WorldWideScience

Sample records for alaskan tussock tundra

  1. Photosynthesis, plant growth and nitrogen nutrition in Alaskan tussock tundra: Response to experimental warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dynes, E.; Welker, J. M.; Moore, D. J.; Sullivan, P.; Ebbs, L.; Pattison, R.

    2009-12-01

    Temperature is predicted to rise significantly in northern latitudes over the next century. The Arctic tundra is a fragile ecosystem with low rates of photosynthesis and low nutrient mineralisation. Rising temperatures may increase photosynthetic capacity in the short term through direct stimulation of photosynthetic rates and also in the longer term due to enhanced nutrient availability. Different species and plant functional types may have different responses to warming which may have an impact on plant community structure. As part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) to investigate the effects of warming on arctic vegetation, a series of open top chambers (OTCs) have been established at the Toolik Field Station (68°38’N, 149°36’W, elevation 720 m). This study employs 12 plots; 6 control plots and 6 warming plots covered with OTCs which maintain a temperature on average +1.54 °C degrees higher than ambient temperatures. The response of photosynthesis to temperature was measured using an infra-red gas analyzer (IRGA) with a cooling adaptor to manipulate leaf temperature and determine AMAX in two contrasting species, Eriophorum vaginatum (sedge) and Betula nana (shrub). Temperature within the chamber head of the IRGA was manipulated from 10 through 25 °C. We also measured the leaf area index of plots using a Decagon Accupar Ceptometer to provide insights into potential differences in canopy cover. In both OTC and control plots the photosynthetic rate of B. nana was greater than that of E. vaginatum, with the AMAX of B. nana peaking at 20.08°C and E. vaginatum peaking slightly lower at 19.7°C in the control plots. There was no apparent difference in the temperature optimum of photosynthesis of either species when exposed to the warming treatment. Although there was no difference in temperature optimum there were differences in the peak values of AMAX between treatment and control plots. In the case of B. nana, AMAX was higher in the OTCs than in

  2. Competition for tracer 15N in tussock tundra ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marion, G.M.; Miller, P.C.; Black, C.H.

    1987-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to assess the roles of plant species, time, and site on competition for tracer 15 N (without carrier) in tussock tundra ecosystems. Six experimental sites were located in northern Alaska. After one year across the experimental sites, the recovery of 15 N by litter (11.3-16.3%) and mosses (5.4-16.4%) was significantly greater than for aboveground vascular plants (2.6-5.0%). 15 N recoveries by tundra vascular plants (2.6-5.0%) were low when compared to forest trees (9-25%) which suggst that competition for nitrogen is particularly severe in these colddominated tundra ecosystems. There were no significant differences among sites in 15 N recoveries by vascular plants, by mosses, or by litter. There was a statistically significant decline in 15 N recovery with time for Vaccinium vitis-idaea and Eriophoum vaginatum between the second and third year. The shallow rooted Vaccinium vitis-ideae was more highly labeled than the deep rooted Eriophorum vaginatum. Nearness to the source of the applied 15 N played a critical role in competition for surface applied nitrogen. (author)

  3. Inter-annual variability of NDVI in response to long-term warming and fertilization in wet sedge and tussock tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelman, Natalie T; Stieglitz, Marc; Griffin, Kevin L; Shaver, Gaius R

    2005-05-01

    This study explores the relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and aboveground plant biomass for tussock tundra vegetation and compares it to a previously established NDVI-biomass relationship for wet sedge tundra vegetation. In addition, we explore inter-annual variation in NDVI in both these contrasting vegetation communities. All measurements were taken across long-term experimental treatments in wet sedge and tussock tundra communities at the Toolik Lake Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, in northern Alaska. Over 15 years (for wet sedge tundra) and 14 years (for tussock tundra), N and P were applied in factorial experiments (N, P and N+P), air temperature was increased using greenhouses with and without N+P fertilizer, and light intensity was reduced by 50% using shade cloth. during the peak growing seasons of 2001, 2002, and 2003, NDVI measurements were made in both the wet sedge and tussock tundra experimental treatment plots, creating a 3-year time series of inter-annual variation in NDVI. We found that: (1) across all tussock experimental tundra treatments, NDVI is correlated with aboveground plant biomass (r2 = 0.59); (2) NDVI-biomass relationships for tussock and wet sedge tundra communities are community specific, and; (3) NDVI values for tussock tundra communities are typically, but not always, greater than for wet sedge tundra communities across all experimental treatments. We suggest that differences between the response of wet sedge and tussock tundra communities in the same experimental treatments result from the contrasting degree of heterogeneity in species and functional types that characterize each of these Arctic tundra vegetation communities.

  4. Shifting Foliar N:P Ratios with Experimental Soil Warming in Tussock Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasinski, B.; Mack, M. C.; Schuur, E.; Mauritz, M.; Walker, X. J.

    2017-12-01

    Warming temperatures in the Arctic and boreal ecosystems are currently driving widespread permafrost thaw. Thermokarst is one form of thaw, in which a deepening active soil layer and associated hydrologic changes can lead to increased nutrient availability and shifts in plant community composition. Individual plant species often differ in their ability to access nutrients and adapt to new environmental conditions. While nitrogen (N) is often the nutrient most limiting to Arctic plant communities, the extent to which plant available phosphorus (P) from previously frozen mineral soil may increase as the active layer deepens is still uncertain. To understand the changing relationship between species' uptake of N and P in a thermokarst environment, we assessed foliar N:P ratios from 2015 in two species, a tussock sedge (Eriophorum vaginatum) and a dwarf shrub (Rubus chamaemorus), at a moist acidic tussock tundra experimental passive soil warming site. The passive soil warming treatment increased active layer depth in warmed plots by 35.4 cm (+/- 1.1 cm), an 80% increase over the control plots. E.vaginatum demonstrated a 16.9% decrease (p=0.012, 95% CI [-27.99%, -5.94%]) in foliar N:P ratios in warmed plots, driven mostly by an increase in foliar phosphorus. Foliar N:P ratios of R.chamaemorus showed no significant change. However, foliar samples of R.chamaemorus were significantly enriched in the isotope 15N in soil warming plots (9.9% increase (p=0.002, 95% CI [4.45%, 15.39%])), while the sedge E.vaginatum was slightly depleted. These results suggest that (1) in environments with thawing mineral soil plant available phosphorus may increase more quickly than nitrogen, and (2) that species' uptake strategies and responses to increasing N and P will vary, which has implications for future ecological shifts in thawing ecosystems.

  5. Emissions of biogenic sulfur gases from Alaskan tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Mark E.; Morrison, Michael C.

    1992-01-01

    Results of sulfur emission measurements made in freshwater and marine wetlands in Alaskan tundra during the Arctic Boundary Layer Expedition 2A (ABLE 3A) in July 1988 are presented. The data indicate that this type of tundra emits very small amounts of gaseous sulfur and, when extrapolated globally, accounts for a very small percentage of the global flux of biogenic sulfur to the atmosphere. Sulfur emissions from marine sites are up to 20-fold greater than fluxes from freshwater habitats and are dominated by dimethyl sulfide (DMS). Highest emissions, with a mean of 6.0 nmol/sq m/h, occurred in water-saturated wet meadow areas. In drier upland tundra sites, highest fluxes occurred in areas inhabited by mixed vegetation and labrador tea at 3.0 nmol/sq m/h and lowest fluxes were from lichen-dominated areas at 0.9 nmol/sq m/h. DMS was the dominant gas emitted from all these sites. Emissions of DMS were highest from intertidal soils inhabited by Carex subspathacea.

  6. Photosynthetic response of Eriophorum vaginatum to in situ shrub shading in tussock tundra of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson-Smith, A.; Pattison, R.; Sullivan, P.; Welker, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    Eriophorum vaginatum (Cotton Grass) is an important component of moist acidic tussock tundra, a plant community that appears to be undergoing changes in species composition associated with climate warming. This species is one of the most abundant in the arctic tundra, and provides important forage for caribou in their calving grounds on the Arctic Coastal Plain and along their migratory route through the foothills of Alaska. Recently, remote sensing data, repeat photography and plot-level measurements have indicated that shrub abundance is increasing while Eriophorum abundance is either constant or decreasing. One possible explanation for the reduction of Eriophorum while Betula nana is increasing, is that lower light levels in the taller Betula canopy may be constraining Eriophorum photosynthesis and subsequently reducing plant growth. This study measured the effect of shading on the light response of Eriphorum leaf photosynthesis in four different sites near Toolik Lake Alaska during the summer of 2009. Measurements were taken in: 1) a shrub patch within the drift zone of the ITEX long term snow fence experiment, 2) an LTER shade house (50% shading) built in 1989, 3) water track site 1 and water track site 2 (i.e. control areas with no experimental manipulations) Average photosynthetic rates for Eriophorum at a light level of 800 PAR varied from 3.8 to 10.9 umol m-2 s-1 and were not significantly different in shaded and unshaded areas. This study indicates that shading by shrubs does not appear to be altering the light response of Eriophorum nor does long-term shading by itself eliminate Eriophorum from the community. An alternative explanation for the decline of Eriophorum while Betula increases in abundance under changing climates may be related to plant and soil mineral nutrition, plant water relations or biotic processes involving herbivores.

  7. NDVI as a predictor of canopy arthropod biomass in the Alaskan arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet, Shannan K; Asmus, Ashley; Rich, Matthew E; Wingfield, John; Gough, Laura; Boelman, Natalie T

    2015-04-01

    The physical and biological responses to rapid arctic warming are proving acute, and as such, there is a need to monitor, understand, and predict ecological responses over large spatial and temporal scales. The use of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) acquired from airborne and satellite sensors addresses this need, as it is widely used as a tool for detecting and quantifying spatial and temporal dynamics of tundra vegetation cover, productivity, and phenology. Such extensive use of the NDVI to quantify vegetation characteristics suggests that it may be similarly applied to characterizing primary and secondary consumer communities. Here, we develop empirical models to predict canopy arthropod biomass with canopy-level measurements of the NDVI both across and within distinct tundra vegetation communities over four growing seasons in the Arctic Foothills region of the Brooks Range, Alaska, USA. When canopy arthropod biomass is predicted with the NDVI across all four growing seasons, our overall model that includes all four vegetation communities explains 63% of the variance in canopy arthropod biomass, whereas our models specific to each of the four vegetation communities explain 74% (moist tussock tundra), 82% (erect shrub tundra), 84% (riparian shrub tundra), and 87% (dwarf shrub tundra) of the observed variation in canopy arthropod biomass. Our field-based study suggests that measurements of the NDVI made from air- and spaceborne sensors may be able to quantify spatial and temporal variation in canopy arthropod biomass at landscape to regional scales.

  8. Response of CO2 exchange in a tussock tundra ecosystem to permafrost thaw and thermokarst development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason Vogel; Edward A.G. Schuur; Christian Trucco; Hanna. Lee

    2009-01-01

    Climate change in high latitudes can lead to permafrost thaw, which in ice-rich soils can result in ground subsidence, or thermokarst. In interior Alaska, we examined seasonal and annual ecosystem CO2 exchange using static and automatic chamber measurements in three areas of a moist acidic tundra ecosystem undergoing varying degrees of permafrost...

  9. Environmental and vegetation controls on the spatial variability of CH4 emission from wet-sedge and tussock tundra ecosystems in the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEwing, Katherine Rose; Fisher, James Paul; Zona, Donatella

    Despite multiple studies investigating the environmental controls on CH 4 fluxes from arctic tundra ecosystems, the high spatial variability of CH 4 emissions is not fully understood. This makes the upscaling of CH 4 fluxes from plot to regional scale, particularly challenging. The goal of this study is to refine our knowledge of the spatial variability and controls on CH 4 emission from tundra ecosystems. CH 4 fluxes were measured in four sites across a variety of wet-sedge and tussock tundra ecosystems in Alaska using chambers and a Los Gatos CO 2 and CH 4 gas analyser. All sites were found to be sources of CH 4 , with northern sites (in Barrow) showing similar CH 4 emission rates to the southernmost site (ca. 300 km south, Ivotuk). Gross primary productivity (GPP), water level and soil temperature were the most important environmental controls on CH 4 emission. Greater vascular plant cover was linked with higher CH 4 emission, but this increased emission with increased vascular plant cover was much higher (86 %) in the drier sites, than the wettest sites (30 %), suggesting that transport and/or substrate availability were crucial limiting factors for CH 4 emission in these tundra ecosystems. Overall, this study provides an increased understanding of the fine scale spatial controls on CH 4 flux, in particular the key role that plant cover and GPP play in enhancing CH 4 emissions from tundra soils.

  10. The footprint of Alaskan tundra fires during the past half-century: implications for surface properties and radiative forcing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rocha, Adrian V; Loranty, Michael M; Higuera, Phil E; Mack, Michelle C; Hu Fengsheng; Jones, Benjamin M; Breen, Amy L; Rastetter, Edward B; Shaver, Gus R; Goetz, Scott J

    2012-01-01

    Recent large and frequent fires above the Alaskan arctic circle have forced a reassessment of the ecological and climatological importance of fire in arctic tundra ecosystems. Here we provide a general overview of the occurrence, distribution, and ecological and climate implications of Alaskan tundra fires over the past half-century using spatially explicit climate, fire, vegetation and remote sensing datasets for Alaska. Our analyses highlight the importance of vegetation biomass and environmental conditions in regulating tundra burning, and demonstrate that most tundra ecosystems are susceptible to burn, providing the environmental conditions are right. Over the past two decades, fire perimeters above the arctic circle have increased in size and importance, especially on the North Slope, indicating that future wildfire projections should account for fire regime changes in these regions. Remote sensing data and a literature review of thaw depths indicate that tundra fires have both positive and negative implications for climatic feedbacks including a decadal increase in albedo radiative forcing immediately after a fire, a stimulation of surface greenness and a persistent long-term (>10 year) increase in thaw depth. In order to address the future impact of tundra fires on climate, a better understanding of the control of tundra fire occurrence as well as the long-term impacts on ecosystem carbon cycling will be required. (letter)

  11. Quantifying Fire Impact on Alaskan Tundra from Satellite Observations and Field Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loboda, T. V.; Chen, D.; He, J.; Jenkins, L. K.

    2017-12-01

    Wildfire is a major disturbance agent in Alaskan tundra. The frequency and extent of fire events obtained from paleo, management, and satellite records may yet underestimate the scope of tundra fire impact. Field measurements, collected within the NASA's ABoVE campaign, revealed unexpectedly shallow organic soils ( 15 cm) across all sampled sites of the Noatak valley with no significant difference between recently burned and unburned sites. In typical small and medium-sized tundra burns vegetation recovers rapidly and scars are not discernable in 30 m optical satellite imagery by the end of the first post-fire season. However, field observations indicate that vegetation and subsurface characteristics within fire scars of different ages vary across the landscape. In this study we develop linkages between fire-induced changes to tundra and satellite-based observations from optical, thermal, and microwave imagers to enable extrapolation of in-situ observations to cover the full extent of Alaskan tundra. Our results show that recent ( 30 years) fire history can be reconstructed from optical observations (R2 0.65, pfire history can be determined for 4 years post fire primarily due to increased soil moisture at burned sites. Field measurements suggest that the relatively quick SAR signal dissipation results from more even distribution of surface moisture through the soil column with increases in Active Layer Thickness (ALT). Similar to previous long-term field studies we find an increase in shrub fraction and shrub height within burns over time at the landscape scale; however, the strength and significance of the relationship between shrub fraction and time since fire is governed by burn severity with more severe burns predictably (p post-fire shrub cover. Although reasonably well-correlated to each other when adjusted for topography (R2 0.35, p < 0.001), neither ALT nor soil temperature can be directly linked to optical or thermal brightness observations with acceptable

  12. The Contribution of Old Carbon to Respiration from Alaskan Tundra Following Permafrost Thaw

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuur, E. A.; Vogel, J. G.; Crummer, K. G.; Lee, H.; Sickman, J. O.; Dutta, K.

    2007-12-01

    More than 450 Pg of soil carbon (C) has accumulated in high latitude ecosystems after the retreat of the last major ice sheets. Recent studies suggest that, due to climate warming, these ecosystems may no longer be accumulating C, and in some cases may be losing stored C to the atmosphere. We used radiocarbon measurements of carbon dioxide to detect the age of C respired from tussock tundra near Denali National Park, Alaska. At this tundra site, permafrost has been observed to warm and thaw over the past several decades, causing the ground surface to subside as ice volume in the soil decreased. We established three sites within this area that differed in vegetation and surface topography; both characteristics varied in relation to the degree of permafrost thaw. We made radiocarbon measurements of ecosystem respiration, incubations of soil organic matter, and incubations of above and belowground plant biomass to determine the age and isotopic value of C respired from these sites. Over the study period from 2004 to 2006, ecosystem respiration radiocarbon values averaged from +35‰ to +95‰ in different months across sites. For soil incubations, surface soil radiocarbon was elevated relative both to ecosystem respiration and the current atmospheric radiocarbon value, demonstrating the significant contribution from C fixed over the past years to several decades. The deeper soil, in contrast, had respiration isotope values that averaged below zero, reflecting the significant effect of radioactive decay on the isotope content of deeper soil layers. The plant and soil incubations were combined in a multi- source mixing model to determine probable contributions from these different sources to ecosystem respiration. Deep soil respiration generally averaged between 5-15% of total ecosystem respiration, but reached as high as 40% in some months. When aggregated across the growing season, the two sites undergoing more disturbance from permafrost thaw had on average 2-3 times

  13. Linkages Among Climate, Fire, and Thermoerosion in Alaskan Tundra Over the Past Three Millennia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chipman, M. L.; Hu, F. S.

    2017-12-01

    Amplified Arctic warming may facilitate novel tundra disturbance regimes, as suggested by recent increases in the rate and extent of thermoerosion and fires in some tundra areas. Thermoerosion and wildfire can exacerbate warming by releasing large permafrost carbon stocks, and interactions between disturbance regimes can lead to complex ecosystem feedbacks. We conducted geochemical and charcoal analyses of lake sediments from an Alaskan lake to identify thermoerosion and fire events over the past 3,000 years. Thermoerosion was inferred from lake sediments in the context of modern soil data from retrogressive thaw slumps (RTS). Magnetic susceptibility (MS), Ca:K, and Ca:Sr increased with depth in modern RTS soils and were higher on recently exposed than older slump surfaces. Peaks in bulk density, % CaCO3, Ca:K, Ca:Sr, and MS values in the sediments suggest at least 18 thermoerosion events in the Loon Lake watershed over the past 3,000 years. Charcoal analysis identifies 22 fires over the same period at this site. Temporal variability in these records suggests climate-driven responses of both thermoerosion and fire disturbance regimes, with fewer RTS episodes and fire events during the Little Ice Age than the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Moreover, RTS activity lagged behind catchment fires by 20-30 years (>90% confidence interval), implying that fires facilitated thermoerosion on decadal time scales, possibly because of prolonged active-layer deepening following fire and postfire proliferation of insulative shrub cover. These results highlight the potential for complex interactions between climate, vegetation, and tundra disturbance in response to ongoing warming.

  14. Increased plant productivity in Alaskan tundra as a result of experimental warming of soil and permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.M. Natali; E.A.G. Schuur; R.L. Rubin

    2012-01-01

    The response of northern tundra plant communities to warming temperatures is of critical concern because permafrost ecosystems play a key role in global carbon (C) storage, and climate-induced ecological shifts in the plant community will affect the transfer of carbon-dioxide between biological and atmospheric pools. This study, which focuses on the response of tundra...

  15. Blood lead concentrations in Alaskan tundra swans: linking breeding and wintering areas with satellite telemetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ely, Craig R; Franson, J Christian

    2014-04-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) like many waterfowl species are susceptible to lead (Pb) poisoning, and Pb-induced mortality has been reported from many areas of their wintering range. Little is known however about Pb levels throughout the annual cycle of tundra swans, especially during summer when birds are on remote northern breeding areas where they are less likely to be exposed to anthropogenic sources of Pb. Our objective was to document summer Pb levels in tundra swans throughout their breeding range in Alaska to determine if there were population-specific differences in blood Pb concentrations that might pose a threat to swans and to humans that may consume them. We measured blood Pb concentrations in tundra swans at five locations in Alaska, representing birds that winter in both the Pacific Flyway and Atlantic Flyway. We also marked swans at each location with satellite transmitters and coded neck bands, to identify staging and wintering sites and determine if winter site use correlated with summer Pb concentrations. Blood Pb levels were generally low (<0.2 μg/ml) in swans across all breeding areas. Pb levels were lower in cygnets than adults, suggesting that swans were likely exposed to Pb on wintering areas or on return migration to Alaska, rather than on the summer breeding grounds. Blood Pb levels varied significantly across the five breeding areas, with highest concentrations in birds on the North Slope of Alaska (wintering in the Atlantic Flyway), and lowest in birds from the lower Alaska Peninsula that rarely migrate south for winter.

  16. Changes in tundra pond limnology: re-sampling Alaskan ponds after 40 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lougheed, Vanessa L; Butler, Malcolm G; McEwen, Daniel C; Hobbie, John E

    2011-09-01

    The arctic tundra ponds at the International Biological Program (IBP) site in Barrow, AK, were studied extensively in the 1970s; however, very little aquatic research has been conducted there for over three decades. Due to the rapid climate changes already occurring in northern Alaska, identifying any changes in the ponds' structure and function over the past 30-40 years can help identify any potential climate-related impacts. Current research on the IBP ponds has revealed significant changes in the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of these ponds over time. These changes include increased water temperatures, increased water column nutrient concentrations, the presence of at least one new chironomid species, and increased macrophyte cover. However, we have also observed significant annual variation in many measured variables and caution that this variation must be taken into account when attempting to make statements about longer-term change. The Barrow IBP tundra ponds represent one of the very few locations in the Arctic where long-term data are available on freshwater ecosystem structure and function. Continued monitoring and protection of these invaluable sites is required to help understand the implications of climate change on freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic.

  17. Alaska Tundra Travel Modeling Project and implications for seismic best management practices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schultz, G. [Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources, Anchorage, AK (United States)

    2007-07-01

    Much of the oil and gas exploration in the Alaskan North Slope depends on winter off-road travel to gain access to remote exploration areas. A study was conducted to relate vehicular off-road travel to tundra disturbance. Four types of vehicles were driven on the tundra on specific plots at various times throughout early to mid winter in an effort to determine if travel could occur earlier than current practice without impacting tundra integrity. Variables were measured the summer before travel, at the time of travel and the summers following travel. The results were used to develop a management tool to determine when conditions are adequate to allow winter vehicular off-road travel. It was determined that the soil temperature should be 5 degrees C or colder at a depth of 30 cm, with snow depths of 15 cm in coastal sedge tundra or 23 cm in foothills tussock tundra. This presentation also discussed the implications for managing off-road travel associated with seismic operations and recent changes in the types of vehicles used for these operations. figs.

  18. Cesium-137 inventories in Alaskan Tundra, lake and marine sediments: An indicator of recent organic material transport?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grebmeier, J.M.; Cooper, L.W.; Larsen, I.L.; Solis, C.; Olsen, C.R.

    1993-01-01

    Tundra sampling was accomplished in 1989--1990 at Imnavait Creek, Alaska (68 degree 37' N, 149 degree 17' W). Inventories of 137 Cs (102--162 mBq/cm 2 ) are close to expectations, based upon measured atmospheric deposition for this latitude. Accumulated inventories of 137 Cs in tundra decrease by up to 50% along a transect to Prudhoe Bay (70 degree 13' N, 148 degree 30' W). Atmospheric deposition of 137 Cs decreased with latitude in the Arctic, but declines in deposition would have been relatively small over this distance (200 km). This suggests a recent loss of 137 Cs and possibly associated organic matter from tundra over the northern portions of the transect between Imnavait Creek and Prudhoe Bay. Sediments from Toolik Lake (68 degree 38' N, 149 degree 38' W) showed widely varying 137 Cs inventories, from a low of 22 mBq/cm 2 away from the lake inlet, to a high between 140 to >200 mBq/cm 2 near the main stream inflow. This was indicative of recent accumulation of cesium and possibly organic material associated with it in arctic lakes, although additional sampling is needed

  19. Spatial and Temporal Variation in Primary Productivity (NDVI) of Coastal Alaskan Tundra: Decreased Vegetation Growth Following Earlier Snowmelt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamon, John A.; Huemmrich, K. Fred; Stone, Robert S.; Tweedie, Craig E.

    2015-01-01

    In the Arctic, earlier snowmelt and longer growing seasons due to warming have been hypothesized to increase vegetation productivity. Using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from both field and satellite measurements as an indicator of vegetation phenology and productivity, we monitored spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation growth for a coastal wet sedge tundra site near Barrow, Alaska over three growing seasons (2000-2002). Contrary to expectation, earlier snowmelt did not lead to increased productivity. Instead, productivity was associated primarily with precipitation and soil moisture, and secondarily with growing degree days, which, during this period, led to reduced growth in years with earlier snowmelt. Additional moisture effects on productivity and species distribution, operating over a longer time scale, were evident in spatial NDVI patterns associated with microtopography. Lower, wetter regions dominated by graminoids were more productive than higher, drier locations having a higher percentage of lichens and mosses, despite the earlier snowmelt at the more elevated sites. These results call into question the oft-stated hypothesis that earlier arctic growing seasons will lead to greater vegetation productivity. Rather, they agree with an emerging body of evidence from recent field studies indicating that early-season, local environmental conditions, notably moisture and temperature, are primary factors determining arctic vegetation productivity. For this coastal arctic site, early growing season conditions are strongly influenced by microtopography, hydrology, and regional sea ice dynamics, and may not be easily predicted from snowmelt date or seasonal average air temperatures alone. Our comparison of field to satellite NDVI also highlights the value of in-situ monitoring of actual vegetation responses using field optical sampling to obtain detailed information on surface conditions not possible from satellite observations alone.

  20. Douglas-Fir Tussock Moth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd E. Wickman; Richard R. Mason; Galen C. Trostle

    1981-01-01

    The Douglas-fir tussock moth (Orgyia pseudotsugata McDunnough) is an important defoliator of true firs and Douglas-fir in Western North America. Severe tussock moth outbreaks have occurred in British Columbia, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Arizona, and New Mexico, but the area subject to attack is more extensive

  1. Tundra vegetation effects on pan-Arctic albedo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loranty, Michael M; Goetz, Scott J; Beck, Pieter S A

    2011-01-01

    Recent field experiments in tundra ecosystems describe how increased shrub cover reduces winter albedo, and how subsequent changes in surface net radiation lead to altered rates of snowmelt. These findings imply that tundra vegetation change will alter regional energy budgets, but to date the effects have not been documented at regional or greater scales. Using satellite observations and a pan-Arctic vegetation map, we examined the effects of shrub vegetation on albedo across the terrestrial Arctic. We included vegetation classes dominated by low shrubs, dwarf shrubs, tussock-dominated graminoid tundra, and non-tussock graminoid tundra. Each class was further stratified by bioclimate subzones. Low-shrub tundra had higher normalized difference vegetation index values and earlier albedo decline in spring than dwarf-shrub tundra, but for tussock tundra, spring albedo declined earlier than for low-shrub tundra. Our results illustrate how relatively small changes in vegetation properties result in differences in albedo dynamics, regardless of shrub growth, that may lead to differences in net radiation upwards of 50 W m -2 at weekly time scales. Further, our findings imply that changes to the terrestrial Arctic energy budget during this important seasonal transition are under way regardless of whether recent satellite observed productivity trends are the result of shrub expansion. We conclude that a better understanding of changes in vegetation productivity and distribution in Arctic tundra is essential for accurately quantifying and predicting carbon and energy fluxes and associated climate feedbacks.

  2. Shifting the Arctic Carbon Balance: Effects of a Long-Term Fertilization Experiment and Anomalously Warm Temperatures on Net Ecosystem Exchange in the Alaskan Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludwig, S.; Natali, S.; Rastetter, E. B.; Shaver, G. R.; Graham, L. M.; Jastrow, J. D.

    2017-12-01

    The arctic is warming at an accelerated rate relative to the globe. Among the predicted consequences of warming temperatures in the arctic are increased gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (ER), and nutrient availability. The net effect of these changes on the carbon (C) cycle and resulting C balance and feedback to climate change remain unclear. Historically the Arctic has been a C sink, but evidence from recent years suggests some regions in the Arctic are becoming C sources. To predict the role of the Arctic in global C cycling, the mechanisms affecting arctic C balances need to be better resolved. We measured net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in a long-term, multi-level, fertilization experiment at Toolik Lake, AK during an anomalously warm summer. We modeled NEE, ER, and GPP using a Bayesian network model. The best-fit model included Q10 temperature functions and linear fertilization functions for both ER and GPP. ER was more strongly affected by temperature and GPP was driven more by fertilization level. As a result, fertilization increased the C sink capacity, but only at moderate and low temperatures. At high temperatures (>28 °C) the NEE modeled for the highest level of fertilization was not significantly different from zero. In contrast, at ambient nutrient levels modeled NEE was significantly below zero (net uptake) until 35 °C, when it becomes neutral. Regardless of the level of fertilization, NEE never decreased with warming. Temperature in low ranges (5-15°C) had no net effect on NEE, whereas NEE began to increase exponentially with temperature after a threshold of 15°C until becoming a net source to the atmosphere at 37°C. Our results indicate that the C sink strength of tundra ecosystems can be increased with small increases in nutrient availability, but that large increase in nutrient availability can switch tundra ecosystems into C sources under warm conditions. Warming temperatures in tundra ecosystems will only decrease C

  3. Douglas-fir tussock moth: an annotated bibliography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert W. Campbell; Lorna C. Youngs

    1978-01-01

    This annotated bibliography includes references to 338 papers. Each deals in some way with either the Douglas-fir tussock moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata (McDunnough), or a related species. Specifically, 210 publications and 82 unpublished documents make some reference, at least, to the Douglas-fir tussock moth; 55 are concerned with other species in...

  4. Succession Stages of Tundra Plant Communities Following Wildfire Disturbance in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breen, A. L.; Hollingsworth, T. N.; Mack, M. C.; Jones, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid climate change is affecting climate-sensitive disturbance regimes throughout the world. In particular, the impacts of climate change on Arctic disturbance regimes are poorly understood because landscape-scale disturbances are infrequent or occur in remote localities. Wildfire in Arctic Alaska is presently limited by ignition source and favorable burn weather. With rapid climate change, a lengthening growing season, and subsequent increase in plant biomass and productivity, wildfire frequency and annual area burned in tundra ecosystems is expected to increase over the next century. Yet, post-fire tundra vegetation succession is inadequately characterized except at a few point locations. We identify succession stages of tussock tundra communities following wildfire using a chronosequence of 65 relevés in 10 tundra fire scars (1971-2011) and nearby unburned tundra from sites on the Seward Peninsula and northern foothills of the Brooks Range. We used the Braun-Blanquét approach to classify plant communities, and applied nonmetric multidimentional scaling (NMDS) to identify ecological gradients underlying community differentiation. The ordination revealed a clear differentiation between unburned and burned tundra communities. Ecological gradients, reflected by ordination axes, correspond to fire history (e.g., time since last fire, number of times burned, burn severity) and a complex productivity gradient. Post-fire species richness is less than unburned tundra; primarily reflected as a decrease in lichen species and turnover of bryophyte species immediately post-fire. Species richness of grasses increases post-fire and is greatest in communities that burned more than once in the past 30 years. Shrub cover and total aboveground biomass are greatest in repeat burn sites. We review and discuss our results focusing on the implications of a changing tundra fire regime, its effect on vegetation succession trajectories, and subsequent rates of carbon sequestration and

  5. Soil nutrients, landscape age, and Sphagno-Eriophoretum vaginati plant communities in Arctic moist-acidic Tundra landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joel Mercado-Diaz; William Gould; Grizelle Gonzalez

    2014-01-01

    Most research exploring the relationship between soil chemistry and vegetation in Alaskan Arctic tundra landscapes has focused on describing differences in soil elemental concentrations (e.g. C, N and P) of areas with contrasting vegetation types or landscape age. In this work we assess the effect of landscape age on physico-chemical parameters in organic and mineral...

  6. Structural complexity and land-surface energy exchange along a gradient from arctic tundra to boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, C.; Beringer, J.; Chapin, F. S.; McGuire, A.D.

    2004-01-01

    Question: Current climate changes in the Alaskan Arctic, which are characterized by increases in temperature and length of growing season, could alter vegetation structure, especially through increases in shrub cover or the movement of treeline. These changes in vegetation structure have consequences for the climate system. What is the relationship between structural complexity and partitioning of surface energy along a gradient from tundra through shrub tundra to closed canopy forest? Location: Arctic tundra-boreal forest transition in the Alaskan Arctic. Methods: Along this gradient of increasing canopy complexity, we measured key vegetation characteristics, including community composition, biomass, cover, height, leaf area index and stem area index. We relate these vegetation characteristics to albedo and the partitioning of net radiation into ground, latent, and sensible heating fluxes. Results: Canopy complexity increased along the sequence from tundra to forest due to the addition of new plant functional types. This led to non-linear changes in biomass, cover, and height in the understory. The increased canopy complexity resulted in reduced ground heat fluxes, relatively conserved latent heat fluxes and increased sensible heat fluxes. The localized warming associated with increased sensible heating over more complex canopies may amplify regional warming, causing further vegetation change in the Alaskan Arctic.

  7. Tundra in the rain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Keuper, Frida; Parmentier, Frans Jan W; Blok, Daan

    2012-01-01

    Precipitation amounts and patterns at high latitude sites have been predicted to change as a result of global climatic changes. We addressed vegetation responses to three years of experimentally increased summer precipitation in two previously unaddressed tundra types: Betula nana-dominated shrub...

  8. Arctic Tundra Soils: A Microbial Feast That Shrubs Will Cease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machmuller, M.; Calderon, F.; Cotrufo, M. F.; Lynch, L.; Paul, E. A.; Wallenstein, M. D.

    2016-12-01

    Rapid climate warming may already be driving rapid decomposition of the vast stocks of carbon in Arctic tundra soils. However, stimulated decomposition may also release nitrogen and support increased plant productivity, potentially counteracting soil carbon losses. At the same time, these two processes interact, with plant derived carbon potentially fueling soil microbes to attack soil organic matter (SOM) to acquire nitrogen- a process known as priming. Thus, differences in the physiology, stoichiometry and microbial interactions among plant species could affect climate-carbon feedbacks. To reconcile these interactive mechanisms, we examined how vegetation type (Betula nana and Eriophorum vaginatum) and fertilization (short-term and long-term) influenced the decomposition of native SOM after labile carbon and nutrient addition. We hypothesized that labile carbon inputs would stimulate the loss of native SOM, but the magnitude of this effect would be indirectly related to soil nitrogen concentrations (e.g. SOM priming would be highest in N-limited soils). We added isotopically enriched (13C) glucose and ammonium nitrate to soils under shrub (B. nana) and tussock (E. vaginatum) vegetation. We found that nitrogen additions stimulated priming only in tussock soils, characterized by lower nutrient concentrations and microbial biomass (p20yrs. Rather, we found that long-term fertilization shifted SOM chemistry towards a greater abundance of recalcitrant SOM, lower microbial biomass, and decreased SOM respiration (p<0.05). Our results suggest that, in the short-term, the magnitude of SOM priming is dependent on vegetation and soil nitrogen concentrations, but this effect may not persist if shrubs increase in abundance under climate warming. Therefore, including nitrogen as a control on SOM decomposition and priming is critical to accurately model the effects of climate change on arctic carbon storage.

  9. Alaskan Commodities Irradiation Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zarling, J.P.; Swanson, R.B.; Logan, R.R.

    1988-01-01

    The ninety-ninth US Congress commissioned a six-state food irradiation research and development program to evaluate the commercial potential of this technology. Hawaii, Washington, Iowa, Oklahoma and Florida as well as Alaska have participated in the national program; various food products including fishery products, red meats, tropical and citrus fruits and vegetables have been studied. The purpose of the Alaskan study was to review and evaluate those factors related to the technical and economic feasibility of an irradiator in Alaska. This options analysis study will serve as a basis for determining the state's further involvement in the development of food irradiation technology. 40 refs., 50 figs., 53 tabs

  10. Predicting Changes in Arctic Tundra Vegetation: Towards an Understanding of Plant Trait Uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Serbin, S.; Carman, T.; Iversen, C. M.; Salmon, V.; Helene, G.; McGuire, A. D.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic tundra plant communities are currently undergoing unprecedented changes in both composition and distribution under a warming climate. Predicting how these dynamics may play out in the future is important since these vegetation shifts impact both biogeochemical and biogeophysical processes. More precise estimates of these future vegetation shifts is a key challenge due to both a scarcity of data with which to parameterize vegetation models, particularly in the Arctic, as well as a limited understanding of the importance of each of the model parameters and how they may vary over space and time. Here, we incorporate newly available field data from arctic Alaska into a dynamic vegetation model specifically developed to take into account a particularly wide array of plant species as well as the permafrost soils of the arctic tundra (the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model with Dynamic Vegetation and Dynamic Organic Soil, Terrestrial Ecosystem Model; DVM-DOS-TEM). We integrate the model within the Predicative Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn), an open-source integrated ecological bioinformatics toolbox that facilitates the flows of information into and out of process models and model-data integration. We use PEcAn to evaluate the plant functional traits that contribute most to model variability based on a sensitivity analysis. We perform this analysis for the dominant types of tundra in arctic Alaska, including heath, shrub, tussock and wet sedge tundra. The results from this analysis will help inform future data collection in arctic tundra and reduce model uncertainty, thereby improving our ability to simulate Arctic vegetation structure and function in response to global change.

  11. Cold season emissions dominate the Arctic tundra methane budget

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zona, Donatella; Gioli, Beniamino; Commane, Róisín; Lindaas, Jakob; Wofsy, Steven C.; Miller, Charles E.; Dinardo, Steven J.; Dengel, Sigrid; Sweeney, Colm; Karion, Anna; Chang, Rachel Y.-W.; Henderson, John M.; Murphy, Patrick C.; Goodrich, Jordan P.; Moreaux, Virginie; Liljedahl, Anna; Watts, Jennifer D.; Kimball, John S.; Lipson, David A.; Oechel, Walter C.

    2016-01-01

    Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are major global sources of methane (CH4); hence, it is important to understand the seasonal and climatic controls on CH4 emissions from these systems. Here, we report year-round CH4 emissions from Alaskan Arctic tundra eddy flux sites and regional fluxes derived from aircraft data. We find that emissions during the cold season (September to May) account for ≥50% of the annual CH4 flux, with the highest emissions from noninundated upland tundra. A major fraction of cold season emissions occur during the "zero curtain" period, when subsurface soil temperatures are poised near 0 °C. The zero curtain may persist longer than the growing season, and CH4 emissions are enhanced when the duration is extended by a deep thawed layer as can occur with thick snow cover. Regional scale fluxes of CH4 derived from aircraft data demonstrate the large spatial extent of late season CH4 emissions. Scaled to the circumpolar Arctic, cold season fluxes from tundra total 12 ± 5 (95% confidence interval) Tg CH4 y-1, ∼25% of global emissions from extratropical wetlands, or ∼6% of total global wetland methane emissions. The dominance of late-season emissions, sensitivity to soil environmental conditions, and importance of dry tundra are not currently simulated in most global climate models. Because Arctic warming disproportionally impacts the cold season, our results suggest that higher cold-season CH4 emissions will result from observed and predicted increases in snow thickness, active layer depth, and soil temperature, representing important positive feedbacks on climate warming.

  12. Alaska North Slope Tundra Travel Model and Validation Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harry R. Bader; Jacynthe Guimond

    2006-03-01

    The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Mining, Land, and Water manages cross-country travel, typically associated with hydrocarbon exploration and development, on Alaska's arctic North Slope. This project is intended to provide natural resource managers with objective, quantitative data to assist decision making regarding opening of the tundra to cross-country travel. DNR designed standardized, controlled field trials, with baseline data, to investigate the relationships present between winter exploration vehicle treatments and the independent variables of ground hardness, snow depth, and snow slab thickness, as they relate to the dependent variables of active layer depth, soil moisture, and photosynthetically active radiation (a proxy for plant disturbance). Changes in the dependent variables were used as indicators of tundra disturbance. Two main tundra community types were studied: Coastal Plain (wet graminoid/moist sedge shrub) and Foothills (tussock). DNR constructed four models to address physical soil properties: two models for each main community type, one predicting change in depth of active layer and a second predicting change in soil moisture. DNR also investigated the limited potential management utility in using soil temperature, the amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) absorbed by plants, and changes in microphotography as tools for the identification of disturbance in the field. DNR operated under the assumption that changes in the abiotic factors of active layer depth and soil moisture drive alteration in tundra vegetation structure and composition. Statistically significant differences in depth of active layer, soil moisture at a 15 cm depth, soil temperature at a 15 cm depth, and the absorption of photosynthetically active radiation were found among treatment cells and among treatment types. The models were unable to thoroughly investigate the interacting role between snow depth and disturbance due to a

  13. Impact of Alaskan gas subsidy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    George, R.R.

    2002-01-01

    This report provides the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) with an assessment of the impact of the Alaska natural gas tax credit proposed and passed in the United States Senate energy bill. In particular, Purvin and Gertz evaluated the impact of the Alaskan gas subsidy on potential Mackenzie Delta/Beaufort Sea production as well as existing and future production from other areas including Western Canada, the Rocky Mountains in the United States, and the Gulf Coast. The mechanisms through which other producing areas are affected were described and the typical volumetric impact is presented using gas models developed by Purvin and Gertz. The GNWT wants to maximize the benefits of Arctic gas development for its constituents but believes that its interests will be negatively impacted by subsidized Alaskan gas which will be applied for the period beginning in 2010. The tax credit sets a floor price of $3.25 (US)/MMBtu. Purvin and Gertz concludes that the Alaskan gas subsidy would produce a misallocation of resources and distort the continental North American natural gas market. It would encourage over investment in Alaskan gas production because the credit works as a false signal to the privileged few that divert resources from higher value activities to lower value activities. The winners of the Alaskan gas subsidy would be Alaskan producers and the Alaskan economy. The losers would be other resource owners, producers, and American taxpayers because they would finance the subsidy through a tax credit mechanism. There would be an overall loss to the economy because of sub-optimal allocation of resources. In addition, producers in existing producing areas such as the Mackenzie Delta/Beaufort Sea region would face lower market prices as a result of the subsidy, thereby reducing their investments. It was concluded that the Alaskan gas subsidy is counterproductive from the perspective of a secure continental supply of natural gas. 1 tab., 2 figs

  14. An Alaskan legend

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, H.; Blodgett, R.B.

    2009-01-01

    Jack Lee is a prominent personality, an Alaskan individualist and a skeptic worthy of remembrance if for no other reason than being inextricably associated with the catastrophic Katmai eruption in 1912. Jack remains a provocative reminder of Alaska's pre-1958 drilling and was quite possibly the earliest observer (excepting natives and possibly Russians) of the oil seeps in the area now encompassed by the Becharof National Wildlife Refuge. His observation of the impressive live oil seeps in the Ugashik and Becharof Lakes area, and his subsequent involvement in the early drilling entirely consumed his future interests. He is a firm believer that individualism and suspicion are powerful tools when forced to reconsider alternatives to readily accepted interpretations of modern exploration results. His individualism and sometimes annoying, but thought-provoking skepticism remains useful in any field where clich??s provide safe guards from new concepts.

  15. Seasonal patterns in soil N availability in the arctic tundra in response to accelerated snowmelt and warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Steltzer, H.; Sullivan, P.; Melle, C.; Segal, A.; Weintraub, M. N.

    2010-12-01

    Arctic soils contain large stocks of carbon (C) and may act as a significant CO2 source in response to climate warming. However, nitrogen (N) availability limits both plant growth and decomposition in many Arctic sites, and may thus be a key constraint on climate-carbon feedbacks. While current models of tundra ecosystems and their responses to climate change assume that N limits plant growth and C limits decomposition, there is strong evidence to the contrary showing that N can also limit decomposition. For example, the production of both new microbial biomass and enzymes that degrade organic matter appear to be limited by N during the summer. N availability is strongly seasonal: we have previously observed relatively high availability early in the growing season followed by a pronounced crash in tussock tundra soils. To investigate the drivers of N availability throughout the season, we used a field manipulation of tussock tundra growing season length (~4 days acceleration of snowmelt) and air temperature (open top chambers) and a laboratory soil N addition in both early and late season. Nutrient availability throughout the field season was measured at high temporal resolution (25 measurements from soil thaw through early plant senescence). Results from a laboratory experiment in which N was added to early season and late season soils suggests that soil respiration is in fact N limited at both times of the season, though this limitation is temperature dependent with effects most pronounced at 10°C. High-resolution measurements of nutrients in the soil solution and extractable N throughout the season showed that although a nutrient crash in N can be observed mid-season, N availability can still fluctuate later in the season. Finally, effects of the extended growing season and increased air temperature have so far had few effects on soil nutrient N dynamics throughout the summer growing season, suggesting either an insensitivity of N availability to these

  16. Interannual variability of plant phenology in tussock tundra: modelling interactions of plant productivity, plant phenology, snowmelt and soil thaw

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijk, van M.T.; Williams, M.; Laundre, J.A.; Shaver, G.R.

    2003-01-01

    We present a linked model of plant productivity, plant phenology, snowmelt and soil thaw in order to estimate interannual variability of arctic plant phenology and its effects on plant productivity. The model is tested using 8 years of soil temperature data, and three years of bud break data of

  17. Fire Effects at the Tundra-Boreal Ecotone in Interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, B. K.; Mack, M. C.; Johnstone, J. F.; Walker, X. J.; Roland, C.

    2016-12-01

    Climate warming in northern latitudes has led to an intensification of disturbance by wildfire. Little is known about the effects of fire on tundra vegetation. Changes in vegetation composition could have important implications for carbon cycling , and may feedback positively or negatively to future climate change (Randerson et al., 2006). Our study utilizes extensive pre-fire ecological data collected by the National Park Service (NPS) Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) program to assess the prefire conditions important in driving successional pathways within Denali National Park and Preserve. In 2013, the East Toklat fire burned 30,000 acres of tussock tundra and mixed white and black spruce forest at a high severity, which encompassed 50 NPS plots that were originally monitored in 2003. Our sampling occurred the summer of 2016 following the same NPS protocols to assess post-fire vegetation composition. In addition, we conducted a seeding experiment using locally collected white and black spruce seed to assess natural and potential tree regeneration in unburned and post fire environments. Seed traps were established along our transects to assess seed rain. A multivariate approach will be used to assess post-fire community dynamics and future field seasons will address tree germination and survival rates. These data will then be coupled with pre and post-fire ecological data to parse out important factors driving secondary succession.

  18. Bacterial community structure and soil properties of a subarctic tundra soil in Council, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hye Min; Jung, Ji Young; Yergeau, Etienne; Hwang, Chung Yeon; Hinzman, Larry; Nam, Sungjin; Hong, Soon Gyu; Kim, Ok-Sun; Chun, Jongsik; Lee, Yoo Kyung

    2014-08-01

    The subarctic region is highly responsive and vulnerable to climate change. Understanding the structure of subarctic soil microbial communities is essential for predicting the response of the subarctic soil environment to climate change. To determine the composition of the bacterial community and its relationship with soil properties, we investigated the bacterial community structure and properties of surface soil from the moist acidic tussock tundra in Council, Alaska. We collected 70 soil samples with 25-m intervals between sampling points from 0-10 cm to 10-20 cm depths. The bacterial community was analyzed by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes, and the following soil properties were analyzed: soil moisture content (MC), pH, total carbon (TC), total nitrogen (TN), and inorganic nitrogen (NH4+ and NO3-). The community compositions of the two different depths showed that Alphaproteobacteria decreased with soil depth. Among the soil properties measured, soil pH was the most significant factor correlating with bacterial community in both upper and lower-layer soils. Bacterial community similarity based on jackknifed unweighted unifrac distance showed greater similarity across horizontal layers than through the vertical depth. This study showed that soil depth and pH were the most important soil properties determining bacterial community structure of the subarctic tundra soil in Council, Alaska. © 2014 The Authors. FEMS Microbiology Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

  19. Metagenomics reveals pervasive bacterial populations and reduced community diversity across the Alaska tundra ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Robert Johnston

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available How soil microbial communities contrast with respect to taxonomic and functional composition within and between ecosystems remains an unresolved question that is central to predicting how global anthropogenic change will affect soil functioning and services. In particular, it remains unclear how small-scale observations of soil communities based on the typical volume sampled (1-2 grams are generalizable to ecosystem-scale responses and processes. This is especially relevant for remote, northern latitude soils, which are challenging to sample and are also thought to be more vulnerable to climate change compared to temperate soils. Here, we employed well-replicated shotgun metagenome and 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to characterize community composition and metabolic potential in Alaskan tundra soils, combining our own datasets with those publically available from distant tundra and temperate grassland and agriculture habitats. We found that the abundance of many taxa and metabolic functions differed substantially between tundra soil metagenomes relative to those from temperate soils, and that a high degree of OTU-sharing exists between tundra locations. Tundra soils were an order of magnitude less complex than their temperate counterparts, allowing for near-complete coverage of microbial community richness (~92% breadth by sequencing, and the recovery of twenty-seven high-quality, almost complete (>80% completeness population bins. These population bins, collectively, made up to ~10% of the metagenomic datasets, and represented diverse taxonomic groups and metabolic lifestyles tuned toward sulfur cycling, hydrogen metabolism, methanotrophy, and organic matter oxidation. Several population bins, including members of Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria, were also present in geographically distant (~100-530 km apart tundra habitats (full genome representation and up to 99.6% genome-derived average nucleotide identity. Collectively

  20. Does NDVI reflect variation in the structural attributes associated with increasing shrub dominance in arctic tundra?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boelman, Natalie T; Gough, Laura; McLaren, Jennie R; Greaves, Heather

    2011-01-01

    This study explores relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and structural characteristics associated with deciduous shrub dominance in arctic tundra. Our structural measures of shrub dominance are stature, branch abundance, aerial per cent woody stem cover (deciduous and evergreen species), and per cent deciduous shrub canopy cover. All measurements were taken across a suite of transects that together represent a gradient of deciduous shrub height. The transects include tussock tundra shrub and riparian shrub tundra communities located in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, in northern Alaska. Plot-level NDVI measurements were made in 2010 during the snow-free period prior to deciduous shrub leaf-out (early June, NDVI pre-leaf ), at the point in the growing season when canopy NDVI has reached half of its maximum growing season value (mid-June, NDVI demi-leaf ) and during the period of maximum leaf-out (late July, NDVI peak-leaf ). We found that: (1) NDVI pre-leaf is best suited to capturing variation in the per cent woody stem cover, maximum shrub height, and branch abundance, particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy; (2) NDVI peak-leaf is best suited to capturing variation in deciduous canopy cover; and (3) NDVI demi-leaf does not capture variability in any of our measures of shrub dominance. These findings suggest that in situ NDVI measurements made prior to deciduous canopy leaf-out could be used to identify small differences in maximum shrub height, woody stem cover, and branch abundance (particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy). Because shrubs are increasing in size and regional extent in several regions of the Arctic, investigation into spectrally based tools for monitoring these changes are worthwhile as they provide a first step towards development of remotely sensed techniques for quantifying associated changes in regional carbon cycling, albedo, radiative energy balance, and wildlife

  1. Major outbreaks of the Douglas-fir tussock moth in Oregon and California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd E. Wickman; Richard R. Mason; C.G. Thompson

    1973-01-01

    Case histories of five tussock moth outbreaks that occurred in California and Oregon between 1935 and 1965 are discussed. Information is given on the size and duration of the outbreaks, the presence of natural control agents and the damage caused. Most of the outbreaks were eventually treated with DDT. However, enough information was available from untreated portions...

  2. TUNDRA IN A CHANGING CLIMATE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terry Callaghan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Both palaeogeographical reconstructions and general circulation models indicate that global warming is especially strongly manifested in high latitudes. Under a 2°C increase in mean global temperature, almost the entire modern tundra zone would become potentially suitable for tree growth. Nevertheless, palaeobotanic data cannot be applied directly to estimating vegetation response to the global warming expected in the 21st century, as they characterize a quasi-equilibrium state of ecosystems, which takes several centuries to be achieved. Low migration rates of trees, damage caused by fires and insects, processes of soil drying or paludification, and influence of herbivorous animals and human activities may slow down considerably forest spread in tundra. Climate warming will probably cause a decline in the populations of Arctic species and expansion of ranges of some southern animal species into the Arctic.

  3. Changes in the structure and function of northern Alaskan ecosystems when considering variable leaf-out times across groupings of species in a dynamic vegetation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, E.S.; Carman, T.B.; McGuire, Anthony David

    2013-01-01

    The phenology of arctic ecosystems is driven primarily by abiotic forces, with temperature acting as the main determinant of growing season onset and leaf budburst in the spring. However, while the plant species in arctic ecosystems require differing amounts of accumulated heat for leaf-out, dynamic vegetation models simulated over regional to global scales typically assume some average leaf-out for all of the species within an ecosystem. Here, we make use of air temperature records and observations of spring leaf phenology collected across dominant groupings of species (dwarf birch shrubs, willow shrubs, other deciduous shrubs, grasses, sedges, and forbs) in arctic and boreal ecosystems in Alaska. We then parameterize a dynamic vegetation model based on these data for four types of tundra ecosystems (heath tundra, shrub tundra, wet sedge tundra, and tussock tundra), as well as ecotonal boreal white spruce forest, and perform model simulations for the years 1970 -2100. Over the course of the model simulations, we found changes in ecosystem composition under this new phenology algorithm compared to simulations with the previous phenology algorithm. These changes were the result of the differential timing of leaf-out, as well as the ability for the groupings of species to compete for nitrogen and light availability. Regionally, there were differences in the trends of the carbon pools and fluxes between the new phenology algorithm and the previous phenology algorithm, although these differences depended on the future climate scenario. These findings indicate the importance of leaf phenology data collection by species and across the various ecosystem types within the highly heterogeneous Arctic landscape, and that dynamic vegetation models should consider variation in leaf-out by groupings of species within these ecosystems to make more accurate projections of future plant distributions and carbon cycling in Arctic regions.

  4. Synthesis of the Sex Pheromone of the Tea Tussock Moth Based on a Resource Chemistry Strategy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Li Zhang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Synthesis of the sex pheromone of the tea tussock moth in 33% overall yield over 10 steps was achieved. Moreover, the chiral pool concept was applied in the asymmetric synthesis. The synthesis used a chemical available on a large-scale from recycling of wastewater from the steroid industry. The carbon skeleton was constructed using the C4+C5+C8 strategy. Based on this strategy, the original chiral center was totally retained.

  5. Controls on Ecosystem and Root Respiration in an Alaskan Peatland

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnell, N. A.; McGuire, A. D.; Harden, J. W.; Kane, E. S.; Turetsky, M. R.

    2010-12-01

    Boreal ecosystems cover 14% of the vegetated surface on earth and account for 25-30% of the world’s soil carbon (C), mainly due to large carbon stocks in deep peat and frozen soil layers. While peatlands have served as historical sinks of carbon, global climate change may trigger re-release of C to the atmosphere and may turn these ecosystems into net C sources. Rates of C release from a peatland are determined by regional climate and local biotic and abiotic factors such as vegetation cover, thaw depth, and peat thickness. Soil CO2 fluxes are driven by both autotrophic (plant) respiration and heterotrophic (microbial) respiration. Thus, changes in plant and microbial activity in the soil will impact CO2 emissions from peatlands. In this study, we explored environmental and vegetation controls on ecosystem respiration and root respiration in a variety of wetland sites. The study was conducted at the Alaskan Peatland Experiment (APEX; www.uoguelph.ca/APEX) sites in the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest located 35 km southwest of Fairbanks Alaska. We measured ecosystem respiration, root respiration, and monitored a suite of environmental variables along a vegetation and soil moisture gradient including a black spruce stand with permafrost, a shrubby site with permafrost, a tussock grass site, and a herbaceous open rich fen. Within the rich fen, we have been conducting water table manipulations including a control, lowered, and raised water table treatment. In each of our sites, we measured total ecosystem respiration using static chambers and root respiration by harvesting roots from the uppermost 20 cm and placing them in a root cuvette to obtain a root flux. Ecosystem respiration (ER) on a μmol/m2/sec basis varied across sites. Water table was a significant predictor of ER at the lowered manipulation site and temperature was a strong predictor at the control site in the rich fen. Water table and temperature were both significant predictors of ER at the raised

  6. The Response of Tundra to Biophysical Changes Ten Years Following the Anaktuvuk River Fire, Arctic Foothills, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, B. M.; Miller, E. A.; Jandt, R.; Baughman, C. A.

    2017-12-01

    Ten years following a large and severe wildfire in the arctic foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska, tundra is experiencing rapid biophysical changes. Plant communities are responding to primary disturbance by fire but also to ground-ice melt, terrain subsidence, and apparent increase in soil drainage or evapotranspiration.The Anaktuvuk River Fire burned about 104,000 ha in 2007, spreading over broad ranges in soils, topography, hydrography, and permafrost features. Fourteen marked transects were measured between 2008-2011 and again in 2017 for cover of ground-layer vegetation, tall shrub abundance, thaw depth, and soil properties. A complementary set of 11 reference transects surrounding the burn was also sampled.We observed much higher rates of thermokarst inside the burn than out. Even low severity burn areas experienced noticeable thaw subsidence. Mean annual ground temperature at 1 m depth has warmed 1.5°C relative to unburned tundra. In cases ice wedge troughs have deepened by more than 1 m in areas underlain by yedoma soils. Troughs were characterized by cracking soil and slumping tussocks, often into ponded water. Troughs and degraded ice features appear to be draining adjacent polygon centers leading to a general drying of the tundra. Tussockgrasses inside the burn continue to grow and flower vigorously, suggesting a continued flush of soil nutrients. Post-fire accumulation of organic material is generally fire greatly accelerates this succession. Records and observations suggest that lightning and ignitions are becoming more frequent north of the Brooks Range.Our monitoring of this burn over the last ten years reveals a story much more complicated than our team can tell, inviting involvement of other disciplines, particularly hydrology, soil and landform science, remote sensing, and wildlife and subsistence resource management.

  7. A survey of beetles (Coleoptera from the tundra surrounding the Nunalleq archaeological site, Quinhagak, southwestern Alaska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Véronique Forbes

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the results of a survey of beetles conducted in the vicinity of the archaeological site of Nunalleq, a pre-contact (16th-17th century AD indigenous forager settlement located near the modern Yup’ik village of Quinhagak, in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta, southwestern Alaska. Records and habitat data are reported for 74 beetle taxa collected in tundra, riparian, aquatic and anthropogenic environments from a region of Alaska that has been poorly studied by entomologists. This includes the first mainland Alaskan record for the byrrhid Simplocaria metallica (Sturm. Beyond improving our knowledge of the local beetle fauna’s diversity and ecology, this survey provides the basis for comparisons between modern and sub-fossil beetle assemblages from Nunalleq and Quinhagak.

  8. Carex sempervirens tussocks induce spatial heterogeneity in litter decomposition, but not in soil properties, in a subalpine grassland in the Central Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fei-Hai Yu; Martin Schutz; Deborah S. Page-Dumroese; Bertil O. Krusi; Jakob Schneller; Otto Wildi; Anita C. Risch

    2011-01-01

    Tussocks of graminoids can induce spatial heterogeneity in soil properties in dry areas with discontinuous vegetation cover, but little is known about the situation in areas with continuous vegetation and no study has tested whether tussocks can induce spatial heterogeneity in litter decomposition. In a subalpine grassland in the Central Alps where vegetation cover is...

  9. Effects of experimental warming of air, soil and permafrost on carbon balance in Alaskan tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.M. Natali; E.A.G. Schuur; C. Trucco; C.E. Hicks Pries; K.G. Crummer; A.F. Baron Lopez

    2011-01-01

    The carbon (C) storage capacity of northern latitude ecosystems may diminish as warming air temperatures increase permafrost thaw and stimulate decomposition of previously frozen soil organic C. However, warming may also enhance plant growth so that photosynthetic carbon dioxide (C02) uptake may, in part, offset respiratory losses. To determine...

  10. The need for a tundra treatment protocol

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filler, D.M.

    2000-01-01

    Support services formed an integral part of the oil and natural gas industry in the Arctic. These services include the road transportation of petroleum fuels to supply pipeline pump station generators, work camps, fleet vehicles and others. At times, spill response in the tundra proves to be harmful to the environment. An incident occurred in November 1997. A tanker truck was hauling arctic-grade diesel fuel on Alaska's North Slope when it rolled over at a river crossing, spilling 20,800 liters on the frozen tundra. The in situ burning that followed polluted the subsurface soil-water matrix within the river basin. It was difficult to distinguish between petroleum pollutant and biogenic hydrocarbon contributions in the tundra. A tundra treatment manual was then developed for the proper management of land-based fuel and oil spills in the Arctic. This manual takes into account the sensitive environment of the region. 14 refs., 4 figs

  11. Polygonal tundra geomorphological change in response to warming alters future CO2 and CH4 flux on the Barrow Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Mark J; McGuire, A David; Euskirchen, Eugenie S; Tweedie, Craig E; Hinkel, Kenneth M; Skurikhin, Alexei N; Romanovsky, Vladimir E; Grosse, Guido; Bolton, W Robert; Genet, Helene

    2015-04-01

    The landscape of the Barrow Peninsula in northern Alaska is thought to have formed over centuries to millennia, and is now dominated by ice-wedge polygonal tundra that spans drained thaw-lake basins and interstitial tundra. In nearby tundra regions, studies have identified a rapid increase in thermokarst formation (i.e., pits) over recent decades in response to climate warming, facilitating changes in polygonal tundra geomorphology. We assessed the future impact of 100 years of tundra geomorphic change on peak growing season carbon exchange in response to: (i) landscape succession associated with the thaw-lake cycle; and (ii) low, moderate, and extreme scenarios of thermokarst pit formation (10%, 30%, and 50%) reported for Alaskan arctic tundra sites. We developed a 30 × 30 m resolution tundra geomorphology map (overall accuracy:75%; Kappa:0.69) for our ~1800 km² study area composed of ten classes; drained slope, high center polygon, flat-center polygon, low center polygon, coalescent low center polygon, polygon trough, meadow, ponds, rivers, and lakes, to determine their spatial distribution across the Barrow Peninsula. Land-atmosphere CO2 and CH4 flux data were collected for the summers of 2006-2010 at eighty-two sites near Barrow, across the mapped classes. The developed geomorphic map was used for the regional assessment of carbon flux. Results indicate (i) at present during peak growing season on the Barrow Peninsula, CO2 uptake occurs at -902.3 10(6) gC-CO2 day(-1) (uncertainty using 95% CI is between -438.3 and -1366 10(6) gC-CO2 day(-1)) and CH4 flux at 28.9 10(6) gC-CH4 day(-1) (uncertainty using 95% CI is between 12.9 and 44.9 10(6) gC-CH4 day(-1)), (ii) one century of future landscape change associated with the thaw-lake cycle only slightly alter CO2 and CH4 exchange, while (iii) moderate increases in thermokarst pits would strengthen both CO2 uptake (-166.9 10(6) gC-CO2 day(-1)) and CH4 flux (2.8 10(6) gC-CH4 day(-1)) with geomorphic change from low

  12. Polygonal tundra geomorphological change in response to warming alters future CO2 and CH4 flux on the Barrow Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Mark J.; McGuire, A. David; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Tweedie, Craig E.; Hinkel, Kenneth M.; Skurikhin, Alexei N.; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Grosse, Guido; Bolton, W. Robert; Genet, Helene

    2015-01-01

    The landscape of the Barrow Peninsula in northern Alaska is thought to have formed over centuries to millennia, and is now dominated by ice-wedge polygonal tundra that spans drained thaw-lake basins and interstitial tundra. In nearby tundra regions, studies have identified a rapid increase in thermokarst formation (i.e., pits) over recent decades in response to climate warming, facilitating changes in polygonal tundra geomorphology. We assessed the future impact of 100 years of tundra geomorphic change on peak growing season carbon exchange in response to: (i) landscape succession associated with the thaw-lake cycle; and (ii) low, moderate, and extreme scenarios of thermokarst pit formation (10%, 30%, and 50%) reported for Alaskan arctic tundra sites. We developed a 30 × 30 m resolution tundra geomorphology map (overall accuracy:75%; Kappa:0.69) for our ~1800 km² study area composed of ten classes; drained slope, high center polygon, flat-center polygon, low center polygon, coalescent low center polygon, polygon trough, meadow, ponds, rivers, and lakes, to determine their spatial distribution across the Barrow Peninsula. Land-atmosphere CO2 and CH4 flux data were collected for the summers of 2006–2010 at eighty-two sites near Barrow, across the mapped classes. The developed geomorphic map was used for the regional assessment of carbon flux. Results indicate (i) at present during peak growing season on the Barrow Peninsula, CO2 uptake occurs at -902.3 106gC-CO2 day−1(uncertainty using 95% CI is between −438.3 and −1366 106gC-CO2 day−1) and CH4 flux at 28.9 106gC-CH4 day−1(uncertainty using 95% CI is between 12.9 and 44.9 106gC-CH4 day−1), (ii) one century of future landscape change associated with the thaw-lake cycle only slightly alter CO2 and CH4 exchange, while (iii) moderate increases in thermokarst pits would strengthen both CO2uptake (−166.9 106gC-CO2 day−1) and CH4 flux (2.8 106gC-CH4 day−1) with geomorphic change from

  13. Does NDVI reflect variation in the structural attributes associated with increasing shrub dominance in arctic tundra?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boelman, Natalie T [Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964 (United States); Gough, Laura; McLaren, Jennie R [Department of Biology, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019 (United States); Greaves, Heather, E-mail: nboelman@ldeo.columbia.edu [Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, 321 Richardson Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331 (United States)

    2011-07-15

    This study explores relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and structural characteristics associated with deciduous shrub dominance in arctic tundra. Our structural measures of shrub dominance are stature, branch abundance, aerial per cent woody stem cover (deciduous and evergreen species), and per cent deciduous shrub canopy cover. All measurements were taken across a suite of transects that together represent a gradient of deciduous shrub height. The transects include tussock tundra shrub and riparian shrub tundra communities located in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, in northern Alaska. Plot-level NDVI measurements were made in 2010 during the snow-free period prior to deciduous shrub leaf-out (early June, NDVI{sub pre-leaf}), at the point in the growing season when canopy NDVI has reached half of its maximum growing season value (mid-June, NDVI{sub demi-leaf}) and during the period of maximum leaf-out (late July, NDVI{sub peak-leaf}). We found that: (1) NDVI{sub pre-leaf} is best suited to capturing variation in the per cent woody stem cover, maximum shrub height, and branch abundance, particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy; (2) NDVI{sub peak-leaf} is best suited to capturing variation in deciduous canopy cover; and (3) NDVI{sub demi-leaf} does not capture variability in any of our measures of shrub dominance. These findings suggest that in situ NDVI measurements made prior to deciduous canopy leaf-out could be used to identify small differences in maximum shrub height, woody stem cover, and branch abundance (particularly between 10 and 50 cm height in the canopy). Because shrubs are increasing in size and regional extent in several regions of the Arctic, investigation into spectrally based tools for monitoring these changes are worthwhile as they provide a first step towards development of remotely sensed techniques for quantifying associated changes in regional carbon cycling, albedo, radiative

  14. Tundra Rehabilitation in Alaska's Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn, L. A.

    2012-12-01

    Oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic has been conducted for more than 40 years, resulting in over 3,640 ha of gravel fill placed for roads, pads, and airstrips to support the industry. Likewise, tundra disturbance from burying power lines and by tundra vehicle travel are also common. Rehabilitation of disturbed sites began around 2002, with well over 150 ha that has been previously treated or is currently being rehabilitated. Two primary goals of rehabilitation efforts have been 1) revegetation by indigenous species, and 2) limiting thermokarst. Early efforts were concerned that removing gravel and having exposed bare ground would lead to extensive subsidence and eolian erosion. Native grass cultivars (e.g. Poa glauca, Arctagrostis latifolia, and Festuca rubra) were seeded to create vegetation cover quickly with the expectation that these grasses would survive only temporarily. The root masses and leaf litter were also expected to trap indigenous seed to enhance natural recolonization by indigenous plants. Due to the remote location of these sites, many of which are only accessible by helicopter, most are visited only two to three times following cultivation treatments, providing a limited data pool. At many sites, the total live seeded grass cover declined about 15% over the first 5¬-6 years (from around 30% to 15% cover), while total live indigenous vascular cover increased from no or trace cover to an average of 10% cover in that time. Cover of indigenous vascular plants at sites that were not seeded with native grass cultivars averaged just less than 10% after 10 years, showing no appreciable difference between the two approaches. Final surface elevations at the sites affect local hydrology and soil moisture. Other factors that influence the success of vegetation cover are proximity to the Arctic coast (salt effects), depth of remaining gravel, and changes in characteristics of the near-surface soil. Further development of rehabilitation techniques and the

  15. Shifts in the phylogenetic structure and functional capacity of soil microbial communities follow alteration of native tussock grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wakelin, Steven A.; Barratt, Barbara I.P.; Gerard, Emily; Gregg, Adrienne L.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Andersen, Gary L.; DeSantis, Todd Z.; Zhou, Jizhong; He, Zhili; Kowalchuk, George A.; O'Callaghan, Maureen

    Globally, tussock-based grasslands are being modified to increase productive capacity. The impacts of cultivation and over-sowing with exotic grass and legumes on soil microbiology were assessed at four sites in New Zealand which differed in soil type, climate and vegetation. Primary alteration of

  16. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D.; Brinkman, Todd J.; Lindgren, Michael A.; Schmidt, Jennifer I.; Rupp, T. Scott; Adams, Layne G.

    2014-01-01

    Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs), and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old) across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (−21%) than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (−11%). Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  17. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David D Gustine

    Full Text Available Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs, and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (-21% than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (-11%. Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  18. Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustine, David D; Brinkman, Todd J; Lindgren, Michael A; Schmidt, Jennifer I; Rupp, T Scott; Adams, Layne G

    2014-01-01

    Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an important subsistence resource for communities throughout the north and a species that depends on terrestrial lichen in late-successional forests and tundra systems. Projected increases in area burned and reductions in stand ages may reduce lichen availability within caribou winter ranges. Sufficient reductions in lichen abundance could alter the capacity of these areas to support caribou populations. To assess the potential role of a changing fire regime on winter habitat for caribou, we used a simulation modeling platform, two global circulation models (GCMs), and a moderate emissions scenario to project annual fire characteristics and the resulting abundance of lichen-producing vegetation types (i.e., spruce forests and tundra >60 years old) across a modeling domain that encompassed the winter ranges of the Central Arctic and Porcupine caribou herds in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic. Fires were less numerous and smaller in tundra compared to spruce habitats throughout the 90-year projection for both GCMs. Given the more likely climate trajectory, we projected that the Porcupine caribou herd, which winters primarily in the boreal forest, could be expected to experience a greater reduction in lichen-producing winter habitats (-21%) than the Central Arctic herd that wintered primarily in the arctic tundra (-11%). Our results suggest that caribou herds wintering in boreal forest will undergo fire-driven reductions in lichen-producing habitats that will, at a minimum, alter their distribution. Range shifts of caribou resulting from fire-driven changes to winter habitat may diminish access to caribou for rural communities that reside in fire-prone areas.

  19. Effects of Unsaturated Microtopography on Nitrate Concentrations in Tundra Ecosystems: Examples from Polygonal Terrain and Degraded Peat Plateaus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heikoop, J. M.; Arendt, C. A.; Newman, B. D.; Charsley-Groffman, L.; Perkins, G.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S.

    2017-12-01

    Under the auspices of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment - Arctic, we have been studying hydrogeochemical signals in Alaskan tundra ecosystems underlain by continuous permafrost (Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO)) and discontinuous permafrost (Seward Peninsula). The Barrow site comprises largely saturated tundra associated with the low gradient Arctic Coastal Plain. Polygonal microtopography, however, can result in slightly raised areas that are unsaturated. In these areas we have previously demonstrated production and accumulation of nitrate, which, based on nitrate isotopic analysis, derives from microbial degradation. Our Seward Peninsula site is located in a much steeper and generally well-drained watershed. In lower-gradient areas at the top and bottom of the watershed, however, the tundra is generally saturated, likely because of the presence of underlying discontinuous permafrost inhibiting infiltration. These settings also contain microtopographic features, though in the form of degraded peat plateaus surrounded by wet graminoid sag ponds. Despite being very different microtopographic features in a very different setting with distinct vegetation, qualitatively similar nitrate accumulation patterns as seen in polygonal terrain were observed. The highest nitrate pore water concentration observed in an unsaturated peat plateau was approximately 5 mg/L, whereas subsurface pore water concentrations in surrounding sag ponds were generally below the limit of detection. Nitrate isotopes indicate this nitrate results from microbial mineralization and nitrification based on comparison to the nitrate isotopic composition of reduced nitrogen sources in the environment and the oxygen isotope composition of site pore water. Nitrate concentrations were most similar to those found in low-center polygon rims and flat-centered polygon centers at the BEO, but were significantly lower than the maximum concentrations seen in the highest and driest polygonal features

  20. The tundra - a threat to global climate?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roejle Christensen, T.

    1997-01-01

    The tundra biome has an important direct influence on the global climate through its exchange of radiatively active 'greenhouse gases', carbon dioxide and methane. A number of suggestions have been raised as to how a changing climate may alter the natural state of this exchange causing significant feedback effects in a changing climate. This paper provides a brief discussion of three different issues relating to the interaction between tundra and climate. It is concluded that release of methane hydrates, permafrost degradation and major biome changes are processes which in the long term may have important effects on further development of the global climate. (au) 32 refs

  1. Response of a tundra ecosytem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO2-induced climate change. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO 2 flux in selected locations of the circumpolar arctic, and to develop the information necessary to predict how these fluxes may be affected by climate change. In fulfillment of these objectives, net CO 2 flux was measured at several sites on the North Slope of Alaska during the 1990-94 growing season (June-August) to determine the local and regional patterns, of seasonal CO 2 exchange. In addition, net CO 2 flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO 2 exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar arctic, while cold-season CO 2 flux measurements were carried out during the 1993-94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO 2 efflux not accounted for by the growing season measurements. Manipulations of soil water table depth and surface temperature, which were identified from the extensive measurements as being the most important variables in determining the magnitude and direction of net CO 2 exchange, were carried out during the 1993-94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH 4 flux were also measured at several of the North Slope study sites during the 1990-91 growing seasons. Measurements were made on small (e.g. 0.5 m 2 ) plots using a portable gas-exchange system and cuvette. The sample design allowed frequent measurements of net CO 2 exchange and respiration over diurnal and seasonal cycles, and a large spatial extent that incorporated both locally and regionally diverse tundra surface types. Measurements both within and between ecosystem types typically extended over soil water table depth and temperature gradients, allowing for the indirect analysis of the effects of anticipated climate change scenarios on net CO 2 exchange. In situ experiments provided a direct means for testing hypotheses

  2. The Contribution of Mosses to the Complex Pattern of Diurnal and Seasonal Metabolism the wet Coastal Tundra Ecosystems Near Barrow Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zona, D.; Oechel, W.; Hastings, S.; Oberbauer, S.; Kopetz, I.; Ikawa, H.

