US Long-Term Ecological Research Network
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A cross ecosystem resource blocking experiment was conducted on the Kalfastrond peninsula, known as the KAL experiment or KAL midge blocking experiment, at Lake Myvatn to determine the influence of an aquatic resource on a terrestrial food web over time. A manipulative field experiment was used in conjunction with a stable isotope analysis to examine changes in terrestrial arthropod food webs in response to the midge subsidy. Cages were established at 2 by 2 meter plots in 6 blocks spread across the site. Each block included 3 treatment levels, an open control plot, a full exclusion cage and a partial exclusion cage, for a total of 18 experimental plots. Midge exclusion cages were designed to prevent midges from entering plots with such cages. Control open pit midge cages were set as a control which allowed complete access to all arthropods. Partial midge exclusion cages were designed and used to examine any effects of cages themselves on terrestrial responses while minimally affecting midge inputs into the plots and arthropod movement. All cages were set at the middle to end of May to the beginning of August in each year, the period corresponding to the active growing season of plants and the flight activity of midges at this site. Midge activity was measured in all plots to document changes in midge abundance over the course of a season and between years and to assess the degree to which cages excluded midges.Midge abundance in the plots was continuously measured using passive aerial infall traps. Midges from infall traps were counted and identified to morphospecies, where the small species is Tanytarsus gracilentus and the large species is Chironomus islandicus. Some arthropods were only identified to the family level Simuliidae, and other arthropods were lumped in a category named others. If the infall trap contained hundreds to thousands of a particular midge species a subsample for each species was performed to estimate the number of midges trapped. These data are the results of the midge counts from the infall traps.
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