type of insects become extinct, this is a loss for human society. Insects that can be regarded as decomposers not just have the American burying beetle. According to Purdue University (2014), majority of insects are omnivores, which means that they can eat different sorts of foods, such as plants, dead animals and decaying organic matter. In cities, a number of rubbish is produced by the large amount of population. Insects appear in people’s houses may draw their disgust, but in fact, insects assist humans to deal with a number of wastes. The rapid die-off of insects alone is bound to have severe consequences for the U.S. economy: A study by Cornell entomologist John Losey and Xerces Society (2006) for Invertebrate Conservation director Mace Vaughan pegs the value of ecological services provided by wild insects at $57 billion annually. As decomposers, insects have already become the indispensable part of human society.
2 The insects’ function of providing products2.1 Providing modern consume commodityWhether or not people notice it, several products required by people are provided by insects. For example, bee wax, propolis and bee bread are all quite useful for humans. Some cosmetics and drugs companies use them as raw material. Other insects can also provided daily products to assist the life of humanity. There is one insect named cochineal insect and Mexico is one of its source areas. In the food industry cochineal insects are regarded as a usual colouring agent. Even several centuries ago, cochineal dye has been used.( Bhasin ; Cruz 2012) Shellac, pharmaceuticals and even some processed food have the presence of the insects. In addition to these products, insects can also provide protein for human beings. Searching for new sources of meat is important for the future. This meat substitute has obtained support from many persons. Edible insects have become a regular dish in the food industry trends list the in just five years because of insect eaters’ efforts in the United States. (Hay 2018) The demand of humans will change as human society is developing. If the source of insects can be well preserved, some of them will assist humans to create new products. According to Waldbauer (2012), on the earth, the area that insects can live occupies a quarter of the region, and many species have not been found. There are 900,000 presently known insect species and at least three million are waiting for people to discover and name. It is a great loss if the undetected insects disappear before humans discover them.The connection between human beings and insects is likely to become closer in the future. Efforts should be provided for the important part of human society.
2.2 Pollinating for cropsHumans cannot survive without crops, and crops should be pollinated for reproduction. Insects have important status as pollinators because of its population. Regrettably, insects that can be regarded as pollinators are confronted with stern condition. Bees are a sort of eminent pollinator, but only a small fraction of people are aware of the bee crisis because bees have been widely farmed by humans. In fact?even though several bees have human care, the decrease of their number has not been avoided. According to The Nature Conservancy (2018), honey bees’ population has decreased from over 4 million in the 1970s to about 2.5 million in the present.
Figure 1:Total US managed honey bee colonies Loss Estimates(Apiary Inspectors of America ;United States Department of Agriculture 2015)
The graph above can indicate the number of bees managed by beekeepers. As can be seen, the statistics decreased beyond the acceptable level from 2006 to 2015. Although the percent of 2014~2015 bees’ winter loss fell a few amount compared to 2006~20011, the total annual loss percent was still high and was about twenty percent more than the acceptable level. If this situation continues, food crisis could appear in the future.Other insects’ pressure is produced with the decline of bees’ number. Kearney (2015) suggests that nearly 90 percent of plants should be pollinated for beeding and butterfly possibly has more significant roles among pollinators than before since the number of bees have fallen. Moreover, the roles of pollinators are not limited only to bees. Butterflies also assist plant species to have genetic variation. Since butterfly require nectar, several butterflies may migrate to distant area. This kind of behavior assists the sharing of pollen across remote groups of plants. If people pay attention to their daily life, there are employment of pollinators everywhere. To illustrate, some essentials for cooking require assistance from pollinators. These include oil, cocoa beans and tea. In addition, the crops that are regarded as the fodder of cows and other livestock should be pollinated. (Benjamin 2015) Humans cannot leave insects even just in the aspect of pollination. Considering the profit of human society, endangered pollinators cannot continue to disappear.
3 Endangered insects value in science and art.3.1 Scientific value
3.2 Artistic value
The beauty of nature usually is praised by humans, then, as a significant part of nature, humanity should also realize insects’ fairness. During several centuries, insects encouraged humans’ minds artistically. Insects can be discovered in some ancient works of art. Presently, there are also a number of people can appreciate the beauty of insects. In Austin, an art exhibition named ECLOSION was held in 2013. It highlighted many excellent approaches that insects can inspire the creativity of humans. From exquisite illustrations to the collaboration between human and insects, assembled works of art could be found in this exhibition. (Pearson 2013) However, most persons cannot aware of the artistic value that insects have. Butterflies maybe be one of the most acceptable insects in a large part of humans’ minds, but many insects are ugly and horrible to humans. Welbaum (2016) believed that the reasons might be “rejection response” — the feeling that you need to get away from something as soon as possible. There are many animals that can be dangerous, like bears for example, yet humans make bears into plush toys and cute animated characters.However, people rarely do the same for insects. This phenomenon has been partly shaped by culture, but it also has a biological origin as a mechanism designed to ensure the safety of humans. The presence of insects can be a symbol of danger. Therefore, human beings should learn to notice the beautiful side of the insect in order to avert negative impression of insects. To textile artist Jennifer Angus, insects are simply material for art. She feel comfortable with insects and she can handle insects while consuming a bag of chips. Since 1999, Angus has been using thousands of brightly colored insects to create kaleidoscopic patterns on the wall, thus short-circuiting most people initial instinct for revulsion and replacing it with amazement. .(Jao 2011) If humans’ discrimination towards insects could disappear, When you look carefully at these little things, the patterns of their shells or wings, especially the colors, can be as beautiful as any other creature.
This research paper has introduced the sake of assisting to avoid the extinction of endangered insects. The first part focused on the function of insects in ecosystem. Insects occupy lots of componments in the food web. From the position of elements in ecosystem, insects have a huge role as decomposers. After that, commodities wich have connection with insects were introduced. Various daily products and main corps were contained in this section. The ultimate section has shown the scientific value and the beauty of insects.
The purpose of this research paper was to retrieve the insect image and that leads to promote the protection of endangered insects. It seems that insects are always unpopular with people and most insects have negative image. When people notice insects, normal reactions are escape, attempting to kill or scream. If everyone indulges this case, endangered insects will be in danger. Indicating the importance of insects can assist to reduce insects negative comments and protect endangered insects.
Insects are a group of energetic species on the earth. Although many of them have not been discovered by humans, several insects have become endangered species because of several reasons. As an important portion in the ecosystem, the disappearance of any insects will produce significant damage to human society. Furthermore, insects could assist humans in mental and physical aspects. Human society should protect endangered insects because of the benefits insects have created.
Many insects are in critical condition currently because of climatic variation, habitat destruction, insecticide or several other reasons. However, the severe condition of some insects is not noticed by a number of people. Most people’s impression of insects is noisy, lousy, dirty and numerous. News that is reported about insects is usually negative. Therefore, it is vital for the public to realize the significance of insects in society and to assist endangered insects.
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