    2006-12-01

    Despite the abundance and importance bryophytes in the Alaskan Arctic tundra there is relatively little information on the role of these plants in determining the CO2 fluxes of Arctic tundra and, in particular, the environmental controls and climate change sensitivities of current and future photosynthesis in Arctic mosses. Studies in the tundra biome during the IBP program implicated high light together with high temperature as causes of decreases in photosynthesis in arctic mosses. Several authors have reported midday depression of moss photosynthesis due to high irradiance, even under optimum temperature and fully hydrated conditions. The focus of this study is to understand the role of Sphagnum ssp. mosses of various species, the dominant moss in the Alaska coastal wet Tundra on the total ecosystem carbon exchange throughout the season and in particular soon after snowmelt when the ecosystem is a carbon source. Our hypothesis is that the ecosystem carbon source activity during this critical period may be a result of sensitivity of mosses to light and photoinhibition in the absence of the protective canopy layer of vascular plants. In this study we measured daily courses of photosynthesis and fluorescence in the moss layer and we compare it to the total ecosystem carbon fluxes determined by the eddy covariance technique. The measurements were conducted in wet coastal tundra from June 2006, right after the snow melt, to August 2006 in the Biological Experimental Observatory (BEO) in Barrow, Alaska. The photosynthesis in the moss layer was found to be strongly inhibited when the radiation exceeded 800 ìmol m-2 s-1. Mosses remained fully hydrated throughout the season, precluding drying as a cause of decreased photosynthesis. Dark-adapted fluorescence measurements (Fv/Fm) showed a relatively low value (0.6) right after the snow melt, and remained fairly stable throughout the season. This low value was previously reported as characteristic of photoinhibited

  3. Response of a tundra ecosystem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO{sub 2}-induced climate change. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO{sub 2} flux in selected locations of the circumpolar arctic, and to develop the information necessary to predict how these fluxes may be affected by climate change. In fulfillment of these objectives, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured at several sites on the North Slope of Alaska during the 1990--94 growing season (June--August) to determine the local and regional patterns of seasonal CO{sub 2} exchange. In addition, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO{sub 2} exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar Arctic, while cold-season CO{sub 2} flux measurements were carried out during the 1993--94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO{sub 2} efflux not accounted for by the growing season measurements. Manipulations of soil water table depth and surface temperature, which were identified from the extensive measurements as being the most important variables in determining the magnitude and direction of net CO{sub 2} exchange, were carried out during the 1993--94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH{sub 4} flux were also measured at several of the North Slope study sites during the 1990--91 growing seasons.

  4. Response of tundra ecosystems to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide. [Annual report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.; Grulke, N.E.

    1988-12-31

    Our past research shows that arctic tussock tundra responds to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} with marked increases in net ecosystem carbon flux and photosynthetic rates. However, at ambient temperatures and nutrient availabilities, homeostatic adjustments result in net ecosystem flux rates dropping to those found a contemporary CO{sub 2} levels within three years. Evidence for ecosystem-level acclimation in the first season of elevated CO{sub 2} exposure was found in 1987. Photosynthetic rates of Eriophorum vaginatum, the dominant species, adjusts to elevated CO{sub 2} within three weeks. Past research also indicates other changes potentially important to ecosystem structure and function. Elevated CO{sub 2} treatment apparently delays senescence and increases the period of positive photosynthetic activity. Recent results from the 1987 field season verify the results obtained in the 1983--1986 field seasons: Elevated CO{sub 2} resulted in increased ecosystem-level flux rates. Regressions fitted to the seasonal flux rates indicate an apparent 10 d extension of positive CO{sub 2} uptake reflecting a delay of the onset of plant dormancy. This delay in senescence could increase the frost sensitivity of the system. Major end points proposed for this research include the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and the interaction of elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} with elevated soil temperature and increased nutrient availability on: (1) Net ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux; (2) Net photosynthetic rates; (3) Patterns and resource controls on homeostatic adjustment in the above processes to elevated CO{sub 2}; (4) Plant-nutrient status, litter quality, and forage quality; (5) Soil-nutrient status; (6) Plant-growth pattern and shoot demography.

  5. Landuse effects on runoff generating processes in tussock grassland indicated by mean transit time estimation using tritium

    OpenAIRE

    M. K. Stewart; B. D. Fahey

    2010-01-01

    The east Otago uplands of New Zealand's South Island have long been studied because of the environmental consequences of converting native tussock grasslands to other land covers, notably forestry and pasture for stock grazing. Early studies showed that afforestation substantially reduced annual water yield, stream peak flows, and 7-day low flows, mainly as a consequence of increased interception. Tritium measurements have indicated that surprisingly old water is present in catchments GH1 and...

  6. Runoff generating processes in adjacent tussock grassland and pine plantation catchments as indicated by mean transit time estimation using tritium

    OpenAIRE

    M. K. Stewart; B. D. Fahey

    2010-01-01

    The east Otago uplands of New Zealand's South Island have long been studied because of the environmental consequences of converting native tussock grasslands to other land covers, notably forestry and pasture for stock grazing. Early studies showed that afforestation substantially reduced annual water yield, stream peak flows, and 7-day low flows, mainly as a consequence of increased interception. Tritium measurements have indicated that surprisingly old water is present in catchments GH1 and...

  7. Demographic outcomes of diverse migration strategies assessed in a metapopulation of tundra swans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ely, Craig R; Meixell, Brandt W

    2016-01-01

    generally had the lowest productivity. The lack of a uniform relationship between time spent on breeding areas and productivity, or time spent on wintering areas and survival, indicates that factors other than temporal investment dictate demographic outcomes in this species. The tremendous diversity of migration strategies we identify in Alaskan tundra swans, without clear impacts on survival, underscores the ability of this species to adapt to different environments and climatic regimes.

  8. Engaging Alaskan Students in Cryospheric Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshikawa, K.; Sparrow, E. B.; Kopplin, M.

    2011-12-01

    The Permafrost/Active Layer Monitoring Program is an ongoing project, which builds on work begun in 2005 to establish long-term permafrost and active layer monitoring sites adjacent to schools in Alaskan communities and in the circumpolar permafrost region. Currently, there are about 200 schools in Alaska involved in the project including also Denali National Park and Preserve. The project has both scientific and outreach components. The monitoring sites collect temperature data on permafrost, and the length and depth of the active layer (the layer above the permafrost that thaws during summer and freezes again during winter). To ensure scientific integrity, the scientist installed all of the monitoring instruments and selected the sites representative of the surrounding biome and thermal conditions. This is a unique collaboration opportunity in that 1) uses scientifically accurate instruments, 2) is scientist led and supervised including instrumentation set-up and data quality check, 3)has teacher/student organized observation network, 4) increased spatial scale of monitoring sites that covers all of the Alaskan communities. Most of the monitoring sites are located in remote communities, where the majority of residents depend on a subsistence lifestyle. Changes in climate, length of seasons, and permafrost conditions directly impact natural resources and subsistence activities. Changes in permafrost conditions also affect local ecosystems and hydrological regimes, and can influence the severity of natural disasters. In addition to extending our knowledge of the arctic environment, the program involves school-age students. Several students have been using the data for their projects and have been inspired to continue their studies. The data gathered from these stations are shared with other schools and made available to the public through our web site (http://www.uaf.edu/permafrost). Also communities have increasingly become interested in this project not only as

  9. Improving understanding of controls on spatial variability in methane fluxes in Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Scott J.; Sloan, Victoria; Phoenix, Gareth; Wagner, Robert; Oechel, Walter; Zona, Donatella

    2015-04-01

    determining the direction and magnitude of methane flux, with methane emissions occurring in saturated micro-topographic locations and drier sites showing low rates of uptake. An interesting exception was in tussock sedge vegetation, which had a deep water table (approximately 20cm - 40cm below the soil surface) but which emitted methane in comparable quantities to saturated communities late in the growing season. This highlights the importance of plant transport and of understanding temporal variation in fluxes. Automated chamber measurements from peak and late growing season showed minimal diurnal trends in methane fluxes, indicating that short-term chamber measurements are representative of average diurnal CH4 fluxes. The breadth of environmental and vegetation variables measured across a wide spatial extent of arctic tundra vegetation communities within this study highlights the overriding controls on methane emissions and will significantly help with upscaling methane emissions from the plot scale to the landscape scale. Reference: IPCC, 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1535 pp, doi:10.1017/CBO97811074153

  10. Methylocella tundrae sp. nov., a novel methanotrophic bacterium from acidic tundra peatlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dedysh, Svetlana N; Berestovskaya, Yulia Y; Vasylieva, Lina V; Belova, Svetlana E; Khmelenina, Valentina N; Suzina, Natalia E; Trotsenko, Yuri A; Liesack, Werner; Zavarzin, George A

    2004-01-01

    A novel species, Methylocella tundrae, is proposed for three methanotrophic strains (T4T, TCh1 and TY1) isolated from acidic Sphagnum tundra peatlands. These strains are aerobic, Gram-negative, non-motile, dinitrogen-fixing rods that possess a soluble methane monooxygenase and utilize the serine pathway for carbon assimilation. Strains T4T, TCh1 and TY1 are moderately acidophilic organisms capable of growth between pH 4.2 and 7.5 (optimum 5.5-6.0) and between 5 and 30 degrees C (optimum 15 degrees C). The major phospholipid fatty acid is 18:1omega7c. The DNA G+C content of strain T4T is 63.3 mol%. The three strains possess almost identical 16S rRNA gene sequences and are most closely related to two previously identified species of Methylocella, Methylocella palustris (97% similarity) and Methylocella silvestris (97.5% similarity). DNA-DNA hybridization values of strain T4T with Methylocella palustris KT and Methylocella silvestris BL2T were respectively 27 and 36%. Thus, the tundra strains represent a novel species, for which the name Methylocella tundrae sp. nov. is proposed. Strain T4T (=DSM 15673T=NCIMB 13949T) is the type strain.

  11. Ecological investigation of Alaskan resource development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, W.C.

    1982-01-01

    The objective of this research is to provide an integrated program for the definition of ecological consequences of resource developments in northern Alaska. The qualitative and quantitative results obtained describe the environmental costs incurred by petroleum resource extraction and transportation, and the interaction of wildlife populations with industrial activities. Information is presented on: affected populations of arctic foxes, small mammals, and tundra-nesting birds along the Trans-Alaska pipeline and haul road; field studies on the nitrogen fixation patterns of lichens; and on amounts of radionuclides from worldwide fallout in the lichen-caribou-Eskimo food chain

  12. Ecological investigation of Alaskan resource development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, W.C.; Eberhardt, L.E.

    1981-01-01

    The objective of this research is to provide an integrated program for the definition of ecological consequences of resource developments in northern Alaska. Information is presented on affected populations of arctic foxes, small mammals, and tundra-nesting birds in the Prudhoe Bay oil field and along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and haul road; findings from similar studies from the Colville River Delta and other affected habitats; field experiments to determine the sensitivity of lichen communities of the Brooks Range to sulfur dioxide concentrations likely to be encountered near pipeline pumping stations; and amounts of radionuclides from worldwide fallout in the lichen-caribou-Eskimo food chain

  13. [Nitrogen bio-cycle in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain and its comparison with arctic tundra].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Jing; Zhao, Jing-zhu; Deng, Hong-bing; Wu, Gang; Hao, Ying-jie; Shang, Wen-yan

    2005-03-01

    The nitrogen bio-cycle was discussed in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain through compartment model. The alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain was compared with Arctic tundra by the common ratio of genus and species in this paper. It was found that the 89.3% of genus and 58.6% of species was the common between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra while 95.5% of lichen genus and 58.7% lichen species, 82.1% of moss genus and 76.3% of moss species, 93.1% of vascular bundle genus and 40.5% of vascular bundle species were the common, respectively, which made vegetation type or community to be similar between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra. The total storage of nitrogen was 65220.6 t in the vegetation-plant system of Changbai Mountain, of which soil pool amounted to 99.3%. The nitrogen storage of each compartment was as follows: the vegetation pool, litterfall pool and soil pool were 237.4 t, 145.3 t and 64837.9 t respectively. The transferable amounts of nitrogen were 131.7 t x a(-1), 58 t/a and 73.7 t x a(-1) in the aboveground plant, belowground root system and litterfall of alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain.

  14. Stem secondary growth of tundra shrubs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Leblans, Niki; Michelsen, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Our knowledge of stem secondary growth of arctic shrubs (a key component of tundra net primary production, NPP) is very limited. Here, we investigated the impact of the physical elements of the environment on shrub secondary growth by comparing annual growth rates of model species from similar...... growth (stem apical growth, stem length, and apical growth of stem plus leaves), in some cases even with opposite responses. Thus caution should be taken when estimating the impact of the environment on shrub growth from apical growth only. Integration of our data set with the (very limited) previously...

  15. Landuse effects on runoff generating processes in tussock grassland indicated by mean transit time estimation using tritium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, M. K.; Fahey, B. D.

    2010-02-01

    The east Otago uplands of New Zealand's South Island have long been studied because of the environmental consequences of converting native tussock grasslands to other land covers, notably forestry and pasture for stock grazing. Early studies showed that afforestation substantially reduced annual water yield, stream peak flows, and 7-day low flows, mainly as a consequence of increased interception. Tritium measurements have indicated that surprisingly old water is present in catchments GH1 and GH2, and the small headwater wetland and catchment (GH5). The old water contributes strongly to baseflow (and therefore also to quickflow). The data have been simulated assuming the presence of two types of water in the baseflow, young water from shallow aquifers connecting hillside regolith with the stream, and old water from deep bedrock aquifers, respectively. The mean transit time of the young water is of the order of months, while that of the old water is 25-26 years as revealed by the presence of tritium originating from the bomb-peak in NZ rainfall in late 1960s and early 1970s. Such a long transit time indicates slow release from groundwater reservoirs within the bedrock, which constitute by far the larger of the water stores. Comparison of the results from catchments GH1 (tussock) and GH2 (pine forest) suggests that about equal quantities of water (85 mm annually) are contributed from the deep aquifers in the two catchments, although runoff from the shallow aquifers has been strongly reduced by afforestation in GH2.

  16. Where do the treeless tundra areas of northern highlands fit in the global biome system: toward an ecologically natural subdivision of the tundra biome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virtanen, Risto; Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja; Cohen, Juval; Forbes, Bruce C; Johansen, Bernt; Käyhkö, Jukka; Olofsson, Johan; Pulliainen, Jouni; Tømmervik, Hans

    2016-01-01

    According to some treatises, arctic and alpine sub-biomes are ecologically similar, whereas others find them highly dissimilar. Most peculiarly, large areas of northern tundra highlands fall outside of the two recent subdivisions of the tundra biome. We seek an ecologically natural resolution to this long-standing and far-reaching problem. We studied broad-scale patterns in climate and vegetation along the gradient from Siberian tundra via northernmost Fennoscandia to the alpine habitats of European middle-latitude mountains, as well as explored those patterns within Fennoscandian tundra based on climate-vegetation patterns obtained from a fine-scale vegetation map. Our analyses reveal that ecologically meaningful January-February snow and thermal conditions differ between different types of tundra. High precipitation and mild winter temperatures prevail on middle-latitude mountains, low precipitation and usually cold winters prevail on high-latitude tundra, and Scandinavian mountains show intermediate conditions. Similarly, heath-like plant communities differ clearly between middle latitude mountains (alpine) and high-latitude tundra vegetation, including its altitudinal extension on Scandinavian mountains. Conversely, high abundance of snowbeds and large differences in the composition of dwarf shrub heaths distinguish the Scandinavian mountain tundra from its counterparts in Russia and the north Fennoscandian inland. The European tundra areas fall into three ecologically rather homogeneous categories: the arctic tundra, the oroarctic tundra of northern heights and mountains, and the genuinely alpine tundra of middle-latitude mountains. Attempts to divide the tundra into two sub-biomes have resulted in major discrepancies and confusions, as the oroarctic areas are included in the arctic tundra in some biogeographic maps and in the alpine tundra in others. Our analyses based on climate and vegetation criteria thus seem to resolve the long-standing biome

  17. Alaskan North Slope Oil & Gas Transportation Support

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lilly, Michael Russell [Geo-Watersheds Scientific LLC, Fairbanks, AK (United States)

    2017-03-31

    North Slope oil and gas resources are a critical part of US energy supplies and their development is facing a period of new growth to meet increasing national energy needs. While this growth is taking place in areas active in development for more than 20 years, there are many increasing environmental challenges facing industry and management agencies. A majority of all exploration and development activities, pipeline maintenance and other field support activities take place in the middle of winter, when the fragile tundra surface is more stable. The window for the critical oil and gas winter operational season has been steadily decreasing over the last 25 years. The number of companies working on the North Slope is increasing. Many of these companies are smaller and working with fewer resources than the current major companies. The winter operations season starts with the tundra-travel opening, which requires 15 cm of snow on the land surface in the coastal management areas and 23 cm in the foothills management areas. All state managed areas require -5°C soil temperatures at a soil depth of 30 cm. Currently there are no methods to forecast this opening date, so field mobilization efforts are dependent on agency personnel visiting field sites to measure snow and soil temperature conditions. Weeks can be easily lost in the winter operating season due to delays in field verification of tundra conditions and the resulting mobilization. After the season is open, a significant percentage of exploration, construction, and maintenance do not proceed until ice roads and pads can be built. This effort is dependent on access to lake ice and under-ice water. Ice chipping is a common ice-road construction technique used to build faster and stronger ice roads. Seasonal variability in water availability and permitting approaches are a constant constraint to industry. At the end of the winter season, projects reliant on ice-road networks are often faced with ending operations

  18. Ecological investigation of Alaskan resource development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, W.C.; Eberhardt, L.E.

    1980-01-01

    The objective is to provide an integrated program for the definition of ecological consequences of resource developments in northern Alaska. The qualitative and quantitative results obtained describe the environmental costs incurred by petroleum resource extraction and transportation, including interaction of wildlife populations with industrial activities. This section of the Annual Report presents information on impacted populations of arctic foxes, small mammals, and tundra-nesting birds in the Prudhoe Bay oil field and along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and haul road; findings from similar studies from the Colville River Delta and other unimpacted habitats; field experiments to determine the sensitivity of lichen communities of the Brooks Range to sulfur dioxide concentrations likely to be encountered near pipeline pumping stations; and amounts of worldwide-fallout radionuclides in the lichen-caribou-Eskimo food chain

  19. Douglas-fir tussock moth- and Douglas-fir beetle-caused mortality in a ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir forest in the Colorado Front Range, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jose F. Negron; Ann M. Lynch; Willis C. Schaupp; Vladimir Bocharnikov

    2014-01-01

    An outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata McDunnough, occurred in the South Platte River drainage on the Pike-San Isabel National Forest in the Colorado Front Range attacking Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco. Stocking levels, species composition, and tree size in heavily and lightly defoliated stands were similar. Douglas-fir...

  20. Douglas-Fir Tussock Moth- and Douglas-Fir Beetle-Caused Mortality in a Ponderosa Pine/Douglas-Fir Forest in the Colorado Front Range, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José F. Negrón

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available An outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata McDunnough, occurred in the South Platte River drainage on the Pike-San Isabel National Forest in the Colorado Front Range attacking Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb. Franco. Stocking levels, species composition, and tree size in heavily and lightly defoliated stands were similar. Douglas-fir tussock moth defoliation resulted in significant Douglas-fir mortality in the heavily defoliated stands, leading to a change in dominance to ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa Lawson. Douglas-fir beetle, Dendroctonus pseudotsuqae Hopkins, populations increased following the defoliation event but caused less mortality, and did not differ between heavily and lightly defoliated stands. Douglas-fir tussock moth-related mortality was greatest in trees less than 15 cm dbh (diameter at 1.4 m above the ground that grew in suppressed and intermediate canopy positions. Douglas-fir beetle-related mortality was greatest in trees larger than 15 cm dbh that grew in the dominant and co-dominant crown positions. Although both insects utilize Douglas-fir as its primary host, stand response to infestation is different. The extensive outbreak of the Douglas-fir tussock moth followed by Douglas-fir beetle activity may be associated with a legacy of increased host type growing in overstocked conditions as a result of fire exclusion.

  1. Monitoring larval populations of the Douglas-fir tussock moth and the western spruce budworm on permanent plots: sampling methods and statistical properties of data

    Science.gov (United States)

    A.R. Mason; H.G. Paul

    1994-01-01

    Procedures for monitoring larval populations of the Douglas-fir tussock moth and the western spruce budworm are recommended based on many years experience in sampling these species in eastern Oregon and Washington. It is shown that statistically reliable estimates of larval density can be made for a population by sampling host trees in a series of permanent plots in a...

  2. Response of a tundra ecosytem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO{sub 2}-induced climate change. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO{sub 2} flux in selected locations of the circumpolar arctic, and to develop the information necessary to predict how these fluxes may be affected by climate change. In fulfillment of these objectives, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured at several sites on the North Slope of Alaska during the 1990-94 growing season (June-August) to determine the local and regional patterns, of seasonal CO{sub 2} exchange. In addition, net CO{sub 2} flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO{sub 2} exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar arctic, while cold-season CO{sub 2} flux measurements were carried out during the 1993-94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO{sub 2} efflux not accounted for by the growing season measurements. Manipulations of soil water table depth and surface temperature, which were identified from the extensive measurements as being the most important variables in determining the magnitude and direction of net CO{sub 2} exchange, were carried out during the 1993-94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH{sub 4} flux were also measured at several of the North Slope study sites during the 1990-91 growing seasons. Measurements were made on small (e.g. 0.5 m{sup 2}) plots using a portable gas-exchange system and cuvette. The sample design allowed frequent measurements of net CO{sub 2} exchange and respiration over diurnal and seasonal cycles, and a large spatial extent that incorporated both locally and regionally diverse tundra surface types. Measurements both within and between ecosystem types typically extended over soil water table depth and temperature gradients, allowing for the indirect analysis of the effects of anticipated climate change scenarios on net CO{sub 2} exchange. In situ experiments provided a direct means for testing hypotheses.

  3. Short-Term Impacts of the Air Temperature on Greening and Senescence in Alaskan Arctic Plant Tundra Habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy L. May

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Climate change is warming the temperatures and lengthening the Arctic growing season with potentially important effects on plant phenology. The ability of plant species to acclimate to changing climatic conditions will dictate the level to which their spatial coverage and habitat-type dominance is different in the future. While the effect of changes in temperature on phenology and species composition have been observed at the plot and at the regional scale, a systematic assessment at medium spatial scales using new noninvasive sensor techniques has not been performed yet. At four sites across the North Slope of Alaska, changes in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI signal were observed by Mobile Instrumented Sensor Platforms (MISP that are suspended over 50 m transects spanning local moisture gradients. The rates of greening (measured in June and senescence (measured in August in response to the air temperature was estimated by changes in NDVI measured as the difference between the NDVI on a specific date and three days later. In June, graminoid- and shrub-dominated habitats showed the greatest rates of NDVI increase in response to the high air temperatures, while forb- and lichen-dominated habitats were less responsive. In August, the NDVI was more responsive to variations in the daily average temperature than spring greening at all sites. For graminoid- and shrub-dominated habitats, we observed a delayed decrease of the NDVI, reflecting a prolonged growing season, in response to high August temperatures. Consequently, the annual C assimilation capacity of these habitats is increased, which in turn may be partially responsible for shrub expansion and further increases in net summer CO2 fixation. Strong interannual differences highlight that long-term and noninvasive measurements of such complex feedback mechanisms in arctic ecosystems are critical to fully articulate the net effects of climate variability and climate change on plant community and ecosystem processes.

  4. Summer warming and changes in snow depth is reflected in the growth rings of Alaskan tundra shrubs (Toolik Lake)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchwal, A.; Welker, J. M.

    2016-12-01

    Arctic change is being manifested by shifts in the vegetation composition and abundance throughout many regions of the Arctic. These changes are primarily reflected by increases in shrub growth and density, but the extent to which shrub growth is expressed in greater shrub ring width and the degree to which natural and experimental warming correspond and or whether the secondary effect of deeper snow in winter acts to alter shrub ring growh and or shrub biomass is yet to be determined for Arctic Alaska. In order to explore growth response of arctic shrubs to on-going and predicted temperature and snow depth increase we investigated shrubs' annual growth rings using dendrochronological methods applied to plants growing under control and experimental treatments in Toolik Lake, Northern Alaska. Specifically we evaluated the effects of a 20-year experimental warming (due to open top chambers, OTC's) and snow depth increases on the growth rings pattern of two common shrub species of Northern Alaska, i.e. Betula nana and Salix pulchra. By applying a serial sectioning method patterns of annual growth were investigated across the entire plant including below-ground parts. Moreover this procedure allowed for a complete cross-dating and a detection of irregular radial growth, including common missing and partially missing rings. We found that the natural warming in Alaska occurring over the past 20 years is stimulating shrub ring growth, more so for Betula than for Salix. Experimental warming (simulating conditions in approximately 2030) stimulated the secondary growth ratio; however the allocation pattern between below-ground and above-ground is quite variable between individual shrubs. In addition, annual growth rings analyses were supplemented by quantitative wood anatomy properties, such as vessel size and density. Our findings indicate that there can be differential growth ring responses of deciduous shrubs to natural climate warming, that growth ring increases reflect changes in overall shrub abundance increases and that changes in wood anatomy may provide a means by which shrubs can utilize and transport additional water supplies that may be a result of deeper snow in winter associated with changes in winter as opposed to changes in summer climate only.

  5. Tundra a boreální lesy Kanady. 3. Sukcese na pingu a rozhraní les-tundra

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rusek, Josef

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 55, č. 3 (2007), s. 121-123 ISSN 0044-4812 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60660521 Keywords : Canadian tundra * boreal forests * succession on a pingo Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  6. Response of Tundra Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO{sub 2}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, Walter C.

    1990-09-05

    OAK B188 Response of Tundra Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO{sub 2}. Atmospheric CO{sub 2} is expected to double by the end of the next century. Global mean increases in surface air temperature of 1.5-4.5 C are anticipated with larger increases towards the poles predicted. Changes in CO{sub 2} levels and temperature could have major impacts on ecosystem functioning, including primary productivity, species composition, plant-animal interactions, and carbon storage. Until recently, there has been little direct information on the impact of changes in CO{sub 2} and temperature on native ecosystems. The study described here was undertaken to evaluate the effects of a 50 and 100% increase in atmospheric CO{sub 2}, and a 100% increase in atmospheric CO{sub 2} coupled with a 4 C summer air temperature rise on the structure and function of an arctic tussock tundra ecosystem. The arctic contains large stores of carbon as soil organic matter, much frozen in permafrost and currently not reactive or available for oxidation and release into the atmosphere. About 10-27% of the world's terrestrial carbon occurs in arctic and boreal regions, and carbon is accumulating in these regions at the rate of 0.19 GT y{sup -1}. Mean temperature increases of 11 C and summer temperature increases of 4 C have been suggested. Mean July temperatures on the arctic coastal plain and arctic foothills regions are 4-12 C, and mean annual temperatures are -7 to -13 C (Haugen, 1982). The projected temperature increases represent a substantial elevation above current temperatures which will have major impacts on physical processes such as permafrost development and development of the active layer, and on biological and ecosystem processes such as primary productivity, carbon storage, and species composition. Extreme nutrient and temperature limitation of this ecosystem raised questions of the responsiveness of arctic systems to elevated CO{sub 2}. Complex ecosystem interactions with the effects

  7. Microphysical Properties of Alaskan Volcanic Ash

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puthukkudy, A.; Espinosa, R.; Rocha Lima, A.; Remer, L.; Colarco, P. R.; Whelley, P.; Krotkov, N. A.; Young, K.; Dubovik, O.; Wallace, K.; Martins, J. V.

    2017-12-01

    Volcanic ash has the potential to cause a variety of severe problems for human health and the environment. Therefore, effective monitoring of the dispersion and fallout from volcanic ash clouds and characterization of the aerosol particle properties are essential. One way to acquire information from volcanic clouds is through satellite remote sensing: such images have greater coverage than ground-based observations and can present a "big picture" perspective. A challenge of remote sensing is that assumptions of certain properties of the target are often a pre-requisite for making accurate and quantitative retrievals. For example, detailed information about size distribution, sphericity, and optical properties of the constituent matter is needed or must be assumed. The same kind of information is also needed for atmospheric transport models to properly simulate the dispersion and fallout of volcanic ash. Presented here is a laboratory method to determine the microphysical and optical properties of volcanic ash samples collected from two Alaskan volcanoes with markedly different compositions. Our method uses a Polarized Imaging Nephelometer (PI-Neph) and a system that re-suspends the particles in an air flow. The PI-Neph measures angular light scattering and polarization of the re-suspended particles from 3o to 175o in scattering angle, with an angular resolution of 1o . Primary measurements include phase function and polarized phase function at three wavelengths (445nm, 532nm, and 661nm). Size distribution, sphericity, and complex refractive index are retrieved indirectly from the PI-Neph measurements using the GRASP (Generalized Retrieval of Aerosol and Surface Properties) inversion algorithm. We report the results of this method applied to samples from the Mt. Okmok (2008) and Mt. Katmai (1912) volcanic eruptions. To our knowledge, this is the first time direct measurements of phase matrix elements of ash from Mt. Okmok and Mt. Katmai have been reported. Retrieved

  8. Alaska Is Our Home--Book 3: A Natural Science Handbook for Alaskan Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bury, John; Bury, Susan

    The third book in a series of natural science handbooks for Alaskan students focuses on Alaskan plantlife. The first chapter, on trees, gives general information about trees and explains how to identify and locate trees in the three main Alaskan tree families: pine, willow, and birch. The second chapter, on plants, describes 14 kinds of edible…

  9. Arctic Tundra Greening and Browning at Circumpolar and Regional Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, H. E.; Bhatt, U. S.; Walker, D. A.; Raynolds, M. K.; Yang, X.

    2017-12-01

    Remote sensing data have historically been used to assess the dynamics of arctic tundra vegetation. Until recently the scientific literature has largely described the "greening" of the Arctic; from a remote sensing perspective, an increase in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), or a similar satellite-based vegetation index. Vegetation increases have been heterogeneous throughout the Arctic, and were reported to be up to 25% in certain areas over a 30-year timespan. However, more recently, arctic tundra vegetation dynamics have gotten more complex, with observations of more widespread tundra "browning" being reported. We used a combination of remote sensing data, including the Global Inventory Monitoring and Modeling System (GIMMS), as well as higher spatial resolution Landsat data, to evaluate the spatio-temporal patterns of arctic tundra vegetation dynamics (greening and browning) at circumpolar and regional scales over the past 3-4 decades. At the circumpolar scale, we focus on the spatial heterogeneity (by tundra subzone and continent) of tundra browning over the past 5-15 years, followed by a more recent recovery (greening since 2015). Landsat time series allow us to evaluate the landscape-scale heterogeneity of tundra greening and browning for northern Alaska and the Yamal Peninsula in northwestern Siberia, Russia. Multi-dataset analyses reveal that tundra greening and browning (i.e. increases or decreases in the NDVI respectively) are generated by different sets of processes. Tundra greening is largely a result of either climate warming, lengthening of the growing season, or responses to disturbances, such as fires, landslides, and freeze-thaw processes. Browning on the other hand tends to be more event-driven, such as the shorter-term decline in vegetation due to fire, insect defoliation, consumption by larger herbivores, or extreme weather events (e.g. winter warming or early summer frost damage). Browning can also be caused by local or

  10. Developing a savanna burning emissions abatement methodology for tussock grasslands in high rainfall regions of northern Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy Russell-Smith

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Fire-prone tropical savanna and grassland systems are a significant source of atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases.  In recent years, substantial research has been directed towards developing accounting methodologies for savanna burning emissions to be applied in Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, as well as for commercial carbon trading purposes.  That work has focused on woody savanna systems.  Here, we extend the methodological approach to include tussock grasslands and associated Melaleuca-dominated open woodlands (<10% foliage cover in higher rainfall (>1,000 mm/annum regions of northern Australia.  Field assessments under dry season conditions focused on deriving fuel accumulation, fire patchiness and combustion relationships for key fuel types: fine fuels − grass and litter; coarse woody fuels − twigs <6 mm diameter; heavy woody fuels − >6 mm diameter; and shrubs.  In contrast with previous savanna burning assessments, fire treatments undertaken under early dry season burning conditions resulted in negligible patchiness and very substantial consumption of fine fuels.  In effect, burning in the early dry season provides no benefits in greenhouse gas emissions and emissions reductions in tussock grasslands can be achieved only through reducing the extent of burning.  The practical implications of reduced burning in higher rainfall northern Australian grassland systems are discussed, indicating that there are significant constraints, including infrastructural, cultural and woody thickening issues.  Similar opportunities and constraints are observed in other international contexts, but especially project implementation challenges associated with legislative, political and governance issues.

  11. Runoff generating processes in adjacent tussock grassland and pine plantation catchments as indicated by mean transit time estimation using tritium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. K. Stewart

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The east Otago uplands of New Zealand's South Island have long been studied because of the environmental consequences of converting native tussock grasslands to other land covers, notably forestry and pasture for stock grazing. Early studies showed that afforestation substantially reduced annual water yield, stream peak flows, and 7-day low flows, mainly as a consequence of increased interception. Tritium measurements have indicated that surprisingly old water is present in catchments GH1 and GH2, and the small headwater wetland and catchment (GH5, and contributes strongly to baseflow. The data have been simulated assuming the presence of two types of water in the baseflow, young water from shallow aquifers connecting hillside regolith with the stream, and old water from deep bedrock aquifers, respectively. The mean transit time of the young water is approximately one month, while that of the old water is 25–26 years as revealed by the presence of tritium originating from the bomb-peak in NZ rainfall in late 1960s and early 1970s. Such a long transit time indicates slow release from groundwater reservoirs within the bedrock, which constitute by far the larger of the water stores. Comparison of the results from catchments GH1 (tussock and GH2 (pine forest suggests that about equal quantities of water (85 mm/a are contributed from the deep aquifers in the two catchments, although runoff from the shallow aquifers has been strongly reduced by afforestation in GH2. This study has revealed the presence of a long transit time component of water in runoff in a catchment with crystalline metamorphic bedrock.

  12. Runoff generating processes in adjacent tussock grassland and pine plantation catchments as indicated by mean transit time estimation using tritium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, M. K.; Fahey, B. D.

    2010-06-01

    The east Otago uplands of New Zealand's South Island have long been studied because of the environmental consequences of converting native tussock grasslands to other land covers, notably forestry and pasture for stock grazing. Early studies showed that afforestation substantially reduced annual water yield, stream peak flows, and 7-day low flows, mainly as a consequence of increased interception. Tritium measurements have indicated that surprisingly old water is present in catchments GH1 and GH2, and the small headwater wetland and catchment (GH5), and contributes strongly to baseflow. The data have been simulated assuming the presence of two types of water in the baseflow, young water from shallow aquifers connecting hillside regolith with the stream, and old water from deep bedrock aquifers, respectively. The mean transit time of the young water is approximately one month, while that of the old water is 25-26 years as revealed by the presence of tritium originating from the bomb-peak in NZ rainfall in late 1960s and early 1970s. Such a long transit time indicates slow release from groundwater reservoirs within the bedrock, which constitute by far the larger of the water stores. Comparison of the results from catchments GH1 (tussock) and GH2 (pine forest) suggests that about equal quantities of water (85 mm/a) are contributed from the deep aquifers in the two catchments, although runoff from the shallow aquifers has been strongly reduced by afforestation in GH2. This study has revealed the presence of a long transit time component of water in runoff in a catchment with crystalline metamorphic bedrock.

  13. Isoprene emissions from a tundra ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Potosnak

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Whole-system fluxes of isoprene from a moist acidic tundra ecosystem and leaf-level emission rates of isoprene from a common species (Salix pulchra in that same ecosystem were measured during three separate field campaigns. The field campaigns were conducted during the summers of 2005, 2010 and 2011 and took place at the Toolik Field Station (68.6° N, 149.6° W on the north slope of the Brooks Range in Alaska, USA. The maximum rate of whole-system isoprene flux measured was over 1.2 mg C m−2 h−1 with an air temperature of 22 °C and a PAR level over 1500 μmol m−2 s−1. Leaf-level isoprene emission rates for S. pulchra averaged 12.4 nmol m−2 s−1 (27.4 μg C gdw−1 h−1 extrapolated to standard conditions (PAR = 1000 μmol m−2 s−1 and leaf temperature = 30 °C. Leaf-level isoprene emission rates were well characterized by the Guenther algorithm for temperature with published coefficients, but less so for light. Chamber measurements from a nearby moist acidic tundra ecosystem with little S. pulchra emitted significant amounts of isoprene, but at lower rates (0.45 mg C m−2 h−1 suggesting other significant isoprene emitters. Comparison of our results to predictions from a global model found broad agreement, but a detailed analysis revealed some significant discrepancies. An atmospheric chemistry box model predicts that the observed isoprene emissions have a significant impact on Arctic atmospheric chemistry, including a reduction of hydroxyl radical (OH concentrations. Our results support the prediction that isoprene emissions from Arctic ecosystems will increase with global climate change.

  14. Lead poisoning in whooper and tundra swans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakade, Tetsuya; Tomura, Yoshihiro; Jin, Kazuo; Taniyama, Hiroyuki; Yamamoto, Mutsuki; Kikkawa, Aya; Miyagi, Kunitaro; Uchida, Eiji; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko; Mukai, Takeshi; Shirasawa, Masahiko; Yamaguchi, Mamoru

    2005-01-01

    Six weak whooper swans (Cygnus cygnus) and two weak tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) were found at Swamp Miyajima (Hokkaido, Japan) in May 1998. Anorexia, depression, green watery feces, pale conjunctiva, and anemia were observed. Radiographs showed from six to 38 suspected lead pellets in the gizzard. Blood lead concentrations were 2.5-6.7 microg/g (mean+/-SD=4.6+/-1.14 microg/g) on day 1. After blood collection, the birds were treated with calcium disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate (CaEDTA) given intravenously and force fed. Despite treatment, seven birds died the next day. Green, bile-stained livers and pale or green kidneys were observed on necropsy. Microscopically, bile pigment was widespread in the liver and acid-fast intranuclear inclusion bodies were observed in renal tubular epithelium. Lead concentrations in livers and kidneys were 14.0-30.4 microg/g and 30.2-122 microg/g wet weight, respectively. Only one bird survived and this whooper swan continued to be treated with CaEDTA and activated charcoal. No lead shot was observed in the proventriculus and gizzard by radiography on day 64 and the blood lead concentration decreased from 2.9 microg/g to 0.09 microg/g during that same period. After 4 mo of rehabilitation, the whooper swan was returned to the wild. Lead intoxication continues to be a problem at Swamp Miyajima.

  15. Radon in homes: The Alaskan experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seifert, R.D.

    1990-01-01

    For the past four years, since radon was first found to be a concern in Alaska in 1986, the interest and awareness of radon as a special housing and health concern has continued to grow. This paper will discuss the features of a house in Alaska which would characterize it as at risk for radon, and also those efforts at mitigation which have been most effective in reducing radon under Alaskan conditions. Clearly radon must be able to enter a home in order to be a problem. Riefenstuhl and Kline (personal communication, 1988) have analyzed the conditions for radon transport from soils to home interiors very lucidly through the following scheme: four factors must exist in a house locale for it to be a radon at risk house. Two of the factors are geological in nature: (1) there must be adequate uranium and therefore ample radon to provide a source for transport; (2) there must be enough permeability in the soil to allow rapid soil gas movement to carry radon from its origin to the interior of the home within two half-lives of time (six days) or so. The other two factors are determined by the structure of the house itself and the way in which it is operated: (3) the house must have soil contact and imperfections, holes, cracks, intentional perforations which allow movement of soil gas with radon through the envelope of the basement or crawlspace; (4) there must be a lower pressure inside the house than in the soil so that soil gas flows into the house. All four of these characteristics are required to have radon be a problem. The absence of any single characteristic will eliminate radon (in general). This presents a series of options for mitigation of radon then, since elimination of any of the four characteristics will mitigate radon

  16. Carbon dioxide and methane dynamics in Russian tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansson, Paul Torbjörn; Kiepe, Isabell; Herbst, Mathias

    Russia. The area is situated at 67°N in the European part of northeast Russia within the Pechora basin. The Russian tundra region is an area which has recently been subject to many speculations in relation to climatic change effects and greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange but still little scientific......, and discuss possible implications of climatic change on this lowland tundra ecosystem. This study have been conducted as a part of the CARBO-North project (2006-2010), a project within the EU 6th framework programme, aiming at quantifying the carbon budget in Northern Russia across temporal and spatial scales....

  17. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ali Kadaster; Bill Liddell; Tommy Thompson; Thomas Williams; Michael Niedermayr

    2005-02-01

    Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a nuisance by the oil and gas industry for years. Engineers working in Russia, Canada and the USA have documented numerous drilling problems, including kicks and uncontrolled gas releases, in arctic regions. Information has been generated in laboratory studies pertaining to the extent, volume, chemistry and phase behavior of gas hydrates. Scientists studying hydrate potential agree that the potential is great--on the North Slope of Alaska alone, it has been estimated at 590 TCF. However, little information has been obtained on physical samples taken from actual rock containing hydrates. This gas-hydrate project was a cost-shared partnership between Maurer Technology, Noble Corporation, Anadarko Petroleum, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Methane Hydrate R&D program. The purpose of the project is to build on previous and ongoing R&D in the area of onshore hydrate deposition to identify, quantify and predict production potential for hydrates located on the North Slope of Alaska. The work scope included drilling and coring a well (Hot Ice No. 1) on Anadarko leases beginning in FY 2003 and completed in 2004. During the first drilling season, operations were conducted at the site between January 28, 2003 to April 30, 2003. The well was spudded and drilled to a depth of 1403 ft. Due to the onset of warmer weather, work was then suspended for the season. Operations at the site were continued after the tundra was re-opened the following season. Between January 12, 2004 and March 19, 2004, the well was drilled and cored to a final depth of 2300 ft. An on-site core analysis laboratory was built and implemented for determining physical characteristics of the hydrates and surrounding rock. The well was drilled from a new Anadarko Arctic Platform that has a minimal footprint and environmental impact. Final efforts of the project are to correlate geology, geophysics, logs, and drilling and

  18. Carbon loss from an unprecedented Arctic tundra wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelle C. Mack; M. Syndonia Bret-Harte; Teresa N. Hollingsworth; Randi R. Jandt; Edward A.G. Schuur; Gaius R. Shaver; David L. Verbyla

    2011-01-01

    Arctic tundra soils store large amounts of carbon (C) in organic soil layers hundreds to thousands of years old that insulate, and in some cases maintain, permafrost soils. Fire has been largely absent from most of this biome since the early Holocene epoch, but its frequency and extent are increasing, probably in response to climate warming. The effect of fires on the...

  19. A Microwave Radiance Assimilation Study for a Tundra Snowpack

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Edward; Durand, Michael; Margulis, Steve; England, Anthony

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies have begun exploring the assimilation of microwave radiances for the modeling and retrieval of snow properties. At a point scale, and for short durations (i week), radiance assimilation (RA) results are encouraging. However, in order to determine how practical RA might be for snow retrievals when applied over longer durations, larger spatial scales, and/or different snow types, we must expand the scope of the tests. In this paper we use coincident microwave radiance measurements and station data from a tundra site on the North Slope of Alaska. The field data are from the 3rd Radio-brightness Energy Balance Experiment (REBEX-3) carried out in 1994-95 by the University of Michigan. This dataset will provide a test of RA over months instead of one week, and for a very different type of snow than previous snow RA studies. We will address the following questions: flow well can a snowpack physical model (SM), forced with local weather, match measured conditions for a tundra snowpack?; How well can a microwave emission model, driven by the snowpack model, match measured microwave brightnesses for a tundra snowpack?; How well does RA increase or decrease the fidelity of estimates of snow depth and temperatures for a tundra snowpack?

  20. Methanogenesis at low temperatures by microflora of tundra wetland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotsyurbenko, O R; Nozhevnikova, A N; Soloviova, T I; Zavarzin, G A

    1996-01-01

    Active methanogenesis from organic matter contained in soil samples from tundra wetland occurred even at 6 degrees C. Methane was the only end product in balanced microbial community with H2/CO2 as a substrate, besides acetate was produced as an intermediate at temperatures below 10 degrees C. The activity of different microbial groups of methanogenic community in the temperature range of 6-28 degrees C was investigated using 5% of tundra soil as inoculum. Anaerobic microflora of tundra wetland fermented different organic compounds with formation of hydrogen, volatile fatty acids (VFA) and alcohols. Methane was produced at the second step. Homoacetogenic and methanogenic bacteria competed for such substrates as hydrogen, formate, carbon monoxide and methanol. Acetogens out competed methanogens in an excess of substrate and low density of microbial population. Kinetic analysis of the results confirmed the prevalence of hydrogen acetogenesis on methanogenesis. Pure culture of acetogenic bacteria was isolated at 6 degrees C. Dilution of tundra soil and supply with the excess of substrate disbalanced the methanoigenic microbial community. It resulted in accumulation of acetate and other VFA. In balanced microbial community obviously autotrophic methanogens keep hydrogen concentration below a threshold for syntrophic degradation of VFA. Accumulation of acetate- and H2/CO2-utilising methanogens should be very important in methanogenic microbial community operating at low temperatures.

  1. Tundra uptake of atmospheric elemental mercury drives Arctic mercury pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obrist, Daniel; Agnan, Yannick; Jiskra, Martin; Olson, Christine L; Colegrove, Dominique P; Hueber, Jacques; Moore, Christopher W; Sonke, Jeroen E; Helmig, Detlev

    2017-07-12

    Anthropogenic activities have led to large-scale mercury (Hg) pollution in the Arctic. It has been suggested that sea-salt-induced chemical cycling of Hg (through 'atmospheric mercury depletion events', or AMDEs) and wet deposition via precipitation are sources of Hg to the Arctic in its oxidized form (Hg(ii)). However, there is little evidence for the occurrence of AMDEs outside of coastal regions, and their importance to net Hg deposition has been questioned. Furthermore, wet-deposition measurements in the Arctic showed some of the lowest levels of Hg deposition via precipitation worldwide, raising questions as to the sources of high Arctic Hg loading. Here we present a comprehensive Hg-deposition mass-balance study, and show that most of the Hg (about 70%) in the interior Arctic tundra is derived from gaseous elemental Hg (Hg(0)) deposition, with only minor contributions from the deposition of Hg(ii) via precipitation or AMDEs. We find that deposition of Hg(0)-the form ubiquitously present in the global atmosphere-occurs throughout the year, and that it is enhanced in summer through the uptake of Hg(0) by vegetation. Tundra uptake of gaseous Hg(0) leads to high soil Hg concentrations, with Hg masses greatly exceeding the levels found in temperate soils. Our concurrent Hg stable isotope measurements in the atmosphere, snowpack, vegetation and soils support our finding that Hg(0) dominates as a source to the tundra. Hg concentration and stable isotope data from an inland-to-coastal transect show high soil Hg concentrations consistently derived from Hg(0), suggesting that the Arctic tundra might be a globally important Hg sink. We suggest that the high tundra soil Hg concentrations might also explain why Arctic rivers annually transport large amounts of Hg to the Arctic Ocean.

  2. Empirically constrained estimates of Alaskan regional Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2, 2012-2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Commane, R.; Lindaas, J.; Benmergui, J. S.; Luus, K. A.; Chang, R. Y. W.; Miller, S. M.; Henderson, J.; Karion, A.; Miller, J. B.; Sweeney, C.; Miller, C. E.; Lin, J. C.; Oechel, W. C.; Zona, D.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Iwata, H.; Ueyama, M.; Harazono, Y.; Veraverbeke, S.; Randerson, J. T.; Daube, B. C.; Pittman, J. V.; Wofsy, S. C.

    2015-12-01

    We present data-driven estimates of the regional net ecosystem exchange of CO2 across Alaska for three years (2012-2014) derived from CARVE (Carbon in the Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment) aircraft measurements. Integrating optimized estimates of annual NEE, we find that the Alaskan region was a small sink of CO2 during 2012 and 2014, but a significant source of CO2 in 2013, even before including emissions from the large forest fire season during 2013. We investigate the drivers of this interannual variability, and the larger spring and fall emissions of CO2 in 2013. To determine the optimized fluxes, we couple the Polar Weather Research and Forecasting (PWRF) model with the Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport (STILT) model, to produce footprints of surface influence that we convolve with a remote-sensing driven model of NEE across Alaska, the Polar Vegetation Photosynthesis and Respiration Model (Polar-VPRM). For each month we calculate a spatially explicit additive flux (ΔF) by minimizing the difference between the measured profiles of the aircraft CO2 data and the modeled profiles, using a framework that combines a uniform correction at regional scales and a Bayesian inversion of residuals at smaller scales. A rigorous estimate of total uncertainty (including atmospheric transport, measurement error, etc.) was made with a combination of maximum likelihood estimation and Monte Carlo error propagation. Our optimized fluxes are consistent with other measurements on multiple spatial scales, including CO2 mixing ratios from the CARVE Tower near Fairbanks and eddy covariance flux towers in both boreal and tundra ecosystems across Alaska. For times outside the aircraft observations (Dec-April) we use the un-optimized polar-VPRM, which has shown good agreement with both tall towers and eddy flux data outside the growing season. This approach allows us to robustly estimate the annual CO2 budget for Alaska and investigate the drivers of both the

  3. Revegetation of Alaskan coal mine spoils. Progress report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mitchell, W W; Mitchell, G A; McKendrick, J D

    1980-05-23

    Activities initiated after the start of the revegetation project on Alaskan coal mine spoils on September 1, 1979 have consisted mainly of some fall plantings (dormant seedings) and soil and coal spoil samplings and analyses. Because of the late summer start for the project, only a limited amount of field work could be initiated in plant material studies. This consisted of a fall planting at the Usibelli mine site at Healy in interior Alaska. The planting was intended to test the efficacy of seeding in the frost period following the growing season, requiring the seed to remain dormant over winter and to germinate when conditions become favorable in late spring. It also was intended as a comparison of a number of different grasses. Thirty entries were seeded in three replications. Fifteen species of grasses and a clover were included in the trial. The site provided for the trial was on overburden material along a streambed. Among the entries were eight cultivars of introduced grasses, five cultivars of native Alaskan germplasm, one introduced clover cultivar, and sixteen experimental grasses mainly of Alaskan origin.

  4. Hg Storage and Mobility in Tundra Soils of Northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, C.; Obrist, D.

    2017-12-01

    Atmospheric mercury (Hg) can be transported over long distances to remote regions such as the Arctic where it can then deposit and temporarily be stored in soils. This research aims to improve the understanding of terrestrial Hg storage and mobility in the arctic tundra, a large receptor area for atmospheric deposition and a major source of Hg to the Arctic Ocean. We aim to characterize spatial Hg pool sizes across various tundra sites and to quantify the mobility of Hg from thawing tundra soils using laboratory mobility experiments. Active layer and permafrost soil samples were collected in the summer of 2014 and 2015 at the Toolik Field Station in northern Alaska (68° 38' N) and along a 200 km transect extending from Toolik to the Arctic Ocean. Soil samples were analyzed for total Hg concentration, bulk density, and major and trace elements. Hg pool sizes were estimated by scaling up Hg soil concentrations using soil bulk density measurements. Mobility of Hg in tundra soils was quantified by shaking soil samples with ultrapure Milli-Q® water as an extracting solution for 24 and 72 hours. Additionally, meltwater samples were collected for analysis when present. The extracted supernatant was analyzed for total Hg, dissolved organic carbon, cations and anions, redox, and ph. Mobility of Hg from soil was calculated using Hg concentrations determined in solid soil samples and in supernatant of soil solution samples. Results of this study show Hg levels in tundra mineral soils that are 2-5 times higher than those observed at temperate sites closer to pollution sources. Most of the soil Hg was located in mineral horizons where Hg mass accounted for 72% of the total soil pool. Soil Hg pool sizes across the tundra sites were highly variable (166 - 1,365 g ha-1; avg. 419 g ha-1) due to the heterogeneity in soil type, bulk density, depth to frozen layer, and soil Hg concentration. Preliminary results from the laboratory experiment show higher mobility of Hg in mineral

  5. Energy partitioning at treeline forest and tundra sites and its sensitivity to climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lafleur, P.M. [Trent Univ., Peterborough, ON (Canada); Rouse, W.R. [McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada)

    1995-12-31

    A study was conducted to examine the inter-annual variability in energy fluxes of treeline tundra and forest and to investigate the sensitivity of forest and tundra energy balances to climatic changes. A five year record of energy balance data from contiguous wetland tundra and subarctic forest sites near Churchill, Manitoba was analyzed. The data included snow free periods only. Wind direction was used as an analogue for changing climatic conditions where onshore winds are cooler and moister than offshore winds. Sensible and latent heat fluxes at both sites varied significantly between onshore and offshore wind regimes. The differences between onshore and offshore fluxes at the tundra site were larger than for the forest. The tundra-to-forest Bowen ratios decreased with increasing vapour pressure deficit and increasing air temperature. Results suggest that energy partitioning in the wetland tundra is more sensitive to climate change than in the treeline forests. 22 refs., 1 tab., 6 figs.

  6. Diversification of Nitrogen Sources in Various Tundra Vegetation Types in the High Arctic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz Skrzypek

    Full Text Available Low nitrogen availability in the high Arctic represents a major constraint for plant growth, which limits the tundra capacity for carbon retention and determines tundra vegetation types. The limited terrestrial nitrogen (N pool in the tundra is augmented significantly by nesting seabirds, such as the planktivorous Little Auk (Alle alle. Therefore, N delivered by these birds may significantly influence the N cycling in the tundra locally and the carbon budget more globally. Moreover, should these birds experience substantial negative environmental pressure associated with climate change, this will adversely influence the tundra N-budget. Hence, assessment of bird-originated N-input to the tundra is important for understanding biological cycles in polar regions. This study analyzed the stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources in the High Arctic and in numerous plants that access different N-pools in ten tundra vegetation types in an experimental catchment in Hornsund (Svalbard. The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by birds, ranged from 0-21% in Patterned-ground tundra to 100% in Ornithocoprophilous tundra. The total N-pool utilized by tundra plants in the studied catchment was built in 36% by birds, 38% by atmospheric deposition, and 26% by atmospheric N2-fixation. The stable nitrogen isotope mixing mass balance, in contrast to direct methods that measure actual deposition, indicates the ratio between the actual N-loads acquired by plants from different N-sources. Our results enhance our understanding of the importance of different N-sources in the Arctic tundra and the used methodological approach can be applied elsewhere.

  7. Matrix matters: differences of grand skink metapopulation parameters in native tussock grasslands and exotic pasture grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstanze Gebauer

    Full Text Available Modelling metapopulation dynamics is a potentially very powerful tool for conservation biologists. In recent years, scientists have broadened the range of variables incorporated into metapopulation modelling from using almost exclusively habitat patch size and isolation, to the inclusion of attributes of the matrix and habitat patch quality. We investigated the influence of habitat patch and matrix characteristics on the metapopulation parameters of a highly endangered lizard species, the New Zealand endemic grand skink (Oligosoma grande taking into account incomplete detectability. The predictive ability of the developed zxmetapopulation model was assessed through cross-validation of the data and with an independent data-set. Grand skinks occur on scattered rock-outcrops surrounded by indigenous tussock (bunch and pasture grasslands therefore implying a metapopulation structure. We found that the type of matrix surrounding the habitat patch was equally as important as the size of habitat patch for estimating occupancy, colonisation and extinction probabilities. Additionally, the type of matrix was more important than the physical distance between habitat patches for colonisation probabilities. Detection probability differed between habitat patches in the two matrix types and between habitat patches with different attributes such as habitat patch composition and abundance of vegetation on the outcrop. The developed metapopulation models can now be used for management decisions on area protection, monitoring, and the selection of translocation sites for the grand skink. Our study showed that it is important to incorporate not only habitat patch size and distance between habitat patches, but also those matrix type and habitat patch attributes which are vital in the ecology of the target species.

  8. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elmendorf, Sarah C.; Henry, Gregory H.R.; Hollister, Robert D.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of tundra vegetation to climate warming is critical to forecasting future biodiversity and vegetation feedbacks to climate. In situ warming experiments accelerate climate change on a small scale to forecast responses of local plant communities. Limitations...... of this approach include the apparent site-specificity of results and uncertainty about the power of short-term studies to anticipate longer term change. We address these issues with a synthesis of 61 experimental warming studies, of up to 20 years duration, in tundra sites worldwide. The response of plant groups...... to warming often differed with ambient summer temperature, soil moisture and experimental duration. Shrubs increased with warming only where ambient temperature was high, whereas graminoids increased primarily in the coldest study sites. Linear increases in effect size over time were frequently observed...

  9. Anurans in a Subarctic Tundra Landscape Near Cape Churchill, Manitoba

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiter, M.E.; Boal, C.W.; Andersen, D.E.

    2008-01-01

    Distribution, abundance, and habitat relationships of anurans inhabiting subarctic regions are poorly understood, and anuran monitoring protocols developed for temperate regions may not be applicable across large roadless areas of northern landscapes. In addition, arctic and subarctic regions of North America are predicted to experience changes in climate and, in some areas, are experiencing habitat alteration due to high rates of herbivory by breeding and migrating waterfowl. To better understand subarctic anuran abundance, distribution, and habitat associations, we conducted anuran calling surveys in the Cape Churchill region of Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada, in 2004 and 2005. We conducted surveys along ~l-km transects distributed across three landscape types (coastal tundra, interior sedge meadow-tundra, and boreal forest-tundra interface) to estimate densities and probabilities of detection of Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata) and Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus). We detected a Wood Frog or Boreal Chorus Frog on 22 (87%) of 26 transects surveyed, but probability of detection varied between years and species and among landscape types. Estimated densities of both species increased from the coastal zone inland toward the boreal forest edge. Our results suggest anurans occur across all three landscape types in our study area, but that species-specific spatial patterns exist in their abundances. Considerations for both spatial and temporal variation in abundance and detection probability need to be incorporated into surveys and monitoring programs for subarctic anurans.

  10. Alaskan Native High School Dropouts: A Report Prepared for Project ANNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Desa

    Presented is a summary of the Alaskan Native high school dropouts. The data collected on 180 Native Alaskan high school dropouts was taken from the regional dormitories at Nome, Kodiak, Bethel and Boarding Home programs in Anchorage, Tok, Fairbanks, Dillingham, and Ketchikan. Students who terminated for academic reasons, failed to attend school,…

  11. Trends in NDVI and tundra community composition in the Arctic of NE Alaska between 1984 and 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert R. Pattison; Janet C. Jorgenson; Martha K. Raynolds; Jeffery M. Welker

    2015-01-01

    As Arctic ecosystems experience increases in surface air temperatures, plot-level analyses of tundra vegetation composition suggest that there are important changes occurring in tundra communities that are typified by increases in shrubs and declines in non-vascular species. At the same time analyses of NDVI indicate that the Arctic tundra is greening. Few studies have...

  12. [Alaskan commodities irradiation project: An options analysis study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zarling, J.P.; Swanson, R.B.; Logan, R.R.

    1989-09-01

    The ninety-ninth US Congress commissioned a six-state food irradiation research and development program to evaluate the commercial potential of this technology. Hawaii, Washington, Iowa, Oklahoma and Florida as well as Alaska have participated in the national program; various food products including fishery products, red meats, tropical and citrus fruits and vegetables have been studied. The purpose of the Alaskan study was to review and evaluate those factors related to the technical and economic feasibility of an irradiator in Alaska. This options analysis study will serve as a basis for determining the state's further involvement in the development of food irradiation technology

  13. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem to a methane source

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nauta, A.L.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Blok, D.; Limpens, J.; Elberling, B.; Gallagher, A.; Li, B.; Petrov, R.E.; Maximov, T.C.; Huissteden, van J.; Berendse, F.

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average1. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming2, 3. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed

  14. Shrubs in the cold : interactions between vegetation, permafrost and climate in Siberian tundra

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blok, D.

    2011-01-01

    The Arctic is experiencing strong increases in air temperature during the last decades. High-latitude tundra regions are very responsive to changes in temperature and may cause a shift in tundra vegetation composition towards greater dominance of deciduous shrubs. With increasing deciduous shrub

  15. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem into methane source

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nauta, A.L.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Blok, D.; Limpens, J.; Elberling, B.; Gallagher, A.; Li, B.; Petrov, R.E.; Maximov, T.C.; van Huissteden, J.; Berendse, F.

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed rapidly,

  16. Dynamics of aboveground phytomass of the circumpolar Arctic tundra during the past three decades

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Epstein, Howard E; Raynolds, Martha K; Walker, Donald A; Bhatt, Uma S; Tucker, Compton J; Pinzon, Jorge E

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have evaluated the dynamics of Arctic tundra vegetation throughout the past few decades, using remotely sensed proxies of vegetation, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). While extremely useful, these coarse-scale satellite-derived measurements give us minimal information with regard to how these changes are being expressed on the ground, in terms of tundra structure and function. In this analysis, we used a strong regression model between NDVI and aboveground tundra phytomass, developed from extensive field-harvested measurements of vegetation biomass, to estimate the biomass dynamics of the circumpolar Arctic tundra over the period of continuous satellite records (1982–2010). We found that the southernmost tundra subzones (C–E) dominate the increases in biomass, ranging from 20 to 26%, although there was a high degree of heterogeneity across regions, floristic provinces, and vegetation types. The estimated increase in carbon of the aboveground live vegetation of 0.40 Pg C over the past three decades is substantial, although quite small relative to anthropogenic C emissions. However, a 19.8% average increase in aboveground biomass has major implications for nearly all aspects of tundra ecosystems including hydrology, active layer depths, permafrost regimes, wildlife and human use of Arctic landscapes. While spatially extensive on-the-ground measurements of tundra biomass were conducted in the development of this analysis, validation is still impossible without more repeated, long-term monitoring of Arctic tundra biomass in the field. (letter)

  17. Plot-scale evidence of tundra vegetation change and links to recent summer warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah C. Elmendorf; Gregory H.R. Henry; Robert D. Hollister; Robert G. Bjork; Noemie Boulanger-Lapointe; Elisabeth J. Cooper; Johannes H.C. Cornelissen; Thomas A. Day; Ellen Dorrepaal; Tatiana G. Elumeeva; Mike Gill; William A. Gould; John Harte; David S. Hik; Annika Hofgaard; David R. Johnson; Jill F. Johnstone; Ingijorg Svala Jonsdottir; Janet C. Jorgenson; Kari Klanderud; Julia A. Klein; Saewan Koh; Gaku Kudo; Mark Lara; Esther Levesque; Borgthor Magnusson; Jeremy L. May; Joel A. Mercado; Anders Michelsen; Ulf Molau; Isla H. Myers-Smith; Steven F. Oberbauer; Vladimir G. Onipchenko; Christian Rixen; Niels Martin Schmidt; Gaius R. Shaver; Marko J. Spasojevic; Pora Ellen Porhallsdottir; Anne Tolvanen; Tiffany Troxler; Craig E. Tweedie; Sandra Villareal; Carl-Henrik Wahren; Xanthe Walker; Patrick J. Webber; Jeffrey M. Welker; Sonja Wipf

    2012-01-01

    Temperature is increasing at unprecedented rates across most of the tundra biome1. Remote-sensing data indicate that contemporary climate warming has already resulted in increased productivity over much of the Arctic2,3, but plot-based evidence for vegetation transformation is not widespread. We analysed change in tundra vegetation surveyed between 1980 and 2010 in 158...

  18. Forest dynamics in a forest-tundra ecotone, Medicine Bow Mountains, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher J. Earle

    1993-01-01

    The alpine timberline in much of western North America is characterized by a structurally complex transition from subalpine forest to alpine tundra, the forest-tundra ecotone. Trees within the ecotone are typically arrayed across the landscape within clumps or "ribbon forests," elongated strips oriented perpendicular to the prevailing winds. This study...

  19. Dynamics of Aboveground Phytomass of the Circumpolar Arctic Tundra During the Past Three Decades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Howard E.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Walker, Donald A.; Bhatt, Uma S.; Tucker, Compton J.; Pinzon, Jorge E.

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have evaluated the dynamics of Arctic tundra vegetation throughout the past few decades, using remotely sensed proxies of vegetation, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). While extremely useful, these coarse-scale satellite-derived measurements give us minimal information with regard to how these changes are being expressed on the ground, in terms of tundra structure and function. In this analysis, we used a strong regression model between NDVI and aboveground tundra phytomass, developed from extensive field-harvested measurements of vegetation biomass, to estimate the biomass dynamics of the circumpolar Arctic tundra over the period of continuous satellite records (1982-2010). We found that the southernmost tundra subzones (C-E) dominate the increases in biomass, ranging from 20 to 26%, although there was a high degree of heterogeneity across regions, floristic provinces, and vegetation types. The estimated increase in carbon of the aboveground live vegetation of 0.40 Pg C over the past three decades is substantial, although quite small relative to anthropogenic C emissions. However, a 19.8% average increase in aboveground biomass has major implications for nearly all aspects of tundra ecosystems including hydrology, active layer depths, permafrost regimes, wildlife and human use of Arctic landscapes. While spatially extensive on-the-ground measurements of tundra biomass were conducted in the development of this analysis, validation is still impossible without more repeated, long-term monitoring of Arctic tundra biomass in the field.

  20. Airborne Spectral Measurements of Surface-Atmosphere Anisotropy for Arctic Sea Ice and Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, G. Thomas; Tsay, Si-Chee; King, Michael D.; Li, Jason Y.; Soulen, Peter F.

    1999-01-01

    Angular distributions of spectral reflectance for four common arctic surfaces: snow-covered sea ice, melt-season sea ice, snow-covered tundra, and tundra shortly after snowmelt were measured using an aircraft based, high angular resolution (1-degree) multispectral radiometer. Results indicate bidirectional reflectance is higher for snow-covered sea ice than melt-season sea ice at all wavelengths between 0.47 and 2.3 pm, with the difference increasing with wavelength. Bidirectional reflectance of snow-covered tundra is higher than for snow-free tundra for measurements less than 1.64 pm, with the difference decreasing with wavelength. Bidirectional reflectance patterns of all measured surfaces show maximum reflectance in the forward scattering direction of the principal plane, with identifiable specular reflection for the melt-season sea ice and snow-free tundra cases. The snow-free tundra had the most significant backscatter, and the melt-season sea ice the least. For sea ice, bidirectional reflectance changes due to snowmelt were more significant than differences among the different types of melt-season sea ice. Also the spectral-hemispherical (plane) albedo of each measured arctic surface was computed. Comparing measured nadir reflectance to albedo for sea ice and snow-covered tundra shows albedo underestimated 5-40%, with the largest bias at wavelengths beyond 1 pm. For snow-free tundra, nadir reflectance underestimates plane albedo by about 30-50%.

  1. Fire behavior, weather, and burn severity of the 2007 Anaktuvuk River tundra fire, North Slope, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin M. Jones; Crystal A. Kolden; Randi Jandt; John T. Abatzoglu; Frank Urban; Christopher D. Arp

    2009-01-01

    In 2007, the Anaktuvuk River Fire (ARF) became the largest recorded tundra fire on the North Slope of Alaska. The ARF burned for nearly three months, consuming more than 100,000 ha. At its peak in early September, the ARF burned at a rate of 7000 ha d-1. The conditions potentially responsible for this large tundra fire include modeled record high...

  2. Phlorotannins from Alaskan Seaweed Inhibit Carbolytic Enzyme Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua Kellogg

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Global incidence of type 2 diabetes has escalated over the past few decades, necessitating a continued search for natural sources of enzyme inhibitors to offset postprandial hyperglycemia. The objective of this study was to evaluate coastal Alaskan seaweed inhibition of α-glucosidase and α-amylase, two carbolytic enzymes involved in serum glucose regulation. Of the six species initially screened, the brown seaweeds Fucus distichus and Alaria marginata possessed the strongest inhibitory effects. F. distichus fractions were potent mixed-mode inhibitors of α-glucosidase and α-amylase, with IC50 values of 0.89 and 13.9 μg/mL, respectively; significantly more efficacious than the pharmaceutical acarbose (IC50 of 112.0 and 137.8 μg/mL, respectively. The activity of F. distichus fractions was associated with phlorotannin oligomers. Normal-phase liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (NPLC-MS was employed to characterize individual oligomers. Accurate masses and fragmentation patterns confirmed the presence of fucophloroethol structures with degrees of polymerization from 3 to 18 monomer units. These findings suggest that coastal Alaskan seaweeds are sources of α-glucosidase and α-amylase inhibitory phlorotannins, and thus have potential to limit the release of sugar from carbohydrates and thus alleviate postprandial hyperglycemia.

  3. Phlorotannins from Alaskan Seaweed Inhibit Carbolytic Enzyme Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, Joshua; Grace, Mary H.; Lila, Mary Ann

    2014-01-01

    Global incidence of type 2 diabetes has escalated over the past few decades, necessitating a continued search for natural sources of enzyme inhibitors to offset postprandial hyperglycemia. The objective of this study was to evaluate coastal Alaskan seaweed inhibition of α-glucosidase and α-amylase, two carbolytic enzymes involved in serum glucose regulation. Of the six species initially screened, the brown seaweeds Fucus distichus and Alaria marginata possessed the strongest inhibitory effects. F. distichus fractions were potent mixed-mode inhibitors of α-glucosidase and α-amylase, with IC50 values of 0.89 and 13.9 μg/mL, respectively; significantly more efficacious than the pharmaceutical acarbose (IC50 of 112.0 and 137.8 μg/mL, respectively). The activity of F. distichus fractions was associated with phlorotannin oligomers. Normal-phase liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (NPLC-MS) was employed to characterize individual oligomers. Accurate masses and fragmentation patterns confirmed the presence of fucophloroethol structures with degrees of polymerization from 3 to 18 monomer units. These findings suggest that coastal Alaskan seaweeds are sources of α-glucosidase and α-amylase inhibitory phlorotannins, and thus have potential to limit the release of sugar from carbohydrates and thus alleviate postprandial hyperglycemia. PMID:25341030

  4. Digital Necrobacillosis in Norwegian Wild Tundra Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Handeland, K.; Boye, Mette; Bergsjø, B.

    2010-01-01

    Outbreaks of digital necrobacillosis in Norwegian wild tundra reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) are described. The outbreaks occurred in late summer and autumn 2007 and 2008, subsequent to periods with an unusually high number of days with precipitation and high air temperature. Lesions were....... necrophorum was cultured from the foot lesions of six animals. Five of these isolates were examined by 16S rRNA sequencing. The sequences were identical and differed from all other strains listed in GenBank. These results are consistent with circulation of a reindeer-adapted pathogenic strain of F....... necrophorum in the wild reindeer population, causing outbreaks of digital necrobacillosis following warm and humid summers....

  5. Tundra swan habitat preferences during migration in North Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earnst, Susan L.

    1994-01-01

    I studied tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) habitat preference in North Dakota during autumn migration, 1988-89. Many thousand tundra swans stop in the Prairie Pothole region during autumn migration, but swan resource use has not been quantified. I examined habitat preference in relation to an index of sago pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus) presence, extent of open water, and wetland size. I compared habitat preference derived from counts of all swans to those derived from foraging swans only and cygnets only. Foraging swans preferred wetlands with sago pondweed (P = 0.03); the number of foraging swans per wetland was >4 times higher on wetlands with sago pondweed than on wetlands without sago. In contrast, nonforaging swans did not prefer wetlands with sago pondweed (P = 0.85) but preferred large wetlands (P = 0.02) and those with a high proportion of contiguous open water (P feeding than adults (P = 0.03) and occurred proportionately more often in smaller flocks (P = 0.04), but cygnets and adults had similar habitat preferences.

  6. Can antibrowsing defense regulate the spread of woody vegetation in arctic tundra?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, John P.; Joly, Kyle; Chapin, F. Stuart; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Kielland, Knut

    2014-01-01

    Global climate warming is projected to promote the increase of woody plants, especially shrubs, in arctic tundra. Many factors may affect the extent of this increase, including browsing by mammals. We hypothesize that across the Arctic the effect of browsing will vary because of regional variation in antibrowsing chemical defense. Using birch (Betula) as a case study, we propose that browsing is unlikely to retard birch expansion in the region extending eastward from the Lena River in central Siberia across Beringia and the continental tundra of central and eastern Canada where the more effectively defended resin birches predominate. Browsing is more likely to retard birch expansion in tundra west of the Lena to Fennoscandia, Iceland, Greenland and South Baffin Island where the less effectively defended non-resin birches predominate. Evidence from the literature supports this hypothesis. We further suggest that the effect of warming on the supply of plant-available nitrogen will not significantly change either this pan-Arctic pattern of variation in antibrowsing defense or the resultant effect that browsing has on birch expansion in tundra. However, within central and east Beringia warming-caused increases in plant-available nitrogen combined with wildfire could initiate amplifying feedback loops that could accelerate shrubification of tundra by the more effectively defended resin birches. This accelerated shrubification of tundra by resin birch, if extensive, could reduce the food supply of caribou causing population declines. We conclude with a brief discussion of modeling methods that show promise in projecting invasion of tundra by woody plants.

