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Guest Editorial

Insects strategy for expanding and occupying areas in agricultural and forest ecosystems  


Agricultural and forestry ecosystems are mainly dependent on the diversity of insects that play an important role in the stability and maintenance of their dynamics. However, these insects are surprisingly diverse, both biologically and behaviorally, with an immense variability of the relationships between the host tree and various insects. This subject has been the focus of various researches exploring the ecological mechanisms responsible for the host tree selection.

Several insect species may share the area and the food at the same time in agricultural and forest landscapes and their dispersion depends on the climatic factors. In this context, the interspecific competition between the species, predation, and parasitism conditions the spatiotemporal distribution of the species and structures the communities. Species distribution is a dynamic phenomenon fluctuating between extinction and re-colonization of local populations according to the environmental conditions. The fragility of the ecosystems is a factor particularly favorable to the multiplication of pests depending on the instability conditions of the ecosystem. The forest landscape largely influences the activity and the dispersal of several pests. In the context of climate change, the increase of temperature and its annual seasonal fluctuations, as well as the amounts of rainfall recorded over time, influence the movement of insect populations in their natural environments. Among the pests, periodic outbreaks of various groups of insects, particularly the herbivores, are considered a permanent threat in agricultural and forest ecosystems. The intensification of agricultural practices and the clearing of forest areas have become triggering factors for pests outbreaks. The periodic gradations of some insects and their expansion observed in different bioclimatic stages attest the strategy of occupation and evolution.

Various species have become environmental indicators and biological models of the climate change. Furthermore, the expansion of the geographical range of phytophagous and xylophagous species has been directly associated with the increasing climate change. Despite the large data on the ecology, biogeography, physiology and phylogeny of various species, it is difficult to make general predictions of pests gradations and their geographical distribution. The threats and risks of pests infestation increase significantly with higher latitude and altitude. Based on recent research, the agroforestry ecosystems are susceptible to invasion of various pests with the range of insects extending strategically according to the environmental conditions.




Prof. Gahdab Chakali
ENSA, Algiers




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