The importance of insects on land and in water: a tropical view

Elsevier, Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 40, 2020, Pages 31-38, ISSN 2214-5745
Authors: 
Verónica Crespo-Pérez, Elena Kazakou, David W Roubik, Rafael E Cárdenas

Tropical insects are astonishingly diverse and abundant yet receive only marginal scientific attention. In natural tropical settings, insects are involved in regulating and supporting ecosystem services including seed dispersal, pollination, organic matter decomposition, nutrient cycling, herbivory, food webs and water quality, which in turn help fulfill UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Current and future global changes that affect insect diversity and distribution could disrupt key ecosystem services and impose important threats on ecosystems and human well-being. A significant increase in our knowledge of tropical insect roles in ecosystem processes is thus vital to ensure sustainable development on a rapidly changing planet.