Special Issue "Insects in Mountain Ecosystems"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Roberto Pizzolotto
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Guest Editor
Department of Biologia, Ecologia, Scienze della Terra, Università della Calabria, Rende,87036, Italy
Interests: species diversity; alpine ecology; climate change; carabid beetles
Dr. Mauro Gobbi
Website
Guest Editor
MUSE - Science Museum, Trento, Italy
Interests: alpine insect ecology, beetles, climate changes, high altitude habitats, spatio-temporal patterns

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The broad-scale features of mountain ecosystems are tied to the morphology of the relief because temperature variation with elevation is one of the main factors driving the adaptation of living organisms to mountain environments. Moreover the same elevation gradient at different latitudes and accompanied by local abiotic features, e.g., bedrock, soil, and climate, may trigger a particular set of evolution drivers, leading to the colonization of restricted mountain ranges by peculiar biota.

These and other features make mountains the ideal place to study altitude-for-latitude ecosystem variations, or even altitude-for-succession (i.e., time) gradients. Vegetation and soil layers are dominated by complex communities of invertebrates, even in the extreme environments of high altitudes, where the last chance of survival is given to species contracting their geographical range as a consequence of climate change.

Studies of mountain insects have focused on several subjects, including abundance relationships among species as well as zoogeography, phenotypic plasticity, man-made disturbance.

This Special Issue will broadly address studies on insects in mountain ecosystems across all relevant disciplines, and, in this context, submissions in the form of reviews and original basic or applied research are welcome.

Dr. Roberto Pizzolotto

Dr. Mauro Gobbi

Guest Editors

Keywords

  • mountain ecosystems
  • extreme environments
  • zoogeography
  • altitudinal gradient

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Tolerance of Fruit-Feeding Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in Contrasting Mountaintop Environments
Insects 2020, 11(5), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11050278 - 01 May 2020
Abstract
Ectothermic organisms, such as insects, are highly temperature dependent and are good models for studies that predict organisms’ responses to global climate change. Predicting how climate change may affect species distributions is a complicated task. However, it is possible to estimate species’ physiological [...] Read more.
Ectothermic organisms, such as insects, are highly temperature dependent and are good models for studies that predict organisms’ responses to global climate change. Predicting how climate change may affect species distributions is a complicated task. However, it is possible to estimate species’ physiological constraints through maximum critical temperature, which may indicate if the species can tolerate new climates. Butterflies are useful organisms for studies of thermal tolerance. We tested if species have different thermal tolerances and if different habitats influence the thermal tolerance of the butterflies present in Brazil’s campo rupestre (open areas) and forest islands (shaded areas). A total of 394 fruit-feeding butterflies, comprising 45 species, were tested. The results separated the species into two statistically different groups: the resistant species with maximum critical temperature of 53.8 ± 7.4 °C, and the non-resistant species with maximum critical temperature of 48.2 ± 7.4 °C. The species of butterflies displayed differences in maximum critical temperature between the campo rupestre and forest islands that can be related to the two distinct habitats, but this did not correlate phylogenetically. Species from the forest islands were also divided into two groups, “resistant” and “non-resistant”, probably due to the heterogeneity of the habitat; the forest islands have a canopy, and in the understory, there are shaded and sunny areas. Species from forest islands, especially species that displayed lower thermal tolerance, may be more susceptible to global warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects in Mountain Ecosystems)
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