Mass seasonal bioflows of high-flying insect migrants

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Hu, G., Lim, K. S., Horvitz, N., Clark, S. J., Reynolds, D. R., Sapir, N. and Chapman, J. W. 2016. Mass seasonal bioflows of high-flying insect migrants. Science - AAAS. 354 (6319), pp. 1584-1587.

AuthorsHu, G., Lim, K. S., Horvitz, N., Clark, S. J., Reynolds, D. R., Sapir, N. and Chapman, J. W.

Migrating animals have an impact on ecosystems directly via influxes of predators, prey, and competitors and indirectly by vectoring nutrients, energy, and pathogens. Although linkages between vertebrate movements and ecosystem processes have been established, the effects of mass insect “bioflows” have not been described. We quantified biomass flux over the southern United Kingdom for high-flying (>150 meters) insects and show that ~3.5 trillion insects (3200 tons of biomass) migrate above the region annually. These flows are not randomly directed in insects larger than 10 milligrams, which exploit seasonally beneficial tailwinds. Large seasonal differences in the southward versus northward transfer of biomass occur in some years, although flows were balanced over the 10-year period. Our long-term study reveals a major transport process with implications for ecosystem services, processes, and biogeochemistry.

KeywordsRRES175; 175_Entomology
Year of Publication2016
JournalScience - AAAS
Journal citation354 (6319), pp. 1584-1587
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as green open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeWheat
Delivering Sustainable Systems (SS) [ISPG]
Movement and spatial ecology in agricultural landscapes
PhytoPath, an infrastructure for hundreds of plant pathogen genomes
UK-China Joint Centre for Sustainable Intensification in Agriculture (CSIA)
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Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online27 Jun 2016
Publication process dates
Accepted22 Nov 2016
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
PublisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

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