Glaciers support diverse, thriving ecosystems dominated by microbial life. However, in some cases, glaciers also support larger organisms like the glacier ice worm, Mesenchytraeus solifugus, in the Pacific Northwest. In this study, we detail a close connection between Gray-crowned rosy finches, one of the highest elevation nesting birds in the world and ice worms. Rosy-finches heavily feed on ice worms during a key reproductive time period. This raises an important, broad question: how important are macroinvertebrates living on glaciers to terrestrial food webs around the world?
Link to the paper: https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecy.2947