  7. Do limiting factors at Alaskan treelines shift with climatic regimes?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohse, B; Jansen, F; Wilmking, M

    2012-01-01

    Trees at Alaskan treelines are assumed to be limited by temperature and to expand upslope and/or to higher latitudes with global warming. However, recent studies describe negative temperature responses and drought stress of Alaskan treeline trees in recent decades. In this study, we have analyzed the responses of treeline white spruce to temperature and precipitation according to different climatic regimes in Alaska, described as negative (cool) and positive (warm) phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). We found that in three consecutive phases (positive from 1925–46, negative from 1947–76, and positive again from 1977–98), the growth responses to temperature and precipitation differed markedly. Before 1947, in a phase of warm winters and with summer temperatures being close to the century mean, the trees at most sites responded positively to summer temperature, as one would expect from treeline trees at northern high latitudes. Between 1947 and 1976, a phase of cold winters and average summers, the trees showed similar responses, but a new pattern of negative responses to the summer temperature of the year prior to growth coupled with positive responses to the precipitation in the same year emerged at some sites. As the precipitation was relatively low at those sites, we assume that drought stress might have played a role. However, the climate responses were not uniform but were modified by regional gradients (trees at northern sites responded more often to temperature than trees at southern sites) and local site conditions (forest trees responded more often to precipitation than treeline trees), possibly reflecting differences in energy and water balance across regions and sites, respectively. However, since the shift in the PDO in 1976 from a negative to a positive phase, the trees’ climate–growth responses are much less pronounced and climate seems to have lost its importance as a limiting factor for the growth of treeline white spruce. If

  8. Spatiotemporal variability in surface energy balance across tundra, snow and ice in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Magnus; Stiegler, Christian; Abermann, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    The surface energy balance (SEB) is essential for understanding the coupled cryosphere–atmosphere system in the Arctic. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability in SEB across tundra, snow and ice. During the snow-free period, the main energy sink for ice sites is surface melt....... For tundra, energy is used for sensible and latent heat flux and soil heat flux leading to permafrost thaw. Longer snow-free period increases melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers and may promote tundra permafrost thaw. During winter, clouds have a warming effect across surface types whereas during...

  9. Lessons learned in managing crowdsourced data in the Alaskan Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastracci, Diana

    2017-04-01

    There is perhaps no place in which the consequences of global climate change can be felt more acutely than the Arctic. However, due to lack of measurements at the high latitudes, validation processes are often problematic. Citizen science projects, co-designed together with Native communities at the interface of traditional knowledge and scientific research, could play a major role in climate change adaptation strategies by advancing knowledge of the Arctic system, strengthening inter-generational bonds and facilitating improved knowledge transfer. This presentation will present lessons learned from a pilot project in the Alaskan Arctic, in which innovative approaches were used to design climate change adaptation strategies to support young subsistence hunters in taking in-situ measurements whilst out on the sea-ice. Both the socio-cultural and hardware/software challenges presented in this presentation, could provide useful guidance for future programs that aim to integrate citizens' with scientific data in Arctic communities.

  10. The freshwater biodegradation potential of nine Alaskan oils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blenkinsopp, S.; Segy, G.

    1997-01-01

    Nine Alaskan representative crude oils and oil products with freshwater spill potential were collected, aged, and incubated in the presence of the standard freshwater inoculum for 28 days at 10 degrees C. Detailed analytical chemistry was performed on all samples to quantify compositional changes. All of the samples tested exhibited measurable hydrocarbon loss as a result of incubation with the freshwater inoculum. Total saturate and total n-alkane biodegradation were greatly enhanced when nutrients were present. The oil products Jet B Fuel and Diesel No. 2 appear to be more biodegradable than the Alaska North Slope and Cook Inlet crude oils tested, while the Bunker C/Diesel mixture appears to be less biodegradable than these crude oils. These results suggest that the screening procedures described here can provide useful information when applying bioremediation technology to the cleanup of selected oiled freshwater environments. 10 refs., 5 tabs., 13 figs

  11. Biocorrosive Thermophilic Microbial Communities in Alaskan North Slope Oil Facilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duncan, Kathleen E.; Gieg, Lisa M.; Parisi, Victoria A.; Tanner, Ralph S.; Green Tringe, Susannah; Bristow, Jim; Suflita, Joseph M.

    2009-09-16

    Corrosion of metallic oilfield pipelines by microorganisms is a costly but poorly understood phenomenon, with standard treatment methods targeting mesophilic sulfatereducing bacteria. In assessing biocorrosion potential at an Alaskan North Slope oil field, we identified thermophilic hydrogen-using methanogens, syntrophic bacteria, peptideand amino acid-fermenting bacteria, iron reducers, sulfur/thiosulfate-reducing bacteria and sulfate-reducing archaea. These microbes can stimulate metal corrosion through production of organic acids, CO2, sulfur species, and via hydrogen oxidation and iron reduction, implicating many more types of organisms than are currently targeted. Micromolar quantities of putative anaerobic metabolites of C1-C4 n-alkanes in pipeline fluids were detected, implying that these low molecular weight hydrocarbons, routinely injected into reservoirs for oil recovery purposes, are biodegraded and provide biocorrosive microbial communities with an important source of nutrients.

  12. Dynamics of the recovery of damaged tundra vegetation. Annual progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amundsen, C.C.

    1975-01-01

    A study, begun in 1971, has been undertaken to determine the environmental factors which affect the recovery of damaged tundra vegetation. A sampling technique was developed on Amchitka Island to allow the rapid acquisition of data on species presence and frequency across areas disturbed at various times and in various ways. Attempts were made to sample across all examples of aspect, slope steepness and exposure. The data were analyzed and we concluded that there was no directional secondary succession on the Amchitka tundra, although there was vigorous recovery on organic soils. The study led to recommendations which resulted in a smaller effort than planned to reclaim damaged areas by seeding and fertilizing at a considerable financial saving and without further biological perturbation. Because of the increasing activity on tundra landscape, whether for energy production, or military or other reasons, we are expanding our sampling to other tundra areas. Immediate plans include sampling at Adak Island and Barrow, Alaska. (U.S.)

  13. Dynamics of the recovery of damaged tundra vegetation. Annual progress report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amundsen, C.C.

    1976-01-01

    A study, begun in 1971, continues to document the environmental factors which affect the recovery of damaged tundra landscapes. A measurement technique was developed on Amchitka Island to allow the rapid acquisition of data on species presence and frequency across areas disturbed at various times and in various ways. Samples across all examples of aspect, slope steepness and exposure are taken. Studies now include Adak Island and the Point Barrow area. We have concluded that there was no directional secondary succession on the Aleutian tundra, although there was vigorous recovery on organic soils. Our study led to recommendations which resulted in less intensive reclamation management at a considerable financial saving and without further biological perturbation. Because of the increasing activity on tundra landscapes, for energy extraction, transportation or production, military or other reasons, we have expanded our sampling to other tundra areas where landscape disruption is occurring or is predicted.

  14. Tundra biome research in Alaska: the structure and function of cold-dominated ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, J.; West, G.C.

    1970-11-01

    The objective of the Tundra Biome Program is to acquire a basic understanding of tundra, both alpine and arctic, and taiga. Collectively these are referred to as the cold-dominated ecosystems. The program's broad objectives are threefold: To develop a predictive understanding of how the wet arctic tundra ecosystem operates, particularly as exemplified in the Barrow, Alaska, area; to obtain the necessary data base from the variety of cold-dominated ecosystem types represented in the United States, so that their behavior can be modeled and simulated, and the results compared with similar studies underway in other circumpolar countries; to bring basic environmental knowledge to bear on problems of degradation, maintenance, and restoration of the temperature-sensitive and cold-dominated tundra/taiga ecosystems. (GRA)

  15. The Russian-Swedish tundra radioecology expedition 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Persson, B.R.; Holm, E.; Carlsson, K.Aa.; Josefsson, D.; Roos, P.

    1995-01-01

    The expedition investigated the ecology of the anthropogenic radio nuclides 137 Cs, 90 Sr, and 239,240 Pu in the Northern Sea to explain the origin from different sources. It had been shown from an earlier expedition that the levels of 137 Cs are higher in the central Arctic Ocean than further south in Barents Sea. The question was if this was due to inflow from the Atlantic or is due to other origin. The expedition also examined the outflow of 90 Sr from the rivers along the Siberian coast in order to investigate if the permafrost enhances the run-off of radionuclides from tundra. Study of anthropogenic radionuclides in the mixing zone between fresh and salt water at the different river systems along the Siberian coast was of particular interest. Some of the results from the expedition are presented in the present paper. 3 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs

  16. Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Elmendorf, Sarah C.; Beck, Pieter S.A.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid climate warming in the tundra biome has been linked to increasing shrub dominance1–4. Shrub expansion can modify climate by altering surface albedo, energy and water balance, and permafrost2,5–8, yet the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. Dendroecological data consisting...... of multi-decadal time series of annual shrub growth provide an underused resource to explore climate–growth relationships. Here, we analyse circumpolar data from 37 Arctic and alpine sites in 9 countries, including 25 species, and 42,000 annual growth records from 1,821 individuals. Our analyses...... demonstrate that the sensitivity of shrub growth to climate was: (1) heterogeneous, with European sites showing greater summer temperature sensitivity than North American sites, and (2) higher at sites with greater soil moisture and for taller shrubs (for example, alders and willows) growing at their northern...

  17. The Bering Land Bridge: a moisture barrier to the dispersal of steppe-tundra biota?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elias, Scott A.; Crocker, Barnaby

    2008-12-01

    The Bering Land Bridge (BLB) connected the two principal arctic biological refugia, Western and Eastern Beringia, during intervals of lowered sea level in the Pleistocene. Fossil evidence from lowland BLB organic deposits dating to the Last Glaciation indicates that this broad region was dominated by shrub tundra vegetation, and had a mesic climate. The dominant ecosystem in Western Beringia and the interior regions of Eastern Beringia was steppe-tundra, with herbaceous plant communities and arid climate. Although Western and Eastern Beringia shared many species in common during the Late Pleistocene, there were a number of species that were restricted to only one side of the BLB. Among the vertebrate fauna, the woolly rhinoceros was found only to the west of the BLB, North American camels, bonnet-horned musk-oxen and some horse species were found only to the east of the land bridge. These were all steppe-tundra inhabitants, adapted to grazing. The same phenomenon can be seen in the insect faunas of the Western and Eastern Beringia. The steppe-tundra beetle fauna of Western Beringia was dominated by weevils of the genus Stephanocleonus, a group that was virtually absent from Eastern Beringia. The dry-adapted weevils, Lepidophorus lineaticollis and Vitavitus thulius were important members of steppe-tundra communities in Eastern Beringia, but were either absent or rare in Western Beringia. The leaf beetles Chrysolina arctica, C. brunnicornis bermani, and Galeruca interrupta circumdata were typical members of the Pleistocene steppe-tundra communities of Western Beringia, but absent from Eastern Beringia. On the other hand, some steppe tundra-adapted leaf beetles managed to occupy both sides of the BLB, such as Phaedon armoraciae. Much of the BLB remains unstudied, but on biogeographic grounds, it appears that there was some kind of biological filter that blocked the movements of some steppe-tundra plants and animals across the BLB.

  18. Comparison of snow melt properties across multiple spatial scales and landscape units in interior sub-Arctic boreal Alaskan watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, K. E.; Cherry, J. E.; Hiemstra, C. A.; Bolton, W. R.

    2013-12-01

    Interior sub-Arctic Alaskan snow cover is rapidly changing and requires further study for correct parameterization in physically based models. This project undertook field studies during the 2013 snow melt season to capture snow depth, snow temperature profiles, and snow cover extent to compare with observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor at four different sites underlain by discontinuous permafrost. The 2013 melt season, which turned out to be the latest snow melt period on record, was monitored using manual field measurements (SWE, snow depth data collection), iButtons to record temperature of the snow pack, GoPro cameras to capture time lapse of the snow melt, and low level orthoimagery collected at ~1500 m using a Navion L17a plane mounted with a Nikon D3s camera. Sites were selected across a range of landscape conditions, including a north facing black spruce hill slope, a south facing birch forest, an open tundra site, and a high alpine meadow. Initial results from the adjacent north and south facing sites indicate a highly sensitive system where snow cover melts over just a few days, illustrating the importance of high resolution temporal data capture at these locations. Field observations, iButtons and GoPro cameras show that the MODIS data captures the melt conditions at the south and the north site with accuracy (2.5% and 6.5% snow cover fraction present on date of melt, respectively), but MODIS data for the north site is less variable around the melt period, owing to open conditions and sparse tree cover. However, due to the rapid melt rate trajectory, shifting the melt date estimate by a day results in a doubling of the snow cover fraction estimate observed by MODIS. This information can assist in approximating uncertainty associated with remote sensing data that is being used to populate hydrologic and snow models (the Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting model, coupled with SNOW-17, and the Variable

  19. A New Wave of Permafrost Warming in the Alaskan Interior?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanovsky, V. E.; Nicolsky, D.; Cable, W.; Kholodov, A. L.; Panda, S. K.

    2017-12-01

    The impact of climate warming on permafrost and the potential of climate feedbacks resulting from permafrost thawing have recently received a great deal of attention. Ground temperatures are a primary indicator of permafrost stability. Many of the research sites in our permafrost network are located along the North American Arctic Permafrost-Ecological Transect that spans all permafrost zones in Alaska. Most of the sites in Alaska show substantial warming of permafrost since the 1980s. The magnitude of warming has varied with location, but was typically from 0.5 to 3°C. However, this warming was not linear in time and not spatially uniform. In some regions this warming even may be reversed and a slight recent cooling of permafrost has been observed recently at some locations. The Interior of Alaska is one of such regions where a slight permafrost cooling was observed starting in the late 1990s that has continued through the 2000s and in the beginning of the 2010s. The cooling has followed the substantial increase in permafrost temperatures documented for the Interior during the 1980s and 1990s. Permafrost temperatures at 15 m depth increased here by 0.3 to 0.6°C between 1983 and 1996. In most locations they reached their maximum in the second half of the 1990s. Since then, the permafrost temperatures started to decrease slowly and by 2013 this decrease at some locations was as much as 0.3°C at 15 m depth. There are some indications that the warming trend in the Alaskan Interior permafrost resumed during the last four years. By 2016, new record highs for the entire period of measurements of permafrost temperatures at 15 m depth were recorded at several locations. The latest observed permafrost warming in the Interior was combined with higher than normal summer precipitations. This combination has triggered near-surface permafrost degradation in many locations with adverse consequences for the ground surface stability affecting ecosystems and infrastructure. In

  20. Modelling guided waves in the Alaskan-Aleutian subduction zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulson, Sophie; Garth, Thomas; Reitbrock, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    Subduction zone guided wave arrivals from intermediate depth earthquakes (70-300 km depth) have a huge potential to tell us about the velocity structure of the subducting oceanic crust as it dehydrates at these depths. We see guided waves as the oceanic crust has a slower seismic velocity than the surrounding material, and so high frequency energy is retained and delayed in the crustal material. Lower frequency energy is not retained in this crustal waveguide and so travels at faster velocities of the surrounding material. This gives a unique observation at the surface with low frequency energy arriving before the higher frequencies. We constrain this guided wave dispersion by comparing the waveforms recorded in real subduction zones with simulated waveforms, produced using finite difference full waveform modelling techniques. This method has been used to show that hydrated minerals in the oceanic crust persist to much greater depths than accepted thermal petrological subduction zone models would suggest in Northern Japan (Garth & Rietbrock, 2014a), and South America (Garth & Rietbrock, in prep). These observations also suggest that the subducting oceanic mantle may be highly hydrated at intermediate depth by dipping normal faults (Garth & Rietbrock 2014b). We use this guided wave analysis technique to constrain the velocity structure of the down going ~45 Ma Pacific plate beneath Alaska. Dispersion analysis is primarily carried out on guided wave arrivals recorded on the Alaskan regional seismic network. Earthquake locations from global earthquake catalogues (ISC and PDE) and regional earthquake locations from the AEIC (Alaskan Earthquake Information Centre) catalogue are used to constrain the slab geometry and to identify potentially dispersive events. Dispersed arrivals are seen at stations close to the trench, with high frequency (>2 Hz) arrivals delayed by 2 - 4 seconds. This dispersion is analysed to constrain the velocity and width of the proposed waveguide

  1. Relationship of cyanobacterial and algal assemblages with vegetation in the high Arctic tundra (West Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richter Dorota

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the results of a study of cyanobacteria and green algae assemblages occurring in various tundra types determined on the basis of mosses and vascular plants and habitat conditions. The research was carried out during summer in the years 2009-2013 on the north sea-coast of Hornsund fjord (West Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago. 58 sites were studied in various tundra types differing in composition of vascular plants, mosses and in trophy and humidity. 141 cyanobacteria and green algae were noted in the research area in total. Cyanobacteria and green algae flora is a significant element of many tundra types and sometimes even dominate there. Despite its importance, it has not been hitherto taken into account in the description and classification of tundra. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the legitimacy of using phycoflora in supplementing the descriptions of hitherto described tundra and distinguishing new tundra types. Numeric hierarchical-accumulative classification (MVSP 3.1 software methods were used to analyze the cyanobacterial and algal assemblages and their co-relations with particular tundra types. The analysis determined dominant and distinctive species in the communities in concordance with ecologically diverse types of tundra. The results show the importance of these organisms in the composition of the vegetation of tundra types and their role in the ecosystems of this part of the Arctic.

  2. Cancer incidence and risk in Alaskan natives exposed to radioactive fallout

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stutzman, C.D.; Nelson, D.M.

    1986-01-01

    Cancer incidence in northern Alaskan villages exposed to radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons testing in the late 1950s and early 1960s was assessed using data from the Alaskan Native Tumor Registry. Previous studies have shown that cancer incidence in Alaskan natives differs from that in residents of the rest of the United States: rates of cancer of the nasopharynx and liver are higher in Alaskan native men and rates of cancer of the nasopharynx, gallbladder, cervix, and kidney are higher in Alaskan native women. Leukemia, breast cancer and bone sarcoma are the cancers most likely to result from fallout exposure in the Arctic, but the incidence of these cancers in the North Slope villages appeared to be lower than in either the entire Inuit population or the US population. The fallout radionuclides of potential health concern are cesium-137 and strontium-90, because of their abundance, long half-life, and chemical characteristics that facilitate transport through and concentration in the food chain and accumulation in sensitive tissues of the body. Radionuclide body burdens were determined in North Slope Inuit 25 years ago, because of their possible exposure to radioactive fallout via the lichen-caribou-man pathway. Cancer risk estimates have been calculated using highest average dose measurements from residents of Anaktuvuk Pass, under the assumption that peak exposure levels of the mid 1960s remained steady over the following 20 years. Worst-case estimates of expected cancer excess were calculated for leukemia, breast cancer and bone sarcoma

  3. Interannual variability in lower trophic levels on the Alaskan Shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batten, Sonia D.; Raitsos, Dionysios E.; Danielson, Seth; Hopcroft, Russell; Coyle, Kenneth; McQuatters-Gollop, Abigail

    2018-01-01

    This study describes results from the first 16 years of the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) program that has sampled the lower trophic levels (restricted to larger, hard-shelled phytoplankton and robust zooplankton taxa) on the Alaskan shelf. Sampling took place along transects from the open ocean across the shelf (to the entrance to Prince William Sound from 2000 to 2003 and into Cook Inlet from 2004 to 2015) to provide plankton abundance data, spring through autumn of each year. We document interannual variability in concentration and composition of the plankton community of the region over this time period. At least in part and through correlative relationships, this can be attributed to changes in the physical environment, particularly direct and indirect effects of temperature. For example; spring mixed layer depth is shown to influence the timing of the spring diatom peak and warmer years are biased towards smaller copepod species. A significant positive relationship between temperature, diatom abundance and zooplankton biomass existed from 2000 to 2013 but was not present in the warm years of 2014 and 2015. These results suggest that anomalous warming events, such as the "heat wave" of 2014-2015, could fundamentally influence typical lower trophic level patterns, possibly altering trophic interactions.

  4. A Formal Messaging Notation for Alaskan Aviation Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rios, Joseph L.

    2015-01-01

    Data exchange is an increasingly important aspect of the National Airspace System. While many data communication channels have become more capable of sending and receiving data at higher throughput rates, there is still a need to use communication channels efficiently with limited throughput. The limitation can be based on technological issues, financial considerations, or both. This paper provides a complete description of several important aviation weather data in Abstract Syntax Notation format. By doing so, data providers can take advantage of Abstract Syntax Notation's ability to encode data in a highly compressed format. When data such as pilot weather reports, surface weather observations, and various weather predictions are compressed in such a manner, it allows for the efficient use of throughput-limited communication channels. This paper provides details on the Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) implementation for Alaskan aviation data, and demonstrates its use on real-world aviation weather data samples as Alaska has sparse terrestrial data infrastructure and data are often sent via relatively costly satellite channels.

  5. Water track distribution and effects on carbon dioxide flux in an eastern Siberian upland tundra landscape

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Curasi, Salvatore R; Loranty, Michael M; Natali, Susan M

    2016-01-01

    Shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems may act as a positive feedback to climate warming, the strength of which depends on its spatial extent. Recent studies have shown that shrub expansion is more likely to occur in areas with high soil moisture and nutrient availability, conditions typically found in sub-surface water channels known as water tracks. Water tracks are 5–15 m wide channels of subsurface water drainage in permafrost landscapes and are characterized by deeper seasonal thaw depth, warmer soil temperatures, and higher soil moisture and nutrient content relative to adjacent tundra. Consequently, enhanced vegetation productivity, and dominance by tall deciduous shrubs, are typical in water tracks. Quantifying the distribution of water tracks may inform investigations of the extent of shrub expansion and associated impacts on tundra ecosystem carbon cycling. Here, we quantify the distribution of water tracks and their contribution to growing season CO 2 dynamics for a Siberian tundra landscape using satellite observations, meteorological data, and field measurements. We find that water tracks occupy 7.4% of the 448 km 2 study area, and account for a slightly larger proportion of growing season carbon uptake relative to surrounding tundra. For areas inside water tracks dominated by shrubs, field observations revealed higher shrub biomass and higher ecosystem respiration and gross primary productivity relative to adjacent upland tundra. Conversely, a comparison of graminoid-dominated areas in water tracks and inter-track tundra revealed that water track locations dominated by graminoids had lower shrub biomass yet increased net uptake of CO 2 . Our results show water tracks are an important component of this landscape. Their distribution will influence ecosystem structural and functional responses to climate, and is therefore of importance for modeling. (letter)

  6. Can lemmings control the expansion of woody plants on tundra?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oksanen, Lauri; Oksanen, Tarja; Olofsson, Johan; Virtanen, Risto; Hoset, Katrine; Tuomi, Maria; Kyrö, Kukka

    2013-04-01

    The ongoing expansion of woody vegetation in the arctic, due to global warming, creates a positive feed back loop. Increasing abundance of woody plants reduces surface albedo both directly and via speeding up snow melt. Thus a successively greater fraction of incoming solar radiation is absorbed and converted to heat. Browsing mammals - both big and small - can prevent this by consuming woody plants. However, the grazer/browser community of many tundra areas is dominated by brown/Norwegian lemmings (Lemmus spp.) which eat graminoids and mosses and cannot use woody plants as forage. It would seem a priori likely that in such areas, mammalian herbivores speed up the expansion of woody plants by improving the chances of their seedlings to get established. We studied the impact of lemmings on woody plants by constructing lemming proof exclosures within piece high-altitude tundra at Joatkanjávri, northernmost Norway. The exclosures were constructed in 1998, during a period of low lemming densities, in snow-beds, where Norwegian lemmings (L. lemmus) were the only ecologically significant herbivorous mammals. (Reindeer migrate through the area in May, when snow-beds are inaccessible for them; during the fall migration, the area represents a dead end and is therefore avoided.) We chose pairs of maximally similar vegetation patches of 0.5 by 0.5 m and randomly assigned one of each pair to become an exclosure while the other plot was left open. The initial state of the vegetation was documented by the point frequency method. In 2008, after the 2007 lemming outbreak, the same documentation was repeated; thereafter the plots were harvested, the vegetation was sorted to species, oven dried and weighed. Exclusion of lemmings resulted to pronounced increase in community level plant biomass. Evergreen woody plants were especially favored by the exclusion of lemming: their above-ground biomass in exclosures was 14 times as great as their biomass on open reference plots. The

  7. Female-specific wing degeneration caused by ecdysteroid in the Tussock Moth, Orgyia recens: Hormonal and developmental regulation of sexual dimorphism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saori Lobbia

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available Females of the tussock moth Orgyia recens have vestigial wings, whereas the males have normal wings. During early pupal development, female wings degenerate drastically compared with those of males. To examine whether ecdysteroid is involved in this sex-specific wing development, we cultured pupal wings just after pupation with ecdysteroid (20-hydroxyecdysone, 20E. In the presence of 20E, the female wings degenerated to about one-fifth their original size. In contrast, the male wings cultured with 20E showed only peripheral degeneration just outside the bordering lacuna, as in other butterflies and moths. TUNEL analysis showed that apoptotic signals were induced by 20E over the entire region of female wings, but only in the peripheral region of male wings. Semi-thin sections of the wings cultured with ecdysteroid showed that phagocytotic hemocytes were observed abundantly throughout the female wings, but in only peripheral regions of male wings. These observations indicate that both apoptotic events and phagocytotic activation are triggered by ecdysteroid, in sex-specific and region-specific manners.

  8. Vectors and transmission dynamics for Setaria tundra (Filarioidea; Onchocercidae, a parasite of reindeer in Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuusela Jussi

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent studies have revealed expansion by an array of Filarioid nematodes' into the northern boreal region of Finland. The vector-borne nematode, Setaria tundra, caused a serious disease outbreak in the Finnish reindeer population in 2003–05. The main aim of this study was to understand the outbreak dynamics and the rapid expansion of S. tundra in the sub arctic. We describe the vectors of S. tundra, and its development in vectors, for the first time. Finally we discuss the results in the context of the host-parasite ecology of S. tundra in Finland Results Development of S. tundra to the infective stage occurs in mosquitoes, (genera Aedes and Anopheles. We consider Aedes spp. the most important vectors. The prevalence of S. tundra naturally infected mosquitoes from Finland varied from 0.5 to 2.5%. The rate of development in mosquitoes was temperature-dependent. Infective larvae were present approximately 14 days after a blood meal in mosquitoes maintained at room temperature (mean 21 C, but did not develop in mosquitoes maintained outside for 22 days at a mean temperature of 14.1 C. The third-stage (infective larvae were elongated (mean length 1411 μm (SD 207, and width 28 μm (SD 2. The anterior end was blunt, and bore two liplike structures, the posterior end slight tapering with a prominent terminal papilla. Infective larvae were distributed anteriorly in the insect's body, the highest abundance being 70 larvae in one mosquito. A questionnaire survey revealed that the peak activity of Culicidae in the reindeer herding areas of Finland was from the middle of June to the end of July and that warm summer weather was associated with reindeer flocking behaviour on mosquito-rich wetlands. Conclusion In the present work, S. tundra vectors and larval development were identified and described for the first time. Aedes spp. mosquitoes likely serve as the most important and competent vectors for S. tundra in Finland. Warm summers

  9. Patterned-ground facilitates shrub expansion in Low Arctic tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E; Walker, Donald A; Matyshak, Georgiy; Ermokhina, Ksenia

    2013-01-01

    Recent expansion of tall shrubs in Low Arctic tundra is widely seen as a response to climate warming, but shrubification is not occurring as a simple function of regional climate trends. We show that establishment of tall alder (Alnus) is strongly facilitated by small, widely distributed cryogenic disturbances associated with patterned-ground landscapes. We identified expanding and newly established shrub stands at two northwest Siberian sites and observed that virtually all new shrubs occurred on bare microsites (‘circles’) that were disturbed by frost-heave. Frost-heave associated with circles is a widespread, annual phenomenon that maintains mosaics of mineral seedbeds with warm soils and few competitors that are immediately available to shrubs during favorable climatic periods. Circle facilitation of alder recruitment also plausibly explains the development of shrublands in which alders are regularly spaced. We conclude that alder abundance and extent have increased rapidly in the northwest Siberian Low Arctic since at least the mid-20th century, despite a lack of summer warming in recent decades. Our results are consistent with findings in the North American Arctic which emphasize that the responsiveness of Low Arctic landscapes to climate change is largely determined by the frequency and extent of disturbance processes that create mineral-rich seedbeds favorable for tall shrub recruitment. Northwest Siberia has high potential for continued expansion of tall shrubs and concomitant changes to ecosystem function, due to the widespread distribution of patterned-ground landscapes. (letter)

  10. What Does Matter?: Idols and Icons in the Nenets Tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laur Vallikivi

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines a mission encounter in the Nenets reindeer herders’ tundra. In post-Soviet Arctic Russia, Pentecostal and Baptist missionaries of Russian and Ukrainian origin have been fighting against idolatry and trying to persuade the Nenets to burn their sacred images or khekhe’’. They claim that among the indigenous Siberians idolatry exists in its quintessential or prototypical form, as it is described in the Bible. I shall suggest that this encounter takes place in a gap, in which the Nenets and Protestant have different understandings of language and materiality. Missionaries rely simultaneously on the ‘modern’ ideology of signification and the ‘non-modern’ magic of the material. They argue that idols, which are ‘nothing’ according to the scriptures, dangerously bind the ‘pagans’’ minds. For reindeer herders, for whom sacred items occupy an important place in the family wellbeing, the main issue is how to sever the link with the spirits without doing any damage.

  11. [The processes of methane formation and oxidation in the soils of the Russian arctic tundra].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berestovskaia, Iu Iu; Rusanov, I I; Vasil'eva, L V; Pimenov, N V

    2005-01-01

    Methane emission from the following types of tundra soils was studied: coarse humic gleyey loamy cryo soil, peaty gley soil, and peaty gleyey midloamy cryo soil of the arctic tundra. All the soils studied were found to be potential sources of atmospheric methane. The highest values of methane emission were recorded in August at a soil temperature of 8-10 degrees C. Flooded parcels were the sources of atmospheric methane throughout the observation period. The rates of methane production and oxidation in tundra soils of various types at 5 and 15 degrees C were studied by the radioisotope method. Methane oxidation was found to occur in bog water, in the green part of peat moss, and in all the soil horizons studied. Methane formation was recorded in the horizons of peat, in clay with plant roots, and in peaty moss dust of the bogey parcels. At both temperatures, the methane oxidation rate exceeded the rate of methane formation in all the horizons of the mossy-lichen tundra and of the bumpy sinkhole complex. Methanogenesis prevailed only in a sedge-peat moss bog at 15 degrees C. Enrichment bacterial cultures oxidizing methane at 5 and 15 degrees C were obtained. Different types of methanotrophic bacteria were shown to be responsible for methane oxidation under these conditions. A representative of type I methylotrophs oxidized methane at 5 degrees C, and Methylocella tundrae, a psychroactive representative of an acidophilic methanotrophic genus Methylocella, at 15 degrees C.

  12. How Will the Tundra-Taiga Interface Respond to Climate Change?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skre, Oddvar [Norwegian Forest Research Inst., Fana (Norway); Baxter, Bob [Univ. of Durham (United Kingdom). School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Crawford, Robert M.M. [Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom); Callaghan, Terry V. [Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom). Sheffield Centre for Arctic Ecology; Fedorkov, Aleksey [Russian Academy of Sciences, Syktyvkar (Russian Federation). Inst. of Biology

    2002-08-01

    The intuitive and logical answer to the question of how the tundra-taiga interface will react to global warming is that it should move north and this is mirrored by many models of potential treeline migration. Northward movement may be the eventual outcome if climatic warming persists over centuries or millennia. However, closer examination of the tundra-taiga interface across its circumpolar extent reveals a more complex situation. The regional climatic history of the tundra-taiga interface is highly varied, and consequently it is to be expected that the forest tundra boundary zone will respond differently to climate change depending on local variations in climate, evolutionary history, soil development, and hydrology. Investigations reveal considerable stability at present in the position of the treeline and while there may be a long-term advance northwards there are oceanic regions where climatic warming may result in a retreat southwards due to increased bog development. Reinforcing this trend is an increasing human impact, particularly in the forest tundra of Russia, which forces the limit of the forested areas southwards. Local variations will therefore require continued observation and research, as they will be of considerable importance economically as well as for ecology and conservation.

  13. Potential effects of ultraviolet radiation reduction on tundra nitrous oxide and methane fluxes in maritime Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Tao; Zhu, Renbin; Wang, Pei; Ye, Wenjuan; Ma, Dawei; Xu, Hua

    2018-02-27

    Stratospheric ozone has begun to recover in Antarctica since the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. However, the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on tundra greenhouse gas fluxes are rarely reported for Polar Regions. In the present study, tundra N 2 O and CH 4 fluxes were measured under the simulated reduction of UV radiation in maritime Antarctica over the last three-year summers. Significantly enhanced N 2 O and CH 4 emissions occurred at tundra sites under the simulated reduction of UV radiation. Compared with the ambient normal UV level, a 20% reduction in UV radiation increased tundra emissions by an average of 8 μg N 2 O m -2 h -1 and 93 μg CH 4 m -2 h -1 , whereas a 50% reduction in UV radiation increased their emissions by an average of 17 μg N 2 O m -2 h -1 and 128 μg CH 4 m -2 h -1 . No statistically significant correlation (P > 0.05) was found between N 2 O and CH 4 fluxes and soil temperature, soil moisture, total carbon, total nitrogen, NO 3 - -N and NH 4 + -N contents. Our results confirmed that UV radiation intensity is an important factor affecting tundra N 2 O and CH 4 fluxes in maritime Antarctica. Exclusion of the effects of reduced UV radiation might underestimate their budgets in Polar Regions with the recovery of stratospheric ozone.

  14. Exporting Alaskan North Slope crude oil: Benefits and costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-06-01

    The Department of Energy study examines the effects of lifting the current prohibitions against the export of Alaskan North Slope (ANS) crude. The study concludes that permitting exports would benefit the US economy. First, lifting the ban would expand the markets in which ANS oil can be sold, thereby increasing its value. ANS oil producers, the States of California and Alaska, and some of their local governments all would benefit from increased revenues. Permitting exports also would generate new economic activity and employment in California and Alaska. The study concludes that these economic benefits would be achieved without increasing gasoline prices (either in California or in the nation as a whole). Lifting the export ban could have important implications for US maritime interests. The Merchant Marine Act of 1970 (known as the Jones Act) requires all inter-coastal shipments to be carried on vessels that are US-owned, US-crewed, and US-built. By limiting the shipment of ANS crude to US ports only, the export ban creates jobs for the seafarers and the builders of Jones Act vessels. Because the Jones Act does not apply to exports, however, lifting the ban without also changing US maritime law would jeopardize the jobs associated with the current fleet of Jones Act tankers. Therefore the report analyzes selected economic impacts of several maritime policy alternatives, including: Maintaining current law, which allows foreign tankers to carry oil where export is allowed; requiring exports of ANS crude to be carried on Jones Act vessels; and requiring exports of ANS crude to be carried on vessels that are US-owned and US-crewed, but not necessarily US-built. Under each of these options, lifting the export ban would generate economic benefits.

  15. Inorganic and organic contaminants in Alaskan shorebird eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saalfeld, David T; Matz, Angela C; McCaffery, Brian J; Johnson, Oscar W; Bruner, Phil; Lanctot, Richard B

    2016-05-01

    Many shorebird populations throughout North America are thought to be declining, with potential causes attributed to habitat loss and fragmentation, reduced prey availability, increased predation, human disturbance, and increased exposure to environmental pollutants. Shorebirds may be particularly vulnerable to contaminant exposure throughout their life cycle, as they forage primarily on invertebrates in wetlands, where many contaminants accumulate disproportionately in the sediments. Therefore, it is important to document and monitor shorebird populations thought to be at risk and assess the role that environmental contaminants may have on population declines. To investigate potential threats and provide baseline data on shorebird contaminant levels in Alaskan shorebirds, contaminant concentrations were evaluated in shorebird eggs from 16 species residing in seven geographic distinct regions of Alaska. Similar to previous studies, low levels of most inorganic and organic contaminants were found, although concentrations of several inorganic and organic contaminants were higher than those of previous studies. For example, elevated strontium levels were observed in several species, especially black oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) sampled in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Additionally, contaminant concentrations varied among species, with significantly higher concentrations of inorganic contaminants found in eggs of pectoral sandpiper (Calidris melanotos), semipalmated sandpiper (Calidris pusilla), black oystercatcher, and bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica). Similarly, significantly higher concentrations of some organic contaminants were found in the eggs of American golden plover (Pluvialis dominica), black-bellied plover (Pluvialis squatarola), pacific golden plover (Pluvialis fulva), bar-tailed godwit, and semipalmated sandpiper. Despite these elevated levels, current concentrations of contaminants in shorebird eggs suggest that breeding environments are

  16. Hygroscopicity and composition of Alaskan Arctic CCN during April 2008

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. H. Moore

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available We present a comprehensive characterization of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN sampled in the Alaskan Arctic during the 2008 Aerosol, Radiation, and Cloud Processes affecting Arctic Climate (ARCPAC project, a component of the POLARCAT and International Polar Year (IPY initiatives. Four distinct air mass types were sampled including a cleaner Arctic background and a relatively pristine sea ice boundary layer as well as biomass burning and anthropogenic pollution plumes. Despite differences in chemical composition, inferred aerosol hygroscopicities were fairly invariant and ranged from κ = 0.1–0.3 over the atmospherically-relevant range of water vapor supersaturations studied. Organic aerosols sampled were found to be well-oxygenated, consistent with long-range transport and aerosol aging processes. However, inferred hygroscopicities are less than would be predicted based on previous parameterizations of biogenic oxygenated organic aerosol, suggesting an upper limit on organic aerosol hygroscopicity above which κ is less sensitive to the O:C ratio. Most Arctic aerosols act as CCN above 0.1 % supersaturation, although the data suggest the presence of an externally-mixed, non-CCN-active mode comprising approximately 0–20% of the aerosol number. CCN closure was assessed using measured size distributions, bulk chemical composition, and assumed aerosol mixing states; CCN predictions tended toward overprediction, with the best agreement (±0–20 % obtained by assuming the aerosol to be externally-mixed with soluble organics. Closure also varied with CCN concentration, and the best agreement was found for CCN concentrations above 100 cm−3 with a 1.5- to 3-fold overprediction at lower concentrations.

  17. Exporting Alaskan North Slope crude oil: Benefits and costs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-06-01

    The Department of Energy study examines the effects of lifting the current prohibitions against the export of Alaskan North Slope (ANS) crude. The study concludes that permitting exports would benefit the US economy. First, lifting the ban would expand the markets in which ANS oil can be sold, thereby increasing its value. ANS oil producers, the States of California and Alaska, and some of their local governments all would benefit from increased revenues. Permitting exports also would generate new economic activity and employment in California and Alaska. The study concludes that these economic benefits would be achieved without increasing gasoline prices (either in California or in the nation as a whole). Lifting the export ban could have important implications for US maritime interests. The Merchant Marine Act of 1970 (known as the Jones Act) requires all inter-coastal shipments to be carried on vessels that are US-owned, US-crewed, and US-built. By limiting the shipment of ANS crude to US ports only, the export ban creates jobs for the seafarers and the builders of Jones Act vessels. Because the Jones Act does not apply to exports, however, lifting the ban without also changing US maritime law would jeopardize the jobs associated with the current fleet of Jones Act tankers. Therefore the report analyzes selected economic impacts of several maritime policy alternatives, including: Maintaining current law, which allows foreign tankers to carry oil where export is allowed; requiring exports of ANS crude to be carried on Jones Act vessels; and requiring exports of ANS crude to be carried on vessels that are US-owned and US-crewed, but not necessarily US-built. Under each of these options, lifting the export ban would generate economic benefits

  18. Hematology, plasma chemistry, and bacteriology of wild Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) in Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milani, Juliana F; Wilson, Heather; Ziccardi, Michael; LeFebvre, Rance; Scott, Cheryl

    2012-01-01

    Blood and cloacal swabs were collected from 100 (66 female, 34 male) wild Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) molting in northwestern Alaska, USA, 25-28 July 2008, to establish hematologic and serum chemistry reference values and to isolate enteric Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Plasma biochemistry and hematology values did not vary significantly by sex or age. Tundra swans had high levels of creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, amylase, and alkaline phosphatase compared with some other avian species (values were up to 7 times greater), possibly indicating capture myopathy. However, concentrations were much lower (up to 8 times lower) than in other waterfowl exposed to similar or more intensive capture methods. White blood cell count and hematocrit values were similar to other waterfowl species, and enteric Salmonella spp. and E. coli O157:H7 were not present among birds sampled. Our data provide the first biochemical, hematologic, and bacteriologic reference values for wild Tundra Swans.

  19. Shrub Abundance Mapping in Arctic Tundra with Misr

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duchesne, R.; Chopping, M. J.; Wang, Z.; Schaaf, C.; Tape, K. D.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last 60 years an increase in shrub abundance has been observed in the Arctic tundra in connection with a rapid surface warming trend. Rapid shrub expansion may have consequences in terms of ecosystem structure and function, albedo, and feedbacks to climate; however, its rate is not yet known. The goal of this research effort is thus to map large scale changes in Arctic tundra vegetation by exploiting the structural signal in moderate resolution satellite remote sensing images from NASA's Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), mapped onto a 250m Albers Conic Equal Area grid. We present here large area shrub mapping supported by reference data collated using extensive field inventory data and high resolution panchromatic imagery. MISR Level 1B2 Terrain radiance scenes from the Terra satellite from 15 June-31 July, 2000 - 2010 were converted to surface bidirectional reflectance factors (BRF) using MISR Toolkit routines and the MISR 1 km LAND product BRFs. The red band data in all available cameras were used to invert the RossThick-LiSparse-Reciprocal BRDF model to retrieve kernel weights, model-fitting RMSE, and Weights of Determination. The reference database was constructed using aerial survey, three field campaigns (field inventory for shrub count, cover, mean radius and height), and high resolution imagery. Tall shrub number, mean crown radius, cover, and mean height estimates were obtained from QuickBird and GeoEye panchromatic image chips using the CANAPI algorithm, and calibrated using field-based estimates, thus extending the database to over eight hundred locations. Tall shrub fractional cover maps for the North Slope of Alaska were constructed using the bootstrap forest machine learning algorithm that exploits the surface information provided by MISR. The reference database was divided into two datasets for training and validation. The model derived used a set of 19 independent variables(the three kernel weights, ratios and interaction terms

  20. Tundra water budget and implications of precipitation underestimation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liljedahl, Anna K; Hinzman, Larry D; Kane, Douglas L; Oechel, Walter C; Tweedie, Craig E; Zona, Donatella

    2017-08-01

    Difficulties in obtaining accurate precipitation measurements have limited meaningful hydrologic assessment for over a century due to performance challenges of conventional snowfall and rainfall gauges in windy environments. Here, we compare snowfall observations and bias adjusted snowfall to end-of-winter snow accumulation measurements on the ground for 16 years (1999-2014) and assess the implication of precipitation underestimation on the water balance for a low-gradient tundra wetland near Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska (2007-2009). In agreement with other studies, and not accounting for sublimation, conventional snowfall gauges captured 23-56% of end-of-winter snow accumulation. Once snowfall and rainfall are bias adjusted, long-term annual precipitation estimates more than double (from 123 to 274 mm), highlighting the risk of studies using conventional or unadjusted precipitation that dramatically under-represent water balance components. Applying conventional precipitation information to the water balance analysis produced consistent storage deficits (79 to 152 mm) that were all larger than the largest actual deficit (75 mm), which was observed in the unusually low rainfall summer of 2007. Year-to-year variability in adjusted rainfall (±33 mm) was larger than evapotranspiration (±13 mm). Measured interannual variability in partitioning of snow into runoff (29% in 2008 to 68% in 2009) in years with similar end-of-winter snow accumulation (180 and 164 mm, respectively) highlights the importance of the previous summer's rainfall (25 and 60 mm, respectively) on spring runoff production. Incorrect representation of precipitation can therefore have major implications for Arctic water budget descriptions that in turn can alter estimates of carbon and energy fluxes.

  1. Understanding the Complex Dimensions of the Digital Divide: Lessons Learned in the Alaskan Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramony, Deepak Prem

    2007-01-01

    An ethnographic case study of Inupiat Eskimo in the Alaskan Arctic has provided insights into the complex nature of the sociological issues surrounding equitable access to technology tools and skills, which are referred to as the digital divide. These people can overcome the digital divide if they get the basic ready access to hardware and…

  2. A study of unstable slopes in permafrost areas : Alaskan case studies used as a training tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-01

    This report is the companion to the PowerPoint presentation for the project A Study of Unstable Slopes in Permafrost: Alaskan Case Studies Used as a Training Tool. The objectives of this study are 1) to provide a comprehensive review of literat...

  3. Geochemical evidences of methane hydrate dissociation in Alaskan Beaufort Margin during Holocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchida, M.; Rella, S.; Kubota, Y.; Kumata, H.; Mantoku, K.; Nishino, S.; Itoh, M.

    2017-12-01

    Alaskan Beaufort margin bear large abundances of sub-sea and permafrost methane hydrate[Ruppel, 2016]. During the Last Glacial, previous reported direct and indirect evidences accumulated from geochemical data from marginal sea sediment suggests that methane episodically released from hydrate trapped in the seafloor sediments[Kennett et al., 2000; Uchida et al., 2006, 2008; Cook et al, 2011]. Here we analyzed stable isotopes of foraminifera and molecular marker derived from the activity of methanotrophic bacteria from piston cores collected by the 2010 R/V Mirai cruise in Alaskan Beaufort Margin. Our data showed highly depleted 13C compositions of benthic foraminifera, suggesting indirect records of enhanced incorporation of 13C-depleted CO2 formed by methanotrophic process that use 12C-enriched methane as their main source of carbon. This is the first evidence of methane hydrate dissociation in Alaskan margin. Here we discussed timing of signals of methane dissociation with variability of sea ice and intermediate Atlantic water temperature. The dissociation of methane hydrate in the Alaskan Margin may be modulated by Atlantic warm intermediate water warming. Our results suggest that Arctic marginal regions bearing large amount methane hydrate may be a profound effect on future warming climate changes.

  4. 77 FR 45921 - Alaskan Fuel Hauling as a Restricted Category Special Purpose Flight Operation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-02

    ... operations, each aircraft used to transport fuel will be required to receive FAA certification for the... regulations. The special purpose of Alaskan fuel hauling was considered for aircraft type-certificated under... required for this special purpose. The fuel hauling system must be shown to meet the applicable...

  5. An assessment of educational needs in the Alaskan forest products industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jon Thomas; Eric Hansen; Allen M. Brackley

    2005-01-01

    Major changes in federal forest policy in Alaska have resulted in a dramatic downsizing of the state's forest industry. These changes have driven efforts for economic restructuring and improved support for Alaskan communities. The University of Alaska Sitka Forest Products program at the University of Alaska Southeast is one example of efforts to better support...

  6. Implications of lifting the ban on the export of Alaskan crude oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1990-03-26

    Present legislation effectively bans the export of crude oil produced in the United States. The ban has been in effect for years and is particularly stringent with respect to crude oil produced in Alaska, particularly on the North Slope. The Alaska crude export ban is specifically provided for in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act of 1973 and in other legislation. It was imposed for two reasons. The first was to reduce US dependence on imported crude oil. The Arab oil embargo had been imposed shortly before the Act was passed and a greater measure of energy independence was considered imperative at that time. The second reason was to assure that funds expended in building an Alaskan pipeline would benefit domestic users rather than simply employed to facilitate shipments to other countries. The main objective of this report is to estimate the potential impacts on crude oil prices that would result from lifting the export ban Alaskan crude oil. The report focuses on the Japanese market and the US West Coast market. Japan is the principal potential export market for Alaskan crude oil. Exports to that market would also affect the price of Alaskan crude oil as well as crude oil and product prices on the West Coast and the volume of petroleum imported in that area. 3 figs., 8 tabs.

  7. Sarcocystis arctica (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae): ultrastructural description and its new host record, the Alaskan wolf (Canis lupus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarcocystis sarcocysts are common in muscles of herbivores but are rare in muscles of carnivores. Here, we report sarcocysts in muscle of an Alaskan wolf (Canis lupus) from Alaska, USA for the first time. Sarcocysts extracted from tongue of the wolf were up to 900 µm long, slender, and appeared to h...

  8. Potential effects of ocean acidification on Alaskan corals based on calcium carbonate mineralogy composition analysis (NCEI Accession 0157223)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This archival package contains potential effects of ocean acidification on Alaskan corals based on calcium carbonate mineralogy composition analysis. Effects of...

  9. Spring feeding by pink-footed geese reduces carbon stocks and sink strength in tundra ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Wal, Rene; Sjogersten, Sofie; Woodin, Sarah J.; Cooper, Elisabeth J.; Jonsdottir, Ingibjorg S.; Kuijper, Dries; Fox, Tony A. D.; Huiskes, A. D.

    Tundra ecosystems are widely recognized as precious areas and globally important carbon (C) sinks, yet our understanding of potential threats to these habitats and their large soil C store is limited. Land-use changes and conservation measures in temperate regions have led to a dramatic expansion of

  10. Spring feeding by pink-footed geese reduces carbon stocks and sink strength in tundra ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Wal, R.; Sjögersten, S.; Woodin, S.J.; Cooper, E.J.; Jónsdóttir, I.S.; Kuijper, D.; Fox, A.D.; Huiskes, A.H.L.

    2007-01-01

    Tundra ecosystems are widely recognized as precious areas and globally important carbon (C) sinks, yet our understanding of potential threats to these habitats and their large soil C store is limited. Land-use changes and conservation measures in temperate regions have led to a dramatic expansion of

  11. Seasonal changes in the radiation balance of subarctic forest and tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lafleur, P.M.; Renzetti, A.V.; Bello, R.

    1993-01-01

    This paper examines the seasonal behavior of the components of the radiation budget of subarctic tundra and open forest near Churchill, Manitoba. Data were collected between late February and August 1990. The presence of the winter snowpack is the most important factor which affects the difference in radiation balances of tundra and forest. Overall, net radiation was about four to five times larger over the forest when snow covered the ground. Albedo differences were primarily responsible for this difference in net radiation; however, somewhat smaller net longwave losses were experienced at the tundra site. The step decrease in albedo from winter to summer (i.e. snow-covered to snow-free conditions) was significant at both sites. The forest albedo decreased by about three-fold while the tundra experienced a seven-fold decrease. Net radiation at both sites increased in direct response to the albedo change. Transmissivity of the atmosphere near Churchill also appeared to change at about the same time as the loss of the snow cover and may be related to changing air masses which bring about the final snow melt

  12. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation: heterogeneity over space and time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmendorf, Sarah C; Henry, Gregory H R; Hollister, Robert D; Björk, Robert G; Bjorkman, Anne D; Callaghan, Terry V; Collier, Laura Siegwart; Cooper, Elisabeth J; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Day, Thomas A; Fosaa, Anna Maria; Gould, William A; Grétarsdóttir, Járngerður; Harte, John; Hermanutz, Luise; Hik, David S; Hofgaard, Annika; Jarrad, Frith; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg Svala; Keuper, Frida; Klanderud, Kari; Klein, Julia A; Koh, Saewan; Kudo, Gaku; Lang, Simone I; Loewen, Val; May, Jeremy L; Mercado, Joel; Michelsen, Anders; Molau, Ulf; Myers-Smith, Isla H; Oberbauer, Steven F; Pieper, Sara; Post, Eric; Rixen, Christian; Robinson, Clare H; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Shaver, Gaius R; Stenström, Anna; Tolvanen, Anne; Totland, Orjan; Troxler, Tiffany; Wahren, Carl-Henrik; Webber, Patrick J; Welker, Jeffery M; Wookey, Philip A

    2012-02-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of tundra vegetation to climate warming is critical to forecasting future biodiversity and vegetation feedbacks to climate. In situ warming experiments accelerate climate change on a small scale to forecast responses of local plant communities. Limitations of this approach include the apparent site-specificity of results and uncertainty about the power of short-term studies to anticipate longer term change. We address these issues with a synthesis of 61 experimental warming studies, of up to 20 years duration, in tundra sites worldwide. The response of plant groups to warming often differed with ambient summer temperature, soil moisture and experimental duration. Shrubs increased with warming only where ambient temperature was high, whereas graminoids increased primarily in the coldest study sites. Linear increases in effect size over time were frequently observed. There was little indication of saturating or accelerating effects, as would be predicted if negative or positive vegetation feedbacks were common. These results indicate that tundra vegetation exhibits strong regional variation in response to warming, and that in vulnerable regions, cumulative effects of long-term warming on tundra vegetation - and associated ecosystem consequences - have the potential to be much greater than we have observed to date. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  13. Seasonal variability of leaf area index and foliar nitrogen in contrasting dry-mesic tundras

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Michelsen, Anders; Lemeur, Raoul

    2009-01-01

    Assimilation and exchange of carbon for arctic ecosystems depend strongly on leaf area index (LAI) and total foliar nitrogen (TFN). For dry-mesic tundras, the seasonality of these characteristics is unexplored. We addressed this knowledge gap by measuring variations of LAI and TFN at five contras...

  14. Alpine forest-tundra ecotone response to temperature change,Sayan Mountains, Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranson, K Jon; Kharuk, Vyetcheslav I.

    2007-01-01

    Models of climate change predict shifts of vegetation zones. Tree response to climate trends is most likely observable in the forest-tundra ecotone, where temperature mainly limits tree growth. There is evidence of vegetation change on the northern treeline However, observations on alpine tree line response are controversial. In this NEESPI related study we show that during the past three decades in the forest-tundra ecotone of the Sayan Mountains, Siberia, there was an increase in forest stand crown closure, regeneration propagation into the alpine tundra, and transformation of prostrate Siberian pine and fir into arboreal forms. We found that these changes occurred since the mid 1980s, and strongly correlates with positive temperature (and to a lesser extent, precipitation) trends. Improving climate for forest growth( i.e., warmer temperatures and increased precipitation) provides competitive advantages to Siberian pine in the alpine forest-tundra ecotone, as well as in areas typically dominated by larch, where it has been found to be forming a secondary canopy layer. Substitution of deciduous conifer, larch, for evergreen conifers, decreases albedo and provides positive feedback for temperature increase.

  15. 50 CFR 20.107 - Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Seasons, limits, and shooting hours for tundra swans. 20.107 Section 20.107 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (CONTINUED) TAKING, POSSESSION, TRANSPORTATION, SALE, PURCHASE, BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS ...

  16. Geomorphic determinants of species composition of alpine tundra, Glacier National Park, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George P. Malanson,; Bengtson, Lindsey E.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2012-01-01

    Because the distribution of alpine tundra is associated with spatially limited cold climates, global warming may threaten its local extent or existence. This notion has been challenged, however, based on observations of the diversity of alpine tundra in small areas primarily due to topographic variation. The importance of diversity in temperature or moisture conditions caused by topographic variation is an open question, and we extend this to geomorphology more generally. The extent to which geomorphic variation per se, based on relatively easily assessed indicators, can account for the variation in alpine tundra community composition is analyzed versus the inclusion of broad indicators of regional climate variation. Visual assessments of topography are quantified and reduced using principal components analysis (PCA). Observations of species cover are reduced using detrended correspondence analysis (DCA). A “best subsets” regression approach using the Akaike Information Criterion for selection of variables is compared to a simple stepwise regression with DCA scores as the dependent variable and scores on significant PCA axes plus more direct measures of topography as independent variables. Models with geographic coordinates (representing regional climate gradients) excluded explain almost as much variation in community composition as models with them included, although they are important contributors to the latter. The geomorphic variables in the model are those associated with local moisture differences such as snowbeds. The potential local variability of alpine tundra can be a buffer against climate change, but change in precipitation may be as important as change in temperature.

  17. Tundra landform and vegetation productivity trend maps for the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Mark J.; Nitze, Ingmar; Grosse, Guido; McGuire, A. David

    2018-01-01

    Arctic tundra landscapes are composed of a complex mosaic of patterned ground features, varying in soil moisture, vegetation composition, and surface hydrology over small spatial scales (10–100 m). The importance of microtopography and associated geomorphic landforms in influencing ecosystem structure and function is well founded, however, spatial data products describing local to regional scale distribution of patterned ground or polygonal tundra geomorphology are largely unavailable. Thus, our understanding of local impacts on regional scale processes (e.g., carbon dynamics) may be limited. We produced two key spatiotemporal datasets spanning the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska (~60,000 km2) to evaluate climate-geomorphological controls on arctic tundra productivity change, using (1) a novel 30 m classification of polygonal tundra geomorphology and (2) decadal-trends in surface greenness using the Landsat archive (1999–2014). These datasets can be easily integrated and adapted in an array of local to regional applications such as (1) upscaling plot-level measurements (e.g., carbon/energy fluxes), (2) mapping of soils, vegetation, or permafrost, and/or (3) initializing ecosystem biogeochemistry, hydrology, and/or habitat modeling.

  18. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation: heterogeneity over space and time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah C. Elmendorf; Gregory H.R. Henry; Robert D. Hollister; Robert G. Björk; Anne D. Bjorkman; Terry V. Callaghan; [and others] NO-VALUE; William Gould; Joel Mercado

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of tundra vegetation to climate warming is critical to forecasting future biodiversity and vegetation feedbacks to climate. In situ warming experiments accelerate climate change on a small scale to forecast responses of local plant communities. Limitations of this approach include the apparent site-specificity of results and uncertainty...

  19. Thaw pond development and initial vegetation succession in experimental plots at a Siberian lowland tundra site

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.; Blok, Daan; Wang, Peng; Karsanaev, Sergey V.; Maximov, Trofim C.; Huissteden, van Jacobus; Berendse, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Background and aims: Permafrost degradation has the potential to change the Arctic tundra landscape. We observed rapid local thawing of ice-rich permafrost resulting in thaw pond formation, which was triggered by removal of the shrub cover in a field experiment. This study aimed to examine the

  20. Thaw pond development and initial vegetation succession in experimental plots at a Siberian lowland tundra site

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.; Blok, Daan; Wang, Guang-Peng; Karsanaev, Sergey V.; Maximov, Trofim C.; van Huissteden, Jacobus; Berendse, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Background and aims: Permafrost degradation has the potential to change the Arctic tundra landscape. We observed rapid local thawing of ice-rich permafrost resulting in thaw pond formation, which was triggered by removal of the shrub cover in a field experiment. This study aimed to examine the rate

  1. Potential Arctic tundra vegetation shifts in response to changing temperature, precipitation and permafrost thaw

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kolk, van der Henk-Jan; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Huissteden, van J.; Pullens, J.W.M.; Berendse, F.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decades, vegetation and climate have changed significantly in the Arctic. Deciduous shrub cover is often assumed to expand in tundra landscapes, but more frequent abrupt permafrost thaw resulting in formation of thaw ponds could lead to vegetation shifts towards graminoid-dominated

  2. Plant functional type affects nitrogen use efficiency in high-Arctic tundra

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Oulehle, F.; Rowe, E. C.; Myška, Oldřich; Chuman, T.; Evans, C.D.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 94, mar (2016), s. 19-28 ISSN 0038-0717 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Arctic * Nitrogen * Isotope * Mineralization * Nitrification * Tundra Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.857, year: 2016

  3. Resistance and resilience of tundra plant communities to disturbance by winter seismic vehicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Felix, N.A.; Raynolds, M.K.; Jorgenson, J.C.; DuBois, K.E.

    1992-01-01

    Effects of winter seismic exploration on arctic tundra were evaluated on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, four to five growing seasons after disturbance. Plant cover, active layer depths, and track depression were measured at plots representing major tundra plant communities and different levels of initial disturbance. Results are compared with the initial effects reported earlier. Little resilience was seen in any vegetation type, with no clearly decreasing trends in community dissimilarity. Active layer depths remained greater on plots in all nonriparian vegetation types, and most plots still had visible trails. Decreases in plant cover persisted on most plots, although a few species showed recovery or increases in cover above predisturbance level. Moist sedge-shrub tundra and dryas terraces had the largest community dissimilarities initially, showing the least resistance to high levels of winter vehicle disturbance. Community dissimilarity continued to increase for five seasons in moist sedge-shrub tundra, with species composition changing to higher sedge cover and lower shrub cover. The resilience amplitude may have been exceeded on four plots which had significant track depression

  4. The effect of nutrient deposition on bacterial communities in Arctic tundra soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbara J. Campbell; Shawn W. Polson; Thomas E. Hanson; Michelle C. Mack; Edward A.G. Schuur

    2010-01-01

    The microbial communities of high-latitude ecosystems are expected to experience rapid changes over the next century due to climate warming and increased deposition of reactive nitrogen, changes that will likely affect microbial community structure and function. In moist acidic tundra (MAT) soils on the North Slope of the Brooks Range, Alaska, substantial losses of C...

  5. Movement of foraging Tundra Swans explained by spatial pattern in cryptic food densities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klaassen, R.H.G.; Nolet, B.A.; Bankert, D.

    2006-01-01

    We tested whether Tundra Swans use information on the spatial distribution of cryptic food items (belowground Sago pondweed tubers) to shape their movement paths. In a continuous environment, swans create their own food patches by digging craters, which they exploit in several feeding bouts. Series

  6. Sphingomonas antarctica sp. nov., isolated from Antarctic tundra soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yao; Wei, Ziyan; Danzeng, Wangmu; Kim, Myong Chol; Zhu, Guoxin; Zhang, Yumin; Liu, Zuobing; Peng, Fang

    2017-10-01

    Strain 200 T , isolated from a soil sample taken from Antarctic tundra soil around Zhongshan Station, was found to be a Gram-stain-negative, yellow-pigmented, catalase-positive, oxidase-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped and aerobic bacterium. Strain 200 T grew optimally at pH 7.0 and in the absence of NaCl on R2A. Its optimum growth temperature was 20 °C. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain 200 T belonged to the genus Sphingomonas. Strain 200 T showed the highest sequence similarities to Sphingomonas kyeonggiense THG-DT81 T (95.1 %) and Sphingomonas molluscorum KMM 3882 T (95.1 %). Chemotaxonomic analysis showed that strain 200 T had characteristics typical of members of the genus Sphingomonas. Ubiquinone 10 was the predominant respiratory quinone and sym-homospermidine was the polyamine. The major polar lipids were sphingoglycolipid, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylcholine. The G+C content of the genomic DNA was determined to be 60.9 mol%. Strain 200 T contained C16 : 0 (31.6 %), summed feature 8 (comprising C18 : 1ω7c and/or C18 : 1ω6c, 22.7 %), summed feature 3 (comprising C16 : 1ω7c and/or C16 : 1ω6c, 11.2 %), C18 : 0 (7.8 %) and C14 : 0 2OH (6.7 %) as the major cellular fatty acids. On the basis of phylogenetic analysis, and physiological and biochemical characterization, strain 200 T should be classified as representing a novel species of the genus Sphingomonas, for which the name Sphingomonasantarctica sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is 200 T (=CCTCC AB 2016064 T =KCTC 52488 T ).

  7. Spectral Assessment of Soil Properties: Standoff Quantification of Soil Organic Matter Content in Surface Mineral Soils and Alaskan Peat

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-08-01

    Soil Properties Standoff Quantification of Soil Organic Matter Content in Surface Mineral Soils and Alaskan Peat En gi ne er R es ea rc h an d D...ERDC 6.2 GRE ARTEMIS STO-R DRTSPORE ERDC TR-17-9 August 2017 Spectral Assessment of Soil Properties Standoff Quantification of Soil Organic...Matter Content in Surface Mineral Soils and Alaskan Peat Stacey L. Jarvis, Karen L. Foley, Robert M. Jones, Stephen D. Newman, and Robyn A. Barbato

  8. Surface energy exchanges along a tundra-forest transition and feedbacks to climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beringer, J.; Chapin, F. S.; Thompson, Catharine Copass; McGuire, A.D.

    2005-01-01

    Surface energy exchanges were measured in a sequence of five sites representing the major vegetation types in the transition from arctic tundra to forest. This is the major transition in vegetation structure in northern high latitudes. We examined the influence of vegetation structure on the rates of sensible heating and evapotranspiration to assess the potential feedbacks to climate if high-latitude warming were to change the distribution of these vegetation types. Measurements were made at Council on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, at representative tundra, low shrub, tall shrub, woodland (treeline), and boreal forest sites. Structural differences across the transition from tundra to forest included an increase in the leaf area index (LAI) from 0.52 to 2.76, an increase in canopy height from 0.1 to 6.1 m, and a general increase in canopy complexity. These changes in vegetation structure resulted in a decrease in albedo from 0.19 to 0.10 as well as changes to the partitioning of energy at the surface. Bulk surface resistance to water vapor flux remained virtually constant across sites, apparently because the combined soil and moss evaporation decreased while transpiration increased along the transect from tundra to forest. In general, sites became relatively warmer and drier along the transect with the convective fluxes being increasingly dominated by sensible heating, as evident by an increasing Bowen ratio from 0.94 to 1.22. The difference in growing season average daily sensible heating between tundra and forest was 21 W m-2. Fluxes changed non-linearly along the transition, with both shrubs and trees substantially enhancing heat transfer to the atmosphere. These changes in vegetation structure that increase sensible heating could feed back to enhance warming at local to regional scales. The magnitude of these vegetation effects on potential high-latitude warming is two to three times greater than suggested by previous modeling studies. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All

  9. Snowmelt runoff from northern alpine tundra hillslopes: major processes and methods of simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. L. Quinton

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available In northern alpine tundra, large slope gradients, late-lying snow drifts and shallow soils overlying impermeable substrates all contribute to large hillslope runoff volumes during the spring freshet. Understanding the processes and pathways of hillslope runoff in this environment is, therefore, critical to understanding the water cycle within northern alpine tundra ecosystems. This study: (a presents the results of a field study on runoff from a sub-alpine tundra hillslope with a large snow drift during the spring melt period; (b identifies the major runoff processes that must be represented in simulations of snowmelt runoff from sub-alpine tundra hillslopes; (c describes how these processes can be represented in a numerical simulation model; and d compares field measurements with modelled output to validate or refute the conceptual understanding of runoff generation embodied in the process simulations. The study was conducted at Granger Creek catchment, 15 km south of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, on a north-facing slope below a late-lying snow drift. For the freshet period, the major processes to be represented in a runoff model include the rate of meltwater release from the late-lying snowdrift, the elevation and thickness of the saturated layer, the magnitude of the soil permeability and its variation with depth. The daily cycle of net all-wave radiation was observed to drive the diurnal pulses of melt water from the drift; this, in turn, was found to control the daily pulses of flow through the hillslope subsurface and in the stream channel. The computed rate of frost table lowering fell within the observed values; however, there was wide variation among the measured frost table depths. Spatial variability in frost table depth would result in spatial variabilities in saturated layer depth and thickness, which would, in turn, produce variations in subsurface flow rates over the slope, including preferential flowpaths. Keywords

  10. Interannual Variability of Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide Fluxes in Subarctic European Russian Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marushchak, M. E.; Voigt, C.; Gil, J.; Lamprecht, R. E.; Trubnikova, T.; Virtanen, T.; Kaverin, D.; Martikainen, P. J.; Biasi, C.

    2017-12-01

    Southern tundra landscapes are particularly vulnerable to climate warming, permafrost thaw and associated landscape rearrangement due to near-zero permafrost temperatures. The large soil C and N stocks of subarctic tundra may create a positive feedback for warming if released to the atmosphere at increased rates. Subarctic tundra in European Russia is a mosaic of land cover types, which all play different roles in the regional greenhouse gas budget. Peat plateaus - massive upheaved permafrost peatlands - are large storehouses of soil carbon and nitrogen, but include also bare peat surfaces that act as hot-spots for both carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions. Tundra wetlands are important for the regional greenhouse gas balance since they show high rates of methane emissions and carbon uptake. The most dominant land-form is upland tundra vegetated by shrubs, lichens and mosses, which displays a close-to-neutral balance with respect to all three greenhouse gases. The study site Seida (67°03'N, 62°56'E), located in the discontinuous permafrost zone of Northeast European Russia, incorporates all these land forms and has been an object for greenhouse gas investigations since 2007. Here, we summarize the growing season fluxes of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide measured by chamber techniques over the study years. We analyzed the flux time-series together with the local environmental data in order to understand the drivers of interannual variability. Detailed soil profile measurements of greenhouse gas concentrations, soil moisture and temperature provide insights into soil processes underlying the net emissions to the atmosphere. The multiannual time-series allows us to assess the importance of the different greenhouse gases and landforms to the overall climate forcing of the study region.

  11. Impact of disability and other physical health issues on academic outcomes among American Indian and Alaskan Native college students: an exploratory analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson Silver Wolf Adelv Unegv Waya, David A; Vanzile-Tamsen, Carol; Black, Jessica; Billiot, Shanondora M; Tovar, Molly

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether self-identified disabilities among American Indian and Alaskan Native college students impact academic performance and persistence to graduation and explored the differences in health and academic grades between American Indian and Alaskan Native students and students of other racial and ethnic identities using the National College Health Assessment. Findings indicate that American Indian or Alaskan Native students have significantly lower grades than White and Asian students, and American Indian and Alaskan Native women report the highest incidence of health problems of any demographic group. Exploratory results point to future research to determine the full impact of disabilities and poor health on academic success.

  12. Indicators of reproduction of the tundra vole (microtus oeconomus pallas, 1776) in Palesse state radiation-ecological reserve

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuchmel', S.V.

    2010-01-01

    In 2003-2007 reproductive indicators of the tundra vole in territory of Palesse state radiation-ecological reserve have been caused by factors of an inhabitancy and are peculiar to this kind on other sites of dwelling. (authors)

  13. Award Letter: Tundra nesting bird data rescue for the Canning River Delta long-term ecological monitoring site

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — Award letter in response to Alaska Region Inventory and Monitoring 2017 request for proposals. Issued to Arctic NWR for project “Tundra nesting bird data rescue for...

  14. Holocene Paleoceanographic Environments at the Chukchi-Alaskan Margin: Implications for Future Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyak, L.; Nam, S. I.; Dipre, G.; Kim, S. Y.; Ortiz, J. D.; Darby, D. A.

    2017-12-01

    The impacts of the North Pacific oceanic and atmospheric system on the Arctic Ocean result in accelerated sea-ice retreat and related changes in hydrography and biota in the western Arctic. Paleoclimatic records from the Pacific sector of the Arctic are key for understanding the long-term history of these interactions. As opposed to stratigraphically long but strongly compressed sediment cores recovered from the deep Arctic Ocean, sediment depocenters on the Chukchi-Alaskan margin yield continuous, medium to high resolution records formed since the last deglaciation. While early Holocene conditions were non-analogous to modern environments due to the effects of prolonged deglaciation and insufficiently high sea levels, mid to late Holocene sediments are more relevant for recent and modern climate variability. Notably, a large depocenter at the Alaskan margin has sedimentation rates estimated as high as a few millimeters per year, thus providing a decadal to near-annual resolution. This high accumulation can be explained by sediment delivery via the Alaskan Coastal Current originating from the Bering Sea and supposedly controlled by the Aleutian Low pressure center. Preliminary results from sediment cores recovering the last several centuries, along with a comparison with other paleoclimatic proxy records from the Arctic-North Pacific region, indicate a persistent role of the Aleutian Low in the Bering Strait inflow and attendant deposition. More proxy studies are underway to reconstruct the history of this circulation system and its relationship with sea ice extent. The expected results will improve our understanding of natural variability in oceanic and atmospheric conditions at the Chukchi-Alaskan margin, a critical area for modulating the Arctic climate change.

  15. Clinical pathology and assessment of pathogen exposure in southern and Alaskan sea otters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanni, K.D.; Mazet, J.A.K.; Gulland, F.M.D.; Estes, James A.; Staedler, M.; Murray, M.J.; Miller, M.; Jessup, David A.

