Future-proofing insect diversity

Elsevier, Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 12, 1 December 2015
Samways M.J.

Strategies are urgently required to ensure long term maintenance of current levels of global insect diversity. Yet insect diversity is huge and immensely complex, with many species and individuals making up an important part of compositional and functional biodiversity worldwide. As only a fifth of all insects have been scientifically described, we have the task of conserving largely what is unknown. Inevitably, this means that there are various challenges and shortfalls to address when we aim to future-proof insect diversity. But there are also opportunities, especially when insects are seen as a major part of the fabric of life in most terrestrial and freshwater systems across the globe, and bearing in mind that they are of great value for human wellbeing. In view of the complexity of the task, strategies have to be based on easily conceptualized principles, and on effective operational tools, especially at the spatial level of the landscape. These principles and tools are developed here as a coherent framework for conserving as many insect populations and species as possible well into the Anthropocene.