Special Issue "Insect Conservation and Diversity"

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A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Jaret C. Daniels
Department of Entomology and Nematology and Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, 3215 Hull Road, P.O. Box 112710, Gainesville, FL 32611-2710, USA
E-Mail: jdaniels@flmnh.ufl.edu
Interests: insect conservation; biodiversity, behavior and ecology of Lepidoptera; pollination ecology; road ecology; population biology; non-target pesticide impacts; seasonal ecology and polyphenism; captive propagation and organism reintroduction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Despite being a dominant component of most terrestrial ecosystems, insects have largely existed outside of mainstream conservation thinking and practice. Impact from land use practices such as agricultural conversion, deforestation, and urban sprawl continue to degrade and fragment remaining pockets of habitat and accelerate biodiversity loss. Together with the synergistic interactions of other threats that include invasive species and global climate change, the survival of many insect species and the essential ecosystem services they provide is threatened. Significant progress has been made to better elucidate the scope and nature of these threats, understand species- and community-level responses, and develop strategies to more effectively manage insect populations. In this special issue, a series of original research articles and reviews will address the abovementioned topics of direct relevance to insect conservation, insect diversity and the relationships between them.

Dr. Jaret C. Daniels
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Insects is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 500 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Published Papers (4 papers)

Insects 2014, 5(1), 1-61; doi:10.3390/insects5010001
Received: 11 October 2013; in revised form: 4 December 2013 / Accepted: 6 December 2013 / Published: 24 December 2013
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Insects 2013, 4(4), 761-780; doi:10.3390/insects4040761
Received: 30 September 2013; in revised form: 3 November 2013 / Accepted: 8 November 2013 / Published: 5 December 2013
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Insects 2013, 4(4), 663-682; doi:10.3390/insects4040663
Received: 30 August 2013; in revised form: 1 November 2013 / Accepted: 6 November 2013 / Published: 20 November 2013
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Insects 2013, 4(3), 493-505; doi:10.3390/insects4030493
Received: 14 August 2013; in revised form: 31 August 2013 / Accepted: 4 September 2013 / Published: 18 September 2013
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Rapid climate change and invasive genes: surviving extinctions via introgression and hybridization
Authors: J. Mark Scriber
Affiliation: Michigan State University, Dept Entomology, East Lansing, MI, USA, 48824 E-mail: scriber@msu.edu
Abstract: There is increasing recognition that adaptive introgression may enhance the rates of evolutionary divergence and increase “cryptic” (genetic) biodiversity. Also, it has become evident that hybrid speciation in animals may be much more common than previously recognized. The out-dated concepts that interspecific hybridizations are problems for maintaining the “purity” of species, and that hybrids are “evolutionary dead ends” must be revised for current evolutionary research and future conservation management programs. While “invasive species” may eventually alter the community eco-dynamics, “invasive genes” may rapidly change evolutionary dynamics, making rapid adaptation possible to severe anthropomorphic disturbances such as habitat destruction, pollutants, and climate change. This paper reviews the need for hybrids in invertebrate/ insect conservation, and illustrates processes involved in animal introgression and hybrid speciation with some specific insect research examples.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Decline of Hesperia Ottoe (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) in Northern Tallgrass Prairie Preserves
Authors: Ann B. Swengel and Scott R. Swengel
Affiliation: E-Mail: swengel@naba.org
Abstract: We counted butterflies on transect surveys during Hesperia ottoe flight period in 1988-2011 at tallgrass prairie preserves in four states (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin), divided into units cross-referenced to vegetation type and management history. H. ottoe occurred only in dry (upland) and "extra dry" sand prairie, and was significantly more abundant in undegraded than semi-degraded prairie, and in discontinuous sod (with numerous unvegetated areas due to bare sand and/or rock outcrops) than in continuous sod. This skipper was significantly more abundant in small sites compared to medium and large sites, even when the analysis was limited to undegraded prairie analyzed separately by sod type. H. ottoe was significantly under-represented in year-burn 0 (the first growing season after fire) compared to an expected distribution proportional to amount of survey effort there. However, H. ottoe was also over-represented in fire-managed units compared to non-fire-managed units. But by far most units and sites were in fire management and most populations declined to subdetection during this study. Peak abundance post-fire occurred in a later year-burn in discontinuous sod and was much higher than in continuous sod.
We also analyze H. ottoe status and trend in midwestern prairie preserves utilizing a meta-analysis dataset of our and others' butterfly surveys from 1974 to 2011. Only 1/9 sites with continuous sod had detectable H. ottoe in recent year(s). In discontinuous sod, 2/6 did, with two sites lacking data for the last few years. The number of years H. ottoe was still detectable after preservation and the number of years to consistent non-detection were both significantly higher in discontinuous than continuous sod. Both measures of population persistence averaged over twice as long in discontinuous than continuous sod, and correlated negatively with prairie size. The first year of consistent non-detection varied over several decades among sites. Despite the currently urgent need to identify how to manage preserves successfully for H. ottoe, such research now needs to be very cautious, because of the extreme fragility of the few remaining populations and the ruggedness of the preserves where H. ottoe is still known to occur.

Title: Restoration as Strategy for Conservaing Insects in Fragmented Lanscapes
Authors: John A. Shuey
Affiliation: The Nature Conservancy of Indiana, 620 E Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA; E-Mail: jshuey@tnc.org
Abstract: Insects, by their very nature, defy comprehensive conservation planning. Their vast diversity, measured by both numbers of species as well as life history traits, preclude detailed knowledge of the status and distribution of all but a few species. Because of this, almost all insect conservation efforts are focused at the level of species. But serious insect conservation requires goals that are set at the faunal level and conservation success requires efforts that identify and conserve all species at all levels of biological organization. This seemingly daunting task is complicated in agriculturally fragmented landscapes by high levels of habitat fragmentation and isolation. In many regions, once widespread insect communities are now functionally trapped on islands of suitable habitat and subject to a variety of stressors associated with isolation and small population sizes. Artificial population fragmentation increases the rate of population extinctions, producing impoverished insect communities.
Ecological restoration could be an effective strategy for reducing localized insect extinction rates but insects are not generally included in restoration design criteria – or if they are included designs are based on a handful of species at most. However, it is possible to incorporate a few simple design principals into restoration designs that enhance impacts to entire insect communities. By addressing connectivity, entire plant communities, hydrological gradients and spatially explicit models of ecological processes such as fire regimes, it should be possible to reduce many of the threats facing insect communities in fragmented landscapes. While the costs of such restorations my increase relative to more traditional restoration designs, the conservation benefits insect communities and the ecological services they provide, are ignored.

Last update: 14 June 2013

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