    2003-01-01

    The southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) population in California (USA) and the Alaskan sea otter (E. lutris kenyoni) population in the Aleutian Islands (USA) chain have recently declined. In order to evaluate disease as a contributing factor to the declines, health assessments of these two sea otter populations were conducted by evaluating hematologic and/or serum biochemical values and exposure to six marine and terrestrial pathogens using blood collected during ongoing studies from 1995 through 2000. Samples from 72 free-ranging Alaskan, 78 free-ranging southern, and (for pathogen exposure only) 41 debilitated southern sea otters in rehabilitation facilities were evaluated and compared to investigate regional differences. Serum chemistry and hematology values did not indicate a specific disease process as a cause for the declines. Statistically significant differences were found between free-ranging adult southern and Alaskan population mean serum levels of creatinine kinase, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, calcium, cholesterol, creatinine, glucose, phosphorous, total bilirubin, blood urea nitrogen, and sodium. These were likely due to varying parasite loads, contaminant exposures, and physiologic or nutrition statuses. No free-ranging sea otters had signs of disease at capture, and prevalences of exposure to calicivirus, Brucella spp., and Leptospira spp. were low. The high prevalence (35%) of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in free-ranging southern sea otters, lack of antibodies to this parasite in Alaskan sea otters, and the pathogen's propensity to cause mortality in southern sea otters suggests that this parasite may be important to sea otter population dynamics in California but not in Alaska. The evidence for exposure to pathogens of public health importance (e.g., Leptospira spp., T. gondii) in the southern sea otter population, and the naïveté of both populations to other pathogens (e.g., morbillivirus

  16. Clinical pathology and assessment of pathogen exposure in southern and Alaskan sea otters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanni, Krista D; Mazet, Jonna A K; Gulland, Frances M D; Estes, James; Staedler, Michelle; Murray, Michael J; Miller, Melissa; Jessup, David A

    2003-10-01

    The southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) population in California (USA) and the Alaskan sea otter (E. lutris kenyoni) population in the Aleutian Islands (USA) chain have recently declined. In order to evaluate disease as a contributing factor to the declines, health assessments of these two sea otter populations were conducted by evaluating hematologic and/or serum biochemical values and exposure to six marine and terrestrial pathogens using blood collected during ongoing studies from 1995 through 2000. Samples from 72 free-ranging Alaskan, 78 free-ranging southern, and (for pathogen exposure only) 41 debilitated southern sea otters in rehabilitation facilities were evaluated and compared to investigate regional differences. Serum chemistry and hematology values did not indicate a specific disease process as a cause for the declines. Statistically significant differences were found between free-ranging adult southern and Alaskan population mean serum levels of creatinine kinase, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, calcium, cholesterol, creatinine, glucose, phosphorous, total bilirubin, blood urea nitrogen, and sodium. These were likely due to varying parasite loads, contaminant exposures, and physiologic or nutrition statuses. No free-ranging sea otters had signs of disease at capture, and prevalences of exposure to calicivirus, Brucella spp., and Leptospira spp. were low. The high prevalence (35%) of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in free-ranging southern sea otters, lack of antibodies to this parasite in Alaskan sea otters, and the pathogen's propensity to cause mortality in southern sea otters suggests that this parasite may be important to sea otter population dynamics in California but not in Alaska. The evidence for exposure to pathogens of public health importance (e.g., Leptospira spp., T. gondii) in the southern sea otter population, and the naïveté of both populations to other pathogens (e.g., morbillivirus

  17. Task 27 -- Alaskan low-rank coal-water fuel demonstration project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-10-01

    Development of coal-water-fuel (CWF) technology has to-date been predicated on the use of high-rank bituminous coal only, and until now the high inherent moisture content of low-rank coal has precluded its use for CWF production. The unique feature of the Alaskan project is the integration of hot-water-drying (HWD) into CWF technology as a beneficiation process. Hot-water-drying is an EERC developed technology unavailable to the competition that allows the range of CWF feedstock to be extended to low-rank coals. The primary objective of the Alaskan Project, is to promote interest in the CWF marketplace by demonstrating the commercial viability of low-rank coal-water-fuel (LRCWF). While commercialization plans cannot be finalized until the implementation and results of the Alaskan LRCWF Project are known and evaluated, this report has been prepared to specifically address issues concerning business objectives for the project, and outline a market development plan for meeting those objectives.

  18. Trophic dynamics in marine nearshore systems of the Alaskan high arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dunton, K.H.

    1985-01-01

    This dissertation describes two ecological studies in the arctic Alaskan nearshore zone: the productivity and growth strategies of arctic kelp and the use of natural carbon isotope abundances to examine food web structure and energy flow in the marine ecosystem. Linear growth of the kelp, Laminaria solidungula is greatest in winter and early spring when nutrients are available for new tissue growth. Since over 90% of this growth occurs in complete darkness beneath a turbid ice canopy, the plant draws on stored food reserves and is in a carbon deficit during the ice covered period. Annual productivity of L. solidungula under these conditions is about 6 g C m -2 compared to about 10 g c m -2 if light penetrates the ice canopy. Carbon isotope abundances were used to assess food web structure and energy flow in the Boulder Patch, an isolated kelp bed community, and in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea fauna. Isotopic analyses of the resident fauna of the Boulder Patch revealed that kelp carbon contributes significantly to the diet of many benthic animals, including suspension feeders. Across the shelf of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea, a distinct gradient in the isotopic composition of marine zooplankton and benthic fauna was related to the intrusion of the Bering Sea water and upwelling in the eastern Beaufort Sea near Barter Island. The 13 C depletion in fauna of the eastern Beaufort Sea is presumed due to the cycling of 13 C depleted inorganic carbon into the euphotic zone

  19. Viability of the Alaskan breeding population of Steller’s eiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, Kylee; Grand, James B.

    2016-10-11

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is tasked with setting objective and measurable criteria for delisting species or populations listed under the Endangered Species Act. Determining the acceptable threshold for extinction risk for any species or population is a challenging task, particularly when facing marked uncertainty. The Alaskan breeding population of Steller’s eiders (Polysticta stelleri) was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1997 because of a perceived decline in abundance throughout their nesting range and geographic isolation from the Russian breeding population. Previous genetic studies and modeling efforts, however, suggest that there may be dispersal from the Russian breeding population. Additionally, evidence exists of population level nonbreeding events. Research was conducted to estimate population viability of the Alaskan breeding population of Steller’s eiders, using both an open and closed model of population process for this threatened population. Projections under a closed population model suggest this population has a 100 percent probability of extinction within 42 years. Projections under an open population model suggest that with immigration there is no probability of permanent extinction. Because of random immigration process and nonbreeding behavior, however, it is likely that this population will continue to be present in low and highly variable numbers on the breeding grounds in Alaska. Monitoring the winter population, which includes both Russian and Alaskan breeding birds, may offer a more comprehensive indication of population viability.

  20. Population decline in the Delta caribou herd with reference to other Alaskan herds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Valkenburg et al.

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available After growing continuously for nearly 15 years, the Delta caribou herd began to decline in 1989. Most other Interior Alaskan herds also began declining. In the Delta herd, and in other herds, the declines were caused primarily by high summer mortality of calves and increased natural mortality of adult females. Other minor causes included increased winter mortality of calves, and reduced parturition rates of 3-year-old and older females. The decline in the Delta herd also coincided with increased wolf (Canis lupus numbers, winters with deeper than normal snow, and warm summers. Mean body weight of annual samples of 10-month-old female calves was consistently low during the decline. Except in some of the smallest Interior Alaskan herds, we conclude that evidence for population regulation in Alaskan caribou is weak, and that herds are likely to fluctuate within a wide range of densities due to complex interactions of predation and weather. Unless wolf numbers are influenced by man, the size of a caribou herd in a given year is likely to be largely a function of its size during the previous population low and the number of years of favorable weather in the interim.

  1. The impact of climate change on ecosystem carbon dynamics at the Scandinavian mountain birch forest-tundra heath ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjögersten, Sofie; Wookey, Philip A

    2009-02-01

    Changes in temperature and moisture resulting from climate change are likely to strongly modify the ecosystem carbon sequestration capacity in high-latitude areas, both through vegetation shifts and via direct warming effects on photosynthesis and decomposition. This paper offers a synthesis of research addressing the potential impacts of climate warming on soil processes and carbon fluxes at the forest-tundra ecotone in Scandinavia. Our results demonstrated higher rates of organic matter decomposition in mountain birch forest than in tundra heath soils, with markedly shallower organic matter horizons in the forest. Field and laboratory experiments suggest that increased temperatures are likely to increase CO2 efflux from both tundra and forest soil providing moisture availability does not become limiting for the decomposition process. Furthermore, colonization of tundra heath by mountain birch forest would increase rates of decomposition, and thus CO2 emissions, from the tundra heath soils, which currently store substantial amounts of potentially labile carbon. Mesic soils underlying both forest and tundra heath are currently weak sinks of atmospheric methane, but the strength of this sink could be increased with climate warming and/or drying.

  2. First report of Setaria tundra in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) from the Iberian Peninsula inferred from molecular data: epidemiological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelone-Alasaad, Samer; Jowers, Michael J; Panadero, Rosario; Pérez-Creo, Ana; Pajares, Gerardo; Díez-Baños, Pablo; Soriguer, Ramón C; Morrondo, Patrocinio

    2016-09-29

    Filarioid nematode parasites are major health hazards with important medical, veterinary and economic implications. Recently, they have been considered as indicators of climate change. In this paper, we report the first record of Setaria tundra in roe deer from the Iberian Peninsula. Adult S. tundra were collected from the peritoneal cavity during the post-mortem examination of a 2 year-old male roe deer, which belonged to a private fenced estate in La Alcarria (Guadalajara, Spain). Since 2012, the area has suffered a high roe deer decline rate (75 %), for unknown reasons. Aiming to support the morphological identification and to determine the phylogenetic position of S. tundra recovered from the roe deer, a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene from the two morphologically identified parasites was amplified, sequenced and compared with corresponding sequences of other filarioid nematode species. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the isolate of S. tundra recovered was basal to all other formely reported Setaria tundra sequences. The presence of all other haplotypes in Northern Europe may be indicative of a South to North outbreak in Europe. This is the first report of S. tundra in roe deer from the Iberian Peninsula, with interesting phylogenetic results, which may have further implications in the epidemiological and genetic studies of these filarioid parasites. More studies are needed to explore the reasons and dynamics behind the rapid host/geographic expansion of the filarioid parasites in Europe.

  3. Identifying the tundra-forest border in the stomate record: an analysis of lake surface samples from the Yellowknife area, Northwest Territories, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hansen, B.C.S. [Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis, MN (United States). Limnological Research Center; MacDonald, G.M. [California Univ., Los Angeles, CA (United States). Dept. of Botanical Sciences; Moser, K.A. [McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON (Canada)

    1996-05-01

    The relationship between conifer stomata and existing vegetation across tundra, forest-tundra, and closed zones in the Yellowknife area of the Northwest Territories was studied. Conifer stomata were identified in surface samples from lakes in the treeline zone, but were absent in samples from tundra lakes. Stomate analysis was recorded and the results were presented in a concentration diagram plotting stomate concentrations according to vegetation zone. Conifer stomate analysis was not able to resolve differences between forest-tundra and closed forest. Nevertheless, it was suggested that stomate analysis will become an important technique supplementing pollen analysis for reconstructing past tree-line changes since the presence of stomata in lakes make it possible to separate the tundra from forest-tundra and closed forest. The limited dispersal of conifer stomata permitted a better resolution of tree-line boundaries than did pollen. 13 refs., 3 figs.

  4. InSAR detects increase in surface subsidence caused by an Arctic tundra fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lin; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Schaefer, Kevin M.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Zebker, Howard A.; Williams, Christopher A.; Rogan, John; Zhang, Tingjun

    2014-01-01

    Wildfire is a major disturbance in the Arctic tundra and boreal forests, having a significant impact on soil hydrology, carbon cycling, and permafrost dynamics. This study explores the use of the microwave Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technique to map and quantify ground surface subsidence caused by the Anaktuvuk River fire on the North Slope of Alaska. We detected an increase of up to 8 cm of thaw-season ground subsidence after the fire, which is due to a combination of thickened active layer and permafrost thaw subsidence. Our results illustrate the effectiveness and potential of using InSAR to quantify fire impacts on the Arctic tundra, especially in regions underlain by ice-rich permafrost. Our study also suggests that surface subsidence is a more comprehensive indicator of fire impacts on ice-rich permafrost terrain than changes in active layer thickness alone.

  5. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem to a methane source

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nauta, Ake L.; Heijmans, Monique P.D.; Blok, Daan

    2015-01-01

    , including expansion of woody vegetation5,6, in response to changing climate conditions. How such vegetation changes contribute to stabilization or destabilization of the permafrost is unknown. Here we present six years of field observations in a shrub removal experiment at a Siberian tundra site. Removing...... the shrub part of the vegetation initiated thawing of ice-rich permafrost, resulting in collapse of the originally elevated shrub patches into waterlogged depressions within five years. This thaw pond development shifted the plots from a methane sink into a methane source. The results of our field......-emitting wet depressions could become more abundant in the lowland tundra landscape, at the cost of permafrost-stabilizing low shrub vegetation....

  6. Tundra plant above-ground biomass and shrub dominance mapped across the North Slope of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berner, Logan T.; Jantz, Patrick; Tape, Ken D.; Goetz, Scott J.

    2018-03-01

    Arctic tundra is becoming greener and shrubbier due to recent warming. This is impacting climate feedbacks and wildlife, yet the spatial distribution of plant biomass in tundra ecosystems is uncertain. In this study, we mapped plant and shrub above-ground biomass (AGB; kg m-2) and shrub dominance (%; shrub AGB/plant AGB) across the North Slope of Alaska by linking biomass harvests at 28 field sites with 30 m resolution Landsat satellite imagery. We first developed regression models (p plant AGB (r 2 = 0.79) and shrub AGB (r 2 = 0.82) based on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from imagery acquired by Landsat 5 and 7. We then predicted regional plant and shrub AGB by combining these regression models with a regional Landsat NDVI mosaic built from 1721 summer scenes acquired between 2007 and 2016. Our approach employed a Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis that propagated sampling and sensor calibration errors. We estimated that plant AGB averaged 0.74 (0.60, 0.88) kg m-2 (95% CI) and totaled 112 (91, 135) Tg across the region, with shrub AGB accounting for ~43% of regional plant AGB. The new maps capture landscape variation in plant AGB visible in high resolution satellite and aerial imagery, notably shrubby riparian corridors. Modeled shrub AGB was strongly correlated with field measurements of shrub canopy height at 25 sites (rs  = 0.88) and with a regional map of shrub cover (rs  = 0.76). Modeled plant AGB and shrub dominance were higher in shrub tundra than graminoid tundra and increased between areas with the coldest and warmest summer air temperatures, underscoring the fact that future warming has the potential to greatly increase plant AGB and shrub dominance in this region. These new biomass maps provide a unique source of ecological information for a region undergoing rapid environmental change.

  7. Regional and landscape-scale variability of Landsat-observed vegetation dynamics in northwest Siberian tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E; Walker, Donald A

    2014-01-01

    Widespread increases in Arctic tundra productivity have been documented for decades using coarse-scale satellite observations, but finer-scale observations indicate that changes have been very uneven, with a high degree of landscape- and regional-scale heterogeneity. Here we analyze time-series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) observed by Landsat (1984–2012), to assess landscape- and regional-scale variability of tundra vegetation dynamics in the northwest Siberian Low Arctic, a little-studied region with varied soils, landscape histories, and permafrost attributes. We also estimate spatio-temporal rates of land-cover change associated with expansion of tall alder (Alnus) shrublands, by integrating Landsat time-series with very-high-resolution imagery dating to the mid-1960s. We compiled Landsat time-series for eleven widely-distributed landscapes, and performed linear regression of NDVI values on a per-pixel basis. We found positive net NDVI trends (‘greening’) in nine of eleven landscapes. Net greening occurred in alder shrublands in all landscapes, and strong greening tended to correspond to shrublands that developed since the 1960s. Much of the spatial variability of greening within landscapes was linked to landscape physiography and permafrost attributes, while between-landscape variability largely corresponded to differences in surficial geology. We conclude that continued increases in tundra productivity in the region are likely in upland tundra landscapes with fine-textured, cryoturbated soils; these areas currently tend to support discontinuous vegetation cover, but are highly susceptible to rapid increases in vegetation cover, as well as land-cover changes associated with the development of tall shrublands. (paper)

  8. Bird communities of the arctic shrub tundra of Yamal: habitat specialists and generalists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasiliy Sokolov

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The ratio of habitat generalists to specialists in birds has been suggested as a good indicator of ecosystem changes due to e.g. climate change and other anthropogenic perturbations. Most studies focusing on this functional component of biodiversity originate, however, from temperate regions. The Eurasian Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by domestic reindeer and growing human activity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we monitored bird communities in a tundra landscape harbouring shrub and open habitats in order to analyse bird habitat relationships and quantify habitat specialization. We used ordination methods to analyse habitat associations and estimated the proportions of specialists in each of the main habitats. Correspondence Analysis identified three main bird communities, inhabiting upland, lowland and dense willow shrubs. We documented a stable structure of communities despite large multiannual variations of bird density (from 90 to 175 pairs/km(2. Willow shrub thickets were a hotspot for bird density, but not for species richness. The thickets hosted many specialized species whose main distribution area was south of the tundra. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: If current arctic changes result in a shrubification of the landscape as many studies suggested, we would expect an increase in the overall bird abundance together with an increase of local specialists, since they are associated with willow thickets. The majority of these species have a southern origin and their increase in abundance would represent a strengthening of the boreal component in the southern tundra, perhaps at the expense of species typical of the subarctic zone, which appear to be generalists within this zone.

  9. Tundra shrub effects on growing season energy and carbon dioxide exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafleur, Peter M.; Humphreys, Elyn R.

    2018-05-01

    Increased shrub cover on the Arctic tundra is expected to impact ecosystem-atmosphere exchanges of carbon and energy resulting in feedbacks to the climate system, yet few direct measurements of shrub tundra-atmosphere exchanges are available to corroborate expectations. Here we present energy and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes measured using the eddy covariance technique over six growing seasons at three closely located tundra sites in Canada’s Low Arctic. The sites are dominated by the tundra shrub Betula glandulosa, but percent cover varies from 17%–60% and average shrub height ranges from 18–59 cm among sites. The site with greatest percent cover and height had greater snow accumulation, but contrary to some expectations, it had similar late-winter albedo and snow melt dates compared to the other two sites. Immediately after snowmelt latent heat fluxes increased more slowly at this site compared to the others. Yet by the end of the growing season there was little difference in cumulative latent heat flux among the sites, suggesting evapotranspiration was not increased with greater shrub cover. In contrast, lower albedo and less soil thaw contributed to greater summer sensible heat flux at the site with greatest shrub cover, resulting in greater total atmospheric heating. Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 revealed the potential for enhanced carbon cycling rates under greater shrub cover. Spring CO2 emissions were greatest at the site with greatest percent cover of shrubs, as was summer net uptake of CO2. The seasonal net sink for CO2 was ~2 times larger at the site with the greatest shrub cover compared to the site with the least shrub cover. These results largely agree with expectations that the growing season feedback to the atmosphere arising from shrub expansion in the Arctic has the potential to be negative for CO2 fluxes but positive for turbulent energy fluxes.

  10. Herbivore Impact on Tundra Plant Community Dynamics Using Long-term Remote Sensing Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Q.; Engstrom, R.; Shiklomanov, N. I.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic tundra biome is now experiencing dramatic environmental changes accentuated by summer sea-ice decline, permafrost thaw, and shrub expansion. Multi-decadal time-series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, a spectral metric of vegetation productivity) shows an overall "greening" trend across the Arctic tundra biome. Regional trends in climate plausibly explain large-scale patterns of increasing plant productivity, as diminished summer sea-ice extent warms the adjacent land causing tundra vegetation to respond positively (increased photosynthetic aboveground biomass). However, at more local scales, there is a great deal of spatial variability in NDVI trends that likely reflects differences in hydrology and soil conditions, disturbance history, and use by wildlife and humans. Particularly, habitat use by large herbivores, such as reindeer and caribou, has large impacts on vegetation dynamics at local and regional scales, but the role of herbivores in modulating the response of vegetation to warming climate has received little attention. This study investigates regional tundra plant community dynamics within inhabits of different sizes of wild caribou/reindeer herds across the Arctic using GIMMS NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) 3g data product. The Taimyr herd in Russia is one of the largest herds in the world with a population increase from 450,000 in 1975 to about 1 million animals in 2000. The population of the porcupine caribou herd has fluctuated in the past three decades between 100,000 and 180,000. Time-series of the maximum NDVI within the inhabit area of the Taimyr herd has increased about 2% per decade over the past three decades, while within the inhabit area of the Porcupine herd the maximum NDVI has increased about 5% per decade. Our results indicate that the impact of large herbivores can be detected from space and further analyses on seasonal dynamics of vegetation indices and herbivore behavior may provide more

  11. Soils of Sub-Antarctic tundras: diversity and basic chemical characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abakumov, Evgeny; Vlasov, Dmitry; Mukhametova, Nadezhda

    2014-05-01

    Antarctic peninsula is known as specific part of Antarctica, which is characterizes by humid and relatively warm climate of so-called sub Antarctic (maritime) zone. Annual precipitation and long above zero period provides the possibility of sustainable tundra's ecosystem formation. Therefore, the soil diversity of these tundra landscapes is maximal in the whole Antarctic. Moreover, the thickness of parent material debris's is also highest and achieves a 1 or 2 meters as highest. The presence of higher vascular plants Deshampsia antarctica which is considered as one of the main edificators provides the development of humus accumulation in upper solum. Penguins activity provides an intensive soil fertilization and development of plant communities with increased density. All these factors leads to formation of specific and quite diverse soil cover in sub Antarctic tundra's. These ecosystems are presented by following permafrost affected soils: Leptosols, Lithoosols, Crysols, Gleysols, Peats and Ornhitosols. Also the post Ornhitosols are widely spreaded in subantarcic ecosystems, they forms on the penguin rockeries during the plant succession development, leaching of nutrients and organic matter mineralization. "Amphibious" soils are specific for seasonal lakes, which evaporates in the end if Australian summer. These soils have specific features of bio sediments and soils as well. Soil chemical characteristic as well as organic matter features discussed in comparison with Antacrtic continental soil in presentation.

  12. Analysis of nitrogen saturation potential in Rocky Mountain tundra and forest: implications for aquatic systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Jill S.; Ojima, Dennis S.; Holland, Elisabeth A.; Parton, William J.

    1994-01-01

    We employed grass and forest versions of the CENTURY model under a range of N deposition values (0.02–1.60 g N m−2 y−1) to explore the possibility that high observed lake and stream N was due to terrestrial N saturation of alpine tundra and subalpine forest in Loch Vale Watershed, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Model results suggest that N is limiting to subalpine forest productivity, but that excess leachate from alpine tundra is sufficient to account for the current observed stream N. Tundra leachate, combined with N leached from exposed rock surfaces, produce high N loads in aquatic ecosystems above treeline in the Colorado Front Range. A combination of terrestrial leaching, large N inputs from snowmelt, high watershed gradients, rapid hydrologic flushing and lake turnover times, and possibly other nutrient limitations of aquatic organisms constrain high elevation lakes and streams from assimilating even small increases in atmospheric N. CENTURY model simulations further suggest that, while increased N deposition will worsen the situation, nitrogen saturation is an ongoing phenomenon.

  13. Humic substances elemental composition of selected taiga and tundra soils from Russian European North-East

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lodygin Evgeny

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Soils of Russian European North were investigated in terms of stability and quality of organic matter as well as in terms of soils organic matter elemental composi­tion. Therefore, soil humic acids (HAs, extracted from soils of different natural zones of Russian North-East were studied to characterize the degree of soil organic matter stabilization along a zonal gradient. HAs were extracted from soil of different zonal environments of the Komi Republic: south, middle and north taiga as well as south tundra. Data on elemental composition of humic acids and fulvic acids (FAs extracted from different soil types were obtained to assess humus formation mechanisms in the soils of taiga and tundra of the European North-East of Russia. The specificity of HAs elemental composition are discussed in relation to environmental conditions. The higher moisture degree of taiga soils results in the higher H/C ratio in humic substances. This reflects the reduced microbiologic activity in Albeluvisols sods and subsequent conser­vation of carbohydrate and amino acid fragments in HAs. HAs of tundra soils, shows the H/C values decreasing within the depth of the soils, which reflects increasing of aromatic compounds in HA structure of mineral soil horizons. FAs were more oxidized and contains less carbon while compared with the HAs. Humic acids, extracted from soil of different polar and boreal environments differ in terms of elemental composition winch reflects the climatic and hydrological regimes of humification.

  14. Modeling dynamics of tundra plant communities on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia, in response to climate change and grazing pressure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu, Q; Epstein, H E; Frost, G V; Walker, D A; Forbes, B C

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the responses of the arctic tundra biome to a changing climate requires knowledge of the complex interactions among the climate, soils and biological system. This study investigates the individual and interaction effects of climate change and reindeer grazing across a variety of climate zones and soil texture types on tundra vegetation community dynamics using an arctic vegetation model that incorporates the reindeer diet, where grazing is a function of both foliar nitrogen concentration and reindeer forage preference. We found that grazing is important, in addition to the latitudinal climate gradient, in controlling tundra plant community composition, explaining about 13% of the total variance in model simulations for all arctic tundra subzones. The decrease in biomass of lichen, deciduous shrub and graminoid plant functional types caused by grazing is potentially dampened by climate warming. Moss biomass had a nonlinear response to increased grazing intensity, and such responses were stronger when warming was present. Our results suggest that evergreen shrubs may benefit from increased grazing intensity due to their low palatability, yet a growth rate sensitivity analysis suggests that changes in nutrient uptake rates may result in different shrub responses to grazing pressure. Heavy grazing caused plant communities to shift from shrub tundra toward moss, graminoid-dominated tundra in subzones C and D when evergreen shrub growth rates were decreased in the model. The response of moss, lichen and forbs to warming varied across the different subzones. Initial vegetation responses to climate change during transient warming are different from the long term equilibrium responses due to shifts in the controlling mechanisms (nutrient limitation versus competition) within tundra plant communities.

  15. Nitrogen accumulation and partitioning in a High Arctic tundra ecosystem from extreme atmospheric N deposition events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choudhary, Sonal, E-mail: S.Choudhary@sheffield.ac.uk [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Management School, University of Sheffield, Conduit Road, Sheffield S10 1FL (United Kingdom); Blaud, Aimeric [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Osborn, A. Mark [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, PO Box 71, Bundoora, VIC 3083 (Australia); Press, Malcolm C. [School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, M15 6BH (United Kingdom); Phoenix, Gareth K. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)

    2016-06-01

    Arctic ecosystems are threatened by pollution from recently detected extreme atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition events in which up to 90% of the annual N deposition can occur in just a few days. We undertook the first assessment of the fate of N from extreme deposition in High Arctic tundra and are presenting the results from the whole ecosystem {sup 15}N labelling experiment. In 2010, we simulated N depositions at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2 g N m{sup −2} yr{sup −1}, applied as {sup 15}NH{sub 4}{sup 15}NO{sub 3} in Svalbard (79{sup °}N), during the summer. Separate applications of {sup 15}NO{sub 3}{sup −} and {sup 15}NH{sub 4}{sup +} were also made to determine the importance of N form in their retention. More than 95% of the total {sup 15}N applied was recovered after one growing season (~ 90% after two), demonstrating a considerable capacity of Arctic tundra to retain N from these deposition events. Important sinks for the deposited N, regardless of its application rate or form, were non-vascular plants > vascular plants > organic soil > litter > mineral soil, suggesting that non-vascular plants could be the primary component of this ecosystem to undergo measurable changes due to N enrichment from extreme deposition events. Substantial retention of N by soil microbial biomass (70% and 39% of {sup 15}N in organic and mineral horizon, respectively) during the initial partitioning demonstrated their capacity to act as effective buffers for N leaching. Between the two N forms, vascular plants (Salix polaris) in particular showed difference in their N recovery, incorporating four times greater {sup 15}NO{sub 3}{sup −} than {sup 15}NH{sub 4}{sup +}, suggesting deposition rich in nitrate will impact them more. Overall, these findings show that despite the deposition rates being extreme in statistical terms, biologically they do not exceed the capacity of tundra to sequester pollutant N during the growing season. Therefore, current and future extreme events

  16. Nitrogen accumulation and partitioning in a High Arctic tundra ecosystem from extreme atmospheric N deposition events

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choudhary, Sonal; Blaud, Aimeric; Osborn, A. Mark; Press, Malcolm C.; Phoenix, Gareth K.

    2016-01-01

    Arctic ecosystems are threatened by pollution from recently detected extreme atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition events in which up to 90% of the annual N deposition can occur in just a few days. We undertook the first assessment of the fate of N from extreme deposition in High Arctic tundra and are presenting the results from the whole ecosystem "1"5N labelling experiment. In 2010, we simulated N depositions at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2 g N m"−"2 yr"−"1, applied as "1"5NH_4"1"5NO_3 in Svalbard (79"°N), during the summer. Separate applications of "1"5NO_3"− and "1"5NH_4"+ were also made to determine the importance of N form in their retention. More than 95% of the total "1"5N applied was recovered after one growing season (~ 90% after two), demonstrating a considerable capacity of Arctic tundra to retain N from these deposition events. Important sinks for the deposited N, regardless of its application rate or form, were non-vascular plants > vascular plants > organic soil > litter > mineral soil, suggesting that non-vascular plants could be the primary component of this ecosystem to undergo measurable changes due to N enrichment from extreme deposition events. Substantial retention of N by soil microbial biomass (70% and 39% of "1"5N in organic and mineral horizon, respectively) during the initial partitioning demonstrated their capacity to act as effective buffers for N leaching. Between the two N forms, vascular plants (Salix polaris) in particular showed difference in their N recovery, incorporating four times greater "1"5NO_3"− than "1"5NH_4"+, suggesting deposition rich in nitrate will impact them more. Overall, these findings show that despite the deposition rates being extreme in statistical terms, biologically they do not exceed the capacity of tundra to sequester pollutant N during the growing season. Therefore, current and future extreme events may represent a major source of eutrophication. - Highlights: • High Arctic tundra demonstrated a

  17. Energy intensive industry for Alaska. Volume I: Alaskan cost factors; market factors; survey of energy-intensive industries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swift, W.H.; Clement, M.; Baker, E.G.; Elliot, D.C.; Jacobsen, J.J.; Powers, T.B.; Rohrmann, C.A.; Schiefelbein, G.L.

    1978-09-01

    The Alaskan and product market factors influencing industry locations in the state are discussed and a survey of the most energy intensive industries was made. Factors external to Alaska that would influence development and the cost of energy and labor in Alaska are analyzed. Industries that are likely to be drawn to Alaska because of its energy resources are analyzed in terms of: the cost of using Alaska energy resources in Alaska as opposed to the Lower 48; skill-adjusted wage and salary differentials between relevant Alaskan areas and the Lower 48; and basic plant and equipment and other operating cost differentials between relevant Alaskan areas and the Lower 48. Screening and evaluation of the aluminum metal industry, cement industry, chlor-alkali industry, lime industry, production of methanol from coal, petroleum refining, and production of petrochemicals and agrichemicals from North Slope natural gas for development are made.

  18. Re-emergence of hereditary polyneuropathy in scandinavian alaskan malamute dogs-old enemy or new entity? A case series

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jäderlund, Karin Hultin; Rohdin, Cecilia; Berendt, Mette

    2017-01-01

    A homozygous mutation has been identified in the N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) in recent cases of polyneuropathy in Alaskan malamute dogs from the Nordic countries and USA. The objective of the present study was to determine if cases diagnosed 30-40 years ago with polyneuropathy...... in the Alaskan malamute breed in Norway had the same hereditary disease as the recent cases. Fourteen historical cases and 12 recently diagnosed Alaskan malamute dogs with hereditary polyneuropathy, and their parents and littermates (n = 88) were included in this study (total n = 114). After phenotyping...... of historical and recent cases, NDRG1 genotyping was performed using DNA extracted from archived material from five Norwegian dogs affected by the disease in the late 1970s and 1980s. In addition, pedigrees were analysed. Our study concluded that historical and recent phenotypic polyneuropathy cases were...

  19. Molecular detection of hematozoa infections in tundra swans relative to migration patterns and ecological conditions at breeding grounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew M Ramey

    Full Text Available Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus are broadly distributed in North America, use a wide variety of habitats, and exhibit diverse migration strategies. We investigated patterns of hematozoa infection in three populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska using satellite tracking to infer host movement and molecular techniques to assess the prevalence and genetic diversity of parasites. We evaluated whether migratory patterns and environmental conditions at breeding areas explain the prevalence of blood parasites in migratory birds by contrasting the fit of competing models formulated in an occupancy modeling framework and calculating the detection probability of the top model using Akaike Information Criterion (AIC. We described genetic diversity of blood parasites in each population of swans by calculating the number of unique parasite haplotypes observed. Blood parasite infection was significantly different between populations of Alaska tundra swans, with the highest estimated prevalence occurring among birds occupying breeding areas with lower mean daily wind speeds and higher daily summer temperatures. Models including covariates of wind speed and temperature during summer months at breeding grounds better predicted hematozoa prevalence than those that included annual migration distance or duration. Genetic diversity of blood parasites in populations of tundra swans appeared to be relative to hematozoa prevalence. Our results suggest ecological conditions at breeding grounds may explain differences of hematozoa infection among populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska.

  20. Molecular detection of hematozoa infections in tundra swans relative to migration patterns and ecological conditions at breeding grounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Andrew M; Ely, Craig R; Schmutz, Joel A; Pearce, John M; Heard, Darryl J

    2012-01-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) are broadly distributed in North America, use a wide variety of habitats, and exhibit diverse migration strategies. We investigated patterns of hematozoa infection in three populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska using satellite tracking to infer host movement and molecular techniques to assess the prevalence and genetic diversity of parasites. We evaluated whether migratory patterns and environmental conditions at breeding areas explain the prevalence of blood parasites in migratory birds by contrasting the fit of competing models formulated in an occupancy modeling framework and calculating the detection probability of the top model using Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). We described genetic diversity of blood parasites in each population of swans by calculating the number of unique parasite haplotypes observed. Blood parasite infection was significantly different between populations of Alaska tundra swans, with the highest estimated prevalence occurring among birds occupying breeding areas with lower mean daily wind speeds and higher daily summer temperatures. Models including covariates of wind speed and temperature during summer months at breeding grounds better predicted hematozoa prevalence than those that included annual migration distance or duration. Genetic diversity of blood parasites in populations of tundra swans appeared to be relative to hematozoa prevalence. Our results suggest ecological conditions at breeding grounds may explain differences of hematozoa infection among populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska.

  1. Molecular detection of hematozoa infections in tundra swans relative to migration patterns and ecological conditions at breeding grounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Andrew M.; Ely, Craig R.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Pearce, John M.; Heard, Darryl J.

    2012-01-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) are broadly distributed in North America, use a wide variety of habitats, and exhibit diverse migration strategies. We investigated patterns of hematozoa infection in three populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska using satellite tracking to infer host movement and molecular techniques to assess the prevalence and genetic diversity of parasites. We evaluated whether migratory patterns and environmental conditions at breeding areas explain the prevalence of blood parasites in migratory birds by contrasting the fit of competing models formulated in an occupancy modeling framework and calculating the detection probability of the top model using Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). We described genetic diversity of blood parasites in each population of swans by calculating the number of unique parasite haplotypes observed. Blood parasite infection was significantly different between populations of Alaska tundra swans, with the highest estimated prevalence occurring among birds occupying breeding areas with lower mean daily wind speeds and higher daily summer temperatures. Models including covariates of wind speed and temperature during summer months at breeding grounds better predicted hematozoa prevalence than those that included annual migration distance or duration. Genetic diversity of blood parasites in populations of tundra swans appeared to be relative to hematozoa prevalence. Our results suggest ecological conditions at breeding grounds may explain differences of hematozoa infection among populations of tundra swans that breed in Alaska.

  2. Increasing Carbon Loss from Snow-Scoured Alpine Tundra in the Colorado Rocky Mountains: An Indicator of Climate Change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, J. F.; Blanken, P.; Williams, M. W.; Lawrence, C. R.

    2015-12-01

    We used the eddy covariance method to continuously measure the net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide for seven years from a snow-scoured alpine tundra meadow on Niwot Ridge in Colorado, USA that may be underlain by sporadic permafrost. On average, the alpine tundra was a net annual source of 232 g C m-2 to the atmosphere, and the source strength of this ecosystem increased over the length of the seven year period due to both reduced carbon uptake during the growing season and increased respiration throughout the winter. To constrain the contribution of permafrost degradation to observed carbon emissions, we also measured the radiocarbon content of actively cycling, occluded, and mineral soil carbon pools across a meso-scale soil moisture and (possible) permafrost gradient within this meadow, as well as the seasonal radiocarbon content of soil respiration. These data suggest that wintertime soil respiration is limited to patches of wet meadow tundra that may be associated with permafrost. Furthermore, soil respiration from one of these locations indicates preferential turnover of a relatively slow cycling carbon pool during the winter. Given that summer air temperatures and positive degree days have been increasing on Niwot Ridge since the middle of the 20th century, this research suggests that an alpine tundra permafrost-respiration feedback to climate change, similar to that observed in arctic tundra ecosystems, may be currently underway.

  3. NifH- Harboring Bacterial Community Composition Across an Alaskan Permafrost Thaw Gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Ryan Penton

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Since nitrogen (N is often limiting in permafrost soils, we investigated the N2-fixing genetic potential and the inferred taxa harboring those genes by sequencing nifH gene fragments in samples taken along a permafrost thaw gradient in an Alaskan boreal soil. Samples from minimally, moderately and extensively thawed sites were taken to a depth of 79 cm to encompass zones above and below the depth of the water table. NifH reads were translated with frameshift correction and 112,476 sequences were clustered at 5% amino acid dissimilarity resulting in 1,631 OTUs. Sample depth in relation to water table depth was correlated to differences in the NifH sequence classes. NifH sequences most closely related to group I nifH-harboring Alpha- and Beta Proteobacteria were in higher abundance above water table depth while those related to group III nifH-harboring Delta and Gamma Proteobacteria were more abundant below. The most dominant below water table depth NifH sequences, comprising 1/3 of the total, were distantly related to Verrucomicrobia-Opitutaceae. Overall, these results suggest that permafrost thaw alters the class-level composition of N2-fixing communities in the thawed soil layers and that this distinction corresponds to the depth of the water table. These nifH data were also compared to nifH sequences obtained from a study at an Alaskan taiga site, and to those of other geographically distant, non-permafrost sites. The two Alaska sites were differentiated largely by changes in relative abundances of the same OTUs, whereas the non-Alaska sites were differentiated by the lack of many Alaskan OTUs, and the presence of unique halophilic, sulfate- and iron-reducing taxa in the Alaska sites.

  4. Levoglucosan Levels in Alaskan Ice Cores as a Record of Past Wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, M. E.; Osterberg, E. C.; Kehrwald, N. M.; Kennedy, J.; Ferris, D. G.

    2017-12-01

    Glaciers in southeast Alaska are significant contributors to global sea-level rise, and therefore understanding the mechanisms driving their recent mass loss is crucial for predicting future sea-level change. Fire activity in Alaska has increased dramatically during the last decade, adding a potential new source of light-absorbing organic material (soot) to the Juneau Icefield that can reduce albedo and enhance surface melt rates. The goal of this project is to create an accurate record of Alaskan wildfires to understand how Alaskan glacial mass balance is affected by the deposition of organic aerosols from wildfires. Previously, oxalate, ammonia, and potassium ion levels have been used as proxies for past wildfire activity, but these ions all have broader emission sources in addition to wildfires. Here we develop a record of past Alaskan fire events and climate from: (1) levels of a biomass burning indicator, levoglucosan, which only forms when cellulose is burned over 300 °C, (2) major ions including oxalate, ammonia, and potassium; (3) the number and size distribution of particles to quantify trace amounts of soot from wildfires; and (4) stable water isotope ratios as a proxy for past temperature in ice cores. We utilize a total of four shallow ice cores, ranging from 7 to 9 m in length, that were collected by a biogeochemistry team during the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) in 2016. Complications include our limited understanding of the conservation and degradation of levoglucosan over time or during the firnification process. We hypothesize that particle counts will be correlated with levoglucosan peaks, co-varying with wildfire frequency and temperatures over time. Based on previous work, we also expect to find correlations between levoglucosan and oxalate ion concentrations, even though oxalate ions have sources in addition to wildfire activity.

  5. Anti-infective Discorhabdins from a Deep-Water Alaskan Sponge of the Genus Latrunculia†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Na, MinKyun; Ding, Yuanqing; Wang, Bin; Tekwani, Babu L.; Schinazi, Raymond F.; Franzblau, Scott; Kelly, Michelle; Stone, Robert; Li, Xing-Cong; Ferreira, Daneel; Hamann, Mark T.

    2016-01-01

    Bioassay- and LC-MS-guided fractionation of a methanol extract from a new deep-water Alaskan sponge species of the genus Latrunculia resulted in the isolation of two new brominated pyrroloiminoquinones, dihydrodiscorhabdin B (1) and discorhabdin Y (2), along with six known pyrroloiminoquinone alkaloids, discorhabdins A (3), C (4), E (5), and L (6), dihydrodiscorhabdin C (7), and the benzene derivative 8. Compounds 3, 4, and 7 exhibited anti-HCV activity, antimalarial activity, and selective antimicrobial activity. Although compounds 3 and 7 displayed potent and selective in vitro antiprotozoal activity, Plasmodium berghei-infected mice did not respond to these metabolites due to their toxicity in vivo. PMID:20337497

  6. Anti-infective discorhabdins from a deep-water alaskan sponge of the genus Latrunculia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Na, Minkyun; Ding, Yuanqing; Wang, Bin; Tekwani, Babu L; Schinazi, Raymond F; Franzblau, Scott; Kelly, Michelle; Stone, Robert; Li, Xing-Cong; Ferreira, Daneel; Hamann, Mark T

    2010-03-26

    Bioassay- and LC-MS-guided fractionation of a methanol extract from a new deep-water Alaskan sponge species of the genus Latrunculia resulted in the isolation of two new brominated pyrroloiminoquinones, dihydrodiscorhabdin B and discorhabdin Y (2), along with six known pyrroloiminoquinone alkaloids, discorhabdins A (3), C (4), E (5), and L (6), dihydrodiscorhabdin C (7), and the benzene derivative 8. Compounds 3, 4, and 7 exhibited anti-HCV activity, antimalarial activity, and selective antimicrobial activity. Although compounds 3 and 7 displayed potent and selective in vitro antiprotozoal activity, Plasmodium berghei-infected mice did not respond to these metabolites due to their toxicity in vivo.

  7. Detection and molecular characterization of the mosquito-borne filarial nematode Setaria tundra in Danish roe deer (Capreolus capreolus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Enemark, Heidi Larsen; Oksanen, Antti; Chriél, Mariann

    2017-01-01

    Setaria tundra is a mosquito-borne filarial nematode of cervids in Europe. It has recently been associated with an emerging epidemic disease causing severe morbidity and mortality in reindeer and moose in Finland. Here, we present the first report of S. tundra in six roe deer (Capreolus capreolus...... Europe. Roe deer are generally considered as asymptomatic carriers and their numbers in Denmark have increased significantly in recent decades. In light of climatic changes which result in warmer, more humid weather in Scandinavia greater numbers of mosquitoes and, especially, improved conditions...... for development of parasite larvae in the mosquito vectors are expected, which may lead to increasing prevalence of S. tundra. Monitoring of this vector-borne parasite may thus be needed in order to enhance the knowledge of factors promoting its expansion and prevalence as well as predicting disease outbreaks. (C...

  8. Lead toxicosis in tundra swans near a mining and smelting complex in northern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blus, L.J.; Henny, C.J.; Hoffman, D.J.; Grove, R.A.

    1991-01-01

    Die-offs of waterfowl have occurred in the Coeur d`Alene River system in northern Idaho since at least the early 1900`s. We investigated causes of mortality and lead and cadmium contamination of 46 tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) from 1987 to 1989; an additional 22 swans found dead in 1990 were not examined. We necropsied 43 of the 46 birds found from 1987 to 1989; 38 of these were from the Coeur d`Alene River system, which has been contaminated with mining and smelting wastes for a century, and the other 5 were from a nearby, relatively uncontaminated area. Of the 36 livers of swans from the contaminated area that were analyzed, 32 contained lethal levels of lead (6 to 40 micrograms/g, wet weight) and all birds exhibited several symptoms of lead poisoning, notably enlarged gall bladders containing viscous, darkgreen bile. Only 13% of the lead-poisoned birds (10% when data were included from other studies of swans in the area) contained shot, compared to 95% of lead-poisoning swans in studies outside northern Idaho. Lead concentrations in blood samples from 16 apparently healthy swans (0.5 to 2.3 micrograms/g, and 4 leadpoisoned birds found moribund (1.3 to 9.6 micrograms/g) indicating that tundra swans accumulated high levels of lead from ingestion of sediment that contained up to 8,700 micrograms/g of lead and plants that contained up to 400 micrograms/g. The swans spend only a few weeks in the area staging during the spring migration. The five tundra swans from the uncontaminated area had low levels of lead and essentially no symptoms of lead poisoning.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  9. Molecular detection of Setaria tundra (Nematoda: Filarioidea and an unidentified filarial species in mosquitoes in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Czajka Christina

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Knowledge of the potential vector role of Culicidae mosquitoes in Germany is very scanty, and until recently it was generally assumed that they are not involved in the transmission of anthroponotic or zoonotic pathogens in this country. However, anticipated changes in the course of global warming and globalization may alter their status. Methods We conducted a molecular mass screening of mosquitoes for filarial parasites using mitochondrial 12S rRNA-based real-time PCR. Results No parasites causing disease in humans such as Dirofilaria spp. were detected in about 83,000 mosquitoes tested, which had been collected in 2009 and 2010 in 16 locations throughout Germany. However, minimum infection rates of up to 24 per 1000 mosquitoes were revealed, which could be attributed to mosquito infection with Setaria tundra and a yet unidentified second parasite. Setaria tundra was found to be widespread in southern Germany in various mosquito species, except Culex spp. In contrast, the unidentified filarial species was exclusively found in Culex spp. in northern Baden-Württemberg, and is likely to be a bird parasite. Conclusions Although dirofilariasis appears to be emerging and spreading in Europe, the absence of Dirofilaria spp. or other zoonotic filariae in our sample allows the conclusion that the risk of autochthonous infection in Germany is still very low. Potential vectors of S. tundra in Germany are Ochlerotatus sticticus, Oc. cantans, Aedes vexans and Anopheles claviger. Technically, the synergism between entomologists, virologists and parasitologists, combined with state-of-the-art methods allows a very efficient near-real-time monitoring of a wide spectrum of both human and veterinary pathogens, including new distribution records of parasite species and the incrimination of their potential vectors.

  10. Influence of iron redox cycling on organo-mineral associations in arctic tundra soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herndon, E.; AlBashaireh, A.; Duroe, K.; Singer, D. M.

    2016-12-01

    Geochemical interactions between soil organic matter and minerals influence decomposition in many environments but remain poorly understood in arctic tundra systems. In tundra soils that are periodically to persistently saturated, the accumulation of iron oxyhydroxides and organo-iron precipitates at redox interfaces may inhibit decomposition by binding organic molecules and protecting them from microbial degradation. Here, we couple synchrotron-source spectroscopic techniques with chemical sequential extractions and physical density fractionations to evaluate the spatial distribution and speciation of Fe-bearing phases and associated organic matter in organic and mineral horizons of the seasonally thawed active layer in tundra soils from northern Alaska. Mineral-associated organic matter comprised 63 ± 9% of soil organic carbon stored in the active layer of ice wedge polygons. Ferrous iron produced in anoxic mineral horizons diffused upwards and precipitated as poorly-crystalline oxyhydroxides and organic-bound Fe(III) in the organic horizons. Ferrihydrite and goethite were present as coatings on mineral grains and plant debris and in aggregates with clays and particulate organic matter. Organic matter released through acid-dissolution of iron oxides may represent a small pool of readily-degradable organic molecules temporarily stabilized by sorption to iron oxyhydroxide surfaces, while larger quantities of particulate organic carbon and humic-like substances may be physically protected from decomposition by Fe-oxide coatings and aggregation. We conclude that formation of poorly-crystalline and crystalline iron oxides at redox interfaces contributes to mineral protection of organic matter through sorption, aggregation, and co-precipitation reactions. Further study of organo-mineral associations is necessary to determine the net impact of mineral-stabilization on carbon storage in rapidly warming arctic ecosystems.

  11. Using smooth sheets to describe groundfish habitat in Alaskan waters, with specific application to two flatfishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, Mark; Reid, Jane A.; Golden, Nadine

    2016-01-01

    In this analysis we demonstrate how preferred fish habitat can be predicted and mapped for juveniles of two Alaskan groundfish species – Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) and flathead sole (Hippoglossoides elassodon) – at five sites (Kiliuda Bay, Izhut Bay, Port Dick, Aialik Bay, and the Barren Islands) in the central Gulf of Alaska. The method involves using geographic information system (GIS) software to extract appropriate information from National Ocean Service (NOS) smooth sheets that are available from NGDC (the National Geophysical Data Center). These smooth sheets are highly detailed charts that include more soundings, substrates, shoreline and feature information than the more commonly-known navigational charts. By bringing the information from smooth sheets into a GIS, a variety of surfaces, such as depth, slope, rugosity and mean grain size were interpolated into raster surfaces. Other measurements such as site openness, shoreline length, proportion of bay that is near shore, areas of rocky reefs and kelp beds, water volumes, surface areas and vertical cross-sections were also made in order to quantify differences between the study sites. Proper GIS processing also allows linking the smooth sheets to other data sets, such as orthographic satellite photographs, topographic maps and precipitation estimates from which watersheds and runoff can be derived. This same methodology can be applied to larger areas, taking advantage of these free data sets to describe predicted groundfish essential fish habitat (EFH) in Alaskan waters.

  12. Modeling the Observed Microwave Emission from Shallow Multi-Layer Tundra Snow Using DMRT-ML

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nastaran Saberi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The observed brightness temperatures (Tb at 37 GHz from typical moderate density dry snow in mid-latitudes decreases with increasing snow water equivalent (SWE due to volume scattering of the ground emissions by the overlying snow. At a certain point, however, as SWE increases, the emission from the snowpack offsets the scattering of the sub-nivean emission. In tundra snow, the Tb slope reversal occurs at shallower snow thicknesses. While it has been postulated that the inflection point in the seasonal time series of observed Tb V 37 GHz of tundra snow is controlled by the formation of a thick wind slab layer, the simulation of this effect has yet to be confirmed. Therefore, the Dense Media Radiative Transfer Theory for Multi Layered (DMRT-ML snowpack is used to predict the passive microwave response from airborne observations over shallow, dense, slab-layered tundra snow. Airborne radiometer observations coordinated with ground-based in situ snow measurements were acquired in the Canadian high Arctic near Eureka, NT, in April 2011. The DMRT-ML was parameterized with the in situ snow measurements using a two-layer snowpack and run in two configurations: a depth hoar and a wind slab dominated pack. With these two configurations, the calibrated DMRT-ML successfully predicted the Tb V 37 GHz response (R correlation of 0.83 when compared with the observed airborne Tb footprints containing snow pits measurements. Using this calibrated model, the DMRT-ML was applied to the whole study region. At the satellite observation scale, observations from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observing System (AMSR-E over the study area reflected seasonal differences between Tb V 37 GHz and Tb V 19 GHz that supports the hypothesis of the development of an early season volume scattering depth hoar layer, followed by the growth of the late season emission-dominated wind slab layer. This research highlights the necessity to consider the two

  13. Arctic Tundra Vegetation Functional Types Based on Photosynthetic Physiology and Optical Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huemmrich, Karl Fred; Gamon, John A.; Tweedie, Craig E.; Campbell, Petya K. Entcheva; Landis, David R.; Middleton, Elizabeth M.

    2013-01-01

    Non-vascular plants (lichens and mosses) are significant components of tundra landscapes and may respond to climate change differently from vascular plants affecting ecosystem carbon balance. Remote sensing provides critical tools for monitoring plant cover types, as optical signals provide a way to scale from plot measurements to regional estimates of biophysical properties, for which spatial-temporal patterns may be analyzed. Gas exchange measurements were collected for pure patches of key vegetation functional types (lichens, mosses, and vascular plants) in sedge tundra at Barrow, AK. These functional types were found to have three significantly different values of light use efficiency (LUE) with values of 0.013 plus or minus 0.0002, 0.0018 plus or minus 0.0002, and 0.0012 plus or minus 0.0001 mol C mol (exp -1) absorbed quanta for vascular plants, mosses and lichens, respectively. Discriminant analysis of the spectra reflectance of these patches identified five spectral bands that separated each of these vegetation functional types as well as nongreen material (bare soil, standing water, and dead leaves). These results were tested along a 100 m transect where midsummer spectral reflectance and vegetation coverage were measured at one meter intervals. Along the transect, area-averaged canopy LUE estimated from coverage fractions of the three functional types varied widely, even over short distances. The patch-level statistical discriminant functions applied to in situ hyperspectral reflectance data collected along the transect successfully unmixed cover fractions of the vegetation functional types. The unmixing functions, developed from the transect data, were applied to 30 m spatial resolution Earth Observing-1 Hyperion imaging spectrometer data to examine variability in distribution of the vegetation functional types for an area near Barrow, AK. Spatial variability of LUE was derived from the observed functional type distributions. Across this landscape, a

  14. Hybrid image classification technique for land-cover mapping in the Arctic tundra, North Slope, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhuri, Debasish

    Remotely sensed image classification techniques are very useful to understand vegetation patterns and species combination in the vast and mostly inaccessible arctic region. Previous researches that were done for mapping of land cover and vegetation in the remote areas of northern Alaska have considerably low accuracies compared to other biomes. The unique arctic tundra environment with short growing season length, cloud cover, low sun angles, snow and ice cover hinders the effectiveness of remote sensing studies. The majority of image classification research done in this area as reported in the literature used traditional unsupervised clustering technique with Landsat MSS data. It was also emphasized by previous researchers that SPOT/HRV-XS data lacked the spectral resolution to identify the small arctic tundra vegetation parcels. Thus, there is a motivation and research need to apply a new classification technique to develop an updated, detailed and accurate vegetation map at a higher spatial resolution i.e. SPOT-5 data. Traditional classification techniques in remotely sensed image interpretation are based on spectral reflectance values with an assumption of the training data being normally distributed. Hence it is difficult to add ancillary data in classification procedures to improve accuracy. The purpose of this dissertation was to develop a hybrid image classification approach that effectively integrates ancillary information into the classification process and combines ISODATA clustering, rule-based classifier and the Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) classifier which uses artificial neural network (ANN). The main goal was to find out the best possible combination or sequence of classifiers for typically classifying tundra type vegetation that yields higher accuracy than the existing classified vegetation map from SPOT data. Unsupervised ISODATA clustering and rule-based classification techniques were combined to produce an intermediate classified map which was

  15. First Record of Setaria Tundra in Danish Roe Deer (Capreolus Capreolus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Enemark, Heidi L.; Harslund, Jakob le Fèvre; Oksanen, A.

    2011-01-01

    No previous finds of the mosquito-borne filarioid nematode Setaria tundra have been reported from Denmark, although it was described decades ago in Swedish and Norwegian reindeer as well as in roe deer from Germany, Bulgaria and more recently also from Italy and Finland. Setaria spp. are usually...... and thereby larger numbers of mosquitoes, it is important to monitor this vector-borne parasite. This will not only increase the understanding of factors promoting its expansion but also help to predict disease outbreaks....

  16. Enhanced biological degradation of crude oil in a Spitsbergen tundra site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sveum, P.; Faksness, L.-G.

    1993-01-01

    A series of oil-contaminated tundra plots on Spitsbergen was treated with combinations of five different fertilizer additives. Both organic and mineral nutrient sources were used, alone or in combination. Biological degradation of oil was recorded in all of the plots. The extent of degradation depended on the type of fertilizer added. The local conditions influence oil degradation significantly, as well as the effect of the fertilizer. Urea, SkogAN (a slow releasing fertilizer), and a blend of fish meals all give high degrees of oil degradation. Both the microbial parameters and the total heterotrophic respiration are influenced by the addition of fertilizers. 6 refs., 13 figs., 3 tabs

  17. Delineation of Tundra Swan Cygnus c. columbianus populations in North America: geographic boundaries and interchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ely, Craig R.; Sladen, William J. L.; Wilson, Heather M.; Savage, Susan E.; Sowl, Kristine M.; Henry, Bill; Schwitters, Mike; Snowden, James

    2014-01-01

    North American Tundra Swans Cygnus c. columbianus are composed of two wellrecognised populations: an Eastern Population (EP) that breeds across northern Canada and north of the Brooks Range in Alaska, which migrates to the eastern seaboard of the United States, and a Western Population (WP) that breeds in coastal regions of Alaska south of the Brooks Range and migrates to western North America. We present results of a recent major ringing effort from across the breeding range in Alaska to provide a better definition of the geographic extent of the migratory divide in Alaska. We also reassess the staging and winter distributions of these populations based on locations of birds tracked using satellite transmitters, and recent recoveries and sightings of neck-collared birds. Summer sympatry of EP and WP Tundra Swans is very limited, and largely confined to a small area in northwest Alaska. Autumn migration pathways of EP and WP Tundra swans abut in southwest Saskatchewan, a region where migrating WP birds turn west, and EP birds deviate abruptly eastward. Overall, from 1989 to 2013 inclusive, 2.6% of recoveries or resightings reported to the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory were of birds that moved from the domain of the population in which they were initially captured to within the range of the other population; a proportion roughly comparable to the results of Limpert et al. (1991) for years before 1990. Of the 70 cross-boundary movements reported since 1989, 39% were of birds marked on breeding areas and 61% were of birds marked on wintering areas. Dispersing swans (i.e. those that made crossboundary movements) did not differ with respect to age or sex from those that did not move between populations. The Brooks Range in northern Alaska effectively separates the two populations within Alaska, but climate-induced changes in tundra breeding habitats and losses of wetlands on staging areas may alter the distribution for both of these populations.

  18. Carbon dioxide exchange in three tundra sites show a dissimilar response to environmental variables

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mbufong, Herbert Njuabe; Lund, Magnus; Christensen, Torben Røjle

    2015-01-01

    variability. An improved understanding of the control of ancillary variables on net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) will improve the accuracy with which CO2 exchange seasonality in Arctic tundra ecosystems is modelled. Fluxes were measured with the eddy...... Lake. Growing season NEE correlated mainly to cumulative radiation and temperature-related variables at Zackenberg, while at Daring Lake the same variables showed significant correlations with the partitioned fluxes (GPP and Re). Stordalen was temperature dependent during the growing season. This study...

  19. Establishing an Alaskan birch syrup industry: Birch Syrup—It’s the Un-maple!TM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marlene. Cameron

    2001-01-01

    Ten years ago a small group of Alaskans began commercial production of birch syrup from the sap of the paper birch, Betula papyrifera, and established an industry that is expanding in response to demand and has the potential to make a significant contribution to Alaska's economy. There are still many problems to be solved; research and...

  20. The role of windstorm exposure and yellow cedar decline on landslide susceptibility in southeast Alaskan temperate rainforests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian Buma; Adelaide C. Johnson

    2015-01-01

    Interactions between ecological disturbances have the potential to alter other disturbances and their associated regimes, such as the likelihood, severity, and extent of events. The influence of exposure to wind and yellow cedar decline on the landslide regime of Alaskan temperate rainforests was explored using presence-only modeling techniques. The wind regime was...

  1. Urban American Indian/Alaskan Natives Compared to Non-Indians in Out-of-Home Care

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Vernon B.

    2011-01-01

    Historically, American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) children have been disproportionately represented in the foster care system. In this study, nationally representative child welfare data from October 1999 was used to compare urban AI/AN children to non-Indian children placed into out-of-home care. Compared to non-Indian children, urban AI/AN…

  2. Long-Term Effects of Otitis Media a Ten-Year Cohort Study of Alaskan Eskimo Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Gary J.; And Others

    1973-01-01

    Histories of ear disease, otoscopic examinations, and audiologic, intelligence, and achievement tests were obtained from a cohort of 489 Alaskan Eskimo children, followed through the first 10 years of life, to determine whether otitis media (middle ear inflammation) deleteriously affected intellectual functioning and achievement in school.…

  3. Invertebrate communities of Arctic tundra ponds as related to proximity to drill site reserve pits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Byron, E.; Williams, N.; Hoffman, R.; Elder, B.

    1994-01-01

    Aquatic invertebrate communities were assessed for diversity and abundance in North Slope tundra ponds of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska during the summer of 1992 as part of an evaluation of potential effects of exposure to petroleum drill site reserve pits (previously used for storing drill site wastes). The invertebrate communities of these shallow, tundra ponds provide abundant food for migratory, aquatic birds that use this area during the summer breeding season. The study was designed to compare abundance and diversity estimates of invertebrates in ponds surrounding the drill sites that differed in distance (and presumed exposure) to drill site reserve pits. The pits, themselves, were not sampled as part of this study. Invertebrate abundance and diversity estimates, assessed as standard biological criteria, were evaluated relative to water chemistry of the ponds, distance to the gravel pads or reserve pits, and pond morphometry. The results indicated the importance of pond morphometry in determining the structure of the invertebrate community. Shallow, exposed ponds tended to be dominated by different invertebrate communities than deeper, narrow ponds at the margins of frost polygons. In contrast, pond chemistry and relative exposure to drill sites were not predictive of invertebrate abundance or diversity

  4. Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziming Yang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Microbial decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC in thawing Arctic permafrost is important in determining greenhouse gas feedbacks of tundra ecosystems to climate. However, the changes in microbial community structure during SOC decomposition are poorly known. Here we examine these changes using frozen soils from Barrow, Alaska, USA, in anoxic microcosm incubation at −2 and 8°C for 122 days. The functional gene array GeoChip was used to determine microbial community structure and the functional genes associated with SOC degradation, methanogenesis, and Fe(III reduction. Results show that soil incubation after 122 days at 8°C significantly decreased functional gene abundance (P < 0.05 associated with SOC degradation, fermentation, methanogenesis, and iron cycling, particularly in organic-rich soil. These observations correspond well with decreases in labile SOC content (e.g., reducing sugar and ethanol, methane and CO2 production, and Fe(III reduction. In contrast, the community functional structure was largely unchanged in the −2°C incubation. Soil type (i.e., organic vs. mineral and the availability of labile SOC were among the most significant factors impacting microbial community structure. These results demonstrate the important roles of microbial community in SOC degradation and support previous findings that SOC in organic-rich Arctic tundra is highly vulnerable to microbial degradation under warming.

  5. Distinct soil bacterial communities along a small-scale elevational gradient in alpine tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Congcong eShen

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The elevational diversity pattern for microorganisms has received great attention recently but is still understudied, and phylogenetic relatedness is rarely studied for microbial elevational distributions. Using a bar-coded pyrosequencing technique, we examined the biodiversity patterns for soil bacterial communities of tundra ecosystem along 2000–2500 m elevations on Changbai Mountain in China. Bacterial taxonomic richness displayed a linear decreasing trend with increasing elevation. Phylogenetic diversity and mean nearest taxon distance (MNTD exhibited a unimodal pattern with elevation. Bacterial communities were more phylogenetically clustered than expected by chance at all elevations based on the standardized effect size of MNTD metric. The bacterial communities differed dramatically among elevations, and the community composition was significantly correlated with soil total carbon, total nitrogen, C:N ratio, and dissolved organic carbon. Multiple ordinary least squares regression analysis showed that the observed biodiversity patterns strongly correlated with soil total carbon and C:N ratio. Taken together, this is the first time that a significant bacterial diversity pattern has been observed across a small-scale elevational gradient. Our results indicated that soil carbon and nitrogen contents were the critical environmental factors affecting bacterial elevational distribution in Changbai Mountain tundra. This suggested that ecological niche-based environmental filtering processes related to soil carbon and nitrogen contents could play a dominant role in structuring bacterial communities along the elevational gradient.

  6. Nesting ecology of tundra swans on the coastal Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babcock, C.A.; Fowler, A.C.; Ely, Craig R.

    2002-01-01

    Nesting ecology of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) was studies the Kashunuk River near Old Chevak (61A?26a??N, 165A?27a??W), on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta of western Alaska from 1988-2000. Annual variation in snow-melt chronology, nesting phenology, nesting density, clutch size and nest success was examined. The same area (approximately 23 kmA?) was searched each year and nests were found as early as possible in the laying period. Laying initiation dates ranged from 1-27 May and hatch dates from 12 June a?? 4 July among pairs and years of study. The peak arrival of Tundra Swans and the phenology of nest initiation and hatch were highly correlated with the progression of ice and snow melt in spring. Nest density averaged 0.71 kmA? and 89% of nesting pairs hatched at least one egg. Incubation period ranged from 26 to 33 days with a median of 30 days. Clutch size varied significantly among years, driven by a low mean value of 3.4 eggs in 1999. Clutch sizes were generally larger than found in previous investigations on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, and nearly one egg larger than reported for clutches from Alaskaa??s North Slope (=70A?N). There was no indication of reduced clutch size in years of late spring snow melt, although nesting density tended to be lower.

  7. Size and mass of grit in gizzards of sandhill cranes, tundra swans, and mute swans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franson, J. Christian; Hansen, Scott P.; Duerr, Adam E.; DeStefano, Stephen

    2001-01-01

    Because it has been suggested that waterbirds may ingest lost or discarded lead fishing weights as grit, we examined grit in the gizzards of Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis), Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus), and Mute Swans (Cygnus olor), three species where individuals have been poisoned by the ingestion of lead fishing weights. The greatest proportion (by mass) of grit in gizzards of Sandhill Cranes consisted of particles with a minimum dimension of 2.36-4.75 mm. Grit particles in swans were much smaller, with the most prevalent (by mass) being 0.6-1.18 mm. The greatest dimension of the largest grit particle found in cranes and swans was 17.4 mm and 14.0 mm, respectively. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a ban on lead fishing weights of ≤25.4 mm in any dimension. Based on the size of grit particles that we found in gizzards of Sandhill Cranes, Mute Swans, and Tundra Swans, we believe it is unlikely that individuals of those species would ingest, as grit, lead fishing weights larger than 25.4 mm in any dimension.

  8. Reduced arctic tundra productivity linked with landform and climate change interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Mark J.; Nitze, Ingmar; Grosse, Guido; Martin, Philip; McGuire, A. David

    2018-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems have experienced unprecedented change associated with climate warming over recent decades. Across the Pan-Arctic, vegetation productivity and surface greenness have trended positively over the period of satellite observation. However, since 2011 these trends have slowed considerably, showing signs of browning in many regions. It is unclear what factors are driving this change and which regions/landforms will be most sensitive to future browning. Here we provide evidence linking decadal patterns in arctic greening and browning with regional climate change and local permafrost-driven landscape heterogeneity. We analyzed the spatial variability of decadal-scale trends in surface greenness across the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska (~60,000 km²) using the Landsat archive (1999–2014), in combination with novel 30 m classifications of polygonal tundra and regional watersheds, finding landscape heterogeneity and regional climate change to be the most important factors controlling historical greenness trends. Browning was linked to increased temperature and precipitation, with the exception of young landforms (developed following lake drainage), which will likely continue to green. Spatiotemporal model forecasting suggests carbon uptake potential to be reduced in response to warmer and/or wetter climatic conditions, potentially increasing the net loss of carbon to the atmosphere, at a greater degree than previously expected.

  9. Herbivores rescue diversity in warming tundra by modulating trait-dependent species losses and gains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Eskelinen, Anu; Olofsson, Johan

    2017-09-04

    Climate warming is altering the diversity of plant communities but it remains unknown which species will be lost or gained under warming, especially considering interactions with other factors such as herbivory and nutrient availability. Here, we experimentally test effects of warming, mammalian herbivory and fertilization on tundra species richness and investigate how plant functional traits affect losses and gains. We show that herbivory reverses the impact of warming on diversity: in the presence of herbivores warming increases species richness through higher species gains and lower losses, while in the absence of herbivores warming causes higher species losses and thus decreases species richness. Herbivores promote gains of short-statured species under warming, while herbivore removal and fertilization increase losses of short-statured and resource-conservative species through light limitation. Our results demonstrate that both rarity and traits forecast species losses and gains, and mammalian herbivores are essential for preventing trait-dependent extinctions and mitigate diversity loss under warming and eutrophication.Warming can reduce plant diversity but it is unclear which species will be lost or gained under interacting global changes. Kaarlejärvi et al. manipulate temperature, herbivory and nutrients in a tundra system and find that herbivory maintains diversity under warming by reducing species losses and promoting gains.

  10. Physicochemical and Microbiological Characteristics of Tundra Soils on the Rybachii Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evdokimova, G. A.; Mozgova, N. P.; Myazin, V. A.

    2018-01-01

    The Rybachii Peninsula is composed of Proterozoic sedimentary rocks and differs sharply from the rest of the Kola Peninsula in its geological structure, topographic forms, and parent rocks. It is dominated by Al-Fe-humus soils formed on moraines with an admixture of local rock fragments, including slates. Organic horizons of tundra soils in the peninsula are less acid than those on granitoids of adjacent mainland of the Kola Peninsula. The content of exchangeable calcium in the organic horizons varies from 17.4 to 68.0 cmolc/kg, and the content of water-soluble carbon reaches 400 mg/100 g amounting to 1-2% of the total soil organic matter content. The total number of bacteria in the organic horizons of tundra soils varies from 3.5 × 109 to 4.8 × 109 cells/g; and bacterial biomass varies from 0.14 to 0.19 mg/g. The length of fungal mycelium and its biomass in the organic horizons are significant (>1000 m/g soil). The biomass of fungal mycelium in the organic horizons exceeds the bacterial biomass by seven times in podzols (Albic Podzols) and by ten times in podbur (Entic Podzol), dry-peat soil (Folic Histosol), and low-moor peat soil (Sapric Histosol).

  11. The sign, magnitude and potential drivers of change in surface water extent in Canadian tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Mark L.; Loboda, Tatiana V.

    2018-04-01

    The accelerated rate of warming in the Arctic has considerable implications for all components of ecosystem functioning in the High Northern Latitudes. Changes to hydrological cycle in the Arctic are particularly complex as the observed and projected warming directly impacts permafrost and leads to variable responses in surface water extent which is currently poorly characterized at the regional scale. In this study we take advantage of the 30 plus years of medium resolution (30 m) Landsat data to quantify the spatial patterns of change in the extent of water bodies in the Arctic tundra in Nunavut, Canada. Our results show a divergent pattern of change—growing surface water extent in the north-west and shrinking in the south-east—which is not a function of the overall distribution of surface water in the region. The observed changes cannot be explained by latitudinal stratification, nor is it explained by available temperature and precipitation records. However, the sign of change appears to be consistent within the boundaries of individual watersheds defined by the Canada National Hydro Network based on the random forest analysis. Using land cover maps as a proxy for ecological function we were able to link shrinking tundra water bodies to substrates with shallow soil layers (i.e. bedrock and barren landscapes) with a moderate correlation (R 2 = 0.46, p evaporation as an important driver of surface water decrease in these cases.

  12. Prevalence, transmission, and genetic diversity of blood parasites infecting tundra-nesting geese in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramey, Andy M.; Reed, John A.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Fondell, Tom F.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.; Terenzi, John; Ely, Craig R.

    2014-01-01

    A total of 842 blood samples collected from five species of tundra-nesting geese in Alaska was screened for haemosporidian parasites using molecular techniques. Parasites of the generaLeucocytozoon Danilewsky, 1890, Haemoproteus Kruse, 1890, and Plasmodium Marchiafava and Celli, 1885 were detected in 169 (20%), 3 (parasites and assess variation relative to species, age, sex, geographic area, year, and decade. Species, age, and decade were identified as important in explaining differences in prevalence of Leucocytozoonparasites. Leucocytozoon parasites were detected in goslings sampled along the Arctic Coastal Plain using both historic and contemporary samples, which provided support for transmission in the North American Arctic. In contrast, lack of detection of Haemoproteus and Plasmodiumparasites in goslings (n = 238) provided evidence to suggest that the transmission of parasites of these genera may not occur among waterfowl using tundra habitats in Alaska, or alternatively, may only occur at low levels. Five haemosporidian genetic lineages shared among different species of geese sampled from two geographic areas were indicative of interspecies parasite transmission and supported broad parasite or vector distributions. However, identicalLeucocytozoon and Haemoproteus lineages on public databases were limited to waterfowl hosts suggesting constraints in the range of parasite hosts.

  13. Seismic array processing and computational infrastructure for improved monitoring of Alaskan and Aleutian seismicity and volcanoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindquist, Kent Gordon

    We constructed a near-real-time system, called Iceworm, to automate seismic data collection, processing, storage, and distribution at the Alaska Earthquake Information Center (AEIC). Phase-picking, phase association, and interprocess communication components come from Earthworm (U.S. Geological Survey). A new generic, internal format for digital data supports unified handling of data from diverse sources. A new infrastructure for applying processing algorithms to near-real-time data streams supports automated information extraction from seismic wavefields. Integration of Datascope (U. of Colorado) provides relational database management of all automated measurements, parametric information for located hypocenters, and waveform data from Iceworm. Data from 1997 yield 329 earthquakes located by both Iceworm and the AEIC. Of these, 203 have location residuals under 22 km, sufficient for hazard response. Regionalized inversions for local magnitude in Alaska yield Msb{L} calibration curves (logAsb0) that differ from the Californian Richter magnitude. The new curve is 0.2\\ Msb{L} units more attenuative than the Californian curve at 400 km for earthquakes north of the Denali fault. South of the fault, and for a region north of Cook Inlet, the difference is 0.4\\ Msb{L}. A curve for deep events differs by 0.6\\ Msb{L} at 650 km. We expand geographic coverage of Alaskan regional seismic monitoring to the Aleutians, the Bering Sea, and the entire Arctic by initiating the processing of four short-period, Alaskan seismic arrays. To show the array stations' sensitivity, we detect and locate two microearthquakes that were missed by the AEIC. An empirical study of the location sensitivity of the arrays predicts improvements over the Alaskan regional network that are shown as map-view contour plots. We verify these predictions by detecting an Msb{L} 3.2 event near Unimak Island with one array. The detection and location of four representative earthquakes illustrates the expansion

  14. Carbon storage in permafrost and soils of the mammoth tundra-steppe biome: role in the global carbon budget

    Science.gov (United States)

    N.S. Zimov; S.A. Zimov; A.E. Zimova; G.M. Zimova; V.I. Chuprynin; F.S. Chapin

    2009-01-01

    During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), atmospheric CO2 concentration was 80-100 ppmv lower than in preindustrial times. At that time steppe-tundra was the most extensive biome on Earth. Some authors assume that C storage in that biome was very small, similar to today's deserts, and that the terrestrial carbon (C) reservoir increased at the...

  15. An application of plot-scale NDVI in predicting carbon dioxide exchange and leaf area index in heterogeneous subarctic tundra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dagg, J.; Lafleur, P.

    2010-07-01

    This paper reported on a study that examined the flow of carbon into and out of tundra ecosystems. It is necessary to accurately predict carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) exchange in the Tundra because of the impacts of climate change on carbon stored in permafrost. Understanding the relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and vegetation and CO{sub 2} exchange may explain how small-scale variation in vegetation community extends to remotely sensed estimates of landscape characteristics. In this study, CO{sub 2} fluxes were measured with a portable chamber in a range of Tundra vegetation communities. Biomass and leaf area were measured with destructive harvest, and NDVI was obtained using a hand-held infrared camera. There was a weak correlation between NDVI and leaf area index in some vegetation communities, but a significant correlation between NDVI and biomass, including mosses. NDVI was found to be strongly related to photosynthetic activity and net CO{sub 2} uptake in all vegetation groups. However, NDVI related to ecosystem respiration only in wet sedge. It was concluded that at plot scale, the ability of NDVI to predict ecosystem properties and CO{sub 2} exchange in heterogeneous Tundra vegetation is variable.

