About this Research Topic
Biotic invasions compromise ecosystem integrity with cascading impacts on ecosystem services and human well-being. The mechanisms surrounding successful biotic invasions are broad. For invasive insect pests and pathogens, globalization has been widely associated with the introduction of non-native species to novel environments following anthropogenic activities such as the trade of infested products and travel. A superior tolerance of extreme climate environments, in particular temperature, is also associated with invasion propensity among ectotherms such as insect pests. Wider host range also contributes to invasion success as it ensures population persistence even when otherwise favorable hosts may not be present in invaded ranges. The ecological impacts of such invasions are diverse. However, it is increasingly apparent that there is modification of trophic interactions, eliciting both top-down and bottom-up feedbacks, that can compromise native biodiversity. These diverse attributes and consequences of species invasions call for an in depth understanding of the factors contributing towards invasion success. In particular, the role of climate stress resistance on geographic range expansion and chemically mediated above and below ground pest-pathogen interactions. Such an understanding will enhance management strategies through both improved prediction of potential outbreaks and the development of biologically intensive novel approaches for pest control through disruption of trophic interactions that aid invasions.
This Research Topic, therefore, aims to collect novel emerging studies highlighting the mechanisms, physiological or otherwise, aiding pest geographic range expansion and their subsequent impact on native forestry vegetation. Papers addressing the role of enemy free pace on invasion success and the subsequent use of classical biological control are also desirable. We also welcome comprehensive reviews reflecting on the status of these themes.
Keywords: Biological Control, Chemical Ecology, Enemy Release Hypothesis, Geographic Range Expansion, Plant-Insect Interactions, Thermal Tolerance, Trophic-Interactions
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