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Sample records for alaskan tussock tundra

  1. Atmospheric methane sources: Alaskan tundra bogs, an alpine fen, and a subarctic boreal marsh

    OpenAIRE

    Sebacher, Daniel I.; Harriss, Robert C.; Bartlett, Karen B.; Sebacher, Shirley M.; Grice, Shirley S.

    2011-01-01

    Methane (CH4) flux measurements from Alaskan tundra bogs, an alpine fen, and a subarctic boreal marsh were obtained at field sites ranging from Prudhoe Bay on the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Alaskan Range south of Fairbanks during August 1984. In the tundra, average CH4 emission rates varied from 4.9 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 (moist tundra) to 119 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 (waterlogged tundra). Fluxes averaged 40 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 from wet tussock meadows in the Brooks Range and 289 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 from an alpine...

  2. CO2 flux from tundra lichen, moss, and tussock, Council, Alaska: Assessment of spatial representativeness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Chae, N.

    2012-12-01

    CO2 flux-measurement in dominant tundra vegetation on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska was examined for spatial representativeness, using a manual chamber system. In order to assess the representativeness of CO2 flux, a 40 m × 40 m (5-m interval; 81 total points) plot was used in June, August, and September of 2011. Average CO2 fluxes in lichen, moss, and tussock tundra were 3.4 ± 2.7, 4.5 ± 2.9, and 7.2 ± 5.7 mgCO2/m2/m during growing season, respectively, suggesting that tussock tundra is a significant CO2 source, especially considering the wide distribution of tussock tundra in the circumpolar region. Further, soil temperature, rather than soil moisture, held the key role in regulating CO2 flux at the study site: CO2 flux from tussock increased linearly as soil temperature increased, while the flux from lichen and moss followed soil temperature nearly exponentially, reflecting differences in surface area covered by the chamber system. Regarding sample size, the 81 total sampling points over June, August, and September satisfy an experimental average that falls within ±10% of full sample average, with a 95% confidence level. However, the number of sampling points for each variety of vegetation during each month must provide at least ±20%, with an 80% confidence level. In order to overcome the logistical constraints, we were required to identify the site's characteristics with a manual chamber system over a 40 m × 40 m plot and to subsequently employ an automated chamber for spatiotemporal representativeness.

  3. Greater shrub dominance alters breeding habitat and food resources for migratory songbirds in Alaskan arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelman, Natalie T; Gough, Laura; Wingfield, John; Goetz, Scott; Asmus, Ashley; Chmura, Helen E; Krause, Jesse S; Perez, Jonathan H; Sweet, Shannan K; Guay, Kevin C

    2015-04-01

    Climate warming is affecting the Arctic in multiple ways, including via increased dominance of deciduous shrubs. Although many studies have focused on how this vegetation shift is altering nutrient cycling and energy balance, few have explicitly considered effects on tundra fauna, such as the millions of migratory songbirds that breed in northern regions every year. To understand how increasing deciduous shrub dominance may alter breeding songbird habitat, we quantified vegetation and arthropod community characteristics in both graminoid and shrub dominated tundra. We combined measurements of preferred nest site characteristics for Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) and Gambel's White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) with modeled predictions for the distribution of plant community types in the Alaskan arctic foothills region for the year 2050. Lapland longspur nests were found in sedge-dominated tussock tundra where shrub height does not exceed 20 cm, whereas White-crowned sparrows nested only under shrubs between 20 cm and 1 m in height, with no preference for shrub species. Shrub canopies had higher canopy-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. small flies and spiders) but lower ground-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. large spiders and beetles). Since flies are the birds' preferred prey, increasing shrubs may result in a net enhancement in preferred prey availability. Acknowledging the coarse resolution of existing tundra vegetation models, we predict that by 2050 there will be a northward shift in current White-crowned sparrow habitat range and a 20-60% increase in their preferred habitat extent, while Lapland longspur habitat extent will be equivalently reduced. Our findings can be used to make first approximations of future habitat change for species with similar nesting requirements. However, we contend that as exemplified by this study's findings, existing tundra modeling tools cannot yet simulate the fine-scale habitat

  4. Summer temperature increase has distinct effects on the ectomycorrhizal fungal communities of moist tussock and dry tundra in Arctic Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgado, Luis N; Semenova, Tatiana A; Welker, Jeffrey M; Walker, Marilyn D; Smets, Erik; Geml, József

    2015-02-01

    Arctic regions are experiencing the greatest rates of climate warming on the planet and marked changes have already been observed in terrestrial arctic ecosystems. While most studies have focused on the effects of warming on arctic vegetation and nutrient cycling, little is known about how belowground communities, such as fungi root-associated, respond to warming. Here, we investigate how long-term summer warming affects ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities. We used Ion Torrent sequencing of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region to compare ECM fungal communities in plots with and without long-term experimental warming in both dry and moist tussock tundra. Cortinarius was the most OTU-rich genus in the moist tundra, while the most diverse genus in the dry tundra was Tomentella. On the diversity level, in the moist tundra we found significant differences in community composition, and a sharp decrease in the richness of ECM fungi due to warming. On the functional level, our results indicate that warming induces shifts in the extramatrical properties of the communities, where the species with medium-distance exploration type seem to be favored with potential implications for the mobilization of different nutrient pools in the soil. In the dry tundra, neither community richness nor community composition was significantly altered by warming, similar to what had been observed in ECM host plants. There was, however, a marginally significant increase in OTUs identified as ECM fungi with the medium-distance exploration type in the warmed plots. Linking our findings of decreasing richness with previous results of increasing ECM fungal biomass suggests that certain ECM species are favored by warming and may become more abundant, while many other species may go locally extinct due to direct or indirect effects of warming. Such compositional shifts in the community might affect nutrient cycling and soil organic C storage. PMID:25156129

  5. Winter precipitation and snow accumulation drive the methane sink or source strength of Arctic tussock tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanc-Betes, Elena; Welker, Jeffrey M; Sturchio, Neil C; Chanton, Jeffrey P; Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A

    2016-08-01

    Arctic winter precipitation is projected to increase with global warming, but some areas will experience decreases in snow accumulation. Although Arctic CH4 emissions may represent a significant climate forcing feedback, long-term impacts of changes in snow accumulation on CH4 fluxes remain uncertain. We measured ecosystem CH4 fluxes and soil CH4 and CO2 concentrations and (13) C composition to investigate the metabolic pathways and transport mechanisms driving moist acidic tundra CH4 flux over the growing season (Jun-Aug) after 18 years of experimental snow depth increases and decreases. Deeper snow increased soil wetness and warming, reducing soil %O2 levels and increasing thaw depth. Soil moisture, through changes in soil %O2 saturation, determined predominance of methanotrophy or methanogenesis, with soil temperature regulating the ecosystem CH4 sink or source strength. Reduced snow (RS) increased the fraction of oxidized CH4 (Fox) by 75-120% compared to Ambient, switching the system from a small source to a net CH4 sink (21 ± 2 and -31 ± 1 mg CH4  m(-2)  season(-1) at Ambient and RS). Deeper snow reduced Fox by 35-40% and 90-100% in medium- (MS) and high- (HS) snow additions relative to Ambient, contributing to increasing the CH4 source strength of moist acidic tundra (464 ± 15 and 3561 ± 97 mg CH4  m(-2)  season(-1) at MS and HS). Decreases in Fox with deeper snow were partly due to increases in plant-mediated CH4 transport associated with the expansion of tall graminoids. Deeper snow enhanced CH4 production within newly thawed soils, responding mainly to soil warming rather than to increases in acetate fermentation expected from thaw-induced increases in SOC availability. Our results suggest that increased winter precipitation will increase the CH4 source strength of Arctic tundra, but the resulting positive feedback on climate change will depend on the balance between areas with more or less snow accumulation than they are currently

  6. Constraint of soil moisture on CO2 efflux from tundra lichen, moss, and tussock in Council, Alaska using a hierarchical Bayesian model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Kim

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The tundra ecosystem is quite vulnerable to drastic climate change in the Arctic, and the quantification of carbon dynamics is of significant importance in response to thawing permafrost, changes in the snow-covered period and snow and shrub community extent, and the decline of sea ice in the Arctic. Here, CO2 efflux measurements using a manual chamber system within a 40 m × 40 m (5 m interval; 81 total points plot were conducted in dominant tundra vegetation on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska, during the growing seasons of 2011 and 2012, for the assessment of the driving parameters of CO2 efflux. We applied a hierarchical Bayesian (HB model – which is a function of soil temperature, soil moisture, vegetation type and thaw depth – to quantify the effect of environmental parameters on CO2 efflux, and to estimate growing season CO2 emission. Our results showed that average CO2 efflux in 2011 is 1.4-fold higher than in 2012, resulting from the distinct difference in soil moisture between the two years. Tussock-dominated CO2 efflux is 1.4 to 2.3 times higher than those measured in lichen and moss communities, reflecting tussock as a significant CO2 source in the Arctic, with wide area distribution on a circumpolar scale. CO2 efflux followed soil temperature nearly exponentially from both the observed data and the posterior medians of the HB model. This reveals soil temperature as the most important parameter in regulating CO2 efflux, rather than soil moisture and thaw depth. Obvious changes in soil moisture during the growing seasons of 2011 and 2012 resulted in an explicit difference in CO2 efflux – 742 and 539 g CO2 m−2 period−1 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, suggesting that the 2012 CO2 emission rate was constrained by 27% (95% credible interval: 17–36% compared to 2011, due to higher soil moisture from severe rain. Estimated growing season CO2 emission rate ranged from 0.86 Mg CO2 period−1 in 2012 to 1.2 Mg CO2 period−1 in 2011

  7. Constraint of soil moisture on CO2 efflux from tundra lichen, moss, and tussock in Council, Alaska, using a hierarchical Bayesian model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Nishina, K.; Chae, N.; Park, S. J.; Yoon, Y. J.; Lee, B. Y.

    2014-10-01

    The tundra ecosystem is quite vulnerable to drastic climate change in the Arctic, and the quantification of carbon dynamics is of significant importance regarding thawing permafrost, changes to the snow-covered period and snow and shrub community extent, and the decline of sea ice in the Arctic. Here, CO2 efflux measurements using a manual chamber system within a 40 m × 40 m (5 m interval; 81 total points) plot were conducted within dominant tundra vegetation on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska, during the growing seasons of 2011 and 2012, for the assessment of driving parameters of CO2 efflux. We applied a hierarchical Bayesian (HB) model - a function of soil temperature, soil moisture, vegetation type, and thaw depth - to quantify the effects of environmental factors on CO2 efflux and to estimate growing season CO2 emissions. Our results showed that average CO2 efflux in 2011 was 1.4 times higher than in 2012, resulting from the distinct difference in soil moisture between the 2 years. Tussock-dominated CO2 efflux is 1.4 to 2.3 times higher than those measured in lichen and moss communities, revealing tussock as a significant CO2 source in the Arctic, with a wide area distribution on the circumpolar scale. CO2 efflux followed soil temperature nearly exponentially from both the observed data and the posterior medians of the HB model. This reveals that soil temperature regulates the seasonal variation of CO2 efflux and that soil moisture contributes to the interannual variation of CO2 efflux for the two growing seasons in question. Obvious changes in soil moisture during the growing seasons of 2011 and 2012 resulted in an explicit difference between CO2 effluxes - 742 and 539 g CO2 m-2 period-1 for 2011 and 2012, respectively, suggesting the 2012 CO2 emission rate was reduced to 27% (95% credible interval: 17-36%) of the 2011 emission, due to higher soil moisture from severe rain. The estimated growing season CO2 emission rate ranged from 0.86 Mg CO2 in 2012 to 1

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  9. An eddy covariance network to investigate post-fire carbon and energy dynamics in remote regions of Alaskan arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, A. V.; Shaver, G. R.; Rastetter, E.; Jiang, Y.

    2012-12-01

    The Alaskan arctic is experiencing pronounced changes such as fires, increased shrub cover, and permafrost thaw that are the result of increased air temperatures. Quantifying the effect of these changes on arctic carbon and energy fluxes is difficult because the Arctic is remote and difficult to access throughout the year. Here we report on an experimental design that uses a roving eddy covariance network, remote sensing, and model data fusion to determine post-fire effects on carbon and energy exchange over hours to decadal timescales in Alaskan arctic tundra. We describe the approach, challenges and goals of this project, and present some preliminary data. Our approach incorporated a number of sites along an Alaskan tundra fire chronosequence, and paired fire scars of different age with an unburned control. Challenges included; limited site access and power, communication and data acquisition, spatial variability, and missing data. We approached these challenges in a variety of ways, including; assessing spatial variability with MODIS data and roving towers, comparing burned to nearby unburned sites, harvesting biomass to understand decadal carbon recovery, and developing models that incorporate remotely sensed, eddy covariance, and biomass data. Our experimental design provides a test-bed for assessing large-scale variability across time and space, which is critical for understanding the role of disturbance on regional carbon and energy fluxes. Conceptual framework for our study. Field measurements will encompass both fast [top of hatched line] to slow [bottom of hatched line] ecosystem processes and states along a fire chronosequence [1] that will be assimilated into a fast and slow response model framework through model-data fusion [2], and used to scale up to the North Slope with MODIS data [3].

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Aims Despite multiple studies investigating the environmental controls on CH4 fluxes from arctic tundra ecosystems, the high spatial variability of CH4 emissions is not fully understood. This makes the upscaling of CH4 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 CH4 emission from tundra ecosystems. Methods CH4 fluxes were measured in four sites across a variety of wet-sedge and tusso...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ely, Craig R.; Franson, Christian

    2014-01-01

    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 (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.

  12. Influence of the Tussock Growth Form on Arctic Ecosystem Carbon Stocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curasi, S.; Rocha, A. V.; Sonnentag, O.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Myers-Smith, I. H.; Fetcher, N.; Mack, M. C.; Natali, S.; Loranty, M. M.; Parker, T.

    2015-12-01

    The influence of plant growth forms on ecosystem carbon (C) cycling has been under appreciated. In arctic tundra, environmental factors and plant traits of the sedge Eriophorum vaginatum cause the formation of mounds that are dense amalgamations of belowground C called tussocks. Tussocks have important implications for arctic ecosystem biogeochemistry and C stocks, but the environmental and biological factors controlling their size and distribution across the landscape are poorly understood. In order to better understand how landscape variation in tussock size and density impact ecosystem C stocks, we formed the Carbon in Arctic Tussock Tundra (CATT) network and recruited an international team to sample locations across the arctic. The CATT network provided a latitudinal and longitudinal gradient along which to improve our understanding of tussocks' influence on ecosystem structure and function. CATT data revealed important insights into tussock formation across the arctic. Tussock density generally declined with latitude, and tussock size exhibited substantial variation across sites. The relationship between height and diameter was similar across CATT sites indicating that both biological and environmental factors control tussock formation. At some sites, C in tussocks comprised a substantial percentage of ecosystem C stocks that may be vulnerable to climate change. It is concluded that the loss of this growth form would offset C gains from projected plant functional shifts from graminoid to shrub tundra. This work highlights the role of plant growth forms on the magnitude and retention of ecosystem C stocks.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tundra sampling was accomplished in 1989--1990 at Imnavait Creek, Alaska (68 degree 37' N, 149 degree 17' W). Inventories of 137Cs (102--162 mBq/cm2) are close to expectations, based upon measured atmospheric deposition for this latitude. Accumulated inventories of 137Cs in tundra decrease by up to 50% along a transect to Prudhoe Bay (70 degree 13' N, 148 degree 30' W). Atmospheric deposition of 137Cs 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 137Cs 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 137Cs inventories, from a low of 22 mBq/cm2 away from the lake inlet, to a high between 140 to >200 mBq/cm2 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

  14. 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.

  15. Tundra vegetation effects on pan-Arctic albedo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  16. 2015 DOE Final UF Report. Effects of Warming the Deep Soil and Permafrost on Ecosystem Carbon Balance in Alaskan Tundra. A Coupled Measurement and Modeling Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schuur, Edward [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    2015-06-11

    The major research goal of this project was to understand and quantify the fate of carbon stored in permafrost ecosystems using a combination of field and laboratory experiments to measure isotope ratios and C fluxes in a tundra ecosystem exposed to experimental warming. Field measurements centered on the establishment of a two-factor experimental warming using a snow fence and open top chambers to increase winter and summer temperatures alone, and in combination, at a tundra field site at the Eight Mile Lake watershed near Healy, Alaska. The objective of this experimental warming was to significantly raise air and deep soil temperatures and increase the depth of thaw beyond that of previous warming experiments. Detecting the loss and fate of the old permafrost C pool remains a major challenge. Because soil C has been accumulating in these ecosystems over the past 10,000 years, there is a strong difference between the radiocarbon isotopic composition of C deep in the soil profile and permafrost compared to that near the soil surface. This large range of isotopic variability is unique to radiocarbon and provides a valuable and sensitive fingerprint for detecting the loss of old soil C as permafrost thaws.

  17. Gaps in Data and Modeling Tools for Understanding Fire and Fire Effects in Tundra Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, N. H.; Miller, M. E.; Loboda, T. V.; Jenkins, L. K.; Bourgeau-Chavez, L. L.; Suiter, A.; Hawkins, S. M.

    2013-12-01

    capability for accurate estimation of fire emissions in this region. Initial evaluation of Landsat for tundra fire characterization (Loboda et al. 2013) and successful use of the rich archive of Synthetic Aperture Radar imagery for many fire-disturbed sites in the region will be additional topics covered in this poster presentation. References: Breiman, L. 2001. Random forests. Machine Learning, 45:5-32. French, N.H.F., W.J. de Groot, L.K. Jenkins, B.. Rogers, et al. 2011. Model comparisons for estimating carbon emissions from North American wildland fire. J. Geophys. Res. 116:G00K05, doi:10.1029/2010JG001469. Loboda, T L, N H F French, C. Hight-Harf, L. Jenkins, M.E. Miller. 2013. Mapping fire extent and burn severity in Alaskan tussock tundra: An analysis of the spectral response of tundra vegetation to wildland fire. Remote Sens. Enviro. 134:194-209.

  18. Changes in tundra vascular plant biomass over thirty years at Imnavait Creek, Alaska, and current ecosystem C and N dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bret-Harte, M. S.; Shaver, G. R.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Huebner, D. C.; Drew, J. W.; Cherry, J. E.; Edgar, C.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the magnitude of, and controls over, carbon fluxes in arctic ecosystems is essential for accurate assessment and prediction of their responses to climate change. In 2013, we harvested vegetation and soils in the most common plant community types in source areas for fluxes measured by eddy covariance towers located in three representative Alaska tundra ecosystems along a toposequence (a ridge site of heath tundra and moist non-acidic tundra, a mid-slope site of moist acidic tussock tundra, and a valley bottom site of wet sedge tundra and moist acidic tussock tundra) at Imnavait Creek, Alaska. This harvest sought to relate biomass, production, composition, and C and N stocks in soil and vegetation, to estimates of net ecosystem CO2 exchange obtained by micrometeorological methods. Soil C and N stocks in the seasonally unfrozen soil layer were greatest in the wet sedge community, and least in the heath community. In contrast, moist acidic tussock tundra at the valley bottom site had the highest C and N stocks in vascular plant biomass, while nearby wet sedge tundra had the lowest. Overall, soil C:N ratio was highest in moist acidic tussock tundra at the mid-slope site. Aboveground biomass of vascular plants in moist acidic tundra at the mid-slope site was nearly three times higher than that measured thirty years earlier in vegetation harvests of nearby areas at Imnavait Creek. Other harvests from sites near Toolik Field Station suggest that vascular plant biomass in moist acidic tundra has increased in multiple sites over this time period. Increased biomass in the mid-1990s corresponds with a switch from mostly negative to mostly positive spatially-averaged air temperature anomalies in the climate record. All our sites have been annual net sources of CO2 to the atmosphere over nine years of measurement, but in the last two years, the valley bottom site has been a particularly strong source, due to CO2 losses in fall and winter that correspond with a

  19. Siberian tundra ecosystem vegetation and carbon stocks four decades after wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loranty, Michael M.; Natali, Susan M.; Berner, Logan T.; Goetz, Scott J.; Holmes, Robert M.; Davydov, Sergei P.; Zimov, Nikita S.; Zimov, Sergey A.

    2014-11-01

    Tundra ecosystem fire regimes are intensifying with important implications for regional and global carbon (C) and energy dynamics. Although a substantial portion of the tundra biome is located in Russia, the vast majority of accessible studies describe North American tundra fires. Here we use field observations and high-resolution satellite remote sensing observations to describe the effects of wildfire on ecosystem C pools and vegetation communities four decades after fire for a tundra ecosystem in northeastern Siberia. Our analyses reveal no differences between soil physical properties and C pools in burned and unburned tundra, which we attribute to low combustion of organic soil associated with low-severity fire. Field and remote sensing data show no differences in aboveground C pools and vegetation communities indicating recovery to prefire conditions. These results are comparable to observations of ecosystem recovery in North American tundra. An assessment of literature data indicate that the average annual area burned in Russian tundra is an order of magnitude larger than that of Alaskan tundra, highlighting a crucial need to assess Russian tundra fire regimes in order to understand the current and future role of the biome wide fire regime in regional and global C and energy dynamics.

  20. 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

  1. Biogeochemical modeling of tundra recovery following thermal erosion of permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, A. R.; Rastetter, E. B.; Bowden, W. B.

    2011-12-01

    We simulate the biogeochemical recovery of tundra from a thermal erosion disturbance using the Multiple Element Limitation model (MEL) and compare model results with soil organic matter and nutrient chemistry measurements collected across a chronosequence of thermal erosion features. Thermal erosion of permafrost initially depletes the tundra of much of its vegetation and shallow soil organic matter. However, several decades later, there is often little distinguishing these scars from the surrounding undisturbed tundra. As thermal erosion features become more abundant on the arctic landscape, we desire to understand how the pools of carbon and nutrients rebuild after these disturbances. MEL is a plot-scale, process-based model that optimizes the acquisition of eight resources (light, water, CO2, PO4, NH4, NO3, DON and N-fixation) by vegetation based on how much of each is required and the effort needed to acquire it. Model output includes pool sizes of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in vegetation, litter, young soil organic matter and old soil organic matter and the fluxes among these pools over time. This calibration of MEL, operating on a daily timestep, was created with published data collected at or near the Toolik Field Station (Toolik Lake, AK, USA) from moist acidic tussock tundra sites. We corroborate our calibration with data from plot manipulations (N and P fertilization, greenhouse, and shade house) performed as part of the NSF Arctic LTER project. The initial conditions for the recovery simulations reflect post-failure observations of some of the variation in soil organic matter, and soil and water nutrient chemistry. With sufficient nutrients from residual soil or supplied in soil water from upslope, the model indicates that vegetation can recover within several decades, but recovery of C and nutrients lost from soils may take hundreds of years.

  2. Correlations between the Heterogeneity of Permafrost Thaw Depth and Vegetation in Boreal Forests and Arctic Tundra in Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uy, K. L. Q.; Natali, S.; Kholodov, A. L.; Loranty, M. M.

    2015-12-01

    Global climate change induces rapid large scale changes in the far Northern regions of the globe, which include the thickening of the active layer of arctic and subarctic soils. Active layer depth, in turn, drives many changes to the hydrology and geochemistry of the soil, making an understanding of this layer essential to boreal forest and arctic tundra ecology. Because the structure of plant communities can affect the thermal attributes of the soil, they may drive variations in active layer depth. For instance, trees and tussocks create shade, which reduces temperatures, but also hold snow, which increases temperature through insulation; these aspects of vegetation can increase or decrease summer thaw. The goal of this project is to investigate correlations between the degree of heterogeneity of active layer depths, organic layer thickness, and aboveground vegetation to determine how these facets of Northern ecosystems interact at the ecosystem scale. Permafrost thaw and organic layer depths were measured along 20m transects in twenty-four boreal forest and tundra sites in Alaska. Aboveground vegetation along these transects was characterized by measuring tree diameter at breast height (DBH), tussock dimensions, and understory biomass. Using the coefficient of variation as a measure of heterogeneity, we found a positive correlation between thaw depth variability and tussock volume variability, but little correlation between the former and tree DBH variability. Soil organic layer depth variability was also positively correlated with thaw depth variability, but weakly correlated with tree and tussock heterogeneity. These data suggest that low vegetation and organic layer control the degree of variability in permafrost thaw at the ecosystem scale. Vegetation can thus affect the microtopography of permafrost and future changes in the plant community that affect vegetation heterogeneity will drive corresponding changes in the variability of the soil.

  3. Tundra in the rain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    increments) and Arctagrostis latifolia (leaf size and specific leaf area), but none were observed at the Swedish site. Total biomass production did not increase at either of the study sites. This study corroborates studies in other tundra vegetation types and shows that despite regional differences at the...

  4. Ground-Based Hyperspectral Characterization of Alaska Tundra Vegetation along Environmental Gradients

    OpenAIRE

    Marcel Schwieder; Epstein, Howard E.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Marcel Buchhorn; Walker, Donald A.; Birgit Heim

    2013-01-01

    Remote sensing has become a valuable tool in monitoring arctic environments. The aim of this paper is ground-based hyperspectral characterization of Low Arctic Alaskan tundra communities along four environmental gradients (regional climate, soil pH, toposequence, and soil moisture) that all vary in ground cover, biomass, and dominating plant communities. Field spectroscopy in connection with vegetation analysis was carried out in summer 2012, along the North American Arctic Transect (NAAT). S...

