Insects in fragmented forests: a functional approach

Author: Didham, R. K.; Ghazoul, J.; Stork, N. E.; Davis, A. J.

Description: Insects are highly susceptible to the adverse effects of forest fragmentation. It is now beyond any doubt that fragmentation-induced changes in abundance and species richness occur in many insect groups. However, the study of insects in fragmented forests is still in its infancy and lacks real direction. Simple empirical studies are not answering the questions we most want to answer about fragmented systems. Are we in the midst of a mass-extinction crisis? What is the functional significance of the immense insect biodiversity? Does biodiversity loss affect ecosystem functioning? A more focused, functional approach to the study of forest fragmentation is required to move beyond the description of pattern and to determine how changes in insect communities affect ecosystem processes in fragmented forests.

Subject headings: Insects; Forest fragmentation; Biodiversity; Communities; Ecosystems; Change

Publication year: 1996

Journal or book title: Trends in Ecology & Evolution

Volume: 11

Issue: 6

Pages: 255-260

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Serial number: 3878