Forest defoliator outbreaks alter nutrient cycling in northern waters

Forest defoliator outbreaks alter nutrient cycling in northern waters

Abstract

Insect defoliators alter biogeochemical cycles from land into receiving waters by consuming terrestrial biomass and releasing biolabile frass. Here, we related insect outbreaks to water chemistry across 12 boreal lake catchments over 32-years. We report, on average, 27% lower dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and 112% higher dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) concentrations in lake waters when defoliators covered entire catchments and reduced leaf area. DOC reductions reached 32% when deciduous … [more…]