  5. Coupled long-term summer warming and deeper snow alters species composition and stimulates gross primary productivity in tussock tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leffler, A Joshua; Klein, Eric S; Oberbauer, Steven F; Welker, Jeffrey M

    2016-05-01

    Climate change is expected to increase summer temperature and winter precipitation throughout the Arctic. The long-term implications of these changes for plant species composition, plant function, and ecosystem processes are difficult to predict. We report on the influence of enhanced snow depth and warmer summer temperature following 20 years of an ITEX experimental manipulation at Toolik Lake, Alaska. Winter snow depth was increased using snow fences and warming was accomplished during summer using passive open-top chambers. One of the most important consequences of these experimental treatments was an increase in active layer depth and rate of thaw, which has led to deeper drainage and lower soil moisture content. Vegetation concomitantly shifted from a relatively wet system with high cover of the sedge Eriophorum vaginatum to a drier system, dominated by deciduous shrubs including Betula nana and Salix pulchra. At the individual plant level, we observed higher leaf nitrogen concentration associated with warmer temperatures and increased snow in S. pulchra and B. nana, but high leaf nitrogen concentration did not lead to higher rates of net photosynthesis. At the ecosystem level, we observed higher GPP and NEE in response to summer warming. Our results suggest that deeper snow has a cascading set of biophysical consequences that include a deeper active layer that leads to altered species composition, greater leaf nitrogen concentration, and higher ecosystem-level carbon uptake. PMID:26747269

  6. Continuous monitoring of soil gas efflux with Forced Diffusion (FD) chamber technique in a tundra ecosystem, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Park, S. J.; Lee, B. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Continuous measurements of soil carbon dioxide (CO2) efflux provide essential information about the soil carbon budget in response to an abruptly changing climate at Arctic and Subarctic scales. The Forced Diffusion (FD) chamber technique has a gas permeable membrane, which passively regulates the mixing of atmosphere and soil air in the chamber, in place of the active pumping system inside a regular dynamics efflux chamber system (Risk et al., 2011). Here the system has been modified the sampling routine to eliminate the problem of sensor drift. After that, we deployed the FD chamber system in a tundra ecosystem over the discontinuous permafrost regime of Council, Alaska. The representative understory plants are tussock (17 %), lichen (32 %), and moss (51 %), within a 40 נ40 m plot at an interval of five meters (81 points total) for efflux-measurement by dynamic chamber. The FD chamber monitored soil CO2 efflux from moss, lichen, and tussock regimes at an interval of 30 min during the growing season of 2015. As the results, mean soil CO2 effluxes in sphagnum moss, lichen, and tussock were 1.98 ± 1.10 (coefficient of variance: 55.8 %), 3.34 ± 0.84 (CV: 25.0 %), and 5.32 ± 1.48 (CV: 27.8 %) gCO2/m2/d, respectively. The difference between the 30-min efflux interval and the average efflux of three 10-min intervals is not significant for sphagnum (n = 196), lichen (n = 918), and tussock (n = 918) under a 95 % confidence level. The deploying interval was then set to 30 min and synchronized with eddy covariance tower data. During the deployment period of 2015, soil CO2 efflux over moss, lichen, and tussock using the FD chamber system were 44 ± 24, 73 ± 18, and 117 ± 33 gCO2/m2/period, respectively. Using the dynamic chamber, mean ecosystem respiration (Re) ranges for moss, lichen, and tussock were 2.2-2.6, 1.8-2.0, and 3.3-3.6 gCO2/m2/d, respectively, during June and July of 2015. These techniques provide the representativeness of spatiotemporal variation of soil

  7. 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

  8. Grass allometry and estimation of above-ground biomass in tropical alpine tussock grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oliveras Menor, I.; Eynden, van der M.; Malhi, Y.; Cahuana, N.; Menor, C.; Zamora, F.; Haugaasen, T.

    2014-01-01

    The puna/páramo grasslands span across the highest altitudes of the tropical Andes, and their ecosystem dynamics are still poorly understood. In this study we examined the above-ground biomass and developed species specific and multispecies power-law allometric equations for four tussock grass speci

  9. Alaskan Commodities Irradiation Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. Effects of sedge and cottongrass tussocks on plant establishment patterns in a post-mined peatland, northern Japan

    OpenAIRE

    Koyama, Asuka; Tsuyuzaki, Shiro

    2010-01-01

    Facilitation (positive inter-specific interaction) plays an important role in promoting succession in harsh environments. To examine whether tussocks facilitate the establishment of other species, after peat mining, investigations were carried out in a formerly Sphagnum-dominated wetland (Sarobetsu mire, northern Japan). Two tussock-forming species, Carex middendorffii and Eriophorum vaginatum, have established in sparsely vegetated areas, with a dry ground surface, since peat extraction ende...

  11. Impact of Alaskan gas subsidy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  12. 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

  13. Metagenomics Reveals Pervasive Bacterial Populations and Reduced Community Diversity across the Alaska Tundra Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Eric R.; Rodriguez-R, Luis M.; Luo, Chengwei; Yuan, Mengting M.; Wu, Liyou; He, Zhili; Schuur, Edward A. G.; Luo, Yiqi; Tiedje, James M.; Zhou, Jizhong; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T.

    2016-01-01

    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 g) 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 27 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, our results revealed

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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, NDVIpre-leaf), at the point in the growing season when canopy NDVI has reached half of its maximum growing season value (mid-June, NDVIdemi-leaf) and during the period of maximum leaf-out (late July, NDVIpeak-leaf). We found that: (1) NDVIpre-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) NDVIpeak-leaf is best suited to capturing variation in deciduous canopy cover; and (3) NDVIdemi-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 habitat.

  15. Evaluation of Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Snow Albedo Product (MCD43A) over Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhuosen; Schaaf, Crystal B.; Chopping, Mark J.; Strahler, Alan H.; Wang, Jindi; Roman, Miguel O.; Rocha, Adrian V.; Woodcock, Curtis E.; Shuai, Yanmin

    2012-01-01

    This study assesses the MODIS standard Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF)/Albedo product, and the daily Direct Broadcast BRDF/Albedo algorithm at tundra locations under large solar zenith angles and high anisotropic diffuse illumination and multiple scattering conditions. These products generally agree with ground-based albedo measurements during the snow cover period when the Solar Zenith Angle (SZA) is less than 70deg. An integrated validation strategy, including analysis of the representativeness of the surface heterogeneity, is performed to decide whether direct comparisons between field measurements and 500- m satellite products were appropriate or if the scaling of finer spatial resolution airborne or spaceborne data was necessary. Results indicate that the Root Mean Square Errors (RMSEs) are less than 0.047 during the snow covered periods for all MCD43 albedo products at several Alaskan tundra areas. The MCD43 1- day daily albedo product is particularly well suited to capture the rapidly changing surface conditions during the spring snow melt. Results also show that a full expression of the blue sky albedo is necessary at these large SZA snow covered areas because of the effects of anisotropic diffuse illumination and multiple scattering. In tundra locations with dark residue as a result of fire, the MODIS albedo values are lower than those at the unburned site from the start of snowmelt.

  16. Phenological dynamics of arctic tundra vegetation and its implications on satellite imagery interpretation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juutinen, Sari; Aurela, Mika; Mikola, Juha; Räsänen, Aleksi; Virtanen, Tarmo

    2016-04-01

    Remote sensing is a key methodology when monitoring the responses of arctic ecosystems to climatic warming. The short growing season and rapid vegetation development, however, set demands to the timing of image acquisition in the arctic. We used multispectral very high spatial resolution satellite images to study the effect of vegetation phenology on the spectral reflectance and image interpretation in the low arctic tundra in coastal Siberia (Tiksi, 71°35'39"N, 128°53'17"E). The study site mainly consists of peatlands, tussock, dwarf shrub, and grass tundra, and stony areas with some lichen and shrub patches. We tested the hypotheses that (1) plant phenology is responsive to the interannual weather variation and (2) the phenological state of vegetation has an impact on satellite image interpretation and the ability to distinguish between the plant communities. We used an empirical transfer function with temperature sums as drivers to reconstruct daily leaf area index (LAI) for the different plant communities for years 2005, and 2010-2014 based on measured LAI development in summer 2014. Satellite images, taken during growing seasons, were acquired for two years having late and early spring, and short and long growing season, respectively. LAI dynamics showed considerable interannual variation due to weather variation, and particularly the relative contribution of graminoid dominated communities was sensitive to these phenology shifts. We have also analyzed the differences in the reflectance values between the two satellite images taking account the LAI dynamics. These results will increase our understanding of the pitfalls that may arise from the timing of image acquisition when interpreting the vegetation structure in a heterogeneous tundra landscape. Very high spatial resolution multispectral images are available at reasonable cost, but not in high temporal resolution, which may lead to compromises when matching ground truth and the imagery. On the other hand

  17. A Two-dimensional Heat Transfer Model for Atmosphere-land System in the Lake-dominated Alaskan Arctic

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LING Feng; ZHANG Ting-jun

    2002-01-01

    Understanding lake ice growth and its sensitivity to climate change is vital to understand the thermal regime of thaw lake systems and predict their response to climate change. In this paper, a physically-based, two-dimensional, non-steady mathematical model is developed for studying the role of shallow tundra lakes in the Alaskan Arctic. Both the radiation absorption in lake water and the phasechange in permafrost are considerd in the model. The materials the model includes are snow, ice, water, unfrozen and frozen soil (peat, silt,sand and gravel). The basic inputs to the model observed mean daily air temperature and snow depth. The ability of this model to simulate lake ice growth and thickness variation, lake water temperature distribution, the thermal regime of permafrost and talik dynamics beneath lakes, and thawing rate of permafrost below and adjacent to shallow thaw lakes offers the potential to describe the effects of climate change in the Alaskan Arctic.

  18. Ground-Based Hyperspectral Characterization of Alaska Tundra Vegetation along Environmental Gradients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcel Schwieder

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Remote sensing has become a valuable tool in monitoring arctic environments. The aim of this paper is ground-based hyperspectral characterization of Low Arctic Alaskan tundra communities along four environmental gradients (regional climate, soil pH, toposequence, and soil moisture that all vary in ground cover, biomass, and dominating plant communities. Field spectroscopy in connection with vegetation analysis was carried out in summer 2012, along the North American Arctic Transect (NAAT. Spectral metrics were extracted, including the averaged reflectance and absorption-related metrics such as absorption depths and area of continuum removal. The spectral metrics were investigated with respect to “greenness”, biomass, vegetation height, and soil moisture regimes. The results show that the surface reflectances of all sites are similar in shape with a reduced near-infrared (NIR reflectance that is specific for low-growing biomes. The main spectro-radiometric findings are: (i Southern sites along the climate gradient have taller shrubs and greater overall vegetation biomass, which leads to higher reflectance in the NIR. (ii Vegetation height and surface wetness are two antagonists that balance each other out with respect to the NIR reflectance along the toposequence and soil moisture gradients. (iii Moist acidic tundra (MAT sites have “greener” species, more leaf biomass, and green-colored moss species that lead to higher pigment absorption compared to moist non-acidic tundra (MNT sites. (iv MAT and MNT plant community separation via narrowband Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI shows the potential of hyperspectral remote sensing applications in the tundra.

  19. Increased wintertime CO2 loss as a result of sustained tundra warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Elizabeth E.; Schuur, Edward A. G.; Natali, Susan M.; Oken, Kiva L.; Bracho, Rosvel; Krapek, John P.; Risk, David; Nickerson, Nick R.

    2016-02-01

    Permafrost soils currently store approximately 1672 Pg of carbon (C), but as high latitudes warm, this temperature-protected C reservoir will become vulnerable to higher rates of decomposition. In recent decades, air temperatures in the high latitudes have warmed more than any other region globally, particularly during the winter. Over the coming century, the arctic winter is also expected to experience the most warming of any region or season, yet it is notably understudied. Here we present nonsummer season (NSS) CO2 flux data from the Carbon in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research project, an ecosystem warming experiment of moist acidic tussock tundra in interior Alaska. Our goals were to quantify the relationship between environmental variables and winter CO2 production, account for subnivean photosynthesis and late fall plant C uptake in our estimate of NSS CO2 exchange, constrain NSS CO2 loss estimates using multiple methods of measuring winter CO2 flux, and quantify the effect of winter soil warming on total NSS CO2 balance. We measured CO2 flux using four methods: two chamber techniques (the snow pit method and one where a chamber is left under the snow for the entire season), eddy covariance, and soda lime adsorption, and found that NSS CO2 loss varied up to fourfold, depending on the method used. CO2 production was dependent on soil temperature and day of season but atmospheric pressure and air temperature were also important in explaining CO2 diffusion out of the soil. Warming stimulated both ecosystem respiration and productivity during the NSS and increased overall CO2 loss during this period by 14% (this effect varied by year, ranging from 7 to 24%). When combined with the summertime CO2 fluxes from the same site, our results suggest that this subarctic tundra ecosystem is shifting away from its historical function as a C sink to a C source.

  20. International Tundra Experiment ITEX Manual Second Edition

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Nonforest plots of Long Term Ecological Monitoring sites follow protocols developed for the International Tundra Experiment Walker et al. 1993, Walker 1996.

  1. The Alaskan gas pipeline conflict

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savich, P.; Fraser, N.M.; Hippel, K.W.

    1983-03-01

    A new conflict analysis technique is employed to study the dispute surrounding the selection of a natural gas pipeline route to transport gas from the American state of Alaska and also northern Canada to southern markets in the United States and Canada. The improved metagame analysis algorithm is the type of conflict analysis method that is used for providing a framework to study systematically the Alaskan gas pipeline controversy and to put the historical information into proper perspective. In addition, the methodology is utilized for predicting the possible feasible political solutions to the conflict.

  2. 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

  3. Vegetation shifts observed in arctic tundra 17 years after fire

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barret, K.; Rocha, A.V.; Weg, van de M.J.; Shaver, G

    2012-01-01

    With anticipated climate change, tundra fires are expected to occur more frequently in the future, but data on the long-term effects of fire on tundra vegetation composition are scarce. This study addresses changes in vegetation structure that have persisted for 17 years after a tundra fire on the N

  4. Towards a global barcode library for Lymantria (Lepidoptera: Lymantriinae tussock moths of biosecurity concern.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy R deWaard

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Detecting and controlling the movements of invasive species, such as insect pests, relies upon rapid and accurate species identification in order to initiate containment procedures by the appropriate authorities. Many species in the tussock moth genus Lymantria are significant forestry pests, including the gypsy moth Lymantria dispar L., and consequently have been a focus for the development of molecular diagnostic tools to assist in identifying species and source populations. In this study we expand the taxonomic and geographic coverage of the DNA barcode reference library, and further test the utility of this diagnostic method, both for species/subspecies assignment and for determination of geographic provenance of populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Cytochrome oxidase I (COI barcodes were obtained from 518 individuals and 36 species of Lymantria, including sequences assembled and generated from previous studies, vouchered material in public collections, and intercepted specimens obtained from surveillance programs in Canada. A maximum likelihood tree was constructed, revealing high bootstrap support for 90% of species clusters. Bayesian species assignment was also tested, and resulted in correct assignment to species and subspecies in all instances. The performance of barcoding was also compared against the commonly employed NB restriction digest system (also based on COI; while the latter is informative for discriminating gypsy moth subspecies, COI barcode sequences provide greater resolution and generality by encompassing a greater number of haplotypes across all Lymantria species, none shared between species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study demonstrates the efficacy of DNA barcodes for diagnosing species of Lymantria and reinforces the view that the approach is an under-utilized resource with substantial potential for biosecurity and surveillance. Biomonitoring agencies currently employing the NB restriction

  5. Tundras and Climate Change: A Mammalian Perspective

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Řičánková, V.; Robovský, J.; Pokorný, Petr

    New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2010 - (Gutierrez, B.; Pena, C.), s. 151-160. (Environmental Research Advances). ISBN 978-1-60876-588-1 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z80020508 Keywords : refugia * palaeoecology * climate change * tundra Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The overall objective of this research was to document current patterns of CO2 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 CO2 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 CO2 exchange. In addition, net CO2 flux was measured in the Russian and Icelandic Arctic to determine if the patterns of CO2 exchange observed in Arctic Alaska were representative of the circumpolar arctic, while cold-season CO2 flux measurements were carried out during the 1993-94 winter season to determine the magnitude of CO2 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 CO2 exchange, were carried out during the 1993-94 growing seasons in tussock and wet sedge tundra ecosystems. Finally, measurements of CH4 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 m2) plots using a portable gas-exchange system and cuvette. The sample design allowed frequent measurements of net CO2 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 CO2 exchange. In situ experiments provided a direct means for testing hypotheses

  7. 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.

  8. Observed and Potential Responses of Upland Tundra Ecosystems to a Changing Climate: Results from the Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research Project, North Slope, Alaska, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowden, W. B.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic is one of the most rapidly changing biomes on earth. Research at the Toolik Field Station by the Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research project provides a perspective on changes that are impacting the upland tussock tundra region of the North Slope of Alaska, a region that is typical of ~15% of the arctic region. The arctic is responding to a combination of long-term, gradual changes (presses) and short-term, event-driven changes (pulses). The most important press, of course, is the persistent rise in average annual air temperature observed in most places (though not at Toolik). Associated with this increase in SAT is a well-documented increase in shallow permafrost temperature (which is observed around Toolik). Our long-term research shows that this trend will favor taller and more productive shrub and grass vegetation. Higher SAT translates to earlier spring breakup and later onset of winter. This change in seasonality is affecting interactions between shrub leaf-out, insect emergence, and bird nesting. Persistent and more frequent droughts are having important impacts on the ability of Arctic grayling - the top consumer is most upland tundra streams - to survive and has the potential to block their ability to migrate to essential overwintering lakes. The interaction between temperature (which is changing) and light (which is not) creates a "seasonal asynchrony" that may be increasing the loading of nutrients - notably nitrate - to upland tundra streams late in the season, with impacts that we do not fully understand yet. The upland tundra environment is also responding to an increasing frequency of pulses, most notably wildfires and the development of thermo-erosional failures (TEFs). Wildfires transfer large quantities of carbon and nitrogen directly to the atmosphere. TEFs may deliver large quantities of sediment and nutrients to streams and lakes. Currently these pulse disturbances seem to be having only limited, local impacts. However, as shallow

  9. Carbon cycling of alpine tundra ecosystems on Changbai Mountain and its comparison with arctic tundra

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DAI; Limin(代力民); WU; Gang(吴钢); ZHAO; Jingzhu(赵景柱); KONG; Hongmei(孔红梅); SHAO; Guofan(邵国凡); DENG; Hongbing(邓红兵)

    2002-01-01

    The alpine tundra on Changbai Mountain was formed as a left-over ‘island' in higher elevations after the glacier retrieved from the mid-latitude of Northern Hemisphere to the Arctic during the fourth ice age. The alpine tundra on Changbai Mountain also represents the best-reserved tundra ecosystems and the highest biodiversity in northeast Eurasia. This paper examines the quantity of carbon assimilation, litters, respiration rate of soil, and storage of organic carbon within the alpine tundra ecosystems on Changbai Mountain. The annual net storage of organic carbon was 2092 t/a, the total storage of organic carbon was 33457 t, the annual net storage of organic carbon in soil was 1054 t/a, the total organic carbon storage was 316203 t, and the annual respiration rate of soil was 92.9% and was 0.52 times more than that of the Arctic. The tundra-soil ecosystems in alpine Changbai Mountain had 456081 t of carbon storage, of which, organic carbon accounted for 76.7% whereas the mineral carbon accounted for 23.3%.

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. K. Stewart

    2010-02-01

    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. 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.

  13. 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

  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...... primary 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...

  15. Evidence and Implications of Frequent Fires in Ancient Shrub Tundra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Higuera, P E; Brubaker, L B; Anderson, P M; Brown, T A; Kennedy, A T; Hu, F S

    2008-03-06

    Understanding feedbacks between terrestrial and atmospheric systems is vital for predicting the consequences of global change, particularly in the rapidly changing Arctic. Fire is a key process in this context, but the consequences of altered fire regimes in tundra ecosystems are rarely considered, largely because tundra fires occur infrequently on the modern landscape. We present paleoecological data that indicate frequent tundra fires in northcentral Alaska between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago. Charcoal and pollen from lake sediments reveal that ancient birchdominated shrub tundra burned as often as modern boreal forests in the region, every 144 years on average (+/- 90 s.d.; n = 44). Although paleoclimate interpretations and data from modern tundra fires suggest that increased burning was aided by low effective moisture, vegetation cover clearly played a critical role in facilitating the paleo-fires by creating an abundance of fine fuels. These records suggest that greater fire activity will likely accompany temperature-related increases in shrub-dominated tundra predicted for the 21st century and beyond. Increased tundra burning will have broad impacts on physical and biological systems as well as land-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic, including the potential to release stored organic carbon to the atmosphere.

  16. Continuous measurement of soil carbon efflux with Forced Diffusion (FD) chambers in a tundra ecosystem of Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yongwon; Park, Sang-Jong; Lee, Bang-Yong; Risk, David

    2016-10-01

    Soil is a significant source of CO2 emission to the atmosphere, and this process is accelerating at high latitudes due to rapidly changing climates. To investigate the sensitivity of soil CO2 emissions to high temporal frequency variations in climate, we performed continuous monitoring of soil CO2 efflux using Forced Diffusion (FD) chambers at half-hour intervals, across three representative Alaskan soil cover types with underlying permafrost. These sites were established during the growing season of 2015, on the Seward Peninsula of western Alaska. Our chamber system is conceptually similar to a dynamic chamber, though FD is more durable and water-resistant and consumes less power, lending itself to remote deployments. We first conducted methodological tests, testing different frequencies of measurement, and did not observe a significant difference between collecting data at 30-min and 10-min measurement intervals (averaged half-hourly) (pgrowing period, in sphagnum, lichen, and tussock, respectively, corresponding to 83.8, 63.7, and 79.6% of annual carbon emissions. Growing season soil carbon emissions extrapolated over the region equated to 0.17±0.06 MgC over the measurement period. This was 47% higher than previous estimates from coarse-resolution manual chamber sampling, presumably because it better captured high efflux events. This finding demonstrates how differences in measurement method and frequency can impact interpretations of seasonal and annual soil carbon budgets. We conclude that annual CO2 efflux-measurements using FD chamber networks would be an effective means for quantifying growing and non-growing season soil carbon budgets, with optimal pairing with time-lapse imagery for tracking local and regional changes in environment and climate in a warming Arctic. PMID:27220095

  17. Ecological investigation of Alaskan resource development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  18. Ecological investigation of Alaskan resource development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  19. Sufentanil citrate immobilization of Alaskan moose calves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreeger, Terry J; Kellie, Kalin A

    2012-10-01

    Free-ranging Alaskan moose calves (Alces alces gigas) were immobilized with 0.12 mg/kg sufentanil (S; n=16), 0.12 mg/kg sufentanil plus 0.27 mg/kg xylazine (SX; n=11), or 0.007 mg/kg carfentanil plus 0.36 mg/kg xylazine (CX; n=13). Immobilants were antagonized with 1.2 mg/kg naltrexone (S) or 1.2 mg/kg naltrexone plus 2.4 mg/kg tolazoline (SX, CX). There were no differences in induction (P ≥ 0.29) or processing (P ≥ 0.44) times between groups. Moose given either S or SX had significantly shorter recovery times than moose given CX (P=0.001) and recovery times from S were shorter than from SX (P=0.02). Oxygen saturation values for all groups averaged 85 ± 8%, but were significantly higher (P=0.048) for CX (89 ± 7%) than for S (82 ± 8%). Based on these data, sufentanil at 0.1 mg/kg or sufentanil at 0.1 mg/kg plus xylazine at 0.25 mg/kg could provide effective remote immobilization for Alaskan moose calves and could be substituted for carfentanil or thiafentanil should the need arise. PMID:23060515

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Carbon cycle uncertainty in the Alaskan Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. B. Fisher

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Climate change is leading to a disproportionately large warming in the high northern latitudes, but the magnitude and sign of the future carbon balance of the Arctic are highly uncertain. Using 40 terrestrial biosphere models for Alaska, we provide a baseline of terrestrial carbon cycle structural and parametric uncertainty, defined as the multi-model standard deviation (σ against the mean (x for each quantity. Mean annual uncertainty (σ/x was largest for net ecosystem exchange (NEE (−0.01± 0.19 kg C m−2 yr−1, then net primary production (NPP (0.14 ± 0.33 kg C m−2 yr−1, autotrophic respiration (Ra (0.09 ± 0.20 kg C m−2 yr−1, gross primary production (GPP (0.22 ± 0.50 kg C m−2 yr−1, ecosystem respiration (Re (0.23 ± 0.38 kg C m−2 yr−1, CH4 flux (2.52 ± 4.02 g CH4 m−2 yr−1, heterotrophic respiration (Rh (0.14 ± 0.20 kg C m−2 yr−1, and soil carbon (14.0± 9.2 kg C m−2. The spatial patterns in regional carbon stocks and fluxes varied widely with some models showing NEE for Alaska as a strong carbon sink, others as a strong carbon source, while still others as carbon neutral. Additionally, a feedback (i.e., sensitivity analysis was conducted of 20th century NEE to CO2 fertilization (β and climate (γ, which showed that uncertainty in γ was 2x larger than that of β, with neither indicating that the Alaskan Arctic is shifting towards a certain net carbon sink or source. Finally, AmeriFlux data are used at two sites in the Alaskan Arctic to evaluate the regional patterns; observed seasonal NEE was captured within multi-model uncertainty. This assessment of carbon cycle uncertainties may be used as a baseline for the improvement of experimental and modeling activities, as well as a reference for future trajectories in carbon cycling with climate change in the Alaskan Arctic.

  3. Isoprene emissions from a tundra ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Potosnak

    2012-10-01

    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, but less so for light. Chamber measurements from a nearby moist acidic tundra ecosystem with less S. pulchra emitted significant amounts of isoprene, but at lower rates (0.45 mg C m−2 h−1. 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 the hydroxyl radical (OH. Our results support the prediction that isoprene emissions from Arctic ecosystems will increase with global climate change.

  4. Report on the game conditions on the Alaskan Peninsula

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is a report on the game conditions on the Alaska Peninsula. This report critically examines threats to the animals on the Alaskan Peninsula. Species covered...

  5. Development of Alaskan gas hydrate resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kamath, V.A.; Sharma, G.D.; Patil, S.L.

    1991-06-01

    The research undertaken in this project pertains to study of various techniques for production of natural gas from Alaskan gas hydrates such as, depressurization, injection of hot water, steam, brine, methanol and ethylene glycol solutions through experimental investigation of decomposition characteristics of hydrate cores. An experimental study has been conducted to measure the effective gas permeability changes as hydrates form in the sandpack and the results have been used to determine the reduction in the effective gas permeability of the sandpack as a function of hydrate saturation. A user friendly, interactive, menu-driven, numerical difference simulator has been developed to model the dissociation of natural gas hydrates in porous media with variable thermal properties. A numerical, finite element simulator has been developed to model the dissociation of hydrates during hot water injection process.

  6. Simulating the effects of temperature and precipitation change on vegetation composition in Arctic tundra ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Van Der Kolk, H; M. M. P. D. Heijmans; Van Huissteden, J.; Pullens, J. W. M.; Berendse, F.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decades, vegetation has changed significantly along with climatic changes 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 wetland. Which mechanisms drive vegetation changes in the tundra ecosystem is still not sufficiently clear. In this study, the dynamic tundra vegetation model NUCOM-tundra was used to e...

  7. Shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems: dynamics, impacts and research priorities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Recent research using repeat photography, long-term ecological monitoring and dendrochronology has documented shrub expansion in arctic, high-latitude and alpine tundra ecosystems. Here, we (1) synthesize these findings, (2) present a conceptual framework that identifies mechanisms and constraints on shrub increase, (3) explore causes, feedbacks and implications of the increased shrub cover in tundra ecosystems, and (4) address potential lines of investigation for future research. Satellite observations from around the circumpolar Arctic, showing increased productivity, measured as changes in ‘greenness’, have coincided with a general rise in high-latitude air temperatures and have been partly attributed to increases in shrub cover. Studies indicate that warming temperatures, changes in snow cover, altered disturbance regimes as a result of permafrost thaw, tundra fires, and anthropogenic activities or changes in herbivory intensity are all contributing to observed changes in shrub abundance. A large-scale increase in shrub cover will change the structure of tundra ecosystems and alter energy fluxes, regional climate, soil–atmosphere exchange of water, carbon and nutrients, and ecological interactions between species. In order to project future rates of shrub expansion and understand the feedbacks to ecosystem and climate processes, future research should investigate the species or trait-specific responses of shrubs to climate change including: (1) the temperature sensitivity of shrub growth, (2) factors controlling the recruitment of new individuals, and (3) the relative influence of the positive and negative feedbacks involved in shrub expansion.

