Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (9): 23130.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2023130

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Research progress on the impact of nitrogen deposition on grassland insect diversity

Yongjie Niu1, Quanhui Ma1, Yu Zhu2,*(), Hairong Liu1, Jiale Lü3, Yuanchun Zou2, Ming Jiang2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Vegetation Ecology of Ministry of Education & Jilin Songnen Grassland Ecosystem National Observation and Research Station, Institute of Grassland Science, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024
    2. State Key Laboratory of Black Soils Conservation and Utilization, Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Heilongjiang Xingkai Lake Wetland Ecosystem National Observation and Research Station, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102
    3. National Data Center of Natural Enemies and Beneficial Insects, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193
  • Received:2023-04-24 Accepted:2023-08-30 Online:2023-09-20 Published:2023-10-12
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Background & Aim Insects are one of the most abundant biological components in grassland ecosystems, playing a critical role in the structure and function of the grassland food web. A systematic summary is lacking of the response patterns and regulatory mechanisms of insect communities due to the increasing severity of global nitrogen deposition.

Review results This paper summarizes relevant research in recent years and finds that nitrogen deposition can exert positive, negative, or neutral effects on insect abundance and diversity. The direction of its impact mainly depends on the duration and intensity of nitrogen deposition, different insect taxa, and types of grasslands. Nitrogen deposition can affect the quantity and quality of food resources, abiotic conditions, and biotic interaction of insect communities through various pathways such as changing plant diversity, plant biomass, plant nutrition, community composition and structure, microclimate, and breeding habitat.

Suggestions & Perspectives In the future, research should strengthen the understanding of (1) the multi-trophic interactions of grassland insects; (2) the interaction between nitrogen deposition and other global change factors; (3) the examination on a larger temporal and spatial scale; and (4) the role of key functional traits of insects to explain and predict the response to nitrogen deposition. A benefit from this study is to understand the impact of nitrogen deposition on grassland insect communities and provide theoretical support for the protection of grassland insect diversity due to global changes.

Key words: nutrient enrichment, nitrogen addition, global change, arthropods, insect community, food web