COAT CASE STORIES are short popular handouts from COAT covering a variety of topics related to COAT research and infrastructure development, field activities, monitoring methods or particular occurrences that we consider of broad interest. New COAT CASE STORIES will be published on this page at regular intervals.



Critical transitions in ecotone forests driven by pest outbreaks

Pest insect outbreaks in the subarctic birch forest of northern Norway have been described as among the most abrupt and large-scale ecosystem disturbances attributed to recent climate change in Northern Europe. But outbreaks and forest damage inflicted by moth larvae are not a new phenomenon in the north. They have occurred at regular intervals as far back as historical records go. So, what is new and why may moth outbreaks be a cause of concern for the future of the northern birch forest?