Life on a young moraine

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.

The carabid bettle Bembidion hastii. This species is the most active and common on fresh moraines. It especially predates on chironomidae. Photo: Oddvar Hanssen, NINA.

Update from fieldwork 27-29th of July 2013:

Fieldwork were carried out at the 2005-moraine at Middalsbreen, were we collected invertebrates from young and small ponds that are colonized quickly. Watersamples were collected for investigating the algae colonizers, along with substrate samples for investigating the biofilm of the surrounding soil. The algae and biofilm will be analysed by Olav Skulberg, NIVA.

This fieldwork is part of a longterm study, which aims at investigating how quickly a new area is colonized after glacier retreat.









Publications available from this project:

Hågvar, S. et al. (2009). Primary Succession of Soil Mites (Acari) in a Norwegian Glacier Foreland, with Emphasis on Oribatid Species. Arct Antarct Alpine Res. 41:2. pp. 219-227.

Hågvar, S. (2010). Primary Succession of Springtails (Collembola) in a Norwegian Glacier Foreland. Arct Antarct Alpine Res. 42:4, pp. 422-429.

Hågvar, S. (2012). Primary Succession in Glacier Forelands:How Small Animals Conquer New LandAround Melting Glaciers. In International Perspectives on Global Environmental Change (ed. Young, S. S. & Silvern, S. E.)InTech. 448 pp. ISBN 978-953-307-815-1.

Bråten, A. T. et al. (2012). Primary Succession of Surface Active Beetles and Spiders in an Alpine Glacier Foreland, Central South Norway. Arct Antarct Alpine Res. 44:1. pp.2-15.


Tags: succession, middalsbreen, carabid beetles, moraine, UMB, colonization
Published Feb. 6, 2013 3:39 PM - Last modified Sep. 1, 2013 2:52 PM


Project leader:

Sigmund Hågvar, Norwegian University of Life Sciences


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