  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 ap...

  9. Identifying nitrogen limitations to organic sediments accumulation in various vegetation types of arctic tundra (Hornsund, Svalbard)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skrzypek, G.; Wojtuń, B.; Hua, Q.; Richter, D.; Jakubas, D.; Wojczulanis-Jakubas, K.; Samecka-Cymerman, A.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic and subarctic regions play important roles in the global carbon balance. However, nitrogen (N) deficiency is a major constraint for organic carbon sequestration in the High Arctic. Hence, the identification of the relative contributions from different N-sources is critical for understanding the constraints that limit tundra growth. The stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources and numerous plants were analyzed in ten tundra types in the Fuglebekken catchment (Hornsund Fjord, Svalbard, 77°N 15°E). The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by seabirds' feces (colonially breeding, planktivorous Alle alle), 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 N2-fixation. The results clearly show that N-pool in the tundra is significantly supplemented by nesting seabirds. Thus, if they experienced substantial negative environmental pressure associated with climate change, it would adversely influence the tundra N-budget [1]. The growth rates and the sediment thickness (climatic conditions but also by birds' contribution to the tundra N-pool. [1] Skrzypek G, Wojtuń B, Richter D, Jakubas D, Wojczulanis-Jakubas K, Samecka-Cymerman A, 2015. Diversification of nitrogen sources in various tundra vegetation types in the high Arctic. PLoS ONE (in review).

  10. Effects of the Oil Spill on Alaskan Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldaker, Lawrence Lee

    Oil-industry-produced revenues, help finance Alaskan state and local governmental services including education. Capital losses incurred by the Exxon Corporation and by commerical fisheries as a consequence of the Exxon Valdez oil spill caused an economic recession, the result being diminished financing for a number of governmental programs and…

  11. STARS (Secondary Training for Alaskan Rural Students): Communications. Draft Copy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Elaine; Opel, Kathleen

    The STARS (Secondary Training for Alaskan Rural Students) materials resulted from extensive rewriting of the Vocational Adult Secondary Training (VAST) materials produced by the British Columbia Department of Education, after those materials had been used with the 9th and 10th grades on Kodiak Island. Revision was done by teachers who had been…

  12. 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

  13. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steve Runyon; Mike Globe; Kent Newsham; Robert Kleinberg; Doug Griffin

    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 utilized for determining the 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. The final efforts of the project are to correlate geology, geophysics, logs, and drilling

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skrzypek, Grzegorz; Wojtuń, Bronisław; Richter, Dorota; Jakubas, Dariusz; Wojczulanis-Jakubas, Katarzyna; Samecka-Cymerman, Aleksandra

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26376204

  16. How to preserve the tundra in a warming climate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Käyhkö, Jukka

    2014-05-01

    The warming climate of the polar regions may change much of the current arctic-alpine tundra to forest or dense scrubland. This modification requires adaptation by traditional livelihoods such as reindeer herding, which relies on diverse, seasonal pasturelands. Vegetation change may also trigger positive warming feedbacks, where more abundant forest-scrub vegetation will decrease the global albedo. NCoE Tundra team investigates the complex climate-animal-plant interaction of the tundra ecosystem and aim to unravel the capability of herbivorous mammals to control the expansion of woody vegetation. Our interdisciplinary approach involves several work packages, whose results will be summarised in the presentation. In the ecological WPs, we study the dynamics of the natural food chains involving small herbivorous and the impacts of reindeer on the vegetation and the population dynamics of those arctic-alpine plants, which are most likely to become threatened in a warmer climate. Our study demonstrates the potential of a relatively sparse reindeer stocks (2-5 heads per km2) together with natural populations of arvicoline rodents to prevent the expansion of erect woody plants at the arctic-alpine timberline. In the climatic WPs we study the impact of grazing-dependent vegetation differences on the fraction of solar energy converted to heat. In the socio-economic WPs, we study the conditions for maintaining the economic and cultural viability of reindeer herding while managing the land use so that the arctic-alpine biota would be preserved.

  17. Potential NEE Budget and Prediction of Future Emissions under Climate Change in an Arctic Wet Sedge Tundra, Barrow, Alaska .

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalhori, A. A. M.; Oechel, W. C.; Burba, G. G.; Gioli, B.; Zona, D.; Murphy, P.; Goodrich, J. P.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are critically affected by climate change and also play an important role in the global carbon budget. Presented here is a 14-year study of growing season CO2 fluxes in an Alaskan wet sedge tundra ecosystem -which is about 2 km south of the Arctic Ocean and is adjacent to the NOAA Climate Monitoring & Diagnostic Laboratory (CMDL)- and the key environmental controls on these fluxes. We have measured net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) using the eddy covariance technique from 1998 to 2014 in order to quantify the long-term seasonal and inter-annual variability in the CO2 budget over this period. The WPL correction and the surface heating correction were applied to all CO2 flux data from the open-path instrument (Burba et al., 2008). Despite several gaps in measurement years, we found that growing season net CO2 uptake has significantly increased since the 2000s and that NEE is sensitive to dry conditions in tundra. Our data suggest this increase in CO2 uptake (larger than -6 μmol m-2 s-1) occurred during the initial thawing period and during the June-August growing season. However, there is a decreasing trend in total summer uptake beginning in 2011, continuing until the end of 2014. The mean diurnal pattern for the summer period over the course of 14 years (Figure below), indicates inter-annual variability associated with the key environmental controls on these CO2 fluxes. Monthly trends in Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), net radiation, relative humidity as well as air temperature and soil temperature have consistently simultaneous effects on the variation in NEE. More significant effect of PAR than temperature on summer NEE had been observed for the first period of this study, however our ANOVA, multiple regression and t-test results showed a stronger effect of temperature than PAR in the recent years assuming that Arctic warming will be greater than average global warming. Also the diurnal pattern shows that the maximum daily carbon

  18. Changing Seasonality of Tundra Vegetation and Associated Climatic Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    This study documents changes in the seasonality of tundra vegetation productivity and its associated climate variables using long-term data sets. An overall increase of Pan-Arctic tundra greenness potential corresponds to increased land surface temperatures and declining sea ice concentrations. While sea ice has continued to decline, summer land surface temperature and vegetation productivity increases have stalled during the last decade in parts of the Arctic. To understand the processes behind these features we investigate additional climate parameters. This study employs remotely sensed weekly 25-km sea ice concentration, weekly surface temperature, and bi-weekly NDVI from 1982 to 2013. Maximum NDVI (MaxNDVI, Maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), Time Integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI), Summer Warmth Index (SWI, sum of degree months above freezing during May-August), ocean heat content (PIOMAS, model incorporating ocean data assimilation), and snow water equivalent (GlobSnow, assimilated snow data set) are explored. We analyzed the data for the full period (1982-2013) and for two sub-periods (1982-1998 and 1999-2013), which were chosen based on the declining Pan-Arctic SWI since 1998. MaxNDVI has increased from 1982-2013 over most of the Arctic but has declined from 1999 to 2013 over western Eurasia, northern Canada, and southwest Alaska. TI-NDVI has trends that are similar to those for MaxNDVI for the full period but displays widespread declines over the 1999-2013 period. Therefore, as the MaxNDVI has continued to increase overall for the Arctic, TI-NDVI has been declining since 1999. SWI has large relative increases over the 1982-2013 period in eastern Canada and Greenland and strong declines in western Eurasia and southern Canadian tundra. Weekly Pan-Arctic tundra land surface temperatures warmed throughout the summer during the 1982-1998 period but display midsummer declines from 1999-2013. Weekly snow water equivalent over Arctic tundra has declined over

  19. Phlorotannins from Alaskan Seaweed Inhibit Carbolytic Enzyme Activity

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 effec...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  1. 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 cov

  2. 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.

  3. Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Myers-Smith, Isla H; Elmendorf, Sarah C; Beck, Pieter SA;

    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...

  4. Carbon dioxide and methane dynamics in Russian tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    interactions and the annual carbon dynamics. Here we present eddy correlation measurements of CO2 and CH4 exchange during the period from early spring to late autumn, covering the full growing season, i.e., mid June to mid September. We present preliminary seasonal budgets of carbon, greenhouse gas exchange......, 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Frequent fires in ancient shrub tundra: implications of paleorecords for arctic environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higuera, Philip E; Brubaker, Linda B; Anderson, Patricia M; Brown, Thomas A; Kennedy, Alison T; Hu, Feng Sheng

    2008-01-01

    Understanding feedbacks between terrestrial and atmospheric systems is vital for predicting the consequences of global change, particularly in the rapidly changing Arctic. Fire is a key process in this context, but the consequences of altered fire regimes in tundra ecosystems are rarely considered, largely because tundra fires occur infrequently on the modern landscape. We present paleoecological data that indicate frequent tundra fires in northcentral Alaska between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago. Charcoal and pollen from lake sediments reveal that ancient birch-dominated shrub tundra burned as often as modern boreal forests in the region, every 144 years on average (+/- 90 s.d.; n = 44). Although paleoclimate interpretations and data from modern tundra fires suggest that increased burning was aided by low effective moisture, vegetation cover clearly played a critical role in facilitating the paleofires by creating an abundance of fine fuels. These records suggest that greater fire activity will likely accompany temperature-related increases in shrub-dominated tundra predicted for the 21(st) century and beyond. Increased tundra burning will have broad impacts on physical and biological systems as well as on land-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic, including the potential to release stored organic carbon to the atmosphere. PMID:18320025

  7. Frequent fires in ancient shrub tundra: implications of paleorecords for arctic environmental change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip E Higuera

    Full Text Available Understanding feedbacks between terrestrial and atmospheric systems is vital for predicting the consequences of global change, particularly in the rapidly changing Arctic. Fire is a key process in this context, but the consequences of altered fire regimes in tundra ecosystems are rarely considered, largely because tundra fires occur infrequently on the modern landscape. We present paleoecological data that indicate frequent tundra fires in northcentral Alaska between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago. Charcoal and pollen from lake sediments reveal that ancient birch-dominated shrub tundra burned as often as modern boreal forests in the region, every 144 years on average (+/- 90 s.d.; n = 44. Although paleoclimate interpretations and data from modern tundra fires suggest that increased burning was aided by low effective moisture, vegetation cover clearly played a critical role in facilitating the paleofires by creating an abundance of fine fuels. These records suggest that greater fire activity will likely accompany temperature-related increases in shrub-dominated tundra predicted for the 21(st century and beyond. Increased tundra burning will have broad impacts on physical and biological systems as well as on land-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic, including the potential to release stored organic carbon to the atmosphere.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  9. BRDF characteristics of tundra vegetation communities in Yamal, Western Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchhorn, Marcel; Heim, Birgit; Walker, Donald A. Skip; Epstein, Howard; Leibman, Marina

    2013-04-01

    Satellite data from platforms with pointing capabilities (CHRIS/Proba, RapidEye) or from sensors with wide swath (AVHRR, MODIS, MERIS) is influenced by the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF). This effect can cause significant changes in the measured spectral surface reflectance depending on the solar illumination geometry and sensor viewing conditions. The Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP), a German hyperspectral mission with expected launch in 2016, will provide high spectral resolution observations with a ground sampling distance of 30 meters. Since the EnMAP sensor has pointing capabilities, both spectral and directional reflection characteristics need to be taken into account for the algorithms development for vegetation parameters. The 'hyperspectral method development for Arctic VEGetation biomes' (hy-Arc-VEG) project is part of the national preparation program for the EnMAP mission. Within the EnMAP projcect hy-Arc-VEG we developed a portable field spectro-goniometer, named ManTIS (Manual Transportable Instrument for Spherical BRDF observations), for the in-situ measurements of anisotropic effects of tundra surfaces (national and international patent pending - DE 102011117713.6). The goniometer was designed for field use in difficult as well as challenging terrain and climate. It is therefore of low weight, without electrical devices and weatherproof. It can be disassembled and packed into small boxes for transport. The current off-nadir viewing capacity is matched to the EnMAP sensor configuration (up to 30°). We carried out spectral field and goniometer measurements on the joint YAMAL 2011 expedition (RU-US-DE) organized by the Earth-Cryosphere Institute (ECI) in August 2011 on the Yamal Peninsula, northwestern Siberia, Russia. The field goniometer measurements (conducted under varying sun zenith angles) as well as field spectro-radiometrical measurements were carried out at the NASA Yamal Land Cover/Land Use Change

  10. Fourfold higher tundra volatile emissions due to arctic summer warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindwall, Frida; Schollert, Michelle; Michelsen, Anders; Blok, Daan; Rinnan, Riikka

    2016-03-01

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), which are mainly emitted by vegetation, may create either positive or negative climate forcing feedbacks. In the Subarctic, BVOC emissions are highly responsive to temperature, but the effects of climatic warming on BVOC emissions have not been assessed in more extreme arctic ecosystems. The Arctic undergoes rapid climate change, with air temperatures increasing at twice the rate of the global mean. Also, the amount of winter precipitation is projected to increase in large areas of the Arctic, and it is unknown how winter snow depth affects BVOC emissions during summer. Here we examine the responses of BVOC emissions to experimental summer warming and winter snow addition—each treatment alone and in combination—in an arctic heath during two growing seasons. We observed a 280% increase relative to ambient in BVOC emissions in response to a 4°C summer warming. Snow addition had minor effects on growing season BVOC emissions after one winter but decreased BVOC emissions after the second winter. We also examined differences between canopy and air temperatures and found that the tundra canopy surface was on average 7.7°C and maximum 21.6°C warmer than air. This large difference suggests that the tundra surface temperature is an important driver for emissions of BVOCs, which are temperature dependent. Our results demonstrate a strong response of BVOC emissions to increasing temperatures in the Arctic, suggesting that emission rates will increase with climate warming and thereby feed back to regional climate change.

  11. 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

    Due to the heterogeneity of the Arctic tundra, general current understanding of net carbon (C) uptake in these ecosystems is poorly developed. This study investigates the dependency of carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes on environmental, meteorological and vegetation properties in high, low and subarctic...... tundra sites for the purpose of exposing the environmental, meteorological and vegetation factors, especially season length, that drive CO2 fluxes in disparate tundra environments. Partitioning CO2 fluxes and redefining seasons in the same manner improved our interpretation of the factors affecting flux...... 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...

  12. Tundra swan populations, productivity, and local movements on Selawik National Wildlife Refuge, northwest Alaska, 1985

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report summarizes the monitoring of populations and production of tundra swans on Selawik National Wildlife Refuge in 1985 as part of a longterm study. Radio...

  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 Disturbance and Recovery Nine Years After Winter Seismic Exploration in Northern Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Seismic exploration was conducted during the winters of 1984 and 1985 on the coastal plain tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. In 1986, 1989, and...

  15. Pacific Flyway management plan for the Western Population of tundra swans

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of this plan is to establish guidelines for the cooperative management of the Western Population (WP) of tundra swans (Cygnus c. columbianus). This...

  16. Analysis of Alaskan burn severity patterns using remotely sensed data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, P.A.; Epting, J.; Graham, J.M.; Rupp, T.S.; McGuire, A.D.

    2007-01-01

    Wildland fire is the dominant large-scale disturbance mechanism in the Alaskan boreal forest, and it strongly influences forest structure and function. In this research, patterns of burn severity in the Alaskan boreal forest are characterised using 24 fires. First, the relationship between burn severity and area burned is quantified using a linear regression. Second, the spatial correlation of burn severity as a function of topography is modelled using a variogram analysis. Finally, the relationship between vegetation type and spatial patterns of burn severity is quantified using linear models where variograms account for spatial correlation. These results show that: 1) average burn severity increases with the natural logarithm of the area of the wildfire, 2) burn severity is more variable in topographically complex landscapes than in flat landscapes, and 3) there is a significant relationship between burn severity and vegetation type in flat landscapes but not in topographically complex landscapes. These results strengthen the argument that differential flammability of vegetation exists in some boreal landscapes of Alaska. Additionally, these results suggest that through feedbacks between vegetation and burn severity, the distribution of forest vegetation through time is likely more stable in flat terrain than it is in areas with more complex topography. ?? IAWF 2007.

  17. 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

  18. Gonorrhea among drug users: an Alaskan versus a national sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paschane, D M; Fisher, D G; Cagle, H H; Fenaughty, A M

    1998-05-01

    The study described here investigates the replicability of gender-specific risk profiles for gonorrhea based on an Alaskan sample compared to a U.S. national sample of drug users at risk for HIV infection. The Alaska sample (interviewed at a field station in Anchorage, Alaska; N=1,049) and the national sample (interviewed at 18 sites other than Alaska; N=17,619) consisted of cocaine smokers and injection drug users not in drug treatment. A history of gonorrhea infection was self-reported and coded as ever or never. The Anchorage and national risk profile for men included the following factors: (a) history of intranasal or parenteral cocaine use, (b) being black versus nonblack, (c) being older, (d) income from illegal activity, and (e) history of amphetamine use. The Anchorage and national risk profiles for women included the following factors: (a) trading sex for money, (b) being Native American versus non-Native American, and (c) trading sex for drugs. The Anchorage model for women included perceived homelessness as a factor, but it was not retained in the national model. The extent of the replicability of these models illustrates the generalizability of Alaskan findings to other U.S. drug-using populations. The authors also discuss the implications of these findings for disease prevention. PMID:9643466

  19. Reproductive Ecology and Severe Pollen Limitation in the Polychromic Tundra Plant, Parrya nudicaulis (Brassicaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Fulkerson, Justin R.; Whittall, Justen B.; Carlson, Matthew L.

    2012-01-01

    Pollen limitation is predicted to be particularly severe in tundra habitats. Numerous reproductive patterns associated with alpine and arctic species, particularly mechanisms associated with reproductive assurance, are suggested to be driven by high levels of pollen limitation. We studied the reproductive ecology of Parrya nudicaulis, a species with relatively large sexual reproductive investment and a wide range of floral pigmentation, in tundra habitats in interior montane Alaska to estimat...

  20. Belowground plant biomass allocation in tundra ecosystems and its relationship with temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Peng; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; Mommer, Liesje; van Ruijven, Jasper; Maximov, Trofim C.; Berendse, Frank

    2016-05-01

    Climate warming is known to increase the aboveground productivity of tundra ecosystems. Recently, belowground biomass is receiving more attention, but the effects of climate warming on belowground productivity remain unclear. Enhanced understanding of the belowground component of the tundra is important in the context of climate warming, since most carbon is sequestered belowground in these ecosystems. In this study we synthesized published tundra belowground biomass data from 36 field studies spanning a mean annual temperature (MAT) gradient from ‑20 °C to 0 °C across the tundra biome, and determined the relationships between different plant biomass pools and MAT. Our results show that the plant community biomass–temperature relationships are significantly different between above and belowground. Aboveground biomass clearly increased with MAT, whereas total belowground biomass and fine root biomass did not show a significant increase over the broad MAT gradient. Our results suggest that biomass allocation of tundra vegetation shifts towards aboveground in warmer conditions, which could impact on the carbon cycling in tundra ecosystems through altered litter input and distribution in the soil, as well as possible changes in root turnover.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  2. Impact of warming and drying on microbial activity in subarctic tundra soils: inferences from patterns in extracellular enzyme activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schade, J. D.; Natali, S.; Spawn, S.; Sistla, S.; Schuur, E. A. G.

    2014-12-01

    Permafrost contains a large pool of carbon that has accumulated for thousands of years, and remains frozen in organic form. As climate warms, permafrost thaw will increase rates of microbial breakdown of old soil organic matter (SOM), accelerating release of carbon to the atmosphere. Higher rates of microbial decomposition may also release reactive nitrogen, which may increase plant production and carbon fixation. The net effect on atmospheric carbon, and the strength of climate feedback, depends on the balance between direct and indirect effects of increased microbial activity, which depends on changes in soil conditions and microbial responses to them. In particular, soil moisture and availability of C and N for microbes strongly influence soil respiration and primary production. Current understanding of changes in these factors as climate warms is limited. We present results from analysis of soil extracellular enzyme activities (EEA) from a long-term warming and drying experiment in subarctic Alaskan tundra (the CiPEHR experiment) as an indicator of changes in soil microbial activity and relative availability of C and N for microbes. We collected soil samples from control (C), warming (W), and warming + drying (WD) treatments and used fluorometric methods to estimate EEA in shallow (0-5 cm) and deep (5-15) soils. We measured soil moisture, SOM, and C:N, and plant tissue C:N as an indicator of N availability. Activity of N-acquiring enzymes was higher in WD soils at both depths. Carbon EEA in W soils was lower in surface, but higher in deeper soils. We also found significantly lower soil C:N in both W and WD in deeper soils, where C:N was generally lower than surface. In general, EEA results suggest drying leads to increased C availability relative to N. This may be due to lower soil moisture leading to greater aeration of soils in WD plots relative to W plots, which may be saturated due to significant land subsidence. Greater aeration may increase efficiency of

  3. 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.

  4. Methane dynamics in warming tundra of Northeast European Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. E. Marushchak

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Methane (CH4 fluxes were investigated in a subarctic Russian tundra site in a multi-approach study combining plot scale data, ecosystem scale eddy covariance (EC measurements and fine resolution land cover classification scheme for regional upscaling. The flux data as measured by the two independent techniques resulted in a seasonal (May–October 2008 cumulative CH4 emission of 2.4 (EC and 3.7 g CH4 m−2 (manual chambers for the source area representative of the footprint of the EC instruments. Upon upscaling for the entire study region of 98.6 km2, the chamber measured flux data yielded a regional flux estimate of 6.7 g CH4 m−2 yr−1. Our upscaling efforts accounted for the large spatial variability in the distribution of the various land cover types (LCTs predominant at our study site. In particular, wetlands with emissions ranging from 34 to 53 g CH4 m−2 yr−1 were the most dominant CH4 emitting surfaces. Emissions from thermokarst lakes were an order of magnitude lower, while the rest of the landscape (mineral tundra was a weak sink for atmospheric methane. Vascular plant cover was a key factor in explaining the spatial variability of CH4 emissions among wetland types, as indicated by the positive correlation of emissions with the leaf area index (LAI. As elucidated through a stable isotope analysis, the plant transport was the dominant CH4 release pathway that discriminates against heavier δ13C-CH4. The methane released from wetlands was lighter than that in the surface porewater and δ13C in the emitted CH4 correlated with the vascular plant cover (LAI implying that the plant-mediated CH4 release dominates. A mean value of δ13C obtained here for the emitted CH4, −68.2 ± 2.0 ‰, is within the range of values from other wetlands, thus reinforcing the use of inverse modeling tools to better constrain the CH4 budget. Based on the IPCC A1B emission scenario, a temperature increase of 7 °C has been predicted for the tundra region

  5. Methane dynamics in warming tundra of Northeast European Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marushchak, M. E.; Friborg, T.; Biasi, C.; Herbst, M.; Johansson, T.; Kiepe, I.; Liimatainen, M.; Lind, S. E.; Martikainen, P. J.; Virtanen, T.; Soegaard, H.; Shurpali, N. J.

    2015-08-01

    Methane (CH4) fluxes were investigated in a subarctic Russian tundra site in a multi-approach study combining plot scale data, ecosystem scale eddy covariance (EC) measurements and fine resolution land cover classification scheme for regional upscaling. The flux data as measured by the two independent techniques resulted in a seasonal (May-October 2008) cumulative CH4 emission of 2.4 (EC) and 3.7 g CH4 m-2 (manual chambers) for the source area representative of the footprint of the EC instruments. Upon upscaling for the entire study region of 98.6 km2, the chamber measured flux data yielded a regional flux estimate of 6.7 g CH4 m-2 yr-1. Our upscaling efforts accounted for the large spatial variability in the distribution of the various land cover types (LCTs) predominant at our study site. In particular, wetlands with emissions ranging from 34 to 53 g CH4 m-2 yr-1 were the most dominant CH4 emitting surfaces. Emissions from thermokarst lakes were an order of magnitude lower, while the rest of the landscape (mineral tundra) was a weak sink for atmospheric methane. Vascular plant cover was a key factor in explaining the spatial variability of CH4 emissions among wetland types, as indicated by the positive correlation of emissions with the leaf area index (LAI). As elucidated through a stable isotope analysis, the plant transport was the dominant CH4 release pathway that discriminates against heavier δ13C-CH4. The methane released from wetlands was lighter than that in the surface porewater and δ13C in the emitted CH4 correlated with the vascular plant cover (LAI) implying that the plant-mediated CH4 release dominates. A mean value of δ13C obtained here for the emitted CH4, -68.2 ± 2.0 ‰, is within the range of values from other wetlands, thus reinforcing the use of inverse modeling tools to better constrain the CH4 budget. Based on the IPCC A1B emission scenario, a temperature increase of 7 °C has been predicted for the tundra region of European Russia by the

  6. Traditional use of sea otters by Alaskan natives: A literature review

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The references cited in this report leave no doubt that sea otter fur was commonly used for clothing by all Alaskan natives who lived in contact with populations of...

  7. Reporting and sealing regulations for Alaskan natives, a proposed rule: Report on public attitudes

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report covers the proposed reporting and sealing regulations for Alaskan natives- a report on public attitudes. At the direction of the U.S. congress, the...

  8. 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

  9. Ambient noise tomography across the southern Alaskan Cordillera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Kevin M.

    2015-05-01

    I present the results of an extensive data mining effort integrating 197 permanent and temporary seismic stations into a Rayleigh wave ambient noise study across southern Alaska and westernmost Canada. Principal observations of my tomography model are largely consistent with mapped geology features and previous geophysical studies while providing previously unavailable, laterally continuous details of the southern Alaskan Cordillera lithosphere. At intermediate periods, a geophysically uniform crust is observed north of the Denali Fault and is consistent with a sharp transition in crustal thickness. Under the Wrangell volcanic belt, a prominent low-phase-velocity anomaly correlates well with the lateral extent of a relative low-gravity anomaly and Neogene surface volcanics. At longer periods, a low-phase-velocity anomaly bounds the inferred eastern extent of the subducted Yakutat microplate beneath the Wrangell volcanic belt.

  10. 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.

  11. Applications of remote sensing data to the Alaskan environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belon, A. E.; Iller, J. M.

