Are bugs bugging humans or the other way around? Study reveals surprises
Insects and spiders often receive little attention from people, except when we’re swatting them away. However, as arthropods — creatures distinguished by a hard exoskeleton and jointed legs— they play an essential role in sustaining the ecosystems humans rely on. Remarkably, arthropods make up approximately 84% of all known animal species.
A study published recently in Scientific Reports reveals how human activity affects biodiversity among arthropods and how nonbiological factors, such as daily temperature swings and proximity to the ocean, affect arthropod biodiversity in urban areas.
The research uncovered a few surprises and points to ways homeowners, landscapers and urban planners can ensure a healthy mix of these small but vital neighbors.