About this Research Topic
The dramatic decline of insect abundance and diversity with its associated consequences for ecosystem services has drawn the attention of researchers and the public alike over recent years. Many studies have related insect declines to factors such as habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, lack of resources, and agricultural intensification. In addition, exposure to pollutants from agricultural and industrial sources, such as pesticides, heavy metals, or airborne fine particulate matter may further contribute to the decline of insect populations. Although these threats have been shown to negatively affect insect health in isolation, effects on individuals and populations may be exacerbated when insects are exposed to multiple stressors. For example, sublethal effects of pollutants can increase susceptibility of insects to infectious disease. Likewise, suboptimal body condition, e.g., due to a lack of resources or stressful abiotic conditions, may increase vulnerability to pollutants. Insects will be faced with simultaneous multiple stressors in nature, but we still lack a complete knowledge of the consequences of these combined exposures. Therefore, we urgently need studies characterizing the effect of multiple stressors on insect health to gain a better mechanistic understanding of the factors driving insect decline. Also, a comparison of the effect of multiple stressors to their individual effects will help dissecting the interaction between different stressors and provide guidance for potential management strategies.
This Research Topic welcomes relevant research articles and review papers that focus on and enhance our understanding of the effects of multiple stressors on insect health. We particularly would like to receive studies combining two or more stressors. We invite researchers working on any kind of stressors, i.e. abiotic (e.g. suboptimal temperature or humidity), biotic (e.g. pathogens or suboptimal resources), or pollutants (e.g. pesticides, heavy metals, microplastic, fine particulate matter) to submit their manuscripts to our Research Topic.
Keywords: insect decline, ecotoxicology, interactive effects, pollutants, disease susceptibility
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.