Citing New Scientist, Wednesday (19/1/2022) pesticides and land use change are the two biggest drivers decrease the number of insects.
However, recent field trials suggest that air pollution caused by diesel cars may be the main cause of the decline.
This was revealed after the researchers conducted field trials for three years.
In the study, James Ryalls, a researcher from the University of Reading, UK, built a system that produces nitrogen oxides and ozone pollution in the middle of a wheat field and distributes it to six mustard plants.
Meanwhile, the other two places are filled with ambient air which functions as a control.
The results are striking.
Pollutant levels equivalent to the average concentration of a major UK highway led to a 70 per cent reduction in pollinator counts. He also admitted that he was surprised by the decrease in the number.
“We didn’t expect the reduction to be as severe as what we found. If the results of this study extend to a landscape scale, air pollution may be a fairly important factor contributing to the decline in pollinators. This is rather worrying,” he said.
Further field studies and research at the broader landscape level are needed to establish how much air pollution creates pollinating insects Confused looking for plants.
Dave Goulson of the University of Sussex, UK, who was not involved in the study, said although the trial had a relatively low replication of the test, it showed the potential large impact of air pollution on pollinators and wildflowers.
“In any case we have to move away from fossil fuels. We have to do it faster. It’s not as difficult as some things to control,” added Ryall.
This study was published in Environmental Pollution.
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