Ecology and biology of aquatic insects



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The advancement of our knowledge on the ecology and biology of aquatic insects is essential to improving our understanding of their roles in water quality, disease ecology, as indicators of climate change, biodiversity, as well as community structure and ecosystem functioning. Over the past 100 years, large strides in research have been made in the ecology and biology of aquatic insects that have expanded our knowledge on their diversity, life histories, potential as surrogates for ecosystem attributes, as well as ecosystem energetics [1]. Aquatic insects are found within the interfaces of terrestrial and mainly freshwater ecosystems such as lentic systems, e.g., lakes, ponds, wetlands, bogs, as well as lotic systems, e.g., springs, streams, and rivers, while only a few occur in truly marine habitats. Aquatic insect communities can vary greatly within and among habitats but also according to how humans have altered adjacent lands, and these communities play significant roles within the freshwater ecosystems they inhabit whether through the cycling of nutrients or via their overall contribution to secondary production. Aquatic insects contribute to the trophic structure of the ecosystems by filling functional roles ranging from detritivores up to predators, along with being food sources for vertebrate and invertebrate predators. As many aquatic insects have both aquatic (larval and adult) and terrestrial (adult) life stages, their impact is not limited to the aquatic environment alone and stretches into the terrestrial riparian environment. This “Ecology and Biology of Aquatic Insects” Special Issue will address current basic and applied areas of research focused on aquatic insect evolution, habitat partitioning, community response to land use/land change relative to disease ecology, their application as surrogates for ecosystem attributes, such as with human-mediated drivers of pollution, as well as their use in the court of law.





Starr, S.M., & Wallace, J.R.. 2021. Ecology and biology of aquatic insects. Insects, 12(1).