High elevation insect communities face shifting ecological and evolutionary landscapes

Alisha A. Shah, Michael E. Dillon, Scott Hotaling, H. Arthur Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Climate change is proceeding rapidly in high mountain regions worldwide. Rising temperatures will impact insect physiology and associated fitness and will shift populations in space and time, thereby altering community interactions and composition. Shifts in space are expected as insects move upslope to escape warming temperatures and shifts in time will occur with changes in phenology of resident high-elevation insects. Clearly, spatiotemporal shifts will not affect all species equally. Terrestrial insects may have more opportunities than aquatic insects to exploit microhabitats, potentially buffering them from warming. Such responses of insects to warming may also fuel evolutionary change, including hitchhiking of maladaptive alleles and genetic rescue. Together, these considerations suggest a striking restructuring of high-elevation insect communities that remains largely unstudied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
StatePublished - Oct 2020


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