This is a survey of known results on estimating the principal Lyapunov exponent of a timedependent linear differential equation possessing some monotonicity properties. Equations considered are mainly strongly cooperative systems of ordinary differential equations and parabolic partial differential equations of second order. The estimates are given either in terms of the principal (dominant) eigenvalue of some derived time-independent equation or in terms of the parameters of the equation itself. Extensions to other differential equations are considered. Possible directions of further research are hinted.