Research Topic

Grassland-invertebrate interactions: plant productivity, resilience and community dynamics

  • Submission closed.

About this Research Topic

Natural and anthropogenic grasslands such as prairies, meadows, rangelands, and pastures cover more than 40% of the planet’s surface and provide a wealth of ecological services. Grasslands alone store one third of the global carbon stocks and grass roots, through their specific architectures, ensure water ...

Natural and anthropogenic grasslands such as prairies, meadows, rangelands, and pastures cover more than 40% of the planet’s surface and provide a wealth of ecological services. Grasslands alone store one third of the global carbon stocks and grass roots, through their specific architectures, ensure water cycling and prevent the erosion of fertile topsoil. In addition, grasslands are of vital importance for human food production as vast areas of rangelands and pastures provide feed for livestock. Pastoral legumes mobilize atmospheric nitrogen and improve fertility of arable soils. Not least, grasslands are an essential genetic resource. The three major crop species that feed half of the global population have been bred from wild grasses. Ancestors of our contemporary turf cultivars, common components of urban landscapes and recreation spaces, originated from wild grasslands.

Although natural and managed grasslands represent pivotal ecosystems, many aspects of how they function are poorly understood. To date, most attention has focused on grassland primary producers (i.e. forage plants) and mammalian grazers but invertebrates are likely to play an equally, if not more important role in grassland ecosystem functioning. In Australian pastures, for example, the biomass of root-feeding scarab beetles can often exceed that of sheep and plant damage caused by invertebrates is sometimes equivalent to an average dairy cow’s grass consumption. Indeed, grasslands are one of the most densely populated ecosystems with invertebrates being probably the most important engineers that shape both plant communities and the grassland as a whole. In a rapidly changing world with increasing anthropogenic pressure on grasslands, this Research Topic will focus on:

1. How grassland habitats shape invertebrate biodiversity
2. Impacts of climate change on grassland-invertebrate interactions
3. Plant and invertebrate pest monitoring and management
4. Plant-mediated multitrophic interactions and biological control in grasslands
5. Land use and grassland invertebrates
6. Plant resistance to invertebrate pests

Given the increasing demand for food and land for human habitation, unprecedented threats to grasslands are anticipated. Resilient to some extent, these key ecosystems need to be better comprehended to guarantee their sustainable management. We think that this Research Topic would be very timely and would complement the existing Research Topics in the section Agroecology and Land Use. To date, plant-invertebrate ecology in grasslands hasn’t been considered in Research Topics and by addressing an overlooked aspect of plant ecology, we anticipate a highly citable contribution.

We encourage contributions from across the globe, but especially participants of the 9th Australasian Conference on Grassland Invertebrate Ecology in April 2016 (www.grassbugs.com.au). The Research Topic will constitute the flagship publication from the conference and comprise contributions from top-ranked scientists in this field.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be in line with the scope of the specialty and field to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Manuscripts discovered during any stage of peer review to be outside of the scope may be transferred to a suitable section or field, or withdrawn from review.

Recent Articles

Loading..

About Frontiers Research Topics

With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

Submission closed.

Participating Journals

Loading..

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

Submission closed.

Participating Journals

Loading..
Loading..
Yearly

total views article views article downloads topic views

 
Top countries
Top referring sites
Loading..

Comments

Loading..

Add a comment

Add comment
Back to top