    1973-01-01

    The ERTS program provides a means to overcome the formidable logistic and economic costs of preparing environmental surveys of the vast and relatively unexplored regions of Alaska. There is an excellent potential in satellite remote sensing to benefit Federal, state, local, and private agencies, by providing a new synoptic data base which is necessary for the preparation of the needed surveys and the search for solutions to environmental management problems. One approach in coupling satellite data to Alaskan problems is a major program initiated by the University of Alaska and funded by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. This included 12 projects whose aims were to study the feasibility of applying ERTS data to the disciplines of ecology, agriculture, hydrology, wildlife management, oceanography, geology, glaciology, volcanology, and archaeology.

  12. Development of Alaskan gas hydrate resources. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kamath, V.A.; Sharma, G.D.; Patil, S.L.

    1991-06-01

    The research undertaken in this project pertains to study of various techniques for production of natural gas from Alaskan gas hydrates such as, depressurization, injection of hot water, steam, brine, methanol and ethylene glycol solutions through experimental investigation of decomposition characteristics of hydrate cores. An experimental study has been conducted to measure the effective gas permeability changes as hydrates form in the sandpack and the results have been used to determine the reduction in the effective gas permeability of the sandpack as a function of hydrate saturation. A user friendly, interactive, menu-driven, numerical difference simulator has been developed to model the dissociation of natural gas hydrates in porous media with variable thermal properties. A numerical, finite element simulator has been developed to model the dissociation of hydrates during hot water injection process.

  13. Characterization of a forest-tundra ecotone in Northern Canada: long-term monitoring possibilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hufkens, K.

    2009-04-01

    Ecotones are gradual transitions between two adjacent ecological systems. They are characterized by their spatial properties which are reflected in an ecotone width and location. Characteristics of width and location of an ecotone vary across time, during succession or with environmental changes. Moreover, it has been shown that ecotones are good indicators of local and global changes. Furthermore, if only one main environmental factor drives this gradual change the shape of the ecotone is evident as a sigmoid wave. We explored a two-dimensional sigmoid wave curve fitting algorithm that describes the ecotone for classified remote sensing data of a forest-tundra ecotone in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The estimated location and width of the forest-tundra ecotone were validated with digital land cover data. The algorithm was able to accurately delineate the forest-tundra ecotone based upon a classified remote sensing image and is robust for various algorithm parameter settings. Given the robustness of the algorithm and the easy implementation it should be considered a valuable tool to assess long-term global change of the forest-tundra ecotone. However, to assure successful long-term monitoring some issues related to remote sensing of high latitude forest-tundra areas should be addressed. Optical remote sensing observations are limited to the short growing season. In Arctic tundra regions the limited drainage of the permafrost soil also creates a large amount of standing water and shallow lakes. Furthermore, as in all optical remote sensing analyses cloud cover hampers the acquisition of useful vegetation cover data. All these factors interfere with the acquisition and/or processing of remote sensing data. These challenges should be addressed before (automated) long-term monitoring of the forest-tundra ecotone becomes viable.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 CO2 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 km2 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 CO2. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    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 CO2 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 km2 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 CO2. 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.

  16. Aerobic Methane Oxidation in Alaskan Lakes Along a Latitudinal Transect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Cruz, K. C.; Sepulveda-Jauregui, A.; Walter Anthony, K. M.; Anthony, P.; Thalasso, F.

    2013-12-01

    Karla Martinez-Cruz* **, Armando Sepulveda-Jauregui*, Katey M. Walter Anthony*, Peter Anthony*, and Frederic Thalasso**. * Water and Environmental Research Center, Institute of Northern Engineering, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska. ** Biotechnology and Bioengineering Department, Cinvestav, Mexico city, D. F., Mexico. Methane (CH4) is the third most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, after carbon dioxide and water vapor. Boreal lakes play an important role in the current global warming by contributing as much as 6% of global atmospheric CH4 sources annually. On the other hand, aerobic methane oxidation (methanotrophy) in lake water is a fundamental process in global methane cycling that reduces the amount of CH4 emissions to the atmosphere. Several environmental factors affect aerobic methane oxidation in the water column both directly and indirectly, including concentration of CH4 and O2, temperature and carbon budgets of lakes. We analyzed the potential of aerobic methane oxidation (PMO) rates in incubations of water collected from 30 Alaskan lakes along a north-south transect during winter and summer 2011. Our findings showed an effect of CH4 and O2 concentrations, temperature and yedoma thawing permafrost on PMO activity in the lake water. The highest PMO rates were observed in summer by lakes situated on thawing yedoma permafrost, most of them located in the interior of Alaska. We also estimated that 60-80% of all CH4 produced in Alaskan lakes could be taken up by methanotrophs in the lake water column, showing the significant influence of aerobic methane oxidation of boreal lakes to the global CH4 budget.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

    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 rapidly4......, 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...

  1. 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

  2. Terrimonas arctica sp. nov., isolated from Arctic tundra soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Fan; Qiu, Xia; Chang, Xulu; Qu, Zhihao; Ren, Lvzhi; Kan, Wenjing; Guo, Youhao; Fang, Chengxiang; Peng, Fang

    2014-11-01

    A novel, Gram-stain-negative, aerobic, non-motile and rod-shaped bacterium, designated R9-86(T), was isolated from tundra soil collected near Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard Archipelago, Norway (78° N). Growth occurred at 4-28 °C (optimum, 22-25 °C) and at pH 6.0-9.0 (optimum, pH 7.0). Flexirubin-type pigments were absent. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain R9-86(T) belonged to the genus Terrimonas in the family Chitinophagaceae. 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities between strain R9-86(T) and the type strains of species of the genus Terrimonas with validly published names ranged from 93.7 to 95.0%. Strain R9-86(T) contained iso-C(15:1)-G (25.7%), iso-C(15:0) (24.5%), iso-C(17:0)-3OH (18.3%) and summed feature 3 (C(16:1)ω7c and/or C(16:1)ω6c, 8.7%) as its major cellular fatty acids; phosphatidylethanolamine and an unknown polar lipid as its main polar lipids, and MK-7 as its predominant respiratory quinone. The DNA G+C content was 48.4 mol%. On the basis of phenotypic, chemotaxonomic and phylogenetic data, strain R9-86(T) is considered to represent a novel species of the genus Terrimonas, for which the name Terrimonas arctica sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is R9-86(T) ( =CCTCC AB 2011004(T) =NRRL B-59114(T)). PMID:25142212

  3. 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

    , and may be connected to the spreading of this parasite. In reindeer heavy worm burdens of S. tundra have been found to cause severe peritonitis and negatively affect body condition score. Thus in the light of the possible climatic changes which could result in warmer, more humid weather in Scandinavia......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...

  4. Modeling dynamics of tundra plant communities on the Yamal Peninsula, Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Q.; Epstein, H. E.; Walker, D. A.

    2010-12-01

    Multiple environmental drivers, including climate, soil conditions and herbivory, affect arctic tundra vegetation dynamics. These factors may have been evaluated individually in the past; however, their interactions contribute to more complicated tundra plant community dynamics and may represent a substantial source of uncertainty in predicting tundra ecosystem properties in the changing Arctic. This study investigates the effects of soils, grazing, and climate change on tundra plant communities at the plant functional type (PFT) level, based on previous integrated modeling research at the ecosystem level. The study area encompasses the Yamal Peninsula, northwestern Siberia, where soil and biomass data were collected along the Yamal Arctic Transect (YAT), to drive a nutrient-based tundra vegetation model (ArcVeg) and to validate the simulation results. We analyzed plant functional type biomass and net primary productivity (NPP), and found that with higher temperatures (+2°C mean growing season temperature), most plant functional types responded positively with increased biomass and NPP, while grazing suppressed such responses in both high and low soil organic nitrogen (SON) sites. The magnitudes of the responses to warming depended on SON and grazing intensity. Relatively, there were greater responses of biomass and NPP in low SON sites compared to high SON sites. Moss biomass (in contrast to other plant types) declined 34% with warming in the low SON site and 28% in the high SON site in subzone E (the most southern tundra subzone). Increases in Low Arctic shrub biomass with warming were 61% in the high SON site in subzone E and 96% in the low SON site. Decrease in moss biomass due to warming was mitigated about 2% by high grazing frequency (maximum of 25% of biomass removal every two years) in the high SON site in subzone E, with an opposite effect in the low SON site. High grazing frequency caused greater relative increases in total shrub biomass for both low

  5. Alaskan gas: plans proceed amid doubts on pricing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murnane, T.

    1978-03-13

    A 731-mile section of the 4800-mile Alaskan gas pipeline will be built by a group of natural gas companies in partnership with a unit of the Northwest Energy Co. Deliveries from the finished pipeline are scheduled to begin in 1983 at a rate of 2.6 billion cubic feet per day. Although the partnership was formed to provide financing to settle legal issues and obtain approvals, the primary concerns of price and distribution remain. Six of the partners will share equally in the pre-construction costs of $200 million and each will contract to transport gas volumes through the pipeline. Negotiations with several gas users are waiting for a wellhead price to be set before contracts can be signed. If a price is not set by Congress, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will begin rate proceedings to do so. The questions of averaging Prudhoe Bay costs with those of less costly supplies and the size of the Canadian portion of the pipeline have not been resolved.

  6. Ecology of invasive melilotus albus on Alaskan glacial river floodplains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conn, J.; Werdin-Pfisterer, N.; Beattie, K.; Densmore, R.

    2011-01-01

    Melilotus albus (white sweetclover) has invaded Alaskan glacial river floodplains. We measured cover and density of plant species and environmental variables along transects perpendicular to the Nenana, Matanuska, and Stikine Rivers to study interactions between M. albus and other plant species and to characterize the environment where it establishes. Melilotus albus was a pioneer species on recently disturbed sites and did not persist into closed canopy forests. The relationships between M. albus cover and density and other species were site-specific. Melilotus albus was negatively correlated with native species Elaeagnus commutata at the Nenana River, but not at the Matanuska River. Melilotus albus was positively correlated with the exotic species Crepis tectorum and Taraxacum officinale at the Matanuska River and T. officinale on the upper Stikine River. However, the high density of M. albus at a lower Stikine River site was negatively correlated with T. officinale and several native species including Lathyrus japonicus var. maritimus and Salix alaxensis. Glacial river floodplains in Alaska are highly disturbed and are corridors for exotic plant species movement. Melilotus albus at moderate to low densities may facilitate establishment of exotic species, but at high densities can reduce the cover and density of both exotic and native species.

  7. Estimating carbon and energy fluxes in arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gokkaya, K.; Jiang, Y.; Rastetter, E.; Shaver, G. R.; Rocha, A. V.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are undergoing a very rapid change due to climate change and their response to climate change has important implications for the global energy budget and carbon (C) cycling. Therefore, it is important to understand how (C) and energy fluxes in the Arctic will respond to climate change. However, attribution of these responses to climate is challenging because measured fluxes are the sum of multiple processes that respond differently to environmental factors. For example, net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) is the net result of gross (C) uptake by plant photosynthesis (GPP) and (C) loss by ecosystem respiration (ER) and similarly, evapotranspiration (i.e. latent energy, LE) is the sum of transpiration and evaporation. Partitioning of NEE into GPP and ER requires nighttime measurements of NEE, when photosynthesis does not take place, to be extrapolated to daytime. This is challenging in the Arctic because of the long photoperiod during the growing season and the errors involved during the extrapolation. Transpiration (energy), photosynthesis (carbon), and vegetation phenology are inherently coupled because leaf stomata are the primary regulators of gas exchange. Our objectives in this study are to i) estimate canopy resistance (Rc) based on a light use efficiency model, ii) utilize the estimated Rc to predict GPP and transpiration using a coupled C and energy model and thus improve the partitioning of NEE and LE, and iii) to test ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) to estimate model parameters and improve model predictions. Results from one growing season showed that the model predictions can explain 75 and 71% of the variance in GPP and LE in the Arctic tundra ecosystem, respectively. When the model was embedded within the EnKF for estimating Rc, the amount of variance explained for GPP increased to 81% but there was no improvement for the prediction of LE. This suggests that the factors controlling LE are not fully integrated in the model such as the

  8. Importance of Marine-Derived Nutrients Supplied by Planktivorous Seabirds to High Arctic Tundra Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwolicki, Adrian; Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, Katarzyna; Richard, Pierre; Stempniewicz, Lech

    2016-01-01

    We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic) that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important of the studied environmental factors influencing the tundra plant community. We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem. We also recorded a strong correlation between the δ15N values of soil and of the tissues of vascular plants and mosses, but not of lichens. The relationship between soil δ15N values and vascular plant cover was linear. In the case of mosses, the percentage ground cover reached maximum around a soil δ 15N value of 8‰, as did plant community diversity. This soil δ15N value clearly separated the occurrence of plants with low nitrogen tolerance (e.g. Salix polaris) from those predominating on high N content soils (e.g. Cerastium arcticum, Poa alpina). Large colonies of planktivorous little auks have a great influence on Arctic tundra vegetation, either through enhancing plant abundance or in shaping plant community composition at a local scale. PMID:27149113

  9. Contrasting radiation and soil heat fluxes in Arctic shrub and wet sedge tundra

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Juszak, Inge; Eugster, Werner; Heijmans, Monique M.P.D.; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela

    2016-01-01

    Vegetation changes, such as shrub encroachment and wetland expansion, have been observed in many Arctic tundra regions. These changes feed back to permafrost and climate. Permafrost can be protected by soil shading through vegetation as it reduces the amount of solar energy available for thawing.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  11. Fungi benefit from two decades of increased nutrient availability in tundra heath soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Bååth, Erland

    2013-01-01

    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...

  12. 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...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  14. What are the main climate drivers for shrub growth in Northeastern Siberian tundra?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blok, D.; Sass-Klaassen, U.; Schaepman-Strub, G.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Sauren, P.; Berendse, F.

    2011-01-01

    Deciduous shrubs are expected to rapidly expand in the Arctic during the coming decades due to climate warming. A transition towards more shrub-dominated tundra may have large implications for the regional surface energy balance, permafrost stability and carbon storage capacity, with consequences fo

  15. A genetic dissection of breed composition and performance enhancement in the Alaskan sled dog

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Runstadler Jonathan

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Alaskan sled dog offers a rare opportunity to investigate the development of a dog breed based solely on performance, rather than appearance, thus setting the breed apart from most others. Several established breeds, many of which are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC, have been introduced into the sled dog population to enhance racing performance. We have used molecular methods to ascertain the constitutive breeds used to develop successful sled dog lines, and in doing so, determined the breed origins of specific performance-related behaviors. One hundred and ninety-nine Alaskan sled dogs were genotyped using 96 microsatellite markers that span the canine genome. These data were compared to that from 141 similarly genotyped purebred dog breeds. Sled dogs were evaluated for breed composition based on a variety of performance phenotypes including speed, endurance and work ethic, and the data stratified based on population structure. Results We observe that the Alaskan sled dog has a unique molecular signature and that the genetic profile is sufficient for identifying dogs bred for sprint versus distance. When evaluating contributions of existing breeds we find that the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky contributions are associated with enhanced endurance; Pointer and Saluki are associated with enhanced speed and the Anatolian Shepherd demonstrates a positive influence on work ethic. Conclusion We have established a genetic breed profile for the Alaskan sled dog, identified profile variance between sprint and distance dogs, and established breeds associated with enhanced performance attributes. These data set the stage for mapping studies aimed at finding genes that are associated with athletic attributes integral to the high performing Alaskan sled dog.

  16. Variation in bird's originating nitrogen availability limits High Arctic tundra development over last 2000 year (Hornsund, Svalbard)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skrzypek, Grzegorz; Wojtuń, Bronisław; Hua, Quan; Richter, Dorota; Jakubas, Dariusz; Wojczulanis-Jakubas, Katarzyna; Samecka-Cymerman, Aleksandra

    2016-04-01

    Arctic and subarctic regions play important roles in the global carbon balance. However, nitrogen (N) deficiency is a major constraint for organic carbon sequestration in the High Arctic. Hence, the identification of the relative contributions from different N-sources is critical for understanding the constraints that limit tundra growth. The stable nitrogen composition of the three main N-sources and numerous plants were analyzed in ten tundra types (including those influenced by seabirds) in the Fuglebekken catchment (Hornsund, Svalbard, 77°N 15°E). The percentage of the total tundra N-pool provided by seabirds' feces (from planktivorous colonially breeding little auks Alle alle), 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 originated from birds (36%), atmospheric deposition (38%), and N2-fixation (26%). The results clearly show that N-pool in the tundra is significantly supplemented by nesting seabirds. Thus, if they experienced climate change induced substantial negative environmental pressure, it would adversely influence the tundra N-budget (Skrzypek et al. 2015). The growth rates and the sediment thickness (bird-N rich tundra with very diverse ages ranging from 235 to 2300 cal BP and thickness up to 110 cm. The growth rates for this tundra (62 cm core, 18 AMS 14C dates) were high (1.5-3.0 mm/yr) between 1568 and 1804 AD and then substantially declined for the period between 1804 and 1929 AD (0.2 mm/yr). These findings deliver an additional argument, that the organic matter accumulation is driven not only directly by climatic conditions but also by birds' contribution to the tundra N-pool. Skrzypek G, Wojtuń B, Richter D, Jakubas D, Wojczulanis-Jakubas K, Samecka-Cymerman A, 2015. Diversification of nitrogen sources in various tundra vegetation types in the high Arctic. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0136536.

  17. Will Arctic ground squirrels impede or accelerate climate-induced vegetation changes to the Arctic tundra?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, J.; Flower, C. E.; Brown, J.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.; Whelan, C.

    2014-12-01

    Considerable attention has been given to the climate feedbacks associated with predicted vegetation shifts in the Arctic tundra in response to global environmental change. However, little is known regarding the extent to which consumers can facilitate or respond to shrub expansion. Arctic ground squirrels, the largest and most northern ground squirrel, are abundant and widespread throughout the North American tundra. Their broad diet of seeds, flowers, herbage, bird's eggs and meat speaks to the need to breed, feed, and fatten in a span of some 12-16 weeks that separate their 8-9 month bouts of hibernation with the potential consequence to impact ecosystem dynamics. Therefore Arctic ground squirrels are a good candidate to evaluate whether consumers are mere responders (bottom-up effects) or drivers (top-down) of the observed and predicted vegetation changes. As a start towards this question, we measured the foraging intensity (giving-up densities) of Arctic ground squirrels in experimental food patches within which the squirrels experience diminishing returns as they seek the raisins and peanuts that we provided at the Toolik Lake field station in northern Alaska. If the squirrels show their highest feeding intensity in the shrubs, they may impede vegetation shifts by slowing the establishment and expansion of shrubs in the tundra. Conversely, if they show their lowest feeding intensity within shrub dominated areas, they may accelerate vegetation shifts. We found neither. Feeding intensity varied most among transects and times of day, and least along a tundra-to-shrub vegetation gradient. This suggests that the impacts of squirrels will be heterogeneous - in places responders and in others drivers. We should not be surprised then to see patches of accelerated and impeded vegetation changes in the tundra ecosystem. Some of these patterns may be predictable from the foraging behavior of Arctic ground squirrels.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  19. 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

  20. Distribution, abundance, and productivity of tundra swans in the coastal wetlands of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 1983

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report covers the distribution, abundance, and productivity of tundra swans in the coastal wetlands of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Two aerial surveys...

  1. The effect of a permafrost disturbance on growing-season carbon-dioxide fluxes in a high Arctic tundra ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy, Alison E.; Christen, Andreas; Henry, Gregory H. R.

    2016-04-01

    Soil carbon stored in high-latitude permafrost landscapes is threatened by warming and could contribute significant amounts of carbon to the atmosphere and hydrosphere as permafrost thaws. Thermokarst and permafrost disturbances, especially active layer detachments and retrogressive thaw slumps, are present across the Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, Canada. To determine the effects of retrogressive thaw slumps on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 in high Arctic tundra, we used two eddy covariance (EC) tower systems to simultaneously and continuously measure CO2 fluxes from a disturbed site and the surrounding undisturbed tundra. During the 32-day measurement period in the 2014 growing season, the undisturbed tundra was a small net sink (NEE = -0.1 g C m-2 d-1); however, the disturbed terrain of the retrogressive thaw slump was a net source (NEE = +0.4 g C m-2 d-1). Over the measurement period, the undisturbed tundra sequestered 3.8 g C m-2, while the disturbed tundra released 12.5 g C m-2. Before full leaf-out in early July, the undisturbed tundra was a small source of CO2 but shifted to a sink for the remainder of the sampling season (July), whereas the disturbed tundra remained a source of CO2 throughout the season. A static chamber system was also used to measure daytime fluxes in the footprints of the two towers, in both disturbed and undisturbed tundra, and fluxes were partitioned into ecosystem respiration (Re) and gross primary production (GPP). Average GPP and Re found in disturbed tundra were smaller (+0.40 µmol m-2 s-1 and +0.55 µmol m-2 s-1, respectively) than those found in undisturbed tundra (+1.19 µmol m-2 s-1 and +1.04 µmol m-2 s-1, respectively). Our measurements indicated clearly that the permafrost disturbance changed the high Arctic tundra system from a sink to a source for CO2 during the majority of the growing season (late June and July).

  2. EXAMINATION OF THE FEASIBILITY FOR DEMONSTRATION AND USE OF RADIOLUMINESCENT LIGHTS FOR ALASKAN REMOTE RUNWAY LIGHTING

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jensen, G.; Perrigo, L.; Leonard, L.; Hegdal, L

    1984-01-01

    This report examines the feasibility of radioluminescent light applications for rural Alaskan airports. The work presented in this report covers four tasks: State of the Art Evaluation of Radioluminescent Lights, Environmental, Radiological, and Regulatory Evaluations, Engineering Evaluations, and Demonstration Plan Development.

  3. Ambiguity in an Alaskan history theme park : Presenting "history as commodity" and "history as heritage"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Vries, Tity

    2007-01-01

    America's most northern history theme park has been located in Fairbanks, Alaska since 1967. This article focuses on the evolution of the Alaskaland/Pioneer Park: from a tourist attraction where Alaskan traditions of progress and boosterism ruled into a community park with a sincere concern for pres

  4. 25 CFR 243.4 - Who can own or possess Alaskan reindeer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... reindeer must, by the last day of September each year: (1) Provide us a copy of the contract with the Native reindeer owner; and (2) Provide us a written report of all Alaskan reindeer kept, born, died or...). (3) The permit-holder must report to us in writing by the last day of September each year on...

  5. Studies of the Northern Alaskan Coastal System: Ongoing project work and synthesis activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, T. A.; Sturm, M.; Ashjian, C. J.; Jorgensen, T.; Oechel, W. C.; Ping, C.; Rhew, R. C.; Stieglitz, M.

    2006-12-01

    Six ongoing projects focus on a better understanding of processes occurring along the Arctic Alaskan Coast. These projects, grouped as "Studies of the Northern Alaskan Coastal System", or SNACS, combine field, laboratory, modeling and human dimensions research. They include: 1) an investigation of climate variability, ocean processes, sea ice, bowhead whales, and Inupiat subsistence whaling, 2) research on the impact of variability within the ocean and atmosphere on terrestrial fluxes of carbon dioxide, dissolved organic matter and energy, 3) an inventory and description of soil organic carbon fluxes and ground ice in the coastal environment, 4) a determination of whether arctic coastal terrestrial ecosystems are significant sources or sinks of atmospheric methyl halides, chloroform and methane, 5) development of generalized discharge- constituent relationships for arctic basins, and 6) an investigation of the processes controlling mercury deposition to the coastal system. Three broad themes unite the projects: 1) nutrient fluxes from rivers and shoreline erosion in the Arctic coastal zone, 2) impacts of cryospheric changes on the Alaskan Arctic Coast, and 3) potential rapid regime shifts controlled by atmospheric and meteorological processes that could affect the Alaskan Arctic Coast. Warming of the Arctic, particularly its impact on sea ice and nutrient transport in arctic rivers is already affecting fundamental coastal system processes. The six SNACS projects are helping to understand how these impacts will evolve and what their ramifications will be both within and outside of the Arctic.

  6. 77 FR 45921 - Alaskan Fuel Hauling as a Restricted Category Special Purpose Flight Operation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-02

    ... the Federal Register (74 FR 39242) in which the FAA proposed to specify Alaskan fuel hauling as a... Purpose Flight Operation AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), (DOT). ACTION: Notice of policy... submitted was, ``The transport of the fuel could be made safer by limiting the payload on each flight to...

  7. ELECTRIC VEHICLE CONVERSIONS USING ALTERNATIVE ENERGY TO DRIVE ALASKAN RURAL COMMUNITIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    This proposal concerns sustainable transportation in rural Alaskan communities which are not part of a road or electrical network (off grid). In most off-grid communities, the road networks generally are less than 50 square miles, so transportation needs are limited. This limi...

  8. Spatially explicit fire-climate history of the boreal forest-tundra (Eastern Canada) over the last 2000 years

    OpenAIRE

    Payette, Serge; Filion, Louise; Delwaide, Ann

    2007-01-01

    Across the boreal forest, fire is the main disturbance factor and driver of ecosystem changes. In this study, we reconstructed a long-term, spatially explicit fire history of a forest-tundra region in northeastern Canada. We hypothesized that current occupation of similar topographic and edaphic sites by tundra and forest was the consequence of cumulative regression with time of forest cover due to compounding fire and climate disturbances. All fires were mapped and dated per 100 year interva...

  9. Central planning, market and subsistence from a tundra perspective: Field experience with reindeer herders in the Kola Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dessislav Sabev

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper is based on field experience in the tundra camp of a reindeer-herding brigade with mixed ethnic background (Komi, Sami, Nenets, Russians belonging to the ex-Sovkhoz of Krasnoschelie. Its purpose is to situate the new critical issues facing the reindeer-herding collectives after the economic collapse in Russia in 1998. My main argument is that the increasing economic isolation of the tundra periphery forces the herders to redefine their relationship with both the centre(s and the other tundra actors. Reindeer herding on the Kola Peninsula is analysed in relation to its heterogeneous economic system defined by the old Sovkhoz-like management and the new Western buyer of reindeer meat. Furthermore, the social environment in the herding territories has changed since the deterioration of the central planning economy, implying new renewable resources' users. After massive loss of jobs, militaries, miners and geologists came into the tundra for substantial hunting and fishing and so became actors in the local informal economy. Finally, tundra-located herders and hunters seem to be somewhere unified by a discourse against the town-based administrative power and economic actors such as mining industry. Therefore herders have to deal with both an old administrative system in the agrocentre and new realities in the tundra. Based on a case study of herding/hunting activities in a tundra camp, the paper analyses the social relationships between the different actors in the post-Soviet Kola tundra and express their quest for solutions.

