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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

The use of historical collections to estimate population trends: A case study using Swedish longhorn beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)

Jeppsson, Tobias; Lindhe, Anders; Gärdenfors, Ulf; Forslund, Pär


Long term data to estimate population trends among species are generally lacking. However, Natural History Collections (NHCs) can provide such information, but may suffer from biases due to varying sampling effort. To analyze population trends and range-abundance dynamics of Swedish longhorn beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), we used collections of 108 species stretching over 100 years. We controlled for varying sampling effort by using the total number of database records as a reference for non-red-listed species. Because the general frequency of red-listed species increased over time, a separate estimate of sampling effort was used for that group. We observed large interspecific variation in population changes, from declines of 60% to several hundred percent increases. Most species showed stable or increasing ranges, whereas few seemed to decline in range. Among increasing species, rare species seemed to expand their range more than common species did, but this pattern was not observed in declining species. Historically, rare species did not seem to be at larger risk of local extinction, and population declines were mostly due to lower population density and not loss of sub-populations. We also evaluated the species' declines under IUCN red-list criterion A, and four currently not red-listed species meet the suggested threshold for Near Threatened (NT). The results also suggested that species' declines may be overlooked if estimated only from changes in species range. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Population trends; Natural history collection (NHC); Range-abundance dynamics; IUCN Red list; Species conservation; Population dynamics; Museum data; Coleoptera: Cerambycidae

Published in

Biological Conservation
2010, volume: 143, number: 9, pages: 1940-1950

Authors' information

Jeppsson, Tobias
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Lindhe, Anders
Gärdenfors, Ulf
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish Species Information Centre
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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