  16. An application of plot-scale NDVI in predicting carbon dioxide exchange and leaf area index in heterogeneous subarctic tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dagg, J.; Lafleur, P.

    2010-01-01

    This paper reported on a study that examined the flow of carbon into and out of tundra ecosystems. It is necessary to accurately predict carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) exchange in the Tundra because of the impacts of climate change on carbon stored in permafrost. Understanding the relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and vegetation and CO 2 exchange may explain how small-scale variation in vegetation community extends to remotely sensed estimates of landscape characteristics. In this study, CO 2 fluxes were measured with a portable chamber in a range of Tundra vegetation communities. Biomass and leaf area were measured with destructive harvest, and NDVI was obtained using a hand-held infrared camera. There was a weak correlation between NDVI and leaf area index in some vegetation communities, but a significant correlation between NDVI and biomass, including mosses. NDVI was found to be strongly related to photosynthetic activity and net CO 2 uptake in all vegetation groups. However, NDVI related to ecosystem respiration only in wet sedge. It was concluded that at plot scale, the ability of NDVI to predict ecosystem properties and CO 2 exchange in heterogeneous Tundra vegetation is variable.

  17. Depth-based differentiation in nitrogen uptake between graminoids and shrubs in an Arctic tundra plant community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Peng; Limpens, Juul; Nauta, Ake; Huissteden, van Corine; Rijssel, van Sophie Quirina; Mommer, Liesje; Kroon, de Hans; Maximov, Trofim C.; Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.

    2018-01-01

    Questions: The rapid climate warming in tundra ecosystems can increase nutrient availability in the soil, which may initiate shifts in vegetation composition. The direction in which the vegetation shifts will co-determine whether Arctic warming is mitigated or accelerated, making the understanding

  18. Seasonal changes and vertical distribution of root standing biomass of graminoids and shrubs at a Siberian tundra site

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Peng; Mommer, L.; Ruijven, van J.; Berendse, F.; Maximov, T.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.

    2016-01-01

    Aims

    Shrub expansion is common in the tundra biome and has been linked to climate warming. However, the underlying mechanisms are still not fully understood. This study aimed to investigate the seasonal and vertical rooting patterns of different plant functional types, which is important

  19. 33 CFR 334.1280 - Bristol Bay, Alaska; air-to-air weapon range, Alaskan Air Command, U.S. Air Force.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Bristol Bay, Alaska; air-to-air weapon range, Alaskan Air Command, U.S. Air Force. 334.1280 Section 334.1280 Navigation and Navigable... REGULATIONS § 334.1280 Bristol Bay, Alaska; air-to-air weapon range, Alaskan Air Command, U.S. Air Force. (a...

  20. Migration of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) Wintering in Japan Using Satellite Tracking: Identification of the Eastern Palearctic Flyway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wenbo; Doko, Tomoko; Fujita, Go; Hijikata, Naoya; Tokita, Ken-Ichi; Uchida, Kiyoshi; Konishi, Kan; Hiraoka, Emiko; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi

    2016-02-01

    Migration through the Eastern Palearctic (EP) flyway by tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) has not been thoroughly documented. We satellite-tracked the migration of 16 tundra swans that winter in Japan. The objectives of this study were 1) to show the migration pattern of the EP flyway of tundra swans; 2) to compare this pattern with the migration pattern of whooper swans; and 3) to identify stopover sites that are important for these swans' conservation. Tundra swans were captured at Kutcharo Lake, Hokkaido, in 2009-2012 and satellite-tracked. A new method called the "MATCHED (Migratory Analytical Time Change Easy Detection) method" was developed. Based on median, the spring migration began on 18 April and ended on 27 May. Autumn migration began on 9 September and ended on 2 November. The median duration of the spring and autumn migrations were 48 and 50 days, respectively. The mean duration at one stopover site was 5.5 days and 6.8 days for the spring and autumn migrations, respectively. The number of stopover sites was 3.0 and 2.5 for the spring and autumn migrations, respectively. The mean travel distances for the spring and autumn migrations were 6471 and 6331 km, respectively. Seven migration routes passing Sakhalin, the Amur River, and/or Kamchatka were identified. There were 15, 32, and eight wintering, stopover, and breeding sites, respectively. The migration routes and staging areas of tundra swans partially overlap with those of whooper swans, whose migration patterns have been previously documented. The migration patterns of these two swan species that winter in Japan confirm the importance of the Amur River, Udyl' Lake, Shchastya Bay, Aniva Bay, zaliv Chayvo Lake, zal Piltun Lake, zaliv Baykal Lake, Kolyma River, Buyunda River, Sen-kyuyel' Lake, and northern coastal areas of the Sea of Okhotsk.

  1. How spatial variation in areal extent and configuration of labile vegetation states affect the riparian bird community in Arctic tundra.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John-André Henden

    Full Text Available The Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by large herbivores and growing human activity. Thickets of tall shrubs represent a conspicuous vegetation state in northern and temperate ecosystems, where it serves important ecological functions, including habitat for wildlife. Thickets are however labile, as tall shrubs respond rapidly to both abiotic and biotic environmental drivers. Our aim was to assess how large-scale spatial variation in willow thicket areal extent, configuration and habitat structure affected bird abundance, occupancy rates and species richness so as to provide an empirical basis for predicting the outcome of environmental change for riparian tundra bird communities. Based on a 4-year count data series, obtained through a large-scale study design in low arctic tundra in northern Norway, statistical hierarchical community models were deployed to assess relations between habitat configuration and bird species occupancy and community richness. We found that species abundance, occupancy and richness were greatly affected by willow areal extent and configuration, habitat features likely to be affected by intense ungulate browsing as well as climate warming. In sum, total species richness was maximized in large and tall willow patches of small to intermediate degree of fragmentation. These community effects were mainly driven by responses in the occupancy rates of species depending on tall willows for foraging and breeding, while species favouring other vegetation states were not affected. In light of the predicted climate driven willow shrub encroachment in riparian tundra habitats, our study predicts that many bird species would increase in abundance, and that the bird community as a whole could become enriched. Conversely, in tundra regions where overabundance of large herbivores leads to decreased areal extent, reduced height and increased fragmentation

  2. Identification of a haptoglobin-hemoglobin complex in the Alaskan Least Cisco (Coregonus sardinella).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahl, S M; Boger, J K; Michael, V; Duffy, L K

    1992-01-01

    The hemoglobin and a hemoglobin binding protein have been characterized in the Arctic fish (Coregonus sardinella). The evolutionary significance of the hemoglobin and plasma protein differences between fish and mammals is still unresolved. Blood samples from the Alaskan Least Cisco were separated into plasma and hemoglobin fractions and the proteins in these fractions were analyzed both by alkaline agarose gel electrophoresis, by isolelectric focusing, and by capillary electrophoresis. Staining the plasma proteins gels with o-dianisidine revealed hemoglobin containing protein complexes. A hemoglobin-containing band was observed in hemolyzed plasma which did not migrate with free hemoglobin, and is believed to be hemoglobin-haptoglobin complex. Size exclusion chromatography further characterized the hemoglobin as disassociating freely into dimers, and hemoglobin-haptoglobin complex having a molecular weight greater then 200,000 daltons.

  3. Drought effects on large fire activity in Canadian and Alaskan forests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiao Jingfeng; Zhuang Qianlai

    2007-01-01

    Fire is the dominant disturbance in forest ecosystems across Canada and Alaska, and has important implications for forest ecosystems, terrestrial carbon dioxide emissions and the forestry industry. Large fire activity had increased in Canadian and Alaskan forests during the last four decades of the 20th century. Here we combined the Palmer Drought Severity Index and historical large fire databases to demonstrate that Canada and Alaska forest regions experienced summer drying over this time period, and drought during the fire season significantly affected forest fire activity in these regions. Climatic warming, positive geopotential height anomalies and ocean circulation patterns were spatially and temporally convolved in causing drought conditions, which in turn enhanced fuel flammability and thereby indirectly affected fire activity. Future fire regimes will likely depend on drought patterns under global climate change scenarios

  4. Lithospheric Structure across the Alaskan Cordillera from Surface Waves and Receiver Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, K. M.; Lin, F. C.

    2017-12-01

    The long awaited Transportable Array (TA) deployment in Alaska and western Canada is nearing its final deployment stage. With only one more deployment season, most of the TA station locations have been occupied and begun providing data. These TA stations combined with upgraded existing locations have provided enough high-quality data to begin investigating the crustal and upper mantle structure across the entire Alaskan Cordillera. From a tectonic standpoint, many interesting questions remain unanswered. For example, how does the transition from oceanic-oceanic subduction to continental-oceanic normal subduction to continental-oceanic "flat-slab" subduction to strike-slip conservative plate motion affect the deformation/uplift of the overriding plate and mantle geodynamic characteristics? How does the long and completed terrene accretion process partition stress/strain in the crust? On more local scales, are there any significant mid-crustal magmatic systems as observed in other sections of the American Cordillera, and if so, what is there role in uplift and crustal deformation? Our approach to investigating these questions is though surface wave imaging from ambient noise and earthquake generated sources along with Rayleigh wave ellipticity paired with Ps receiver functions. Our preliminary tomography results agree with previous studies but expand the spatial coverage showing additional detail. Our ellipticity results show a heterogeneous but spatially consistent anisotropic shallow crust. Although the complete TA data set has not yet been collected, we have jointly inverted surface waves with receiver functions for a 3-D shear-wave velocity model across the entire Alaskan Cordillera. Key features of our velocity model include a high-velocity feature in the upper mantle associated with the subducting Pacific plate that extends north of the seismicity used to contour the geometry of the slab and mid-crustal low-velocity zones associated with the active volcanics in

  5. Recent increased warming of the Alaskan marine Arctic due to midlatitude linkages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overland, James E.; Wang, Muyin; Ballinger, Thomas J.

    2018-01-01

    Alaskan Arctic waters have participated in hemispheric-wide Arctic warming over the last two decades at over two times the rate of global warming. During 2008-13, this relative warming occurred only north of the Bering Strait and the atmospheric Arctic front that forms a north-south thermal barrier. This front separates the southeastern Bering Sea temperatures from Arctic air masses. Model projections show that future temperatures in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas continue to warm at a rate greater than the global rate, reaching a change of +4°C by 2040 relative to the 1981-2010 mean. Offshore at 74°N, climate models project the open water duration season to increase from a current average of three months to five months by 2040. These rates are occasionally enhanced by midlatitude connections. Beginning in August 2014, additional Arctic warming was initiated due to increased SST anomalies in the North Pacific and associated shifts to southerly winds over Alaska, especially in winter 2015-16. While global warming and equatorial teleconnections are implicated in North Pacific SSTs, the ending of the 2014-16 North Pacific warm event demonstrates the importance of internal, chaotic atmospheric natural variability on weather conditions in any given year. Impacts from global warming on Alaskan Arctic temperature increases and sea-ice and snow loss, with occasional North Pacific support, are projected to continue to propagate through the marine ecosystem in the foreseeable future. The ecological and societal consequences of such changes show a radical departure from the current Arctic environment.

  6. The effects of climate changes on soil methane oxidation in a dry Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Imperio, Ludovica

    2014-05-01

    The effects of climate changes on soil methane oxidation in a dry Arctic tundra. Ludovica D'Imperio1, Anders Michelsen1, Christian J. Jørgensen1, Bo Elberling1 1Center for Permafrost (CENPERM), Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark At Northern latitudes climatic changes are predicted to be most pronounced resulting in increasing active layer depth and changes in growing season length, vegetation cover and nutrient cycling. As a consequence of increased temperature, large stocks of carbon stored in the permafrost-affected soils could become available for microbial transformations and under anoxic conditions result in increasing methane production affecting net methane (CH4) budget. Arctic tundra soils also serves as an important sink of atmospheric CH4 by microbial oxidation under aerobic conditions. While several process studies have documented the mechanisms behind both production and emissions of CH4 in arctic ecosystems, an important knowledge gap exists with respect to the in situ dynamics of microbial-driven uptake of CH4 in arctic dry lands which may be enhanced as a consequence of global warming and thereby counterbalancing CH4 emissions from Arctic wetlands. In-situ methane measurements were made in a dry Arctic tundra in Disko Island, Western Greenland, during the summer 2013 to assess the role of seasonal and inter-annual variations in temperatures and snow cover. The experimental set-up included snow fences installed in 2012, allowed investigations of the emissions of GHGs from soil under increased winter snow deposition and ambient field conditions. The soil fluxes of CH4 and CO2 were measured using closed chambers in manipulated plots with increased summer temperatures and shrub removal with or without increased winter precipitation. At the control plots, the averaged seasonal CH4 oxidation rates ranged between -0.05 mg CH4 m-2 hr-1 (end of August) and -0.32 mg CH4 m-2 hr-1 (end of June). In the

  7. Decadal changes in tundra land cover on Yamal Peninsula, Northwest Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, B. C.; Kumpula, T.; Macias-Fauria, M.

    2017-12-01

    The Yamal-Nenets Okrug in Russia has experienced significant changes in land use and climate in recent decades. Average year-round air temperatures have increased ca. 2°C since the 1970's, with much - but not all - of the warming taking place in winter. In association with ongoing summer warming, the annual growth of erect deciduous shrubs has been accelerating while growing season seasonality has diminished, characterized by shifts in the spatial patterns of key phenological parameters. We prepared LANDSAT-derived land cover classifications for 1988 and 2014 using change detection analysis, supported by extensive ground truthing bolstered with data from Very High-Resolution (VHR) imagery (e.g. Quickbird-2, Worldview-2/3). Research was conducted within summer reindeer pastures utilized by the Yarsalinksi sovhoz, whose animals are collectively owned, as well as many privately-owned herds. The area represents bioclimatic Subzone D of the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map and covers about 8500 km2. This is a key subzone for several reasons: (1) it includes Bovanenkovo, the first and largest gas deposit on Yamal to be developed; (2) it is a zone of extremely active periglacial processes (e.g. active layer detachment slides, lake drainage and recent methane-mediated craters); and (3) it is characterized by steadily increasing growth of tall willow shrubs (Salix spp.), which comprise an important source of fodder by reindeer migrating through the area in summer. These results are unique as our dataset: (1) covers sizable inland regions lying entirely within the Russian tundra zone; (2) derives from extensive ground truthing; and (3) treats all plant taxonomic groups (vascular, bryophytes, lichens) at the plot scale. Here we present the first such classifications, based on LANDSAT images from 1988 and 2014. We identify 16 classes ranging from bare ground and drained lakes, anthropogenic disturbances, through several wetland types, to various dwarf and erect tundra shrub

  8. Detection of tundra trail damage near Barrow, Alaska using remote imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkel, K. M.; Eisner, W. R.; Kim, C. J.

    2017-09-01

    In the past several decades, the use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) has proliferated in many Arctic communities in North America. One example is the village of Barrow, Alaska. This coastal community has only local roads, so all access to the interior utilizes off-road machines. These 4-wheel vehicles are the primary means of tundra traverse and transport in summer by hunters and berry-pickers, and by village residents accessing summer camps. Traveling cross-country is difficult due to the large number of thermokarst lakes, wetlands, and streams, and tundra trails tend to follow dryer higher ground while avoiding areas of high microrelief such as high-centered ice-wedge polygons. Thus, modern ATV trails tend to follow the margins of drained or partially drained thermokarst lake basins where it is flat and relatively dry, and these trails are heavily used. The deeply-ribbed tires of the heavy and powerful ATVs cause damage by destroying the vegetation and disturbing the underlying organic soil. Exposure of the dark soil enhances summer thaw and leads to local thermokarst of the ice-rich upper permafrost. The damage increases over time as vehicles continue to follow the same track, and sections eventually become unusable; this is especially true where the trail crosses ice-wedge troughs. Deep subsidence in the ponded troughs results in ATV users veering to avoid the wettest area, which leads to a widening of the damaged area. Helicopter surveys, site visits, and collection of ground penetrating radar data were combined with time series analysis of high-resolution aerial and satellite imagery for the period 1955-2014. The analysis reveals that there are 507 km of off-road trails on the Barrow Peninsula. About 50% of the total trail length was developed before 1955 in association with resource extraction, and an additional 40% were formed between 1979 and 2005 by ATVs. Segments of the more modern trail are up to 100 m wide. Damage to the tundra is especially pronounced

  9. Understanding Pan-Arctic Tundra Vegetation Change Through Long-term Remotely Sensed Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, U.; Walker, D. A.; Bieniek, P.; Raynolds, M. K.; Epstein, H. E.; Comiso, J. C.; Pinzon, J. E.; Tucker, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    The goal of this paper is to present an analysis of the seasonality of tundra vegetation variability and change using long-term remotely sensed data as well as ground based measurements and reanalyses. An increase of Pan-Arctic tundra vegetation greenness has been documented using the remotely sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Coherent variability between NDVI, springtime coastal sea ice (passive microwave) and land surface temperatures (AVHRR) has also been established. Satellite based snow and cloud cover data sets are being incorporated into this analysis. The Arctic tundra is divided into domains based on Treshnikov divisions that are modified based on floristic provinces. There is notable heterogeneity in Pan-Arctic vegetation and climate trends, which necessitates a regional analysis. This study uses remotely sensed weekly 25-km sea ice concentration, weekly surface temperature, and bi-weekly NDVI from 1982 to 2010. The GIMMS NDVI3g data has been corrected for biases during the spring and fall, with special focus on the Arctic. Trends of Maximum NDVI (MaxNDVI), Time Integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI), Summer Warmth Index (SWI, sum of degree months above freezing during May-August), and open water area are calculated for the Pan Arctic. Remotely sensed snow data trends suggest varying patterns throughout the Arctic and may in part explain the heterogeneous MaxNDVI trends. Standard climate data (station, reanalysis, and model data) and ground observations are used in the analysis to provide additional support for hypothesized mechanisms. Overall, we find that trends over the 30-year record are changing as evidenced by the following examples from recent years. The sea ice decline has increased in Eurasia and slowed in North America. The weekly AVHRR landsurface temperatures reveal that there has been summer cooling over Eurasia and that the warming over North America has slowed. The MaxNDVI rates of change have diverged between N. America and Eurasia

  10. Exchange of CO2 in Arctic tundra: impacts of meteorological variations and biological disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Blanco, Efrén; Lund, Magnus; Williams, Mathew; Tamstorf, Mikkel P.; Westergaard-Nielsen, Andreas; Exbrayat, Jean-François; Hansen, Birger U.; Christensen, Torben R.

    2017-10-01

    An improvement in our process-based understanding of carbon (C) exchange in the Arctic and its climate sensitivity is critically needed for understanding the response of tundra ecosystems to a changing climate. In this context, we analysed the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 in West Greenland tundra (64° N) across eight snow-free periods in 8 consecutive years, and characterized the key processes of net ecosystem exchange and its two main modulating components: gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco). Overall, the ecosystem acted as a consistent sink of CO2, accumulating -30 g C m-2 on average (range of -17 to -41 g C m-2) during the years 2008-2015, except 2011 (source of 41 g C m-2), which was associated with a major pest outbreak. The results do not reveal a marked meteorological effect on the net CO2 uptake despite the high interannual variability in the timing of snowmelt and the start and duration of the growing season. The ranges in annual GPP (-182 to -316 g C m-2) and Reco (144 to 279 g C m-2) were > 5 fold larger than the range in NEE. Gross fluxes were also more variable (coefficients of variation are 3.6 and 4.1 % respectively) than for NEE (0.7 %). GPP and Reco were sensitive to insolation and temperature, and there was a tendency towards larger GPP and Reco during warmer and wetter years. The relative lack of sensitivity of NEE to meteorology was a result of the correlated response of GPP and Reco. During the snow-free season of the anomalous year of 2011, a biological disturbance related to a larvae outbreak reduced GPP more strongly than Reco. With continued warming temperatures and longer growing seasons, tundra systems will increase rates of C cycling. However, shifts in sink strength will likely be triggered by factors such as biological disturbances, events that will challenge our forecasting of C states.

  11. Changes in Nutrients and Primary Production in Barrow Tundra Ponds Over the Past 40 Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lougheed, V.; Andresen, C.; Hernandez, C.; Miller, N.; Reyes, F.

    2012-12-01

    The Arctic tundra ponds at the International Biological Program (IBP) site in Barrow, Alaska were studied extensively in the 1970's; however, very little research has occurred there since that time. Due to the sensitivity of this region to climate warming, understanding any changes in the ponds' structure and function over the past 40 years can help identify any potential climate-related impacts. The goal of this study was to determine if the structure and function of primary producers had changed through time, and the association between these changes, urban encroachment and nutrient limitation. Nutrient levels, as well as the biomass of aquatic graminoids (Carex aquatilis and Arctophila fulva), phytoplankton and periphyton were determined in the IBP tundra ponds in both 1971-3 and 2010-12, and in 2010-11 from nearby ponds along an anthropogenic disturbance gradient. Uptake of 14C was also used to measure algal primary production in both time periods and nutrient addition experiments were performed to identify the nutrients limiting algal growth. Similar methods were utilized in the past and present studies. Overall, biomass of graminoids, phytoplankton and periphyton was greater in 2010-12 than that observed in the 1970s. This increased biomass was coincident with warmer water temperatures, increased water column nutrients and deeper active layer depth. Biomass of plants and algae was highest in the ponds closest to the village of Barrow, but no effect of urban encroachment was observed at the IBP ponds. Laboratory incubations indicated that nutrient release from thawing permafrost can explain part of these increases in nutrients and has likely contributed to changes in the primary limiting nutrient. Further studies are necessary to better understand the implications of these trends in primary production to nutrient budgets in the Arctic. The Barrow IBP tundra ponds represent one of the very few locations in the Arctic where long-term data are available on

  12. CO2 dynamics of tundra ponds in the low-Arctic, Northwest Territories, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buell, Mary-Claire

    Extensive research has gone into measuring changes to the carbon storage capacity of Arctic terrestrial environments as well as large water bodies in order to determine a carbon budget for many regions across the Arctic. Inland Arctic waters such as small lakes and ponds are often excluded from these carbon budgets, however a handful of studies have demonstrated that they can often be significant sources of carbon to the atmosphere. This study investigated the CO2 cycling of tundra ponds in the Daring Lake area, Northwest Territories, Canada (64°52'N, 111°35'W), to determine the role ponds have in the local carbon cycle. Floating chambers, nondispersive infrared (NDIR) sensors and headspace samples were used to estimate carbon fluxes from four selected local ponds. Multiple environmental, chemical and meteorological parameters were also monitored for the duration of the study, which took place during the snow free season of 2013. Average CO2 emissions for the two-month growing season ranged from approximately -0.0035 g CO2-C m-2 d -1 to 0.12 g CO2-C m-2 d-1. The losses of CO2 from the water bodies in the Daring Lake area were approximately 2-7% of the CO2 uptake over vegetated terrestrial tundra during the same two-month period. Results from this study indicated that the production of CO2 in tundra ponds was positively influenced by both increases in air temperature, and the delivery of carbon from their catchments. The relationship found between temperature and carbon emissions suggests that warming Arctic temperatures have the potential to increase carbon emissions from ponds in the future. The findings in this study did not include ebullition gas emissions nor plant mediated transport, therefore these findings are likely underestimates of the total carbon emissions from water bodies in the Daring Lake area. This study emphasizes the need for more research on inland waters in order to improve our understanding of the total impact these waters may have on the

  13. Thaw pond dynamics and carbon emissions in a Siberian lowland tundra landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Huissteden, Ko; Heijmans, Monique; Dean, Josh; Meisel, Ove; Goovaerts, Arne; Parmentier, Frans-Jan; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Belelli Marchesini, Luca; Kononov, Alexander; Maximov, Trofim; Borges, Alberto; Bouillon, Steven

    2017-04-01

    Arctic climate change induces drastic changes in permafrost surface wetness. As a result of thawing ground ice bodies, ice wedge troughs and thaw ponds are formed. Alternatively, ongoing thaw may enhance drainage as a result of increased interconnectedness of thawing ice wedge troughs, as inferred from a model study (Liljedahl et al., 2016, Nature Geoscience, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2674). However, a recent review highlighted the limited predictability of consequences of thawing permafrost on hydrology (Walvoord and Kurylyk, 2016, Vadose Zone J., DOI:10.2136/vzj2016.01.0010). Overall, these changes in tundra wetness modify carbon cycling in the Arctic and in particular the emissions of CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere, providing a possibly positive feedback on climate change. Here we present the results of a combined remote sensing, geomorphological, vegetation and biogechemical study of thaw ponds in Arctic Siberian tundra, at Kytalyk research station near Chokurdakh, Indigirka lowlands. The station is located in an area dominated by Pleistocene ice-rich 'yedoma' sediments and drained thaw lake bottoms of Holocene age. The development of three types of ponds in the Kytalyk area (polygon centre ponds, ice wedge troughs and thaw ponds) has been traced with high resolution satellite and aerial imagery. The remote sensing data show net areal expansion of all types of ponds. Next to formation of new ponds, local vegetation change from dry vegetation types to wet, sedge-dominated vegetation is common. Thawing ice wedges and thaw ponds show an increase in area and number at most studied locations. In particular the area of polygon centre ponds increased strongly between 2010 and 2015, but this is highly sensitive to antecedent precipitation conditions. Despite a nearly 60% increase of the area of thawing ice wedge troughs, there is no evidence of decreasing water surfaces by increasing drainage through connected ice wedge troughs. The number of thaw ponds shows an equilibrium

  14. CAR LEADEX Level 1C Artic Sea Ice and Tundra Radiation Measurements (CAR_LEADEX_L1C) at GES DISC

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — CAR LEADEX mission measured bidirectional reflectance functions for four common arctic surfaces: snow covered sea ice, melt season sea ice, snow covered tundra, and...

  15. Differential Utilization of Carbon Substrates by Bacteria and Fungi in Tundra Soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Bååth, Erland

    2009-01-01

    Little is known about the contribution of bacteria and fungi to decomposition of different carbon compounds in arctic soils, which are an important carbon store and possibly vulnerable to climate warming. Soil samples from a subarctic tundra heath were incubated with 13C-labeled glucose, acetic...... at concentrations low enough not to affect the total amount of PLFA. The label of glucose and acetic acid was rapidly incorporated into the PLFA in a pattern largely corresponding to the fatty acid concentration profile, while glycine and especially starch were mainly taken up by bacteria and not fungi, showing......, the allocation decreased over time, indicating use of the storage products, whereas for vanillin incorporation into fungal NLFA increased during the incubation. In addition to providing information on functioning of the microbial communities in an arctic soil, our study showed that the combination of PLFA...

  16. Influence of iron redox cycling on organo-mineral associations in Arctic tundra soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herndon, Elizabeth; AlBashaireh, Amineh; Singer, David; Roy Chowdhury, Taniya; Gu, Baohua; Graham, David

    2017-06-01

    Arctic tundra stores large quantities of soil organic matter under varying redox conditions. As the climate warms, these carbon reservoirs are susceptible to increased rates of decomposition and release to the atmosphere as the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Geochemical interactions between soil organic matter and minerals influence decomposition in many environments but remain poorly understood in Arctic tundra systems and are not considered in decomposition models. The accumulation of iron (Fe) oxyhydroxides and organo-iron precipitates at redox interfaces may be particularly important for carbon cycling given that ferric iron [Fe(III)] species can enhance decomposition by serving as terminal electron acceptors in anoxic soils or inhibit microbial decomposition by binding organic molecules. Here, we examine chemical properties of solid-phase Fe and organic matter in organic and mineral horizons within the seasonally thawed active layer of Arctic tundra on the North Slope of Alaska. Spectroscopic techniques, including micro-X-ray fluorescence (μXRF) mapping, micro-X-ray absorption near-edge structure (μXANES) spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), were coupled with chemical sequential extractions and physical density fractionations to evaluate the spatial distribution and speciation of Fe-bearing phases and associated organic matter in soils. Organic horizons were enriched in poorly crystalline and crystalline iron oxides, and approximately 60% of total Fe stored in organic horizons was calculated to derive from upward translocation from anoxic mineral horizons. Ferrihydrite and goethite were present as coatings on mineral grains and plant debris, and in aggregates with clays and particulate organic matter. Minor amounts of ferrous iron [Fe(II)] were present in iron sulfides (i.e., pyrite and greigite) in mineral horizon soils and iron phosphates (vivianite) in organic horizons. Concentrations of organic

  17. Year-round Regional CO2 Fluxes from Boreal and Tundra Ecosystems in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Commane, R.; Lindaas, J.; Benmergui, J. S.; Luus, K. A.; Chang, R. Y. W.; Daube, B. C.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Henderson, J.; Karion, A.; Miller, J. B.; Miller, S. M.; Parazoo, N.; Randerson, J. T.; Sweeney, C.; Tans, P. P.; Thoning, K. W.; Veraverbeke, S.; Miller, C. E.; Wofsy, S. C.

    2016-12-01

    High-latitude ecosystems could release large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere in a warmer climate. We derive temporally and spatially resolved year-round CO2 fluxes in Alaska from a synthesis of airborne and tower CO2 observations in 2012-2014. We find that tundra ecosystems were net sources of atmospheric CO2. We discuss these flux estimates in the context of long-term CO2 measurements at Barrow, AK, to asses the long term trend in carbon fluxes in the Arctic. Many Earth System Models incorrectly simulate net carbon uptake in Alaska presently. Our results imply that annual net emission of CO2 to the atmosphere may have increased markedly in this region of the Arctic in response to warming climate, supporting the view that climate-carbon feedback is strongly positive in the high Arctic.

  18. [Wood transformation in dead-standing trees in the forest-tundra of Central Siberia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhortova, L V; Kirdianov, A V; Myglan, V S; Guggenberger, G

    2009-01-01

    Changes in the composition of wood organic matter in dead-standing spruce and larch trees depending on the period after their death have been studied in the north of Central Siberia. The period after tree death has been estimated by means of cross-dating. The results show that changes in the composition of wood organic matter in 63% of cases are contingent on tree species. Wood decomposition in dead-standing trees is accompanied by an increase in the contents of alkali-soluble organic compounds. Lignin oxidation in larch begins approximately 80 years after tree death, whereas its transformation in spruce begins not earlier than after 100 years. In the forest-tundra of Central Siberia, the rate of wood organic matter transformation in dead-standing trees is one to two orders of magnitude lower than in fallen wood, which accounts for their role as a long-term store of carbon and mineral elements in these ecosystems.

  19. Object-Based Mapping of the Circumpolar Taiga-Tundra Ecotone with MODIS Tree Cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranson, K. J.; Montesano, P. M.; Nelson, R.

    2011-01-01

    The circumpolar taiga tundra ecotone was delineated using an image-segmentation-based mapping approach with multi-annual MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields (VCF) tree cover data. Circumpolar tree canopy cover (TCC) throughout the ecotone was derived by averaging MODIS VCF data from 2000 to 2005 and adjusting the averaged values using linear equations relating MODIS TCC to Quickbird-derived tree cover estimates. The adjustment helped mitigate VCF's overestimation of tree cover in lightly forested regions. An image segmentation procedure was used to group pixels representing similar tree cover into polygonal features (segmentation objects) that form the map of the transition zone. Each polygon represents an area much larger than the 500 m MODIS pixel and characterizes the patterns of sparse forest patches on a regional scale. Those polygons near the boreal/tundra interface with either (1) mean adjusted TCC values from5 to 20%, or (2) mean adjusted TCC values greater than 5% but with a standard deviation less than 5% were used to identify the ecotone. Comparisons of the adjusted average tree cover data were made with (1) two existing tree line definitions aggregated for each 1 degree longitudinal interval in North America and Eurasia, (2) Landsat-derived Canadian proportion of forest cover for Canada, and (3) with canopy cover estimates extracted from airborne profiling lidar data that transected 1238 of the TCC polygons. The adjusted TCC from MODIS VCF shows, on average, less than 12% TCC for all but one regional zone at the intersection with independently delineated tree lines. Adjusted values track closely with Canadian proportion of forest cover data in areas of low tree cover. A comparison of the 1238 TCC polygons with profiling lidar measurements yielded an overall accuracy of 67.7%.

  20. Nitrogen availability increases in a tundra ecosystem during five years of experimental permafrost thaw.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmon, Verity G; Soucy, Patrick; Mauritz, Marguerite; Celis, Gerardo; Natali, Susan M; Mack, Michelle C; Schuur, Edward A G

    2016-05-01

    Perennially frozen soil in high latitude ecosystems (permafrost) currently stores 1330-1580 Pg of carbon (C). As these ecosystems warm, the thaw and decomposition of permafrost is expected to release large amounts of C to the atmosphere. Fortunately, losses from the permafrost C pool will be partially offset by increased plant productivity. The degree to which plants are able to sequester C, however, will be determined by changing nitrogen (N) availability in these thawing soil profiles. N availability currently limits plant productivity in tundra ecosystems but plant access to N is expected improve as decomposition increases in speed and extends to deeper soil horizons. To evaluate the relationship between permafrost thaw and N availability, we monitored N cycling during 5 years of experimentally induced permafrost thaw at the Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research (CiPEHR) project. Inorganic N availability increased significantly in response to deeper thaw and greater soil moisture induced by Soil warming. This treatment also prompted a 23% increase in aboveground biomass and a 49% increase in foliar N pools. The sedge Eriophorum vaginatum responded most strongly to warming: this species explained 91% of the change in aboveground biomass during the 5 year period. Air warming had little impact when applied alone, but when applied in combination with Soil warming, growing season soil inorganic N availability was significantly reduced. These results demonstrate that there is a strong positive relationship between the depth of permafrost thaw and N availability in tundra ecosystems but that this relationship can be diminished by interactions between increased thaw, warmer air temperatures, and higher levels of soil moisture. Within 5 years of permafrost thaw, plants actively incorporate newly available N into biomass but C storage in live vascular plant biomass is unlikely to be greater than losses from deep soil C pools. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Implications of a lightning-rich tundra biome for permafrost carbon and vegetation dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Y.; Veraverbeke, S.; Randerson, J. T.

    2017-12-01

    Lightning is a major ignition source of wildfires in circumpolar boreal forests but rarely occurs in arctic tundra. While theoretical and empirical work suggests that climate change will increase lightning strikes in temperate regions, much less is known about future changes in lightning across terrestrial ecosystems at high northern latitudes. Here we analyzed the spatial and temporal patterns of lightning flash rate (FR) from the satellite observations and surface detection networks. Regression models between the observed FR from the Optical Transient Detector on the MicroLab-1 satellite (later renamed OV-1) and meteorological parameters, including surface temperature (T), convective available potential energy (CAPE), and convective precipitation (CP) from ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) ERA-interim reanalysis, were established and assessed. We found that FR had significant linear correlations with CAPE and CP, and a strong non-linear relationship with T. The statistical model based on T and CP can reproduce most of the spatial and temporal variability in FR in the circumpolar region. By using the regression model and meteorological predictions from 24 earth system models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), we estimated the spatial distribution of FR by the end of the 21st century. Due to increases in surface temperature and convection, modeled FR shows substantial increase in northern biomes, including a 338% change in arctic tundra and a 185% change in regions with permafrost soil carbon reservoirs. These changes highlight a new mechanism by which permafrost carbon is vulnerable to the sustained impacts of climate warming. Increased fire in a warmer and lightning-rich future near the treeline has the potential to accelerate the northward migration of trees, which may further enhance warming and the abundance of lightning strikes.

  2. Age-specific survival of tundra swans on the lower Alaska Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meixell, Brandt W.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Conn, Paul B.; Dau, Christian P.; Sarvis, John E.; Sowl, Kristine M.

    2013-01-01

    The population of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) breeding on the lower Alaska Peninsula represents the southern extremity of the species' range and is uniquely nonmigratory. We used data on recaptures, resightings, and recoveries of neck-collared Tundra Swans on the lower Alaska Peninsula to estimate collar loss, annual apparent survival, and other demographic parameters for the years 1978–1989. Annual collar loss was greater for adult males fitted with either the thinner collar type (0.34) or the thicker collar type (0.15) than for other age/sex classes (thinner: 0.10, thicker: 0.04). The apparent mean probability of survival of adults (0.61) was higher than that of immatures (0.41) and for both age classes varied considerably by year (adult range: 0.44–0.95, immature range: 0.25–0.90). To assess effects of permanent emigration by age and breeding class, we analyzed post hoc the encounter histories of swans known to breed in our study area. The apparent mean survival of known breeders (0.65) was generally higher than that of the entire marked sample but still varied considerably by year (range 0.26–1.00) and indicated that permanent emigration of breeding swans was likely. We suggest that reductions in apparent survival probability were influenced primarily by high and variable rates of permanent emigration and that immigration by swans from elsewhere may be important in sustaining a breeding population at and near Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

  3. Circumpolar arctic tundra biomass and productivity dynamics in response to projected climate change and herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qin; Epstein, Howard; Engstrom, Ryan; Walker, Donald

    2017-09-01

    Satellite remote sensing data have indicated a general 'greening' trend in the arctic tundra biome. However, the observed changes based on remote sensing are the result of multiple environmental drivers, and the effects of individual controls such as warming, herbivory, and other disturbances on changes in vegetation biomass, community structure, and ecosystem function remain unclear. We apply ArcVeg, an arctic tundra vegetation dynamics model, to estimate potential changes in vegetation biomass and net primary production (NPP) at the plant community and functional type levels. ArcVeg is driven by soil nitrogen output from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model, existing densities of Rangifer populations, and projected summer temperature changes by the NCAR CCSM4.0 general circulation model across the Arctic. We quantified the changes in aboveground biomass and NPP resulting from (i) observed herbivory only; (ii) projected climate change only; and (iii) coupled effects of projected climate change and herbivory. We evaluated model outputs of the absolute and relative differences in biomass and NPP by country, bioclimate subzone, and floristic province. Estimated potential biomass increases resulting from temperature increase only are approximately 5% greater than the biomass modeled due to coupled warming and herbivory. Such potential increases are greater in areas currently occupied by large or dense Rangifer herds such as the Nenets-occupied regions in Russia (27% greater vegetation increase without herbivores). In addition, herbivory modulates shifts in plant community structure caused by warming. Plant functional types such as shrubs and mosses were affected to a greater degree than other functional types by either warming or herbivory or coupled effects of the two. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Snow depth manipulation experiments in a dry and a moist tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, M. J.; Czimczik, C. I.; Jung, J. Y.; Kim, M.; Lee, Y. K.; Nam, S.; Wagner, I.

    2017-12-01

    As a result of global warming, precipitation in the Arctic is expected to increase by 25-50% by the end of this century, mostly in the form of snow. However, precipitation patterns vary considerable in space and time, and future precipitation patterns are highly uncertain at local and regional scales. The amount of snowfall (or snow depth) influences a number of ecosystem properties in Arctic ecosystems, such as soil temperature over winter and soil moisture in the following growing season. These modifications then affect rates of carbon-related soil processes and photosynthesis, thus CO2 exchange rates between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. In this study, we investigate the effects of snow depth on the magnitude, sources and temporal dynamics of CO2 fluxes. We installed snow fences in a dry dwarf-shrub (Cambridge Bay, Canada; 69° N, 105° W) and a moist low-shrub (Council, Alaska, USA; 64° N, 165° W) tundra in summer 2017, and established control, and increased and reduced snow depth plots at each snow fence. Summertime CO2 flux rates (net ecosystem exchange, ecosystem respiration, gross primary production) and the fractions of autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration to ecosystem respiration were measured using manual chambers and radiocarbon signatures. Wintertime CO2 flux rates will be measured using soda lime adsorption technique and forced diffusion chambers. Soil temperature and moisture at multiple depths, as well as changes in soil properties and microbial communities will be also observed, to research whether these changes affect CO2 flux rates or patterns. Our study will elucidate how future snow depth and its impact on soil physical and biogeochemical properties influence the magnitude and sources of tundra-atmosphere CO2 exchange in the rapidly warming Arctic.

  5. Microbial Iron Oxidation in the Arctic Tundra and Its Implications for Biogeochemical Cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Jarrod J.; Benes, Joshua; Bowden, William B.

    2015-01-01

    The role that neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria play in the Arctic tundra is unknown. This study surveyed chemosynthetic iron-oxidizing communities at the North Slope of Alaska near Toolik Field Station (TFS) at Toolik Lake (lat 68.63, long −149.60). Microbial iron mats were common in submerged habitats with stationary or slowly flowing water, and their greatest areal extent is in coating plant stems and sediments in wet sedge meadows. Some Fe-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) produce easily recognized sheath or stalk morphotypes that were present and dominant in all the mats we observed. The cool water temperatures (9 to 11°C) and reduced pH (5.0 to 6.6) at all sites kinetically favor microbial iron oxidation. A microbial survey of five sites based on 16S rRNA genes found a predominance of Proteobacteria, with Betaproteobacteria and members of the family Comamonadaceae being the most prevalent operational taxonomic units (OTUs). In relative abundance, clades of lithotrophic FeOB composed 5 to 10% of the communities. OTUs related to cyanobacteria and chloroplasts accounted for 3 to 25% of the communities. Oxygen profiles showed evidence for oxygenic photosynthesis at the surface of some mats, indicating the coexistence of photosynthetic and FeOB populations. The relative abundance of OTUs belonging to putative Fe-reducing bacteria (FeRB) averaged around 11% in the sampled iron mats. Mats incubated anaerobically with 10 mM acetate rapidly initiated Fe reduction, indicating that active iron cycling is likely. The prevalence of iron mats on the tundra might impact the carbon cycle through lithoautotrophic chemosynthesis, anaerobic respiration of organic carbon coupled to iron reduction, and the suppression of methanogenesis, and it potentially influences phosphorus dynamics through the adsorption of phosphorus to iron oxides. PMID:26386054

  6. STARCH/PULP-FIBER BASED PACKAGING FOAMS AND CAST FILMS CONTAINING ALASKAN FISH BY-PRODUCTS (WASTE)

    OpenAIRE

    Syed H. Imam; Bor-Sen Chiou; Delilah Woods; Justin Shey; Gregory M. Glenn; William J. Orts; Rajnesh Narayan; Robert J. Avena-Bustillos; Tara H. McHugh; Alberto Pantoja; Peter J. Bechtel

    2008-01-01

    Baked starch/pulp foams were prepared from formulations containing zero to 25 weight percent of processed Alaskan fish by-products that consisted mostly of salmon heads, pollock heads, and pollock frames (bones and associated remains produced in the filleting operation). Fish by-products thermoformed well along with starch and pulp fiber, and the foam product (panels) exhibited useful mechanical properties. Foams with all three fish by-products, ranging between 10 and 15 wt%, showed the highe...

  7. A Guide to Alaskan Black Spruce Wetland Bryophytes: Species Specific to Delineation for Interior and South Central Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-06-01

    treatment for North American taxa is that for the new Flora of North America bryophyte volumes, by McQueen and Andrus (2007). In Alaska, a...Note: Nomenclature used in this document follows that in current use in the Flora of North America : Mosses and the TROPICOS Moss nomenclatural...in Moss Flora of North America ) includes 20 species with two varieties in the Alaskan flora. Of these, 14 are described as occurring occasionally

  8. Net Primary Production and Carbon Stocks for Subarctic Mesic-Dry Tundras with Contrasting Microtopography, Altitude, and Dominant Species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Michelsen, Anders; Demey, A

    2009-01-01

    Mesic-dry tundras are widespread in the Arctic but detailed assessments of net primary production (NPP) and ecosystem carbon (C) stocks are lacking. We addressed this lack of knowledge by determining the seasonal dynamics of aboveground vascular NPP, annual NPP, and whole-ecosystem C stocks in five...... mesic-dry tundras in Northern Sweden with contrasting microtopography, altitude, and dominant species. Those measurements were paralleled by the stock assessments of nitrogen (N), the limiting nutrient. The vascular production was determined by harvest or in situ growing units, whereas the nonvascular...... hermaphroditum is more productive than Cassiope tetragona vegetation. Although the large majority of the apical NPP occurred in early-mid season (85%), production of stems and evergreen leaves proceeded until about 2 weeks before senescence. Most of the vascular vegetation was belowground (80%), whereas most...

  9. Spatial variation and linkages of soil and vegetation in the Siberian Arctic tundra - coupling field observations with remote sensing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikola, Juha; Virtanen, Tarmo; Linkosalmi, Maiju; Vähä, Emmi; Nyman, Johanna; Postanogova, Olga; Räsänen, Aleksi; Kotze, D. Johan; Laurila, Tuomas; Juutinen, Sari; Kondratyev, Vladimir; Aurela, Mika

    2018-05-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems will play a key role in future climate change due to intensifying permafrost thawing, plant growth and ecosystem carbon exchange, but monitoring these changes may be challenging due to the heterogeneity of Arctic landscapes. We examined spatial variation and linkages of soil and plant attributes in a site of Siberian Arctic tundra in Tiksi, northeast Russia, and evaluated possibilities to capture this variation by remote sensing for the benefit of carbon exchange measurements and landscape extrapolation. We distinguished nine land cover types (LCTs) and to characterize them, sampled 92 study plots for plant and soil attributes in 2014. Moreover, to test if variation in plant and soil attributes can be detected using remote sensing, we produced a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and topographical parameters for each study plot using three very high spatial resolution multispectral satellite images. We found that soils ranged from mineral soils in bare soil and lichen tundra LCTs to soils of high percentage of organic matter (OM) in graminoid tundra, bog, dry fen and wet fen. OM content of the top soil was on average 14 g dm-3 in bare soil and lichen tundra and 89 g dm-3 in other LCTs. Total moss biomass varied from 0 to 820 g m-2, total vascular shoot mass from 7 to 112 g m-2 and vascular leaf area index (LAI) from 0.04 to 0.95 among LCTs. In late summer, soil temperatures at 15 cm depth were on average 14 °C in bare soil and lichen tundra, and varied from 5 to 9 °C in other LCTs. On average, depth of the biologically active, unfrozen soil layer doubled from early July to mid-August. When contrasted across study plots, moss biomass was positively associated with soil OM % and OM content and negatively associated with soil temperature, explaining 14-34 % of variation. Vascular shoot mass and LAI were also positively associated with soil OM content, and LAI with active layer depth, but only explained 6-15 % of variation. NDVI

  10. The gas century: worldwide LNG developments may deal death blow to Alaskan pipeline dream

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lorenz, A.

    2004-01-01

    The growing interest in liquefied natural gas (LNG), which casts doubt on the viability of the Alaska gas pipeline, and the potential impacts on Canadian gas exports to the United States are discussed. There is currently a proposal before Congress for an Alaskan LNG project, and consensus appears to be building among American energy experts and law-makers that building a multitude of LNG facilities would be more flexible and cheaper than building the proposed Alaska pipeline. As further proof of the growing popularity of LNG, U.S. industry lobbyists are said to be rapidly gaining congressional support for the idea of building eight to ten billion cubic feet per day of LNG capacity along the U. S. coast. Either development, -- LNG facilities or the Alaska pipeline -- have the potential to seriously impact Canadian natural gas exports. If the Alaska pipeline is built, the addition of five billion cubic feet per day of new gas on the market would cause gas prices to fall; if the U.S. decides to subsidize its gas industry, Canadian gas would be put at a serious disadvantage. Conversely, if the Alaskan LNG proposal were to succeed, the potential demise of the Alaska pipeline would mean the loss of about 12,000 jobs that would be created during the Canadian construction phase of the pipeline, as well as the loss of tariffs. Industry experts predict that by 2005 LNG terminals will dot the periphery of the U. S. coast line; to prepare for these eventualities, Canadian companies, such as Irving Oil, TransCanada Pipelines and EnCana are taking note, and are scrambling not to be left out of the game. As proof of the seriousness of their concern, Irving Oil is adding a Can$500 million LNG facility to its Canaport terminal on the Scotian shelf; TCPL is working to supply an LNG terminal offshore Massachusetts, and EnCana is refurbishing a Louisiana salt cavern to prepare for storage of gas delivered to the Gulf Coast

  11. STUDY OF TRANSPORTATION OF GTL PRODUCTS FROM ALASKAN NORTH SLOPE (ANS) TO MARKETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Godwin A. Chukwu, Ph.D., P.E.

    2002-09-01

    The Alaskan North Slope is one of the largest hydrocarbon reserves in the US where Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) technology can be successfully implemented. The proven and recoverable reserves of conventional natural gas in the developed and undeveloped fields in the Alaskan North Slope (ANS) are estimated to be 38 trillion standard cubic feet (TCF) and estimates of additional undiscovered gas reserves in the Arctic field range from 64 TCF to 142 TCF. Transportation of the natural gas from the remote ANS is the key issue in effective utilization of this valuable and abundance resource. The throughput of oil through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) has been on decline and is expected to continue to decline in future. It is projected that by the year 2015, ANS crude oil production will decline to such a level that there will be a critical need for pumping additional liquid from GTL process to provide an adequate volume for economic operation of TAPS. The pumping of GTL products through TAPS will significantly increase its economic life. Transporting GTL products from the North Slope of Alaska down to the Marine terminal at Valdez is no doubt the great challenge facing the Gas to Liquids options of utilizing the abundant natural gas resource of the North Slope. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate and assess the economic feasibility of transporting GTL products through the TAPS. Material testing program for GTL and GTL/Crude oil blends was designed and implemented for measurement of physical properties of GTL products. The measurement and evaluation of the properties of these materials were necessary so as to access the feasibility of transporting such materials through TAPS under cold arctic conditions. Results of the tests indicated a trend of increasing yield strength with increasing wax content. GTL samples exhibited high gel strengths at temperatures as high as 20 F, which makes it difficult for cold restart following winter shutdowns. Simplified

  12. On the Frontline: Tracking Ocean Acidification in an Alaskan Shellfish Hatchery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Wiley; Mathis, Jeremy T.; Ramsay, Jacqueline; Hetrick, Jeff

    2015-01-01

    The invasion of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) into the ocean is shifting the marine carbonate system such that saturation states of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) minerals are decreasing, and this is having a detrimental impact on early life stages of select shellfish species. The global, secular decrease in CaCO3 saturation states is occurring on top of a backdrop of large natural variability in coastal settings; progressively shifting the envelope of variability and leading to longer and more frequent exposure to adverse conditions. This is a great concern in the State of Alaska, a high-latitude setting vulnerable to rapid changes in the marine carbonate system, where an emerging shellfish industry plans major growth over the coming decades. Currently, the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery (APSH) in Seward, Alaska is the only hatchery in the state, and produces many shellfish species with early life stages known to be sensitive to low CaCO3 saturation states. Here we present the first land-based OA measurements made in an Alaskan shellfish hatchery, and detail the trends in the saturation state of aragonite (Ωarag), the more soluble form of CaCO3, over a 10-month period in the APSH seawater supply. These data indicate the largest changes are on the seasonal time scale, with extended periods of sub-optimal Ωarag levels (Ωarag < 1.5) in winter and autumn associated with elevated water column respiration and short-lived runoff events, respectively. The data pinpoint a 5-month window of reprieve with favorable Ωarag conditions above the sub-optimal Ωarag threshold, which under predicted upper-bound CO2 emissions trajectories is estimated to close by 2040. To date, many species in production at APSH remain untested in their response to OA, and the data presented here establish the current conditions at APSH as well as provide a framework for hatchery-based measurements in Alaska. The current and expected conditions seen at APSH are essential to consider for this

  13. The employment of weather satellite imagery in an effort to identify and locate the forest-tundra ecotone in Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldrich, S. A.; Aldrich, F. T.; Rudd, R. D.

    1969-01-01

    Weather satellite imagery provides the only routinely available orbital imagery depicting the high latitudes. Although resolution is low on this imagery, it is believed that a major natural feature, notably linear in expression, should be mappable on it. The transition zone from forest to tundra, the ecotone, is such a feature. Locational correlation is herein established between a linear signature on the imagery and several ground truth positions of the ecotone in Canada.

  14. Warming of subarctic tundra increases emissions of all three important greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voigt, Carolina; Lamprecht, Richard E; Marushchak, Maija E; Lind, Saara E; Novakovskiy, Alexander; Aurela, Mika; Martikainen, Pertti J; Biasi, Christina

    2017-08-01

    Rapidly rising temperatures in the Arctic might cause a greater release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to the atmosphere. To study the effect of warming on GHG dynamics, we deployed open-top chambers in a subarctic tundra site in Northeast European Russia. We determined carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), methane (CH 4 ), and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) fluxes as well as the concentration of those gases, inorganic nitrogen (N) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) along the soil profile. Studied tundra surfaces ranged from mineral to organic soils and from vegetated to unvegetated areas. As a result of air warming, the seasonal GHG budget of the vegetated tundra surfaces shifted from a GHG sink of -300 to -198 g CO 2 -eq m -2 to a source of 105 to 144 g CO 2 -eq m -2 . At bare peat surfaces, we observed increased release of all three GHGs. While the positive warming response was dominated by CO 2 , we provide here the first in situ evidence of increasing N 2 O emissions from tundra soils with warming. Warming promoted N 2 O release not only from bare peat, previously identified as a strong N 2 O source, but also from the abundant, vegetated peat surfaces that do not emit N 2 O under present climate. At these surfaces, elevated temperatures had an adverse effect on plant growth, resulting in lower plant N uptake and, consequently, better N availability for soil microbes. Although the warming was limited to the soil surface and did not alter thaw depth, it increased concentrations of DOC, CO 2, and CH 4 in the soil down to the permafrost table. This can be attributed to downward DOC leaching, fueling microbial activity at depth. Taken together, our results emphasize the tight linkages between plant and soil processes, and different soil layers, which need to be taken into account when predicting the climate change feedback of the Arctic. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Simulating the effects of soil organic nitrogen and grazing on arctic tundra vegetation dynamics on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu Qin; Epstein, Howard [Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (United States); Walker, Donald [Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775 (United States)

    2009-10-15

    Sustainability of tundra vegetation under changing climate on the Yamal Peninsula, northwestern Siberia, home to the world's largest area of reindeer husbandry, is of crucial importance to the local native community. An integrated investigation is needed for better understanding of the effects of soils, climate change and grazing on tundra vegetation in the Yamal region. In this study we applied a nutrient-based plant community model-ArcVeg-to evaluate how two factors (soil organic nitrogen (SON) levels and grazing) interact to affect tundra responses to climate warming across a latitudinal climatic gradient on the Yamal Peninsula. Model simulations were driven by field-collected soil data and expected grazing patterns along the Yamal Arctic Transect (YAT), within bioclimate subzones C (high arctic), D (northern low arctic) and E (southern low arctic). Plant biomass and NPP (net primary productivity) were significantly increased with warmer bioclimate subzones, greater soil nutrient levels and temporal climate warming, while they declined with higher grazing frequency. Temporal climate warming of 2 deg. C caused an increase of 665 g m{sup -2} in total biomass at the high SON site in subzone E, but only 298 g m{sup -2} at the low SON site. When grazing frequency was also increased, total biomass increased by only 369 g m{sup -2} at the high SON site in contrast to 184 g m{sup -2} at the low SON site in subzone E. Our results suggest that high SON can support greater plant biomass and plant responses to climate warming, while low SON and grazing may limit plant response to climate change. In addition to the first order factors (SON, bioclimate subzones, grazing and temporal climate warming), interactions among these significantly affect plant biomass and productivity in the arctic tundra and should not be ignored in regional scale studies.

  16. Contrasting above- and belowground organic matter decomposition and carbon and nitrogen dynamics in response to warming in High Arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blok, Daan; Faucherre, Samuel; Banyasz, Imre; Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Elberling, Bo

    2017-12-13

    Tundra regions are projected to warm rapidly during the coming decades. The tundra biome holds the largest terrestrial carbon pool, largely contained in frozen permafrost soils. With warming, these permafrost soils may thaw and become available for microbial decomposition, potentially providing a positive feedback to global warming. Warming may directly stimulate microbial metabolism but may also indirectly stimulate organic matter turnover through increased plant productivity by soil priming from root exudates and accelerated litter turnover rates. Here, we assess the impacts of experimental warming on turnover rates of leaf litter, active layer soil and thawed permafrost sediment in two high-arctic tundra heath sites in NE-Greenland, either dominated by evergreen or deciduous shrubs. We incubated shrub leaf litter on the surface of control and warmed plots for 1 and 2 years. Active layer soil was collected from the plots to assess the effects of 8 years of field warming on soil carbon stocks. Finally, we incubated open cores filled with newly thawed permafrost soil for 2 years in the active layer of the same plots. After field incubation, we measured basal respiration rates of recovered thawed permafrost cores in the lab. Warming significantly reduced litter mass loss by 26% after 1 year incubation, but differences in litter mass loss among treatments disappeared after 2 years incubation. Warming also reduced litter nitrogen mineralization and decreased the litter carbon to nitrogen ratio. Active layer soil carbon stocks were reduced 15% by warming, while soil dissolved nitrogen was reduced by half in warmed plots. Warming had a positive legacy effect on carbon turnover rates in thawed permafrost cores, with 10% higher respiration rates measured in cores from warmed plots. These results demonstrate that warming may have contrasting effects on above- and belowground tundra carbon turnover, possibly governed by microbial resource availability. © 2017 John

  17. Simulating the effects of soil organic nitrogen and grazing on arctic tundra vegetation dynamics on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Qin; Epstein, Howard; Walker, Donald

    2009-01-01

    Sustainability of tundra vegetation under changing climate on the Yamal Peninsula, northwestern Siberia, home to the world's largest area of reindeer husbandry, is of crucial importance to the local native community. An integrated investigation is needed for better understanding of the effects of soils, climate change and grazing on tundra vegetation in the Yamal region. In this study we applied a nutrient-based plant community model-ArcVeg-to evaluate how two factors (soil organic nitrogen (SON) levels and grazing) interact to affect tundra responses to climate warming across a latitudinal climatic gradient on the Yamal Peninsula. Model simulations were driven by field-collected soil data and expected grazing patterns along the Yamal Arctic Transect (YAT), within bioclimate subzones C (high arctic), D (northern low arctic) and E (southern low arctic). Plant biomass and NPP (net primary productivity) were significantly increased with warmer bioclimate subzones, greater soil nutrient levels and temporal climate warming, while they declined with higher grazing frequency. Temporal climate warming of 2 deg. C caused an increase of 665 g m -2 in total biomass at the high SON site in subzone E, but only 298 g m -2 at the low SON site. When grazing frequency was also increased, total biomass increased by only 369 g m -2 at the high SON site in contrast to 184 g m -2 at the low SON site in subzone E. Our results suggest that high SON can support greater plant biomass and plant responses to climate warming, while low SON and grazing may limit plant response to climate change. In addition to the first order factors (SON, bioclimate subzones, grazing and temporal climate warming), interactions among these significantly affect plant biomass and productivity in the arctic tundra and should not be ignored in regional scale studies.

  18. Landsat-based Analysis of Mountain Forest-tundra Ecotone Response to Climate Trends in Sayan Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kharuk, Viatcheslav I.; Im, Sergey T.; Ranson, K. Jon

    2007-01-01

    observations of temperatures Siberia has shown a several degree warming over the past 30 years. It is expected that forest will respond to warming at high latitudes through increased tree growth and northward or upward slope migration. migration. Tree response to climate trends is most likely observable in the forest-tundra ecotone, where temperature mainly limits tree growth. Making repeated satellite observations over several decades provides an opportunity to track vegetation response to climate change. Based on Landsat data of the Sayan Mountains, Siberia, there was an increase in forest stand crown closure and an upward tree-line shift in the of the forest-tundra ecotone during the last quarter of the 2oth century,. On-ground observations, supporting these results, also showed regeneration of Siberian pine in the alpine tundra, and the transformation of prostrate Siberian pine and fir into arboreal (upright) forms. During this time period sparse stands transformed into closed stands, with existing closed stands increasing in area at a rate of approx. 1 %/yr, and advancing their upper border at a vertical rate of approx. 1.0 m/yr. In addition, the vertical rate of regeneration propagation is approx. 5 m/yr. It was also found that these changes correlated positively with temperature trends

  19. Distribution of hydrocarbon-utilizing microorganisms and hydrocarbon biodegradation potentials in Alaskan continental shelf areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roubal, G.; Atlas, R.M.

    1978-01-01

    Hydrocarbon-utilizing microogranisms were enumerated from Alaskan continental shelf areas by using plate counts and a new most-probable-number procedure based on mineralization of 14 C-labeled hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbon utilizers were ubiquitously distributed, with no significant overall concentration differences between sampling regions or between surface water and sediment samples. There were, however, significant seasonal differences in numbers of hydrocarbon utilizers. Distribution of hydrocarbon utilizers within Cook Inlet was positively correlated with occurrence of hydrocarbons in the environment. Hydrocarbon biodegradation potentials were measured by using 14 C-radiolabeled hydrocarbon-spiked crude oil. There was no significant correlation between numbers of hydrocarbon utilizers and hydrocarbon biodegradation potentials. The biodegradation potentials showed large seasonal variations in the Beaufort Sea, probably due to seasonal depletion of available nutrients. Non-nutrient-limited biodegradation potentials followed the order hexadecane > naphthalene >> pristane > benzanthracene. In Cook Inlet, biodegradation potentials for hexadecane and naphthalene were dependent on availability of inorganic nutrients. Biodegradation potentials for pristane and benzanthracene were restricted, probably by resistance to attack by available enzymes in the indigenous population

  20. Effects of simultaneous climate change and geomorphic evolution on thermal characteristics of a shallow Alaskan lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Jennifer R.; Schindler, Daniel E.; Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Ruggerone, Gregory T.

    2011-01-01

    We used a hydrodynamics model to assess the consequences of climate warming and contemporary geomorphic evolution for thermal conditions in a large, shallow Alaskan lake. We evaluated the effects of both known climate and landscape change, including rapid outlet erosion and migration of the principal inlet stream, over the past 50 yr as well as future scenarios of geomorphic restoration. Compared to effects of air temperature during the past 50 yr, lake thermal properties showed little sensitivity to substantial (~60%) loss of lake volume, as the lake maximum depth declined from 6 m to 4 m driven by outlet erosion. The direction and magnitude of future lake thermal responses will be driven largely by the extent of inlet stream migration when it occurs simultaneously with outlet erosion. Maintaining connectivity with inlet streams had substantial effects on buffering lake thermal responses to warming climate. Failing to account for changing rates and types of geomorphic processes under continuing climate change may misidentify the primary drivers of lake thermal responses and reduce our ability to understand the consequences for aquatic organisms.

  1. Case Study on Ancestry Estimation in an Alaskan Native Family: Identity and Safeguards Against Reductionism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bader, Alyssa C; Malhi, Ripan S

    2015-10-01

    Understanding the complexities of ancestry-related identity is a necessary component of ethically sound research related to the genetic ancestry of modern-day communities. This is especially true when working with indigenous populations, given the legal and social implications that genetic ancestry interpretations may have in these communities. This study employs a multicomponent approach to explore the intricacies of ancestry-related identity within one extended family with members who identify as Alaskan Native. The seven participants were interviewed about their own self-identity, perceptions regarding genetic ancestry estimation, and their knowledge of oral family history. Additionally, each participant consented to having his or her genetic ancestry estimated. The researchers also surveyed ancestry-related documents, such as census records, birth certificates, and Certificates of Indian Blood. These three different perspectives-oral family history and self-identity, genetic ancestry estimation, historical and legal documentation-illustrate the complex nature of ancestry-related identity within the context of indigenous and colonial interactions in North America. While estimates of genetic ancestry broadly reflected each individual's self-reported biogeographic ancestry and supported all described and historically reported biological relationships, the estimates did not always match federally recorded blood quantum values, nor did they provide any information on relationships at the tribe or clan level. Employing a multicomponent approach and engaging study participants may help to safeguard against genetic essentialism and provide a more nuanced understanding of ancestry-related identity within a larger political, legal, and historical context.

  2. Microbial activity in Alaskan taiga soils contaminated by crude oil in 1976

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Monroe, E.M.; Lindstrom, J.E.; Brown, E.J.; Raddock, J.F.

    1995-01-01

    Biodegradation, often measured via microbial activity, includes destruction of environmental pollutants by living microorganisms and is dependent upon many physical and chemical factors. Effects of mineral nutrients and organic matter on biodegradation of Prudhoe Bay crude oil were investigated at a nineteen-year-old oil spill site in Alaskan taiga. Microcosms of two different soil types from the spill site; one undeveloped soil with forest litter and detritus (O horizon) and one more developed with lower organic content (A horizon), were treated with various nitrogen and phosphorus amendments, and incubated for up to six weeks. Each microcosm was sampled periodically and assayed for hydrocarbon mineralization potential using radiorespirometry, for total carbon dioxide respired using gas chromatography, and for numbers of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria and heterotrophic bacteria using most probable number counting techniques. Organic matter in the O horizon soil along with combinations of mineral nutrients were found to stimulate microbial activity. No combination of mineral nutrient additions to the A horizon soil stimulated any of the parameters above those measured in control microcosms. The results of this study indicate that adding mineral nutrients and tilling the O horizon into the A horizon of subarctic soils contaminated with crude oil, would stimulate microbial activity, and therefore the biodegradation potential, ultimately increasing the rate of destruction of crude oil in these soils

  3. Seabirds as a subsistence and cultural resource in two remote Alaskan communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca C. Young

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Small rural Alaskan communities face many challenges surrounding rapid social and ecological change. The role of local subsistence resources may change over time because of changes in social perception, economic need, and cultural patterns of use. We look at the Bering Sea's Pribilof Islands, comprising two very small communities, and investigate the relationship between the local residents and seabirds as a natural resource. Seabirds may strengthen ties to older ways of life and have potential for future economic opportunities, or modernization may direct interest away from seabirds as a cultural and economic resource. We conducted a survey and interviews of residents of the two Pribilof Island communities, St. Paul and St. George, to assess opinions toward seabirds and harvest levels. Seabirds were generally regarded as important both to individuals and the wider community. However, current levels of subsistence harvest are low, and few people continue to actively harvest or visit seabird colonies. Respondents expressed desire for greater knowledge about seabirds and also concerns about the current economy of the islands and a lack of future development prospects. Despite the challenging economic conditions, the villages retain a strong sense of community and place value on their environment and on seabirds. Surveys indicated an interest in developing eco-tourism based around local resources, including seabirds, as a way to improve the economy.

  4. Mutual aid in oil spill response: The Alaskan north slope model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKenzie, B.; Ingram, N.

    1993-01-01

    The Alaskan Arctic Region provides one of the world's most remote and challenging environments in which to mount an oil spill response. To facilitate the timeliness and appropriateness of the response, Alaska Clean Seas (ACS) and the operators of the North Slope oil fields have implemented a mutual aid concept for spill response. The concept is based upon each operator on the North Slope maintaining its own inventory of personnel [a spill response team (SRT)] and equipment that is available on short notice to respond to a spill. If the spill exceeds the responsible operator's resources, additional resources can be obtained from other operators and/or ACS through mutual aid. Individuals from diverse organizations are brought together in a mutual aid event. To allow different organizations to function effectively in a multi-organizational environment, a common management structure was required. The structure chosen for the North Slope was the incident command system (ICS). A key concern when discussing mutual aid is the provision of indemnification from liability for responders. For the North Slope, ACS and its member companies are indemnified when responding to a spill through provisions in the ACS charter and the ACS response action contract

  5. Extent of endocrine disruption in fish of western and Alaskan National Parks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreck, Carl B.; Kent, Michael

    2013-01-01

    In 2008 2009, 998 fish were collected from 43 water bodies across 11 western Alaskan national parks and analyzed for reproductive abnormalities. Exposure to estrogenic substances such as pesticides can induce abnormalities like intersex. Results suggest there is a greater propensity for male intersex fish collected from parks located in the Rocky Mountains, and specifically in Rocky Mountain NP. Individual male intersex fish were also identified at Lassen Volcanic, Yosemite, and WrangellSt. Elias NPs. The preliminary finding of female intersex was determined to be a false positive. The overall goal of this project was to assess the general health of fish from eleven western national parks to infer whether health impacts may be linked to contaminant health thresholds for animal andor human health. This was accomplished by evaluating the presence of intersex fish with eggs developing in male gonads or sperm developing in female gonads using histology. In addition, endocrine disrupting compounds and other contaminants were quantified in select specimens. General histologic appearance of the gonadal tissue and spleen were observed to assess health.

  6. Spatial distribution of mercury in southeastern Alaskan streams influenced by glaciers, wetlands, and salmon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nagorski, Sonia A.; Engstrom, Daniel R.; Hudson, John P.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Hood, Eran; DeWild, John F.; Aiken, George R.

    2014-01-01

    Southeastern Alaska is a remote coastal-maritime ecosystem that is experiencing increased deposition of mercury (Hg) as well as rapid glacier loss. Here we present the results of the first reported survey of total and methyl Hg (MeHg) concentrations in regional streams and biota. Overall, streams draining large wetland areas had higher Hg concentrations in water, mayflies, and juvenile salmon than those from glacially-influenced or recently deglaciated watersheds. Filtered MeHg was positively correlated with wetland abundance. Aqueous Hg occurred predominantly in the particulate fraction of glacier streams but in the filtered fraction of wetland-rich streams. Colonization by anadromous salmon in both glacier and wetland-rich streams may be contributing additional marine-derived Hg. The spatial distribution of Hg in the range of streams presented here shows that watersheds are variably, yet fairly predictably, sensitive to atmospheric and marine inputs of Hg. -- Highlights: • We sampled 21 streams in southeastern Alaska for water, sediments, and biota. • Aqueous Hg showed significant relationships with wetlands and DOC. • Biota had higher mercury in wetland-rich streams than in glacier-fed streams. • Spawning salmon appear to contribute methylmercury to stream foodwebs. -- This original survey of mercury concentration and form in southeastern Alaskan streamwater and biota shows substantial spatial variation linked to landscape factors and salmon influence

  7. Continuously amplified warming in the Alaskan Arctic: Implications for estimating global warming hiatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Kang; Zhang, Tingjun; Zhang, Xiangdong; Clow, Gary D.; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Overeem, Irina; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Peng, Xiaoqing; Cao, Bin

    2017-01-01

    Historically, in situ measurements have been notoriously sparse over the Arctic. As a consequence, the existing gridded data of surface air temperature (SAT) may have large biases in estimating the warming trend in this region. Using data from an expanded monitoring network with 31 stations in the Alaskan Arctic, we demonstrate that the SAT has increased by 2.19°C in this region, or at a rate of 0.23°C/decade during 1921–2015. Meanwhile, we found that the SAT warmed at 0.71°C/decade over 1998–2015, which is 2 to 3 times faster than the rate established from the gridded data sets. Focusing on the “hiatus” period 1998–2012 as identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the SAT has increased at 0.45°C/decade, which captures more than 90% of the regional trend for 1951–2012. We suggest that sparse in situ measurements are responsible for underestimation of the SAT change in the gridded data sets. It is likely that enhanced climate warming may also have happened in the other regions of the Arctic since the late 1990s but left undetected because of incomplete observational coverage.

  8. No Evidence of Metabolic Depression in Western Alaskan Juvenile Steller Sea Lions (Eumetopias jubatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoopes, Lisa A.; Rea, Lorrie D.; Christ, Aaron; Worthy, Graham A. J.

    2014-01-01

    Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) populations have undergone precipitous declines through their western Alaskan range over the last four decades with the leading hypothesis to explain this decline centering around changing prey quality, quantity, or availability for this species (i.e., nutritional stress hypothesis). Under chronic conditions of reduced food intake sea lions would conserve energy by limiting energy expenditures through lowering of metabolic rate known as metabolic depression. To examine the potential for nutritional stress, resting metabolic rate (RMR) and body composition were measured in free-ranging juvenile Steller sea lions (N = 91) at three distinct geographical locations (Southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound, Central Aleutian Islands) using open-flow respirometry and deuterium isotope dilution, respectively. Average sea lion RMR ranged from 6.7 to 36.2 MJ d−1 and was influenced by body mass, total body lipid, and to a lesser extent, ambient air temperature and age. Sea lion pups captured in the Aleutian Islands (region of decline) had significantly greater body mass and total body lipid stores when compared to pups from Prince William Sound (region of decline) and Southeast Alaska (stable region). Along with evidence of robust body condition in Aleutian Island pups, no definitive differences were detected in RMR between sea lions sampled between eastern and western populations that could not be accounted for by higher percent total body lipid content, suggesting that that at the time of this study, Steller sea lions were not experiencing metabolic depression in the locations studied. PMID:24416394

  9. Cost-Optimal Pathways to 75% Fuel Reduction in Remote Alaskan Villages: Preprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simpkins, Travis; Cutler, Dylan; Hirsch, Brian; Olis, Dan; Anderson, Kate

    2015-10-28

    There are thousands of isolated, diesel-powered microgrids that deliver energy to remote communities around the world at very high energy costs. The Remote Communities Renewable Energy program aims to help these communities reduce their fuel consumption and lower their energy costs through the use of high penetration renewable energy. As part of this program, the REopt modeling platform for energy system integration and optimization was used to analyze cost-optimal pathways toward achieving a combined 75% reduction in diesel fuel and fuel oil consumption in a select Alaskan village. In addition to the existing diesel generator and fuel oil heating technologies, the model was able to select from among wind, battery storage, and dispatchable electric heaters to meet the electrical and thermal loads. The model results indicate that while 75% fuel reduction appears to be technically feasible it may not be economically viable at this time. When the fuel reduction target was relaxed, the results indicate that by installing high-penetration renewable energy, the community could lower their energy costs by 21% while still reducing their fuel consumption by 54%.

