Insect biomass density: measurement of seasonal and daily variations using an entomological optical sensor

Adrien P. Genoud, Topu Saha, Gregory M. Williams, Benjamin P. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Insects are major actors in Earth’s ecosystems and their recent decline in abundance and diversity is alarming. The monitoring of insects is paramount to understand the cause of this decline and guide conservation policies. In this contribution, an infrared laser-based system is used to remotely monitor the biomass density of flying insects in the wild. By measuring the optical extinction caused by insects crossing the 36-m long laser beam, the Entomological Bistatic Optical Sensor System used in this study can evaluate the mass of each specimen. At the field location, between July and December 2021, the instrument made a total of 262,870 observations of insects for which the average dry mass was 17.1 mg and the median 3.4 mg. The daily average mass of flying insects per meter cube of air at the field location has been retrieved throughout the season and ranged between near 0 to 1.2 mg/m3. Thanks to its temporal resolution in the minute range, daily variations of biomass density have been observed as well. These measurements show daily activity patterns changing with the season, as large increases in biomass density were evident around sunset and sunrise during Summer but not during Fall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26
JournalApplied Physics B: Lasers and Optics
Volume129
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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