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
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 (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Molecular Identification of Diaspididae and Elucidation of Non-Native Species Using the Genes 28s and 16s
Insects 2014, 5(3), 528-538; doi:10.3390/insects5030528
Received: 24 May 2014 / Revised: 20 June 2014 / Accepted: 20 June 2014 / Published: 3 July 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (914 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Armored scale insects pose a serious threat to habitat conservation across the globe because they include some of the most potent invasive species in the world. They are such a serious concern because their basic morphology, small size, and polyphagous feeding habits [...] Read more.
Armored scale insects pose a serious threat to habitat conservation across the globe because they include some of the most potent invasive species in the world. They are such a serious concern because their basic morphology, small size, and polyphagous feeding habits often allow them to exist undetected by growers and quarantine experts. In order to provide a potential solution to the problem, we have attempted to elucidate the effectiveness of molecular identification techniques using ribosomal 28s and endosymbiotic 16s rRNA. Sequence data was obtained from many field-collected insects to test the feasibility of identification techniques. A protocol for quick species determination based on sequence data is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Conservation and Diversity)
Open AccessArticle Decline of Hesperia ottoe (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) in Northern Tallgrass Prairie Preserves
Insects 2013, 4(4), 663-682; doi:10.3390/insects4040663
Received: 30 August 2013 / Revised: 1 November 2013 / Accepted: 6 November 2013 / Published: 20 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 and sand [...] Read more.
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 and sand prairie types, 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 survey effort. However, H. ottoe was also over-represented in fire-managed units compared to non-fire-managed units. However, 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 by compiling a 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 year when consistent non-detection began 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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Conservation and Diversity)
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Open AccessArticle Microgastrinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in the Forest State of Artikutza (Navarra: Spain): Diversity and Community Structure
Insects 2013, 4(3), 493-505; doi:10.3390/insects4030493
Received: 14 August 2013 / Revised: 31 August 2013 / Accepted: 4 September 2013 / Published: 18 September 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (179 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microgastrinae is one of the largest subfamilies of the Braconidae with about 2,000 described species worldwide. These wasps are of enormous ecological interest due to their role in controlling the caterpillar populations. This study analyses diversity and community structure within the Microgastrinae [...] Read more.
Microgastrinae is one of the largest subfamilies of the Braconidae with about 2,000 described species worldwide. These wasps are of enormous ecological interest due to their role in controlling the caterpillar populations. This study analyses diversity and community structure within the Microgastrinae in the Artikutza Forest, located in the Peñas de Aia Natural Park, western Pyrenees, Spain. The specimens were collected in two different habitats: mixed forest and beech forest. A total of 524 specimens, belonging to nine separate genera and 27 species were captured. Alpha, beta and gamma diversity were analyzed. Additionally, the relationship between Microgastrinae phenology and climatic conditions were studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Conservation and Diversity)

Review

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Open AccessReview Climate-Driven Reshuffling of Species and Genes: Potential Conservation Roles for Species Translocations and Recombinant Hybrid Genotypes
Insects 2014, 5(1), 1-61; doi:10.3390/insects5010001
Received: 11 October 2013 / Revised: 4 December 2013 / Accepted: 6 December 2013 / Published: 24 December 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1691 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Comprising 50%–75% of the world’s fauna, insects are a prominent part of biodiversity in communities and ecosystems globally. Biodiversity across all levels of biological classifications is fundamentally based on genetic diversity. However, the integration of genomics and phylogenetics into conservation management may [...] Read more.
Comprising 50%–75% of the world’s fauna, insects are a prominent part of biodiversity in communities and ecosystems globally. Biodiversity across all levels of biological classifications is fundamentally based on genetic diversity. However, the integration of genomics and phylogenetics into conservation management may not be as rapid as climate change. The genetics of hybrid introgression as a source of novel variation for ecological divergence and evolutionary speciation (and resilience) may generate adaptive potential and diversity fast enough to respond to locally-altered environmental conditions. Major plant and herbivore hybrid zones with associated communities deserve conservation consideration. This review addresses functional genetics across multi-trophic-level interactions including “invasive species” in various ecosystems as they may become disrupted in different ways by rapid climate change. “Invasive genes” (into new species and populations) need to be recognized for their positive creative potential and addressed in conservation programs. “Genetic rescue” via hybrid translocations may provide needed adaptive flexibility for rapid adaptation to environmental change. While concerns persist for some conservationists, this review emphasizes the positive aspects of hybrids and hybridization. Specific implications of natural genetic introgression are addressed with a few examples from butterflies, including transgressive phenotypes and climate-driven homoploid recombinant hybrid speciation. Some specific examples illustrate these points using the swallowtail butterflies (Papilionidae) with their long-term historical data base (phylogeographical diversity changes) and recent (3-decade) climate-driven temporal and genetic divergence in recombinant homoploid hybrids and relatively recent hybrid speciation of Papilio appalachiensis in North America. Climate-induced “reshuffling” (recombinations) of species composition, genotypes, and genomes may become increasingly ecologically and evolutionarily predictable, but future conservation management programs are more likely to remain constrained by human behavior than by lack of academic knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Conservation and Diversity)
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Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessConcept Paper Habitat Re-Creation (Ecological Restoration) as a Strategy for Conserving Insect Communities in Highly Fragmented Landscapes
Insects 2013, 4(4), 761-780; doi:10.3390/insects4040761
Received: 30 September 2013 / Revised: 3 November 2013 / Accepted: 8 November 2013 / Published: 5 December 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Because of their vast diversity, measured by both numbers of species as well as life history traits, insects defy comprehensive conservation planning. Thus, almost all insect conservation efforts target individual species. However, serious insect conservation requires goals that are set at the [...] Read more.
Because of their vast diversity, measured by both numbers of species as well as life history traits, insects defy comprehensive conservation planning. Thus, almost all insect conservation efforts target individual species. However, serious insect conservation requires goals that are set at the faunal level and conservation success requires strategies that conserve intact communities. This task is complicated in agricultural landscapes by high levels of habitat fragmentation and isolation. In many regions, once widespread insect communities are now functionally trapped on islands of ecosystem remnants and subject to a variety of stressors associated with isolation, small population sizes and artificial population fragmentation. In fragmented landscapes ecological restoration can be an effective strategy for reducing localized insect extinction rates, but insects are seldom included in restoration design criteria. It is possible to incorporate a few simple conservation criteria into restoration designs that enhance impacts to entire insect communities. Restoration can be used as a strategy to address fragmentation threats to isolated insect communities if insect communities are incorporated at the onset of restoration planning. Fully incorporating insect communities into restoration designs may increase the cost of restoration two- to three-fold, but the benefits to biodiversity conservation and the ecological services provided by intact insect communities justify the cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Conservation and Diversity)

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