Rapid arctic change: Regions at high latitudes are predicted to experience more rapid climate changes than other parts of the Earth. The consequences of these changes for high-latitude ecosystems are difficult to predict. This calls for long-term monitoring systems that allow climate change impacts to be detected and understood, so that appropriate management actions can be taken.
Moth dynamics in a changing climate: Since 1999 we have monitored moth abundances in coastal Troms County every summer. This allows rapid detection of changes in moth population dynamics and invasions of non-native moth species. We take advantage of the natural variation in temperature along elevational gradients to study climatic and biotic drivers of moth dynamics.
Not just forest: Severe moth outbreaks influence the entire forest ecosystem both below and above ground. In sub-arctic Varanger we monitor the wider ecosystem consequences of moth outbreaks including the effects on communities of birds dead-wood associated beetles (using window traps, left image). Moth outbreaks are also thought to be important drivers of treeline dynamics in the tundra-forest ecotone. We monitor forest succession following outbreaks and the influence of reindeer grazing on forest regeneration. Our monitoring of ecosystem effects of moth outbreaks in Varanger are now included in COAT, a newly established monitoring system for terrestrial arctic ecosystems.