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The Role of Insects in Nutrient Cycling: Unsung Heroes of Ecosystem Health

Insects play a vital role in nutrient cycling, the process by which nutrients are transferred from living organisms to the environment and then back to living organisms. They do this by consuming plants and animals and breaking down organic matter. Insects are especially important in nutrient cycling in tropical forests, where they can make up as much as 80% of the animal biomass. The loss of insects due to habitat loss, pollution, and climate change is a major threat to ecosystem health. Without insects, nutrient cycling would slow down, plants would not be able to grow as well, and the entire food web would be affected. Insects are truly the unsung heroes of ecosystem health, and we need to do more to protect them.