  10. Circumpolar Dynamics of Arctic Tundra Vegetation in Relation to Temperature Trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, H. E.; Bhatt, U. S.; Raynolds, M. K.; Walker, D. A.; Reichle, L.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic tundra vegetation has generally exhibited a "greening" trend for at least the past three decades. However, these temporal trends in tundra vegetation are highly heterogeneous in space across different arctic regions, as well as showing variability over time. The factors controlling this variability are likely numerous with complex interactions, however, a first approach is to examine how vegetation dynamics relate to trends in temperature. We used a 32-year record (1982-2013) of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Land Surface Temperatures from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensors onboard NOAA satellites (GIMMS 3g dataset) to analyze observed changes in both aboveground tundra vegetation and surface temperatures. We divided the circumpolar dataset into two continental regions (North America and Eurasia), as well as by tundra subzone (A-E) sensu the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map (CAVM). We 1) compared temporal trends in both MaxNDVI (peak values) and TI-NDVI (seasonally integrated values) with those of the Summer Warmth Index (SWI - sum of mean monthly temperatures > 0 °C); 2) assessed how the detrended interannual variabilities in NDVI compared to those of SWI; and 3) analyzed current and prior year SWI, as well as prior year NDVI, as controls on current year NDVI. Interannual coefficients of variation for SWI were 2.0 - 2.5 times greater than those for NDVI, and the temporal trendlines for NDVI were much "tighter" with greater r² values than those for SWI. Interannual variability in NDVI was greatest in the "Mid-Low" Arctic, whereas interannual variability in SWI was greatest in the most southern Arctic. Surprisingly, the observed relative rates of change in NDVI were greater than those of SWI for the warmer subzones for both North America and Eurasia. Finally, the change in NDVI from one year to the next was only weakly correlated with current year SWI. These results suggest that 1) there are clearly factors

  11. Alaska tundra vegetation trends and their links to the large-scale climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieniek, P. A.; Bhatt, U. S.; Walker, D. A.; Raynolds, M. K.; Comiso, J. C.

    2011-12-01

    The arctic Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI) data set (a measure of vegetation photosynthetic capacity) has been used to document coherent temporal relationships between near-coastal sea ice, summer tundra land surface temperatures, and vegetation productivity throughout the Arctic (Bhatt et al. 2010). Land warming over North America has displayed larger trends (+30%) when compared to Eurasia (+16%) since 1982. In the tundra of northern Alaska the greatest change was found in absolute maximum NDVI along the Beaufort Sea coast (+14%). In contrast, tundra areas in southwest Alaska along the Bering Sea have seen a decline (-4%). Greenup date in these regions has been occurring as much as 1-4 days earlier per decade, but trends are mixed. Winter snow water equivalent (SWE) has only increased slightly (+0.1 mm/yr) in the Arctic region of Alaska since 1987 (R. Muskett, personal communication). These findings suggest that there have been changes in the seasonal climate in Alaska during the NDVI record. The tundra trends are further investigated by evaluating remotely sensed sea ice, surface air temperature, SWE, daily snow cover, and NDVI3g. While the snow data has a relatively short record (1999-2010), notable trends can be observed in snow melt, occurring as much 15 days earlier per decade in northern Alaska. Unfortunately, other snow data sets have been found to be problematic and could not be used to extend our analysis. This highlights the need for a long-term pan-arctic snow data set that is suitable for climate analysis. Possible climate drivers are also investigated. Results show that the summer tundra, in terms of NDVI and summer warmth index (SWI), has few direct links with the large-scale climate. However, the sea ice concentration along the coast of the tundra regions has strong preseason links to the large-scale climate. This suggests that the large-scale climate influences the sea ice concentration which then affects the NDVI and SWI. Three tundra regions

  12. Sequencing and analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of tundra shrew (Sorex tundrensis) from China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Chunzhu; Zhao, Shuai; Wu, Hualin; Wu, Shengyang; Zhang, Zhongwen; Wang, Bo; Dou, Huashan

    2016-07-01

    The complete mitogenome sequence of tundra shrew (Sorex tundrensis) was determined using long PCR. The genome was 17,444 bp in length and contained 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 23 transfer RNA genes, 1 origin of L strand replication and 1 control region. The overall base composition of the heavy strand is A (32.9%), C (24.8%), T (29.0%), and G (13.3%). The base compositions present clearly the A-T skew, which is most obviously in the control region and protein-coding genes. The extended termination-associated sequence domain, the central conserved domain and the conserved sequence block domain are defined in the mitochondrial genome control region of tundra shrew. Mitochondrial genome analyses based on MP, ML, NJ and Bayesian analyses yielded identical phylogenetic trees. The three Sorex species formed a monophyletic group with the high bootstrap value (100 %) in all examinations. PMID:25812054

  13. Psychrotolerant actinomycetes of plants and organic horizons in tundra and taiga soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubrova, M. S.; Zenova, G. M.; Yakushev, A. V.; Manucharova, N. A.; Makarova, E. P.; Zvyagintsev, D. G.; Chernov, I. Yu.

    2013-08-01

    It has been revealed that in organic horizons and plants of the tundra and taiga ecosystems under low temperatures, actinomycetal complexes form. The population density of psychrotolerant actinomycetes in organic horizons and plants reaches tens and hundreds of thousands CFU/g of substrate or soil, and decreases in the sequence litters > plants > soils > undecomposed plant remains > moss growths. The mycelium length of psychrotolerant actinomycetes reaches 220 m/g of substrate. Application of the FISH method has demonstrated that metabolically active psychrotolerant bacteria of the phylum Actinobacteria constitute 30% of all metabolically active psychrotolerant representatives of the Bacterià domain of the prokaryotic microbial community of soils and plants. Psychrotolerant actinomycetes in tundra and taiga ecosystems possess antimicrobial properties.

  14. Organic matter composition and stabilization in a polygonal tundra soil of the Lena Delta

    OpenAIRE

    Höfle, S.; J. Rethemeyer; C. W. Mueller; S. John

    2013-01-01

    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...

  15. Organic matter composition and stabilization in a polygonal tundra soil of the Lena-Delta

    OpenAIRE

    Höfle, S.; J. Rethemeyer; C. W. Mueller; S. John

    2012-01-01

    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 decompos...

  16. 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.

  17. Long-term persistence of spent lead shot in tundra wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Paul L.; Schamber, Jason L.

    2010-01-01

    We seeded experimental plots with number 4 lead pellets and sampled these plots for 10 years to assess the settlement rate of pellets in tundra wetland types commonly used by foraging waterfowl. After 10 years, about 10% of pellets remained within 6 cm of the surface, but >50% remained within 10 cm. We predict that spent lead pellets will eventually become unavailable to waterfowl; however, it will likely require >25 years for all pellets to exceed depths at which waterfowl species may forage.

  18. A shrub bending model to calculate the albedo of shrub-tundra

    OpenAIRE

    Ménard, Cécile B.; Essery, Richard; Pomeroy, John; Marsh, Philip; Clark, Douglas B.

    2014-01-01

    At high latitudes, the albedo and energy budget of shrub-tundra landscapes is determined by the relationship between the fractional snow cover and the fraction of vegetation protruding above the snowpack. The exposed vegetation fraction is affected by the bending and/or burial of shrubs in winter and their spring-up during melt. Little is known about the meteorological conditions and snowpack and shrub properties required to cause bending, and few quantitative measurements of bending processe...

  19. Recent Declines in Warming and Vegetation Greening Trends over Pan-Arctic Tundra

    OpenAIRE

    Polyakov, Igor V; Tucker, Compton J.; Pinzon, Jorge E; Epstein, Howard E.; Comiso, Josefino C; Peter A. Bieniek; Walker, Donald A.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Bhatt, Uma S.

    2013-01-01

    Vegetation productivity trends for the Arctic tundra are updated for the 1982–2011 period and examined in the context of land surface temperatures and coastal sea ice. Understanding mechanistic links between vegetation and climate parameters contributes to model advancements that are necessary for improving climate projections. This study employs remote sensing data: Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) Maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (MaxNDVI), Special Sensor ...

  20. Variability of Water Chemistry in Tundra Lakes, Petuniabukta Coast, Central Spitsbergen, Svalbard

    OpenAIRE

    Małgorzata Mazurek; Renata Paluszkiewicz; Grzegorz Rachlewicz; Zbigniew Zwoliński

    2012-01-01

    Samples of water from small tundra lakes located on raised marine terraces on the eastern coast of Petuniabukta (Ebbadalen, Central Spitsbergen) were examined to assess the changes in water chemistry that had occurred during the summer seasons of 2001–2003 and 2006. The unique environmental conditions of the study region include the predominance of sedimentary carbonate and sulphate rocks, low precipitation values, and an active permafrost layer with a maximum thickness of 1.2 m. The average ...

  1. Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Methane Fluxes at the Forest – Tundra Ecotone in Fennoscandia

    OpenAIRE

    Sjögersten, Sofie

    2003-01-01

    This thesis presents results from several studies that have focused on the carbon and nutrient dynamics in soils at the forest – tundra ecotone in Fennoscandia. The main objectives of the study were: (i) to investigate the links between the physical environment, above-ground vegetation communities, soil carbon storage, nutrient status and the chemical composition of the soil organic matter (SOM), and (ii) to quantify trace gas fluxes (methane and carbon dioxide) between mesic soils and the at...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  3. Estimated storage of amorphous silica in soils of the circum-Arctic tundra region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfredsson, H.; Clymans, W.; Hugelius, G.; Kuhry, P.; Conley, D. J.

    2016-03-01

    We investigated the vertical distribution, storage, landscape partitioning, and spatial variability of soil amorphous silica (ASi) at four different sites underlain by continuous permafrost and representative of mountainous and lowland tundra, in the circum-Arctic region. Based on a larger set of data, we present the first estimate of the ASi soil reservoir (0-1 m depth) in circum-Arctic tundra terrain. At all sites, the vertical distribution of ASi concentrations followed the pattern of either (1) declining concentrations with depth (most common) or (2) increasing/maximum concentrations with depth. Our results suggest that a set of processes, including biological control, solifluction and other slope processes, cryoturbation, and formation of inorganic precipitates influence vertical distributions of ASi in permafrost terrain, with the capacity to retain stored ASi on millennial timescales. At the four study sites, areal ASi storage (0-1 m) is generally higher in graminoid tundra compared to wetlands. Our circum-Arctic upscaling estimates, based on both vegetation and soil classification separately, suggest a storage amounting to 219 ± 28 and 274 ± 33 Tmol Si, respectively, of which at least 30% is stored in permafrost. This estimate would account for about 3% of the global soil ASi storage while occupying an equal portion of the global land area. This result does not support the hypothesis that the circum-Arctic tundra soil ASi reservoir contains relatively higher amounts of ASi than other biomes globally as demonstrated for carbon. Nevertheless, climate warming has the potential to significantly alter ASi storage and terrestrial Si cycling in the Arctic.

  4. Pathways of anaerobic organic matter decomposition in tundra soils from Barrow, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herndon, Elizabeth M.; Mann, Benjamin F.; Roy Chowdhury, Taniya; Yang, Ziming; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Graham, David; Liang, Liyuan; Gu, Baohua

    2015-11-01

    Arctic tundra soils store a large quantity of organic carbon that is susceptible to decomposition and release to the atmosphere as methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) under a warming climate. Anaerobic processes that generate CH4 and CO2 remain unclear because previous studies have focused on aerobic decomposition pathways. To predict releases of CO2 and CH4 from tundra soils, it is necessary to identify pathways of soil organic matter decomposition under the anoxic conditions that are prevalent in Arctic ecosystems. Here molecular and spectroscopic techniques were used to monitor biological degradation of water-extractable organic carbon (WEOC) during anoxic incubation of tundra soils from a region of continuous permafrost in northern Alaska. Organic and mineral soils from the tundra active layer were incubated at -2, +4, or +8°C for up to 60 days to mimic the short-term thaw season. Results suggest that, under anoxic conditions, fermentation converted complex organic molecules into simple organic acids that were used in concomitant Fe-reduction and acetoclastic methanogenesis reactions. Nonaromatic compounds increased over time as WEOC increased. Organic acid metabolites initially accumulated in soils but were mostly depleted by day 60 because organic acids were consumed to produce Fe(II), CO2, and CH4. We conclude that fermentation of nonprotected organic matter facilitates methanogenesis and Fe reduction reactions, and that the proportion of organic acids consumed by methanogenesis increases relative to Fe reduction with increasing temperature. The decomposition pathways observed in this study are important to consider in numerical modeling of greenhouse gas production in the Arctic.

  5. Tundra soil carbon is vulnerable to rapid microbial decomposition under climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Kai; M. Yuan, Mengting; J. Shi, Zhou; Qin, Yujia; Deng, Ye; Cheng, Lei; Wu, Liyou; He, Zhili; van Nostrand, Joy D.; Bracho, Rosvel; Natali, Susan; Schuur, Edward. A. G.; Luo, Chengwei; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T.; Wang, Qiong; Cole, James R.; Tiedje, James M.; Luo, Yiqi; Zhou, Jizhong

    2016-06-01

    Microbial decomposition of soil carbon in high-latitude tundra underlain with permafrost is one of the most important, but poorly understood, potential positive feedbacks of greenhouse gas emissions from terrestrial ecosystems into the atmosphere in a warmer world. Using integrated metagenomic technologies, we showed that the microbial functional community structure in the active layer of tundra soil was significantly altered after only 1.5 years of warming, a rapid response demonstrating the high sensitivity of this ecosystem to warming. The abundances of microbial functional genes involved in both aerobic and anaerobic carbon decomposition were also markedly increased by this short-term warming. Consistent with this, ecosystem respiration (Reco) increased up to 38%. In addition, warming enhanced genes involved in nutrient cycling, which very likely contributed to an observed increase (30%) in gross primary productivity (GPP). However, the GPP increase did not offset the extra Reco, resulting in significantly more net carbon loss in warmed plots compared with control plots. Altogether, our results demonstrate the vulnerability of active-layer soil carbon in this permafrost-based tundra ecosystem to climate warming and the importance of microbial communities in mediating such vulnerability.

  6. Mapping wildfire burn severity in the Arctic Tundra from downsampled MODIS data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolden, Crystal A.; Rogan, John

    2013-01-01

    Wildfires are historically infrequent in the arctic tundra, but are projected to increase with climate warming. Fire effects on tundra ecosystems are poorly understood and difficult to quantify in a remote region where a short growing season severely limits ground data collection. Remote sensing has been widely utilized to characterize wildfire regimes, but primarily from the Landsat sensor, which has limited data acquisition in the Arctic. Here, coarse-resolution remotely sensed data are assessed as a means to quantify wildfire burn severity of the 2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire in Alaska, the largest tundra wildfire ever recorded on Alaska's North Slope. Data from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and downsampled Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) were processed to spectral indices and correlated to observed metrics of surface, subsurface, and comprehensive burn severity. Spectral indices were strongly correlated to surface severity (maximum R2 = 0.88) and slightly less strongly correlated to substrate severity. Downsampled MODIS data showed a decrease in severity one year post-fire, corroborating rapid vegetation regeneration observed on the burned site. These results indicate that widely-used spectral indices and downsampled coarse-resolution data provide a reasonable supplement to often-limited ground data collection for analysis and long-term monitoring of wildfire effects in arctic ecosystems.

  7. Element cycling in the dominant plant community in the Alpine tundra zone of Changbai Mountains, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Jing-shuang; YU Jun-bao

    2005-01-01

    Element cycling in the dominant plant communities including Rh. aureum, Rh. redowskianum and Vaccinium uliginosum in the Alpine tundra zone of Changbai Mountains in northeast China was studied. The results indicate that the amount of elements from litter decomposition was less than that of the plant uptake from soil, but that from plant uptake was higher than that in soil with mineralization process released. On the other hand, in the open system including precipitation input and soil leaching output, because of great number of elements from precipitation into the open system, the element cycling(except N, P) in the Alpine tundra ecosystem was in a dynamic balance. In this study, it was also found that different organ of plants had significant difference in accumulating elements. Ca, Mg, P and N were accumulated more obviously in leaves, while Fe was in roots. The degree of concentration of elements in different tissues of the same organ of the plants also was different, a higher concentration of Ca, Mg, P and N in mesophyll than in nerve but Fe was in a reversed order. The phenomenon indicates (1) a variety of biochemical functions of different elements, (2) the elements in mesophyll were with a shorter turnover period than those in nerve or fibre, but higher utilization rate for plant. Therefore, this study implies the significance of keeping element dynamic balance in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountains.

  8. Wet meadow ecosystems contribute the majority of overwinter soil respiration from snow-scoured alpine tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, John F.; Blanken, Peter D.; Williams, Mark W.

    2016-04-01

    We measured soil respiration across a soil moisture gradient ranging from dry to wet snow-scoured alpine tundra soils throughout three winters and two summers. In the absence of snow accumulation, soil moisture variability was principally determined by the combination of mesotopographical hydrological focusing and shallow subsurface permeability, which resulted in a patchwork of comingled ecosystem types along a single alpine ridge. To constrain the subsequent carbon cycling variability, we compared three measures of effective diffusivity and three methods to calculate gradient method soil respiration from four typical vegetation communities. Overwinter soil respiration was primarily restricted to wet meadow locations, and a conservative estimate of the rate of overwinter soil respiration from snow-scoured wet meadow tundra was 69-90% of the maximum carbon dioxide (CO2) respired by seasonally snow-covered soils within this same catchment. This was attributed to higher overwinter soil temperatures at wet meadow locations relative to fellfield, dry meadow, and moist meadow communities, which supported liquid water and heterotrophic respiration throughout the winter. These results were corroborated by eddy covariance-based measurements that demonstrated an average of 272 g C m-2 overwinter carbon loss during the study period. As a result, we updated a conceptual model of soil respiration versus snow cover to express the potential for soil respiration variability from snow-scoured alpine tundra.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

    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.

  11. An estimate of carbon emissions from 2004 wildfires across Alaskan Yukon River Basin

    OpenAIRE

    Liu Shuguang; Zhu Zhiliang; Tieszen Larry L; Tan Zhengxi; Howard Stephen M

    2007-01-01

    Abstract Background Wildfires are an increasingly important component of the forces that drive the global carbon (C) cycle and climate change as progressive warming is expected in boreal areas. This study estimated C emissions from the wildfires across the Alaskan Yukon River Basin in 2004. We spatially related the firescars to land cover types and defined the C fractions of aboveground biomass and the ground layer (referring to the top 15 cm organic soil layer only in this paper) consumed in...

  12. Vegetation Feedbacks Explain Recent High-latitude Summer Warming in Alaskan Arctic and Boreal Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapin, F. S.; Beringer, J.; Copass, C.; Epstein, H.; Lloyd, A.; Lynch, A.; McGuire, A. D.; Sturm, M.

    2002-12-01

    Although General Circulation Models predict the observed winter and spring warming at high latitudes, there is no obvious physical mechanism in the climate system that can account for the significant increase in summer temperatures that has occurred at high latitudes during the past 30 years. We demonstrate that vegetation-induced feedbacks in snow properties and summer energy exchange with the atmosphere explain this recent summer warming. A combination of stand-age reconstructions, repeat photography, and satellite measures of vegetation greenness demonstrate an expansion of the distribution and an infilling of shrubs in moist tundra and of trees in forest tundra. These vegetation changes increase the depth and thermal resistance of the snow pack, causing a 3oC increase in winter soil temperature and an increase in winter decomposition and nutrient mineralization, which enhance plant growth. These vegetation changes also increase summer heat transport to the atmosphere by increasing radiation absorption (lower albedo) and the proportion of absorbed energy that is transferred to the atmosphere as sensible heat. The resulting increase in atmospheric heating, on a unit-area basis, is similar to effects of a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide or a 2% change in solar constant, such as occurred at the last glacial-interglacial boundary. Simulations with the regional climate model ARCSyM indicate that a change from shrubless tundra to shrub-dominated tundra on the North Slope of Alaska would increase July mean temperature by 1.5 to 3.5 degrees C, with the warming effects extending south into the boreal forest of interior Alaska. If these vegetation feedbacks to regional warming are widespread, as suggested by indigenous knowledge and the satellite record, they are of sufficient magnitude to explain the summer warming that has recently been observed in northern Alaska and other regions of the circumpolar Arctic.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    Understanding the responses of tundra systems to global change has global implications. Most tundra regions lack sustained environmental monitoring and one of the only ways to document multi-decadal change is to resample historic research sites. The International Polar Year (IPY) provided a uniqu...

  16. Phytomass patterns across a temperature gradient of the North American arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Howard E.; Walker, Donald A.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Jia, Gensuo J.; Kelley, Alexia M.

    2008-09-01

    Only a few studies to date have collectively examined the vegetation biomass and production of arctic tundra ecosystems and their relationships to broadly ranging climate variables. An additional complicating factor for studying vegetation of arctic tundra is the high spatial variability associated with small patterned-ground features, resulting from intense freeze-thaw processes. In this study, we sampled and analyzed the aboveground plant biomass components of patterned-ground ecosystems in the Arctic of northern Alaska and Canada along an 1800-km north-south gradient that spans approximately 11°C of mean July temperatures. Vegetation biomass was analyzed as functions of the summer warmth index (SWI-sum of mean monthly temperatures > 0°C). The total absolute biomass (g m-2) and biomass of shrubs increased monotonically with SWI, however, biomass of nonvascular species (mosses and lichens), were a parabolic function of SWI, with greatest values at the ends of the gradient. The components of plant biomass on patterned-ground features (i.e., on nonsorted circles or within small polygons) were constrained to a greater degree with colder climate than undisturbed tundra, likely due to the effect of frost heave disturbances on the vegetation. There were also clear differences in the relative abundances of vascular versus nonvascular plants on and off patterned-ground features along the SWI gradient. The spatial patterns of biomass differ among plant functional groups and suggest that plant community responses to temperature, and land-surface processes that produce patterned-ground features, are quite complex.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 (15)N labelling experiment. In 2010, we simulated N depositions at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2gNm(-2)yr(-1), applied as (15)NH4(15)NO3 in Svalbard (79(°)N), during the summer. Separate applications of (15)NO3(-) and (15)NH4(+) were also made to determine the importance of N form in their retention. More than 95% of the total (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 (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 (15)NO3(-) than (15)NH4(+), 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. PMID:26956177

  18. Inter-annual carbon dioxide uptake of a wet sedge tundra ecosystem in the Arctic

    OpenAIRE

    Harazono, Yoshinobu; Mano, Masayoshi; Miyata, Akira; Zulueta, Rommel C.; Oechel, Walter C.

    2011-01-01

    The CO2 flux of a wet sedge tundra ecosystem in the Arctic, at Barrow, Alaska, has been measured by the eddy correlation method since spring 1999, and the CO2 uptake by the vegetation during the spring and growing periods was examined between 1999 and 2000. CO2 flux changed to a sink immediately after the spring thaw in 1999 and the photosynthetic activity was high in the first half of the growing period. At this time the air temperature was low and solar radiation was high. In the 2000 seaso...

  19. 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

  20. Introduction to a special section: winter terrestrial ecology in Arctic and alpine tundra

    OpenAIRE

    Cooper, Elisabeth J.

    2010-01-01

    I am very pleased to present this special section of articles on winter terrestrial ecology in Arctic and alpine tundra. This is a new and developing field of research, and has been hitherto little studied. Much is unknown about the ecology of the dark, cold period of the year, as traditionally ecologists have travelled to their field sites in summer, when the snow has melted and the plants, soils and invertebrates are more readily available to be studied. Arctic research in the summer is oft...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  2. Carbon dioxide exchange of the Arctic tundra in the northern part of European Russia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiepe, Isabell; Johansson, Paul Torbjörn; Friborg, Thomas;

    Russia, in the Pechora basin of the northern Komi Republic. The site is of lowland tundra type (underlain by permafrost) with predominating grasses, low shrubs, lichens and mosses interspersed with thermokarst lakes. The max. active layer thickness ranges from 90 cm till over 160 cm on the mineral slope...... and from 35 till 70 cm in the hummocky areas. The climate is continental with a mean annual air temperature (1995-2007) of about -9.4 °C (Vorkuta). To determine the greenhouse balance of this area the eddy covariance technique was used in the late period of the growing season of 2007. In this study we...

  3. Management of Tundra Wastewater Treatment Wetlands within a Lagoon/Wetland Hybridized Treatment System Using the SubWet 2.0 Wetland Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annie Chouinard

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The benefits provided by natural (e.g., non-engineered tundra wetlands for the treatment of municipal wastewater in the Canadian Arctic are largely under-studied and, therefore, undervalued in regard to the treatment service wetlands provide to small remote Arctic communities. In this paper we present case studies on two natural tundra systems which at the time of study had different management practices, in which one consisted of a facultative lake system continuously discharging into a tundra wetland, while the second system had wastewater discharged directly into a tundra wetland. We also examine the utility of the SubWet 2.0 wetland model and how it can be used to: (i predict the outcomes of management options; and (ii to assess treatment capacity within individual tundra wetlands to meet future needs associated with population growth and to help municipalities determine the appropriate actions required to achieve the desired level of treatment, both currently, and in a sustainable long-term manner. From this examination we argue that tundra wetlands can significantly augment common treatment practices which rely on waste stabilization ponds, by recognizing the services that wetlands already provide. We suggest that treatment targets could be more achievable if tundra wetlands are formally recognized as part of a hybridized treatment system that incorporates the combined benefits of both the waste stabilization pond and the tundra wetland. Under this scenario tundra wetlands would be recognized as part of the treatment process and not as the ‘receiving’ environment, which is how most tundra wetlands are currently categorized.

  4. 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....

  5. An assessment of the carbon balance of arctic tundra: comparisons among observations, process models, and atmospheric inversions

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, A.D.; Christensen, T.R.; Hayes, D.; Heroult, A.; Euskirchen, E.; Yi, Y.; Kimball, J.S.; Koven, C.; Lafleur, P.; Miller, P.A.; Oechel, W.; Peylin, P.; Williams, M.

    2012-01-01

    Although arctic tundra has been estimated to cover only 8% of the global land surface, the large and potentially labile carbon pools currently stored in tundra soils have the potential for large emissions of carbon (C) under a warming climate. These emissions as radiatively active greenhouse gases in the form of both CO2 and CH4 could amplify global warming. Given the potential sensitivity of these ecosystems to climate change and the expectation that the Arctic will experience appreciable warming over the next century, it is important to assess whether responses of C exchange in tundra regions are likely to enhance or mitigate warming. In this study we compared analyses of C exchange of Arctic tundra between 1990–1999 and 2000–2006 among observations, regional and global applications of process-based terrestrial biosphere models, and atmospheric inversion models. Syntheses of the compilation of flux observations and of inversion model results indicate that the annual exchange of CO2 between arctic tundra and the atmosphere has large uncertainties that cannot be distinguished from neutral balance. The mean estimate from an ensemble of process-based model simulations suggests that arctic tundra acted as a sink for atmospheric CO2 in recent decades, but based on the uncertainty estimates it cannot be determined with confidence whether these ecosystems represent a weak or a strong sink. Tundra was 0.6 °C warmer in the 2000s compared to the 1990s. The central estimates of the observations, process-based models, and inversion models each identify stronger sinks in the 2000s compared with the 1990s. Similarly, the observations and the applications of regional process-based models suggest that CH4 emissions from arctic tundra have increased from the 1990s to 2000s. Based on our analyses of the estimates from observations, process-based models, and inversion models, we estimate that arctic tundra was a sink for atmospheric CO2 of 110 Tg C yr-1 (uncertainty between a

  6. Size and mass of grit in gizzards of Sandhill Cranes, Tundra Swans, and Mute Swans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franson, J.C.; Hansen, S.P.; Duerr, A.E.; DeStefano, S.

