Finse Alpine Research Center (map)
P.O. Box 53
Who are the pioneers on a fresh moraine? Predators like certain carabid beetles, spiders and Opiliones are present almost immediately, before any vegetation occurs. It is a paradox that predators are first. May be they eat springtails, which are also pioneers. Among plants, small moss colonies are typical pioneers.
Glacier forelands are excellent study sites for investigating primary succession. The end of the little Ice Age has been followed by a continuous glacial retreat, leaving spatially ordered moraine sequences of different ages. The rate and success of faunal succession on these moraines are influenced by a set of complex processes. The aim of my thesis is to characterize succession patterns of alpine carabid beetles in glacier forelands, and their possible responses to selected biotic and abiotic factors. This will be done by identifying carabid beetles retrieved from pitfall traps, and analyzing the species richness and composition of the different habitats according to the age of the moraines, topography and snow cover.
This project aims to utilise a relatively new approach that can help to understand the relative importance of climate and other external controls on palaeoglacier dynamics based on moraine sedimentology at Midtdalsbreen.