  10. Constraining the 2012-2014 growing season Alaskan methane budget using CARVE aircraft measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartery, S.; Chang, R. Y. W.; Commane, R.; Lindaas, J.; Miller, S. M.; Wofsy, S. C.; Karion, A.; Sweeney, C.; Miller, C. E.; Dinardo, S. J.; Steiner, N.; McDonald, K. C.; Watts, J. D.; Zona, D.; Oechel, W. C.; Kimball, J. S.; Henderson, J.; Mountain, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Soil in northen latitudes contains rich carbon stores which have been historically preserved via permafrost within the soil bed; however, recent surface warming in these regions is allowing deeper soil layers to thaw, influencing the net carbon exchange from these areas. Due to the extreme nature of its climate, these eco-regions remain poorly understood by most global models. In this study we analyze methane fluxes from Alaska using in situ aircraft observations from the 2012-2014 Carbon in Arctic Reservoir Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE). These observations are coupled with an atmospheric particle transport model which quantitatively links surface emissions to atmospheric observations to make regional methane emission estimates. The results of this study are two-fold. First, the inter-annual variability of the methane emissions was found to be <1 Tg over the area of interest and is largely influenced by the length of time the deep soil remains unfrozen. Second, the resulting methane flux estimates and mean soil parameters were used to develop an empirical emissions model to help spatially and temporally constrain the methane exchange at the Alaskan soil surface. The empirical emissions model will provide a basis for exploring the sensitivity of methane emissions to subsurface soil temperature, soil moisture, organic carbon content, and other parameters commonly used in process-based models.

  11. Sea Ice, Hydrocarbon Extraction, Rain-on-Snow and Tundra Reindeer Nomadism in Arctic Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, B. C.; Kumpula, T.; Meschtyb, N.; Laptander, R.; Macias-Fauria, M.; Zetterberg, P.; Verdonen, M.

    2015-12-01

    It is assumed that retreating sea ice in the Eurasian Arctic will accelerate hydrocarbon development and associated tanker traffic along Russia's Northern Sea Route. However, oil and gas extraction along the Kara and Barents Sea coasts will likely keep developing rapidly regardless of whether the Northwest Eurasian climate continues to warm. Less certain are the real and potential linkages to regional biota and social-ecological systems. Reindeer nomadism continues to be a vitally important livelihood for indigenous tundra Nenets and their large herds of semi-domestic reindeer. Warming summer air temperatures over the NW Russian Arctic have been linked to increases in tundra productivity, longer growing seasons, and accelerated growth of tall deciduous shrubs. These temperature increases have, in turn, been linked to more frequent and sustained summer high-pressure systems over West Siberia, but not to sea ice retreat. At the same time, winters have been warming and rain-on-snow (ROS) events have become more frequent and intense, leading to record-breaking winter and spring mortality of reindeer. What is driving this increase in ROS frequency and intensity is not clear. Recent modelling and simulation have found statistically significant near-surface atmospheric warming and precipitation increases during autumn and winter over Arctic coastal lands in proximity to regions of sea-ice loss. During the winter of 2013-14 an extensive and lasting ROS event led to the starvation of 61,000 reindeer out of a population of ca. 300,000 animals on Yamal Peninsula, West Siberia. Historically, this is the region's largest recorded mortality episode. More than a year later, participatory fieldwork with nomadic herders during spring-summer 2015 revealed that the ecological and socio-economic impacts from this extreme event will unfold for years to come. There is an urgent need to understand whether and how ongoing Barents and Kara Sea ice retreat may affect the region's ancient

  12. Consequences of artic ground squirrels on soil carbon loss from Siberian tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golden, N. A.; Natali, S.; Zimov, N.

    2014-12-01

    A large pool of organic carbon (C) has been accumulating in the Arctic for thousands of years. Much of this C has been frozen in permafrost and unavailable for microbial decomposition. As the climate warms and permafrost thaws, the fate of this large C pool will be driven not only by climatic conditions, but also by ecosystem changes brought about by arctic animal populations. In this project we studied arctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus parryii), which are widely-distributed throughout the Arctic. These social mammals create subterranean burrows that mix soil layers, increase aeration, alter soil moisture and temperature, and redistribute soil nutrients, all of which may impact microbial decomposition. We examined the effects of arctic ground squirrel activity on soil C mineralization in dry heath tundra underlain by continuous permafrost in the Kolyma River watershed in northeast Siberia, Russia. Vegetation cover was greatly reduced on the ground squirrel burrows (80% of ground un-vegetated), compared to undisturbed sites (35% of ground un-vegetated). Soils from ground squirrel burrows were also significantly dryer and warmer. To examine effects of ground squirrel activity on microbial respiration, we conducted an 8-day incubation of soil fromburrows and from adjacent undisturbed tundra. In addition, we assessed the impact of nutrient addition by including treatments with low and high levels of nitrogen addition. Microbial respiration (per gram soil) was three-fold higher in incubated soils from the undisturbed sites compared to soils collected from the burrows. The lower rates of respiration from the disturbed soils may have been a result of lower carbon quality or low soil moisture. High nitrogen addition significantly increased respiration in the undisturbed soils, but not in the disturbed burrow soils, which suggests that microbial respiration in the burrow soils was not primarily limited by nitrogen. These results demonstrate the importance of wildlife

  13. Decadal changes in CH4 and CO2 emissions on the Alaskan North Slope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweeney, C.; Commane, R.; Wofsy, S.; Dlugokencky, E. J.; Karion, A.; Stone, R. S.; Chang, R.; Tans, P. P.; Wolter, S.

    2016-12-01

    Large changes in surface air temperature, sea ice cover and permafrost in the Arctic Boreal Ecosystems (ABE) are significantly impacting the critical ecosystem services and human societies that are dependent on the ABE. In order to predict the outcome of continued change in the climate system of the ABE, it is necessary to look at how past changes in climate have affected the ABE. We look at 30 years of CH4 and 42 years of CO2 observations from the NOAA Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network site in Barrow, Alaska. By eliminating background trends and only looking at data collected when winds are blowing off the North Slope we find very little change in CH4 enhancements, but significant changes in the CO2 enhancements coming off the tundra. The bulk of both CO2 and CH4 emissions appear to be emitted well after the first snow fall on the North Slope. CO2 emissions are a strongly correlation with summer surface temperatures, while CH4 emissions appear insensitive to the large temperature changes that occurred over the measurement period. These results suggest that CO2, and not CH4 emissions, are a likely pathway for the degradation of permafrost carbon.

  14. Examining the role of shrub expansion and fire in Arctic plant silica cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, J.; Fetcher, N.; Parker, T.; Rocha, A. V.; Tang, J.

    2017-12-01

    All terrestrial plants accumulate silica (SiO2) to some degree, although the amount varies by species type, functional group, and environmental conditions. Silica improves overall plant fitness, providing protection from a variety of biotic and abiotic stressors. Plant silica uptake serves to retain silica in terrestrial landscapes, influencing silica export rates from terrestrial to marine systems. These export rates are important because silica is often the limiting nutrient for primary production by phytoplankton in coastal waters. Understanding how terrestrial plant processes influence silica export rates to oceanic systems is of interest on the global scale, but nowhere is this issue more important than in the Arctic, where marine diatoms rely on silica for production in large numbers and terrestrial runoff largely influences marine biogeochemistry. Moreover, the rapid rate of change occurring in the Arctic makes understanding plant silica dynamics timely, although knowledge of plant silica cycling in the region is in its infancy. This work specifically examines how shrub expansion, permafrost thaw, and fire regimes influence plant silica behavior in the Alaskan Arctic. We quantified silica accumulation in above and belowground portions of three main tundra types found in the Arctic (wet sedge, moist acidic, moist non-acidic tundra) and scaled these values to estimate how shrub expansion alters plant silica accumulation rates. Results indicate that shrub expansion via warming will increase silica storage in Arctic land plants due to the higher biomass associated with shrub tundra, whereas conversion of tussock to wet sedge tundra via permafrost thaw would produce the opposite effect in the terrestrial plant BSi pool. We also examined silica behavior in plants exposed to fire, finding that post-fire growth results in elevated plant silica uptake. Such changes in the size of the terrestrial vegetation silica reservoir could have direct consequences for the rates

  15. Parental care in Tundra Swans during the pre-fledgling period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earnst, Susan L.

    2002-01-01

    Among studies that have quantified the care of precocial young, few have investigated forms of parental care other than vigilance. During the pre-fledging period, Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) parents provided simultaneous biparental care by foraging near each other and their cygnets, and cygnets spent more time foraging during bouts in which both parents were foraging nearby than when only one parent was foraging nearby. Parents spent nearly twice as much foraging time on land than did non-parents, a habitat in which cygnets foraged more intensely than parents (i.e., spent more time foraging during foraging bouts) and could graze on protein-rich sedges rather than use more difficult below-water foraging methods. Parents also spent more than twice as much time being vigilant and more than three times as much time defending their territory than non-parents, behaviors that presumably benefited cygents by decreasing predation risk and indirect foraging competition, respectively. Parents therefore incurred the costs of foraging less intensely during foraging bouts, spending more time interacting, more time in vigilance, and less time sleeping/preening than non-parents.

  16. On the influence of the tundra on the EnEV

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Genath, B.

    2004-01-01

    This extensive article discusses the European General Energy-Efficiency Guidelines for Buildings that are to be implemented in national legislation by 2006. This extensive article looks at questions concerning the implementation of these guidelines, which not only limit the amount of primary energy used for heating, but also that used for air-conditioning and lighting. The new regulations are compared with the existing German EnEV energy-efficiency regulations. The advantages and the weak points of the latter are discussed. Several special cases are quoted and improvements are suggested, including the adoption of the best part-implementations from existing national regulations. The interdisciplinary approach necessary is discussed. Also the effects of the EU-EnEV on emissions trading is looked at. The situation concerning CO 2 and global warming in Russia is examined in the light of emissions-trading efforts - and even the climatic pros and cons of letting the permafrost of the tundra melt are discussed

  17. Characteristics of summer-time energy exchange in a high Arctic tundra heath 2000–2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magnus Lund

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Global warming will bring about changes in surface energy balance of Arctic ecosystems, which will have implications for ecosystem structure and functioning, as well as for climate system feedback mechanisms. In this study, we present a unique, long-term (2000–2010 record of summer-time energy balance components (net radiation, R n; sensible heat flux, H; latent heat flux, LE; and soil heat flux, G from a high Arctic tundra heath in Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland. This area has been subjected to strong summer-time warming with increasing active layer depths (ALD during the last decades. We observe high energy partitioning into H, low partitioning into LE and high Bowen ratio (β=H/LE compared with other Arctic sites, associated with local climatic conditions dominated by onshore winds, slender vegetation with low transpiration activity and relatively dry soils. Surface saturation vapour pressure deficit (D s was found to be an important variable controlling within-year surface energy partitioning. Throughout the study period, we observe increasing H/R n and LE/R n and decreasing G/R n and β, related to increasing ALD and decreasing soil wetness. Thus, changes in summer-time surface energy balance partitioning in Arctic ecosystems may be of importance for the climate system.

  18. Biological methanol production by immobilized Methylocella tundrae using simulated biohythane as a feed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Sanjay K S; Singh, Raushan K; Kumar, Ashok; Jeong, Jae-Hoon; Jeong, Seong Hun; Kalia, Vipin C; Kim, In-Won; Lee, Jung-Kul

    2017-10-01

    Biohythane may be used as an alternative feed for methanol production instead of costly pure methane. In this study, methanol production potential of Methylocella tundrae immobilized through covalent immobilization, adsorption, and encapsulation was evaluated. Cells covalently immobilized on groundnut shells and chitosan showed a relative methanol production potential of 83.9 and 91.6%, respectively, compared to that of free cells. The maximum methanol production by free cells and cells covalently immobilized on groundnut shells and chitosan was 6.73, 6.20, and 7.23mM, respectively, using simulated biohythane as a feed. Under repeated batch conditions of eight cycles, cells covalently immobilized on chitosan and groundnut shells, and cells encapsulated in sodium-alginate resulted in significantly higher cumulative methanol production of 37.76, 31.80, and 25.58mM, respectively, than free cells (18.57mM). This is the first report on immobilization of methanotrophs on groundnut shells and its application in methanol production using biohythane as a feed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. [Methanotrophs of the psychrophilic microbial community of the Russian Arctic tundra].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berestovskaia, Iu Iu; Vasil'eva, L V; Chestnykh, O V; Zavarzin, G A

    2002-01-01

    In tundra, at a low temperature, there exists a slowly developing methanotrophic community. Methane-oxidizing bacteria are associated with plants growing at high humidity, such as sedge and sphagnum; no methonotrophs were found in polytrichous and aulacomnious mosses and lichens, typical of more arid areas. The methanotrophic bacterial community inhabits definite soil horizons, from moss dust to peat formed from it. Potential ability of the methanotrophic community to oxidize methane at 5 degrees C enhances with the depth of the soil profile in spite of the decreasing soil temperature. The methanotrophic community was found to gradually adapt to various temperatures due to the presence of different methane-oxidizing bacteria in its composition. Depending on the temperature and pH, different methanotrophs occupy different econiches. Within a temperature range from 5 to 15 degrees C, three morphologically distinct groups of methanotrophs could be distinguished. At pH 5-7 and 5-15 degrees C, forms morphologically similar to Methylobacter psychrophilus predominated, whereas at the acidic pH 4-6 and 10-15 degrees C, bipolar cells typical of Methylocella palustris were mostly found. The third group of methanotrophic bacteria growing at pH 5-7 and 5-10 degrees C was represented by a novel methanotroph whole large coccoid cells had a thick mucous capsule.

  20. Potential of Immobilized Whole-Cell Methylocella tundrae as a Biocatalyst for Methanol Production from Methane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mardina, Primata; Li, Jinglin; Patel, Sanjay K S; Kim, In-Won; Lee, Jung-Kul; Selvaraj, Chandrabose

    2016-07-28

    Methanol is a versatile compound that can be biologically synthesized from methane (CH4) by methanotrophs using a low energy-consuming and environment-friendly process. Methylocella tundrae is a type II methanotroph that can utilize CH4 as a carbon and energy source. Methanol is produced in the first step of the metabolic pathway of methanotrophs and is further oxidized into formaldehyde. Several parameters must be optimized to achieve high methanol production. In this study, we optimized the production conditions and process parameters for methanol production. The optimum incubation time, substrate, pH, agitation rate, temperature, phosphate buffer and sodium formate concentration, and cell concentration were determined to be 24 h, 50% CH4, pH 7, 150 rpm, 30°C, 100 mM and 50 mM, and 18 mg/ml, respectively. The optimization of these parameters significantly improved methanol production from 0.66 to 5.18 mM. The use of alginate-encapsulated cells resulted in enhanced methanol production stability and reusability of cells after five cycles of reuse under batch culture conditions.

  1. Towards lidar-based mapping of tree age at the Arctic forest tundra ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, J.; Maguire, A.; Oelkers, R.; Andreu-Hayles, L.; Boelman, N.; D'Arrigo, R.; Griffin, K. L.; Jennewein, J. S.; Hiers, E.; Meddens, A. J.; Russell, M.; Vierling, L. A.; Eitel, J.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change may cause spatial shifts in the forest-tundra ecotone (FTE). To improve our ability to study these spatial shifts, information on tree demography along the FTE is needed. The objective of this study was to assess the suitability of lidar derived tree heights as a surrogate for tree age. We calculated individual tree age from 48 tree cores collected at basal height from white spruce (Picea glauca) within the FTE in northern Alaska. Tree height was obtained from terrestrial lidar scans (= 3 m), yielding strong predictive relationships between height and age (R2 = 0.86, RMSE 12.21 years, and R2 = 0.93, RMSE = 25.16 years, respectively). The slope coefficient for small and large tree models (16.83 and 12.98 years/m, respectively) indicate that small trees grow 1.3 times faster than large trees at these FTE study sites. Although a strong, predictive relationship between age and height is uncommon in light-limited forest environments, our findings suggest that the sparseness of trees within the FTE may explain the strong tree height-age relationships found herein. Further analysis of 36 additional tree cores recently collected within the FTE near Inuvik, Canada will be performed. Our preliminary analysis suggests that lidar derived tree height could be a reliable proxy for tree age at the FTE, thereby establishing a new technique for scaling tree structure and demographics across larger portions of this sensitive ecotone.

  2. Relocation of major ions in snow along the tundra-taiga ecotone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pomeroy, J.W.; Marsh, P. (Environment Canada, Saskatoon (Canada)); Lesack, L. (Simon Fraser Univeristy, Burnaby, (Canada))

    1993-01-01

    The chemistry of seasonal snowcovers north of Unuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada was stratified by biophysical landscape. In this region, deposition of ions in winter occurs largely through the redistribution of wind-blown snow with accumulations in forest-edges and valley sides 8 to 12 times that of the open tundra. While dominated by this snow redistribution, the loading of most ions, except for SO[sub 4][sup 2-], does not scale exactly with that of snow, there being several mechanisms by which ion concentrations become relatively enriched or depleted in various landscape units. Vaporisation during temperature-gradient metamorphism in shallow-snow and uptake during either photochemical reactions or gaseous scavenging to well-exposed snow transformed concentrations of NO[sub 3][sup -] by 50%. Dry deposition of aerosols to forested terrain and valley bottoms enriched Cl[sup -], Na[sup +], Mg[sup 2]-[sup +], K[sup +] and Ca[sup 2+] concentrations up to more than two-fold, however scavenging of aerosols to blowing snow particles contributed an additional 40% to the sea-salt enrichment and 20% to the Ca[sup 2+] enrichment in wind-blown treeline forests. It is concluded that central measurements of snow chemistry in the Arctic cannot be reliably extrapolated without reference to changes caused by over-winter physical and chemical metamorphic processes. Associating the physical/chemical changes with readily identifiable Arctic landscape units suggests a simple and robust method for spatial extrapolation. (au) (26 refs.)

  3. Calibration and Validation of Landsat Tree Cover in the Taiga−Tundra Ecotone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Mannix Montesano

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring current forest characteristics in the taiga−tundra ecotone (TTE at multiple scales is critical for understanding its vulnerability to structural changes. A 30 m spatial resolution Landsat-based tree canopy cover map has been calibrated and validated in the TTE with reference tree cover data from airborne LiDAR and high resolution spaceborne images across the full range of boreal forest tree cover. This domain-specific calibration model used estimates of forest height to determine reference forest cover that best matched Landsat estimates. The model removed the systematic under-estimation of tree canopy cover >80% and indicated that Landsat estimates of tree canopy cover more closely matched canopies at least 2 m in height rather than 5 m. The validation improved estimates of uncertainty in tree canopy cover in discontinuous TTE forests for three temporal epochs (2000, 2005, and 2010 by reducing systematic errors, leading to increases in tree canopy cover uncertainty. Average pixel-level uncertainties in tree canopy cover were 29.0%, 27.1% and 31.1% for the 2000, 2005 and 2010 epochs, respectively. Maps from these calibrated data improve the uncertainty associated with Landsat tree canopy cover estimates in the discontinuous forests of the circumpolar TTE.

  4. Net carbon exchange across the Arctic tundra-boreal forest transition in Alaska 1981-2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Catharine Copass; McGuire, A.D.; Clein, Joy S.; Chapin, F. S.; Beringer, J.

    2006-01-01

    Shifts in the carbon balance of high-latitude ecosystems could result from differential responses of vegetation and soil processes to changing moisture and temperature regimes and to a lengthening of the growing season. Although shrub expansion and northward movement of treeline should increase carbon inputs, the effects of these vegetation changes on net carbon exchange have not been evaluated. We selected low shrub, tall shrub, and forest tundra sites near treeline in northwestern Alaska, representing the major structural transitions expected in response to warming. In these sites, we measured aboveground net primary production (ANPP) and vegetation and soil carbon and nitrogen pools, and used these data to parameterize the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model. We simulated the response of carbon balance components to air temperature and precipitation trends during 1981-2000. In areas experiencing warmer and dryer conditions, Net Primary Production (NPP) decreased and heterotrophic respiration (R H ) increased, leading to a decrease in Net Ecosystem Production (NEP). In warmer and wetter conditions NPP increased, but the response was exceeded by an increase in R H ; therefore, NEP also decreased. Lastly, in colder and wetter regions, the increase in NPP exceeded a small decline in R H , leading to an increase in NEP. The net effect for the region was a slight gain in ecosystem carbon storage over the 20 year period. This research highlights the potential importance of spatial variability in ecosystem responses to climate change in assessing the response of carbon storage in northern Alaska over the last two decades. ?? Springer 2005.

  5. Fungi benefit from two decades of increased nutrient availability in tundra heath soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Bååth, Erland

    2013-01-01

    If microbial degradation of carbon substrates in arctic soil is stimulated by climatic warming, this would be a significant positive feedback on global change. With data from a climate change experiment in Northern Sweden we show that warming and enhanced soil nutrient availability, which is a predicted long-term consequence of climatic warming and mimicked by fertilization, both increase soil microbial biomass. However, while fertilization increased the relative abundance of fungi, warming caused only a minimal shift in the microbial community composition based on the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and neutral lipid fatty acid (NLFA) profiles. The function of the microbial community was also differently affected, as indicated by stable isotope probing of PLFA and NLFA. We demonstrate that two decades of fertilization have favored fungi relative to bacteria, and increased the turnover of complex organic compounds such as vanillin, while warming has had no such effects. Furthermore, the NLFA-to-PLFA ratio for (13)C-incorporation from acetate increased in warmed plots but not in fertilized ones. Thus, fertilization cannot be used as a proxy for effects on warming in arctic tundra soils. Furthermore, the different functional responses suggest that the biomass increase found in both fertilized and warmed plots was mediated via different mechanisms.

  6. Movement of foraging Tundra Swans explained by spatial pattern in cryptic food densities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaassen, Raymond H G; Nolet, Bart A; Bankert, Daniëlle

    2006-09-01

    We tested whether Tundra Swans use information on the spatial distribution of cryptic food items (below ground Sago pondweed tubers) to shape their movement paths. In a continuous environment, swans create their own food patches by digging craters, which they exploit in several feeding bouts. Series of short (1 m). Tuber biomass densities showed a positive spatial auto-correlation at a short distance (25 g/m2) and to a more distant patch (at 7-8 m) if the food density in the current patch had been low (3 m) from a low-density patch and a short distance (<3 m) from a high-density patch. The quantitative agreement between prediction and observation was greater for swans feeding in pairs than for solitary swans. The result of this movement strategy is that swans visit high-density patches at a higher frequency than on offer and, consequently, achieve a 38% higher long-term gain rate. Swans also take advantage of spatial variance in food abundance by regulating the time in patches, staying longer and consuming more food from rich than from poor patches. We can conclude that the shape of the foraging path is a reflection of the spatial pattern in the distribution of tuber densities and can be understood from an optimal foraging perspective.

  7. Annual survival rates of adult and immature eastern population tundra swans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, J.D.; Bart, J.; Limpert, R.J.; Sladen, William J. L.; Hines, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus ) of the eastern population were neckbanded in Maryland, North Carolina, and Alaska from 1966 through 1990. These swans were resighted and recaptured during autumn, winter, and spring, 1966-1990. Although the original motivation for this study involved swan movements, we wanted to use the resulting data to test hypotheses about sources of variation in swan survival rates. Recaptures of legbanded and neckbanded swans permitted us to estimate neckband loss rates, which were found to vary with age and sex of swans, and number of years since initial application. Estimates of annual neckband retention rate ranged from about 0.50 for adult male swans greater than or equal to 2 years after initial neckbanding to > 0.96 for immature swans and adult females the first year following neckbanding. This variation in neckband loss rates prevented the simple correction of survival estimates to account for such loss. Consequently, we developed a series of multinomial models parameterized with survival, sighting, and neckband retention probabilities for use with the recapture and resighting data.

  8. Doubled volatile organic compound emissions from subarctic tundra under simulated climate warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faubert, Patrick; Tiiva, Päivi; Rinnan, Asmund; Michelsen, Anders; Holopainen, Jarmo K; Rinnan, Riikka

    2010-07-01

    *Biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions from arctic ecosystems are important in view of their role in global atmospheric chemistry and unknown feedbacks to global warming. These cold ecosystems are hotspots of climate warming, which will be more severe here than averaged over the globe. We assess the effects of climatic warming on non-methane BVOC emissions from a subarctic heath. *We performed ecosystem-based chamber measurements and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses of the BVOCs collected on adsorbent over two growing seasons at a wet subarctic tundra heath hosting a long-term warming and mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) litter addition experiment. *The relatively low emissions of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes were doubled in response to an air temperature increment of only 1.9-2.5 degrees C, while litter addition had a minor influence. BVOC emissions were seasonal, and warming combined with litter addition triggered emissions of specific compounds. *The unexpectedly high rate of release of BVOCs measured in this conservative warming scenario is far above the estimates produced by the current models, which underlines the importance of a focus on BVOC emissions during climate change. The observed changes have implications for ecological interactions and feedback effects on climate change via impacts on aerosol formation and indirect greenhouse effects.

  9. Organic matter composition and stabilization in a polygonal tundra soil of the Lena Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Höfle

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated soil organic matter (OM composition of differently stabilized soil OM fractions in the active layer of a polygonal tundra soil in the Lena Delta, Russia, by applying density and particle size fractionation combined with qualitative OM analysis using solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and lipid analysis combined with 14C analysis. Bulk soil OM was mainly composed of plant-derived, little-decomposed material with surprisingly high and strongly increasing apparent 14C ages with active layer depth suggesting slow microbial OM transformation in cold climate. Most soil organic carbon was stored in clay and fine-silt fractions (n-alkane and n-fatty acid compounds and low alkyl/O-alkyl C ratios. Organo-mineral associations, which are suggested to be a key mechanism of OM stabilization in temperate soils, seem to be less important in the active layer as the mainly plant-derived clay- and fine-silt-sized OM was surprisingly "young", with 14C contents similar to the bulk soil values. Furthermore, these fractions contained less organic carbon compared to density fractionated OM occluded in soil aggregates – a further important OM stabilization mechanism in temperate soils restricting accessibility of microorganisms. This process seems to be important at greater active layer depth where particulate OM, occluded in soil aggregates, was "older" than free particulate OM.

  10. Calibration and Validation of Tundra Plant Functional Type Fractional Cover Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macander, M. J.; Nelson, P.; Frost, G. V., Jr.

    2017-12-01

    Fractional cover maps are being developed for selected tundra plant functional types (PFTs) across >500,000 sq. km of arctic Alaska and adjacent Canada at 30 m resolution. Training and validation data include a field-based training dataset based on point-intercept sampling method at hundreds of plots spanning bioclimatic and geomorphic gradients. We also compiled 50 blocks of 1-5 cm resolution RGB image mosaics in Alaska (White Mountains, North Slope, and Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta) and the Yukon Territory. The mosaics and associated surface and canopy height models were developed using a consumer drone and structure from motion processing. We summarized both the in situ measurements and drone imagery to determine cover of two PFTs: Low and Tall Deciduous Shrub, and Light Fruticose/Foliose Lichen. We applied these data to train 2 m (limited extent) and 30 m (wall to wall) maps of PFT fractional cover for shrubs and lichen. Predictors for 2 m models were commercial satellite imagery such as WorldView-2 and Worldview-3, analyzed on the ABoVE Science Cloud. Predictors for 30 m models were primarily reflectance composites and spectral metrics developed from Landsat imagery, using Google Earth Engine. We compared the performance of models developed from the in situ and drone-derived training data and identify best practices to improve the performance and efficiency of arctic PFT fractional cover mapping.

  11. Connecting Alaskan Youth, Elders, and Scientists in Climate Change Research and Community Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spellman, K.; Sparrow, E.

    2017-12-01

    Integrated science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) solutions and effective, relevant learning processes are required to address the challenges that a changing climate presents to many Arctic communities. Learning that can both enhance a community's understanding and generate new knowledge about climate change impacts at both local and continental scales are needed to efficiently build the capacity to navigate these changes. The Arctic and Earth STEM Integrating GLOBE and NASA (SIGNs) program is developing a learning model to engage Alaskan rural and indigenous communities in climate change learning, research and action. Youth, elders, educators, community leaders and scientists collaborate to address a pressing local climate change concern. The program trains teams of educators and long-time community members on climate change concepts and environmental observing protocols in face-to-face or online workshops together with Arctic and NASA subject matter experts. Community teams return to their community to identify local data or information needs that align with their student's interests and the observations of local elders. They deepen their understanding of the subject through culturally responsive curriculum materials, and collaborate with a scientist to develop an investigation with their students to address the identified need. Youth make observations using GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) protocols that best fit the issue, analyze the data they have collected, and utilize indigenous or knowledge, and NASA data to address the issue. The use of GLOBE protocols allow for communities to engage in climate change research at both local and global scales, as over 110 nations worldwide are using these standardized protocols. Teams work to communicate their investigation results back to their community and other scientists, and apply their results to local stewardship action or climate adaptation projects. In this

  12. Assessing the Utility of Temporally Dynamic Terrain Indices in Alaskan Moose Resource Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennewein, J. S.; Hebblewhite, M.; Meddens, A. J.; Gilbert, S.; Vierling, L. A.; Boelman, N.; Eitel, J.

    2017-12-01

    The accelerated warming in arctic and boreal regions impacts ecosystem structure and plant species distribution, which have secondary effects on wildlife. In summer months, moose (Alces alces) are especially vulnerable to changes in the availability and quality of forage and foliage cover due to their thermoregulatory needs and high energetic demands post calving. Resource selection functions (RSFs) have been used with great success to model such tradeoffs in habitat selection. Recently, RSFs have expanded to include more dynamic representations of habitat selection through the use of time-varying covariates such as dynamic habitat indices. However, to date few studies have investigated dynamic terrain indices, which incorporate long-term, highly-dynamic meteorological data (e.g., albedo, air temperature) and their utility in modeling habitat selection. The purpose of this study is to compare two dynamic terrain indices (i.e., solar insolation and topographic wetness) to their static counterparts in Alaskan moose resource selection over a ten-year period (2008-2017). Additionally, the utility of a dynamic wind-shelter index is assessed. Three moose datasets (n=130 total), spanning a north-to-south gradient in Alaska, are analyzed independently to assess location-specific resource selection. The newly-released, high-resolution Arctic Digital Elevation Model (5m2) is used as the terrain input into both dynamic and static indices. Dynamic indices are programmed with meteorological data from the North American Regional Analysis (NARR) and NASA's Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES-DISC) databases. Static wetness and solar insolation indices are estimated using only topographic parameters (e.g., slope, aspect). Preliminary results from pilot analyses suggest that dynamic terrain indices may provide novel insights into resource selection of moose that could not be gained when using static counterparts. Future applications of such dynamic

  13. Circulation and water properties in the landfast ice zone of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weingartner, Thomas J.; Danielson, Seth L.; Potter, Rachel A.; Trefry, John H.; Mahoney, Andy; Savoie, Mark; Irvine, Cayman; Sousa, Leandra

    2017-09-01

    Moorings, hydrography, satellite-tracked drifters, and high-frequency radar data describe the annual cycle in circulation and water properties in the landfast ice zone (LIZ) of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. Three seasons, whose duration and characteristics are controlled by landfast ice formation and ablation, define the LIZ: ;winter;, ;break-up;, and ;open-water;. Winter begins in October with ice formation and ends in June when rivers commence discharging. Winter LIZ ice velocities are zero, under-ice currents are weak ( 5 cm s-1), and poorly correlated with winds and local sea level. The along-shore momentum balance is between along-shore pressure gradients and bottom and ice-ocean friction. Currents at the landfast ice-edge are swift ( 35 cm s-1), wind-driven, with large horizontal shears, and potentially unstable. Weak cross-shore velocities ( 1 cm s-1) imply limited exchanges between the LIZ and the outer shelf in winter. The month-long break-up season (June) begins with the spring freshet and concludes when landfast ice detaches from the bottom. Cross-shore currents increase, and the LIZ hosts shallow ( 2 m), strongly-stratified, buoyant and sediment-laden, under-ice river plumes that overlie a sharp, 1 m thick, pycnocline across which salinity increases by 30. The plume salt balance is between entrainment and cross-shore advection. Break-up is followed by the 3-month long open-water season when currents are swift (≥20 cm s-1) and predominantly wind-driven. Winter water properties are initialized by fall advection and evolve slowly due to salt rejection from ice. Fall waters and ice within the LIZ derive from local rivers, the Mackenzie and/or Chukchi shelves, and the Arctic basin.

  14. Influence of fire frequency on carbon consumption in Alaskan blackspruce forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoy, E.; Kasischke, E. S.

    2014-12-01

    Increasing temperatures and drier conditions within the boreal forests of Alaska have resulted in increases in burned area and fire frequency, which alter carbon storage and emissions. In particular, analyses of satellite remote sensing data showed that >20% of the area impacted by fires in interior Alaska occurred in areas that had previously burned since 1950 (e.g., short to intermediate interval fires). Field studies showed that in immature black spruce forests ~ 35 to 55 years old organic layers experienced deep burning regardless of topographic position or seasonality of burning, factors that control depth of burning in mature black spruce forests. Here, refinements were made to a carbon consumption model to account for variations in fuel loads and fraction of carbon consumed associated with fire frequency based on quantifying burned area in recently burned sites using satellite imagery. An immature black spruce (Picea mariana) fuel type (including stands of ~0-50 years) was developed which contains new ground-layer carbon consumption values in order to more accurately account for differences between various age classes of black spruce forest. Both versions of the model were used to assess carbon consumption during 100 fire events (over 4.4 x 10^6 ha of burned area) from two recent ultra-large fire years (2004 and 2005). Using the improved model to better attribute fuel type and consumption resulted in higher ground-layer carbon consumption (4.9% in 2004 and 6.8% in 2005) than previously estimated. These adjustments in ground-layer burning resulted in total carbon consumption within 2004 and 2005 of 63.5 and 42.0 Tg of carbon, respectively. Results from this research could be incorporated into larger scale modeling efforts to better assess changes in the climate-fire-vegetation dynamics in interior Alaskan boreal forests, and to understand the impacts of these changes on carbon consumption and emissions.

  15. A Subpixel Classification of Multispectral Satellite Imagery for Interpetation of Tundra-Taiga Ecotone Vegetation (Case Study on Tuliok River Valley, Khibiny, Russia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikheeva, A. I.; Tutubalina, O. V.; Zimin, M. V.; Golubeva, E. I.

    2017-12-01

    The tundra-taiga ecotone plays significant role in northern ecosystems. Due to global climatic changes, the vegetation of the ecotone is the key object of many remote-sensing studies. The interpretation of vegetation and nonvegetation objects of the tundra-taiga ecotone on satellite imageries of a moderate resolution is complicated by the difficulty of extracting these objects from the spectral and spatial mixtures within a pixel. This article describes a method for the subpixel classification of Terra ASTER satellite image for vegetation mapping of the tundra-taiga ecotone in the Tuliok River, Khibiny Mountains, Russia. It was demonstrated that this method allows to determine the position of the boundaries of ecotone objects and their abundance on the basis of quantitative criteria, which provides a more accurate characteristic of ecotone vegetation when compared to the per-pixel approach of automatic imagery interpretation.

  16. The transcriptional response of microbial communities in thawing Alaskan permafrost soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M J L Coolen

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Thawing of permafrost soils is expected to stimulate microbial decomposition and respiration of sequestered carbon. This could, in turn, increase atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, and create a positive feedback to climate warming. Recent metagenomic studies suggest that permafrost has a large metabolic potential for carbon processing, including pathways for fermentation and methanogenesis. Here, we performed a pilot study using ultrahigh throughput Illumina HiSeq sequencing of reverse transcribed messenger RNA to obtain a detailed overview of active metabolic pathways and responsible organisms in up to 70 cm deep permafrost soils at a moist acidic tundra location in Arctic Alaska. The transcriptional response of the permafrost microbial community was compared before and after eleven days of thaw. In general, the transcriptional profile under frozen conditions suggests a dominance of stress responses, survival strategies, and maintenance processes, whereas upon thaw a rapid enzymatic response to decomposing soil organic matter (SOM was observed. Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, ascomycete fungi, and methanogens were responsible for largest transcriptional response upon thaw. Transcripts indicative of heterotrophic methanogenic pathways utilizing acetate, methanol, and methylamine were found predominantly in the permafrost table after thaw. Furthermore, transcripts involved in acetogenesis were expressed exclusively after thaw suggesting that acetogenic bacteria are a potential source of acetate for acetoclastic methanogenesis in freshly thawed permafrost. Metatranscriptomics is shown here to be a useful approach for inferring the activity of permafrost microbes that has potential to improve our understanding of permafrost SOM bioavailability and biogeochemical mechanisms contributing to greenhouse gas emissions as a result of permafrost thaw.

  17. The transcriptional response of microbial communities in thawing Alaskan permafrost soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coolen, Marco J. L.; Orsi, William D.

    2015-01-01

    Thawing of permafrost soils is expected to stimulate microbial decomposition and respiration of sequestered carbon. This could, in turn, increase atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide and methane, and create a positive feedback to climate warming. Recent metagenomic studies suggest that permafrost has a large metabolic potential for carbon processing, including pathways for fermentation and methanogenesis. Here, we performed a pilot study using ultrahigh throughput Illumina HiSeq sequencing of reverse transcribed messenger RNA to obtain a detailed overview of active metabolic pathways and responsible organisms in up to 70 cm deep permafrost soils at a moist acidic tundra location in Arctic Alaska. The transcriptional response of the permafrost microbial community was compared before and after 11 days of thaw. In general, the transcriptional profile under frozen conditions suggests a dominance of stress responses, survival strategies, and maintenance processes, whereas upon thaw a rapid enzymatic response to decomposing soil organic matter (SOM) was observed. Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, ascomycete fungi, and methanogens were responsible for largest transcriptional response upon thaw. Transcripts indicative of heterotrophic methanogenic pathways utilizing acetate, methanol, and methylamine were found predominantly in the permafrost table after thaw. Furthermore, transcripts involved in acetogenesis were expressed exclusively after thaw suggesting that acetogenic bacteria are a potential source of acetate for acetoclastic methanogenesis in freshly thawed permafrost. Metatranscriptomics is shown here to be a useful approach for inferring the activity of permafrost microbes that has potential to improve our understanding of permafrost SOM bioavailability and biogeochemical mechanisms contributing to greenhouse gas emissions as a result of permafrost thaw. PMID:25852660

  18. Evaluating CO2 and CH4 dynamics of Alaskan ecosystems during the Holocene Thermal Maximum

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Yujie; Jones, Miriam C.; Zhuang, Qianlai; Bochicchio, Christopher; Felzer, B. S.; Mason, Erik; Yu, Zicheng

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic has experienced much greater warming than the global average in recent decades due to polar amplification. Warming has induced ecological changes that have impacted climate carbon-cycle feedbacks, making it important to understand the climate and vegetation controls on carbon (C) dynamics. Here we used the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM, 11–9 ka BP, 1 ka BP = 1000 cal yr before present) in Alaska as a case study to examine how ecosystem Cdynamics responded to the past warming climate using an integrated approach of combining paleoecological reconstructions and ecosystem modeling. Our paleoecological synthesis showed expansion of deciduous broadleaf forest (dominated by Populus) into tundra and the establishment of boreal evergreen needleleaf and mixed forest during the second half of the HTM under a warmer- and wetter-than-before climate, coincident with the occurrence of the highest net primary productivity, cumulative net ecosystem productivity, soil C accumulation and CH4 emissions. These series of ecological and biogeochemical shifts mirrored the solar insolation and subsequent temperature and precipitation patterns during HTM, indicating the importance of climate controls on C dynamics. Our simulated regional estimate of CH4 emission rates from Alaska during the HTM ranged from 3.5 to 6.4 Tg CH4 yr−1 and highest annual NPP of 470 Tg C yr−1, significantly higher than previously reported modern estimates. Our results show that the differences in static vegetation distribution maps used in simulations of different time slices have greater influence on modeled C dynamics than climatic fields within each time slice, highlighting the importance of incorporating vegetation community dynamics and their responses to climatic conditions in long-term biogeochemical modeling.

  19. Human-animal agency in reindeer management: Sami herders' perspectives on Fennoscandian tundra vegetation dynamics under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, B. C.; Horstkotte, T.; Utsi, T. A.; Larsson-Blind, Å.; Burgess, P.; Käyhkö, J.; Oksanen, L.; Johansen, B.

    2016-12-01

    Many primary livelihoods in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions are increasingly faced with accelerating effects of climate change and resource exploitation. The often close connection between indigenous populations and the dynamics of their respective territories allows them to make detailed observations of how these changes transform the landscapes where they practice their daily activities. Here, we report Sami reindeer herders' observations based on their long-term occupancy and use of contrasting pastoral landscapes in northern Fennoscandia. In particular, we focus on the capacity for various herd management regimes to prevent a potential transformation of open tundra vegetation to shrubland or woodland. Fennoscandian Sami herders did not confirm a substantial, rapid or large-scale transformation of treeless arctic-alpine areas into shrub- and/or woodlands as a consequence of climate change. However, where encroachment of open tundra landscapes has been observed, a range of drivers were deemed responsible. These included abiotic conditions, anthropogenic influences and the direct and indirect effects of reindeer. Mountain birch tree line advances were in some cases associated with reduced or discontinued grazing, depending on the seasonal significance of these particular areas. In the many places where tree line has risen, herding practices have by necessity adapted to these changes. Exploiting the capacity of reindeer grazing/browsing as a conservation tool offers new adaptive strategies of ecosystem management to counteract a potential encroachment of the tundra by woody plants. However, such novel solutions in environmental governance are confronted with difficult trade-offs involved in ecosystem management for ecologically reasonable, economically viable and socially desirable management strategies.

  20. Potential changes in arctic seasonality and plant communities may impact tundra soil chemistry and carbon dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, S.; Cooper, E.; Beilman, D.; Filley, T.; Reimer, P.

    2009-04-01

    On the Svalbard archipelago, as in other high Arctic regions, tundra soil organic matter (SOM) is primarily plant detritus that is largely stabilized by cold, moist conditions and low nitrogen availability. However, the resistance of SOM to decomposition is also influenced by the quality of organic matter inputs to soil. Different plant communities are likely to give different qualities to SOM, especially where lignin-rich woody species encroach into otherwise graminoid and bryophyte-dominated regions. Arctic woody plant species are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature, snow cover, and growing season length. In a changing environment, litter chemistry may emerge as an important control on tundra SOM stabilization. In summer 2007, we collected plant material and soil from the highly-organic upper horizon (appx. 0-5 cm) and the mineral-dominated lower horizon (appx. 5-10cm) from four locations in the southwest facing valleys of Svalbard, Norway. The central goal of the ongoing experiment is to determine whether a greater abundance of woody plants could provide a negative feedback to warming impacts on the carbon (C) balance of Arctic soils. Towards this, we used a combination of plant biopolymer analyses (cupric oxide oxidation and quantification of lignin-derived phenols and cutin/suberin-derived aliphatics) and radiocarbon-based estimates of C longevity and mean residence time (MRT) to characterize potential links between plant type and soil C pools. We found that graminoid species regenerate above- and belowground tissue each year, whereas woody species (Cassiope tetragona and Dryas octopetala) regenerated only leaves yearly. In contrast, C within live branches and roots persisted for 15-18 yr on average. Leaves from woody species remained nearly intact in surface litter for up to 20 yr without being incorporated into the upper soil horizon. Leaves from both graminoid and woody species were concentrated in lignin-derived phenols relative to roots, but

  1. The growing season greenhouse gas balance of a continental tundra site in the Indigirka lowlands, NE Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. K. van der Molen

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Carbon dioxide and methane fluxes were measured at a tundra site near Chokurdakh, in the lowlands of the Indigirka river in north-east Siberia. This site is one of the few stations on Russian tundra and it is different from most other tundra flux stations in its continentality. A suite of methods was applied to determine the fluxes of NEE, GPP, Reco and methane, including eddy covariance, chambers and leaf cuvettes. Net carbon dioxide fluxes were high compared with other tundra sites, with NEE=−92 g C m−2 yr−1, which is composed of an Reco=+141 g C m−2 yr−1 and GPP=−232 g C m−2 yr−1. This large carbon dioxide sink may be explained by the continental climate, that is reflected in low winter soil temperatures (−14°C, reducing the respiration rates, and short, relatively warm summers, stimulating high photosynthesis rates. Interannual variability in GPP was dominated by the frequency of light limitation (Rg<200 W m−2, whereas Reco depends most directly on soil temperature and time in the growing season, which serves as a proxy of the combined effects of active layer depth, leaf area index, soil moisture and substrate availability. The methane flux, in units of global warming potential, was +28 g C-CO2e m−2 yr−1, so that the greenhouse gas balance was −64 g C-CO2e m−2 yr−1. Methane fluxes depended only slightly on soil temperature and were highly sensitive to hydrological conditions and vegetation composition.

  2. Rough-legged buzzards, Arctic foxes and red foxes in a tundra ecosystem without rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Pokrovsky

    Full Text Available Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species-rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox - perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013 we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey - altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period - a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers.

  3. Permafrost collapse alters soil carbon stocks, respiration, CH4 , and N2O in upland tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Benjamin W; Jones, Jeremy B

    2015-12-01

    Release of greenhouse gases from thawing permafrost is potentially the largest terrestrial feedback to climate change and one of the most likely to occur; however, estimates of its strength vary by a factor of thirty. Some of this uncertainty stems from abrupt thaw processes known as thermokarst (permafrost collapse due to ground ice melt), which alter controls on carbon and nitrogen cycling and expose organic matter from meters below the surface. Thermokarst may affect 20-50% of tundra uplands by the end of the century; however, little is known about the effect of different thermokarst morphologies on carbon and nitrogen release. We measured soil organic matter displacement, ecosystem respiration, and soil gas concentrations at 26 upland thermokarst features on the North Slope of Alaska. Features included the three most common upland thermokarst morphologies: active-layer detachment slides, thermo-erosion gullies, and retrogressive thaw slumps. We found that thermokarst morphology interacted with landscape parameters to determine both the initial displacement of organic matter and subsequent carbon and nitrogen cycling. The large proportion of ecosystem carbon exported off-site by slumps and slides resulted in decreased ecosystem respiration postfailure, while gullies removed a smaller portion of ecosystem carbon but strongly increased respiration and N2 O concentration. Elevated N2 O in gully soils persisted through most of the growing season, indicating sustained nitrification and denitrification in disturbed soils, representing a potential noncarbon permafrost climate feedback. While upland thermokarst formation did not substantially alter redox conditions within features, it redistributed organic matter into both oxic and anoxic environments. Across morphologies, residual organic matter cover, and predisturbance respiration explained 83% of the variation in respiration response. Consistent differences between upland thermokarst types may contribute to the

  4. Biogeochemical controls on microbial CH4 and CO2 production in Arctic polygon tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, J.

    2016-12-01

    Accurately simulating methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from high latitude soils is critically important for reducing uncertainties in soil carbon-climate feedback predictions. The signature polygonal ground of Arctic tundra generates high level of heterogeneity in soil thermal regime, hydrology and oxygen availability, which limits the application of current land surface models with simple moisture response functions. We synthesized CH4 and CO2 production measurements from soil microcosm experiments across a wet-to dry permafrost degradation gradient from low-centered (LCP) to flat-centered (FCP), and high-centered polygons (HCP) to evaluate the relative importance of biogeochemical processes and their response to warming. More degraded polygon (HCP) showed much less carbon loss as CO2 or CH4, while the total CO2 production from FCP is comparable to that from LCP. Maximum CH4 production from the active layer of LCP was nearly 10 times that of permafrost and FCP. Multivariate analyses identifies gravimetric water content and organic carbon content as key predictors for CH4 production, and iron reduction as a key regulator of pH. The synthesized data are used to validate the geochemical model PHREEQC with extended anaerobic organic substrate turnover, fermentation, iron reduction, and methanogenesis reactions. Sensitivity analyses demonstrate that better representations of anaerobic processes and their pH dependency could significantly improve estimates of CH4 and CO2 production. The synthesized data suggest local decreases in CH4 production along the polygon degradation gradient, which is consistent with previous surface flux measurements. Methane oxidation occurring through the soil column of degraded polygons contributes to their low CH4 emissions as well.

  5. Extreme nitrogen deposition can change methane oxidation rate in moist acidic tundra soil in Arctic regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J.; Kim, J.; Kang, H.

    2017-12-01

    Recently, extreme nitrogen(N) deposition events are observed in Arctic regions where over 90% of the annual N deposition occurred in just a few days. Since Arctic ecosystems are typically N-limited, input of extremely high amount of N could substantially affect ecosystem processes. CH4 is a potent greenhouse gas that has 25 times greater global warming potential than CO2 over a 100-year time frame. Ammonium is known as an inhibitor of methane oxidation and nitrate also shows inhibitory effect on it in temperate ecosystems. However, effects of N addition on Arctic ecosystems are still elusive. We conducted a lab-scale incubation experiment with moist acidic tundra (MAT) soil from Council, Alaska to investigate the effect of extreme N deposition events on methane oxidation. Zero point five % methane was added to the head space to determine the potential methane oxidation rate of MAT soil. Three treatments (NH4NO3-AN, (NH4)2SO4-AS, KNO3-PN) were used to compare effects of ammonium, nitrate and salts. All treatments were added in 3 levels: 10μg N gd.w-1(10), 50μg N gd.w-1(50) and 100μg N gd.w-1(100). AN10 and AN50 increased methane oxidation rate 1.7, 6% respectively. However, AN100 shows -8.5% of inhibitory effect. In AS added samples, all 3 concentrations (AN10, AN50, AN100) stimulated methane oxidation rate with 4.7, 8.9, 4%, respectively. On the contrary, PN50 (-9%) and PN100 (-59.5%) exhibited a significant inhibitory effect. We also analyzed the microbial gene abundance and community structures of methane oxidizing bacteria using a DNA-based fingerprinting method (T-RFLP) Our study results suggest that NH4+ can stimulate methane oxidation in Arctic MAT soil, while NO3- can inhibit methane oxidation significantly.

  6. Complex effects of mammalian grazing on extramatrical mycelial biomass in the Scandes forest-tundra ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vowles, Tage; Lindwall, Frida; Ekblad, Alf; Bahram, Mohammad; Furneaux, Brendan R; Ryberg, Martin; Björk, Robert G

    2018-01-01

    Mycorrhizal associations are widespread in high-latitude ecosystems and are potentially of great importance for global carbon dynamics. Although large herbivores play a key part in shaping subarctic plant communities, their impact on mycorrhizal dynamics is largely unknown. We measured extramatrical mycelial (EMM) biomass during one growing season in 16-year-old herbivore exclosures and unenclosed control plots (ambient), at three mountain birch forests and two shrub heath sites, in the Scandes forest-tundra ecotone. We also used high-throughput amplicon sequencing for taxonomic identification to investigate differences in fungal species composition. At the birch forest sites, EMM biomass was significantly higher in exclosures (1.36 ± 0.43 g C/m 2 ) than in ambient conditions (0.66 ± 0.17 g C/m 2 ) and was positively influenced by soil thawing degree-days. At the shrub heath sites, there was no significant effect on EMM biomass (exclosures: 0.72 ± 0.09 g C/m 2 ; ambient plots: 1.43 ± 0.94). However, EMM biomass was negatively related to Betula nana abundance, which was greater in exclosures, suggesting that grazing affected EMM biomass positively. We found no significant treatment effects on fungal diversity but the most abundant ectomycorrhizal lineage/cortinarius, showed a near-significant positive effect of herbivore exclusion ( p  = .08), indicating that herbivory also affects fungal community composition. These results suggest that herbivory can influence fungal biomass in highly context-dependent ways in subarctic ecosystems. Considering the importance of root-associated fungi for ecosystem carbon balance, these findings could have far-reaching implications.

  7. Relating structural growth environment to white spruce sapling establishment at the Forest-Tundra Ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguire, A.; Boelman, N.; Griffin, K. L.; Jensen, J.; Hiers, E.; Johnson, D. M.; Vierling, L. A.; Eitel, J.

    2017-12-01

    The effect of climate change on treeline position at the latitudinal Forest-Tundra ecotone (FTE) is poorly understood. While the FTE is expansive (stretching 13,000 km acros the panarctic), understanding relationships between climate and tree function may depend on very fine scale processes. High resolution tools are therefore needed to appropriately characterize the leading (northernmost) edge of the FTE. We hypothesized that microstructural metrics obtainable from lidar remote sensing may explain variation in the physical growth environment that governs sapling establishment. To test our hypothesis, we used terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) to collect highly spatially resolved 3-D structural information of white spruce (Picea glauca) saplings and their aboveground growth environment at the leading edge of a FTE in northern Alaska and Northwest Territories, Canada. Coordinates of sapling locations were extracted from the 3-D TLS data. Within each sampling plot, 20 sets of coordinates were randomly selected from regions where no saplings were present. Ground roughness, canopy roughness, average aspect, average slope, average curvature, wind shelter index, and wetness indexwere extracted from point clouds within a variable radius from all coordinates. Generalized linear models (GLM) were fit to determine which microstructural metrics were most strongly associated with sapling establishment. Preliminary analyses of three plots suggest that vegetation roughness, wetness index, ground roughness, and slope were the most important terrain metrics governing sapling presence (Figure 1). Comprehensive analyses will include eight plots and GLMs optimized for scale at which structural parameters affect sapling establishment. Spatial autocorrelation of sample locations will be accounted for in models. Because these analyses address how the physical growth environment affects sapling establishment, model outputs will provide information for improving understanding of the

  8. Plant response to climate change along the forest-tundra ecotone in northeastern Siberia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berner, Logan T; Beck, Pieter S A; Bunn, Andrew G; Goetz, Scott J

    2013-11-01

    Russia's boreal (taiga) biome will likely contract sharply and shift northward in response to 21st century climatic change, yet few studies have examined plant response to climatic variability along the northern margin. We quantified climate dynamics, trends in plant growth, and growth-climate relationships across the tundra shrublands and Cajander larch (Larix cajanderi Mayr.) woodlands of the Kolyma river basin (657 000 km(2) ) in northeastern Siberia using satellite-derived normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI), tree ring-width measurements, and climate data. Mean summer temperatures (Ts ) increased 1.0 °C from 1938 to 2009, though there was no trend (P > 0.05) in growing year precipitation or climate moisture index (CMIgy ). Mean summer NDVI (NDVIs ) increased significantly from 1982 to 2010 across 20% of the watershed, primarily in cold, shrub-dominated areas. NDVIs positively correlated (P  0.05), which significantly correlated with NDVIs (r = 0.44, P < 0.05, 1982-2007). Both satellite and tree-ring analyses indicated that plant growth was constrained by both low temperatures and limited moisture availability and, furthermore, that warming enhanced growth. Impacts of future climatic change on forests near treeline in Arctic Russia will likely be influenced by shifts in both temperature and moisture, which implies that projections of future forest distribution and productivity in this area should take into account the interactions of energy and moisture limitations. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Spaceborne potential for examining taiga-tundra ecotone form and vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montesano, Paul M.; Sun, Guoqing; Dubayah, Ralph O.; Ranson, K. Jon

    2016-07-01

    In the taiga-tundra ecotone (TTE), site-dependent forest structure characteristics can influence the subtle and heterogeneous structural changes that occur across the broad circumpolar extent. Such changes may be related to ecotone form, described by the horizontal and vertical patterns of forest structure (e.g., tree cover, density, and height) within TTE forest patches, driven by local site conditions, and linked to ecotone dynamics. The unique circumstance of subtle, variable, and widespread vegetation change warrants the application of spaceborne data including high-resolution (ecotone form. We demonstrate the potential of spaceborne data for integrating forest height and density to assess TTE form at the scale of forest patches across the circumpolar biome by (1) mapping forest patches in study sites along the TTE in northern Siberia with a multi-resolution suite of spaceborne data and (2) examining the uncertainty of forest patch height from this suite of data across sites of primarily diffuse TTE forms. Results demonstrate the opportunities for improving patch-scale spaceborne estimates of forest height, the vertical component of TTE form, with HRSI. The distribution of relative maximum height uncertainty based on prediction intervals is centered at ˜ 40 %, constraining the use of height for discerning differences in forest patches. We discuss this uncertainty in light of a conceptual model of general ecotone forms and highlight how the uncertainty of spaceborne estimates of height can contribute to the uncertainty in identifying TTE forms. A focus on reducing the uncertainty of height estimates in forest patches may improve depiction of TTE form, which may help explain variable forest responses in the TTE to climate change and the vulnerability of portions of the TTE to forest structure change.

  10. Water balance along a chain of tundra lakes: A 20-year isotopic perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, J. J.; Reid, R.

    2014-11-01

    Stable isotope measurements and isotope mass balance (IMB) calculations are presented in support of an unprecedented 20-year water balance assessment for a tailings pond and a chain of downstream lakes at the Salmita-Tundra mine site, situated near Courageous Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada (65°03‧N; 111°11‧W). The method is shown to provide a comprehensive annual and interannual perspective of water balance fluxes along a chain of lakes during the period 1991-2010, without the need for continuous streamflow gauging, and reveals important lake-order-dependent patterns of land-surface runoff, discharge accumulation, and several key diagnostic ratios, i.e., evaporation/inflow, evaporation/evapotranspiration, land-surface-runoff/precipitation and discharge/ precipitation. Lake evaporation is found to be a significant component of the water balance, accounting for between 26% and 32% of inflow to natural lakes and between 72% and 100% of inflow to mine-tailings ponds. Evaporation/evapotranspiration averages between 7% and 22% and is found to be higher in low-precipitation years, and in watersheds with a higher proportion of lakes. Runoff ratios for land-surface drainages and runoff ratios for watersheds (including lakes) ranged between 14-47% and 20-47%, respectively, and were higher in low precipitation years, in watersheds with a higher proportion of lakes, and in watersheds less affected by mining development. We propose that in general these two runoff ratios will likely converge as lake order increases and as land cover conditions become regionally representative. Notably, the study demonstrates application of IMB, validated with streamflow measurements, to constrain local water balance in a remote low-arctic region. For IMB chain-of-lakes applications, it underlines the importance of accounting for evaporatively-enriched upstream sources to avoid overestimation of evaporation losses.

  11. Identifying Factors Causing Variability in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Fluxes in a Polygonal Tundra Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, B.; Wainwright, H. M.; Vaughn, L. S.; Curtis, J. B.; Torn, M. S.; Dafflon, B.; Hubbard, S. S.

    2017-12-01

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) flux variations in Arctic tundra environments are important to understand because of the vast amount of soil carbon stored in these regions and the potential of these regions to convert from a global carbon sink to a source under warmer conditions. Multiple factors potentially contribute to GHG flux variations observed in these environments, including snowmelt timing, growing season length, active layer thickness, water table variations, and temperature fluctuations. The objectives of this study are to investigate temporal variability in CO2 and CH4 fluxes at Barrow, AK over three successive growing seasons (2012-14) and to determine the factors influencing this variability using a novel entropy-based classification scheme. We analyzed soil, vegetation, and climate parameters as well as GHG fluxes at multiple locations within low-, flat- and high-centered polygons at Barrow, AK as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE) Arctic project. Entropy results indicate that different environmental factors govern variability in GHG fluxes under different spatiotemporal settings. In particular, flat-centered polygons are more likely to become significant sources of CO2 during warm and dry years as opposed to high-centered polygons that contribute considerably to CO2 emissions during cold and wet years. In contrast, the highest CH4 emissions were always associated with low-centered polygons. Temporal variability in CO2 fluxes was primarily associated with factors affecting soil temperature and/or vegetation dynamics during early and late season periods. Temporal variability in CH4 fluxes was primarily associated with changes in vegetation cover and its covariability with primary controls such as seasonal thaw—rather than direct response to changes in soil moisture. Overall, entropy results document which factors became important under different spatiotemporal settings, thus providing clues concerning the manner in which ecosystem

  12. Spaceborne Potential for Examining Taiga-Tundra Ecotone Form and Vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montesano, Paul M.; Sun, Guoqing; Dubayah, Ralph O.; Ranson, K. Jon

    2016-01-01

    In the taiga-tundra ecotone (TTE), site-dependent forest structure characteristics can influence the subtle and heterogeneous structural changes that occur across the broad circumpolar extent. Such changes may be related to ecotone form, described by the horizontal and vertical patterns of forest structure (e.g., tree cover, density and height) within TTE forest patches, driven by local site conditions, and linked to ecotone dynamics. The unique circumstance of subtle, variable and widespread vegetation change warrants the application of spaceborne data including high-resolution (less than 5m) spaceborne imagery (HRSI) across broad scales for examining TTE form and predicting dynamics. This study analyzes forest structure at the patch-scale in the TTE to provide a means to examine both vertical and horizontal components of ecotone form. We demonstrate the potential of spaceborne data for integrating forest height and density to assess TTE form at the scale of forest patches across the circumpolar biome by (1) mapping forest patches in study sites along the TTE in northern Siberia with a multi-resolution suite of spaceborne data, and (2) examining the uncertainty of forest patch height from this suite of data across sites of primarily diffuse TTE forms. Results demonstrate the opportunities for improving patch-scale spaceborne estimates of forest height, the vertical component of TTE form, with HRSI. The distribution of relative maximum height uncertainty based on prediction intervals is centered at approximately 40%, constraining the use of height for discerning differences in forest patches. We discuss this uncertainty in light of a conceptual model of general ecotone forms, and highlight how the uncertainty of spaceborne estimates of height can contribute to the uncertainty in identifying TTE forms. A focus on reducing the uncertainty of height estimates in forest patches may improve depiction of TTE form, which may help explain variable forest responses in the

  13. Regional Quantitative Cover Mapping of Tundra Plant Functional Types in Arctic Alaska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J. Macander

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystem maps are foundational tools that support multi-disciplinary study design and applications including wildlife habitat assessment, monitoring and Earth-system modeling. Here, we present continuous-field cover maps for tundra plant functional types (PFTs across ~125,000 km2 of Alaska’s North Slope at 30-m resolution. To develop maps, we collected a field-based training dataset using a point-intercept sampling method at 225 plots spanning bioclimatic and geomorphic gradients. We stratified vegetation by nine PFTs (e.g., low deciduous shrub, dwarf evergreen shrub, sedge, lichen and summarized measurements of the PFTs, open water, bare ground and litter using the cover metrics total cover (areal cover including the understory and top cover (uppermost canopy or ground cover. We then developed 73 spectral predictors derived from Landsat satellite observations (surface reflectance composites for ~15-day periods from May–August and five gridded environmental predictors (e.g., summer temperature, climatological snow-free date to model cover of PFTs using the random forest data-mining algorithm. Model performance tended to be best for canopy-forming PFTs, particularly deciduous shrubs. Our assessment of predictor importance indicated that models for low-statured PFTs were improved through the use of seasonal composites from early and late in the growing season, particularly when similar PFTs were aggregated together (e.g., total deciduous shrub, herbaceous. Continuous-field maps have many advantages over traditional thematic maps, and the methods described here are well-suited to support periodic map updates in tandem with future field and Landsat observations.

  14. Alaskan Superintendent Turnover: Is There a Correlation between Anticipated Turnover and the Organizational Culture of School Boards in the State of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbert, David M. Q.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to determine if a particular type of school board culture is predictive of Alaskan public school superintendents' intention to leave their positions. Cameron and Quinn's four types of organizational culture--hierarchy, market, clan, and adhocracy--serve as the model for the study, which surveyed Alaska's public school…

  15. Age, Gender, Biometry, Refractive Error, and the Anterior Chamber Angle among Alaskan Eskimos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wojciechowski, Robert; Congdon, Nathan; Anninger, William; Broman, Aimee Teo

    2011-01-01

    Background The prevalence of angle-closure glaucoma (ACG) is greater for Eskimos/Inuit than it is for any other ethnic group in the world. Although it has been suggested that this prevalence may be due to a population tendency toward shallower anterior chamber angles, available evidence for other populations such as Chinese with high rates of ACG has not consistently demonstrated such a tendency. Methods A reticule, slit-lamp, and standard Goldmann one-mirror goniolens were used to make measurements in the anterior chamber (AC) angle according to a previously reported protocol for biometric gonioscopy (BG) (Ophthalmology 1999;106:2161–7). Measurements were made in all four quadrants of one eye among 133 phakic Alaskan Eskimos aged 40 years and older. Automatic refraction, dilated examination of the anterior segment and optic nerve, and A-scan measurements of AC depth, lens thickness, and axial length were also carried out for all subjects. Results Both central and peripheral AC measurements for the Eskimo subjects were significantly lower than those previously reported by us for Chinese, blacks, and whites under the identical protocol. Eskimos also seemed to have somewhat more hyperopia. There were no differences in biometric measurements between men and women in this Eskimo population. Angle measurements by BG seemed to decline more rapidly over life among Eskimos and Chinese than blacks or whites. Although there was a significant apparent decrease in AC depth, increase in lens thickness, and increase in hyperopia with age among Eskimos, all of these trends seemed to reverse in the seventh decade and beyond. Conclusions Eskimos do seem to have shallower ACs than do other racial groups. Measurements of the AC angle seem to decline more rapidly over life among Eskimos than among blacks or whites, a phenomenon also observed by us among Chinese, another group with high ACG prevalence. This apparent more rapid decline may be due to a cohort effect with higher

  16. Site-Specific Bluff Recession Rates Measured on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richmond, B.; Gadd, P.; Crowell, W.

    2017-12-01

    OverviewThe effects of climate change are being studied globally with coastal erosion in Arctic regions of particular concern. In support of Hilcorp Alaska's Northstar Development, short- and long-term bluff recession rates have been documented at a pipeline shore crossing located in Gwydyr Bay on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea coast. These data are presented, along with the predominant forcing mechanisms, and compared to local and regional recession rates recently published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Arctic Bluff RecessionCoastal retreat along the northern coast of Alaska occurs at two different rates: infrequent, but rapid erosion induced by strong westerly storms, and seasonal retreat related to thawing and sediment removal under more moderate wave conditions. Variability in the rate of bluff retreat is related to a number of factors, including bluff composition (ice content and sediment type), existence of a fronting beach, and wave exposure. Measured Bluff Recession at the Northstar Pipeline Shore CrossingThe location of the Northstar Development pipeline shore crossing was chosen based on analysis of historical aerial photos acquired between 1949 and 1996. Over this 47-year period, the average annualized rate of bluff retreat in the study area ranged from 1.6 to 3.0 ft/yr. Beginning in 1996, ground-based shoreline monitoring surveys have been conducted along the bluff and ten shore-perpendicular transects at the site. The rates of bluff retreat derived from the survey data have been modest, ranging from no change to 5.8 ft/yr. The monitoring surveys indicate that waves and currents erode the bluffs by direct impact only during infrequent, but strong westerly storms that promote a short-term rise in sea level (storm surge). The more prevalent easterly storms can cause set-down, or reduction in the sea level which limits direct wave impact on the bluff, thereby decreasing the potential for wave induced erosion. Comparative StudiesRecent studies conducted

  17. Brucella Antibodies in Alaskan True Seals and Eared Seals—Two Different Stories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingebjørg H. Nymo

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Brucella pinnipedialis was first isolated from true seals in 1994 and from eared seals in 2008. Although few pathological findings have been associated with infection in true seals, reproductive pathology including abortions, and the isolation of the zoonotic strain type 27 have been documented in eared seals. In this study, a Brucella enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA and the Rose Bengal test (RBT were initially compared for 206 serum samples and a discrepancy between the tests was found. Following removal of lipids from the serum samples, ELISA results were unaltered while the agreement between the tests was improved, indicating that serum lipids affected the initial RBT outcome. For the remaining screening, we used ELISA to investigate the presence of Brucella antibodies in sera of 231 eared and 1,412 true seals from Alaskan waters sampled between 1975 and 2011. In eared seals, Brucella antibodies were found in two Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus (2% and none of the 107 Northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus. The low seroprevalence in eared seals indicate a low level of exposure or lack of susceptibility to infection. Alternatively, mortality due to the Brucella infection may remove seropositive animals from the population. Brucella antibodies were detected in all true seal species investigated; harbor seals (Phoca vitulina (25%, spotted seals (Phoca largha (19%, ribbon seals (Histriophoca fasciata (16%, and ringed seals (Pusa hispida hispida (14%. There was a low seroprevalence among pups, a higher seroprevalence among juveniles, and a subsequent decreasing probability of seropositivity with age in harbor seals. Similar patterns were present for the other true seal species; however, solid conclusions could not be made due to sample size. This pattern is in accordance with previous reports on B. pinnipedialis infections in true seals and may suggest environmental exposure to B. pinnipedialis at the juvenile stage, with a

  18. Guideline-Concordant Cancer Care and Survival Among American Indian/Alaskan Native Patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javid, Sara H.; Varghese, Thomas K.; Morris, Arden M.; Porter, Michael P.; He, Hao; Buchwald, Dedra; Flum, David R.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND American Indians/Alaskan Natives (AI/ANs) have the worst 5-year cancer survival of all racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Causes for this disparity are unknown. The authors of this report examined the receipt of cancer treatment among AI/AN patients compared with white patients. METHODS This was a retrospective cohort study of 338,204 patients who were diagnosed at age ≥65 years with breast, colon, lung, or prostate cancer between 1996 and 2005 in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database. Nationally accepted guidelines for surgical and adjuvant therapy and surveillance were selected as metrics of optimal, guideline-concordant care. Treatment analyses compared AI/ANs with matched whites. RESULTS Across cancer types, AI/ANs were less likely to receive optimal cancer treatment and were less likely to undergo surgery (P ≤ .025 for all cancers). Adjuvant therapy rates were significantly lower for AI/AN patients with breast cancer (P <.001) and colon cancer (P = .001). Rates of post-treatment surveillance also were lower among AI/ANs and were statistically significantly lower for AI/AN patients with breast cancer (P = .002) and prostate cancer (P <.001). Nonreceipt of optimal cancer treatment was associated with significantly worse survival across cancer types. Disease-specific survival for those who did not undergo surgery was significantly lower for patients with breast cancer (hazard ratio [HR], 0.62), colon cancer (HR, 0.74), prostate cancer (HR, 0.52), and lung cancer (HR, 0.36). Survival rates also were significantly lower for those patients who did not receive adjuvant therapy for breast cancer (HR, 0.56), colon cancer (HR, 0.59), or prostate cancer (HR, 0.81; all 95% confidence intervals were <1.0). CONCLUSIONS Fewer AI/AN patients than white patients received guideline-concordant cancer treatment across the 4 most common cancers. Efforts to explain these differences are critical to improving cancer care and

  19. Chamber and Diffusive Based Carbon Flux Measurements in an Alaskan Arctic Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkman, E.; Oechel, W. C.; Zona, D.

    2013-12-01

    Eric Wilkman, Walter Oechel, Donatella Zona Comprising an area of more than 7 x 106 km2 and containing over 11% of the world's organic matter pool, Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are vitally important components of the global carbon cycle, yet their structure and functioning are sensitive to subtle changes in climate and many of these functional changes can have large effects on the atmosphere and future climate regimes (Callaghan & Maxwell 1995, Chapin et al. 2002). Historically these northern ecosystems have acted as strong C sinks, sequestering large stores of atmospheric C due to photosynthetic dominance in the short summer season and low rates of decomposition throughout the rest of the year as a consequence of cold, nutrient poor, and generally water-logged conditions. Currently, much of this previously stored carbon is at risk of loss to the atmosphere due to accelerated soil organic matter decomposition in warmer future climates (Grogan & Chapin 2000). Although there have been numerous studies on Arctic carbon dynamics, much of the previous soil flux work has been done at limited time intervals, due to both the harshness of the environment and labor and time constraints. Therefore, in June of 2013 an Ultraportable Greenhouse Gas Analyzer (UGGA - Los Gatos Research Inc.) was deployed in concert with the LI-8100A Automated Soil Flux System (LI-COR Biosciences) in Barrow, AK to gather high temporal frequency soil CO2 and CH4 fluxes from a wet sedge tundra ecosystem. An additional UGGA in combination with diffusive probes, installed in the same location, provides year-round soil and snow CO2 and CH4 concentrations. When used in combination with the recently purchased AlphaGUARD portable radon monitor (Saphymo GmbH), continuous soil and snow diffusivities and fluxes of CO2 and CH4 can be calculated (Lehmann & Lehmann 2000). Of particular note, measuring soil gas concentration over a diffusive gradient in this way allows one to separate both net production and

  20. Tundra shrubification and tree-line advance amplify arctic climate warming: results from an individual-based dynamic vegetation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenxin; Miller, Paul A.; Smith, Benjamin; Wania, Rita; Koenigk, Torben; Döscher, Ralf

    2013-09-01

    One major challenge to the improvement of regional climate scenarios for the northern high latitudes is to understand land surface feedbacks associated with vegetation shifts and ecosystem biogeochemical cycling. We employed a customized, Arctic version of the individual-based dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESS to simulate the dynamics of upland and wetland ecosystems under a regional climate model-downscaled future climate projection for the Arctic and Subarctic. The simulated vegetation distribution (1961-1990) agreed well with a composite map of actual arctic vegetation. In the future (2051-2080), a poleward advance of the forest-tundra boundary, an expansion of tall shrub tundra, and a dominance shift from deciduous to evergreen boreal conifer forest over northern Eurasia were simulated. Ecosystems continued to sink carbon for the next few decades, although the size of these sinks diminished by the late 21st century. Hot spots of increased CH4 emission were identified in the peatlands near Hudson Bay and western Siberia. In terms of their net impact on regional climate forcing, positive feedbacks associated with the negative effects of tree-line, shrub cover and forest phenology changes on snow-season albedo, as well as the larger sources of CH4, may potentially dominate over negative feedbacks due to increased carbon sequestration and increased latent heat flux.

