Insect Diversity in Neotropical Coffee & Cacao Agriculture: A Review of How Different Management Practices Affect Insect Richness and Abundance

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Marlyse Duguid
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Insects are a diverse group of organisms found all over the world and are particularly rich in the Neotropics. In light of recent concerns over their declining biodiversity, several studies have been conducted to examine how insect diversity, richness and abundance, are affected by intensification in coffee and cacao agriculture. Since these studies focus on the diversity of one insect group in a specific region, the purpose of my review is to analyze and compare insect diversity data throughout the Neotropiccs . A review of 23 studies was conducted to find patterns regarding insect responses to different levels of management intensities in coffee and cacao agriculture. Eleven studies show an increase in insect diversity as management intensity decreased, four indicate increased insect diversity with increased management intensity, and ten report mixed results (e.g. increasing richness but decreasing abundance with decreasing management intensity). The results suggest that different insects respond differently to agricultural intensification. Other additional conclusions the studies reached included the importance of nearby forests, effects of other environmental factors, and the conservation potential of agroecosystems. These factors should be considered in addition to the impacts of management intensity for developing sustainable agricultural practices that contribute to insect biodiversity conservation.