    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. Received 10 January 2001, accepted 28 February 2001.

  7. Simulating the effects of climate change and climate variability on carbon dynamics in Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stieglitz, Marc; Giblin, Anne; Hobbie, John; Williams, Matthew; Kling, George

    2000-12-01

    Through a simple modeling exercise, three mechanisms have been identified, each operating at a different timescale, that may govern carbon dynamics in Arctic tundra regions and partially explain observed CO2 flux variability. At short timescales the biosphere reacts to meteorological forcing. Drier conditions are associated with aerobic soil decomposition, a large CO2efflux, and a net ecosystem loss of carbon. Cooler and moister conditions favor slower anaerobic decomposition in soils, good growing conditions, and terrestrial carbon sequestration. At intermediate timescales, periods of terrestrial carbon loss are directly linked to periods of carbon sequestration by the ability of the ecosystem to retain labile nitrogen. Labile nitrogen released to the soil during periods when the tundra is a source of carbon (soil respiration > net primary productivity) is retained within the ecosystem and accessed during periods when carbon sequestration is favored (net primary productivity > soil respiration). Finally, the ability of vegetation to respond to long-term changes in soil nutrient status via changes in leaf nitrogen and leaf area index modulates this dynamic at intermediate to long timescales.

  8. Pan-Arctic ice-wedge degradation in warming permafrost and its influence on tundra hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liljedahl, Anna K.; Boike, Julia; Daanen, Ronald P.; Fedorov, Alexander N.; Frost, Gerald V.; Grosse, Guido; Hinzman, Larry D.; Iijma, Yoshihiro; Jorgenson, Janet C.; Matveyeva, Nadya; Necsoiu, Marius; Raynolds, Martha K.; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Schulla, Jörg; Tape, Ken D.; Walker, Donald A.; Wilson, Cathy J.; Yabuki, Hironori; Zona, Donatella

    2016-04-01

    Ice wedges are common features of the subsurface in permafrost regions. They develop by repeated frost cracking and ice vein growth over hundreds to thousands of years. Ice-wedge formation causes the archetypal polygonal patterns seen in tundra across the Arctic landscape. Here we use field and remote sensing observations to document polygon succession due to ice-wedge degradation and trough development in ten Arctic localities over sub-decadal timescales. Initial thaw drains polygon centres and forms disconnected troughs that hold isolated ponds. Continued ice-wedge melting leads to increased trough connectivity and an overall draining of the landscape. We find that melting at the tops of ice wedges over recent decades and subsequent decimetre-scale ground subsidence is a widespread Arctic phenomenon. Although permafrost temperatures have been increasing gradually, we find that ice-wedge degradation is occurring on sub-decadal timescales. Our hydrological model simulations show that advanced ice-wedge degradation can significantly alter the water balance of lowland tundra by reducing inundation and increasing runoff, in particular due to changes in snow distribution as troughs form. We predict that ice-wedge degradation and the hydrological changes associated with the resulting differential ground subsidence will expand and amplify in rapidly warming permafrost regions.

  9. Modelling the spatial pattern of ground thaw in a small basin in the arctic tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Endrizzi

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In the arctic tundra the ground is normally composed by a relatively thin organic soil layer, overlying mineral sediment. Subsurface water drainage generally occurs in the organic layer for its high hydraulic conductivity. However, the organic layer shows significant decrease of hydraulic conductivity with depth. The position and the topography of the frost table, which here acts as a relatively impermeable surface, are therefore crucial in determining the hillslope drainage rate. This work aims at understanding how the topography of the ground surface affects the spatial variability of the depth of thaw in a 1 km2 low-elevation arctic tundra basin with a fine resolution model that fully couples energy and water flow processes. The simulations indicate that the spatial patterns of ground thaw are not dominated by slope and aspect, but are instead entirely controlled by the spatial distribution of soil moisture, which is determined by subsurface flow patterns. Measured thaw depths have a similar range of variability to the simulated values for each stage of active layer development, although the model slightly overestimated the depth of thaw.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Regional-Scale Vegetation Dynamics in Patterned-Ground Ecosystems of Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, H. E.; Kelley, A. M.; Walker, D. A.; Jia, G. J.; Raynolds, M. K.

    2006-12-01

    Regional-scale patterns of vegetation have been analyzed along a number of climate gradients throughout the world; these spatial dynamics provide important insights into the controlling factors of vegetation and the potential plant responses to environmental change. Only a few studies to date have collectively examined the vegetation biomass and production of arctic tundra ecosystems and their relationships to broadly ranging climate variables. No prior study has taken a systematic and consistent approach to examining vegetation biomass patterns along the full temperature gradient of the arctic biome. An additional complicating factor for studying vegetation of arctic tundra is the high spatial variability associated with small patterned-ground features (e.g. non-sorted circles and small non-sorted polygons), resulting from intense freeze-thaw processes. In this study, we sampled and analyzed the aboveground plant biomass components of patterned-ground ecosystems in the Arctic of northern Alaska and Canada along an 1800-km north-south gradient that spans approximately 11 degrees C of mean July temperatures. At each of ten locations along the regional temperature gradient, we ran several 50-m transects and harvested the aboveground biomass of three 20 x 50 cm plots for each transect. Vegetation biomass was dried, sorted by plant functional groups and tissue types, weighed, and analyzed as functions of the summer warmth index (SWI sum of mean monthly temperatures > 0). The absolute biomass (g/m2) of shrubs and graminoids increased exponentially with SWI, whereas forb and lichen biomass showed no change along the gradient. Moss biomass increased linearly with SWI, but with greater variabiliy than the other types. Relative aboveground biomass (% of total) of shrubs and graminoids increased with SWI, whereas percent lichen biomass decreased, and forbs again exhibited no significant change. Percentage of moss biomass was a parabolic function of SWI, with high relative

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (CO2) 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 CO2 exchange may explain how small-scale variation in vegetation community extends to remotely sensed estimates of landscape characteristics. In this study, CO2 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 CO2 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 CO2 exchange in heterogeneous Tundra vegetation is variable.

  14. 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.

  15. Implications of lifting the ban on the export of Alaskan crude oil: Price and trade impacts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1990-06-26

    This study addresses the issue of the ban on exports of Alaskan crude oil. At present almost all crude oil production from Alaska must be sold in the United States, i.e., it may not be exported. This study examines the impact, mainly on the West Coast, of eliminating this export restraint. The study concentrates on two time periods. These are 1988, the most recent year for which complete data are available, and 1995, a year in which Alaskan production is projected to be substantially less than at present. This is the Energy Information Administration's (EIA's) second report on this subject. The first was released earlier in 1990. They differ principally in the years for which results are presented and in the models used to generate quantitative results. The first report was limited to 1988. The quantitative results for that year were based on use of a single region model and therefore did not take into account petroleum interactions among all areas of the world. Because of this limitation, quantitative results were limited to Alaskan crude oil prices. All other price and trade flow results were qualitative. In contrast, the present report covers both 1988 and 1995. The quantitative results are generated with use of a more comprehensive model, one which does take into account petroleum interactions among all areas of the world. The model-generated results cover both crude and product prices as well as petroleum trade flows. The quantitative results in the present report therefore supersede those in the first, although both sets are generally consistent.

  16. Two mechanisms of aquatic and terrestrial habitat change along an Alaskan Arctic coastline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arp, Christopher D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Urban, Frank E.; Jorgenson, M. Torre

    2010-01-01

    Arctic habitats at the interface between land and sea are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The northern Teshekpuk Lake Special Area (N-TLSA), a coastal plain ecosystem along the Beaufort Sea in northern Alaska, provides habitat for migratory waterbirds, caribou, and potentially, denning polar bears. The 60-km coastline of N-TLSA is experiencing increasing rates of coastline erosion and storm surge flooding far inland resulting in lake drainage and conversion of freshwater lakes to estuaries. These physical mechanisms are affecting upland tundra as well. To better understand how these processes are affecting habitat, we analyzed long-term observational records coupled with recent short-term monitoring. Nearly the entire coastline has accelerating rates of erosion ranging from 6 m/year from 1955 to 1979 and most recently peaking at 17 m/year from 2007 to 2009, yet an intensive monitoring site along a higher bluff (3–6 masl) suggested high interannual variability. The frequency and magnitude of storm events appears to be increasing along this coastline and these patterns correspond to a greater number of lake tapping and flooding events since 2000. For the entire N-TLSA, we estimate that 6% of the landscape consists of salt-burned tundra, while 41% is prone to storm surge flooding. This offset may indicate the relative frequency of low-magnitude flood events along the coastal fringe. Monitoring of coastline lakes confirms that moderate westerly storms create extensive flooding, while easterly storms have negligible effects on lakes and low-lying tundra. This study of two interacting physical mechanisms, coastal erosion and storm surge flooding, provides an important example of the complexities and data needs for predicting habitat change and biological responses along Arctic land–ocean interfaces.

  17. Above and below ground carbon stocks in northeast Siberia tundra ecosystems: a comparison between disturbed and undisturbed areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, L. R.; Pena, H., III; Curasi, S. R.; Ramos, E.; Loranty, M. M.; Alexander, H. D.; Natali, S.

    2014-12-01

    Changes in arctic tundra vegetation have the potential to alter the regional carbon (C) budget, with feedback implications for global climate. A number of studies have documented both widespread increases in productivity as well as shifts in the dominant vegetation. In particular, shrubs have been replacing other vegetation, such as graminoids, in response to changes in their environment. Shrub expansion is thought to be facilitated by exposure of mineral soil and increased nutrient availability, which are often associated with disturbance. Such disturbances can be naturally occurring, typically associated with permafrost degradation or with direct anthropogenic causes such as infrastructure development. Mechanical disturbance associated with human development is not uncommon in tundra and will likely become more frequent as warming makes the Arctic more hospitable for resource extraction and other human activities. As such, this type of disturbance will become an increasingly important component of tundra C balance. Both increased productivity and shrub expansion have clear impacts on ecosystem C cycling through increased C uptake and aboveground (AG) storage. What is less clear, however, are the concurrent changes in belowground (BG) C storage. Here we inventoried AG and BG C stocks in disturbed and undisturbed tundra ecosystems to determine the effects of disturbance on tundra C balance. We measured differences in plant functional type, AG and BG biomass, soil C, and specific leaf area (SLA) for the dominant shrub (Salix) in 2 tundra ecosystems in northern Siberia—an undisturbed moist acidic tundra and an adjacent ecosystem that was used as a road ~50 years ago. Deciduous shrubs and grasses dominated both ecosystems, but biomass for both functional types was higher in the disturbed area. SLA was also higher inside the disturbance. Conversely, nonvascular plants and evergreen shrubs were less abundant in the disturbed area. BG plant biomass was substantially

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Preliminary study on total mercury in the common prepared subsistence foods of a rural Alaskan village.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Roger F N; Duffy, Lawrence K

    2002-01-01

    Total mercury (THg), which includes neurotoxic methylmercury (MeHg), poses a health risk to subsistence food users in the circumpolar north. Low levels of THg, usually below 200 ng/g, have been reported in fish muscle from both returning salmon and freshwater species samples on the Kuskokwim River in southwest Alaska. Alaska subsistence users use fish all year long, with both salmon and freshwater species stored for winter usage. A recent study showed low mercury levels in the hair of villagers and suggested that in the last 25 years, MeHg exposure has remained the same or slightly decreased in the Bethel region of Alaska. Although several previous studies have measured THg in hair of Alaskan subsistence food users, few studies have looked at the THg levels in the prepared foods of rural Alaskans. Several types of subsistence foods from Napakiak, a small Yup'ik Eskimo village on the Kuskokwim River, were assessed for total mercury content. The THg levels were low, ranging from 1 ng/g to 443.8 ng/g. A trend for the dried fish to have higher concentrations than the unprocessed fish was observed. Plants, as well as raindeer and moose meats, are low in THg and not associated with dietary exposure. Our data for Napakiak show that THg levels are low enough that mercury does not pose a significant health risk; however, more detailed consumption data in western Alaska is needed. PMID:12650086

  1. Deeper snow alters soil nutrient availability and leaf nutrient status in high Arctic tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Semenchuk, Philipp R.; Elberling, Bo; Amtorp, Cecilie;

    2015-01-01

    Svalbard in two vegetation types spanning three moisture regimes. We measured growing-season availability of ammonium (NH4 (+)), nitrate (NO3 (-)), total dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (TON) in soil; C, N, delta N-15 and chlorophyll content in Salix polaris leaves; and leaf sizes of Salix...... season. Changing nutrient availability may be reflected in plant N and chlorophyll content and lead to increased photosynthetic capacity, plant growth, and ultimately carbon (C) assimilation by plants. In this study, we increased snow depth and thereby cold-season soil temperatures in high Arctic...... some species. Responses to cold-season soil warming are vegetation type- and species-specific, with potentially stronger responses in moister vegetation types. This study therefore highlights the contrasting effect of snow in a tundra landscape and has important implications for projections of whole...

  2. Methane emissions from Alaska arctic tundra in response to climatic change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In situ observations of methane emissions from the Alaska North Slope in 1987 and 1989 provide insight into the environmental interactions regulating methane emissions and into the local- and regional-scale response of the arctic tundra to interannual environmental variability. Inferences regarding climate change are based on in situ measurements of methane emissions, regional landscape characterizations derived from Landsat Multispectral Scanner satellite data, and projected regional-scale emissions based on observed interannual temperature differences and simulated changes in the spatial distribution of methane emissions. The authors results suggest that biogenic methane emissions from arctic tundra will be significantly perturbed by climatic change, leading to warmer summer soil temperatures and to vertical displacement of the regional water table. The effect of increased soil temperatures on methane emissions resulting from anaerobic decomposition in northern wetlands will be to both increase total emissions and to increase interannual and seasonal variability. The magnitude of these effects will be determined by those factors affecting the areal distribution of methane emission rates through regulation of the regional water table. At local scales, the observed 4.7C increase in mid-summer soil temperatures between 1987 and 1989 resulted in a 3.2-fold increase in the rate of methane emissions from anaerobic soils. The observed linear temperature response was then projected to the regional scale of the Alaska North Slope under three environmental scenarios. Under moderately drier environmental conditions than observed in 1987, a 4C mid-summer increase in soil temperatures more than doubled regional methane emissions relative to the 1987 regional mean of 0.72 mg m-2 hr-1 over the 88,408 km2 study area

  3. Arctic biodiversity: Increasing richness accompanies shrinking refugia for a cold-associated tundra fauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, Andrew; Waltari, Eric; Malaney, Jason L.; Payer, David C.; Cook, J.A.; Talbot, Sandra

    2015-01-01

    As ancestral biodiversity responded dynamically to late-Quaternary climate changes, so are extant organisms responding to the warming trajectory of the Anthropocene. Ecological predictive modeling, statistical hypothesis tests, and genetic signatures of demographic change can provide a powerful integrated toolset for investigating these biodiversity responses to climate change, and relative resiliency across different communities. Within the biotic province of Beringia, we analyzed specimen localities and DNA sequences from 28 mammal species associated with boreal forest and Arctic tundra biomes to assess both historical distributional and evolutionary responses and then forecasted future changes based on statistical assessments of past and present trajectories, and quantified distributional and demographic changes in relation to major management regions within the study area. We addressed three sets of hypotheses associated with aspects of methodological, biological, and socio-political importance by asking (1) what is the consistency among implications of predicted changes based on the results of both ecological and evolutionary analyses; (2) what are the ecological and evolutionary implications of climate change considering either total regional diversity or distinct communities associated with major biomes; and (3) are there differences in management implications across regions? Our results indicate increasing Arctic richness through time that highlights a potential state shift across the Arctic landscape. However, within distinct ecological communities, we found a predicted decline in the range and effective population size of tundra species into several discrete refugial areas. Consistency in results based on a combination of both ecological and evolutionary approaches demonstrates increased statistical confidence by applying cross-discipline comparative analyses to conservation of biodiversity, particularly considering variable management regimes that seek

  4. Microbial iron oxidation in the Arctic tundra and its implications for biogeochemical cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerson, David; Scott, Jarrod J; Benes, Joshua; Bowden, William B

    2015-12-01

    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

  5. Variability of Water Chemistry in Tundra Lakes, Petuniabukta Coast, Central Spitsbergen, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Małgorzata Mazurek

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Samples of water from small tundra lakes located on raised marine terraces on the eastern coast of Petuniabukta (Ebbadalen, Central Spitsbergen were examined to assess the changes in water chemistry that had occurred during the summer seasons of 2001–2003 and 2006. The unique environmental conditions of the study region include the predominance of sedimentary carbonate and sulphate rocks, low precipitation values, and an active permafrost layer with a maximum thickness of 1.2 m. The average specific electric conductivity (EC values for the three summer seasons in the four lakes ranged from 242 to 398 μS cm−1. The highest EC values were observed when the air temperature decreased and an ice cover formed (cryochemical effects. The ion composition was dominated by calcium (50.7 to 86.6%, bicarbonates (39.5 to 86.4%, and sulphate anions. The high concentrations of HCO3−, SO42−, and Ca2+ ions were attributed to the composition of the bedrock, which mainly consists of gypsum and anhydrite. The average proportion of marine components in the total load found in the Ebbadalen tundra lake waters was estimated to be 8.1%. Precipitation supplies sulphates (as much as 69–81% and chlorides (14–36% of nonsea origin. The chief source of these compounds may be contamination from the town of Longyearbyen. Most ions originate in the crust, the active layer of permafrost, but some are atmospheric in origin and are either transported or generated in biochemical processes. The concentrations of most components tend to increase during the summer months, reaching a maximum during freezing and partially precipitating onto the bottom sediments.

  6. 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. PMID:26718892

  7. Longer thaw seasons increase nitrogen availability for leaching during fall in tundra soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treat, Claire C.; Wollheim, Wilfred M.; Varner, Ruth K.; Bowden, William B.

    2016-06-01

    Climate change has resulted in warmer soil temperatures, earlier spring thaw and later fall freeze-up, resulting in warmer soil temperatures and thawing of permafrost in tundra regions. While these changes in temperature metrics tend to lengthen the growing season for plants, light levels, especially in the fall, will continue to limit plant growth and nutrient uptake. We conducted a laboratory experiment using intact soil cores with and without vegetation from a tundra peatland to measure the effects of late freeze and early spring thaw on carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange, methane (CH4) emissions, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (N) leaching from soils. We compared soil C exchange and N production with a 30 day longer seasonal thaw during a simulated annual cycle from spring thaw through freeze-up and thaw. Across all cores, fall N leaching accounted for ∼33% of total annual N loss despite significant increases in microbial biomass during this period. Nitrate ({{{{NO}}}3}-) leaching was highest during the fall (5.33 ± 1.45 mg N m‑2 d‑1) following plant senescence and lowest during the summer (0.43 ± 0.22 mg N m‑2 d‑1). In the late freeze and early thaw treatment, we found 25% higher total annual ecosystem respiration but no significant change in CH4 emissions or DOC loss due to high variability among samples. The late freeze period magnified N leaching and likely was derived from root turnover and microbial mineralization of soil organic matter coupled with little demand from plants or microbes. Large N leaching during the fall will affect N cycling in low-lying areas and streams and may alter terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem nitrogen budgets in the arctic.

  8. 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%.

  9. Comparing carbon storage of Siberian tundra and taiga permafrost ecosystems at very high spatial resolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siewert, Matthias B.; Hanisch, Jessica; Weiss, Niels; Kuhry, Peter; Maximov, Trofim C.; Hugelius, Gustaf

    2015-10-01

    Permafrost-affected ecosystems are important components in the global carbon (C) cycle that, despite being vulnerable to disturbances under climate change, remain poorly understood. This study investigates ecosystem carbon storage in two contrasting continuous permafrost areas of NE and East Siberia. Detailed partitioning of soil organic carbon (SOC) and phytomass carbon (PC) is analyzed for one tundra (Kytalyk) and one taiga (Spasskaya Pad/Neleger) study area. In total, 57 individual field sites (24 and 33 in the respective areas) have been sampled for PC and SOC, including the upper permafrost. Landscape partitioning of ecosystem C storage was derived from thematic upscaling of field observations using a land cover classification from very high resolution (2 × 2 m) satellite imagery. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling was used to explore patterns in C distribution. In both environments the ecosystem C is mostly stored in the soil (≥86%). At the landscape scale C stocks are primarily controlled by the presence of thermokarst depressions (alases). In the tundra landscape, site-scale variability of C is controlled by periglacial geomorphological features, while in the taiga, local differences in catenary position, soil texture, and forest successions are more important. Very high resolution remote sensing is highly beneficial to the quantification of C storage. Detailed knowledge of ecosystem C storage and ground ice distribution is needed to predict permafrost landscape vulnerability to projected climatic changes. We argue that vegetation dynamics are unlikely to offset mineralization of thawed permafrost C and that landscape-scale reworking of SOC represents the largest potential changes to C cycling.

  10. Carbon dioxide balance of subarctic tundra from plot to regional scales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. E. Marushchak

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available We report here the carbon dioxide (CO2 budget of a 98.6-km2 subarctic tundra area in Northeast European Russia based on measurements at two different scales and two independent up-scaling approaches. Plot scale measurements (chambers on terrestrial surfaces, gas gradient method and bubble collectors on lakes were carried out from July 2007 to October 2008. The landscape scale eddy covariance (EC measurements covered the snow-free period 2008. The annual net ecosystem exchange (NEE of different land cover types ranged from −251 to 84 g C m−2. Leaf area index (LAI was an excellent predictor of the spatial variability in gross photosynthesis (GP, NEE and ecosystem respiration (ER. The plot scale CO2 fluxes were first scaled up to the EC source area and then to the whole study area using two data sets: a land cover classification and a LAI map, both based on field data and 2.4 m pixel-sized Quickbird satellite image. The good agreement of the CO2 balances for the EC footprint based on the different methods (−105 to −81 g C m−2 vs. −79 g C m−2; growing season 2008 justified the integration of the plot scale measurements over the larger area. The annual CO2 balance for the study region was −67 to −41 g C m−2. Due to the heterogeneity of tundra, the effect of climate change on CO2 uptake will vary strongly according to the land cover type and, moreover, likely changes in their relative coverage in future will have great impact on the regional CO2 balance.

  11. 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…

  12. Social Disruption and Psychological Stress in an Alaskan Fishing Community: The Impact of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picou, J. Steven; And Others

    Technological accidents such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 create man-made disaster situations that threaten community survival and the well-being and quality of life of community residents. This paper focuses on the social and psychological impact of the 1989 oil spill on Cordova, an isolated Alaskan community with high economic…

  13. One-to-One in Alaska: In the Remote Alaskan Interior, Students are Reaping the Benefits of Laptop Computing

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHale, Tom

    2007-01-01

    Each school, district, or state has a unique set of circumstances and obstacles to deal with in implementing a one-to-one laptop program. That is especially true of Denali Borough School District in Alaska. Located in the Alaskan interior, it encompasses Denali National Park (with North America's tallest mountain), covers more than 12,000 square…

  14. TISSUE DISTRIBUTION OF PCBS AND ORGANOCHLORINE PESTICIDES IN ALASKAN NORTHERN FUR SEALS: COMPARISON OF VARIOUS CONGENER CLASSIFICATION SCHEMES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are believed to adversely affect reproduction and cause health problems in Pinnipeds 1-4. In this study, 145 PCB congeners and OCPs were analyzed in 10 juvenile male northern fur seals, Callorhinus ursinus, collected from Alaskan...

  15. Enhancing highly unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids in phase-fed rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) using Alaskan fish oils

    Science.gov (United States)

    The objective of this research was to investigate differences in the kinetics of fatty acids (FA) deposition in fillets of market-sized (approximately 450g) rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fed diets containing commercial Alaskan fish oils versus menhaden oil. Comparisons were made with FA leve...

  16. Vegetation biomass, leaf area index, and NDVI patterns and relationships along two latitudinal transects in arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, H. E.; Walker, D. A.; Raynolds, M. K.; Kelley, A. M.; Jia, G.; Ping, C.; Michaelson, G.; Leibman, M. O.; Kaarlejärvi, E.; Khomutov, A.; Kuss, P.; Moskalenko, N.; Orekhov, P.; Matyshak, G.; Forbes, B. C.; Yu, Q.

    2009-12-01

    Analyses of vegetation properties along climatic gradients provide first order approximations as to how vegetation might respond to a temporally dynamic climate. Until recently, no systematic study of tundra vegetation had been conducted along bioclimatic transects that represent the full latitudinal extent of the arctic tundra biome. Since 1999, we have been collecting data on arctic tundra vegetation and soil properties along two such transects, the North American Arctic Transect (NAAT) and the Yamal Arctic Transect (YAT). The NAAT spans the arctic tundra from the Low Arctic of the North Slope of Alaska to the polar desert of Cape Isachsen on Ellef Ringnes Island in the Canadian Archipelago. The Yamal Arctic Transect located in northwest Siberia, Russia, presently ranges from the forest-tundra transition at Nadym to the High Arctic tundra on Belyy Ostrov off the north coast of the Yamal Peninsula. The summer warmth indices (SWI - sum of mean monthly temperatures greater than 0°C) range from approximately 40 °C months to 3 °C months from south to north. For largely zonal sites along these transects, we systematically collected leaf area index (LAI-2000 Plant Canopy Analyzer), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI - PSII hand-held spectro-radiometer), and vegetation biomass (clip harvests). Site-averaged LAI ranges from 1.08 to 0 along the transects, yet can be highly variable at the landscape scale. Site-averaged NDVI ranges from 0.67 to 0.26 along the transects, and is less variable than LAI at the landscape scale. Total aboveground live biomass ranges from approximately 700 g m-2 to < 50 g m-2 along the NAAT, and from approximately 1100 g m-2 to < 400 g m-2 along the YAT (not including tree biomass at Nadym). LAI and NDVI are highly correlated logarithmically (r = 0.80) for the entire dataset. LAI is significantly related to total aboveground (live plus dead) vascular plant biomass, although there is some variability in the data (r = 0.63). NDVI is

  17. Flux Of Carbon from an Airborne Laboratory (FOCAL): Synergy of airborne and surface measures of carbon emission and isotopologue content from tundra landscape in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobosy, R.; Dumas, E.; Sayres, D. S.; Kochendorfer, J.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic tundra, recognized as a potential major source of new atmospheric carbon, is characterized by low topographic relief and small-scale heterogeneity consisting of small lakes and intervening tundra vegetation. This fits well the flux-fragment method (FFM) of analysis of data from low-flying aircraft. The FFM draws on 1)airborne eddy-covariance flux measurements, 2)a classified surface-characteristics map (e.g. open water vs tundra), 3)a footprint model, and 4)companion surface-based eddy-covariance flux measurements. The FOCAL, a collaboration among Harvard University's Anderson Group, NOAA's Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division (ATDD), and Aurora Flight Sciences, Inc., made coordinated flights in 2013 August with a collaborating surface site. The FOCAL gathers not only flux data for CH4 and CO2 but also the corresponding carbon-isotopologue content of these gases. The surface site provides a continuous sample of carbon flux from interstitial tundra over time throughout the period of the campaign. The FFM draws samples from the aircraft data over many instances of tundra and also open water. From this we will determine how representative the surface site is of the larger area (100 km linear scale), and how much the open water differs from the tundra as a source of carbon.

