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Global change and the importance of fire for the ecology and evolution of insects

Koltz, Amanda M, Burkle, Laura A, Pressler, Yamina, Dell, Jane E, Vidal, Mayra C, Richards, Lora A, Murphy, Shannon M
Current opinion in insect science 2018 v.29 pp. 110-116
climate change, community structure, evolution, fire history, fire regime, fires, habitats, insect communities, insects, life history, plant response, prediction, spatial variation, temporal variation
Climate change is drastically altering global fire regimes, which may affect the structure and function of insect communities. Insect responses to fire are strongly tied to fire history, plant responses, and changes in species interactions. Many insects already possess adaptive traits to survive fire or benefit from post-fire resources, which may result in community composition shifting toward habitat and dietary generalists as well as species with high dispersal abilities. However, predicting community-level resilience of insects is inherently challenging due to the high degree of spatiotemporal and historical heterogeneity of fires, diversity of insect life histories, and potential interactions with other global change drivers. Future work should incorporate experimental approaches that specifically consider spatiotemporal variability and regional fire history in order to integrate eco-evolutionary processes in understanding insect responses to fire.