'It's quite plausible that we might end up with plagues of small numbers of pest insects, but we will lose all the wonderful ones that we want.' Prod Goulson added if huge numbers of insects disappear, they will be replaced - just don't expect it to happen anytime soon.
The warning was issued in a global review of insect declines, in which the authors called for a dramatic rethinking of agricultural practices and better strategies for cleaning polluted waters.
A new report found that 40% of insect species are declining, with a third endangered, according to a global scientific review of research.More news: Retail inflation cools further to 2.05% in January on easing food prices
The repercussions of insect extinction would be "catastrophic to say the least", according to the report, as insects have been at "the structural and functional base of numerous world's ecosystems since their rise ... nearly 400 million years ago". "The repercussions this will have for the planet's ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least, as insects are at the structural and functional base of numerous world's ecosystems since their rise at the end of the Devonian period, nearly 400 million years ago". The scientists reviewed 73 studies from around the world published over the last 13 years to reach their conclusions.
Biological factors and climate change are also taking their toll on bugs, which make up about 70 per cent of all animal species globally.
The study found that declines in nearly all regions may end in the extinction of as many as 40 per cent of insects. "In 10 years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none", study co-author Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, an environmental biologist at the University of Sydney, Australia, told The Guardian.More news: Nintendo Direct To Air Tomorrow
It goes without saying that insects are essential for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, with respect to their roles as pollinators, recyclers of nutrients, as well as being the main source of food for other species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
"Second is the increasing use of fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture worldwide and contamination with chemical pollutants of all kinds", he said.
Britain has seen a measurable decline across 60 per cent of its large insect groups, or taxa, followed by North America (51 per cent) and Europe as a whole (44 per cent).More news: Google Fi SIM cards are getting much easier to buy
Researchers say the world must change the way it produces food, noting that organic crops had more insects, and refrain from overusing pesticides.