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Efrén López-Blanco

Larval outbreaks in West Greenland: Instant and subsequent effects on tundra ecosystem productivity and CO2 exchange

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  • Magnus Lund
  • ,
  • Katrine Raundrup, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Kivioq 2, P.O. Box 570, 3900, Nuuk, Greenland.
  • ,
  • Andreas Westergaard-Nielsen, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Center for Permafrost (CENPERM), University of Copenhagen, Oestervoldgade 10, 1350, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Efrén López-Blanco
  • Josephine Nymand, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Kivioq 2, P.O. Box 570, 3900, Nuuk, Greenland.
  • ,
  • Peter Aastrup

Insect outbreaks can have important consequences for tundra ecosystems. In this study, we synthesise available information on outbreaks of larvae of the noctuid moth Eurois occulta in Greenland. Based on an extensive dataset from a monitoring programme in Kobbefjord, West Greenland, we demonstrate effects of a larval outbreak in 2011 on vegetation productivity and CO2 exchange. We estimate a decreased carbon (C) sink strength in the order of 118-143 g C m(-2), corresponding to 1210-1470 tonnes C at the Kobbefjord catchment scale. The decreased C sink was, however, counteracted the following years by increased primary production, probably facilitated by the larval outbreak increasing nutrient turnover rates. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time in tundra ecosystems, the potential for using remote sensing to detect and map insect outbreak events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-38
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

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