10th International Conference on Geomorphology
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Insect zoogeomorphology: Exploring the links between geomorphology and entomology

François Bétard
François Bétard
  • Université de Paris, France (francois.betard@u-paris.fr)

Insects are the largest and most diverse group of living organisms on Earth, playing a critical but underestimated role as agents of geomorphic change. Burrowing insects create micro-scale landforms such as subterranean tunnels and surface mounds and, by this way, have a substantial impact on hydrology, soil erosion and sediment transfer at a wider landscape scale. On another side, geomorphic environments and landform heterogeneity strongly influence insect distribution and diversity. The aim of this presentation is to explore the reciprocal links between geomorphology – the study of landforms – and entomology – the study of insects –, beyond the well-known and classical considerations about the role of social ants and termites as geomorphic agents and ecosystem engineers. Five types of insect-landform relationships are examined in this scope: (1) insect ethology and geomorphic processes, (2) insect ecology and geomorphic environment, (3) insect diversity and landform heterogeneity, (4) insect decline/invasion and Anthropocene geomorphology, and (5) insect conservation and landform management. The evidence of reciprocal links between insects and landforms lays out the contours of an Insect Zoogeomorphology – or Entomogeomorphology – as a potential subfield of biogeomorphology to be developed further. Such zoogeomorphological studies should contribute to a better understanding of the importance of insects in Earth surface processes and landforms, with many useful applications in environmental management projects and strategies (e.g., restoration projects of grasslands and wetlands, translocation strategies for the conservation of species and associated biogenic landforms…).

How to cite: Bétard, F.: Insect zoogeomorphology: Exploring the links between geomorphology and entomology, 10th International Conference on Geomorphology, Coimbra, Portugal, 12–16 Sep 2022, ICG2022-6, https://doi.org/10.5194/icg2022-6, 2022.