  18. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soils and lower-layer plants of the southern shrub tundra under technogenic conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakovleva, E. V.; Gabov, D. N.; Beznosikov, V. A.; Kondratenok, B. M.

    2014-06-01

    In soils and plants of the southern shrub tundra, 15 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been detected by high-performance liquid chromatography. Polyarenes in emissions, soil organic horizons, and plants mainly include low-molecular-weight PAHs: naphthalene, fluorine, and pyrene. The contents of the total PAHs in soils and plants exceed the background levels by 3-5 times. The distribution of polyarenes among the organs of the studied plants is nonuniform and depends on the plant species and technogenic load on the area. The studied plants include both hyperaccumulators of polyarenes ( Pleurozium schreberi) and indicators of PAHs in the soil ( Polytrichum commune). Pleurozium schreberi is the most abundant species in the areas under study, and it accumulates the largest mass fraction of PAHs. The differences in the accumulation of PAHs by the plants of the tundra and taiga zones have been revealed.

  19. A boreal invasion in response to climate change? Range shifts and community effects in the borderland between forest and tundra

    OpenAIRE

    Elmhagen, Bodil; Kindberg, Jonas; Hellström, Peter; Angerbjörn, Anders

    2015-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that climate warming will allow southern species to advance north and invade northern ecosystems. We review the changes in the Swedish mammal and bird community in boreal forest and alpine tundra since the nineteenth century, as well as suggested drivers of change. Observed changes include (1) range expansion and increased abundance in southern birds, ungulates, and carnivores; (2) range contraction and decline in northern birds and carnivores; and (3) abundance decli...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  1. Quantification of DOC concentrations in relation with soil properties of soils in tundra and taiga of Northern European Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. R. Oosterwoud

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Potential mobilization and transport of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC in subarctic river basins towards the oceans is enormous, because 23–48% of the worlds Soil Organic Carbon (SOC is stored in northern regions. As climate changes, the amount and composition of DOC exported from these basins are expected to change. The transfer of organic carbon between soils and rivers results in fractionation of organic carbon compounds. The aim of this research is to determine the DOC concentrations, its fractions, i.e. humic (HA, fulvic (FA, and hydrophilic (HY acids, and soil characteristics that influence the DOC sorptive properties of different soil types within a tundra and taiga catchment of Northern European Russia. DOC in taiga and tundra soil profiles (soil solution consisted only of HY and FA, where HY became more abundant with increasing depth. Adsorption of DOC on mineral phases is the key geochemical process for release and removal of DOC from potentially soluble carbon pool. We found that adsorbed organic carbon may desorb easily and can release DOC quickly, without being dependent on mineralization and degradation. Although Extractable Organic Carbon (EOC comprise only a small part of SOC, it is a significant buffering pool for DOC. We found that about 80–90% of released EOC was previously adsorbed. Fractionation of EOC is also influenced by the fact that predominantly HA and FA adsorbed to soil and therefore also are the main compounds released when desorbed. Flowpaths vary between taiga and tundra and through seasons, which likely affects DOC concentration found in streams. As climate changes, also flowpaths of water through soils may change, especially in tundra caused by thawing soils. Therefore, adsorptive properties of thawing soils exert a major control on DOC leaching to rivers. To better understand the process of DOC ad- and de-sorption in soils, process based soil chemical modelling, which could bring more insight in solution

  2. Complete genome sequence of Granulicella tundricola type strain MP5ACTX9T, an Acidobacteria from tundra soil

    OpenAIRE

    Rawat, Suman R.; Männistö, Minna K.; Starovoytov, Valentin; Goodwin, Lynne; Nolan, Matt; Hauser, Loren; Land, Miriam; Davenport, Karen Walston; Woyke, Tanja; Häggblom, Max M.

    2013-01-01

    Granulicella tundricola strain MP5ACTX9T is a novel species of the genus Granulicella in subdivision 1 Acidobacteria . G. tundricola is a predominant member of soil bacterial communities, active at low temperatures and nutrient limiting conditions in Arctic alpine tundra. The organism is a cold-adapted acidophile and a versatile heterotroph that hydrolyzes a suite of sugars and complex polysaccharides. Genome analysis revealed metabolic versatility with genes involved in metabolism and transp...

  3. Complete genome sequence of Granulicella mallensis type strain MP5ACTX8T, an acidobacterium from tundra soil

    OpenAIRE

    Rawat, Suman R.; Männistö, Minna K.; Starovoytov, Valentin; Goodwin, Lynne; Nolan, Matt; Loren J Hauser; Land, Miriam; Davenport, Karen Walston; Woyke, Tanja; Häggblom, Max M.

    2013-01-01

    Granulicella mallensis MP5ACTX8T is a novel species of the genus Granulicella in subdivision 1of Acidobacteria . G. mallensis is of ecological interest being a member of the dominant soil bacterial community active at low temperatures and nutrient limiting conditions in Arctic alpine tundra. G. mallensis is a cold-adapted acidophile and a versatile heterotroph that hydrolyzes a suite of sugars and complex polysaccharides. Genome analysis revealed metabolic versatility with genes involved in m...

  4. Quantification of DOC concentrations in relation with soil properties of soils in tundra and taiga of Northern European Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterwoud, M. R.; Temminghoff, E. J. M.; van der Zee, S. E. A. T. M.

    2010-05-01

    Potential mobilization and transport of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) in subarctic river basins towards the oceans is enormous, because 23-48% of the worlds Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) is stored in northern regions. As climate changes, the amount and composition of DOC exported from these basins are expected to change. The transfer of organic carbon between soils and rivers results in fractionation of organic carbon compounds. The aim of this research is to determine the DOC concentrations, its fractions, i.e. humic (HA), fulvic (FA), and hydrophilic (HY) acids, and soil characteristics that influence the DOC sorptive properties of different soil types within a tundra and taiga catchment of Northern European Russia. DOC in taiga and tundra soil profiles (soil solution) consisted only of HY and FA, where HY became more abundant with increasing depth. Adsorption of DOC on mineral phases is the key geochemical process for release and removal of DOC from potentially soluble carbon pool. We found that adsorbed organic carbon may desorb easily and can release DOC quickly, without being dependent on mineralization and degradation. Although Extractable Organic Carbon (EOC) comprise only a small part of SOC, it is a significant buffering pool for DOC. We found that about 80-90% of released EOC was previously adsorbed. Fractionation of EOC is also influenced by the fact that predominantly HA and FA adsorbed to soil and therefore also are the main compounds released when desorbed. Flowpaths vary between taiga and tundra and through seasons, which likely affects DOC concentration found in streams. As climate changes, also flowpaths of water through soils may change, especially in tundra caused by thawing soils. Therefore, adsorptive properties of thawing soils exert a major control on DOC leaching to rivers. To better understand the process of DOC ad- and de-sorption in soils, process based soil chemical modelling, which could bring more insight in solution speciation, mineral

  5. Apparent Contradiction: Psychrotolerant Bacteria from Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Arctic Tundra Soils That Degrade Diterpenoids Synthesized by Trees

    OpenAIRE

    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 (

  6. The role of endophytic methane-oxidizing bacteria in submerged Sphagnum in determining methane emissions of Northeastern Siberian tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. C. Maximov

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The role of the microbial processes governing methane emissions from tundra ecosystems is receiving increasing attention. Recently, cooperation between methanotrophic bacteria and submerged Sphagnum was shown to reduce methane emissions but also to supply CO2 for photosynthesis for the plant. Although this process was shown to be important in the laboratory, the differences that exist in methane emissions from inundated vegetation types with or without Sphagnum in the field have not been linked to these bacteria before. In this study, chamber flux measurements, an incubation study and a process model were used to investigate the drivers and controls on the relative difference in methane emissions between a submerged Sphagnum/sedge vegetation type and an inundated sedge vegetation type without Sphagnum. It was found that methane emissions in the Sphagnum-dominated vegetation type were 50 % lower than in the vegetation type without Sphagnum. A model sensitivity analysis showed that these differences could not sufficiently be explained by differences in methane production and plant transport. The model, combined with an incubation study, indicated that methane oxidation by endophytic bacteria, living in cooperation with submerged Sphagnum, plays a significant role in methane cycling at this site. This result is important for spatial upscaling as oxidation by these bacteria is likely involved in 15 % of the net methane emissions at this tundra site. Our findings support the notion that methane-oxidizing bacteria are an important factor in understanding the processes behind methane emissions in tundra.

  7. Diurnal patterns of gas-exchange and metabolic pools in tundra plants during three phases of the arctic growing season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patankar, Rajit; Mortazavi, Behzad; Oberbauer, Steven F; Starr, Gregory

    2013-02-01

    Arctic tundra plant communities are subject to a short growing season that is the primary period in which carbon is sequestered for growth and survival. This period is often characterized by 24-h photoperiods for several months a year. To compensate for the short growing season tundra plants may extend their carbon uptake capacity on a diurnal basis, but whether this is true remains unknown. Here, we examined in situ diurnal patterns of physiological activity and foliar metabolites during the early, mid, and late growing season in seven arctic species under light-saturated conditions. We found clear diurnal patterns in photosynthesis and respiration, with midday peaks and midnight lulls indicative of circadian regulation. Diurnal patterns in foliar metabolite concentrations were less distinct between the species and across seasons, suggesting that metabolic pools are likely governed by proximate external factors. This understanding of diurnal physiology will also enhance the parameterization of process-based models, which will aid in better predicting future carbon dynamics for the tundra. This becomes even more critical considering the rapid changes that are occurring circumpolarly that are altering plant community structure, function, and ultimately regional and global carbon budgets. PMID:23467719

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  9. The influence of the Alaskan Gyre on the coastal circulation in the Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heim, Paul K., II; Johnson, Mark A.; O'Brien, James J.

    1992-01-01

    The circulation of the northeast Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Alaska is simulated by means of a reduced-gravity wind-driven model to study seasonal and interannual flow variability. The circulation in the NE Pacific is discussed emphasizing its ramifications for the physical domain, equations, and boundary conditions of the numerical model. The pseudostress fields used to drive the model are based on 20 years of data from the Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set and are analyzed with empirical orthogonal function analysis. The monthly stresses from 1986-89 are used to drive the model, and regional oceanographic features are reproduced including the Alaskan Gyre, Coastal Current, the Sitka eddy, and a severe cyclonic eddy. Comparisons with experimental data show that the high-resolution baroclinic model is valid and demonstrates the applicability of reduced-gravity models.

  10. Bowhead whale behavior in relation to seismic exploration, Alaskan Beaufort Sea, Autumn 1981. Study report (Final)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fraker, M.A.; Ljungblad, D.K.; Richardson, W.J.; Van Schoik, D.R.

    1985-10-01

    Behavior of bowhead whales (Balsena mysticetus) in the eastern part of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea or near the Alaska/Yukon border was observed from a circling turbine-powered Goose aircraft on 10 dates from 12 September to 5 October 1981. On three of these dates, the whales were exposed t, noise impulses from seismic vessels 13 km or more away. Some behavioral data were acquired. In both the presence and the absence of seismic impulses, most bowheads appeared to be feeding in the water column, although slow travel and active socializing were sometimes detected. Sonobuoys detected bowhead calls both in the presence and the absence of seismic impulses. There was no clear evidence of unusual behavior in the presence of seismic impulses.

  11. Increasing shrub abundance and N addition in Arctic tundra affect leaf and root litter decomposition differently

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaren, J.; van de Weg, M. J.; Shaver, G. R.; Gough, L.

    2013-12-01

    Changes in global climate have resulted in a ';greening' of the Arctic as the abundance of deciduous shrub species increases. Consequently, not only the living plant community, but also the litter composition changes, which in turn can affect carbon turnover patterns in the Arctic. We examined effects of changing litter composition (both root and leaf litter) on decomposition rates with a litter bag study, and specifically focused on the impact of deciduous shrub Betula nana litter on litter decomposition from two evergreen shrubs (Ledum palustre, and Vaccinium vitis-idaea) and one graminoid (Eriophorum vaginatum) species. Additionally, we investigated how decomposition was affected by nutrient availability by placing the litterbags in an ambient and a fertilized moist acidic tundra environment. Measurements were carried out seasonally over 2 years (after snow melt, mid-growing season, end growing season). We measured litter mass loss over time, as well as the respiration rates (standardized for temperature and moisture) and temperature sensitivity of litter respiration at the time of harvesting the litter bags. For leaves, Betula litter decomposed faster than the other three species, with Eriophorum leaves decomposing the slowest. This pattern was observed for both mass loss and litter respiration rates, although the differences in respiration became smaller over time. Surprisingly, combining Betula with any other species resulted in slower overall weight loss rates than would be predicted based on monoculture weight loss rates. This contrasted with litter respiration at the time of sampling, which showed a positive mixing effect of adding Betula leaf liter to the other species. Apparently, during the first winter months (September - May) Betula litter decomposition is negatively affected by mixing the species and this legacy can still be observed in the total mass loss results later in the year. For root litter there were fewer effects of species identity on root

  12. Frequency of genes in aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbon biodegradation pathways within baterial populations from Alaskan sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bacteria from sediments affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill were examined for their ability to metabolize aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons and for genes in the pathways for metabolism of low molecular weight alkanes and aromatic hydrocarbons. The abilities of microorganisms from Alaskan sediments to mineralize hexadecane and naphthalene were also determined. Microorganisms were further examined for the presence of the alkB gene that codes for the alkane hydroxylase responsible for the hydroxylation of C6-12 alkanes within the pathway for alkane metabolism, and for the presence of the xylE gene that codes for catechol 2,3-dioxygenase that catalyzes the cleavage of catechols within the lower pathway of aromatic hydrocarbon metabolism. These studies were aimed at determining whether microorganisms can possess genes in the pathways for both aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbon metabolism. It was found that a significant proportion of the naturally occurring hydrocarbon-degrading populations within Alaskan sediments affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill had both the xylE and alkB genes and could convert hexadecane and naphthalene to CO2. A greater proportion had xylE than alkB, reflecting the composition of the residual oil at the time of sampling. Nearly equal populations with xylE alone, alkB alone, and xylE plus alkB genes together were found after exposure to fresh crude oil. Populations with xylE lacking alkB increased after enrichment on naphthalene. Thus, the genotypes of hydrocarbon-degrading populations reflected the composition of the hydrocarbons to which they were exposed. 13 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab

  13. 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

  14. Contrasting radiation and soil heat fluxes in Arctic shrub and wet sedge tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juszak, Inge; Eugster, Werner; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela

    2016-07-01

    Vegetation changes, such as shrub encroachment and wetland expansion, have been observed in many Arctic tundra regions. These changes feed back to permafrost and climate. Permafrost can be protected by soil shading through vegetation as it reduces the amount of solar energy available for thawing. Regional climate can be affected by a reduction in surface albedo as more energy is available for atmospheric and soil heating. Here, we compared the shortwave radiation budget of two common Arctic tundra vegetation types dominated by dwarf shrubs (Betula nana) and wet sedges (Eriophorum angustifolium) in North-East Siberia. We measured time series of the shortwave and longwave radiation budget above the canopy and transmitted radiation below the canopy. Additionally, we quantified soil temperature and heat flux as well as active layer thickness. The mean growing season albedo of dwarf shrubs was 0.15 ± 0.01, for sedges it was higher (0.17 ± 0.02). Dwarf shrub transmittance was 0.36 ± 0.07 on average, and sedge transmittance was 0.28 ± 0.08. The standing dead leaves contributed strongly to the soil shading of wet sedges. Despite a lower albedo and less soil shading, the soil below dwarf shrubs conducted less heat resulting in a 17 cm shallower active layer as compared to sedges. This result was supported by additional, spatially distributed measurements of both vegetation types. Clouds were a major influencing factor for albedo and transmittance, particularly in sedge vegetation. Cloud cover reduced the albedo by 0.01 in dwarf shrubs and by 0.03 in sedges, while transmittance was increased by 0.08 and 0.10 in dwarf shrubs and sedges, respectively. Our results suggest that the observed deeper active layer below wet sedges is not primarily a result of the summer canopy radiation budget. Soil properties, such as soil albedo, moisture, and thermal conductivity, may be more influential, at least in our comparison between dwarf shrub vegetation on relatively dry patches and

  15. Carbon Fluxes in a sub-arctic tundra undergoing permafrost degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracho, R. G.; Webb, E.; Mauritz, M.; Schuur, E. A. G.

    2014-12-01

    As an effect of climate change, temperatures in high latitude regions are increasing faster than in the rest of the world and future projections indicate it will increase between 7°C and 8°C by the end of the 21st century. Permafrost soils store around 1700 Pg of Carbon (C), which is approximately the amount of C stored in terrestrial vegetation and in the atmosphere combined. Sustained warming induces permafrost thaw, leads to a thicker seasonal active layer, and creates subsided patches in the landscape. Carbon that was previously inaccessible to decomposition is thus exposed, increasing the likelihood of positive feedback of CO2 to the atmosphere. We measured C fluxes (Net ecosystem carbon flux, NEE, and Ecosystem respiration, Re) using the eddy covariance approach in a tundra landscape (Eight Mile Lake Watershed, Alaska) undergoing permafrost degradation from the beginning of the growing season in 2008 and throughout most winters until May 2014. This interval encompassed a range of climatic variability that included a deviation of ± 50% from the long term average in growing season precipitation. Active layer depth (thaw depth at the end of the growing season) and subsidence in the footprint were used as indicators of permafrost degradation. Results indicate that annual NEE ranged from a sink of 0.76 MgC ha-1 yr-1 to a source of 0.55 MgC ha-1 yr-1. NEE during the growing seasons fluctuated from 1.1 to 1.8 MgC ha-1 season-1 in net C uptake. Annual NEE was strongly affected by winter Re, which represented between 33% and 45% of the annual value regardless of of the large drop in both air and soil temperature. Parameters from the light response curve (optimum NEE, NEEopt and quantum yield, α) showed a seasonal and interannual variability and were different between the most and least degraded sites in the footprint, which affected the magnitude of the carbon cycle and may have implications for landscape C balance in sub-arctic tundra.

  16. MODIS Tree Cover Validation for the Circumpolar Taiga-Tundra Transition Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montesano, P. M.; Nelson, R.; Sun, G.; Margolis, H.; Kerber, A.; Ranson, K. J.

    2009-01-01

    A validation of the 2005 500m MODIS vegetation continuous fields (VCF) tree cover product in the circumpolar taiga-tundra ecotone was performed using high resolution Quickbird imagery. Assessing the VCF's performance near the northern limits of the boreal forest can help quantify the accuracy of the product within this vegetation transition area. The circumpolar region was divided into longitudinal zones and validation sites were selected in areas of varying tree cover where Quickbird imagery is available in Google Earth. Each site was linked to the corresponding VCF pixel and overlaid with a regular dot grid within the VCF pixel's boundary to estimate percent tree crown cover in the area. Percent tree crown cover was estimated using Quickbird imagery for 396 sites throughout the circumpolar region and related to the VCF's estimates of canopy cover for 2000-2005. Regression results of VCF inter-annual comparisons (2000-2005) and VCF-Quickbird image-interpreted estimates indicate that: (1) Pixel-level, inter-annual comparisons of VCF estimates of percent canopy cover were linearly related (mean R(sup 2) = 0.77) and exhibited an average root mean square error (RMSE) of 10.1 % and an average root mean square difference (RMSD) of 7.3%. (2) A comparison of image-interpreted percent tree crown cover estimates based on dot counts on Quickbird color images by two different interpreters were more variable (R(sup 2) = 0.73, RMSE = 14.8%, RMSD = 18.7%) than VCF inter-annual comparisons. (3) Across the circumpolar boreal region, 2005 VCF-Quickbird comparisons were linearly related, with an R(sup 2) = 0.57, a RMSE = 13.4% and a RMSD = 21.3%, with a tendency to over-estimate areas of low percent tree cover and anomalous VCF results in Scandinavia. The relationship of the VCF estimates and ground reference indicate to potential users that the VCF's tree cover values for individual pixels, particularly those below 20% tree cover, may not be precise enough to monitor 500m pixel

  17. Response of ecosystem CO2 and CH4 flux to nutrient increase in Arctophila fulva dominated tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, M. J.; Lin, D. H.; Johnson, D. R.; Lougheed, V.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2012-12-01

    High latitude tundra ecosystems are undergoing dramatic warming that is increasing thaw depth, nutrient availability, and plant productivity in tundra ponds of northern Alaska. Understanding how these changes will affect ecosystem function remains a key research challenge. Near Barrow Alaska the extent of aquatic tundra dominated by Arctophila fulva, a common Arctic aquatic macrophyte, has increased over the past half Century. Concurrent with this change has been an increase in nitrogen and phosphorus in these aquatic ecosystems. This study examines the response of ecosystem carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) flux from A. fulva dominated tundra under elevated nitrogen and phosphorus levels. We extracted monoliths of pond margin aquatic tundra near Barrow, Alaska dominated by A. fulva and placed them in a continuous flux monitoring system, that controlled environmental conditions (light, air temperature, water table height) at different nutrient concentrations (control: 0.0 mgN L-1, 0.0 mgP L-1, low: 1.5 mgN L-1, 0.6 mgP L-1, and high: 7.5 mgN L-1, 3.0 mgP L-1). The experiment was run for approximately nine weeks. In response to the high nutrient treatment, A.fulva biomass and steady state CH4 emission (SE) increased but light usage efficiency and gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) declined, effectively switching net ecosystem production (NEP) from a carbon sink to a source. There were no significant differences in CO2 and CH4 flux between control and low nutrient treatments. No differences in gas ebullition (GE) among nutrient treatment were found but a negative relationship between GE and biomass was documented (R2= 0.34, p< 0.001). Further, using CH4 fluxes during the pre-treatment period, we estimated that GE represents approximately 30-40% of the total CH4 flux in the monoliths sampled. Collectively, short-term experimental results suggest A. fulva biomass and CO2 and CH4 fluxes in aquatic habitats have likely been altered by high levels of nutrient

  18. 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.

  19. Organic matter composition and stabilization in a polygonal tundra soil of the Lena Delta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höfle, S.; Rethemeyer, J.; Mueller, C. W.; John, S.

    2013-05-01

    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 (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.

  20. Organic matter composition and stabilization in a polygonal tundra soil of the Lena-Delta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höfle, S.; Rethemeyer, J.; Mueller, C. W.; John, S.

    2012-09-01

    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 low 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 (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.

  1. Old soil carbon losses increase with ecosystem respiration in experimentally thawed tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks Pries, Caitlin E.; Schuur, Edward A. G.; Natali, Susan M.; Crummer, K. Grace

    2016-02-01

    Old soil carbon (C) respired to the atmosphere as a result of permafrost thaw has the potential to become a large positive feedback to climate change. As permafrost thaws, quantifying old soil contributions to ecosystem respiration (Reco) and understanding how these contributions change with warming is necessary to estimate the size of this positive feedback. We used naturally occurring C isotopes (δ13C and Δ14C) to partition Reco into plant, young soil and old soil sources in a subarctic air and soil warming experiment over three years. We found that old soil contributions to Reco increased with soil temperature and Reco flux. However, the increase in the soil warming treatment was smaller than expected because experimentally warming the soils increased plant contributions to Reco by 30%. On the basis of these data, an increase in mean annual temperature from -5 to 0 °C will increase old soil C losses from moist acidic tundra by 35-55 g C m-2 during the growing season. The largest losses will probably occur where the plant response to warming is minimal.

  2. Estimated change in tundra ecosystem function near Barrow, Alaska between 1972 and 2010

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    How the greening of Arctic landscapes manifests as a change in ecosystem structure and function remains largely unknown. This study investigates the likely implications of plant community change on ecosystem function in tundra near Barrow, Alaska. We use structural data from marked plots, established in 1972 and resampled in 1999, 2008 and 2010 to assess plant community change. Ecosystem functional studies were made close to peak growing season in 2008 and 2010 on destructive plots adjacent to marked plots and included measurement of land–atmosphere CH4 and CO2 exchange, hyperspectral reflectance, albedo, water table height, soil moisture, and plant species cover and abundance. Species cover and abundance data from marked and destructive plots were analyzed together using non-metric multi-dimensional scaling (NMS) ordination. NMS axis scores from destructive plots were used to krig ecosystem function variables in ordination space and produce surface plots from which time series of functional attributes for resampled plots were derived. Generally, the greatest functional change was found in aquatic and wet plant communities, where productivity varied and soil moisture increased, increasing methane efflux. Functional change was minimal in moist and dry communities, which experienced a general decrease in soil moisture availability and appeared overall to be functionally more stable through time. Findings suggest that the Barrow landscape could have become less productive and less responsive to change and disturbance over the past few decades. This study is a contribution to the International Polar Year-Back to the Future Project (512). (letter)

  3. The effect of silver nanoparticles on seasonal change in arctic tundra bacterial and fungal assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niraj Kumar

    Full Text Available The impact of silver nanoparticles (NPs and microparticles (MPs on bacterial and fungal assemblages was studied in soils collected from a low arctic site. Two different concentrations (0.066% and 6.6% of Ag NPs and Ag MPs were tested in microcosms that were exposed to temperatures mimicking a winter to summer transition. Toxicity was monitored by differential respiration, phospholipid fatty acid analysis, polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing. Notwithstanding the effect of Ag MPs, nanosilver had an obvious, additional impact on the microbial community, underscoring the importance of particle size in toxicity. This impact was evidenced by levels of differential respiration in 0.066% Ag NP-treated soil that were only half that of control soils, a decrease in signature bacterial fatty acids, and changes in both richness and evenness in bacterial and fungal DNA sequence assemblages. Prominent after Ag NP-treatment were Hypocreales fungi, which increased to 70%, from only 1% of fungal sequences under control conditions. Genera within this Order known for their antioxidant properties (Cordyceps/Isaria dominated the fungal assemblage after NP addition. In contrast, sequences attributed to the nitrogen-fixing Rhizobiales bacteria appeared vulnerable to Ag NP-mediated toxicity. This combination of physiological, biochemical and molecular studies clearly demonstrate that Ag NPs can severely disrupt the natural seasonal progression of tundra assemblages.

