Research Topic

Advances in the Evolutionary Ecology of Termites

About this Research Topic

Termites are eusocial insects that live in colonies composed of hundreds to millions of individuals. Their colonies are mainly organized into reproductive and non-reproductive castes, which have specific tasks such as nest construction, foraging, reproduction, brood care, and colony defense. The evolution of the symbiotic association between termites and microorganisms allows them to decompose ingested lignocellulose from plant substrates (such as wood), including herbivore dung and soil humus, making them important insect decomposers that play a crucial role in ecosystem functioning by contributing to litter decomposition, soil formation, and nutrient cycling. On the other hand, termites have recently been classified as eusocial cockroaches, which have gained increasing attention in evolutionary studies to understand the transition to eusociality from subsocial wood roaches. This current growing interest in termite research calls for a collection dedicated to these fascinating insects.

This Research Topic aims to gather the latest advances in termite evolutionary ecology, covering a wide range of research areas such as evolutionary biology, genomics, systematics, microbiology and ethology. We invite contributions from a broad spectrum of scientists, including termitologists, ecologists, evolutionary biologists, microbiologists, and geneticists. All levels of organization, from colonies to ecosystems, will be considered.

We expect that contributions will focus on the following (but not limited to) themes:
• Evolution of eusociality in termites
• Microbe interactions in termites of different feeding guilds
• Effects of environmental alterations on the ecosystem functions provided by termites
• The structure and function of exocrine glands and their role in termite evolution
• Impacts of habitat degradation on termite communities
• Interactions between termitophiles and inquilines
• Impacts of termite activity on soil formation and properties
• Impacts of termites on agroecosystem services
• The ecology and behavior of invasive termite species


Keywords: eusociality, isopterans, Blattodea, castes, nest, task allocation, ecosystem engineers


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Termites are eusocial insects that live in colonies composed of hundreds to millions of individuals. Their colonies are mainly organized into reproductive and non-reproductive castes, which have specific tasks such as nest construction, foraging, reproduction, brood care, and colony defense. The evolution of the symbiotic association between termites and microorganisms allows them to decompose ingested lignocellulose from plant substrates (such as wood), including herbivore dung and soil humus, making them important insect decomposers that play a crucial role in ecosystem functioning by contributing to litter decomposition, soil formation, and nutrient cycling. On the other hand, termites have recently been classified as eusocial cockroaches, which have gained increasing attention in evolutionary studies to understand the transition to eusociality from subsocial wood roaches. This current growing interest in termite research calls for a collection dedicated to these fascinating insects.

This Research Topic aims to gather the latest advances in termite evolutionary ecology, covering a wide range of research areas such as evolutionary biology, genomics, systematics, microbiology and ethology. We invite contributions from a broad spectrum of scientists, including termitologists, ecologists, evolutionary biologists, microbiologists, and geneticists. All levels of organization, from colonies to ecosystems, will be considered.

We expect that contributions will focus on the following (but not limited to) themes:
• Evolution of eusociality in termites
• Microbe interactions in termites of different feeding guilds
• Effects of environmental alterations on the ecosystem functions provided by termites
• The structure and function of exocrine glands and their role in termite evolution
• Impacts of habitat degradation on termite communities
• Interactions between termitophiles and inquilines
• Impacts of termite activity on soil formation and properties
• Impacts of termites on agroecosystem services
• The ecology and behavior of invasive termite species


Keywords: eusociality, isopterans, Blattodea, castes, nest, task allocation, ecosystem engineers


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

23 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

23 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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