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2021. Urban vs Suburban: Where can you find more bugs?

December 13, 2021

Urbanization and human presence is spreading rapidly, the same cannot be said for insects. More insects were found in a suburban area, on both land and water, compared to an urban area.

By Jasmine Pacheco

A lot of different places have different uses of land. Some areas are really rural while other areas are more urban. This has an effect on the animals and wildlife that would live in those areas. For example, you wouldn’t see a cow walking around Central Park, but you would see a cute little squirrel. The same can be said for insects; you wouldn’t find the same type of bugs that you see in the city in the countryside and vice versa. In this study, students wanted to see if there was a difference in the type of bugs and the amount of bugs in two different places on their college campus. What sets these two locations apart is that one was located on a very urban part of campus with a lot of human interaction and the other location was in a suburban part of campus.

The students looked at the bugs both on land and in a stream. They found that overall there were more bugs in the suburban area compared to the urban area. On land, there were more bugs in the suburban area and a few bugs in the urban area. In the water, there were a few bugs in the suburban area and absolutely no bugs in the urban area. So, what does all of this mean? Well, it could mean that land use and human interaction, especially in aquatic environments, affects wildlife. So does this mean that humans are driving out all forms of wildlife, including bugs? Previous research suggests that human interaction with the environment can cause something called human induced climate change, and that could be bad news for the wildlife in the area. Not all is lost though, this is a useful finding for studying ways to preserve the environment and its wildlife. Through studying the effects that humans have on the environment, we can better learn how to preserve it.

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