With few exceptions, insects are perceived in industrialized countries as undesirable pests. In reality, relatively few insects interfere with us or our resources. Most have benign or positive effects on ecosystem services, and many represent useful resources in non-industrialized countries. Challenging traditional perceptions of the value of insects, Insects and Sustainability of Ecosystem Services explores the ways insects affect the ecosystem services we depend upon. It also fosters an appreciation for the amazing diversity, adaptive ability, and natural roles of insects.
The book discusses how the ways in which we manage insects will determine an ecosystem’s capacity to continue to supply services. It reviews aspects of insect physiology, behavior, and ecology that affect their interactions with other ecosystem components and ecosystem services, emphasizing critical effects of insects on the sustainability of ecosystem processes and services. The author examines the integration of insect ecology with self-regulatory aspects of ecosystems that control primary production, energy and nutrient fluxes, and global climate—functions that underlie the sustainability of ecosystem services.
Clearly, we need environmental policies that meet needs for pest control where warranted, but do not undermine the important contributions of insects to sustaining ecosystem processes and services. With in-depth coverage of the multiple, often compensatory, effects of insects on various resources or ecosystem services and on the consequences of control tactics for those resources or services, Insects and Sustainability of Ecosystem Services recommends changes in perspectives and policies regarding insects that will contribute to sustainability of ecosystem services.
Table of Contents
Insects and Insect Control
Scope of This Book
Humans versus Insects: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Honey Bees (the "Good")
Other Insects Used as Food or Cosmetics
Indicators of Environmental Change
Nuisances (the "Bad")
Venomous Insects and Other Arthropods
Vectors of Human and Livestock Diseases
Instruments of Warfare (the "Ugly")
Insect Responses to Environmental Changes
Rate of Adaptation by Insects
Changes in Insect Abundance and Distribution
Population Fluctuation through Time
Factors Affecting Population Size
Regulation of Population Size
Population Fluctuation in Space
How Do Ecosystems Provide Services?
Ecosystem Structure and Function
Interactions among Species
Regulation of Ecosystem Conditions
Differences among Ecosystems
Effects of Anthropogenic Changes and Management
How Humans Affect Ecosystems
Alternative Control Options
Effects of Insects on Ecosystem Services
Effects on Provisioning Services
Effects on Cultural Services
Effects on Supporting Services
Effects on Regulating Services
Valuation of Insect and Management Effects
Valuation of Insect Effects on Provisioning Services
Valuation of Insect Effects on Cultural Services
Valuation of Insect Effects on Supporting Services
Valuation of Insect Effects on Regulating Services
Valuation of Insect Management Strategies
Conclusions and Recommendations
Why New Pest Management Approaches Are Needed
Deciding When to Control
Greater Emphasis on Ecological Principles
Use of a Broader Range of Tactics
Suitability and Availability
Implementation of Integrated Pest Management Strategy
Integrated Pest Management: A Case Study
Timothy D. Schowalter is Professor or Entomology at the Entomology Department at LSU, College of Agriculture.
Featured Author Profiles
"As the most diverse taxon on earth, insects have complex roles in ecosystems and hence affect provisioning services, regulating services, cultural services and supporting services provided by ecosystems. This new synthesis enhances our understanding of the important functional roles of insects in ecosystem services, which will help us manage our natural resources in a better way to reach the goal of sustainability."
—Jung-Tai Chao, Taiwan Forestry Research Institute
"… the chapters of Schowalter's interesting new book range from insect ecology to the valuation and management of their benefits. … an important source for everybody interested in sustainable management of insects driving ecosystem functioning."
—Teja Tscharntke, Georg-August-University
"Dr. Schowalter brings forth many important topics within this realm as he ultimately leads the reader to a strong understanding of the important interplay between humans, insects, and the shaping of environments throughout the world. … well written and designed to allow the reader to quickly grasp and understand even the most difficult concepts. I have little doubt that this will become a "must have" reference for anyone interested insects and their role in the sustainability of ecosystem services."
—Mathew A. Camper Affiliation: Instructor/Entomologist Colorado State University