Arabia Weather - The spread of insects usually increases in the summer, but as we approach winter and the cold weather sets in, it becomes rare to see and feel insects around us. You may think that insects die by winter, but if we delve deeper, we will find another scientific explanation for this. The command.
The latest studies have shown that flying insects, just like birds, migrate every season, and it is worth noting that this phenomenon is considered the largest migration found in the world in our current era.
Dr. Nir Sapir, from the Department of Evolution and Environmental Biology at the University of Haifa, says: “The migration of 3.5 trillion insects, with a biomass seven times greater than the mass of birds that migrate from Britain to Africa, leads to major environmental complications. “It is very sensitive to climate change, and this may lead to radical changes in the number of migratory insects, causing important environmental changes.”
Researchers previously assumed that there were many insects that migrated seasonally, but they were not aware of the types of insects, their timing, extent of migration, etc.
Researchers from the University of Haifa, Nanjing Agricultural University, University of Exeter, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Greenwich University, as well as researchers from Rothamsted, have conducted a large-scale international study that changes this situation. Radars were installed in southern England about 15 years ago to collect data, and the data from these devices was used to estimate the size of insect biomass over an area estimated at 70,000 km². Radar devices were used to calculate the weight of insects, the speed and direction of their movement in the air, and their height.
Special nets were also used to collect samples of insects weighing less than 10 mg, and data was collected on insects that were flying at high altitude.
The results of the study clearly showed the direction of insect movement southward in the fall, and their movement northward in the winter.
Scientists were surprised by the scale of this phenomenon, as 3.5 trillion migratory insects formed each season, and their biomass reached 3,200 tons. The starting points and destinations of each insect were not examined in this study, but researchers believe this migration extends at least hundreds of kilometers, and perhaps much longer.
Dr Sapir explained: "These insects should arrive in Britain in the spring, as there is evidence that this migration occurs overseas. As Great Britain is an island, some of them should reach continental Europe in the autumn."
Another surprise was that insects depend on the wind to reach their destination, as they choose specific wind flows, taking advantage of the southern winds in the spring and the northern winds in the fall. Dr. Sapir added: “Insects do choose their destination. We were surprised by the insects’ awareness of using their navigational abilities to reach their destinations using the wind.”
These findings open doors to major impacts on many ecosystems and our daily lives.
In most cases, insect bodies contain 10% nitrogen and 1% phosphorus, making them excellent fertilizers for plants and crops and providing nutrients for animals such as birds and bats.
In addition, insects play a role in pollinating plants, may be harmful to crops or kill other pests, as well as transmit diseases and parasites and have other functions.
“This huge biomass is of enormous importance to diverse ecosystems across large parts of the world and even to our daily lives,” Dr. Sapir explained. “Nitrogen and phosphorus cycles are of particular importance in nature, especially since these chemicals form a limited element in the food chain. These insects transport the materials.” vitality over great distances.
The implications caused by insect migration focus on another conclusion by the researchers, which shows that the total biomass of migrating insects varies from year to year with large differences, sometimes reaching 200 tons.
The researchers suggest that this is due to increased insect birth in warm summers, which leads to an increase in the biomass of migratory insects. Conversely, reduced insect birth in cold summer leads to decreased biomass of migratory insects.
The phenomenon of global climate change indicates that the climate around the world is becoming warmer and, accordingly, it is strongly believed that the number of insects will increase significantly.
Dr. Sapir concludes by saying: “We do not yet know whether reproduction has increased significantly in insects or not, or if it is limited to certain types of insects. Sometimes an increase in some types of insects can be harmful, and sometimes it can be harmful.” "It will be beneficial. Accordingly, it is too early to know whether this type of change should be welcomed, but it is certain that this migration is the largest and most important continental migration in the world today, so we must monitor it carefully."
As the weather gets colder, spiders take refuge in dark corners of homes. Mike Draney, a biologist at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, points out that spiders take advantage of cold nights to test the production of antifreeze compounds. This is a test of their adaptation to cold conditions, as spiders look for any outdoor shelter that provides protection from the weather, whether it is warm or there is a natural gap in which they can hide.
Small creatures are usually the most vulnerable to warming in winter, and small spiders make efforts to combat the cold by constructing egg sacs that resemble a spider's suit.
The American Smithsonian Research Institution reported that some creatures, such as silkworms and butterflies, remain in their immature stages during the winter and emerge fully afterwards. Still others, such as corn rootworms, do not hatch until winter is over.
According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Britain, many insects plan their lives and main activities based on the weather. They simply choose to hibernate during the coldest times of the year, preparing everything they need to survive.
The lives of some of these insects involve death in the winter, while others, such as honeybees and some butterfly species, hibernate.
Some insects, such as honey bees and lady bugs, rely on a fairly simple tactic where they gather in large groups to keep warm with their small body heat.
Some insects choose to leave cold regions. According to the US Forest Service, the monarch butterfly migrates to California or Mexico, where it makes long journeys of up to 4,828 kilometers.
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