Positive feedback between climate change, forest pests and the carbon cycle

Anne I. M. Arnold, Annett Reinhardt, Ignacy Korczynski, Maren Grüning, Carsten Thies


Forest trees under climate stress increasingly become more vulnerable to insect pests resulting in vastly defoliated swaths of forest land. Here, we simulated a forest pest mass outbreak using a microcosm incubation experiment, and show a positive feedback between climate change, forest pests and the carbon cycle. Treatments with insect faeces showed 16-fold higher fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 8-fold higher fluxes of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) compared to treatments without insect faeces (control) across a four weeks period, presumably due to the input of limited nitrogen (N) and fastly decomposable carbon (C) compounds that accelerate soil decomposition processes.


Carbon cycle, Climate change, Forest

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