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Lars B. Pettersson, Associate Professor

I work with ecological and evolutionary aspects of conservation biology with a particular focus on butterflies and moths. I coordinate the Swedish butterfly monitoring scheme since it was initiated in 2010. This research involves quantifying trends in butterfly abundance using TRIM indices both within Sweden and by collaborating with other European monitoring schemes.

I also have a strong interest in butterfly and moth diversity in the agricultural landscape and the relation between land management and diversity patterns. Examples of such research include moth diversity in relation to organic farming and the influence of landscape parameters on butterfly and moth diversity.

Using historical data, I collaborate with Swedish and German colleagues to explore nationwide colonization patterns of Swedish Lepidopterans and relate these to species-specific traits. 

Additionally, I also work with phenotypic plasticity and population differentiation in terrestrial and aquatic organisms. These studies address the evolution of growth and anti-predator strategies, using a suite of methods from physiological and chemical ecology as well as research on behavioural syndromes.

Finally, I teach the undergraduate courses Field Faunistics, BIOF04 (Swedish page here) which has a focus on knowledge of species, species identification techniques, and applications of faunistics in conservation work, and Conservation Biology - theory, applications and evidence based methods, BIOR70, an internet-based course focusing on evidence-based conservation. I am course organiser for both these courses (BIOR70 shared with Nils Cronberg).

Research projects
Selected publications

D'Hertefeldt, T., Eneström, J. M. & Pettersson L.B. 2014. Geographic and habitat origin influence biomass production and storage translocation in the clonal plant Aegopodium podagraria. PLOS ONE 9:e85407

Pettersson L.B., Mellbrand K. & Ottvall, R. 2013 Swedish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, annual report for 2012. Department of Biology, Lund University

Nilsson, S.G., Franzén, M., Pettersson, L.B. 2013. Land-use changes, farm management and the decline of butterflies associated with semi-natural grasslands in southern Sweden. Nature Conservation 6: 31-48

Åström, M., Pettersson L.B., Öckinger, E., Hedin, J. 2013. Habitat preferences and conservation of the Marbled Jewel Beetle Poecilonota variolosa (Buprestidae). Journal of Insect Conservation 17:1145-1154

Jonason,D., Franzén, M., Pettersson L.B. 2013. Transient peak in moth diversity as a response to organic farming. Basic and Applied Ecology 14: 515-522

Van Swaay, C.A.M., Van Strien, A.J., Harpke, A., Fontaine, B., Stefanescu, C., Roy, D., Maes, D., Kühn, E., Õunap, E., Regan, E., Švitra, G., Heliölä, J., Settele, J., Pettersson, L.B., Titeux, N., Cornish, N., Leopold, P., Julliard, R., Verovnik, R., Popov, S., Collins, S., Goloshchapova, S., Roth, T., Brereton, T., Warren, M.S. 2013. The European Grassland Butterfly Indicator: 1990–2011. EEA Technical report 11/2013

Pettersson L.B. 2013. Compliance in a world of limited choices. ScieCom Info 9:2

Harris S., Karlsson Green, K., Pettersson L.B. 2013.Predator faunas past and present: quantifying the influence of waterborne cues in divergent ecotypes of the isopod Asellus aquaticus. Oecologia 173: 791-799

Eilers S., Pettersson L.B., Öckinger, E. 2013. Micro-climate determines oviposition site selection and abundance in the butterfly Pyrgus armoricanus at its northern range margin. Ecological Entomology 38: 183-192

Betzholtz P.-E., Pettersson L.B., Ryrholm N. & Franzén M. 2013 With that diet, you will go far: trait-based analysis reveals a link between rapid range expansion and a nitrogen-favoured diet. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 280. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.2305)

Pettersson L.B., Harris S. & Mellbrand K. 2012 Swedish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, annual report for 2011. Department of Biology, Lund University.

Chapman J.W., Bell J.R., Burgin L.E., Reynolds D.R., Pettersson L.B., Hill J.K., Bonsall M.B. & Thomas J.A. 2012 Seasonal migration to high latitudes results in major reproductive benefits in an insect. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109, 14924-14929

Harris S., Eroukhmanoff F., Green K.K., Svensson E.I. & Pettersson L.B. 2011 Changes in behavioural trait integration following rapid ecotype divergence in an aquatic isopod. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24, 1887-1896.

Harris S., Ramnarine I.W., Smith H.G. & Pettersson L.B. 2010 Picking personalities apart: estimating the influence of predation, sex and body size on boldness in the guppy Poecilia reticulata. Oikos 119, 1711-1718.

D’Hertefeldt, T., Jørgensen, R.B. & Pettersson, L.B. 2008. Long-term persistence of GM oilseed rape in the seedbank. Biology Letters 4: 314-317.

Pettersson, L.B. & Franzén M. 2008. Comparing wine-based and beer-based baits for moth trapping: a field experiment. Entomologisk Tidskrift 129: 129-134.

Pettersson, L.B. 2007. Morphology as a key to behavioural flexibility: body shape and swimming variability in the dimorphic crucian carp. Web Ecology 7:113-119.

Magellan, K., Pettersson, L.B. & Magurran, A.E. 2005. Quantifying male attractiveness and mating behaviour through phenotypic sze manipulation in the Trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiol 58:366-374.



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Questions about the website: Web group
Publisher: Department of Biology 

Last modified 28 Jan 2014

Lars med en ljusgul höfjäril
Contact information

Lars Pettersson
Associate Professor



Moth monitoring in Salix landscapes
Available student projects

Downloads: Dagfjärilsprojekt för kandidatexjobb (2 nya projekt)

Moth and butterfly degree projects (6 additional projects)

Degree projects in general: Bachelor's projects

Master's projects


Downloads & links

Downloads: Species-based registers to the Field guide to the moths of Great Britain and Ireland (Waring et al. 2003) and Concise guide to the moths of Great Britain and Ireland (Townsend et al. 2007).

Work in publishing: Oikos Editorial Office

Courses: BIOF04 Fältfaunistik

BIOR70 Bevarandebiologi – teori, praktik och utvärderande metoder


Lund University, Box 117, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden. Tel: +46 (0)46 222 00 00