By identifying pheromones for rare species (these invisible, often species-specific scents that females send out the attract males), researchers can use simple systems, which are faster and cheaper, to establish if a forest contains key species, which in turn indicates that the forest is of high biological value.
“Insects are fairly small, and most insects cannot see objects further than a metre away, and they cannot use Tinder, so instead they use scents to find each other,” Nils Ryrholm explains.
When we develop systems with artificial scents for key and indicator species, one individual with no expertise in the field can investigate 100 forests by using small traps and, in this way, identify the most valuable ones.
If these species are found in the forest, the biotope has been there for a very long time, which means that other valuable species live there too. This method ensures that the process to identify which forests that need protective measure is considerably faster and cheaper than today.