Possible role of ozone depletion in insect depopulation
By Neil Stacey
Insect populations have been found to be precipitately decreasing, with some studies indicating a decline in flying insect biomass of as much as 80% since the 1980s, in some areas. A number of possible causes for this phenomenon have been hypothesized to contribute to this depopulation but one that has not been previously recognized is the increased levels of ground-level UV-B radiation resulting from the depletion of the Ozone layer. The observations of severe insect population decline have occurred subsequent to the first discovery of Ozone layer damage and it is reasonably well established that UV-B is harmful or disruptive to some species of arthropods. It is reasonable to conclude, then, that the Ozone layer depletion is a likely contributing factor to insect depopulation.