  1. Shrub growth and expansion in the Arctic tundra: an assessment of controlling factors using an evidence-based approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Andrew C.; Jeffers, Elizabeth S.; Petrokofsky, Gillian; Myers-Smith, Isla; Macias-Fauria, Marc

    2017-08-01

    Woody shrubs have increased in biomass and expanded into new areas throughout the Pan-Arctic tundra biome in recent decades, which has been linked to a biome-wide observed increase in productivity. Experimental, observational, and socio-ecological research suggests that air temperature—and to a lesser degree precipitation—trends have been the predominant drivers of this change. However, a progressive decoupling of these drivers from Arctic vegetation productivity has been reported, and since 2010, vegetation productivity has also been declining. We created a protocol to (a) identify the suite of controls that may be operating on shrub growth and expansion, and (b) characterise the evidence base for controls on Arctic shrub growth and expansion. We found evidence for a suite of 23 proximal controls that operate directly on shrub growth and expansion; the evidence base focused predominantly on just four controls (air temperature, soil moisture, herbivory, and snow dynamics). 65% of evidence was generated in the warmest tundra climes, while 24% was from only one of 28 floristic sectors. Temporal limitations beyond 10 years existed for most controls, while the use of space-for-time approaches was high, with 14% of the evidence derived via experimental approaches. The findings suggest the current evidence base is not sufficiently robust or comprehensive at present to answer key questions of Pan-Arctic shrub change. We suggest future directions that could strengthen the evidence, and lead to an understanding of the key mechanisms driving changes in Arctic shrub environments.

  2. Tundra shrubification and tree-line advance amplify arctic climate warming: results from an individual-based dynamic vegetation model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Wenxin; Miller, Paul A; Smith, Benjamin; Wania, Rita; Koenigk, Torben; Döscher, Ralf

    2013-01-01

    One major challenge to the improvement of regional climate scenarios for the northern high latitudes is to understand land surface feedbacks associated with vegetation shifts and ecosystem biogeochemical cycling. We employed a customized, Arctic version of the individual-based dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESS to simulate the dynamics of upland and wetland ecosystems under a regional climate model–downscaled future climate projection for the Arctic and Subarctic. The simulated vegetation distribution (1961–1990) agreed well with a composite map of actual arctic vegetation. In the future (2051–2080), a poleward advance of the forest–tundra boundary, an expansion of tall shrub tundra, and a dominance shift from deciduous to evergreen boreal conifer forest over northern Eurasia were simulated. Ecosystems continued to sink carbon for the next few decades, although the size of these sinks diminished by the late 21st century. Hot spots of increased CH 4 emission were identified in the peatlands near Hudson Bay and western Siberia. In terms of their net impact on regional climate forcing, positive feedbacks associated with the negative effects of tree-line, shrub cover and forest phenology changes on snow-season albedo, as well as the larger sources of CH 4 , may potentially dominate over negative feedbacks due to increased carbon sequestration and increased latent heat flux. (letter)

  3. Fire-severity effects on plant-fungal interactions after a novel tundra wildfire disturbance: implications for arctic shrub and tree migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecca E. Hewitt; Teresa N. Hollingsworth; F. Stuart Chapin III; D. Lee Taylor

    2016-01-01

    Background: Vegetation change in high latitude tundra ecosystems is expected to accelerate due to increased wildfire activity. High-severity fires increase the availability of mineral soil seedbeds, which facilitates recruitment, yet fire also alters soil microbial composition, which could significantly impact seedling establishment.

  4. Is pollen morphology of Salix polaris affected by enhanced UV-B irradiation? Results from a field experiment in high Arctic tundra

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yeloff, Dan; Blokker, Peter; Boelen, Peter; Rozema, Jelte

    2008-01-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that the thickness of the pollen wall will increase in response to enhanced UV-B irradiation, by examining, the effect of enhanced UV-B irradiance on the pollen morphology of Sali-v polaris Wahlem. grown in a Field experiment on the Arctic tundra of Svalbard.

  5. Landscape Controls of CH4 Fluxes in a Catchment of the Forest Tundra in Northern Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flessa, H.; Rodionov, A.; Guggenberger, G.; Fuchs, H.; Magdon, P.; Shibistova, O.; Zrazhevskaya, G.; Kasansky, O.; Blodau, C.

    2007-12-01

    Soils have the capacity to both produce and consume atmospheric methane. The direction and the size of net- CH4 exchange between soils and atmosphere is mainly controlled by the soil aeration, temperature and the amount of bioavailable organic matter. All these factors are strongly influenced by distribution and seasonal dynamics of permafrost. Thus, distribution of permafrost and the thickness of the active layer can exert strong influence on CH4 dynamics in artic and northern boreal ecosystems. We analyzed the spatial and temporal variability of net-CH4 exchange within a catchment located in the Siberian forest tundra at the eastern shore of the lower Yenissej River to constrain the current function of this region as a sink or source of atmospheric CH4 and to gain insight into the potential for climatic change to alter the rate and form of carbon cycling and CH4 fluxes in this region. Net-fluxes of CH4 were measured from July to November 2003 and from August 2006 to July 2007 on representative soils of the catchment (mineral soils with different thawing depth, soils of bog plateaux) and on a thermokarst pond. In addition, dissolved CH4 in the stream draining the catchment was determined. Field observations, classification of landscape structures from satellite images and flux measurements were combined to estimate total catchment CH4 exchange. Nearly all soils of the catchment were net-sinks of atmospheric CH4 with annual CH4-C uptake rates ranging between 1.2 and 0.2 kg ha-1 yr-1. The active layer depth was the main factor determining the size of CH4 uptake. Total net-exchange of CH4 from the catchment was dominated by ponds that covered only about 2% of the catchment area. Due to high CH4 emission from these aquatic systems, the catchment was a net source of atmospheric CH4 with a mean annual emission of approximately 170 kg CH4-C ha-1. CH4 concentration in streams draining the catchment can help to identify areas with high CH4 production. The results suggest

  6. Detection and Segmentation of Small Trees in the Forest-Tundra Ecotone Using Airborne Laser Scanning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marius Hauglin

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Due to expected climate change and increased focus on forests as a potential carbon sink, it is of interest to map and monitor even marginal forests where trees exist close to their tolerance limits, such as small pioneer trees in the forest-tundra ecotone. Such small trees might indicate tree line migrations and expansion of the forests into treeless areas. Airborne laser scanning (ALS has been suggested and tested as a tool for this purpose and in the present study a novel procedure for identification and segmentation of small trees is proposed. The study was carried out in the Rollag municipality in southeastern Norway, where ALS data and field measurements of individual trees were acquired. The point density of the ALS data was eight points per m2, and the field tree heights ranged from 0.04 to 6.3 m, with a mean of 1.4 m. The proposed method is based on an allometric model relating field-measured tree height to crown diameter, and another model relating field-measured tree height to ALS-derived height. These models are calibrated with local field data. Using these simple models, every positive above-ground height derived from the ALS data can be related to a crown diameter, and by assuming a circular crown shape, this crown diameter can be extended to a crown segment. Applying this model to all ALS echoes with a positive above-ground height value yields an initial map of possible circular crown segments. The final crown segments were then derived by applying a set of simple rules to this initial “map” of segments. The resulting segments were validated by comparison with field-measured crown segments. Overall, 46% of the field-measured trees were successfully detected. The detection rate increased with tree size. For trees with height >3 m the detection rate was 80%. The relatively large detection errors were partly due to the inherent limitations in the ALS data; a substantial fraction of the smaller trees was hit by no or just a few

  7. Impacts of introduced Rangifer on ecosystem processes of maritime tundra on subarctic islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricca, Mark; Miles, A. Keith; Van Vuren, Dirk H.; Eviner, Valerie T.

    2016-01-01

    Introductions of mammalian herbivores to remote islands without predators provide a natural experiment to ask how temporal and spatial variation in herbivory intensity alter feedbacks between plant and soil processes. We investigated ecosystem effects resulting from introductions of Rangifer tarandus (hereafter “Rangifer”) to native mammalian predator- and herbivore-free islands in the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska. We hypothesized that the maritime tundra of these islands would experience either: (1) accelerated ecosystem processes mediated by positive feedbacks between increased graminoid production and rapid nitrogen cycling; or (2) decelerated processes mediated by herbivory that stimulated shrub domination and lowered soil fertility. We measured summer plant and soil properties across three islands representing a chronosequence of elapsed time post-Rangifer introduction (Atka: ~100 yr; Adak: ~50; Kagalaska: ~0), with distinct stages of irruptive population dynamics of Rangifer nested within each island (Atka: irruption, K-overshoot, decline, K-re-equilibration; Adak: irruption, K-overshoot; Kagalaska: initial introduction). We also measured Rangifer spatial use within islands (indexed by pellet group counts) to determine how ecosystem processes responded to spatial variation in herbivory. Vegetation community response to herbivory varied with temporal and spatial scale. When comparing temporal effects using the island chronosequence, increased time since herbivore introduction led to more graminoids and fewer dwarf-shrubs, lichens, and mosses. Slow-growingCladonia lichens that are highly preferred winter forage were decimated on both long-termRangifer-occupied islands. In addition, linear relations between more concentrated Rangifer spatial use and reductions in graminoid and forb biomass within islands added spatial heterogeneity to long-term patterns identified by the chronosequence. These results support, in part, the hypothesis that

  8. Influence of human development and predators on nest survival of tundra birds, Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebezeit, J R; Kendall, S J; Brown, S; Johnson, C B; Martin, P; McDonald, T L; Payer, D C; Rea, C L; Streever, B; Wildman, A M; Zack, S

    2009-09-01

    Nest predation may influence population dynamics of birds on the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of Alaska, USA. Anthropogenic development on the ACP is increasing, which may attract nest predators by providing artificial sources of food, perches, den sites, and nest sites. Enhanced populations or concentrations of human-subsidized predators may reduce nest survival for tundra-nesting birds. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that nest survival decreases in proximity to human infrastructure. We monitored 1257 nests of 13 shorebird species and 619 nests of four passerine species at seven sites on the ACP from 2002 to 2005. Study sites were chosen to represent a range of distances to infrastructure from 100 m to 80 km. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to evaluate the effects of background (i.e., natural) factors and infrastructure on nest survival. We documented high spatial and temporal variability in nest survival, and site and year were both included in the best background model. We did not detect an effect of human infrastructure on nest survival for shorebirds as a group. In contrast, we found evidence that risk of predation for passerine nests increased within 5 km of infrastructure. This finding provides quantitative evidence of a relationship between infrastructure and nest survival for breeding passerines on the ACP. A posteriori finer-scale analyses (within oil field sites and individual species) suggested that Red and Red-necked Phalaropes combined (Phalaropus fulicarius, P. lobatus) had lower productivity closer to infrastructure and in areas with higher abundance of subsidized predators. However, we did not detect such a relationship between infrastructure and nest survival for Semipalmated and Pectoral Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla, C. melanotos), the two most abundant shorebirds. High variability in environmental conditions, nest survival, and predator numbers between sites and years may have contributed to these inconsistent results

  9. Seasonal and Downslope Changes in the Pore Water Geochemistry of Tundra Soils Near Nome, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philben, M. J.; Zheng, J.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Graham, D. E.; Gu, B.

    2017-12-01

    Thawing permafrost is exposing vast stores of organic matter to decomposition in previously frozen tundra soils. In low-relief and poorly drained areas, the complexity of microbial metabolism under anaerobic conditions complicates the prediction of resulting CO2 and CH4 emissions. To improve this understanding, we investigated the dissolved gas and major ion concentrations and DOM composition in depth profiles of soil pore water collected from the Teller Road site near Nome, AK, as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE)-Arctic. Pathways of anaerobic organic matter degradation were inferred based on two complementary approaches: first, we compared the composition of soil pore waters of saturated areas in the peat plateau and the base of the hillslope, collected early and late in the thaw season (July and September) to assess seasonal changes in the soil solution chemistry. CH4 and low molecular weight organic acids (e.g., acetate, formate, and propionate) were both near or below the detection limit in July but accumulated later in the season. In contrast, SO42- and Fe(III) concentrations were high in July and low in September, while Fe(II) was higher in September. These results suggest SO42- and Fe(III) reduction were the primary pathways for anaerobic respiration early in the thaw season, while methanogenesis increased in September as labile organic acids accumulated. Second, we assessed the change in DOM composition in a transect of piezometers, capturing the degradation of organic matter during transport down a hillslope. The DOC concentration did not change, but SUVA254 declined and the organic acid concentration increased downslope. In addition, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy indicated the ratio of carboxyl to amide and aromatic functional groups increased downslope. These parameters show that although there was no net loss of DOC along the transect, it was transformed to less aromatic and potentially more labile forms. Together, these

  10. Fractionation of Nitrogen Isotopes by Plants with Different Types of Mycorrhiza in Mountain Tundra Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buzin, Igor; Makarov, Mikhail; Maslov, Mikhail; Tiunov, Alexei

    2017-04-01

    We studied nitrogen concentration and nitrogen isotope composition in plants from four mountain tundra ecosystems in the Khibiny Mountains. The ecosystems consisted of a toposequence beginning with the shrub-lichen heath (SLH) on the ridge and upper slope, followed by the Betula nana dominated shrub heath (SH) on the middle slope, the cereal meadow (CM) on the lower slope and the sedge meadow (SM) at the bottom of the slope. The inorganic nitrogen concentration of the soils from the studied ecosystems were significantly different; the SLH soil was found to contain the minimum concentration of N-NH4+ and N-NO3- , while in the soils of the meadow ecosystems these concentrations were much higher. The concentration of nitrogen in leaves of the dominant plant species in all of the ecosystems is directly connected with the concentration of inorganic nitrogen in the soils, regardless of the plant's mycorrhizal symbiosis type. However, such a correlation is not apparent in the case of plant roots, especially for plant roots with ectomycorrhiza and ericoid mycorrhiza. The majority of plant species with these types of mycorrhiza in the SH and particularly in the CM were enriched in 15N in comparison with the SLH (such plants were not found within the SM). This could be due to several reasons: 1) the decreasing role of mycorrhiza in nitrogen consumption and therefore in the fractionation of isotopes in the relatively-N-enriched ecosystems; 2) the use of relatively-15N-enriched forms of nitrogen for plant nutrition in meadow ecosystems. This heavier nitrogen isotope composition in plant roots with ectomycorrhiza and ericoid mycorrhiza in ecosystems with available nitrogen enriched soils doesn't correspond to the classical idea of mycorrhiza decreasing participation in nitrogen plant nutrition. The analysis of the isotope composition of separate labile forms of nitrogen makes it possible to explain the phenomenon. Not all arbuscular mycorrhizal species within the sedge meadow

  11. Holocene evolution of lakes in the forest-tundra biome of northern Manitoba, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbs, William O.; Edlund, Mark B.; Umbanhowar, Charles E.; Camill, Philip; Lynch, Jason A.; Geiss, Christoph; Stefanova, Vania

    2017-03-01

    The late-Quaternary paleoenvironmental history of the western Hudson Bay region of Subarctic Canada is poorly constrained. Here, we present a regional overview of the post-glacial history of eight lakes which span the forest-tundra biome in northern Manitoba. We show that during the penultimate drainage phase of Lake Agassiz the lake water had an estimated pH of ∼6.0, with abundant quillwort (Isöetes spp.) along the lakeshore and littoral zone and some floating green algae (Botryococcus spp. and Pediastrum sp.). Based on multiple sediment proxies, modern lake ontogeny in the region commenced at ∼7500 cal yrs BP. Pioneering diatom communities were shaped by the turbid, higher alkalinity lake waters which were influenced by base cation weathering of the surrounding till following Lake Agassiz drainage. By ∼7000 cal yrs BP, soil development and Picea spp. establish and the lakes began a slow trajectory of acidification over the remaining Holocene epoch. The natural acidification of the lakes in this region is slow, on the order of several millennia for one pH unit. Each of the study lakes exhibit relatively stable aquatic communities during the Holocene Thermal Maximum, suggesting this period is a poor analogue for modern climatic changes. During the Neoglacial, the beginning of the post-Little Ice Age period represents the most significant climatic event to impact the lakes of N. Manitoba. In the context of regional lake histories, the rate of diatom floristic change in the last 200-300 years is unprecedented, with the exception of post-glacial lake ontogeny in some of the lakes. For nearly the entire history of the lakes in this region, there is a strong linkage between landscape development and the aquatic ecosystems; however this relationship appears to become decoupled or less strong in the post-LIA period. Significant 20th century changes in the aquatic ecosystem cannot be explained wholly by changes in the terrestrial ecosystem, suggesting that future

  12. The origin of lead in the organic horizon of tundra soils: Atmospheric deposition, plant translocation from the mineral soil or soil mineral mixing?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klaminder, Jonatan, E-mail: jonatan.klaminder@emg.umu.se [Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umea University, 90187 Umea (Sweden); Farmer, John G. [School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JN, Scotland (United Kingdom); MacKenzie, Angus B. [Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, East Kilbride, G75 0QF, Scotland (United Kingdom)

    2011-09-15

    Knowledge of the anthropogenic contribution to lead (Pb) concentrations in surface soils in high latitude ecosystems is central to our understanding of the extent of atmospheric Pb contamination. In this study, we reconstructed fallout of Pb at a remote sub-arctic region by using two ombrotrophic peat cores and assessed the extent to which this airborne Pb is able to explain the isotopic composition ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb ratio) in the O-horizon of tundra soils. In the peat cores, long-range atmospheric fallout appeared to be the main source of Pb as indicated by temporal trends that followed the known European pollution history, i.e. accelerated fallout at the onset of industrialization and peak fallout around the 1960s-70s. The Pb isotopic composition of the O-horizon of podzolic tundra soil ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb = 1.170 {+-} 0.002; mean {+-} SD) overlapped with that of the peat ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb = 1.16 {+-} 0.01) representing a proxy for atmospheric aerosols, but was clearly different from that of the parent soil material ({sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb = 1.22-1.30). This finding indicated that long-range fallout of atmospheric Pb is the main driver of Pb accumulation in podzolic tundra soil. In O-horizons of tundra soil weakly affected by cryoturbation (cryosols) however, the input of Pb from the underlying mineral soil increased as indicated by {sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb ratios of up to 1.20, a value closer to that of local soil minerals. Nevertheless, atmospheric Pb appeared to be the dominant source in this soil compartment. We conclude that Pb concentrations in the O-horizon of studied tundra soils - despite being much lower than in boreal soils and representative for one of the least exposed sites to atmospheric Pb contaminants in Europe - are mainly controlled by atmospheric inputs from distant anthropogenic sources. - Highlights: {yields} We used Pb isotopic composition to aid interpretation of Pb profiles in tundra soils. {yields} Ombrotrophic peat

  13. The origin of lead in the organic horizon of tundra soils: Atmospheric deposition, plant translocation from the mineral soil or soil mineral mixing?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klaminder, Jonatan; Farmer, John G.; MacKenzie, Angus B.

    2011-01-01

    Knowledge of the anthropogenic contribution to lead (Pb) concentrations in surface soils in high latitude ecosystems is central to our understanding of the extent of atmospheric Pb contamination. In this study, we reconstructed fallout of Pb at a remote sub-arctic region by using two ombrotrophic peat cores and assessed the extent to which this airborne Pb is able to explain the isotopic composition ( 206 Pb/ 207 Pb ratio) in the O-horizon of tundra soils. In the peat cores, long-range atmospheric fallout appeared to be the main source of Pb as indicated by temporal trends that followed the known European pollution history, i.e. accelerated fallout at the onset of industrialization and peak fallout around the 1960s-70s. The Pb isotopic composition of the O-horizon of podzolic tundra soil ( 206 Pb/ 207 Pb = 1.170 ± 0.002; mean ± SD) overlapped with that of the peat ( 206 Pb/ 207 Pb = 1.16 ± 0.01) representing a proxy for atmospheric aerosols, but was clearly different from that of the parent soil material ( 206 Pb/ 207 Pb = 1.22-1.30). This finding indicated that long-range fallout of atmospheric Pb is the main driver of Pb accumulation in podzolic tundra soil. In O-horizons of tundra soil weakly affected by cryoturbation (cryosols) however, the input of Pb from the underlying mineral soil increased as indicated by 206 Pb/ 207 Pb ratios of up to 1.20, a value closer to that of local soil minerals. Nevertheless, atmospheric Pb appeared to be the dominant source in this soil compartment. We conclude that Pb concentrations in the O-horizon of studied tundra soils - despite being much lower than in boreal soils and representative for one of the least exposed sites to atmospheric Pb contaminants in Europe - are mainly controlled by atmospheric inputs from distant anthropogenic sources. - Highlights: → We used Pb isotopic composition to aid interpretation of Pb profiles in tundra soils. → Ombrotrophic peat cores were used as records of atmospheric inputs of Pb.

  14. Comparative Analysis of the Number and Structure of the Complexes of Microscopic Fungi in Tundra and Taiga Soils in the North of the Kola Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korneikova, M. V.

    2018-01-01

    The number, biomass, length of fungal mycelium, and species diversity of microscopic fungi have been studied in soils of the tundra and taiga zones in the northern part of the Kola Peninsula: Al-Fe-humus podzols (Albic Podzols), podburs (Entic Podzols), dry peaty soils (Folic Histosols), low-moor peat soils (Sapric Histosols), and soils of frost bare spots (Cryosols). The number of cultivated microscopic fungi in tundra soils varied from 8 to 328 thousand CFU/g, their biomass averaged 1.81 ± 0.19 mg/g, and the length of fungal mycelium averaged 245 ± 25 m/g. The number of micromycetes in taiga soils varied from 80 to 350 thousand CFU/g, the number of fungal propagules in some years reached 600 thousand CFU/g; the fungal biomass varied from 0.23 to 6.2 mg/g, and the length of fungal mycelium varied from 32 to 3900 m/g. Overall, 36 species of fungi belonging to 16 genera, 13 families, and 8 orders were isolated from tundra soils. The species diversity of microscopic fungi in taiga soils was significantly higher: 87 species belonging to 31 genera, 21 families, and 11 orders. Fungi from the Penicillium genus predominated in both natural zones and constituted 38-50% of the total number of isolated species. The soils of tundra and taiga zones were characterized by their own complexes of micromycetes; the similarity of their species composition was about 40%. In soils of the tundra zone, Mortierella longicollis, Penicillium melinii, P. raistrickii, and P. simplicissimum predominated; dominant fungal species in soils of the taiga zone were represented by M. longicollis, P. decumbens, P. implicatum, and Umbelopsis isabellina.

  15. Haemosporidian parasite infections in grouse and ptarmigan: Prevalence and genetic diversity of blood parasites in resident Alaskan birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Matthew M.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Merizon, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Projections related to future climate warming indicate the potential for an increase in the distribution and prevalence of blood parasites in northern regions. However, baseline data are lacking for resident avian host species in Alaska. Grouse and ptarmigan occupy a diverse range of habitat types throughout the northern hemisphere and are among the most well-known and important native game birds in North America. Information regarding the prevalence and diversity of haemosporidian parasites in tetraonid species is limited, with few recent studies and an almost complete lack of genetic data. To better understand the genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites in Alaskan tetraonids and to determine current patterns of geographic range and host specificity, we used molecular methods to screen 459 tissue samples collected from grouse and ptarmigan species across multiple regions of Alaska for infection by Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus, and Plasmodium blood parasites. Infections were detected in 342 individuals, with overall apparent prevalence of 53% for Leucocytozoon, 21% for Haemoproteus, and 9% for Plasmodium. Parasite prevalence varied by region, with different patterns observed between species groups (grouse versus ptarmigan). Leucocytozoon was more common in ptarmigan, whereas Haemoproteus was more common in grouse. We detected Plasmodium infections in grouse only. Analysis of haemosporidian mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequences revealed 23 unique parasite haplotypes, several of which were identical to lineages previously detected in other avian hosts. Phylogenetic analysis showed close relationships between haplotypes from our study and those identified in Alaskan waterfowl for Haemoproteus and Plasmodium parasites. In contrast, Leucocytozoon lineages were structured strongly by host family. Our results provide some of the first genetic data for haemosporidians in grouse and ptarmigan species, and provide an initial baseline on the prevalence and diversity

  16. Communicating Risk and Cultivating Resilience in Rural Alaskan Communities: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Flood Mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kontar, Y. Y.

    2014-12-01

    The increasing extent and vulnerability of technologically advanced society together with aspects of global climate change intensifies the frequency and severity of natural disasters. Every year, communities around the world face the devastating consequences of hazardous events, including loss of life, property and infrastructure damage, and environmental decline. Environmentally sound strategies have to be developed to minimize these consequences. However, hazard-prone areas differ geographically, climatically, and culturally. There is no a one-size-fits-all solution. Thus, it is crucial that future decision-makers not only know the conditions that make some natural Earth processes hazardous to people, but also understand how people perceive and adjust to potential natural hazards in their regions. In May 2013, an ice jam caused major flooding in Galena, a remote village in interior Alaska. Within two days, flooding destroyed nearly the entire region's infrastructure, and displaced over 400 residents. Almost a year later, a significant part of Galena's population was still evacuated in Fairbanks and other neighboring towns. The rebuilding holdup reflected the federal government's reluctance to spend millions of dollars an the area that may be destroyed again by the next flood. Massive floods inundated towns along the Yukon River before (e.g., Eagle in 2009 and Holycross in 1975), but people return to refurbish and again inhabit the same territories. Rivers have a significant importance to Alaskan rural communities. Not only do rivers provide food, drink, transportation, and in some cases arable land and irrigation, but they also carry cultural significance for the Native Alaskan people. The Galena case study provides a revealing example of challenges of communicating with and educating the public and policy makers about natural hazards.

  17. Regional, temporal, and species patterns of mercury in Alaskan seabird eggs: Mercury sources and cycling or food web effects?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Day, Rusty D.; Roseneau, David G.; Vander Pol, Stacy S.; Hobson, Keith A.; Donard, Olivier F.X.; Pugh, Rebecca S.; Moors, Amanda J.; Becker, Paul R.

    2012-01-01

    Mercury concentration ([Hg]), δ 15 N, and δ 13 C values were measured in eggs from common murres (Uria aalge), thick-billed murres (U. lomvia), glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus), and glaucous-winged gulls (L. glaucescens) collected in Alaska from 1999 to 2005. [Hg] was normalized to a common trophic level using egg δ 15 N values and published Hg trophic magnification factors. Egg [Hg] was higher in murres from Gulf of Alaska, Cook Inlet, and Norton Sound regions compared to Bering Sea and Bering Strait regions, independent of trophic level. We believe the Yukon River outflow and terrestrial Hg sources on the southern Seward Peninsula are responsible for the elevated [Hg] in Norton Sound eggs. Normalizing for trophic level generally diminished or eliminated differences in [Hg] among taxa, but temporal variability was unrelated to trophic level. Normalizing murre egg [Hg] by trophic level improves the confidence in regional comparisons of Hg sources and biogeochemical cycling in Alaska. - Highlights: ► Seabird eggs used for monitoring Hg in Alaskan marine environment. ► Egg Hg concentrations normalized to common trophic level using δ 15 N. ► Geographic Hg patterns persist independent of trophic normalization. ► Trophic normalization reduces difference among taxa, but not temporal variability. ► Measuring δ 15 N and δ 13 C improve interpretation of seabird mercury monitoring data. - Normalizing mercury concentrations in seabird eggs to a common trophic level reveals that geographic patterns of mercury contamination exist in the Alaskan marine environment that are independent of food web effects.

  18. Mapping Deep Low Velocity Zones in Alaskan Arctic Coastal Permafrost using Seismic Surface Waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dou, S.; Ajo Franklin, J. B.; Dreger, D. S.

    2012-12-01

    Permafrost degradation may be an important amplifier of climate change; Thawing of near-surface sediments holds the potential of increasing greenhouse gas emissions due to microbial decomposition of preserved organic carbon. Recently, the characterization of "deep" carbon pools (several meters below the surface) in circumpolar frozen ground has increased the estimated amount of soil carbon to three times higher than what was previously thought. It is therefore potentially important to include the characteristics and processes of deeper permafrost strata (on the orders of a few to tens of meters below surface) in climate models for improving future predictions of accessible carbon and climate feedbacks. This extension is particularly relevant if deeper formations are not completely frozen and may harbor on-going microbial activity despite sub-zero temperatures. Unfortunately, the characterization of deep permafrost systems is non-trivial; logistics and drilling constraints often limit direct characterization to relatively shallow units. Geophysical measurements, either surface or airborne, are often the most effective tools for evaluating these regions. Of the available geophysical techniques, the analysis of seismic surface waves (e.g. MASW) has several unique advantages, mainly the ability to provide field-scale information with good depth resolution as well as penetration (10s to 100s of m with small portable sources). Surface wave methods are also able to resolve low velocity regions, a class of features that is difficult to characterize using traditional P-wave refraction methods. As part of the Department of Energy (DOE) Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic) project, we conducted a three-day seismic field survey (May 12 - 14, 2012) at the Barrow Environmental Observatory, which is located within the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain. Even though permafrost at the study site is continuous, ice-rich and thick (>= 350m), our Multichannel Analysis of

  19. Apparent Contradiction: Psychrotolerant Bacteria from Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Arctic Tundra Soils That Degrade Diterpenoids Synthesized by Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zhongtang; Stewart, Gordon R.; Mohn, William W.

    2000-01-01

    Resin acids are tricyclic terpenoids occurring naturally in trees. We investigated the occurrence of resin acid-degrading bacteria on the Arctic tundra near the northern coast of Ellesmere Island (82°N, 62°W). According to most-probable-number assays, resin acid degraders were abundant (103 to 104 propagules/g of soil) in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, but they were undetectable (soil) in pristine soils from the nearby tundra. Plate counts indicated that the contaminated and the pristine soils had similar populations of heterotrophs (106 to 107 propagules/g of soil). Eleven resin acid-degrading bacteria belonging to four phylogenetically distinct groups were enriched and isolated from the contaminated soils, and representative isolates of each group were further characterized. Strains DhA-91, IpA-92, and IpA-93 are members of the genus Pseudomonas. Strain DhA-95 is a member of the genus Sphingomonas. All four strains are psychrotolerant, with growth temperature ranges of 4°C to 30°C (DhA-91 and DhA-95) or 4°C to 22°C (IpA-92 and IpA-93) and with optimum temperatures of 15 to 22°C. Strains DhA-91 and DhA-95 grew on the abietanes, dehydroabietic and abietic acids, but not on the pimaranes, isopimaric and pimaric acids. Strains IpA-92 and IpA-93 grew on the pimaranes but not the abietanes. All four strains grew on either aliphatic or aromatic hydrocarbons, which is unusual for described resin acid degraders. Eleven mesophilic resin acid degraders did not use hydrocarbons, with the exception of two Mycobacterium sp. strains that used aliphatic hydrocarbons. We conclude that hydrocarbon contamination in Arctic tundra soil indirectly selected for resin acid degraders, selecting for hydrocarbon degraders that coincidentally use resin acids. Psychrotolerant resin acid degraders are likely important in the global carbon cycle and may have applications in biotreatment of pulp and paper mill effluents. PMID:11097882

  20. SRXRF determination of the multielement composition of the hair and blood of the children of Tundra Nenetz population

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chankina, O.V.; Kovalskaya, G.A.; Koutzenogii, K.P.; Osipova, L.P.; Savchenko, T.I.

    2001-01-01

    SRXRF has been used to determine the multielement composition of the hair and blood of Tundra Nenetz children. The method allows one to simultaneously determine 21 elements in the blood and 22 elements in the hair. Individual differences have been revealed in the element composition of the hair and blood. Sexual and age changes have been revealed in the content of some elements in the hair. A technique has been developed to prepare blood and hair samples for measuring the element composition by the SRXRF method. The blood samples were prepared by spreading 20 μl over the 1 cm 2 Whatman filter. The hair samples were obtained by pressing in the form of tablets of 1 cm in diameter and a mass of 10-40 mg

  1. Non-electric applications of geothermal energy in six Alaskan towns. Final report, October 1976--November 1977. [Barrow, Huslia, Kiana, Nikolski, Nome, and Wrangell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farquhar, J.; Grijalva, R.; Kirkwood, P.

    1977-11-01

    The potential for direct (non-electric) utilization of local-gradient geothermal energy in six Alaskan towns is summarized. A major objective of this study was to stimulate development and use of the geothermal resource provided by the earth's average thermal gradient, as opposed to the few anomalies that are typically chosen for geothermal development. Hence, six towns for study were selected as being representative of remote Alaskan conditions, rather than for their proximity to known geothermal resources. The moderate-temperature heat available almost everywhere at depths of two to four kilometers into the earth's mantle could satisfy a major portion of the nation's heating requirements--but the cost must be reduced. It is concluded that a geothermal demonstration in Nome would probably be successful and would promote this objective.

  2. Conifer seedling recruitment across a gradient from forest to alpine tundra: effects of species, provenance, and site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castanha, C.; Torn, M.S.; Germino, M.J.; Weibel, Bettina; Kueppers, L.M.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Seedling germination and survival is a critical control on forest ecosystem boundaries, such as at the alpine–treeline ecotone. In addition, while it is known that species respond individualistically to the same suite of environmental drivers, the potential additional effect of local adaptation on seedling success has not been evaluated. Aims: To determine whether local adaptation may influence the position and movement of forest ecosystem boundaries, we quantified conifer seedling recruitment in common gardens across a subalpine forest to alpine tundra gradient at Niwot Ridge, Colorado, USA. Methods: We studied Pinus flexilis and Picea engelmannii grown from seed collected locally at High (3400 m a.s.l.) and Low (3060 m a.s.l.) elevations. We monitored emergence and survival of seeds sown directly into plots and survival of seedlings germinated indoors and transplanted after snowmelt. Results: Emergence and survival through the first growing season was greater for P. flexilis than P. engelmannii and for Low compared with High provenances. Yet survival through the second growing season was similar for both species and provenances. Seedling emergence and survival tended to be greatest in the subalpine forest and lowest in the alpine tundra. Survival was greater for transplants than for field-germinated seedlings. Conclusions: These results suggest that survival through the first few weeks is critical to the establishment of natural germinants. In addition, even small distances between seed sources can have a significant effect on early demographic performance – a factor that has rarely been considered in previous studies of tree recruitment and species range shifts.

  3. Cultural Resilience of Nenets Social-Ecological Systems in Arctic Russia: A Focus on Reindeer Nomads of the Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, B. C.

    2013-12-01

    Empirical data on resilience in social-ecological systems (SESs) are reviewed from local and regional scale case studies among full-time nomads in the neighbouring Nenets and Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs, Russia. The focus is on critical cultural factors contributing to SES resilience. In particular, this work presents an integrated view of people situated in specific tundra landscapes that face significantly different prospects for adaptation depending on existing or planned infrastructure associated with oil and gas development. Factors contributing to general resilience are compared to those that are adapted to certain spatial and temporal contexts. Environmental factors include ample space and an abundance of resources, such as fish and game (e.g. geese), to augment the diet of not only the migratory herders, but also residents from coastal settlements. In contrast to other regions, such as the Nenets Okrug, Yamal Nenets households consist of intact nuclear families with high retention among youth in the nomadic tundra population. Accepting attitudes toward exogenous drivers such as climate change and industrial development appear to play a significant role in how people react to both extreme weather events and piecemeal confiscation or degradation of territory. Consciousness of their role as responsible stewards of the territories they occupy has likely been a factor in maintaining viable wildlife populations over centuries. Institutions administering reindeer herding have remained flexible, especially on Yamal, and so accommodate decision-making that is sensitive to herders' needs and timetables. This affects factors such as herd demography, mobility and energetics. Resilience is further facilitated within the existing governance regimes by herders' own agency, most recently in the post-Soviet shift to smaller, privately managed herds that can better utilize available pastures in a highly dynamic environment experiencing rapid socio-economic, climate and

  4. Arctic tundra shrub invasion and soot deposition: Consequences for spring snowmelt and near-surface air temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strack, John E.; Pielke, Roger A.; Liston, Glen E.

    2007-12-01

    Invasive shrubs and soot pollution both have the potential to alter the surface energy balance and timing of snow melt in the Arctic. Shrubs reduce the amount of snow lost to sublimation on the tundra during the winter leading to a deeper end-of-winter snowpack. The shrubs also enhance the absorption of energy by the snowpack during the melt season by converting incoming solar radiation to longwave radiation and sensible heat. Soot deposition lowers the albedo of the snow, allowing it to more effectively absorb incoming solar radiation and thus melt faster. This study uses the Colorado State University Regional Atmospheric Modeling System version 4.4 (CSU-RAMS 4.4), equipped with an enhanced snow model, to investigate the effects of shrub encroachment and soot deposition on the atmosphere and snowpack in the Kuparuk Basin of Alaska during the May-June melt period. The results of the simulations suggest that a complete invasion of the tundra by shrubs leads to a 2.2°C warming of 3 m air temperatures and a 108 m increase in boundary layer depth during the melt period. The snow-free date also occurred 11 d earlier despite having a larger initial snowpack. The results also show that a decrease in the snow albedo of 0.1, owing to soot pollution, caused the snow-free date to occur 5 d earlier. The soot pollution caused a 1.0°C warming of 3 m air temperatures and a 25 m average deepening of the boundary layer.

  5. Multi-Year Estimates of Regional Alaskan Net CO2 Exchange: Constraining a Remote-Sensing Based Model with Aircraft Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindaas, J.; Commane, R.; Luus, K. A.; Chang, R. Y. W.; Miller, C. E.; Dinardo, S. J.; Henderson, J.; Mountain, M. E.; Karion, A.; Sweeney, C.; Miller, J. B.; Lin, J. C.; Daube, B. C.; Pittman, J. V.; Wofsy, S. C.

    2014-12-01

    The Alaskan region has historically been a sink of atmospheric CO2, but permafrost currently stores large amounts of carbon that are vulnerable to release to the atmosphere as northern high-latitudes continue to warm faster than the global average. We use aircraft CO2 data with a remote-sensing based model driven by MODIS satellite products and validated by CO2 flux tower data to calculate average daily CO2 fluxes for the region of Alaska during the growing seasons of 2012 and 2013. Atmospheric trace gases were measured during CARVE (Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment) aboard the NASA Sherpa C-23 aircraft. For profiles along the flight track, we couple the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model with the Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport (STILT) model, and convolve these footprints of surface influence with our remote-sensing based model, the Polar Vegetation Photosynthesis Respiration Model (PolarVPRM). We are able to calculate average regional fluxes for each month by minimizing the difference between the data and model column integrals. Our results provide a snapshot of the current state of regional Alaskan growing season net ecosystem exchange (NEE). We are able to begin characterizing the interannual variation in Alaskan NEE and to inform future refinements in process-based modeling that will produce better estimates of past, present, and future pan-Arctic NEE. Understanding if/when/how the Alaskan region transitions from a sink to a source of CO2 is crucial to predicting the trajectory of future climate change.

  6. A RAB3GAP1 SINE Insertion in Alaskan Huskies with Polyneuropathy, Ocular Abnormalities, and Neuronal Vacuolation (POANV Resembling Human Warburg Micro Syndrome 1 (WARBM1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michaela Wiedmer

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available We observed a hereditary phenotype in Alaskan Huskies that was characterized by polyneuropathy with ocular abnormalities and neuronal vacuolation (POANV. The affected dogs developed a progressive severe ataxia, which led to euthanasia between 8 and 16 months of age. The pedigrees were consistent with a monogenic autosomal recessive inheritance. We localized the causative genetic defect to a 4 Mb interval on chromosome 19 by a combined linkage and homozygosity mapping approach. Whole genome sequencing of one affected dog, an obligate carrier, and an unrelated control revealed a 218-bp SINE insertion into exon 7 of the RAB3GAP1 gene. The SINE insertion was perfectly associated with the disease phenotype in a cohort of 43 Alaskan Huskies, and it was absent from 541 control dogs of diverse other breeds. The SINE insertion induced aberrant splicing and led to a transcript with a greatly altered exon 7. RAB3GAP1 loss-of-function variants in humans cause Warburg Micro Syndrome 1 (WARBM1, which is characterized by additional developmental defects compared to canine POANV, whereas Rab3gap1-deficient mice have a much milder phenotype than either humans or dogs. Thus, the RAB3GAP1 mutant Alaskan Huskies provide an interesting intermediate phenotype that may help to better understand the function of RAB3GAP1 in development. Furthermore, the identification of the presumed causative genetic variant will enable genetic testing to avoid the nonintentional breeding of affected dogs.

  7. Quaternary sedimentation of the Alaskan Beaufort shelf: Influence of regional tectonics, fluctuating sea levels, and glacial sediment sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinter, D.A.

    1985-01-01

    The offshore stratigraphy of the Quaternary Gubik Formation of Arctic Alaska has been studied on high-resolution seismic profiles with a maximum sub-seafloor penetration of about 100 m. In general, marine transgressive subunits of the Gubik Formation are wedge-shaped on the shelf, thickening slightly seaward to the shelf break, beyond which they are offset by landslides and slumps. Beneath the eastern third of the Alaskan Beaufort shelf, active folding has created two persistent structural depressions, the Eastern and Western Wedge Terranes, in which the wedge morphology is especially well developed. The youngest transgressive marine wedge, which was deposited in such a way as to fill these depressions, leaving a generally flat present-day shelf surface, is inferred to be late Wisconsin or younger in age because it overlies a prominent disconformity interpreted to have been formed during the late Wisconsin glacial sea-level minimum. The thickness of this youngest wedge, Unit A, locally exceeds 40 m on the outer shelf, yet apparently relict gravel deposits collected from its seabed surface indicate that the depositional rate is presently quite low on the middle and outer shelf. Lithologies of the gravels are exotic to Alaska, but similar to suites exposed in the Canadian Arctic Islands. These observations suggest a depositional scenario in which the retreating Laurentide Ice Sheet shed sediment-laden icebergs from the Canadian Arctic Islands into the Arctic Ocean following the late Wisconsin glacial maximum. These bergs were then rafted westward by the Beaufort Gyre and grounded on the Alaskan shelf by northeasterly prevailing winds. Especially large numbers of bergs accumulated in the wedge terrane embayments-created as sea level rose-and melted there, filling the embayments with their sedimentary cargo. As glacial retreat slowed, depositional rates on the shelf dwindled. This mode of deposition in the Alaskan Beaufort wedge terranes may be typical of early post

  8. Spatial variation and linkages of soil and vegetation in the Siberian Arctic tundra – coupling field observations with remote sensing data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Mikola

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Arctic tundra ecosystems will play a key role in future climate change due to intensifying permafrost thawing, plant growth and ecosystem carbon exchange, but monitoring these changes may be challenging due to the heterogeneity of Arctic landscapes. We examined spatial variation and linkages of soil and plant attributes in a site of Siberian Arctic tundra in Tiksi, northeast Russia, and evaluated possibilities to capture this variation by remote sensing for the benefit of carbon exchange measurements and landscape extrapolation. We distinguished nine land cover types (LCTs and to characterize them, sampled 92 study plots for plant and soil attributes in 2014. Moreover, to test if variation in plant and soil attributes can be detected using remote sensing, we produced a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI and topographical parameters for each study plot using three very high spatial resolution multispectral satellite images. We found that soils ranged from mineral soils in bare soil and lichen tundra LCTs to soils of high percentage of organic matter (OM in graminoid tundra, bog, dry fen and wet fen. OM content of the top soil was on average 14 g dm−3 in bare soil and lichen tundra and 89 g dm−3 in other LCTs. Total moss biomass varied from 0 to 820 g m−2, total vascular shoot mass from 7 to 112 g m−2 and vascular leaf area index (LAI from 0.04 to 0.95 among LCTs. In late summer, soil temperatures at 15 cm depth were on average 14 °C in bare soil and lichen tundra, and varied from 5 to 9 °C in other LCTs. On average, depth of the biologically active, unfrozen soil layer doubled from early July to mid-August. When contrasted across study plots, moss biomass was positively associated with soil OM % and OM content and negatively associated with soil temperature, explaining 14–34 % of variation. Vascular shoot mass and LAI were also positively associated with soil OM content, and LAI with active layer

  9. Large CO 2 and CH 4 emissions from polygonal tundra during spring thaw in northern Alaska: Spring Pulse Emission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raz-Yaseef, Naama [Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley California USA; Torn, Margaret S. [Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley California USA; Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley California USA; Wu, Yuxin [Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley California USA; Billesbach, Dave P. [Biological Systems Engineering Department, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln Nebraska USA; Liljedahl, Anna K. [Water and Environmental Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks Alaska USA; Kneafsey, Timothy J. [Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley California USA; Romanovsky, Vladimir E. [Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks Alaska USA; Cook, David R. [Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont Illinois USA; Wullschleger, Stan D. [Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge Tennessee USA

    2017-01-10

    The few prethaw observations of tundra carbon fluxes suggest that there may be large spring releases, but little Is lmown about the scale and underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon. To address these questions, we combined ecosystem eddy flux measurements from two towers near Barrow, Alaska, with mechanistic soil-core thawing experiment During a 2week period prior to snowmelt In 2014, large fluxes were measured, reducing net summer uptake of CO2 by 46% and adding 6% to cumulative CH4 emissions. Emission pulses were linked to unique rain-on-snow events enhancing soli cracking. Controlled laboratory experiment revealed that as surface Ice thaws, an immediate, large pulse of trapped gases Is emitted. These results suggest that the Arctic C02 and CH4 spring pulse is a delayed release of biogenic gas production from the previous fall and that the pulse can be large enough to offset a significant fraction of the moderate Arctic tundra carbon sink.

  10. The role of summer precipitation and summer temperature in establishment and growth of dwarf shrub Betula nana in northeast Siberian tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique M P D; Berendse, Frank

    2016-01-01

    It is widely believed that deciduous tundra-shrub dominance is increasing in the pan-Arctic region, mainly due to rising temperature. We sampled dwarf birch (Betula nana L.) at a northeastern Siberian tundra site and used dendrochronological methods to explore the relationship between climatic...... variables and local shrub dominance. We found that establishment of shrub ramets was positively related to summer precipitation, which implies that the current high dominance of B. nana at our study site could be related to high summer precipitation in the period from 1960 to 1990. The results confirmed...... that early summer temperature is most influential to annual growth rates of B. nana. In addition, summer precipitation stimulated shrub growth in years with warm summers, suggesting that B. nana growth may be co-limited by summer moisture supply. The dual controlling role of temperature and summer...

  11. GeoFORCE Alaska: Four-Year Field Program Brings Rural Alaskan High School Students into the STEM Pipeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowell, S. J.; Rittgers, A.; Stephens, L.; Hutchinson, S.; Peters, H.; Snow, E.; Wartes, D.

    2016-12-01

    GeoFORCE Alaska is a four-year, field-based, summer geoscience program designed to raise graduation rates in rural Alaskan high schools, encourage participants to pursue college degrees, and increase the diversity of Alaska's technical workforce. Residents of predominantly Alaska Native villages holding degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) bring valuable perspectives to decisions regarding management of cultural and natural resources. However, between 2010 and 2015 the average dropout rate for students in grades 7-12 was 8.5% per year in the North Slope School District and 7% per year in the Northwest Arctic School District. 2015 graduation rates were 70% and 75%, respectively. Statewide statistics highlight the challenge for Alaska Native students. During the 2014-2015 school year alone 37.6% of Alaska Native students dropped out of Alaskan public schools. At the college level, Alaska Native students are underrepresented in University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) science departments. Launched in 2012 by UAF in partnership with the longstanding University of Texas at Austin program, GeoFORCE applies the cohort model, leading the same group of high school students on geological field academies during four consecutive summers. Through a combination of active learning, teamwork, and hands-on projects at spectacular geological locations, students gain academic skills and confidence that facilitate high school and college success. To date, GeoFORCE Alaska has recruited two cohorts. 78% of these students identify as Alaska Native, reflecting community demographics. The inaugural cohort of 18 students from the North Slope Borough completed the Fourth-Year Academy in summer 2015. 94% of these students graduated from high school, at least 72% plan to attend college, and 33% will major in geoscience. A second cohort of 34 rising 9th and 10th graders entered the program in 2016. At the request of corporate sponsors, this cohort was recruited from both the

  12. Modeling Fire Severity in Black Spruce Stands in the Alaskan Boreal Forest Using Spectral and Non-Spectral Geospatial Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, K.; Kasischke, E. S.; McGuire, A. D.; Turetsky, M. R.; Kane, E. S.

    2010-01-01

    Biomass burning in the Alaskan interior is already a major disturbance and source of carbon emissions, and is likely to increase in response to the warming and drying predicted for the future climate. In addition to quantifying changes to the spatial and temporal patterns of burned areas, observing variations in severity is the key to studying the impact of changes to the fire regime on carbon cycling, energy budgets, and post-fire succession. Remote sensing indices of fire severity have not consistently been well-correlated with in situ observations of important severity characteristics in Alaskan black spruce stands, including depth of burning of the surface organic layer. The incorporation of ancillary data such as in situ observations and GIS layers with spectral data from Landsat TM/ETM+ greatly improved efforts to map the reduction of the organic layer in burned black spruce stands. Using a regression tree approach, the R2 of the organic layer depth reduction models was 0.60 and 0.55 (pb0.01) for relative and absolute depth reduction, respectively. All of the independent variables used by the regression tree to estimate burn depth can be obtained independently of field observations. Implementation of a gradient boosting algorithm improved the R2 to 0.80 and 0.79 (pb0.01) for absolute and relative organic layer depth reduction, respectively. Independent variables used in the regression tree model of burn depth included topographic position, remote sensing indices related to soil and vegetation characteristics, timing of the fire event, and meteorological data. Post-fire organic layer depth characteristics are determined for a large (N200,000 ha) fire to identify areas that are potentially vulnerable to a shift in post-fire succession. This application showed that 12% of this fire event experienced fire severe enough to support a change in post-fire succession. We conclude that non-parametric models and ancillary data are useful in the modeling of the surface

  13. The exchange of energy, water and carbon dioxide between wet arctic tundra and the atmosphere at the Lena River Delta, Northern Siberia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kutzbach, L.

    2006-07-01

    The ecosystem-scale exchange fluxes of energy, water and carbon dioxide between wet arctic tundra and the atmosphere were investigated by the micrometeorological eddy covariance method. The investigation site was the centre of the Lena River Delta in Northern Siberia characterised by a polar and distinctly continental climate, very cold and ice-rich permafrost and its position at the interface between the Eurasian continent and the Arctic Ocean. The measurements were performed on the surface of a Holocene river terrace characterised by wet polygonal tundra. The soils at the site are characterised by high organic matter content, low nutrient availability and pronounced water logging. The vegetation is dominated by sedges and mosses. The fluctuations of the H{sub 2}O and CO{sub 2} concentrations were measured with a closed-path infrared gas analyser. The fast-response eddy covariance measurements were supplemented by a set of slow-response meteorological and soil-meteorological measurements. The combined datasets of the two campaigns 2003 and 2004 were used to characterise the seasonal course of the energy, water and CO{sub 2} fluxes and the underlying processes for the synthetic measurement period May 28..October 21 2004/2003 including the period of snow and soil thawing as well as the beginning of refreezing. The synthetic measurement period 2004/2003 was characterised by a long snow ablation period and a late start of the growing season. On the other hand, the growing season ended also late due to high temperatures and snow-free conditions in September. The cumulative summer energy partitioning was characterised by low net radiation, large ground heat flux, low latent heat flux and very low sensible heat flux compared to other tundra sites. These findings point out the major importance of the very cold permafrost for the summer energy budget of the tundra in Northern Siberia. (orig./SR)

  14. Multi-decadal changes in tundra environments and ecosystems: Synthesis of the International Polar Year-Back to the Future Project (IPY-BTF)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Callaghan, Terry V.; Tweedie, Craig E.; Åkerman, Jonas

    2011-01-01

    , and to dramatic increases in shrub and tree density on Herschel Island, and in sub-arctic Sweden. The population of geese tripled at one site in northeast Greenland where biomass in non-grazed plots doubled. A model parameterized using results from a BTF study forecasts substantial declines in all snowbeds...... and increases in shrub tundra on Niwot Ridge, Colorado over the next century. In general, results support and provide improved capacities for validating experimental manipulation, remote sensing, and modeling studies....

  15. Aerial surveys of endangered whales in the Alaskan Chukchi and western Beaufort Seas, 1990. Final report, Oct-Nov 90

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moore, S.E.; Clarke, J.T.

    1991-06-01

    In keeping with the National Environmental Policy Act (1969), the Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972) and the Endangered Species Act (1973), the OCS Lands Act Amendments (1978) established a management policy that included studies in OCS lease sale areas to ascertain potential environmental impacts of oil and gas development on OCS marine coastal environments. The Minerals Management Service (MMS) is the agency responsible for these studies and for the leasing of submerged Federal lands. The report summarizes the 1990 investigations of the distribution, abundance, migration, behavior and habitat relationships of endangered whales in the Alaskan Chukchi and western Beaufort Seas (hereafter, study area); 1990 was the second of a three year (1989-91) study. The Bering Sea stock of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) was the principal species studied, with incidental sightings of all other marine mammals routinely recorded. The 1990 season was compromised by circumstances that restricted the availability of the survey aircraft (Grumman Goose, model G21G) to the period 26 October - 7 November; opportunistic surveys were flown in the study area from 3-25 October. In 1990, there were 14 sightings of 19 bowheads from 9-29 October; 5 whales, including 2 calves, were seen north of the study area. One gray whale, 110 belukhas and 53 polar bears were also seen. Over nine survey seasons (1982-90), there were 240 sightings of 520 bowhead whales and 148 sightings of 398 gray whales

  16. Purification of Alaskan Walleye Pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus and New Zealand Hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae Liver Oil Using Short Path Distillation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex C. M. Oliveira

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The beneficial health effects of a diet rich in n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA have been extensively researched in recent years. Marine oils are an important dietary source of n-3 LC-PUFA, being especially rich in two of the most important fatty acids of this class, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid; 20:5n-3 and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid; 22:6n-3. Oils rich in n-3 LC-PUFA are prone to oxidation that leads to loss of product quality. Alaskan pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus Pallas, 1814 and New Zealand’s hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae Hector, 1871 are the highest volume fisheries of their respective countries. Both produce large quantities of fishery byproducts, in particular crude or unrefined n-3 LC-PUFA containing oils. Presently these oils are used as ingredients for animal feed, and only limited quantities are used as human nutritional products. The aim of this research was to investigate the applicability of short path distillation for the purification of pollock and hoki oil to produce purified human-grade fish oil to meet quality specifications. Pollock and hoki oils were subjected to short path distillation and a significant decrease in free fatty acids and lipid oxidation (peroxide and para-anisidine values products was observed. Purified oils met the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED standard for edible fish oils.

  17. Purification of Alaskan walleye pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus) and New Zealand hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae) liver oil using short path distillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Alex C M; Miller, Matthew R

    2014-05-22

    The beneficial health effects of a diet rich in n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA) have been extensively researched in recent years. Marine oils are an important dietary source of n-3 LC-PUFA, being especially rich in two of the most important fatty acids of this class, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid; 20:5n-3) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid; 22:6n-3). Oils rich in n-3 LC-PUFA are prone to oxidation that leads to loss of product quality. Alaskan pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus Pallas, 1814) and New Zealand's hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae Hector, 1871) are the highest volume fisheries of their respective countries. Both produce large quantities of fishery byproducts, in particular crude or unrefined n-3 LC-PUFA containing oils. Presently these oils are used as ingredients for animal feed, and only limited quantities are used as human nutritional products. The aim of this research was to investigate the applicability of short path distillation for the purification of pollock and hoki oil to produce purified human-grade fish oil to meet quality specifications. Pollock and hoki oils were subjected to short path distillation and a significant decrease in free fatty acids and lipid oxidation (peroxide and para-anisidine values) products was observed. Purified oils met the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED) standard for edible fish oils.

  18. Densities of breeding birds and changes in vegetation in an alaskan boreal forest following a massive disturbance by spruce beetles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuoka, S.M.; Handel, C.M.; Ruthrauff, D.R.

    2001-01-01

    We examined bird and plant communities among forest stands with different levels of spruce mortality following a large outbreak of spruce beetles (Dendroctonus rufipennis (Kirby)) in the Copper River Basin, Alaska. Spruce beetles avoided stands with black spruce (Picea mariana) and selectively killed larger diameter white spruce (Picea glauca), thereby altering forest structure and increasing the dominance of black spruce in the region. Alders (Alnus sp.) and crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) were more abundant in areas with heavy spruce mortality, possibly a response to the death of overstory spruce. Grasses and herbaceous plants did not proliferate as has been recorded following outbreaks in more coastal Alaskan forests. Two species closely tied to coniferous habitats, the tree-nesting Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) and the red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), a major nest predator, were less abundant in forest stands with high spruce mortality than in low-mortality stands. Understory-nesting birds as a group were more abundant in forest stands with high levels of spruce mortality, although the response of individual bird species to tree mortality was variable. Birds breeding in stands with high spruce mortality likely benefited reproductively from lower squirrel densities and a greater abundance of shrubs to conceal nests from predators.

  19. Using the Environmental Intelligence Framework to Address Arctic Issues: A Case Study of Alaskan Fisheries and Ocean Acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathis, J. T.; Osborne, E.; Bamzai, A. S.; Starkweather, S.

    2017-12-01

    Profound environmental change in the Arctic region is driving an urgent need for faster and more efficient knowledge creation and delivery for residents of the Arctic as well as stakeholders around the globe. The overarching issues at play include environmental stewardship, community health and cultural survival. To effectively address these issues, the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IAPRC) recently established the Environmental Intelligence Collaboration Team (EICT) that integrates observing capabilities, modelling efforts and data management. Since its inception, the EICT has been working to create pathways to environmental knowledge that sustains end-to-end integration of research across the linked steps of data integration, environmental observing, predictive modelling, assessing responsiveness to stakeholder needs and ultimately providing decision support. The EICT is currently focusing on the carbon-climate aspect of environmental knowledge and identifing specific decision-making needs to meet policy goals for topics such as carbon emissions from permafrost thaw, increasing wildfire frequency and ocean acidification. As a case study, we applied the Environmental Intelligence framework to understanding the effects of ocean acidification in southern Alaska where there are critical commercial and subsistence fisheries. The results of this work revealed that there is currently a 5-month window of optimal growing conditions at a hatchery facility for many juvenile shellfish although that window is expected to close by 2040. The outcome of this work relates directly to fisheries management decisions and identifies the need for continued Environmental Intelligence collection to monitor and mitigate ocean acidification in the Alaskan region.

  20. Analysis on inter-annual variability of CO2 exchange in Arctic tundra: a model-data approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Blanco, E.; Lund, M.; Christensen, T. R.; Smallman, T. L.; Slevin, D.; Westergaard-Nielsen, A.; Tamstorf, M. P.; Williams, M.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are exposed to rapid changes triggered by the climate variability, thus there is a growing concern about how the carbon (C) exchange balance will respond to climate change. There is a lack of knowledge about the mechanisms that drive the interactions between photosynthesis and ecological respiration with changes in C stocks in the Arctic tundra across full annual cycles. The reduction of uncertainties can be addressed through process-based modelling efforts. Here, we report the independent predictions of net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) calculated from the soil-plant-atmosphere (SPA) model across eight years. The model products are validated with observational data obtained from the Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM) program in West Greenland tundra (64° N). Overall, the model results explain 71%, 73% and 51% of the variance in NEE, GPP and Reco respectively using data on meteorology and local vegetation and soil structure. The estimated leaf area index (LAI) is able to explain 80% of the plant greenness variation, which was used as a plant phenology proxy. The full annual cumulated NEE during the 2008-2015 period was -0.13 g C m-2 on average (range -30.6 to 34.1 g C m-2), while GPP was -214.6 g C m-2 (-126.2 to -332.8 g C m-2) and Reco was 214.4 g C m-2 (213.9 to 302.2 g C m-2). We found that the model supports the main finding from our previous analysis on flux responses to meteorological variations and biological disturbance. Here, large inter-annual variations in GPP and Reco are also compensatory, and so NEE remains stable across climatically diverse snow-free seasons. Further, we note evidence that leaf maintenance and root growth respiration are highly correlated with GPP (R2 = 0.92 and 0.83, p < 0.001), concluding that these relations likely drive the insensitivity of NEE. Interestingly, the model quantifies the contribution of the larvae outbreak occurred in 2011 in about 27

  1. Soil bacterial community and functional shifts in response to altered snowpack in moist acidic tundra of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricketts, Michael P.; Poretsky, Rachel S.; Welker, Jeffrey M.; Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A.

    2016-09-01

    Soil microbial communities play a central role in the cycling of carbon (C) in Arctic tundra ecosystems, which contain a large portion of the global C pool. Climate change predictions for Arctic regions include increased temperature and precipitation (i.e. more snow), resulting in increased winter soil insulation, increased soil temperature and moisture, and shifting plant community composition. We utilized an 18-year snow fence study site designed to examine the effects of increased winter precipitation on Arctic tundra soil bacterial communities within the context of expected ecosystem response to climate change. Soil was collected from three pre-established treatment zones representing varying degrees of snow accumulation, where deep snow ˜ 100 % and intermediate snow ˜ 50 % increased snowpack relative to the control, and low snow ˜ 25 % decreased snowpack relative to the control. Soil physical properties (temperature, moisture, active layer thaw depth) were measured, and samples were analysed for C concentration, nitrogen (N) concentration, and pH. Soil microbial community DNA was extracted and the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced to reveal phylogenetic community differences between samples and determine how soil bacterial communities might respond (structurally and functionally) to changes in winter precipitation and soil chemistry. We analysed relative abundance changes of the six most abundant phyla (ranging from 82 to 96 % of total detected phyla per sample) and found four (Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Chloroflexi) responded to deepened snow. All six phyla correlated with at least one of the soil chemical properties (% C, % N, C : N, pH); however, a single predictor was not identified, suggesting that each bacterial phylum responds differently to soil characteristics. Overall, bacterial community structure (beta diversity) was found to be associated with snow accumulation treatment and all soil chemical properties. Bacterial

  2. Monitoring the numbers and productivity of Tundra Swans in relation to potential natural gas development in the Mackenzie River Delta, western Canadian Arctic, 2001-2003

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swystun, H.A. [Northern British Columbia Univ., Prince George, BC (Canada); Hines, J.E. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, ON (Canada); Dawson, R.D. [Northern British Columbia Univ., Prince George, BC (Canada)

    2005-03-01

    A study was conducted in which tundra swans were used as an indicator species to monitor the environmental change and effects of oil and gas development in the Mackenzie Delta. The objectives were to monitor consistent study plots for tundra swans at development and non development sites and to document nesting success and brood survival. Environmental protection and maintenance of harvestable populations of wildlife are part of land claim agreement for two Aboriginal groups with settled land claims in the Mackenzie Delta. This study also evaluated the possible factors such as habitat and climate, which limit the reproductive success of tundra swans. Their nesting biology was examined along with how they use their habitat. Researchers established 48 plots near exploratory well sites, existing camps, sites of recent seismic exploration and gas fields of known importance. Air surveillance was used to count and observe the swans on a yearly basis, along with their nests and offspring. Plots were located both where development is proposed and where development is not likely to occur. The important spring staging, summer moulting and fall staging areas were identified along with spring migration patterns, behaviour and feeding areas. The 3 proposed drilling sites include Niglingtak (Kendall Island Bird Sanctuary), Taglu, and Parsons Lake. The concerns regarding future development in tundra swan habitat include: (1) areas where drilling and pipeline structures are built may prompt swans to move away from their traditional nesting and feeding areas, (2) human activity will increase due to gas drilling and pipeline construction, which may reduce nesting success, (3) wastes associated with construction sites may attract predators and increase predation on nesting birds, (4) increased air traffic would disturb geese and swan hunting areas, and (5) waterfowl habitat could be lost if spring staging, summer moulting and fall staging areas are not considered when planning

  3. Light-stress avoidance mechanisms in a Sphagnum-dominated wet coastal Arctic tundra ecosystem in Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zona, D; Oechel, Walter C; Richards, James H; Hastings, Steven; Kopetz, Irene; Ikawa, Hiroki; Oberbauer, Steven

    2011-03-01

    The Arctic experiences a high-radiation environment in the summer with 24-hour daylight for more than two months. Damage to plants and ecosystem metabolism can be muted by overcast conditions common in much of the Arctic. However, with climate change, extreme dry years and clearer skies could lead to the risk of increased photoxidation and photoinhibition in Arctic primary producers. Mosses, which often exceed the NPP of vascular plants in Arctic areas, are often understudied. As a result, the effect of specific environmental factors, including light, on these growth forms is poorly understood. Here, we investigated net ecosystem exchange (NEE) at the ecosystem scale, net Sphagnum CO2 exchange (NSE), and photoinhibition to better understand the impact of light on carbon exchange from a moss-dominated coastal tundra ecosystem during the summer season 2006. Sphagnum photosynthesis showed photoinhibition early in the season coupled with low ecosystem NEE. However, later in the season, Sphagnum maintained a significant CO2 uptake, probably for the development of subsurface moss layers protected from strong radiation. We suggest that the compact canopy structure of Sphagnum reduces light penetration to the subsurface layers of the moss mat and thereby protects the active photosynthetic tissues from damage. This stress avoidance mechanism allowed Sphagnum to constitute a significant percentage (up to 60%) of the ecosystem net daytime CO2 uptake at the end of the growing season despite the high levels of radiation experienced.

  4. Response of NDVI, biomass, and ecosystem gas exchange to long-term warming and fertilization in wet sedge tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelman, Natalie T; Stieglitz, Marc; Rueth, Heather M; Sommerkorn, Martin; Griffin, Kevin L; Shaver, Gaius R; Gamon, John A

    2003-05-01

    This study explores the relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), aboveground plant biomass, and ecosystem C fluxes including gross ecosystem production (GEP), ecosystem respiration (ER) and net ecosystem production. We measured NDVI across long-term experimental treatments in wet sedge tundra at the Toolik Lake LTER site, in northern Alaska. Over 13 years, N and P were applied in factorial experiments (N, P and N + P), air temperature was increased using greenhouses with and without N + P fertilizer, and light intensity (photosynthetically active photon flux density) was reduced by 50% using shade cloth. Within each treatment plot, NDVI, aboveground biomass and whole-system CO(2) flux measurements were made at the same sampling points during the peak-growing season of 2001. We found that across all treatments, NDVI is correlated with aboveground biomass ( r(2)=0.84), GEP ( r(2)=0.75) and ER ( r(2)=0.71), providing a basis for linking remotely sensed NDVI to aboveground biomass and ecosystem carbon flux.

  5. Behaviour of wintering Tundra Swans Cygnus columbianus columbianus at the Eel River delta and Humboldt Bay, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Jeffrey M.; Gress, Carol; Byers, Jacob W.; Jennings, Emily; Ely, Craig R.

    2010-01-01

    Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus columbinanus phenology and behaviour at the Eel River delta and southern Humboldt Bay in northern California, USA, is described. Counts made each January from 1963 onwards peaked at 1,502 swans in 1988. Monthly counts recorded during the 2006/07 and 2008/09 winters peaked in February, at 1,033 and 772 swans respectively. Swans roosted on ephemeral ponds at the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, on ephemeral ponds within grassland pastures in the vicinity of the Refuge, and perhaps also used the Eel River as a roost. Flights between Refuge roosts and the pastures and ponds occurred in the two hours after sunrise and before dark. In winters 2008/09 and 2009/10, the percentage of cygnets in the flocks was 10.6% and 21.4% respectively, and increased to =31% cygnets each year after most swans had departed from the area in March. Average brood size in 2009/10 was 2.1 cygnets. Daily activities consisted of foraging (44.9% of activities recorded), comfort behaviour (22.1%), locomotion (16.2%) and vigilance (15.5%). Eight neck-collared swans identified in the wintering flock were marked at four locations in different parts of Alaska, up to 1,300 km apart.

  6. The response of tundra springtails (Collembola, Hexapoda) to human activity on the Murman coast of the Kola Penisula, Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olejniczak, Izabella; Boniecki, Paweł; Kaliszewicz, Anita; Panteleeva, Ninel

    2018-03-01

    This study was carried out in the Dalne Zelentsy settlement (69°07‧N, 36°03‧E) on the Barents Sea of the Kola Penisula in Russia. Three transects were established: the 'new garden transect'; the 'old garden transect'; and the 'settlement transect'. Overall, the number of springtails increased with distance from the 'settlement' and decreased from the 'old garden' towards the tundra. However, in the case of the 'new garden transect' there were no clear trends in springtail abundance. Eleven species of springtail were found, with Parisotoma notabilis being found at each of the studied areas along the transects. Trends in the species diversity of the springtail communities were not clear, and the values of H‧ ranged from 1.36 to 2.08. The springtail communities located 10 m from the 'new garden' and the 'old garden' were characterized by low species diversity compared with the other sites along the transects (H‧ values of 1.36 and 1.67, respectively). There were no differences in species diversity among the springtail communities along the 'settlement transect'.

  7. Petrogenesis of the Alaskan-type mafic-ultramafic complex in the Makkah quadrangle, western Arabian Shield, Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habtoor, Abdelmonem; Ahmed, Ahmed Hassan; Harbi, Hesham

    2016-10-01

    -rich and Fe-rich varieties. All spinel varieties in the mafic-ultramafic rocks have high Fe3 + and TiO2 contents. The estimated melt composition in equilibrium with Gabal Taftafan complex is mostly similar to that of the SSZ boninitic magmas. The Taftafan mafic-ultramafic rocks show many similarities with the Alaskan-type mafic-ultramafic complexes, including the internal zonal lithology, bulk rock geochemistry, and mineral chemistry. Thus, it is neither related to a fragment of ophiolite sequence nor to the stratiform mafic-ultramafic intrusion. The location of the Taftafan complex along a major fracture zone parallel to the suture between Jeddah and Asir terranes in addition to the aforementioned striking similarities to the Alaskan-type complexes, suggests a formation in subduction-related setting from a common hydrous mafic magma.

  8. Disparities in Prostate, Lung, Breast, and Colorectal Cancer Survival and Comorbidity Status among Urban American Indians and Alaskan Natives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerson, Marc A; Banegas, Matthew P; Chawla, Neetu; Achacoso, Ninah; Alexeeff, Stacey E; Adams, Alyce S; Habel, Laurel A

    2017-12-01

    Cancer is the second leading cause of death among American Indians and Alaskan Natives (AIAN), although cancer survival information in this population is limited, particularly among urban AIAN. In this retrospective cohort study, we compared all-cause and prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal cancer-specific mortality among AIAN ( n = 582) and non-Hispanic white (NHW; n = 82,696) enrollees of Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) diagnosed with primary invasive breast, prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer from 1997 to 2015. Tumor registry and other electronic health records provided information on sociodemographic, comorbidity, tumor, clinical, and treatment characteristics. Cox regression models were used to estimate adjusted survival curves and hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). AIAN had a significantly higher comorbidity burden compared with NHW ( P cancer-specific mortality were significantly higher for AIAN than NHW patients with breast cancer (HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.13-1.92) or with prostate cancer (HR, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.14-3.06) but not for AIAN patients with lung and colorectal cancer. Despite approximately equal access to preventive services and cancer care in this setting, we found higher mortality for AIAN than NHW with some cancers, and a greater proportion of AIAN cancer patients with multiple comorbid conditions. This study provides severely needed information on the cancer experience of the 71% of AIANs who live in urban areas and access cancer care outside of the Indian Health Services, from which the vast majority of AIAN cancer information comes. Cancer Res; 77(23); 6770-6. ©2017 AACR . ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.

  9. Bioaccumulation of petroleum hydrocarbons in arctic amphipods in the oil development area of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neff, Jerry M; Durell, Gregory S

    2012-04-01

    An objective of a multiyear monitoring program, sponsored by the US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was to examine temporal and spatial changes in chemical and biological characteristics of the Arctic marine environment resulting from offshore oil exploration and development activities in the development area of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. To determine if petroleum hydrocarbons from offshore oil operations are entering the Beaufort Sea food web, we measured concentrations of hydrocarbons in tissues of amphipods, Anonyx nugax, sediments, Northstar crude oil, and coastal peat, collected between 1999 and 2006 throughout the development area. Mean concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), saturated hydrocarbons (SHC), and sterane and triterpane petroleum biomarkers (StTr) were not significantly different in amphipods near the Northstar oil production facility, before and after it came on line in 2001, and in amphipods from elsewhere in the study area. Forensic analysis of the profiles (relative composition and concentrations) of the 3 hydrocarbon classes revealed that hydrocarbon compositions were different in amphipods, surface sediments where the amphipods were collected, Northstar crude oil, and peat from the deltas of 4 North Slope rivers. Amphipods and sediments contained a mixture of petrogenic, pyrogenic, and biogenic PAH. The SHC in amphipods were dominated by pristane derived from zooplankton, indicating that the SHC were primarily from the amphipod diet of zooplankton detritus. The petroleum biomarker StTr profiles did not resemble those in Northstar crude oil. The forensic analysis revealed that hydrocarbons in amphipod tissues were not from oil production at Northstar. Hydrocarbons in amphipod tissues were primarily from their diet and from river runoff and coastal erosion of natural diagenic and fossil terrestrial materials, including seep oils, kerogens, and peat. Offshore oil and gas exploration and development

  10. Periodontal disease and its connection to systemic biomarkers of cardiovascular disease in young American Indian/Alaskan natives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delange, Nicole; Lindsay, Suzanne; Lemus, Hector; Finlayson, Tracy L; Kelley, Scott T; Gottlieb, Roberta A

    2018-02-01

    Periodontal disease has been shown to be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). No known studies evaluate the relationship between periodontal disease status and biomarkers of CVD risk in the American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) population despite their disproportionately high rates of poor oral health and cardiovascular disease-related outcomes. This study compared levels of interleukin (IL)-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP) across increasing severity of periodontal disease status among younger adults between the ages of 21 and 43 years. Plasma levels of IL-6 and CRP were measured in adult participants (ages 21 to 43 years) as part of a study of periodontal disease and CVD risk among an AI/AN population in southern California (n = 59). Periodontal evaluations were performed and disease status was classified into three categories based on highest probing depth (none/mild: disease or active infection were excluded. Severe periodontitis was significantly associated with increased levels of IL-6 compared with those with none or mild periodontitis before controlling for other variables (P = 0.02), but lacked significance after controlling for sex, BMI, smoking status, and high-density lipoprotein (P = 0.09). Moderate periodontal disease was positively associated with IL-6 levels after controlling for potential confounders (P = 0.01). Periodontal status was not associated with CRP, before or after adjusting for covariates. In this otherwise healthy AI/AN adult sample, moderate periodontal disease compared with none or mild periodontal disease was associated with increased levels of IL-6. High levels of CRP found in this population warrant further research. © 2018 American Academy of Periodontology.

