Systematic Mapping and Review of Landscape Fire Smoke (LFS) Exposure Impacts on Insects

Yanan Liu*, Robert Francis, Martin Wooster, Mark Grosvenor, Su Yan, Gareth Roberts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Landscape fire activity is changing in many regions because of climate change. Smoke emissions from landscape fires contain many harmful air pollutants, and beyond the potential hazard posed to human health, these also have ecological impacts. Insects play essential roles in most ecosystems worldwide, and some work suggests they may also be sensitive to smoke exposure. There is therefore a need for a comprehensive review of smoke impacts on insects. We systematically reviewed the scientific literature from 1930 to 2022 to synthesize the current state of knowledge of the impacts of smoke exposure from landscape fires on the development, behavior, and mortality of insects. We found: (1) 42 relevant studies that met our criteria, with 29% focused on the United States of America and 19% on Canada; (2) of these, 40 insect species were discussed, all of which were sensitive to smoke pollution; (3) most of the existing research focuses on how insect behavior responds to landscape fire smoke (LFS); (4) species react differently to smoke exposure, with for example some species being attracted to the smoke (e.g., some beetles) while others are repelled (e.g., some bees). This review consolidates the current state of knowledge on how smoke impacts insects and highlights areas that may need further investigation. This is particularly relevant since smoke impacts on insect communities will likely worsen in some areas due to increasing levels of biomass burning resulting from the joint pressures of climate change, land use change, and more intense land management involving fire.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-884
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2022


  • Landscape fires
  • Smoke
  • Insect
  • Behaviour
  • Development


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