About this Research Topic
Invertebrates represent one of the most species-rich taxa on Earth and yet are often overlooked in conservation planning. In particular, there is a pressing need to consider the protection of invertebrates in agricultural landscapes, which make up a high proportion of the Earth's terrestrial surface. As E. O. Wilson has commented, invertebrates are "the little things that run the world." They contribute to many different ecosystem services including, but not limited to, pollination, decomposition including dung removal, nutrient cycling, and pest control, all of which have important implications for the successful management of agricultural ecosystems. Many different management interventions on farmed landscapes can have profound implications on the abundance, species richness, diversity, and composition of invertebrate communities. The aim of this Research Topic is to highlight some of the myriad ways that agricultural systems interact with invertebrate communities.
With a rapidly growing human population, agricultural intensification and the allocation of more land to agriculture have had a major impact on the conservation of species. There is currently debate over the relative benefits of land sparing (keeping land for conservation and its associated ecosystem services) versus land sharing (adapting agriculture to accommodate wild species). However, the ubiquity of invertebrates means that some range of approaches will be necessary and the choice of approach in any one particular context may be influenced by a range of factors. The goal of this Research Topic is to understand how agricultural practice interacts with invertebrate communities, whether they be pollinators, species of natural pest control significance, dung removal, or any other associated community occurring above- or below-ground. We aim to also investigate the role of agri-environmental management and policy in various parts of the world in mitigating the impact of agriculture on invertebrate communities.
We are interested in receiving original research articles, reviews, and opinion pieces about all aspects of invertebrate conservation in agricultural landscapes. The landscapes can be arable, pasture, viticulture, or agroforestry. The invertebrate communities can be either a component of the aerial, cursorial, or below-ground soil communities. Subjects that we are interested in include, but are not limited to, pollination biology in agricultural systems (including landscape-level effects), pest control from invertebrate natural enemies, dung removal and nutrient recycling, and more general aspects looking at the effects of agricultural management on the abundance, species richness, diversity, and composition of any invertebrate taxa. Results comparing conventional agriculture using pesticides vs agroecological practices are also very welcome.
Keywords: Invertebrates, Diversity, Conservation, Agrienvironmental Schemes, Habitat modification, Ecosystem Services, Pollination, Landscape Ecology
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.