Insect decline - a forensic issue?

  • Recent reports have shown a dramatic loss in insect species and biomass. Since forensic entomology relies on the presence of insects, the question is whether this decline effects the discipline. The present review confirms that numerous studies document insect population declines or even extinction, despite the fact that the rates of decline and the methods used to demonstrate it are still much debated. However, with regard to a decline in necrophagous insects, there is little or only anecdotal data available. A hypothetical decrease in species diversity and population density in necrophagous insects could lead to a delayed colonization of dead bodies and a modified succession pattern due to the disappearance or new occurrence of species or their altered seasonality. Climate change as one of the drivers of insect decline will probably also have an impact on necrophagous insects and forensic entomology, leading to reduced flight and oviposition activity, modified growth rates and, therefore, an over- or underestimation of a minimum postmortem interval. Global warming with increased temperature and extreme weather requires a better understanding about necrophagous insect responses to environmental variations. Here, transgeneration effects in particular should be analysed in greater depth as this will help to understand rapid adaptation and plasticity in insects of forensic importance.

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Author:Jens AmendtORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Insects
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/04/06
Date of first Publication:2021/04/06
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/09/06
Tag:carrion; climate change; development; forensic entomology; global warming; succession
Issue:4, art. 324
Page Number:9
First Page:1
Last Page:9
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0