Bulletin of Entomological Research (2005) 95, 259-274

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D.R. Reynolds, J.W. Chapman, A.S. Edwards, A.D. Smith, C.R. Wood, J.F. Barlow and I.P. Woiwod (2005)
Radar studies of the vertical distribution of insects migrating over southern Britain: the influence of temperature inversions on nocturnal layer concentrations
Bulletin of Entomological Research 95 (3), 259-274
Abstract: Insects migrating over two sites in southern UK (Malvern in Worcestershire, and Harpenden in Hertfordshire) have been monitored continuously with nutating vertical-looking radars (VLRs) equipped with powerful control and analysis software. These observations make possible, for the first time, a systematic investigation of the vertical distribution of insect aerial density in the atmosphere, over temporal scales ranging from the short (instantaneous vertical profiles updated every 15 min) to the very long (profiles aggregated over whole seasons or even years). In the present paper, an outline is given of some general features of insect stratification as revealed by the radars, followed by a description of occasions during warm nights in the summer months when intense insect layers developed. Some of these nocturnal layers were due to the insects flying preferentially at the top of strong surface temperature inversions, and in other cases, layering was associated with higher-altitude temperature maxima, such as those due to subsidence inversions. The layers were formed from insects of a great variety of sizes, but peaks in the mass distributions pointed to a preponderance of medium-sized noctuid moths on certain occasions.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Jason W. Chapman

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
population dynamics/ epidemiology

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Xestia c-nigrum United Kingdom
Plutella xylostella United Kingdom
Autographa gamma United Kingdom
Agrotis exclamationis United Kingdom