Psyche: A Journal of Entomology

Abiotic Factors and Insect Abundance

Publishing date
15 Mar 2012
Submission deadline
15 Sep 2011

1Laboratory of Applied Zoology and Parasitology, Faculty of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54 124 Thessaloniki, Greece

2Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Department of Agriculture Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Fytokoy Straße, N. Ionia, 38446 Magnisia, Greece

3Benaki Phytopathological Institute, Department of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, S. Delta 8, 14561 Kifissia, Greece

4IRD/CNRS, Laboratoire Evolution Génomes Spéciation, Avenue de la terrasse, B.P. 1, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France

Abiotic Factors and Insect Abundance


Abiotic factors have a profound effect on distribution, colonization, survival, abundance, behaviour, fitness, and the life history of insects. Extremes of these factors limit the geographic range of insect populations, either by causing direct natural mortality or by limiting the range of host plants or animals. Any organism exposed to extremes of abiotic factors will realize a variety of detrimental effects. Insects are especially vulnerable to such effects especially caused by temperature.

Most studies have concluded that insect pests would become more abundant as temperatures increase, through a number of interrelated processes, including range extensions and phenological changes, as well as increased rates of population development, growth, migration, and overwintering. A gradual, continuing rise in atmospheric CO2 will also affect pest species abundance. However, individual species responses to climate changes vary.

If exposed to stressful conditions, insects may respond in different ways: they can behaviourally avoid stress by escaping, for example, by migration or changed activity patterns or continuously adapt (genetically or phenotypically) to the stress condition through selection or by plastic responses, for example, by changes in morphology, life history, or physiology. The global climate changes during the last few years give us the opportunity to investigate the effect they have on insects. The current issue focuses mainly on effects of temperature on insect abundance and distribution. Among other climate variables, temperature is more confidently used in predictions of climate change scenarios, and there is a wealth of evidence from which predictions of impacts of climate change might be derived.

Changes in both mean temperature and the extent and frequency of extremes can hence have major impacts on insect populations. We invite authors to submit original research or review articles on the above subject. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Climatic change and expansion of insect distribution
  • Insect evolution and fitness
  • New insect-borne diseases and their distribution
  • Predator-prey interactions in a changing world

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal's Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:

Psyche: A Journal of Entomology
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