Special Issue "Diversity and Ecosystem Services of Aquatic Insects"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. John C. Morse

Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, Clemson University, Clemson, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: world Trichoptera systematics and historical biogeography; aquatic insect faunistics and biology; use of insects for water quality biomonitoring; insect species diversity and endangered species
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Peter H. Adler

Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, Clemson University, Clemson, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 864-656-5044
Interests: ecology, cytogenetics, and systematics of black flies (Simuliidae); insect biodiversity; interactions of blood-feeding insects with endangered vertebrates; structure/function relationships of lepidopteran mouthparts

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

About 10% of all known insect species live in intimate association with water. They are of scientific interest because of their historical relationships and radiations; evolution of their various ecological roles; the essential services they provide for ecosystem function; and their different anatomical, physiological, and behavioral adaptations for life in water. They are of practical interest because of the ability of many species to transmit the agents of diseases to humans, domesticated animals, and wildlife; their responses to changing environmental conditions, including water pollution; and their availability as food for other organisms. For this Special Issue, we invite the submission of high-quality original research papers and review articles that focus on the distribution and diversity of major groups of insects for which at least one life stage is typically submerged in free water, emphasizing these and other scientific and practical interests and the threats and potential consequences of extinctions.

Prof. Dr. John C. Morse
Prof. Dr. Peter H. Adler
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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 monthly 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 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Please note that for papers submitted after 1 July 2018 an APC of 1000 CHF applies.

Keywords

  • phylogeny
  • ecology
  • ecosystem services
  • anatomy
  • behavior
  • disease
  • pollution

