There are no neonicotinoids in the jungle of Puerto Rico.
There are no fertilisers in the jungle of Puerto Rico.
There are no swathes of cleared land.
If Puerto Rico is the island of enchantment – “la isla del encanto” – then its rain forest is “the enchanted forest on the enchanted isle”, [Bradford Lister – biologist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute] said.
Birds and coqui frogs trill beneath a 50-foot-tall (15 metre tall) emerald canopy. The forest, named El Yunque, is well-protected. Spanish King Alfonso XII claimed the jungle as a 19th-century royal preserve. Decades later, Theodore Roosevelt made it a national reserve, and El Yunque remains the only tropical rain forest in the National Forest system.
Except that, nice as it looks, it’s dying.
2 trillion tonnes of CO2 dumped into the atmosphere over the course of the Industrial Revolution, that we’re adding to every day, is causing a radical change in the chemical composition of plants. The studies have been done. The results are in. The effects are known.
The carbohydrate to protein content of plants is all ‘up the wop’ due to an increased rate in growth caused by higher CO2 levels. And life depending on plants for sustenance…well, there’s been a 60 fold drop in general bug and insect numbers recorded/trapped in “the enchanted forest on the enchanted isle” between the years 1977 and 2013. What numbers were like prior to 1977 is anyone’s guess.
Precipitous drops in insect numbers, and of anything that subsists on those insects are being catalogued in study after study all over the world. And it’s all down to emissions of carbon dioxide. So, there you go.
Now, what are you going to do with this knowledge?