Climate Change and Insects

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450). This special issue belongs to the section "Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 20037

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, 5 Av. des Hauts-Fourneaux, 4362 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
Interests: entomology; apiculture; integrated plant protection; multi-trophic interactions under climate change

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Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture Food and Environment (Di3A), University of Catania, 95131 Sicily, Italy
Interests: applied entomology; sap-sucking insects; agricultural and forest ecosystems; biological and integrated pest management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges in this century for our ecosystems and society as a whole. In the last twenty years, thousands of studies have been published, but the effect of a significant changing environment on insects is still the objective of pressing research worldwide. While experimental designs mainly based on the single effect of elevated temperature to selected species were created in the late 1990’s, research nowadays aims to investigate the combined effects of elevated temperature and CO2 levels, changes in precipitation patterns, and increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme events (such as dry spells on multi-trophic interactions). The use of multi-model approaches of numerical climate models that take also different emission scenarios into account allows for the quantification of uncertainties in such climate change impact studies.

This Special Issue aims to collect recent findings on the effect of climate change on insects—from single species to communities, distribution, life cycle impacts, arthropod-plant interactions, insect pathology, ecosystem services, as well as plant protection strategies in agriculture, viticulture, horticulture, and forest systems. Even aspects of apiculture and wild pollinators will be targeted. Topics of particular interest include ecology, physiology, behaviour, modelling, plant protection strategies, but also big data approaches that may be useful to fully understand the effect of climate change challenge to insects.

Dr. Michael Eickermann
Prof. Dr. Carmelo Rapisarda
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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 2600 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.

Keywords

  • abundance
  • agriculture
  • climate change
  • ecosystem services
  • forest
  • insect pathology
  • life cycle
  • migration
  • multi-trophic interaction
  • pollinator

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 208 KiB  
Editorial
Climate Change and Insects
by Michael Eickermann, Jürgen Junk and Carmelo Rapisarda
Insects 2023, 14(8), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14080678 - 31 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1914
Abstract
Climate change (CC) poses one of the foremost challenges for humanity in the 21st century [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Insects)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