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Review

Open AccessReview
Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) and Their Contributions to Ecosystem Services
Insects 2019, 10(6), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10060170 (registering DOI)
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 14 June 2019
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Abstract
This work is intended as a general and concise overview of Ephemeroptera biology, diversity, and services provided to humans and other parts of our global array of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. The Ephemeroptera, or mayflies, are a small but diverse order of amphinotic [...] Read more.
This work is intended as a general and concise overview of Ephemeroptera biology, diversity, and services provided to humans and other parts of our global array of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. The Ephemeroptera, or mayflies, are a small but diverse order of amphinotic insects associated with liquid freshwater worldwide. They are nearly cosmopolitan, except for Antarctica and some very remote islands. The existence of the subimago stage is unique among extant insects. Though the winged stages do not have functional mouthparts or digestive systems, the larval, or nymphal, stages have a variety of feeding approaches—including, but not limited to, collector-gatherers, filterers, scrapers, and active predators—with each supported by a diversity of morphological and behavioral adaptations. Mayflies provide direct and indirect services to humans and other parts of both freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. In terms of cultural services, they have provided inspiration to musicians, poets, and other writers, as well as being the namesakes of various water- and aircraft. They are commemorated by festivals worldwide. Mayflies are especially important to fishing. Mayflies contribute to the provisioning services of ecosystems in that they are utilized as food by human cultures worldwide (having one of the highest protein contents of any edible insect), as laboratory organisms, and as a potential source of antitumor molecules. They provide regulatory services through their cleaning of freshwater. They provide many essential supporting services for ecosystems such as bioturbation, bioirrigation, decomposition, nutrition for many kinds of non-human animals, nutrient cycling and spiraling in freshwaters, nutrient cycling between aquatic and terrestrial systems, habitat for other organisms, and serving as indicators of ecosystem health. About 20% of mayfly species worldwide might have a threatened conservation status due to influences from pollution, invasive alien species, habitat loss and degradation, and climate change. Even mitigation of negative influences has benefits and tradeoffs, as, in several cases, sustainable energy production negatively impacts mayflies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecosystem Services of Aquatic Insects)
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Open AccessReview
Diversity and Ecosystem Services of Trichoptera
Insects 2019, 10(5), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10050125
Received: 2 February 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 1 May 2019
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Abstract
The holometabolous insect order Trichoptera (caddisflies) includes more known species than all of the other primarily aquatic orders of insects combined. They are distributed unevenly; with the greatest number and density occurring in the Oriental Biogeographic Region and the smallest in the East [...] Read more.
The holometabolous insect order Trichoptera (caddisflies) includes more known species than all of the other primarily aquatic orders of insects combined. They are distributed unevenly; with the greatest number and density occurring in the Oriental Biogeographic Region and the smallest in the East Palearctic. Ecosystem services provided by Trichoptera are also very diverse and include their essential roles in food webs, in biological monitoring of water quality, as food for fish and other predators (many of which are of human concern), and as engineers that stabilize gravel bed sediment. They are especially important in capturing and using a wide variety of nutrients in many forms, transforming them for use by other organisms in freshwaters and surrounding riparian areas. The general pattern of evolution for trichopteran families is becoming clearer as more genes from more taxa are sequenced and as morphological characters are becoming understood in greater detail. This increasingly credible phylogeny provides a foundation for interpreting and hypothesizing the functional traits of this diverse order of freshwater organisms and for understanding the richness of the ecological services corresponding with those traits. Our research also is gaining insight into the timing of evolutionary diversification in the order. Correlations for the use of angiosperm plant material as food and case construction material by the earliest ancestors of infraorder Plenitentoria—by at least 175 Ma—may provide insight into the timing of the origin of angiosperms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecosystem Services of Aquatic Insects)
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Open AccessReview
Ecosystem Services, Global Diversity, and Rate of Stonefly Species Descriptions (Insecta: Plecoptera)
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 6 April 2019
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Abstract
Stoneflies (Insecta: Plecoptera) provide ecosystem services as indicators of water quality, as food for predators, as mediators of energy flow and nutrient cycling, and through cultural services related to recreation and artistic creativity. The Plecoptera Species File (PSF) aggregates stonefly nomenclature, distribution, and [...] Read more.
Stoneflies (Insecta: Plecoptera) provide ecosystem services as indicators of water quality, as food for predators, as mediators of energy flow and nutrient cycling, and through cultural services related to recreation and artistic creativity. The Plecoptera Species File (PSF) aggregates stonefly nomenclature, distribution, and literature to help society and scientists understand the value of services stoneflies provide. Using PSF data, we examined global and regional diversity, compared species description rates, and predicted future species description numbers through the year 2100. Through 2018, extant species totaled 3718 with Temperate Asia having the greatest regional diversity at 1178 species. The Perlidae was the most species-rich of the 16 families at 1120 species. The recent global rate of species description was 43.6 species/yr, with Temperate Asia having the highest regional rate at 13.7 species/yr, followed by China and South America adding approximately 9.0 species/yr. We predicted that 1140 ± 130 new species would be described globally by 2050, and 2130 ± 330 by the year 2100, most of the increase occurring in China and South America. We discuss the possibility of reaching these predicted values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecosystem Services of Aquatic Insects)
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Open AccessReview
Bionomics and Ecological Services of Megaloptera Larvae (Dobsonflies, Fishflies, Alderflies)
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 27 March 2019
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Abstract
Megaloptera belong to a large monophyletic group, the Neuropteroidea, together with Coleoptera, Strepsiptera, Raphidioptera, and Neuroptera. With the latter two, this order constitutes the Neuropterida, a smaller monophyletic subset among which it is the only entirely aquatic group, with larvae of all species [...] Read more.
Megaloptera belong to a large monophyletic group, the Neuropteroidea, together with Coleoptera, Strepsiptera, Raphidioptera, and Neuroptera. With the latter two, this order constitutes the Neuropterida, a smaller monophyletic subset among which it is the only entirely aquatic group, with larvae of all species requiring submersion in freshwater. Megaloptera is arguably the oldest extant clade of Holometabola with aquatic representatives, having originated during the Permian before the fragmentation of Pangea, since about 230 Ma. It includes 54 genera (35 extant and 19 extinct genera), with 397 extant described species and subspecies. Recent Megaloptera are divided into two families: Corydalidae (with subfamilies Corydalinae—dobsonflies and Chauliodinae—fishflies) and Sialidae (alderflies), both widely yet disjunctively distributed among zoogeographical realms. All species of Megaloptera have aquatic larvae, whereas eggs, pupae, and adults are terrestrial. The anatomy, physiology, and behavior of megalopteran larvae are specialized for an aquatic predatory habit, yet their ecological significance might still be underappreciated, as their role in food webs of benthic communities of many temperate and tropical streams and rivers is still understudied and largely unquantified. In many freshwater ecosystems, Megaloptera larvae are a conspicuous benthic component, important in energy flow, recycling of materials, and food web dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecosystem Services of Aquatic Insects)
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Open AccessReview
Ecological and Societal Services of Aquatic Diptera
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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Abstract
More than any other group of macro-organisms, true flies (Diptera) dominate the freshwater environment. Nearly one-third of all flies—roughly 46,000 species—have some developmental connection with an aquatic environment. Their abundance, ubiquity, and diversity of adaptations to the aquatic environment position them as major [...] Read more.
More than any other group of macro-organisms, true flies (Diptera) dominate the freshwater environment. Nearly one-third of all flies—roughly 46,000 species—have some developmental connection with an aquatic environment. Their abundance, ubiquity, and diversity of adaptations to the aquatic environment position them as major drivers of ecosystem processes and as sources of products and bioinspiration for the benefit of human society. Larval flies are well represented as ecosystem engineers and keystone species that alter the abiotic and biotic environments through activities such as burrowing, grazing, suspension feeding, and predation. The enormous populations sometimes achieved by aquatic flies can provide the sole or major dietary component for other organisms. Harnessing the services of aquatic Diptera for human benefit depends on the ingenuity of the scientific community. Aquatic flies have played a role as indicators of water quality from the earliest years of bioassessment. They serve as indicators of historical and future ecological and climate change. As predators and herbivores, they can serve as biological control agents. The association of flies with animal carcasses in aquatic environments provides an additional set of tools for forensic science. The extremophilic attributes of numerous species of Diptera offer solutions for human adaptation to harsh terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments. The potential pharmaceutical and industrial applications of the symbiotic microbial community in extremophilic Diptera are better explored than are those of dipteran chemistry. Many flies provide valuable ecological and human services as aquatic immatures, but are also pests and vectors of disease agents as terrestrial adults. The scientific community, thus, is challenged with balancing the benefits and costs of aquatic Diptera, while maintaining sustainable populations as more species face extinction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecosystem Services of Aquatic Insects)
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Open AccessReview
Odonata: Who They Are and What They Have Done for Us Lately: Classification and Ecosystem Services of Dragonflies
Received: 26 January 2019 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 28 February 2019
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Abstract
Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) are well-known but often poorly understood insects. Their phylogeny and classification have proved difficult to understand but, through use of modern morphological and molecular techniques, is becoming better understood and is discussed here. Although not considered to be of [...] Read more.
Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) are well-known but often poorly understood insects. Their phylogeny and classification have proved difficult to understand but, through use of modern morphological and molecular techniques, is becoming better understood and is discussed here. Although not considered to be of high economic importance, they do provide esthetic/spiritual benefits to humans, and may have some impact as predators of disease vectors and agricultural pests. In addition, their larvae are very important as intermediate or top predators in many aquatic ecosystems. More recently, they have been the objects of study that have yielded new information on the mechanics and control of insect flight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Ecosystem Services of Aquatic Insects)
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