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In an office conversation about arachnophobia, one colleague declared "they're hoorrible and they should all be killed". He doesn't like spiders.

I've heard of the scenario where bees die out quite a lot, sounds like that would be pretty catastrophic.

So what would happen if suddenly there were no more spiders?

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migrated from earthscience.stackexchange.com Mar 17 '18 at 15:09

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Spiders are extremely important predators, both in "natural" ecosystems and in agriculture. They therefore function as biocontrol agents, and without them we would suffer larger crop damage from pest insects (or would require much higher levels of pesticide use). Loosing them from all natural ecosystems would also cause enormous effects, due to cascading effects through the foodwebs. The effects would differ between different ecosystems though (with the largest effects probably in forests and grasslands, see links 3 and 4 below), and nobody can really overview or predict the full implications.

A new study reveals some stunning estimates about just how much the world’s spiders eat annually: between 400 and 800 million tons of insects, springtails, and other invertebrates. In the process, these eight-legged carnivores play an important role to keep countless insect pests, especially in forests and grassland areas, in check.

(from third link below)

For more, see e.g.:

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