18 pages, 7319 KiB  
Article
Climate Change Impacts on the Potential Distribution Pattern of Osphya (Coleoptera: Melandryidae), an Old but Small Beetle Group Distributed in the Northern Hemisphere
by Tong Liu, Haoyu Liu, Yongjie Wang and Yuxia Yang
Insects 2023, 14(5), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14050476 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1785
Abstract
Exploring the development of species distribution patterns under climate change is the basis of biogeography and macroecology. However, under the background of global climate change, few studies focus on how the distribution pattern and the range of insects have or will change in [...] Read more.
Exploring the development of species distribution patterns under climate change is the basis of biogeography and macroecology. However, under the background of global climate change, few studies focus on how the distribution pattern and the range of insects have or will change in response to long-term climate change. An old but small, Northern-Hemisphere-distributed beetle group Osphya is an ideal subject to conduct the study in this aspect. Here, based on a comprehensive geographic dataset, we analyzed the global distribution pattern of Osphya using ArcGIS techniques, which declared a discontinuous and uneven distribution pattern across the USA, Europe, and Asia. Furthermore, we predicted the suitable habitats of Osphya under different climate scenarios via the MaxEnt model. The results showed that the high suitability areas were always concentrated in the European Mediterranean and the western coast of USA, while a low suitability exhibited in Asia. Moreover, by integrating the analyses of biogeography and habitat suitability, we inferred that the Osphya species conservatively prefer a warm, stable, and rainy climate, and they tend to expand towards higher latitude in response to the climate warming from the past to future. These results are helpful in exploring the species diversity and protection of Osphya. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Insects)
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14 pages, 2324 KiB  
Article
Predicting the Distribution of Sclerodermus sichuanensis (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) under Climate Change in China
by Hui Gao, Qianqian Qian, Lijuan Liu and Danping Xu
Insects 2023, 14(5), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14050475 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1124
Abstract
Sclerodermus sichuanensis is the natural enemy of the longicorn beetle due to its strong attack ability and high parasitic rate. Its good resistance and fecundity make it have significant biological control value. The Maxent model and ArcGIS software were used to simulate the [...] Read more.
Sclerodermus sichuanensis is the natural enemy of the longicorn beetle due to its strong attack ability and high parasitic rate. Its good resistance and fecundity make it have significant biological control value. The Maxent model and ArcGIS software were used to simulate the current distribution of S. sichuanensis in China by combining the known distribution information and environmental variables and predict the suitable area of the 2050s (2041–2060) and 2090s (2081–2000) under three climate scenarios (SSP1-2.6, SSP2-4.5. and SSP5-8.5). The results showed that the Mean Diurnal Range (bio2), Min Temperature of the Coldest Month (bio6), Precipitation of the Warmest Quarter (bio18), and Max Temperature of the Warmest Month (bio5) were the key environmental variables affecting the distribution of S. sichuanensis. Southwest China and part of North China are the main concentrations of the current high-suitability areas of S. sichuanensis. The moderately suitable areas are concentrated in South China and Central China. Under the SSP5-8.5 scenario, the suitable area predicted in the 2050s will expand significantly to North China and Northwest China, with a total increase of 81,295 km2. This work provides an essential reference for future research on S. sichuanensis and the application of forestry pest control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Insects)
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12 pages, 2407 KiB  
Article
Predicting the Current and Future Distributions of Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) Based on the MaxEnt Species Distribution Model
by Zhiling Wang, Danping Xu, Wenkai Liao, Yan Xu and Zhihang Zhuo
Insects 2023, 14(5), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14050458 - 12 May 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1652
Abstract
Climate change has a highly significant impact on the distribution of species. As the greenhouse effect intensifies each year, the distribution of organisms responds to this challenge in diverse ways. Therefore, climatic environmental variables are a key entry point for capturing the current [...] Read more.
Climate change has a highly significant impact on the distribution of species. As the greenhouse effect intensifies each year, the distribution of organisms responds to this challenge in diverse ways. Therefore, climatic environmental variables are a key entry point for capturing the current and future distribution trends of pests. Frankliniella occidentalis is an invasive pest attested worldwide. Its damage is mainly divided into two aspects, including mechanical damage caused by its feeding and egg laying and the spread of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). TSWV is the most dominant transmitted virulent disease. Moreover, F. occidentalis is the major vector for the transmission of this virus, which poses a grave threat to the yield and survival of our crops. In this study, the distribution pattern of this pest was explored using 19 bioclimatic variables based on the Maxent model. The results indicated that in the future, high-suitability areas of F. occidentalis will be widely distributed in 19 provinces of China, with Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Tianjin and Yunnan being the most abundant. Among the 19 bioclimatic variables, the five variables of annual mean temperature (Bio 1), temperature seasonality (standard deviation × 100) (Bio 4), min temperature of the coldest month (Bio 6), mean temperature of the driest quarter (Bio 9) and precipitation of the coldest quarter (Bio 19) were selected as the key environmental variables affecting the distribution of F. occidentalis. In summary, temperature and precipitation are vital factors for the study of the species’ distribution, and this study aims to provide new perspectives for the control of this pest in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Insects)
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15 pages, 4147 KiB  
Article
