Assemblages of aquatic insects are structured by multiple biotic and abiotic conditions, including temperature, salinity and oxygen. Here we highlight recent developments in our understanding of how high temperatures, elevated salinities and low oxygen levels affect physiological processes, responses at the organismal level, and impacts on species interaction and community assembly. As aquatic insects may be exposed to multiple stressors, we review their sensitivity to interactive effects of multiple stressors. While each of these stressors may operate via different physiological mechanisms, they all influence the overall energy budget as well as the allocation of energy to competing functions such as homeostatic maintenance, growth, development and reproduction. As such, there is potential for interaction whereby one stressor may exacerbate the effect of another stressor. Integrating research on these stressors can provide a powerful approach for delineating the sensitivity of aquatic insects to multiple stressors and developing sound management practices.