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How differences in the settling behaviour of moths (Lepidoptera) may contribute to sampling bias when using automated light traps

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-191154
  • Quantitative community-wide moth surveys frequently employ flight-interception traps equipped with UV-light emitting sources as attractants. It has long been known that moth species differ in their responsiveness to light traps. We studied how the settling behaviour of moths at a light trap may further contribute to sampling bias. We observed the behaviour of 1426 moths at a light tower. Moths were classified as either, settling and remaining still after arrival, or continually moving on the gauze for extended periods of time. Moths that didQuantitative community-wide moth surveys frequently employ flight-interception traps equipped with UV-light emitting sources as attractants. It has long been known that moth species differ in their responsiveness to light traps. We studied how the settling behaviour of moths at a light trap may further contribute to sampling bias. We observed the behaviour of 1426 moths at a light tower. Moths were classified as either, settling and remaining still after arrival, or continually moving on the gauze for extended periods of time. Moths that did not move after settling may not end up in the sampling container of the light trap and therefore are under-represented in automated trap samples relative to their true proportions in the community. Our analyses revealed highly significant behavioural differences between moths that differed in body size. Small moths were more likely to remain stationary after settling. As a corollary, representatives of three taxa, which in Europe are predominantly small species (Nolidae, Geometridae: Eupitheciini, Erebidae: Lithosiini), usually settled down immediately, whereas most other moths remained active on or flying around the trap for some time. Moth behaviour was also modulated by ambient temperature. At high temperatures, they were less likely to settle down immediately, but this behavioural difference was most strongly apparent among medium-sized moths. These results indicate the likely extent of the sampling bias when analysing and interpreting automated light-trap samples. Furthermore, to control for temperature modulated sampling bias temperature should always be recorded when sampling moths using flight-interception traps.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author: Mirko Wölfling, Mira C. Becker, Britta Uhl, Anja Traub, Konrad Fiedler
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-191154
Document Type:Journal article
Faculties:Fakultät für Biologie / Theodor-Boveri-Institut für Biowissenschaften
Language:English
Parent Title (English):European Journal of Entomology
Year of Completion:2016
Volume:113
Pagenumber:502-506
Source:European Journal of Entomology (2016) 113, S. 502-506. https://doi.org/10.14411/eje.2016.066
DOI:https://doi.org/10.14411/eje.2016.066
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Tag:Lepidoptera; biodiversity assessment; light-trapping; moths; sampling bias; sampling method
Release Date:2021/02/15
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz: Namensnennung 4.0 International