US Long-Term Ecological Research Network
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Adjacent ecosystems are influenced by organisms that move across boundaries, such as insects with aquatic larval stages and terrestrial adult stages that transport energy and nutrients from water to land. However, the ecosystem-level effect of aquatic insects on land has generally been ignored, perhaps because the organisms themselves are individually small. Between 2008-2011 at the naturally productive Lake Mývatn, Iceland we measured total insect emergence from water using emergence traps suspended in the water column. These traps were placed throughout the south basin of Lake Mývatn and were sampled every 1-3 weeks during the summer months (May-August). The goal of this sampling regime was to estimate total midge emergence from Lake Mývatn, with the ultimate goal of predicting, in conjunction with land-based measurements of midge density (see Lake Mývatn Midge Infall 2008-2011) the amount of midges that are deposited on the shoreline of the lake. Estimates from emergence traps between 2008-2011 indicated a range of 0.15 g dw m-2 yr-1 to 3.7 g dw m-2 yr-1, or a whole-lake emergence of 3.1 Mg dw yr-1 to 76 Mg dw yr-1.
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