  11. Characterizing wild bird contact and seropositivity to highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) virus in Alaskan residents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Carrie; Bruden, Dana; Byrd, Kathy K; Veguilla, Vic; Bruce, Michael; Hurlburt, Debby; Wang, David; Holiday, Crystal; Hancock, Kathy; Ortiz, Justin R; Klejka, Joe; Katz, Jacqueline M; Uyeki, Timothy M

    2014-09-01

    Highly pathogenic avian influenza A (HPAI) H5N1 viruses have infected poultry and wild birds on three continents with more than 600 reported human cases (59% mortality) since 2003. Wild aquatic birds are the natural reservoir for avian influenza A viruses, and migratory birds have been documented with HPAI H5N1 virus infection. Since 2005, clade 2.2 HPAI H5N1 viruses have spread from Asia to many countries. We conducted a cross-sectional seroepidemiological survey in Anchorage and western Alaska to identify possible behaviors associated with migratory bird exposure and measure seropositivity to HPAI H5N1. We enrolled rural subsistence bird hunters and their families, urban sport hunters, wildlife biologists, and a comparison group without bird contact. We interviewed participants regarding their exposures to wild birds and collected blood to perform serologic testing for antibodies against a clade 2.2 HPAI H5N1 virus strain. Hunters and wildlife biologists reported exposures to wild migratory birds that may confer risk of infection with avian influenza A viruses, although none of the 916 participants had evidence of seropositivity to HPAI H5N1. We characterized wild bird contact among Alaskans and behaviors that may influence risk of infection with avian influenza A viruses. Such knowledge can inform surveillance and risk communication surrounding HPAI H5N1 and other influenza viruses in a population with exposure to wild birds at a crossroads of intercontinental migratory flyways. © 2014 The Authors. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. COMPARING SEA LEVEL RESPONSE AT MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA FROM THE 1989 LOMA PRIETA EARTHQUAKE AND THE 1964 GREAT ALASKAN EARTHQUAKE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. C. Breaker

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Two of the largest earthquakes to affect water levels in Monterey Bay in recent years were the Loma Prieta Earthquake (LPE of 1989 with a moment magnitude of 6.9, and the Great Alaskan Earthquake (GAE of 1964 with a moment magnitude of 9.2. In this study, we compare the sea level response of these events with a primary focus on their frequency content and how the bay affected it, itself. Singular Spectrum Analysis (SSA was employed to extract the primary frequencies associated with each event. It is not clear how or exactly where the tsunami associated with the LPE was generated, but it occurred inside the bay and most likely began to take on the characteristics of a seiche by the time it reached the tide gauge in Monterey Harbor. Results of the SSA decomposition revealed two primary periods of oscillation, 9-10 minutes, and 31-32 minutes. The first oscillation is in agreement with the range of periods for the expected natural oscillations of Monterey Harbor, and the second oscillation is consistent with a bay-wide oscillation or seiche mode. SSA decomposition of the GAE revealed several sequences of oscillations all with a period of approximately 37 minutes, which corresponds to the predicted, and previously observed, transverse mode of oscillation for Monterey Bay. In this case, it appears that this tsunami produced quarter-wave resonance within the bay consistent with its seiche-like response. Overall, the sea level responses to the LPE and GAE differed greatly, not only because of the large difference in their magnitudes but also because the driving force in one case occurred inside the bay (LPE, and in the second, outside the bay (GAE. As a result, different modes of oscillation were excited.

  13. Are low altitude alpine tundra ecosystems under threat? A case study from the Parc National de la Gaspésie, Québec

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dumais, Catherine; Ropars, Pascale; Denis, Marie-Pier; Dufour-Tremblay, Geneviève; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    According to the 2007 IPCC report, the alpine tundra ecosystems found on low mountains of the northern hemisphere are amongst the most threatened by climate change. A treeline advance or a significant erect shrub expansion could result in increased competition for the arctic-alpine species usually found on mountaintops and eventually lead to their local extinction. The objectives of our study were to identify recent changes in the cover and growth of erect woody vegetation in the alpine tundra of Mont de la Passe, in the Parc National de la Gaspésie (Québec, Canada). The comparison of two orthorectified aerial photos revealed no significant shift of the treeline between 1975 and 2004. During the same period however, shrub species cover increased from 20.2% to 30.4% in the lower alpine zone. Dendrochronological analyses conducted on Betula glandulosa Michx. sampled at three different positions along an altitudinal gradient (low, intermediate and high alpine zone) revealed that the climatic determinants of B. glandulosa radial growth become more complex with increasing altitude. In the lower alpine zone, B. glandulosa radial growth is only significantly associated positively to July temperature. In the intermediate alpine zone, radial growth is associated positively to July temperature but negatively to March temperature. In the high alpine zone, radial growth is positively associated to January, July and August temperature but negatively to March temperature. The positive association between summer temperatures and radial growth suggests that B. glandulosa could potentially benefit from warmer temperatures, a phenomenon that could lead to an increase in its cover over the next few decades. Although alpine tundra vegetation is not threatened in the short-term in the Parc National de la Gaspésie, erect shrub cover, especially B. glandulosa, could likely increase in the near future, threatening the local arctic-alpine flora. (letter)

  14. Two Component Decomposition of Dual Polarimetric HH/VV SAR Data: Case Study for the Tundra Environment of the Mackenzie Delta Region, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Ullmann

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates a two component decomposition technique for HH/VV-polarized PolSAR (Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar data. The approach is a straight forward adaption of the Yamaguchi decomposition and decomposes the data into two scattering contributions: surface and double bounce under the assumption of a negligible vegetation scattering component in Tundra environments. The dependencies between the features of this two and the classical three component Yamaguchi decomposition were investigated for Radarsat-2 (quad and TerraSAR-X (HH/VV data for the Mackenzie Delta Region, Canada. In situ data on land cover were used to derive the scattering characteristics and to analyze the correlation among the PolSAR features. The double bounce and surface scattering features of the two and three component scattering model (derived from pseudo-HH/VV- and quad-polarized data showed similar scattering characteristics and positively correlated-R2 values of 0.60 (double bounce and 0.88 (surface scattering were observed. The presence of volume scattering led to differences between the features and these were minimized for land cover classes of low vegetation height that showed little volume scattering contribution. In terms of separability, the quad-polarized Radarsat-2 data offered the best separation of the examined tundra land cover types and will be best suited for the classification. This is anticipated as it represents the largest feature space of all tested ones. However; the classes “wetland” and “bare ground” showed clear positions in the feature spaces of the C- and X-Band HH/VV-polarized data and an accurate classification of these land cover types is promising. Among the possible dual-polarization modes of Radarsat-2 the HH/VV was found to be the favorable mode for the characterization of the aforementioned tundra land cover classes due to the coherent acquisition and the preserved co-pol. phase. Contrary, HH/HV-polarized and VV

  15. Effects of disturbance on ecosystem dynamics of tundra and riparian vegetation: A project in the R4D program. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1995-12-31

    Models were proposed as research tools to test the basic understanding of the structure and function of arctic ecosystems, as a means for providing initial management assessments of potential response to energy-related development, and as a vehicle for extrapolation of research results to other arctic sites and landscapes. This final summary report reviews progress made on models at a variety of scales from nutrient uptake by individual roots to nutrient availability within arctic landscapes, and examines potentials and critical limitations of these models for providing insight on patch and landscape level function in tundra regions.

  16. Building research capacity with members of underserved American Indian/Alaskan Native communities: training in research ethics and the protection of human subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jetter, Karen M; Yarborough, Mark; Cassady, Diana L; Styne, Dennis M

    2015-05-01

    To develop a research ethics training course for American Indian/Alaskan Native health clinic staff and community researchers who would be conducting human subjects research. Community-based participatory research methods were used in facilitated discussions of research ethics centered around topics included in the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative research ethics course. The community-based participatory research approach allowed all partners to jointly develop a research ethics training program that was relevant for American Indian/Alaskan Native communities. All community and clinic partners were able to pass the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative course they were required to pass so that they could be certified to conduct research with human subjects on federally funded projects. In addition, the training sessions provided a foundation for increased community oversight of research. By using a collaborative process to engage community partners in research ethics discussions, rather than either an asynchronous online or a lecture/presentation format, resulted in significant mutual learning about research ethics and community concerns about research. This approach requires university researchers to invest time in learning about the communities in which they will be working prior to the training. © 2014 Society for Public Health Education.

  17. Coupled Monitoring and Inverse Modeling to Investigate Surface - Subsurface Hydrological and Thermal Dynamics in the Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, A. P.; Dafflon, B.; Hubbard, S. S.; Bisht, G.; Peterson, J.; Ulrich, C.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Kneafsey, T. J.; Wu, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Quantitative characterization of the soil surface-subsurface hydrological and thermal processes is essential as they are primary factors that control the biogeochemical processes, ecological landscapes and greenhouse gas fluxes. In the Artic region, the surface-subsurface hydrological and thermal regimes co-interact and are both largely influenced by soil texture and soil organic content. In this study, we present a coupled inversion scheme that jointly inverts hydrological, thermal and geophysical data to estimate the vertical profiles of clay, sand and organic contents. Within this inversion scheme, the Community Land Model (CLM4.5) serves as a forward model to simulate the land-surface energy balance and subsurface hydrological-thermal processes. Soil electrical conductivity (from electrical resistivity tomography), temperature and water content are linked together via petrophysical and geophysical models. Particularly, the inversion scheme accounts for the influences of the soil organic and mineral content on both of the hydrological-thermal dynamics and the petrophysical relationship. We applied the inversion scheme to the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) intensive site in Barrow, AK, which is characterized by polygonal-shaped arctic tundra. The monitoring system autonomously provides a suite of above-ground measurements (e.g., precipitation, air temperature, wind speed, short-long wave radiation, canopy greenness and eddy covariance) as well as below-ground measurements (soil moisture, soil temperature, thaw layer thickness, snow thickness and soil electrical conductivity), which complement other periodic, manually collected measurements. The preliminary results indicate that the model can well reproduce the spatiotemporal dynamics of the soil temperature, and therefore, accurately predict the active layer thickness. The hydrological and thermal dynamics are closely linked to the polygon types and polygon features. The results also enable the

  18. Different parts, different stories: climate sensitivity of growth is stronger in root collars vs. stems in tundra shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ropars, Pascale; Angers-Blondin, Sandra; Gagnon, Marianne; Myers-Smith, Isla H; Lévesque, Esther; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2017-08-01

    Shrub densification has been widely reported across the circumpolar arctic and subarctic biomes in recent years. Long-term analyses based on dendrochronological techniques applied to shrubs have linked this phenomenon to climate change. However, the multi-stemmed structure of shrubs makes them difficult to sample and therefore leads to non-uniform sampling protocols among shrub ecologists, who will favor either root collars or stems to conduct dendrochronological analyses. Through a comparative study of the use of root collars and stems of Betula glandulosa, a common North American shrub species, we evaluated the relative sensitivity of each plant part to climate variables and assessed whether this sensitivity is consistent across three different types of environments in northwestern Québec, Canada (terrace, hilltop and snowbed). We found that root collars had greater sensitivity to climate than stems and that these differences were maintained across the three types of environments. Growth at the root collar was best explained by spring precipitation and summer temperature, whereas stem growth showed weak and inconsistent responses to climate variables. Moreover, sensitivity to climate was not consistent among plant parts, as individuals having climate-sensitive root collars did not tend to have climate-sensitive stems. These differences in sensitivity of shrub parts to climate highlight the complexity of resource allocation in multi-stemmed plants. Whereas stem initiation and growth are driven by microenvironmental variables such as light availability and competition, root collars integrate the growth of all plant parts instead, rendering them less affected by mechanisms such as competition and more responsive to signals of global change. Although further investigations are required to determine the degree to which these findings are generalizable across the tundra biome, our results indicate that consistency and caution in the choice of plant parts are a key

  19. Observations on habitat use, breeding chronology and parental care in Bristle-thighed Curlews on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, R.E.; Lanctot, Richard B.; Mason, J.D.; Handel, Colleen M.

    1991-01-01

    Results from an intensive survey in 1989 of one of the two known breeding localities of Bristle-thighed Curlews Numenius tahitiensis are reported. During the pre-nesting period birds confined most of their activity to two vegetation communities: shrub meadow tundra and low shrub/tussock tundra. During nesting more than half the Curlews seen were observed on shrub meadow tundra, whilst during brood rearing, use of low shrub/tussock tundra continued to decline in importance as birds attending young increased their use of sedge wet meadows. Despite extensive searches no nests were located; however, observations of broods indicated that nest initiation began around 25 May and that hatching occurred during the last week of June. Detailed observations are presented on the formation of four brood-groups, some of which held different combinations of unrelated adults or young. The adaptive significance of this unusual wader behaviour is discussed.

  20. Impacts of climate and insect defoliators on productivity and function of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) in Alaskan boreal forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, M. A.; Walker, X. J.; Rogers, B. M.; Goetz, S. J.; Wagner, D.; Mack, M. C.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change has increased tree mortality and growth decline in forested ecosystems worldwide. In response to warming and drying of the boreal forest, trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) has experienced recent large-scale productivity declines. Although declines in productivity are thought to be primarily a result of moistures stress, infestation is another major driver of aspen decline and may interact strongly with climate. Throughout interior Alaska widespread and consistent foliar damage by the aspen epidermal leaf miner Phyllocnistis populiella has been observed concurrent with some of the warmest and driest growing seasons on record. Here we use tree ring measurements and remote sensing indices of vegetation productivity (NDVI) to study the influence of leaf miner and climate on aspen productivity and physiology in the Alaskan boreal forest, and assess if NDVI reflects variations in these ground-based measurements. We assessed ring width and tree ring stable carbon isotope (d13C) response of aspen to infestation and a climate moisture index (CMI) from 2004 - 2014. We found that when growth was negatively correlated to infestation, then it was no longer positively influenced by moisture availability during the growing season. Regardless of the radial growth response to leaf mining, tree ring d13C decreased with increasing infestation. We also found that NDVI was influenced by leaf mining and showed a positive correlation with tree ring d13C, which suggests that NDVI is reflective of changes in tree characteristics under leaf mining that influence tree ring d13C. This finding also reveals the prospect of using satellite data to monitor fluctuations in tree physiology during leaf miner infestation. Our results indicate that aspen productivity will be severely hindered during leaf miner infestation, and that infestation will inhibit the ability of aspen to respond to favorable climate conditions by increasing growth and potentially photosynthesis. This

  1. Single nucleotide polymorphisms unravel hierarchical divergence and signatures of selection among Alaskan sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Habicht Christopher

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Disentangling the roles of geography and ecology driving population divergence and distinguishing adaptive from neutral evolution at the molecular level have been common goals among evolutionary and conservation biologists. Using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP multilocus genotypes for 31 sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka populations from the Kvichak River, Alaska, we assessed the relative roles of geography (discrete boundaries or continuous distance and ecology (spawning habitat and timing driving genetic divergence in this species at varying spatial scales within the drainage. We also evaluated two outlier detection methods to characterize candidate SNPs responding to environmental selection, emphasizing which mechanism(s may maintain the genetic variation of outlier loci. Results For the entire drainage, Mantel tests suggested a greater role of geographic distance on population divergence than differences in spawn timing when each variable was correlated with pairwise genetic distances. Clustering and hierarchical analyses of molecular variance indicated that the largest genetic differentiation occurred between populations from distinct lakes or subdrainages. Within one population-rich lake, however, Mantel tests suggested a greater role of spawn timing than geographic distance on population divergence when each variable was correlated with pairwise genetic distances. Variable spawn timing among populations was linked to specific spawning habitats as revealed by principal coordinate analyses. We additionally identified two outlier SNPs located in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC class II that appeared robust to violations of demographic assumptions from an initial pool of eight candidates for selection. Conclusions First, our results suggest that geography and ecology have influenced genetic divergence between Alaskan sockeye salmon populations in a hierarchical manner depending on the spatial scale. Second

  2. Permafrost collapse shifts alpine tundra to a carbon source but reduces N2O and CH4 release on the northern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, C.

    2017-12-01

    Important unknowns remain about how abrupt permafrost collapse (thermokarst) affects carbon balance and greenhouse gas flux, limiting our ability to predict the magnitude and timing of the permafrost carbon feedback. We measured monthly, growing-season fluxes of CO2, CH4, and N2O at a large thermokarst feature in alpine tundra on the northern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Thermokarst formation disrupted plant growth and soil hydrology, shifting the ecosystem from a growing-season carbon sink to a weak source, but decreasing feature-level CH4 and N2O flux. Temperature-corrected ecosystem respiration from decomposing permafrost soil was 2.7 to 9.5-fold higher than in similar features from Arctic and Boreal regions, suggesting that warmer and dryer conditions on the northern QTP could accelerate carbon decomposition following permafrost collapse. N2O flux was similar to the highest values reported for Arctic ecosystems, and was 60% higher from exposed mineral soil on the feature floor, confirming Arctic observations of coupled nitrification and denitrification in collapsed soils. Q10 values for respiration were typically over 4, suggesting high temperature sensitivity of thawed carbon. Taken together, these results suggest that QTP permafrost carbon in alpine tundra is highly vulnerable to mineralization following thaw, and that N2O production could be an important non-carbon permafrost climate feedback.

  3. Rhododendron aureum Georgi formed a special soil microbial community and competed with above-ground plants on the tundra of the Changbai Mountain, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaolong; Li, Lin; Zhao, Wei; Zhao, Jiaxin; Chen, Xia

    2017-09-01

    Rhododendron aureum Georgi is a perennial evergreen dwarf shrub that grows at all elevations within the alpine tundra of northern China. Previous research has investigated the plant communities of R. aureum ; however, little information is available regarding interspecific competition and underground soil microbial community composition. The objective of our study was to determine whether the presence of R. aureum creates a unique soil microbiome and to investigate the relationship between R. aureum and other plant species. Our study site ranged from 1,800 to 2,600 m above sea level on the northern slope of the Changbai Mountain. The results show that the soil from sites with an R. aureum community had a higher abundance of nitrogen-fixing bacteria and a higher resistance to pathogens than soils from sites without R. aureum . We emphasize that R. aureum promotes a unique soil microbial community structure that is distinct from those associated with other plants. Elevation and microbial biomass were the main influencing factors for plant community structure. Analysis of interspecific relationships reveals that R. aureum is negatively associated with most other dominant shrubs and herbs, suggesting interspecific competition. It is necessary to focus on other dominant species if protection and restoration of the R. aureum competition is to occur. In the future, more is needed to prove whether R. aureum decreases species diversity in the tundra ecosystems of Changbai Mountain.

  4. Stratospheric ozone depletion: high arctic tundra plant species from Svalbard are not affected by enhanced UV-B after 7 years of UV-B supplementation in the field.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rozema, J.; Boelen, P.; Blokker, P.; Callaghan, T.V.; Solheim, B.; Zielke, M.

    2006-01-01

    The response of tundra plants to enhanced UV-B radiation simulating 15 and 30% ozone depletion was studied at two high arctic sites (Isdammen and Adventdalen, 78° N, Svalbard).The set-up of the UV-B supplementation systems is described, consisting of large and small UV lamp arrays, installed in 1996

  5. Challenges in modelling isoprene and monoterpene emission dynamics of Arctic plants: a case study from a subarctic tundra heath

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Jing; Schurgers, Guy; Valolahti, Hanna; Faubert, Patrick; Tiiva, Päivi; Michelsen, Anders; Rinnan, Riikka

    2016-12-01

    The Arctic is warming at twice the global average speed, and the warming-induced increases in biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emissions from Arctic plants are expected to be drastic. The current global models' estimations of minimal BVOC emissions from the Arctic are based on very few observations and have been challenged increasingly by field data. This study applied a dynamic ecosystem model, LPJ-GUESS, as a platform to investigate short-term and long-term BVOC emission responses to Arctic climate warming. Field observations in a subarctic tundra heath with long-term (13-year) warming treatments were extensively used for parameterizing and evaluating BVOC-related processes (photosynthesis, emission responses to temperature and vegetation composition). We propose an adjusted temperature (T) response curve for Arctic plants with much stronger T sensitivity than the commonly used algorithms for large-scale modelling. The simulated emission responses to 2 °C warming between the adjusted and original T response curves were evaluated against the observed warming responses (WRs) at short-term scales. Moreover, the model responses to warming by 4 and 8 °C were also investigated as a sensitivity test. The model showed reasonable agreement to the observed vegetation CO2 fluxes in the main growing season as well as day-to-day variability of isoprene and monoterpene emissions. The observed relatively high WRs were better captured by the adjusted T response curve than by the common one. During 1999-2012, the modelled annual mean isoprene and monoterpene emissions were 20 and 8 mg C m-2 yr-1, with an increase by 55 and 57 % for 2 °C summertime warming, respectively. Warming by 4 and 8 °C for the same period further elevated isoprene emission for all years, but the impacts on monoterpene emissions levelled off during the last few years. At hour-day scale, the WRs seem to be strongly impacted by canopy air T, while at the day-year scale, the WRs are a combined

  6. Tundrisphaera lichenicola gen. nov., sp. nov., a psychrotolerant representative of the family Isosphaeraceae from lichen-dominated tundra soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulichevskaya, Irina S; Ivanova, Anastasia A; Detkova, Ekaterina N; Rijpstra, W Irene C; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S; Dedysh, Svetlana N

    2017-09-01

    Two strains of aerobic, budding, pink-pigmented bacteria, P12T and P515, were isolated from a lichen-dominated peatland and a forested tundra soil of north-western Siberia, respectively. Cells of these isolates were represented by non-motile spheres that occurred singly or were arranged in short chains and aggregates. While growing on solid media, cells of strains P12T and P515 attached to the surface by means of holdfast-like appendages. These isolates were mildly acidophilic (optimum growth at pH 5.5-6.0), psychrotolerant bacteria, which displayed tolerance of low temperatures (4-15 °C), grew optimally at 15-22 °C and did not grow at temperatures above 28 °C. The preferred growth substrates were sugars and some heteropolysaccharides. The major fatty acids were C18 : 1ω9c, C16 : 0 and C14 : 0. Trimethylornithine lipid was the major polar lipid. The only quinone was MK-6, and the G+C content of the DNA was 61.2-62.2 mol%. Strains P12T and P515 possessed identical 16S rRNA gene sequences, which affiliated them with the family Isosphaeraceae, order Planctomycetales, and these displayed the highest similarity (93-94 %) to 16S rRNA gene sequences from members of the genus Singulisphaera. However, the signature fatty acid of species of the genus Singulisphaera, i.e. C18 : 2ω6c,12c, was absent in cells of strains P12T and P515. They also differed from members of the genus Singulisphaera by substrate utilization pattern and a number of physiological characteristics. Based on these data, the novel isolates should be considered as representing a novel genus and species of planctomycetes, for which the name Tundrisphaera lichenicola gen. nov., sp. nov, is proposed. The type strain is P12T (=LMG 29571T=VKM B-3044T).

  7. Plant nutrient acquisition strategies in tundra species: at which soil depth do species take up their nitrogen?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limpens, Juul; Heijmans, Monique; Nauta, Ake; van Huissteden, Corine; van Rijssel, Sophie

    2016-04-01

    The Arctic is warming at unprecedented rates. Increased thawing of permafrost releases nutrients locked up in the previously frozen soils layers, which may initiate shifts in vegetation composition. The direction in which the vegetation shifts will co-determine whether Arctic warming is mitigated or accelerated, making understanding successional trajectories urgent. One of the key factors influencing the competitive relationships between plant species is their access to nutrients, in particularly nitrogen (N). We assessed the depth at which plant species took up N by performing a 15N tracer study, injecting 15(NH4)2SO4 at three depths (5, 15, 20 cm) into the soil in arctic tundra in north-eastern Siberia in July. In addition we explored plant nutrient acquisition strategy by analyzing natural abundances of 15N in leaves. We found that vascular plants took up 15N at all injection depths, irrespective of species, but also that species showed a clear preference for specific soil layers that coincided with their functional group (graminoids, dwarf shrubs, cryptogams). Graminoids took up most 15N at 20 cm depth nearest to the thaw front, with grasses showing a more pronounced preference than sedges. Dwarf shrubs took up most 15N at 5 cm depth, with deciduous shrubs displaying more preference than evergreens. Cryptogams did not take up any of the supplied 15N . The natural 15N abundances confirmed the pattern of nutrient acquisition from deeper soil layers in graminoids and from shallow soil layers in both deciduous and evergreen dwarf shrubs. Our results prove that graminoids and shrubs differ in their N uptake strategies, with graminoids profiting from nutrients released at the thaw front, whereas shrubs forage in the upper soil layers. The above implies that graminoids, grasses in particular, will have a competitive advantage over shrubs as the thaw front proceeds and/or superficial soil layers dry out. Our results suggest that the vertical distribution of nutrients

  8. Paleolimnologic and modeling perspectives on the physical and ecological sensitivity of Arctic tundra lakes to temperature changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniels, W.; Russel, J.; Giblin, A. E.; Longo, W. M.; Morrill, C.; Holland-Stergar, P.; Rose, R.; Huang, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Temperatures are warming rapidly across the Arctic, with the potential to substantially alter freshwater ecosystem structure and functioning. Some important processes, such as allochthonous loading or carbon burial, may respond too slowly to observe in modern monitoring efforts, and therefore require alternative approaches to accurately assess. Here we analyze the physical and ecological sensitivity of Alaska tundra lakes to climate change through the lenses of paleolimnology and lake thermal modeling. We compare a 10,000 year long record of biomarker-inferred temperature change (leaf wax hydrogen isotopes) to independent indicators of lake primary production (chlorophyll a), algal community structure (diatom assemblages), and allochthonous inputs (XRF chemistry) from Lake E5 and Upper Capsule Lake near the Toolik Field Station in Alaska (69 °N, 150 °W). Temperatures varied on the order of 2-5 °C over the last 10,000 years, and warmed 1-2 °C during the post-industrial period. Shifts in diatom communities in both lakes reflect increased lake stratification and lake pH during warmer intervals of the Holocene. While lake stratification is a direct response to temperature, we propose that the pH response is due to a combination of two factors. First, an increase in the length of the ice-free season promotes ventilation of respired CO2 out of the lakes. Thermal modeling suggests that lake ice coverage changes by approximately 6-8 days/°C, and so we expect that ice-cover changed by as much as 3-4 weeks throughout the Holocene. Secondarily, sediment core calcium concentrations suggest increased base cation and alkalinity inputs during warmer periods, most likely due to the thermal-induced deepening of the soil active layer and enhanced carbonate rock weathering. Carbon and chlorophyll concentrations appear negatively correlated with temperature over most the Holocene, attributable to the temperature effect on organic matter respiration, although periods of enhanced

  9. Advancing High Spatial and Spectral Resolution Remote Sensing for Observing Plant Community Response to Environmental Variability and Change in the Alaskan Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas Zesati, Sergio A.

    The Arctic is being impacted by climate change more than any other region on Earth. Impacts to terrestrial ecosystems have the potential to manifest through feedbacks with other components of the Earth System. Of particular concern is the potential for the massive store of soil organic carbon to be released from arctic permafrost to the atmosphere where it could exacerbate greenhouse warming and impact global climate and biogeochemical cycles. Even though substantial gains to our understanding of the changing Arctic have been made, especially over the past decade, linking research results from plot to regional scales remains a challenge due to the lack of adequate low/mid-altitude sampling platforms, logistic constraints, and the lack of cross-scale validation of research methodologies. The prime motivation of this study is to advance observational capacities suitable for documenting multi-scale environmental change in arctic terrestrial landscapes through the development and testing of novel ground-based and low altitude remote sensing methods. Specifically this study addressed the following questions: • How well can low-cost kite aerial photography and advanced computer vision techniques model the microtopographic heterogeneity of changing tundra surfaces? • How does imagery from kite aerial photography and fixed time-lapse digital cameras (pheno-cams) compare in their capacity to monitor plot-level phenological dynamics of arctic vegetation communities? • Can the use of multi-scale digital imaging systems be scaled to improve measurements of ecosystem properties and processes at the landscape level? • How do results from ground-based and low altitude digital remote sensing of the spatiotemporal variability in ecosystem processes compare with those from satellite remote sensing platforms? Key findings from this study suggest that cost-effective alternative digital imaging and remote sensing methods are suitable for monitoring and quantifying plot to

  10. Luxury consumption of soil nutrients: a possible competitive strategy in above-ground and below-ground biomass allocation and root morphology for slow-growing arctic vegetation?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijk, van M.T.; Williams, M.; Gough, L.; Hobbie, S.E.; Shaver, G.R.

    2003-01-01

    1 A field-experiment was used to determine how plant species might retain dominance in an arctic ecosystem receiving added nutrients. We both measured and modelled the above-ground and below-ground biomass allocation and root morphology of non-acidic tussock tundra near Toolik Lake, Alaska, after 4

  11. Genome-wide association analysis identifies a mutation in the thiamine transporter 2 (SLC19A3 gene associated with Alaskan Husky encephalopathy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen M Vernau

    Full Text Available Alaskan Husky Encephalopathy (AHE has been previously proposed as a mitochondrial encephalopathy based on neuropathological similarities with human Leigh Syndrome (LS. We studied 11 Alaskan Husky dogs with AHE, but found no abnormalities in respiratory chain enzyme activities in muscle and liver, or mutations in mitochondrial or nuclear genes that cause LS in people. A genome wide association study was performed using eight of the affected dogs and 20 related but unaffected control AHs using the Illumina canine HD array. SLC19A3 was identified as a positional candidate gene. This gene controls the uptake of thiamine in the CNS via expression of the thiamine transporter protein THTR2. Dogs have two copies of this gene located within the candidate interval (SLC19A3.2 - 43.36-43.38 Mb and SLC19A3.1 - 43.411-43.419 Mb on chromosome 25. Expression analysis in a normal dog revealed that one of the paralogs, SLC19A3.1, was expressed in the brain and spinal cord while the other was not. Subsequent exon sequencing of SLC19A3.1 revealed a 4bp insertion and SNP in the second exon that is predicted to result in a functional protein truncation of 279 amino acids (c.624 insTTGC, c.625 C>A. All dogs with AHE were homozygous for this mutation, 15/41 healthy AH control dogs were heterozygous carriers while 26/41 normal healthy AH dogs were wild type. Furthermore, this mutation was not detected in another 187 dogs of different breeds. These results suggest that this mutation in SLC19A3.1, encoding a thiamine transporter protein, plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of AHE.

  12. Processes Influencing Ozone Levels in Alaskan Forest Fires Plumes during Long-Range Transport over the North Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Real, E.; Law, K. S.; Wienzierl, B.; Fiebig, M.; Petzold, A.; Wild, O.; Methven, J.; Arnold, S.; Stohl, A.; Huntrieser, H.; hide

    2006-01-01

    well reproduced by multiple model runs even if slope values are slightly underestimated suggesting small underestimation of photochemical processes. The possible impact of this biomass burning plume on O3 levels in the Europe boundary layer is also examined by running the model for a further 5 days, and comparing with data collected at surface sites, such as Jungfraujoch, which showed small O3 increases and elevated CO levels. The model predicts significant changes in O3 over this 10 days due to photochemistry but the signal is largely lost due to the effects of dilution. However, measurement in several others BB plumes over Europe show that O3 impact of Alaskan fires can be punctually significant over Europe.

  13. Effect of Freeze-Thaw Cycles on Soil Nitrogen Reactive Transport in a Polygonal Arctic Tundra Ecosystem at Barrow AK Using 3-D Coupled ALM-PFLOTRAN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, F.; Wang, G.; Painter, S. L.; Tang, G.; Xu, X.; Kumar, J.; Bisht, G.; Hammond, G. E.; Mills, R. T.; Thornton, P. E.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2017-12-01

    In Arctic tundra ecosystem soil freezing-thawing is one of dominant physical processes through which biogeochemical (e.g., carbon and nitrogen) cycles are tightly coupled. Besides hydraulic transport, freezing-thawing can cause pore water movement and aqueous species gradients, which are additional mechanisms for soil nitrogen (N) reactive-transport in Tundra ecosystem. In this study, we have fully coupled an in-development ESM(i.e., Advanced Climate Model for Energy, ACME)'s Land Model (ALM) aboveground processes with a state-of-the-art massively parallel 3-D subsurface thermal-hydrology and reactive transport code, PFLOTRAN. The resulting coupled ALM-PFLOTRAN model is a Land Surface Model (LSM) capable of resolving 3-D soil thermal-hydrological-biogeochemical cycles. This specific version of PFLOTRAN has incorporated CLM-CN Converging Trophic Cascade (CTC) model and a full and simple but robust soil N cycle. It includes absorption-desorption for soil NH4+ and gas dissolving-degasing process as well. It also implements thermal-hydrology mode codes with three newly-modified freezing-thawing algorithms which can greatly improve computing performance in regarding to numerical stiffness at freezing-point. Here we tested the model in fully 3-D coupled mode at the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment-Arctic (NGEE-Arctic) field intensive study site at the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO), AK. The simulations show that: (1) synchronous coupling of soil thermal-hydrology and biogeochemistry in 3-D can greatly impact ecosystem dynamics across polygonal tundra landscape; and (2) freezing-thawing cycles can add more complexity to the system, resulting in greater mobility of soil N vertically and laterally, depending upon local micro-topography. As a preliminary experiment, the model is also implemented for Pan-Arctic region in 1-D column mode (i.e. no lateral connection), showing significant differences compared to stand-alone ALM. The developed ALM-PFLOTRAN coupling

  14. Recognition and characterization of networks of water bodies in the Arctic ice-wedge polygonal tundra using high-resolution satellite imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skurikhin, A. N.; Gangodagamage, C.; Rowland, J. C.; Wilson, C. J.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic lowland landscapes underlain by permafrost are often characterized by polygon-like patterns such as ice-wedge polygons outlined by networks of ice wedges and complemented with polygon rims, troughs, shallow ponds and thermokarst lakes. Polygonal patterns and corresponding features are relatively easy to recognize in high spatial resolution satellite imagery by a human, but their automated recognition is challenging due to the variability in their spectral appearance, the irregularity of individual trough spacing and orientation within the patterns, and a lack of unique spectral response attributable to troughs with widths commonly between 1 m and 2 m. Accurate identification of fine scale elements of ice-wedge polygonal tundra is important as their imprecise recognition may bias estimates of water, heat and carbon fluxes in large-scale climate models. Our focus is on the problem of identification of Arctic polygonal tundra fine-scale landscape elements (as small as 1 m - 2 m width). The challenge of the considered problem is that while large water bodies (e.g. lakes and rivers) can be recognized based on spectral response, reliable recognition of troughs is more difficult. Troughs do not have unique spectral signature, their appearance is noisy (edges are not strong), their width is small, and they often form connected networks with ponds and lakes, and thus they have overlapping spectral response with other water bodies and surrounding non-water bodies. We present a semi-automated approach to identify and classify Arctic polygonal tundra landscape components across the range of spatial scales, such as troughs, ponds, river- and lake-like objects, using high spatial resolution satellite imagery. The novelty of the approach lies in: (1) the combined use of segmentation and shape-based classification to identify a broad range of water bodies, including troughs, and (2) the use of high-resolution WorldView-2 satellite imagery (with resolution of 0.6 m) for this

  15. Humidification of the Arctic: Effects of more open ocean water on land temperatures and tundra productivity along continental and maritime bioclimate transects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, U. S.; Walker, D. A.; Raynolds, M. K.; Epstein, H. E.

    2017-12-01

    Amplified Arctic warming linked to declining sea-ice extent led to generally enhanced productivity of the tundra biome during the period 1982-2008. After about 2002, coinciding with a recent precipitous decline in sea ice, large areas of the Arctic began showing reversals of previous positive productivity trends. To better understand these recent vegetation productivity declines and whether they are associated with differences in a general humidification of portions of the Arctic, we focus analysis on two transects with ground information: the more continental North America Arctic Transect (NAAT) and the more maritime Eurasia Arctic Transect (EAT). We compare ground information with satellite-derived trends in open water, summer terrestrial temperatures, and vegetation greenness and changes in continentality of the two transects, as indicated by the differences in the annual maximum and minimum mean monthly temperatures. Areas adjacent to perennial sea ice along in the northern parts of the NAAT exhibit climates with positive trends in summer warmth, but negative greening trends, possibly due to soil drying. Southern parts of the NAAT in the vicinity of more open water show positive greenness trends. Along the EAT, cooling midsummer conditions and reduced greenness appear to be caused by cloudier conditions, and possibly later snow melt during the period of maximum potential photosynthesis. Ground-based environmental and vegetation data indicate that biomass, particularly moss biomass is much greater along the more maritime EAT, indicating a buffering effect of the vegetation that will act to damp productivity as humidification of the Arctic proceeds. This multi-scale analysis is one step in the direction of understanding the drivers of tundra vegetation productivity in the Arctic.

  16. Cultural Resilience of Social-ecological Systems in the Nenets and Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs, Russia: A Focus on Reindeer Nomads of the Tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce C. Forbes

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Empirical data on resilience in social-ecological systems (SESs are reviewed from local and regional scale case studies among full-time nomads in the neighboring Nenets and Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs, Russia. The focus is on critical cultural factors contributing to SES resilience. In particular, this work presents an integrated view of people situated in specific tundra landscapes that face significantly different prospects for adaptation depending on existing or planned infrastructure associated with oil and gas development. Factors contributing to general resilience are compared to those that are adapted to certain spatial and temporal contexts. Environmental factors include ample space and an abundance of resources, such as fish and game (e.g., geese, to augment the diet of not only the migratory herders, but also residents from coastal settlements. In contrast to other regions, such as the Nenets Okrug, Yamal Nenets households consist of intact nuclear families with high retention among youth in the nomadic tundra population. Accepting attitudes toward exogenous drivers such as climate change and industrial development appear to play a significant role in how people react to both extreme weather events and piecemeal confiscation or degradation of territory. Consciousness of their role as responsible stewards of the territories they occupy has likely been a factor in maintaining viable wildlife populations over centuries. Institutions administering reindeer herding have remained flexible, especially on Yamal, and so accommodate decision-making that is sensitive to herders' needs and timetables. This affects factors such as herd demography, mobility and energetics. Resilience is further facilitated within the existing governance regimes by herders' own agency, most recently in the post-Soviet shift to smaller, privately managed herds that can better utilize available pastures in a highly dynamic environment experiencing rapid socio

  17. Master function for the solid:solution equilibrium of DOC in taiga and tundra soils of N. Russia: experimental and modeling results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterwoud, M. R.; van der Zee, S. E. A. T. M.; Meeussen, J. C. L.; Temminghoff, E. J. M.

    2012-04-01

    The formation and degradation of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) in arctic environments is intensively investigated, in the context of DOC loading of arctic rivers and seas as well as climate change. However, chemical interaction studies are more scarce, in particular those involving modeling. We investigated DOC interactions in N. Russian taiga and tundra soils, and found that water extractable organic carbon (WEOC) comprises only a small fraction of total organic carbon, whereas DOC is again a small fraction of WEOC. The chemical composition of DOC in terms of humic, fulvic, and hydrophilic acids, the concentrations of dominant cations such as Ca and Al, and the solid iron oxide contents appear to differ profoundly for different soil horizons, as well as between taiga and tundra soils. To reconcile these differences, we processed the data with a simple Freundlich model and with advanced LCD (Ligand and Charge Distribution) modeling of DOC interactions. In the LCD modeling, a combination is made of advances such as CD-MUSIC, and Nica-Donnan approaches, that are implemented in the software ORCHESTRA (though adjusted for computational stability by us). To avoid fitting without good foundation, use is made of the generic parameterization of LCD in combination with measured, site-specific chemical data such as concentrations. We observe that the soil samples from both regions, soil types and horizons can be described with a single DOC sorption Freundlich isotherm. More interestingly, for the same set of samples, the LCD modeling enables us to cast DOC sorption into a single Master Function, that takes iron oxide content and Al and Ca concentrations of soil samples into account in a purely predictive way. Based on this Master Function, it is feasible to assess how DOC is sorbed onto the solid surface. In combination with DOC production and degradation models, our results provide a more balanced instrument to address changes in DOC loading to surface waters due to

  18. A reduced-order modeling approach to represent subgrid-scale hydrological dynamics for land-surface simulations: application in a polygonal tundra landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pau, G. S. H.; Bisht, G.; Riley, W. J.

    2014-09-01

    Existing land surface models (LSMs) describe physical and biological processes that occur over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. For example, biogeochemical and hydrological processes responsible for carbon (CO2, CH4) exchanges with the atmosphere range from the molecular scale (pore-scale O2 consumption) to tens of kilometers (vegetation distribution, river networks). Additionally, many processes within LSMs are nonlinearly coupled (e.g., methane production and soil moisture dynamics), and therefore simple linear upscaling techniques can result in large prediction error. In this paper we applied a reduced-order modeling (ROM) technique known as "proper orthogonal decomposition mapping method" that reconstructs temporally resolved fine-resolution solutions based on coarse-resolution solutions. We developed four different methods and applied them to four study sites in a polygonal tundra landscape near Barrow, Alaska. Coupled surface-subsurface isothermal simulations were performed for summer months (June-September) at fine (0.25 m) and coarse (8 m) horizontal resolutions. We used simulation results from three summer seasons (1998-2000) to build ROMs of the 4-D soil moisture field for the study sites individually (single-site) and aggregated (multi-site). The results indicate that the ROM produced a significant computational speedup (> 103) with very small relative approximation error (training the ROM. We also demonstrate that our approach: (1) efficiently corrects for coarse-resolution model bias and (2) can be used for polygonal tundra sites not included in the training data set with relatively good accuracy (< 1.7% relative error), thereby allowing for the possibility of applying these ROMs across a much larger landscape. By coupling the ROMs constructed at different scales together hierarchically, this method has the potential to efficiently increase the resolution of land models for coupled climate simulations to spatial scales consistent with

  19. Diagnosis of the hydrology of a small Arctic basin at the tundra-taiga transition using a physically based hydrological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krogh, Sebastian A.; Pomeroy, John W.; Marsh, Philip

    2017-07-01

    A better understanding of cold regions hydrological processes and regimes in transitional environments is critical for predicting future Arctic freshwater fluxes under climate and vegetation change. A physically based hydrological model using the Cold Regions Hydrological Model platform was created for a small Arctic basin in the tundra-taiga transition region. The model represents snow redistribution and sublimation by wind and vegetation, snowmelt energy budget, evapotranspiration, subsurface flow through organic terrain, infiltration to frozen soils, freezing and thawing of soils, permafrost and streamflow routing. The model was used to reconstruct the basin water cycle over 28 years to understand and quantify the mass fluxes controlling its hydrological regime. Model structure and parameters were set from the current understanding of Arctic hydrology, remote sensing, field research in the basin and region, and calibration against streamflow observations. Calibration was restricted to subsurface hydraulic and storage parameters. Multi-objective evaluation of the model using observed streamflow, snow accumulation and ground freeze/thaw state showed adequate simulation. Significant spatial variability in the winter mass fluxes was found between tundra, shrubs and forested sites, particularly due to the substantial blowing snow redistribution and sublimation from the wind-swept upper basin, as well as sublimation of canopy intercepted snow from the forest (about 17% of snowfall). At the basin scale, the model showed that evapotranspiration is the largest loss of water (47%), followed by streamflow (39%) and sublimation (14%). The models streamflow performance sensitivity to a set of parameter was analysed, as well as the mean annual mass balance uncertainty associated with these parameters.

  20. Endometrial cancer in Asian and American Indian/Alaskan Native women: tumor characteristics, treatment and outcome compared to non-Hispanic white women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdi, Haider; Schlick, Cary Jo; Kowk, Li-Lian; Moslemi-Kebria, Mehdi; Michener, Chad

    2014-02-01

    The objective of this study is to compare survival of Asian (AS), American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) and non-Hispanic white (NHW) women with endometrial adenocarcinoma (EC). Patients with EC were identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program from 1988 to 2009. Kaplan-Meier survival methods and Cox proportional hazards regression were performed. Of the 105,083 women, 97,763 (93%) were NHW, 6699 (6.4%) were AS and 621 (0.6%) were AI/AN. AS and AI/AN were younger than NHW with mean age of 57.7 and 56.5 vs. 64.3 years (p Asian immigrants were younger than Asian natives (mean age 57 vs. 60.5 years, p Asian immigrants had better OS (HR 0.83, 95% CI 0.73-0.94, p = 0.002) and CSS (HR 0.66, 95% CI 0.54-0.80, p Asian natives. In contrast, AI/AN had worse OS (HR 1.35, 95% CI 1.15-1.59, p Asians were younger at presentation, more likely to have lymphadenectomy and had an improved outcome compared to NHW. Interestingly, Asian immigrants had more favorable outcome than Asians born in the US. Further studies are warranted to find possible explanations for such a difference. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Sulfate reduction and methane oxidation activity below the sulfate-methane transition zone in Alaskan Beaufort Sea continental margin sediments: Implications for deep sulfur cycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treude, Tina; Krause, Stefan; Maltby, Johanna; Dale, Andrew W.; Coffin, Richard; Hamdan, Leila J.

    2014-11-01

    Two ∼6 m long sediment cores were collected along the ∼300 m isobath on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea continental margin. Both cores showed distinct sulfate-methane transition zones (SMTZ) at 105 and 120 cm below seafloor (cmbsf). Sulfate was not completely depleted below the SMTZ but remained between 30 and 500 μM. Sulfate reduction and anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) determined by radiotracer incubations were active throughout the methanogenic zone. Although a mass balance could not explain the source of sulfate below the SMTZ, geochemical profiles and correlation network analyses of biotic and abiotic data suggest a cryptic sulfur cycle involving iron, manganese and barite. Inhibition experiments with molybdate and 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES) indicated decoupling of sulfate reduction and AOM and competition between sulfate reducers and methanogens for substrates. While correlation network analyses predicted coupling of AOM to iron reduction, the addition of manganese or iron did not stimulate AOM. Since none of the classical archaeal anaerobic methanotrophs (ANME) were abundant, the involvement of unknown or unconventional phylotypes in AOM is conceivable. The resistance of AOM activity to inhibitors implies deviation from conventional enzymatic pathways. This work suggests that the classical redox cascade of electron acceptor utilization based on Gibbs energy yields does not always hold in diffusion-dominated systems, and instead biotic processes may be more strongly coupled to mineralogy.

  2. Characterization and evaluation of washability of Alaskan coals: Fifty selected seams from various coal fields: Final technical report, September 30, 1976-February 28, 1986. [50 coal seams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rao, P.D.

    1986-09-01

    This final report is the result of a study initiated in 1976 to obtain washability data for Alaskan coals, to supplement the efforts of the US Department of Energy in their ongoing studies on washability of US coals. Washability characteristics were determined for fifty coal samples from the Northern Alaska, Chicago Creek, Unalakleet, Nenana, Matanuska, Beluga, Yentna and Herendeen Bay coal fields. The raw coal was crushed to 1-1/2 inches, 3/8 inch, 14 mesh and 65 mesh top sizes, and float-sink separations were made at 1.30, 1.40 and 1.60 specific gravities. A limited number of samples were also crushed to 200 and 325 mesh sizes prior to float-sink testing. Samples crushed to 65 mesh top size were also separated at 1.60 specific gravity and the float and sink products were characterized for proximate and ultimate analyses, ash composition and ash fusibility. 72 refs., 79 figs., 57 tabs.

  3. Challenges to recruit and retain American Indian and Alaskan Natives into social work programs: the impact on the child welfare workforce.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Suzanne L; Day, Angelique; Gogliotti, Lucas J; Pung, Justin J

    2013-01-01

    There is a shortage of professionally trained American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) social workers available to provide services including child welfare services to tribal communities. This study used a mixed-model survey design to examine the perceptions of 47 AI/AN BSW and MSW students enrolled in social work programs across the to determine the challenges associated with recruitment and retention. The findings are supported in the literature. Findings indicate that social work academic programs have not made substantial gains in the recruitment and retention of AI/AN students over several decades. Students identified the following seven major barriers to successful recruitment and retention: (1) a lack of AI/AN professors; (2) a shortage of field placement agencies that serve AI/AN clients; (3) conflicts between students' academic obligations and responsibilities to their families and tribal communities; (4) students' feelings of cultural isolation; (5) the need for AI/AN role models and mentors; (6) a lack of understanding by universities of cultural customs and traditional values; and (7) racism. Implications for policy and practice are offered.

  4. Hydrological patterns in warming permafrost: comparing results from a control and drained site on a floodplain tundra near Chersky, Northeast Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelck, Sandra; Goeckede, Mathias; Hildebrandt, Anke; Vonk, Jorien; Heimann, Martin

    2017-04-01

    Permafrost areas represent a major reservoir for organic carbon. At the same time, permafrost ecosystems are very susceptible to changing climate conditions. The stability of this reservoir, i.e. changes in lateral and vertical carbon fluxes in permafrost ecosystems, largely depends on groundwater level, temperature and vegetation community. Particularly during summer when the soil thaws and a so-called active layer develops, fluctuations in carbon flux rates are often dominantly driven by water availability. Such dry soil conditions are expected to become more frequent in the future due to deepening active layers as a consequence of climate change. This could result in degradation of polygonal tundra landscape properties with channelled water transport pathways. Therefore, water table depth and the associated groundwater fluxes are crucial to understand transport patterns and to quantify the lateral export of carbon through an aquatic system. Consequently, a fundamental understanding of hydrological patterns on ecosystem structure and function is required to close the carbon balance of permafrost ecosystems. This study focuses on small-scale hydrological patterns and its influencing factors, such as topography and precipitation events. Near Chersky, Northeast Siberia, we monitored (i) a control site of floodplain tundra, and (ii) a drained site, characterised by a drainage ring which was constructed in 2004, to study the effects of water availability on the carbon cycle. This experimental disturbance simulates drainage effects following the degradation of ice-rich permafrost ecosystems under future climate change. Continuous monitoring of water table depth in drained and control areas revealed small-scale water table variations. At several key locations, we collected water samples to determine the isotopic composition (δ18O, δD) of surface water, suprapermafrost groundwater and precipitation. Furthermore, a weir at the drainage ditch was constructed to directly

  5. Warming Effects on Enzyme Activities are Predominant in Sub-surface Soils of an Arctic Tundra Ecosystem over 6-Year Field Manipulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, H.; Seo, J.; Kim, M.; Jung, J. Y.; Lee, Y. K.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are of great importance because they store a large amount of carbon as un-decomposed organic matter. Global climate change is expected to affect enzyme activities and heterotrophic respiration in Arctic soils, which may accelerate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission through positive biological feedbacks. Unlike laboratory-based incubation experiments, field measurements often show different warming effects on decomposition of organic carbon and releases of GHGs. In the present study, we conducted a field-based warming experiment in Cambridge Bay, Canada (69°07'48″N, 105°03'36″W) by employing passive chambers during growing seasons over 6 years. A suite of enzyme activities (ß-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, N-acetylglucosaminidase, leucine aminopeptidase and phenol oxidase), microbial community structure (NGS), microbial abundances (gene copy numbers of bacteria and fungi), and soil chemical properties have been monitored in two depths (0-5 cm and 5-10 cm) of tundra soils, which were exposed to four different treatments (`control', `warming-only', `water-addition only', and both `warming and water-addition'). Phenol oxidase activity increased substantially, and bacterial community structure and abundance changed in the early stage (after 1 year's warming manipulation), but these changes disappeared afterwards. Most hydrolases were enhanced in surface soils by `water-addition only' over the period. However, the long-term effects of warming appeared in sub-surface soils where both `warming only' and `warming and water addition' increased hydrolase activities. Overall results of this study indicate that the warming effects on enzyme activities in surface soils are only short-term (phenol oxidase) or masked by water-limitation (hydrolases). However, hydrolases activities in sub-surface soils are more strongly enhanced than surface soils by warming, probably due to the lack of water limitation. Meanwhile, negative correlations between hydrolase

  6. The role of deep nitrogen and dynamic rooting profiles on vegetation dynamics and productivity in response to permafrost thaw and climate change in Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, R. E.; Helene, G.; Taylor, D. L.; McGuire, A. D.; Mack, M. C.

    2017-12-01

    The release of permafrost-derived nitrogen (N) has the potential to fertilize tundra vegetation, modulating plant competition, stimulating productivity, and offsetting carbon losses from thawing permafrost. Dynamic rooting, mycorrhizal interactions, and coupling of N availability and root N uptake have been identified as gaps in ecosystem models. As a first step towards understanding whether Arctic plants can access deep permafrost-derived N, we characterized rooting profiles and quantified acquisition of 15N tracer applied at the permafrost boundary by moist acidic tundra plants subjected to almost three decades of warming at Toolik Lake, Alaska. In the ambient control plots the vegetation biomass is distributed between five plant functional types (PFTs): sedges, evergreen and deciduous shrubs, mosses and in lower abundance, forbs. The warming treatment has resulted in the increase of deciduous shrub biomass and the loss of sedges, evergreen shrubs, and mosses. We harvested roots by depth increment down to the top of the permafrost. Roots were classified by size class and PFT. The average thaw depth in the warmed plots was 58.3 cm ± 6.4 S.E., close to 18 cm deeper than the average thaw depth in the ambient plots (40.8 cm ± 1.8 S.E.). Across treatments the deepest rooting species was Rubus chamaemorus (ambient 40.8 cm ± 1.8 S.E., warmed 50.3 cm ± 9.8 S.E.), a non-mycorrhizal forb, followed by Eriophorum vaginatum, a non-mycorrhizal sedge. Ectomycorrhizal deciduous and ericoid mycorrhizal evergreen shrubs were rooted at more shallow depths. Deeply rooted non-mycorrhizal species had the greatest uptake of 15N tracer within 24 hours across treatments. Tracer uptake was greatest for roots of E. vaginatum in ambient plots and R. chamaemorus in warmed plots. Root profiles were integrated into a process-based ecosystem model coupled with a dynamic vegetation model. Functions modeling dynamic rooting profile relative to thaw depth were implemented for each PFT. The

  7. Exclusion of brown lemmings reduces vascular plant cover and biomass in Arctic coastal tundra: resampling of a 50 + year herbivore exclosure experiment near Barrow, Alaska

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, D R; Lara, M J; Tweedie, C E; Shaver, G R; Batzli, G O; Shaw, J D

    2011-01-01

    To determine the role lemmings play in structuring plant communities and their contribution to the 'greening of the Arctic', we measured plant cover and biomass in 50 + year old lemming exclosures and control plots in the coastal tundra near Barrow, Alaska. The response of plant functional types to herbivore exclusion varied among land cover types. In general, the abundance of lichens and bryophytes increased with the exclusion of lemmings, whereas graminoids decreased, although the magnitude of these responses varied among land cover types. These results suggest that sustained lemming activity promotes a higher biomass of vascular plant functional types than would be expected without their presence and highlights the importance of considering herbivory when interpreting patterns of greening in the Arctic. In light of the rapid environmental change ongoing in the Arctic and the potential regional to global implications of this change, further exploration regarding the long-term influence of arvicoline rodents on ecosystem function (e.g. carbon and energy balance) should be considered a research priority.

  8. Revegetation and soil development on anthropogenic disturbances in shrub tundra, 50 years following construction of the CANOL No. 1 pipeline, N.W.T

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harper, K.A.

    1994-01-01

    An intensive study of long-term revegetation patterns of erect deciduous shrub tundra on anthropogenic disturbances was conducted in the summer of 1993 within the CANOL pipeline corridor, Northwest Territories. Soil development, primary and secondary succession were investigated on 10 m by 20 m sites in vehicle tracks and borrow pits. Data were collected on the cover of all vascular and non-vascular species. Soil temperature, pH, organic matter, moisture and particle size composition were determined. Patterns in plant species composition and soil characteristics among disturbance types were examined using detrended correspondence analysis. The importance of the measured abiotic factors in explaining the differences in species composition was revealed by canonical correspondence analysis. Significant differences in species composition were evident among disturbance types. Different taxonomic groups exhibited different responses to disturbance. Soil samples in linear disturbances were analogous to those in undisturbed areas. Warmer, drier and less acidic soils in borrow pits contained less organic matter and fine particles than undisturbed soils. Soil temperature was considered the most important measured environmental variable in accounting for the revegetation patterns on disturbance with the microclimate stations. Comparison with a similar study on revegetation in the CANOL corridor in 1978 suggest that revegetation and soil development are proceeding faster on linear disturbances than borrow pits. 150 figs., 37 figs., 28 tabs

  9. Physical and biological effects of experimental crude oil spills on Low Artic tundra in the vicinity of Tuktoyaktuk, N. W. T. , Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freedman, W.; Hutchinson, T.C.

    1976-10-01

    Data are presented on the effects of simulated crude oil spills on two Low Arctic terrestrial tundra plant communities near Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. Spills of fresh, unweathered crude oil had a general herbicidal effect, resulting in rapid damage to, and subsequent death of, all aboveground actively growing foliage coming in contact with the oil. Most species were defoliated. Mosses and lichens were especially susceptible and killed. However, within several weeks of the summer oil spillages, a limited number of relatively tolerant vascular plant species began to develop regrowth shoots. Summer spills were markedly more damaging than were equivalent spills made in winter. No increases were seen in active layer depth from spills made in summer. However, winter spills on one of the two sites did show consistent and statistically significant (P > 0.01) increases in depth of thaw. Examination of several key energy budget parameters at these field sites indicated consistently lower albedos and evapotranspiration and consistently higher soil surface temperatures and soil heat flux at all oil spill sites, relative to their controls. However, except for a winter spill on one site, the recorded differences were not sufficiently large in magnitude to produce significant increases in active layer thaw depths.

  10. Improving Classification of Airborne Laser Scanning Echoes in the Forest-Tundra Ecotone Using Geostatistical and Statistical Measures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadja Stumberg

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The vegetation in the forest-tundra ecotone zone is expected to be highly affected by climate change and requires effective monitoring techniques. Airborne laser scanning (ALS has been proposed as a tool for the detection of small pioneer trees for such vast areas using laser height and intensity data. The main objective of the present study was to assess a possible improvement in the performance of classifying tree and nontree laser echoes from high-density ALS data. The data were collected along a 1000 km long transect stretching from southern to northern Norway. Different geostatistical and statistical measures derived from laser height and intensity values were used to extent and potentially improve more simple models ignoring the spatial context. Generalised linear models (GLM and support vector machines (SVM were employed as classification methods. Total accuracies and Cohen’s kappa coefficients were calculated and compared to those of simpler models from a previous study. For both classification methods, all models revealed total accuracies similar to the results of the simpler models. Concerning classification performance, however, the comparison of the kappa coefficients indicated a significant improvement for some models both using GLM and SVM, with classification accuracies >94%.

  11. Effect of climate changes in the holocene on the distribution of humic substances in the profile of forest-tundra peat mounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasilevich, R. S.; Beznosikov, V. A.

    2017-11-01

    The molecular composition of humic substances in permafrost peatlands of the forest-tundra zone in northeastern European Russia has been characterized for the first time on the basis of systematic studies. Changes in the molar x(H): x(C) ratio along the peat profiles have been revealed, which is due to the activation of cryogenic processes in the upper part of the seasonally thawing layer, the natural selection of condensed humic molecules, and the botanical composition and degree of degradation of peat, which reflect the climatic features of the area in the Holocene. Dry-peat soils of mounds are worse heated during the summer period because of the buffering effect of moss litter, which results in a lower degree of condensation of humic and fulvic acid molecules in the peat horizons down to the permafrost table. Transformation of quantitative and qualitative parameters of specific organic compounds occurs at the permafrost boundary of peatlands, which can serve as an indicator of recent climate changes in high latitudes.

  12. Digging Deeper: Development and evaluation of an untargeted metabolomics approach to identify biogeochemical hotspots with depth and by vegetation type in Arctic tundra soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladd, M.; Wullschleger, S.; Hettich, R.

    2017-12-01

    Elucidating the chemical composition of low molecular weight (LMW) dissolved organic matter (DOM), and monitoring how this bioavailable pool varies over space and time, is critical to understanding the controlling mechanisms that underlie carbon release and storage in Arctic systems. Due to analytical challenges however, relatively little is known about how this complex mixture of small molecules varies with soil depth or how it may be influenced by vegetation. In this study, we evaluated an untargeted metabolomics approach for the characterization of LMW DOM in water extracts, and applied this approach in soil cores (10-cm diam., 30-cm depth), obtained near Barrow, Alaska (71° 16' N) from the organic-rich active layer where the aboveground vegetation was primarily either Carex aquatilis or Eriophorum angustifolium, two species commonly found in tundra systems. We hypothesized that by using a discovery-based approach, spatial patterns of chemical diversity could be identified, enabling the detection of biogeochemical hotspots across scales. LMW DOM profiles from triplicate water extracts were characterized using dual-separation, nano-liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to an electrospray Orbitrap mass spectrometer in positive and negative ion modes. Both LC separations—reversed-phase and hydrophilic interaction chromatography—were achieved with gradient elutions in 15 minutes. Using a precursor and fragment mass measurement accuracy of nutrients) impact carbon fluxes in the Arctic at the landscape-scale.

  13. Integrating subsistence practice and species distribution modeling: assessing invasive elodea's potential impact on Native Alaskan subsistence of Chinook salmon and whitefish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luizza, Matthew W.; Evangelista, Paul H.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; West, Amanda; Stewart, Heather

    2016-07-01

    Alaska has one of the most rapidly changing climates on earth and is experiencing an accelerated rate of human disturbance, including resource extraction and transportation infrastructure development. Combined, these factors increase the state's vulnerability to biological invasion, which can have acute negative impacts on ecological integrity and subsistence practices. Of growing concern is the spread of Alaska's first documented freshwater aquatic invasive plant Elodea spp. (elodea). In this study, we modeled the suitable habitat of elodea using global and state-specific species occurrence records and environmental variables, in concert with an ensemble of model algorithms. Furthermore, we sought to incorporate local subsistence concerns by using Native Alaskan knowledge and available statewide subsistence harvest data to assess the potential threat posed by elodea to Chinook salmon ( Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and whitefish ( Coregonus nelsonii) subsistence. State models were applied to future climate (2040-2059) using five general circulation models best suited for Alaska. Model evaluations indicated that our results had moderate to strong predictability, with area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve values above 0.80 and classification accuracies ranging from 66 to 89 %. State models provided a more robust assessment of elodea habitat suitability. These ensembles revealed different levels of management concern statewide, based on the interaction of fish subsistence patterns, known spawning and rearing sites, and elodea habitat suitability, thus highlighting regions with additional need for targeted monitoring. Our results suggest that this approach can hold great utility for invasion risk assessments and better facilitate the inclusion of local stakeholder concerns in conservation planning and management.

  14. Integrating subsistence practice and species distribution modeling: assessing invasive elodea’s potential impact on Native Alaskan subsistence of Chinook salmon and whitefish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luizza, Matthew; Evangelista, Paul; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; West, Amanda; Stewart, Heather

    2016-01-01

    Alaska has one of the most rapidly changing climates on earth and is experiencing an accelerated rate of human disturbance, including resource extraction and transportation infrastructure development. Combined, these factors increase the state’s vulnerability to biological invasion, which can have acute negative impacts on ecological integrity and subsistence practices. Of growing concern is the spread of Alaska’s first documented freshwater aquatic invasive plant Elodea spp. (elodea). In this study, we modeled the suitable habitat of elodea using global and state-specific species occurrence records and environmental variables, in concert with an ensemble of model algorithms. Furthermore, we sought to incorporate local subsistence concerns by using Native Alaskan knowledge and available statewide subsistence harvest data to assess the potential threat posed by elodea to Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and whitefish (Coregonus nelsonii) subsistence. State models were applied to future climate (2040–2059) using five general circulation models best suited for Alaska. Model evaluations indicated that our results had moderate to strong predictability, with area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve values above 0.80 and classification accuracies ranging from 66 to 89 %. State models provided a more robust assessment of elodea habitat suitability. These ensembles revealed different levels of management concern statewide, based on the interaction of fish subsistence patterns, known spawning and rearing sites, and elodea habitat suitability, thus highlighting regions with additional need for targeted monitoring. Our results suggest that this approach can hold great utility for invasion risk assessments and better facilitate the inclusion of local stakeholder concerns in conservation planning and management.

  15. Disappearing Arctic tundra ponds: Fine-scale analysis of surface hydrology in drained thaw lake basins over a 65 year period (1948-2013)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andresen, Christian G.; Lougheed, Vanessa L.

    2015-03-01

    Long-term fine-scale dynamics of surface hydrology in Arctic tundra ponds (less than 1 ha) are largely unknown; however, these small water bodies may contribute substantially to carbon fluxes, energy balance, and biodiversity in the Arctic system. Change in pond area and abundance across the upper Barrow Peninsula, Alaska, was assessed by comparing historic aerial imagery (1948) and modern submeter resolution satellite imagery (2002, 2008, and 2010). This was complemented by photogrammetric analysis of low-altitude kite-borne imagery in combination with field observations (2010-2013) of pond water and thaw depth transects in seven ponds of the International Biological Program historic research site. Over 2800 ponds in 22 drained thaw lake basins (DTLB) with different geological ages were analyzed. We observed a net decrease of 30.3% in area and 17.1% in number of ponds over the 62 year period. The inclusion of field observations of pond areas in 1972 from a historic research site confirms the linear downward trend in area. Pond area and number were dependent on the age of DTLB; however, changes through time were independent of DTLB age, with potential long-term implications for the hypothesized geomorphologic landscape succession of the thaw lake cycle. These losses were coincident with increases in air temperature, active layer, and density and cover of aquatic emergent plants in ponds. Increased evaporation due to warmer and longer summers, permafrost degradation, and transpiration from encroaching aquatic emergent macrophytes are likely the factors contributing to the decline in surface area and number of ponds.

  16. Monitoring small pioneer trees in the forest-tundra ecotone: using multi-temporal airborne laser scanning data to model height growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauglin, Marius; Bollandsås, Ole Martin; Gobakken, Terje; Næsset, Erik

    2017-12-08

    Monitoring of forest resources through national forest inventory programmes is carried out in many countries. The expected climate changes will affect trees and forests and might cause an expansion of trees into presently treeless areas, such as above the current alpine tree line. It is therefore a need to develop methods that enable the inclusion of also these areas into monitoring programmes. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) is an established tool in operational forest inventories, and could be a viable option for monitoring tasks. In the present study, we used multi-temporal ALS data with point density of 8-15 points per m 2 , together with field measurements from single trees in the forest-tundra ecotone along a 1500-km-long transect in Norway. The material comprised 262 small trees with an average height of 1.78 m. The field-measured height growth was derived from height measurements at two points in time. The elapsed time between the two measurements was 4 years. Regression models were then used to model the relationship between ALS-derived variables and tree heights as well as the height growth. Strong relationships between ALS-derived variables and tree heights were found, with R 2 values of 0.93 and 0.97 for the two points in time. The relationship between the ALS data and the field-derived height growth was weaker, with R 2 values of 0.36-0.42. A cross-validation gave corresponding results, with root mean square errors of 19 and 11% for the ALS height models and 60% for the model relating ALS data to single-tree height growth.

  17. Mathematical Modelling of Arctic Polygonal Tundra with Ecosys: 1. Microtopography Determines How Active Layer Depths Respond to Changes in Temperature and Precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, R. F.; Mekonnen, Z. A.; Riley, W. J.; Wainwright, H. M.; Graham, D.; Torn, M. S.

    2017-12-01

    Microtopographic variation that develops among features (troughs, rims, and centers) within polygonal landforms of coastal arctic tundra strongly affects movement of surface water and snow and thereby affects soil water contents (θ) and active layer depth (ALD). Spatial variation in ALD among these features may exceed interannual variation in ALD caused by changes in climate and so needs to be represented in projections of changes in arctic ALD. In this study, increases in near-surface θ with decreasing surface elevation among polygon features at the Barrow Experimental Observatory (BEO) were modeled from topographic effects on redistribution of surface water and snow and from lateral water exchange with a subsurface water table during a model run from 1981 to 2015. These increases in θ caused increases in thermal conductivity that in turn caused increases in soil heat fluxes and hence in ALD of up to 15 cm with lower versus higher surface elevation which were consistent with increases measured at BEO. The modeled effects of θ caused interannual variation in maximum ALD that compared well with measurements from 1985 to 2015 at the Barrow Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) site (R2 = 0.61, RMSE = 0.03 m). For higher polygon features, interannual variation in ALD was more closely associated with annual precipitation than mean annual temperature, indicating that soil wetting from increases in precipitation may hasten permafrost degradation beyond that caused by soil warming from increases in air temperature. This degradation may be more rapid if increases in precipitation cause sustained wetting in higher features.

  18. Both life-history plasticity and local adaptation will shape range-wide responses to climate warming in the tundra plant Silene acaulis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Megan L; Doak, Daniel F; Morris, William F

    2018-04-01

    Many predictions of how climate change will impact biodiversity have focused on range shifts using species-wide climate tolerances, an approach that ignores the demographic mechanisms that enable species to attain broad geographic distributions. But these mechanisms matter, as responses to climate change could fundamentally differ depending on the contributions of life-history plasticity vs. local adaptation to species-wide climate tolerances. In particular, if local adaptation to climate is strong, populations across a species' range-not only those at the trailing range edge-could decline sharply with global climate change. Indeed, faster rates of climate change in many high latitude regions could combine with local adaptation to generate sharper declines well away from trailing edges. Combining 15 years of demographic data from field populations across North America with growth chamber warming experiments, we show that growth and survival in a widespread tundra plant show compensatory responses to warming throughout the species' latitudinal range, buffering overall performance across a range of temperatures. However, populations also differ in their temperature responses, consistent with adaptation to local climate, especially growing season temperature. In particular, warming begins to negatively impact plant growth at cooler temperatures for plants from colder, northern populations than for those from warmer, southern populations, both in the field and in growth chambers. Furthermore, the individuals and maternal families with the fastest growth also have the lowest water use efficiency at all temperatures, suggesting that a trade-off between growth and water use efficiency could further constrain responses to forecasted warming and drying. Taken together, these results suggest that populations throughout species' ranges could be at risk of decline with continued climate change, and that the focus on trailing edge populations risks overlooking the largest

  19. Anthropogenic and natural radionuclides in caribou and muskoxen in the Western Alaskan Arctic and marine fish in the Aleutian Islands in the first half of 2000s

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hong, Gi Hoon; Baskaran, Mark; Molaroni, Shannon Marie; Lee, Hyun-Mi; Burger, Joanna

    2011-01-01

    A number of caribou and muskoxen samples from the western Alaskan Arctic and fish samples from the Aleutian Islands were collected between 1998 and 2006 and analyzed for anthropogenic ( 90 Sr and 137 Cs) and natural radionculides ( 40 K, 210 Pb and 226 Ra), as part of the radiological assessment for the regional subsistence hunting communities in the first half of 2000s. We examined the relationship between the activities of these nuclides with the size of the fish. In caribou samples, concentration of 90 Sr in muscle was below the detection limit of 0.14 Bq kg -1 and 137 Cs concentration in bones was below the detection limit of 0.15 Bq kg -1 . 137 Cs activity varied over an order of magnitude in caribou muscle samples with an average value of 2.5 Bq/kg wet wt. Average 137 Cs activity in muskoxen muscle was found to be 9.7 Bq/kg wet wt. However, there were a little variation (less than 60%) in 210 Pb, 40 K, and 226 Ra in both muscle and bone of both caribou and muskoxen. The activities of total 210 Pb in caribou and muskox bones were found to be 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than that of parent-supported 210 Pb indicating the potential for dating of bones of terrestrial mammals (time elapsed since the death of the animal) based on the excess 210 Pb method exists. In fish muscle samples, 137 Cs activity varied from below detection limit to 154 mBq/kg wet wt. and its content increased with the size of the fish due to its transfer through the food chain. Among the seven fish species investigated, 210 Pb activities varied almost an order of magnitude; however, 40 K and 226 Ra activities varied less than a factor of two. Total annual effective dose due to 90 Sr and 137 Cs from the ingestion of those terrestrial and marine meats was estimated to be negligible (ca. 9 μSV/a) compared to the natural radionuclides present thus posing negligible radiological threat to humans. - Highlights: → Quantification of radiation dose to humans from the ingestion of fish, muskox

  20. Deepened winter snow increases stem growth and alters stem δ13C and δ15N in evergreen dwarf shrub Cassiope tetragona in high-arctic Svalbard tundra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blok, Daan; Michelsen, Anders; Elberling, Bo; Weijers, Stef; Löffler, Jörg; Welker, Jeffrey M; Cooper, Elisabeth J

    2015-01-01

    Deeper winter snow is hypothesized to favor shrub growth and may partly explain the shrub expansion observed in many parts of the arctic during the last decades, potentially triggering biophysical feedbacks including regional warming and permafrost thawing. We experimentally tested the effects of winter snow depth on shrub growth and ecophysiology by measuring stem length and stem hydrogen (δ 2 H), carbon (δ 13 C), nitrogen (δ 15 N) and oxygen (δ 18 O) isotopic composition of the circumarctic evergreen dwarf shrub Cassiope tetragona growing in high-arctic Svalbard, Norway. Measurements were carried out on C. tetragona individuals sampled from three tundra sites, each representing a distinct moisture regime (dry heath, meadow, moist meadow). Individuals were sampled along gradients of experimentally manipulated winter snow depths in a six-year old snow fence experiment: in ambient (c. 20 cm), medium (c. 100 cm), and deep snow (c. 150 cm) plots. The deep-snow treatment consistently and significantly increased C. tetragona growth during the 2008–2011 manipulation period compared to growth in ambient-snow plots. Stem δ 15 N and stem N concentration values were significantly higher in deep-snow individuals compared to individuals growing in ambient-snow plots during the course of the experiment, suggesting that soil N-availability was increased in deep-snow plots as a result of increased soil winter N mineralization. Although inter-annual growing season-precipitation δ 2 H and stem δ 2 H records closely matched, snow depth did not change stem δ 2 H or δ 18 O, suggesting that water source usage by C. tetragona was unaltered. Instead, the deep insulating snowpack may have protected C. tetragona shrubs against frost damage, potentially compensating the detrimental effects of a shortened growing season and associated phenological delay on growth. Our findings suggest that an increase in winter precipitation in the High Arctic, as predicted by climate models, has