No team can work across the entire Arctic. But maybe we do not need to, either? By breaking up bigger tasks into ‘distributed experiments’, we can achieve almost anything: By conducting the same, short protocol at as many sites as possible, we can get a grip on bigger patterns, without a major loss of time and effort for anyone. Thus, by working together, we can accomplish what our network was founded to do: answering important questions in polar ecology at a scale inaccessible to any single research group.

With this objective in mind, it is time to join forces – this time to quantify the food webs regulating insect herbivores across the Arctic. What we hope to achieve is a description of how food webs of Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) and their natural enemies (parasitoid wasps and flies) vary across the Arctic – and how this reflects into a key ecosystem service: flower damage on avens (Dryas).

The sampling routine will require no more than a few hours of work during 2 (or 3) days, spaced about a week apart.

We hope that all NeAT members will join our initiative. Together, we expect to have fun implementing the new project – and to again do important science.

For more information on the project (including how to sign up), please click here. Then keep watching these web pages as we add material and specific instructions during the winter.

Best wishes,
Tuomas Kankaanpää & Tomas Roslin