Decline in Speed of Wind affecting Foraging behavior of Insects

Decline in Speed of Wind affecting Foraging behavior of Insects

A new study has revealed that changes in global weather patterns are affecting behavior of animals and plants towards their environment. The study was conducted by a team led by Brandon Barton, a postdoctoral investigator at University of Wisconsin-Madison. They analyzed effects of global stilling, which means the decline in speed of wind, on foraging behavior of insects.

Published in Journal of Ecology and sponsored by National Science Foundation, the study reported 0.3% decline in mid latitude land area wind velocity over a period of 30 years in northern hemisphere. Significant changes are caused to the ecosystem by this stilling, and environment becomes hazardous for many species as a direct result of this.

Changes in wind speed affect insects' foraging behavior, which is known as the ability of insects to look for food resources and it is important for their fitness while functioning and reproducing.

This stilling phenomenon is attributable to global warming as rise in temperature reduces the wind velocity. Due to rise in temperature of the air revolving around the globe, the temperature difference has declined. This temperature difference is important to sustain formation of winds. Cooler winds are known to form stronger winds.

Researchers have also revealed that the poles of earth are warming up rapidly and human structures are contributing to dwindling speeds of the wind.

"There are also various other things altering in the surrounding, that is affecting plants and animals and their interactions with each other", said Barton. A controlled lab-testing was conducted by the researcher, wherein they stimulated wind speeds by shaking and moving the plants.

They found that decline in speeds of the wind negatively affects the foraging behavior of insects and also alter the predator-prey relationship.

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