Winners and Losers: Cordulegaster Species under the Pressure of Climate Change
by Judit Fekete, Geert De Knijf, Marco Dinis, Judit Padisák, Pál Boda, Edvárd Mizsei and Gábor Várbíró
Insects 2023, 14(4), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040348 - 31 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1426
Abstract
(1) Bioclimatic factors have a proven effect on species distributions in terrestrial, marine, or freshwater ecosystems. Because of anthropogenic effects, the changes in these variables are accelerated; thus, the knowledge of the impact has great importance from a conservation point of view. Two [...] Read more.
(1) Bioclimatic factors have a proven effect on species distributions in terrestrial, marine, or freshwater ecosystems. Because of anthropogenic effects, the changes in these variables are accelerated; thus, the knowledge of the impact has great importance from a conservation point of view. Two endemic dragonflies, the Balkan Goldenring (Cordulegaster heros) and the Two-Toothed Goldenring (C. bidentata), confined to the hilly and mountainous regions in Europe, are classified as “Near Threatened” according to the IUCN Red List. (2) Modeling the potential occurrence of both species under present and future climatic conditions provides a more accurate picture of the most suitable areas. The models were used to predict the responses of both species to 6 different climate scenarios for the year 2070. (3) We revealed which climatic and abiotic variables affect them the most and which areas are the most suitable for the species. We calculated how future climatic changes would affect the range of suitable areas for the two species. (4) According to our results, the suitable area for Cordulegaster bidentata and C. heros are strongly influenced by bioclimatic variables and showed an upward shift toward high elevations. The models predict a loss of suitable area in the case of C. bidentata and a large gain in the case of C. heros. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Insects)
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12 pages, 1441 KiB  
Article
Effects of Climatic Change on Potential Distribution of Spogostylum ocyale (Diptera: Bombyliidae) in the Middle East Using Maxent Modelling
by Mustafa M. Soliman, Areej A. Al-Khalaf and Magdi S. A. El-Hawagry
Insects 2023, 14(2), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14020120 - 24 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2083
Abstract
Spogostylum ocyale (Wiedemann 1828) is a large robust species of bee fly (family Bombyliidae), known to be a larval ectoparasitoid as well as an important flower pollinator as an adult. This species has become extremely rare or has disappeared from many of its [...] Read more.
Spogostylum ocyale (Wiedemann 1828) is a large robust species of bee fly (family Bombyliidae), known to be a larval ectoparasitoid as well as an important flower pollinator as an adult. This species has become extremely rare or has disappeared from many of its historic habitats due to substantial changes in floral and faunal compositions in recent years. Climate change and urbanisation, together with other anthropogenic activities, may be to blame for these changes. Distribution modelling based on environmental variables together with known occurrences is a powerful tool in analytical biology, with applications in ecology, evolution, conservation management, epidemiology and other fields. Based on climatological and topographic data, the current and future distributions of the parasitoid in the Middle East region was predicted using the maximum entropy model (Maxent). The model performance was satisfactory (AUC mean = 0.834; TSS mean = 0.606) and revealed a good potential distribution for S. ocyale featured by the selected factors. A set of seven predictors was chosen from 19 bioclimatic variables and one topographic variable. The results show that the distribution of S. ocyale is mainly affected by the maximum temperature of the warmest period (Bio5) and temperature annual range (Bio7). According to the habitat suitability map, coastal regions with warm summers and cold winters had high to medium suitability. However, future scenarios predict a progressive decline in the extent of suitable habitats with global climate warming. These findings lead to robust conservation management measures in current or future conservation planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Insects)
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11 pages, 2955 KiB  
Article
Associations of 16-Year Population Dynamics in Range-Expanding Moths with Temperature and Years since Establishment
by Per-Eric Betzholtz, Anders Forsman and Markus Franzén
Insects 2023, 14(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14010055 - 06 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1545
Abstract
Parallel to the widespread decline of plants and animals, there is also an ongoing expansion of many species, which is especially pronounced in certain taxonomic groups and in northern latitudes. In order to inform an improved understanding of population dynamics in range-expanding taxa, [...] Read more.
Parallel to the widespread decline of plants and animals, there is also an ongoing expansion of many species, which is especially pronounced in certain taxonomic groups and in northern latitudes. In order to inform an improved understanding of population dynamics in range-expanding taxa, we studied species richness, abundance and population growth in a sample of 25,138 individuals representing 107 range-expanding moth species at three light-trap sites in southeastern Sweden over 16 years (from 2005 to 2020) in relation to temperature and years since colonisation. Species richness and average abundance across range-expanding moths increased significantly over time, indicating a continuous influx of species expanding their ranges northward. Furthermore, average abundance and population growth increased significantly with increasing average ambient air temperature during the recording year, and average abundance also increased significantly with increasing temperature during the previous year. In general, population growth increased between years (growth rate > 1), although the population growth rate decreased significantly in association with years since colonisation. These findings highlight that, in contrast to several other studies in different parts of the world, species richness and abundance have increased in southeastern Sweden, partly because the warming climate enables range-expanding moths to realise their capacity for rapid distribution shifts and population growth. This may lead to fast and dramatic changes in community composition, with consequences for species interactions and the functioning of ecosystems. These findings are also of applied relevance for agriculture and forestry in that they can help to forecast the impacts of future invasive pest species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Insects)
