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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Pheromones and Other Semiochemicals for Monitoring Rare and Endangered Species

Larsson, Mattias


As global biodiversity declines, biodiversity and conservation have become ever more important research topics. Research in chemical ecology for conservation purposes has not adapted to address this need. During the last 10-15 years, only a few insect pheromones have been developed for biodiversity and conservation studies, including the identification and application of pheromones specifically for population monitoring. These investigations, supplemented with our knowledge from decades of studying pest insects, demonstrate that monitoring with pheromones and other semiochemicals can be applied widely for conservation of rare and threatened insects. Here, I summarize ongoing conservation research, and outline potential applications of chemical ecology and pheromone-based monitoring to studies of insect biodiversity and conservation research. Such applications include monitoring of insect population dynamics and distribution changes, including delineation of current ranges, the tracking of range expansions and contractions, and determination of their underlying causes. Sensitive and selective monitoring systems can further elucidate the importance of insect dispersal and landscape movements for conservation. Pheromone-based monitoring of indicator species will also be useful in identifying biodiversity hotspots, and in characterizing general changes in biodiversity in response to landscape, climatic, or other environmental changes.


Biodiversity; Conservation biology; Landscape ecology; Monitoring; Pheromones; Dispersal; Population

Published in

Journal of Chemical Ecology
2016, volume: 42, number: 9, pages: 853-868
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

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