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Lidar as a potential tool for monitoring migratory insects

New publication by Chen H, Li M, Månefjord H, Travers P, Salvador J, Müller L et al.


The seasonal migrations of insects involve a substantial displacement of biomass with significant ecological and economic consequences for regions of departure and arrival. Remote sensors have played a pivotal role in revealing the magnitude and general direction of bioflows above 150 m. Nevertheless, the takeoff and descent activity of insects below this height is poorly understood. Our lidar observations elucidate the low-height dusk movements and detailed information of insects in southern Sweden from May to July, during the yearly northward migration period. Importantly, by filtering out moths from other insects based on optical information and wingbeat frequency, we have introduced a promising new method to monitor the flight activities of nocturnal moths near the ground, many of which participate in migration through the area. Lidar thus holds the potential to enhance the scientific understanding of insect migratory behavior and improve pest control strategies.