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20 pages, 2601 KiB  
Article
Developmental Differentiations of Major Maize Stemborers Due to Global Warming in Temperate and Tropical Climates
by Baptiste Régnier, Judith Legrand, Paul-André Calatayud and François Rebaudo
Insects 2023, 14(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14010051 - 05 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2016
Abstract
While many insects are in decline due to global warming, the effect of rising temperatures on crop insect pests is uncertain. A capacity to understand future changes in crop pest populations remains critical to ensure food security. Using temperature-dependent mathematical models of the [...] Read more.
While many insects are in decline due to global warming, the effect of rising temperatures on crop insect pests is uncertain. A capacity to understand future changes in crop pest populations remains critical to ensure food security. Using temperature-dependent mathematical models of the development of four maize stemborers in temperate and tropical regions, we evaluated the potential impacts of different climate change scenarios on development time. While recognizing the limitations of the temperature-dependent development rate approach, we found that global warming could either be beneficial or detrimental to pest development, depending on the optimal temperature for the development of the species and scenarios of climate change. Expected responses range from null development to 1.5 times faster development than expected today. These results suggest that in the medium term, the studied species could benefit from global warming with an accelerated development, while in the long term, their development could either be delayed or accelerated, which may impact their dynamics with implications on maize cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Insects)
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11 pages, 10300 KiB  
Article
Energetics of Paper Wasps (Polistes sp.) from Differing Climates during the Breeding Season
by Helmut Kovac, Helmut Käfer, Iacopo Petrocelli, Astrid B. Amstrup and Anton Stabentheiner
Insects 2022, 13(9), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13090800 - 01 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1402
Abstract
Paper wasps are widely distributed in Europe. They live in the warm Mediterranean, and in the harsh Alpine climate. Some species are very careful in their choice of nesting sites to ensure a proper development of the brood. We investigated microclimate conditions at [...] Read more.
Paper wasps are widely distributed in Europe. They live in the warm Mediterranean, and in the harsh Alpine climate. Some species are very careful in their choice of nesting sites to ensure a proper development of the brood. We investigated microclimate conditions at the nests of three species (P. dominula, P. gallicus, P. biglumis) from differing climates, in order to characterize environmental conditions and conduct energetic calculations for an entire breeding season. The mean ambient nest temperature differed significantly in the Mediterranean, temperate, and Alpine habitats, but in all habitats it was about 2 to 3 °C above the standard meteorological data. The energetic calculations of adult wasps’ standard and active metabolic rate, based on respiratory measurements, differed significantly, depending on the measured ambient temperatures or the wasps’ body temperatures. P. gallicus from the warm Mediterranean climate exhibited the highest energetic costs, whereas P. biglumis from the harsh Alpine climate had the lowest costs. Energetic costs of P. dominula from the temperate climate were somewhat lower than those in the Mediterranean species, but clearly higher than those in the Alpine species. Temperature increase due to climate change may have a severe impact on the wasps’ survival as energetic costs increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Insects)
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12 pages, 3782 KiB  
Article
Modeling the Potential Global Distribution of Honeybee Pest, Galleria mellonella under Changing Climate
by Eslam M. Hosni, Areej A. Al-Khalaf, Mohamed G. Nasser, Hossam F. Abou-Shaara and Marwa H. Radwan
Insects 2022, 13(5), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050484 - 22 May 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3208
Abstract
Beekeeping is essential for the global food supply, yet honeybee health and hive numbers are increasingly threatened by habitat alteration, climate change, agrochemical overuse, pathogens, diseases, and insect pests. However, pests and diseases that have unknown spatial distribution and influences are blamed for [...] Read more.
Beekeeping is essential for the global food supply, yet honeybee health and hive numbers are increasingly threatened by habitat alteration, climate change, agrochemical overuse, pathogens, diseases, and insect pests. However, pests and diseases that have unknown spatial distribution and influences are blamed for diminishing honeybee colonies over the world. The greater wax moth (GWM), Galleria mellonella, is a pervasive pest of the honeybee, Apis mellifera. It has an international distribution that causes severe loss to the beekeeping industry. The GWM larvae burrow into the edge of unsealed cells that have pollen, bee brood, and honey through to the midrib of the wax comb. Burrowing larvae leave behind masses of webs that cause honey to leak out and entangle emerging bees, resulting in death by starvation, a phenomenon called galleriasis. In this study, the maximum entropy algorithm implemented in (Maxent) model was used to predict the global spatial distribution of GWM throughout the world. Two representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 2.6 and 8.5 of three global climate models (GCMs), were used to forecast the global distribution of GWM in 2050 and 2070. The Maxent models for GWM provided a high value of the Area Under Curve equal to 0.8 ± 0.001, which was a satisfactory result. Furthermore, True Skilled Statistics assured the perfection of the resultant models with a value equal to 0.7. These values indicated a significant correlation between the models and the ecology of the pest species. The models also showed a very high habitat suitability for the GWM in hot-spot honey exporting and importing countries. Furthermore, we extrapolated the economic impact of such pests in both feral and wild honeybee populations and consequently the global market of the honeybee industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Insects)
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