Future of DNA-based insect monitoring
Insects are crucial for ecosystem health but climate change and pesticide use are driving massive insect decline. To mitigate this loss, we need new and effective monitoring techniques. Over the past decade there has been a shift to DNA-based techniques. We describe key emerging techniques for sample collection. We suggest that the selection of tools should be broadened, and that DNA-based insect monitoring data need to be integrated more rapidly into policymaking. We argue that there are four key areas for advancement, including the generation of more complete DNA barcode databases to interpret molecular data, standardisation of molecular methods, scaling up of monitoring efforts, and integrating molecular tools with other technologies that allow continuous, passive monitoring based on images and/or laser imaging, detection, and ranging (LIDAR).