Change in arthropod communities following a mass death incident of reindeer at Hardangervidda
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- Master’s theses (MINA) 
Decomposition of dead material is a vital part of ecology, and an important process in every ecosystem. Dead animals are likely to play a major part in sustaining species that specialize on scavenging. The highly nutrient rich carcasses may also have cascading effects and influence none-scavenging species communities. In the present study, I have investigated the change in arthropod communities two years after of a mass death incident of reindeers at Hardangervidda, Norway. I compared arthropods caught in pitfall traps and sticky traps in the mass death site with a nearby control site where no carcasses were present. Even though differences in initial decomposers such as blow flies were not observed, the total abundance of arthropods were more than doubled in the carcass site two years after the mass death. Predators such as carabids and spiders were particularly numerous, in addition to Diptera species. Mites were more abundant in the control site. The highest abundance of predators within the carcass site was found in close proximity to the actual carcasses. These results show that large carcasses may alter the arthropod fauna for years in an alpine community, with potential cascading effects.