  4. The effect of silver nanoparticles on seasonal change in arctic tundra bacterial and fungal assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Niraj; Palmer, Gerald R; Shah, Vishal; Walker, Virginia K

    2014-01-01

    The impact of silver nanoparticles (NPs) and microparticles (MPs) on bacterial and fungal assemblages was studied in soils collected from a low arctic site. Two different concentrations (0.066% and 6.6%) of Ag NPs and Ag MPs were tested in microcosms that were exposed to temperatures mimicking a winter to summer transition. Toxicity was monitored by differential respiration, phospholipid fatty acid analysis, polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing. Notwithstanding the effect of Ag MPs, nanosilver had an obvious, additional impact on the microbial community, underscoring the importance of particle size in toxicity. This impact was evidenced by levels of differential respiration in 0.066% Ag NP-treated soil that were only half that of control soils, a decrease in signature bacterial fatty acids, and changes in both richness and evenness in bacterial and fungal DNA sequence assemblages. Prominent after Ag NP-treatment were Hypocreales fungi, which increased to 70%, from only 1% of fungal sequences under control conditions. Genera within this Order known for their antioxidant properties (Cordyceps/Isaria) dominated the fungal assemblage after NP addition. In contrast, sequences attributed to the nitrogen-fixing Rhizobiales bacteria appeared vulnerable to Ag NP-mediated toxicity. This combination of physiological, biochemical and molecular studies clearly demonstrate that Ag NPs can severely disrupt the natural seasonal progression of tundra assemblages. PMID:24926877

  5. Pollen Morphology of Tundra Shrubs and Submarginal Plants from Barrow, Alaska

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    Investigation of plant morphological features, pollen, and habitat have been made for two shrub species from Barrow, Alaska, namely Dryas integrifolia M. Vahl and Salix rotundifolia Trautv., both of which are endemic to the Arctic floristic area. The former species has small lanceolate or plate leaves, whereas the latter has rounded leaves with distinct veins, rich in vitamin C. Both have dwarf and sprawling habits. Pollen studies showed that the pollen grains of the two species are spheroidal to sub-spheroidal or prolate. The type of aperture was tricolporate; pollen size 26.3-31.3 μm; ornamentation finely reticulate under a light microscope (LM) and striate-reticulate under a scanning electron microscope (SEM) for D. integrafolia and finely reticulate under the LM and SEM for S. rotundlfolia. Comparisons were made between the pollen from the same species from Arctic collections with those from China and Japan. Investigation of pollen morphology of tundra plants can provide significant data for comparative studies of fossil pollen and for the reconstruction of paleovegetation and paleoclimate in the Barrow area.

  6. Heterogeneity of carbon loss and its temperature sensitivity in East-European subarctic tundra soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diáková, Kateřina; Čapek, Petr; Kohoutová, Iva; Mpamah, Promise A; Bárta, Jiří; Biasi, Christina; Martikainen, Pertti J; Šantrůčková, Hana

    2016-09-01

    Arctic peatlands store large stocks of organic carbon which are vulnerable to the climate change but their fate is uncertain. There is increasing evidence that a part of it will be lost as a result of faster microbial mineralization. We studied the vulnerability of 3500-5900 years old bare peat uplifted from permafrost layers by cryogenic processes to the surface of an arctic peat plateau. We aimed to find biotic and abiotic drivers of CLOSS from old peat and compare them with those of adjacent, young vegetated soils of the peat plateau and mineral tundra. The soils were incubated in laboratory at three temperatures (4°C, 12°C and 20°C) and two oxygen levels (aerobic, anaerobic). CLOSS was monitored and soil parameters (organic carbon quality, nutrient availability, microbial activity, biomass and stoichiometry, and extracellular oxidative and hydrolytic enzyme pools) were determined. We found that CLOSS from the old peat was constrained by low microbial biomass representing only 0.22% of organic carbon. CLOSS was only slightly reduced by the absence of oxygen and exponentially increased with temperature, showing the same temperature sensitivity under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. We conclude that carbon in the old bare peat is stabilized by a combination of physical, chemical and biological controls including soil compaction, organic carbon quality, low microbial biomass and the absence of plants. PMID:27316560

  7. 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.

  8. Changes in microbial communities along redox gradients in polygonized Arctic wet tundra soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipson, David A.; Raab, Theodore K.; Parker , Melanie; Kelley , Scott T.; Brislawn, Colin J.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2015-07-21

    This study investigated how microbial community structure and diversity varied with depth and topography in ice wedge polygons of wet tundra of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska, and what soil variables explain these patterns. We observed strong changes in community structure and diversity with depth, and more subtle changes between areas of high and low topography, with the largest differences apparent near the soil surface. These patterns are most strongly correlated with redox gradients (measured using the ratio of reduced Fe to total Fe in acid extracts as a proxy): conditions grew more reducing with depth and were most oxidized in shallow regions of polygon rims. Organic matter and pH also changed with depth and topography, but were less effective predictors of the microbial community structure and relative abundance of specific taxa. Of all other measured variables, lactic acid concentration was the best, in combination with redox, for describing the microbial community. We conclude that redox conditions are the dominant force in shaping microbial communities in this landscape. Oxygen and other electron acceptors allowed for the greatest diversity of microbes: at depth the community was reduced to a simpler core of anaerobes, dominated by fermenters (Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes).

  9. Changes in microbial communities along redox gradients in polygonized Arctic wet tundra soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipson, David A.; Raab, Theodore K.; Parker , Melanie; Kelley , Scott T.; Brislawn, Colin J.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2015-08-01

    Summary This study investigated how microbial community structure and diversity varied with depth and topography in ice wedge polygons of wet tundra of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska and what soil variables explain these patterns. We observed strong changes in community structure and diversity with depth, and more subtle changes between areas of high and low topography, with the largest differences apparent near the soil surface. These patterns are most strongly correlated with redox gradients (measured using the ratio of reduced Fe to total Fe in acid extracts as a proxy): conditions grew more reducing with depth and were most oxidized in shallow regions of polygon rims. Organic matter and pH also changed with depth and topography but were less effective predictors of the microbial community structure and relative abundance of specific taxa. Of all other measured variables, lactic acid concentration was the best, in combination with redox, for describing the microbial community. We conclude that redox conditions are the dominant force in shaping microbial communities in this landscape. Oxygen and other electron acceptors allowed for the greatest diversity of microbes: at depth the community was reduced to a simpler core of anaerobes,

  10. 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. PMID:27012239

  11. Epidemiology of fetal alcohol syndrome in American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and Canadian Aboriginal peoples: a review of the literature.

    OpenAIRE

    Burd, L; Moffatt, M E

    1994-01-01

    A critical review of available reports on the epidemiology of fetal alcohol syndrome among American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and Aboriginal peoples of Canada was completed. A search of Medline, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Database, and other relevant data bases was conducted. The reference lists of several publications on fetal alcohol syndrome were reviewed, and four prominent researchers and four government agencies were contacted to identify unpublished articles...

  12. A tephra ash from the Alaskan Mt. Redoubt 4 April 2009 eruption reached Prague in twelve days

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Chadimová, Leona; Hladil, Jindřich; Strnad, L.; Skála, Roman; Navrátil, Tomáš; Neal, Ch.

    s. l : Associazione Italiana per lo Studio delle Argille, 2014 - (Belviso, C.; Fiore , S.; Giannossi, M.). s. 71-71 ISBN 978-88-7522-095-2. [International Conference on Atmospheric Dust. 01.06.2014-06.06.2014, Castellaneta Marina] Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : volcanology * eruption * Alaskan Mt. Redoubt 4 April 2009 eruption Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy http://www.dust2014.org/download/BoA.pdf

  13. Investigating Alaskan methane and carbon dioxide fluxes using measurements from the CARVE tower

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karion, Anna; Sweeney, Colm; Miller, John B.; Andrews, Arlyn E.; Commane, Roisin; Dinardo, Steven; Henderson, John M.; Lindaas, Jacob; Lin, John C.; Luus, Kristina A.; Newberger, Tim; Tans, Pieter; Wofsy, Steven C.; Wolter, Sonja; Miller, Charles E.

    2016-04-01

    Northern high-latitude carbon sources and sinks, including those resulting from degrading permafrost, are thought to be sensitive to the rapidly warming climate. Because the near-surface atmosphere integrates surface fluxes over large ( ˜ 500-1000 km) scales, atmospheric monitoring of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) mole fractions in the daytime mixed layer is a promising method for detecting change in the carbon cycle throughout boreal Alaska. Here we use CO2 and CH4 measurements from a NOAA tower 17 km north of Fairbanks, AK, established as part of NASA's Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE), to investigate regional fluxes of CO2 and CH4 for 2012-2014. CARVE was designed to use aircraft and surface observations to better understand and quantify the sensitivity of Alaskan carbon fluxes to climate variability. We use high-resolution meteorological fields from the Polar Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with the Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport model (hereafter, WRF-STILT), along with the Polar Vegetation Photosynthesis and Respiration Model (PolarVPRM), to investigate fluxes of CO2 in boreal Alaska using the tower observations, which are sensitive to large areas of central Alaska. We show that simulated PolarVPRM-WRF-STILT CO2 mole fractions show remarkably good agreement with tower observations, suggesting that the WRF-STILT model represents the meteorology of the region quite well, and that the PolarVPRM flux magnitudes and spatial distribution are generally consistent with CO2 mole fractions observed at the CARVE tower. One exception to this good agreement is that during the fall of all 3 years, PolarVPRM cannot reproduce the observed CO2 respiration. Using the WRF-STILT model, we find that average CH4 fluxes in boreal Alaska are somewhat lower than flux estimates by Chang et al. (2014) over all of Alaska for May-September 2012; we also find that enhancements appear to persist during some wintertime

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  17. Investigating Alaskan methane and carbon dioxide fluxes using measurements from the CARVE tower

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Karion

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Northern high-latitude carbon sources and sinks, including those resulting from degrading permafrost, are thought to be sensitive to the rapidly warming climate. Because the near-surface atmosphere integrates surface fluxes over large (~ 500–1000 km scales, atmospheric monitoring of carbon dioxide (CO2 and methane (CH4 mole fractions in the daytime mixed layer is a promising method for detecting change in the carbon cycle throughout boreal Alaska. Here we use CO2 and CH4 measurements from a NOAA tower 17 km north of Fairbanks AK, established as part of NASA's Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE, to investigate regional fluxes of CO2 and CH4 for 2012–2014. CARVE was designed to use aircraft and surface observations to better understand and quantify the sensitivity of Alaskan carbon fluxes to climate variability. We use high-resolution meteorological fields from the Polar Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF model coupled with the Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport model (hereafter, WRF-STILT, along with the Polar Vegetation Photosynthesis and Respiration Model (PolarVPRM, to investigate fluxes of CO2 in boreal Alaska using the tower observations, which are sensitive to large areas of central Alaska. We show that simulated PolarVPRM/WRF-STILT CO2 mole fractions show remarkably good agreement with tower observations, suggesting that the WRF-STILT model represents the meteorology of the region quite well, and that the PolarVPRM flux magnitudes and spatial distribution are consistent with CO2 mole fractions observed at the CARVE tower. CO2 signals at the tower are larger than predicted, with significant respiration occurring in the fall that is not captured by PolarVPRM. Using the WRF-STILT model, we find that average CH4 fluxes in boreal Alaska are somewhat lower than flux estimates by Chang et al. (2014 over all of Alaska for May–September 2012; we also find emissions persist during some wintertime periods

  18. Characterizing adsorptive properties and DOC concentrations in soils of Northern European Russian tundra and taiga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterwoud, Marieke; Temminghoff, Erwin; van der Zee, Sjoerd

    2010-05-01

    Subarctic river basins have an enormous potential to mobilize and transport terrestrial OC to the Arctic Ocean, because 23-48% of the worlds soils organic carbon (SOC) is stored in the high latitude region. Currently the Arctic drainage basin (~24 x 106 km2) processes about 11% of the global dissolved organic carbon (DOC), which is exported to the ocean. About 10-25% of annual C input to the organic surface layer with litter is leached from the organic surface layers. As climate changes, the amount and chemical composition of DOC exported from these basins are expected to change. Adsorption of DOC on mineral phases is the key geochemical process for the release and removal of DOC from this potentially soluble carbon pool. Most DOC leached from organic horizons is adsorbed and retained in the subsoils. The adsorption depends much on the content of sesquioxides and amount of carbon previously accumulated in soils. Besides adsorption, polyvalent metal ions in solution, such as Al and Ca, can cause precipitation of DOC. Along with the decrease of DOC concentrations on its passage through mineral soil, there are major biochemical alterations of DOC composition. Hydrophobic compounds (humic and fulvic acids) of high molecular weight that are rich in acidic functional groups and aromatic compounds adsorb most strongly. Hydrophilic compounds can contribute to DOC adsorption but are also easily desorbed because of the weaker bonding strength. The aim of this study was to characterize the DOC concentrations and their chemical composition as well as the DOC adsorptive properties of soils found in a tundra and taiga catchment of Northern Russia. We sampled soil and soil solution from two catchments in the Komi Republic of European Northern Russia: a tundra (67N/62E) and a taiga (62N/50E). The soil samples were analysed for total organic carbon (Ct) and the content of sequioxides. By extracting soil samples with water we got an impression of the potentially extractable organic

  19. Organic matter composition and stabilization in a polygonal tundra soil of the Lena-Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Höfle

    2012-09-01

    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 low 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 (< 6.3 μm, which were composed of little decomposed plant material indicated by the dominance of long 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.

  20. Inter-annual carbon dioxide uptake of a wet sedge tundra ecosystem in the Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The CO2 flux of a wet sedge tundra ecosystem in the Arctic, at Barrow, Alaska, has been measured by the eddy correlation method since spring 1999, and the CO2 uptake by the vegetation during the spring and growing periods was examined between 1999 and 2000. CO2 flux changed to a sink immediately after the spring thaw in 1999 and the photosynthetic activity was high in the first half of the growing period. At this time the air temperature was low and solar radiation was high. In the 2000 season, the temperature was approximately 5 deg C lower during the snow-covered period, and increased up to 5 deg C higher right after the spring thaw but the solar radiation decreased to two thirds of that in 1999. Thus, we found different CO2 accumulation during the snow melt and the following two weeks between both years. The difference in the climate at beginning shoulder period of the growing season resulted in the difference of CO2 accumulation through the growing period. The maximum level of photosynthetic potential (Pmax) in late July was analyzed as being almost the same at 20 gCO2 m2 d1 for both years. However, the weekly average peak CO2 uptake was 16.4 and 11.9 gCO2/m2/d in 1999 and 2000, respectively, with the lower number in 2000 caused by the low radiation with high air temperatures. The CO2 accumulation during the spring and through the growing periods was a net sink of 593 gCO2/m2 in 1999 and a sink of 384 gCO2/m2 in 2000. High CO2 accumulation in 1999 was caused by earlier development of the vegetation, and the lower CO2 uptake in mid summer in 2000 was caused by unseasonable weather

  1. Recent Declines in Warming and Vegetation Greening Trends over Pan-Arctic Tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor V. Polyakov

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Vegetation productivity trends for the Arctic tundra are updated for the 1982–2011 period and examined in the context of land surface temperatures and coastal sea ice. Understanding mechanistic links between vegetation and climate parameters contributes to model advancements that are necessary for improving climate projections. This study employs remote sensing data: Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS Maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (MaxNDVI, Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I sea-ice concentrations, and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR radiometric surface temperatures. Spring sea ice is declining everywhere except in the Bering Sea, while summer open water area is increasing throughout the Arctic. Summer Warmth Index (SWI—sum of degree months above freezing trends from 1982 to 2011 are positive around Beringia but are negative over Eurasia from the Barents to the Laptev Seas and in parts of northern Canada. Eastern North America continues to show increased summer warmth and a corresponding steady increase in MaxNDVI. Positive MaxNDVI trends from 1982 to 2011 are generally weaker compared to trends from 1982–2008. So to better understand the changing trends, break points in the time series were quantified using the Breakfit algorithm. The most notable break points identify declines in SWI since 2003 in Eurasia and 1998 in Western North America. The Time Integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI, sum of the biweekly growing season values of MaxNDVI has declined since 2005 in Eurasia, consistent with SWI declines. Summer (June–August sea level pressure (slp averages from 1999–2011 were compared to those from 1982–1998 to reveal higher slp over Greenland and the western Arctic and generally lower pressure over the continental Arctic in the recent period. This suggests that the large-scale circulation is likely a key contributor to the cooler temperatures over Eurasia through increased summer cloud

  2. Interference in the tundra predator guild studied using local ecological knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrich, Dorothee; Strømeng, Marita A; Killengreen, Siw T

    2016-04-01

    The decline or recolonization of apex predators such as wolves and lynx, often driven by management decisions, and the expansion of smaller generalist predators such as red foxes, can have important ecosystem impacts. The mesopredator release hypothesis proposes that apex predators control medium-sized predator populations through competition and/or intraguild predation. The decline of apex predators thus leads to an increase in mesopredators, possibly with a negative impact on prey populations. Information about the abundance of mammalian tundra predators, wolf (Canis lupus), wolverine (Gulo gulo), lynx (Lynx lynx), red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) was collected from local active outdoors people during semi-structured interviews in 14 low arctic or sub-arctic settlements in western Eurasia. The perceived abundance of red fox decreased with higher wolf abundance and in more arctic areas, but the negative effect of wolves decreased in more arctic and therefore less productive ecosystems. The perceived abundance of arctic fox increased towards the arctic and in areas with colder winters. Although there was a negative correlation between the two fox species, red fox was not included in the model for perceived arctic fox abundance, which received most support. Our results support the mesopredator release hypothesis regarding the expansion of red foxes in subarctic areas and indicate that top-down control by apex predators is weaker in less productive and more arctic ecosystems. We showed that local ecological knowledge is a valuable source of information about large-scale processes, which are difficult to study through direct biological investigations. PMID:26686344

  3. 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 watershed (r = 0.52 ± 0.09, mean ± SD), principally in cold areas, and with CMIgy across 9% of the watershed (r = 0.45 ± 0.06), largely in warm areas. Larch ring-width measurements from nine sites revealed that year-to-year (i.e., high-frequency) variation in growth 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. PMID:23813896

  4. Distribution of global fallouts cesium-137 in taiga and tundra catenae at the Ob River basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semenkov, I. N.; Usacheva, A. A.; Miroshnikov, A. Yu.

    2015-03-01

    The classification of soil catenae at the Ob River basin is developed and applied. This classification reflects the diverse geochemical conditions that led to the formation of certain soil bodies, their combinations and the migration fields of chemical elements. The soil and geochemical diversity of the Ob River basin catenae was analyzed. The vertical and lateral distribution of global fallouts cesium-137 was studied using the example of the four most common catenae types in Western Siberia tundra and taiga. In landscapes of dwarf birches and dark coniferous forests on gleysols, cryosols, podzols, and cryic-stagnosols, the highest 137Cs activity density and specific activity are characteristic of the upper soil layer of over 30% ash, while the moss-grass-shrub cover is characterized by low 137Cs activity density and specific activity. In landscapes of dwarf birches and pine woods on podzols, the maximum specific activity of cesium-137 is typical for moss-grass-shrub cover, while the maximum reserves are concentrated in the upper soil layer of over 30% ash. Bog landscapes and moss-grass-shrub cover are characterized by a minimum activity of 137Cs, and its reserves in soil generally decrease exponentially with depth. The cesium-137 penetration depth increases in oligotrophic histosols from northern to middle taiga landscapes from 10-15 to 40 cm. 137Cs is accumulated in oligotrophic histosols for increases in pH from 3.3 to 4.0 and in concretionary interlayers of pisoplinthic-cryic-histic-stagnosols. Cryogenic movement, on the one hand, leads to burying organic layers enriched in 137Cs and, on the other hand, to deducing specific activity when mixed with low-active material from lower soil layers.

  5. 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

  6. Correlations between different acidity forms in amorphous loamy soils of the tundra and taiga zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamrikova, E. V.; Sokolova, T. A.

    2013-05-01

    Pair correlation coefficients ( r) between the acidity parameters for the main genetic horizons of soddy-podzolic soils (SPSs), typical podzolic soils (TPSs), gley-podzolic soils (GPSs), and tundra surfacegley soils (TSGSs) have been calculated on the basis of a previously developed database. A significant direct linear correlation has been revealed between the pHwater and pHKCl values in the organic and eluvial horizons of each soil, but the degree of correlation decreased when going from the less acidic SPSs to the more acidic soils of other taxons. This could be related to the fact that, under strongly acid conditions, extra Al3+ was dissolved in the KCl solutions from complex compounds in the organic horizons and from Al hydroxide interlayers in the soil chlorites. No significant linear correlation has been found between the exchangeable acidity ( H exch) and the activity of the [H]+ ions in the KCl extract ( a(H+)KCl) calculated per unit of mass in the organic horizons of the SPSs, but it has been revealed in the organic horizons of the other soils because of the presence of the strongest organic acids in their KCl extracts. The high r values between the H exch and a(H+)KCl in all the soils of the taiga zones have been related to the common source and composition of the acidic components. The correlation between the exchangeable and total ( H tot) acidities in the organic horizons of the podzolic soils has been characterized by high r values because of the common source of the acidity: H+ and probably Al3+ ions located on the functional groups of organic acids. High r values between the H exch and a(H+)KCl have been observed in the mineral horizons of all the soils, because the Al3+ hydroxo complexes occurring on the surface and in the interlayer spaces of the clay minerals were sources of both acidity forms.

  7. Assessing the spatial variability in peak season CO2 exchange characteristics across the Arctic tundra using a light response curve parameterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. N. Mbufong

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to assess the functional and spatial variability in the response of CO2 exchange to irradiance across the Arctic tundra during peak season using light response curve (LRC parameters. This investigation allows us to better understand the future response of Arctic tundra under climatic change. Data was collected using the micrometeorological eddy covariance technique from 12 circumpolar Arctic tundra sites, in the range of 64–74° N. The LRCs were generated for 14 days with peak net ecosystem exchange (NEE using an NEE -irradiance model. Parameters from LRCs represent site specific traits and characteristics describing: (a NEE at light saturation (Fcsat, (b dark respiration (Rd, (c light use efficiency (α, (d NEE when light is at 1000 μmol m−2 s−1 (Fc1000, (e potential photosynthesis at light saturation (Psat and (f the light compensation point (LCP. Parameterization of LRCs was successful in predicting CO2 flux dynamics across the Arctic tundra. Yet we did not find any trends in LRC parameters across the whole Arctic tundra but there were indications for temperature and latitudinal differences within sub-regions like Russia and Greenland. Together, LAI and July temperature had a high explanatory power of the variance in assimilation parameters (Fcsat, Fc1000 and Psat, thus illustrating the potential for upscaling CO2 exchange for the whole Arctic tundra. Dark respiration was more variable and less correlated to environmental drivers than was assimilation parameters. Thus, indicating the inherent need to include other parameters such as nutrient availability, substrate quantity and quality in flux monitoring activities.

  8. Fine-variation in CO2 exchange of coastal wet tundra in Alaska in response to hydrological gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivas, P. C.; Oberbauer, S. F.

    2006-12-01

    As result of climate change, temperatures in the Arctic are expected to increase substantially. These changes in temperature will increase ecosystem evapotranspiration and soil thaw above the permafrost, both lowering water tables. Evidence suggests that drying in the Arctic is already occurring. Tundra plant communities are strongly tied to fine-scale variation in topography, and therefore, position relative to the water table. Changes in water table have the potential to be the most important climate change factor for carbon exchange in coastal wet tundra in the near term. Increased temperature and lower water tables will increase ecosystem respiration, reducing the capacity of tundra to sequester carbon dioxide. To evaluate carbon balance of coastal tundra to wetting and drying, a NSF Biocomplexity of the Environment project is carrying out a large-scale hydrological manipulation in a drained thaw lake basin in Barrow, Alaska. Pretreatment measurements have focused on assessing uniformity of the lake basin areas. The basin is dominated by wet meadows, but there are also low-center polygons and pond habitats. Here we report on fine-scale variation in chamber-level net CO2 and component fluxes in randomly stratified plots situated across the basin during the pretreatment growing season of 2005 (June to August). With each flux measurement, we also assessed water table depth, thaw depth, and plot NDVI. Although, all plots in the lake basin did not differ significantly for seasonal mean gross CO2 fluxes, some plots located at the top of polygon rims had higher gross ecosystem production. However, these plots also had a significantly higher respiration compared to wetter sites (-1.04 versus -0.824 μmol m-2 s-2, respectively). Gross photosynthesis most strongly correlated with NDVI (r2= 0.16, p basin plant communities, differences in NDVI were more apparent than differences in components of CO2 exchange. Areas with higher moss cover and drier conditions tended to have

  9. Contrasting denitrifier communities relate to contrasting N2O emission patterns from acidic peat soils in arctic tundra

    OpenAIRE

    Palmer, Katharina; Biasi, Christina; Horn, Marcus A.

    2011-01-01

    Cryoturbated peat circles (that is, bare surface soil mixed by frost action; pH 3–4) in the Russian discontinuous permafrost tundra are nitrate-rich ‘hotspots' of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in arctic ecosystems, whereas adjacent unturbated peat areas are not. N2O was produced and subsequently consumed at pH 4 in unsupplemented anoxic microcosms with cryoturbated but not in those with unturbated peat soil. Nitrate, nitrite and acetylene stimulated net N2O production of both soils in anoxic ...

  10. The surface energy balance of a polygonal tundra site in northern Siberia – Part 1: Spring to fall

    OpenAIRE

    Langer, M.; S. Westermann; S. Muster; Piel, K.; Boike, J

    2011-01-01

    In this article, we present a study on the surface energy balance of a polygonal tundra landscape in northeast Siberia. The study was performed during half-year periods from April to September in each of 2007 and 2008. The surface energy balance is obtained from independent measurements of the net radiation, the turbulent heat fluxes, and the ground heat flux at several sites. Short-wave radiation is the dominant factor controlling the magnitude of all the other components of the surface ener...

  11. 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.

  12. Increases in body weight and nutritional status of transplanted Alaskan caribou

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Valkenburg

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available Body weight and natality rate in ungulates can be useful indices to nutririon, bur they may also be influenced by genetic and climatic factors. Because caribou {Rangifer tarandus granti are distributed as discrete populations of metapopulations (i.e., herds that are usually reproductively isolated from each other for unknown periods, it is difficult to separate the influence of genetics and nutrition on body weight, especially where historical data are lacking. To help elucidate the influence of nutrition on potential variation in body weight and natality of caribou in Alaska, we reviewed data for body weight and natality in 5 populations which resulted from Transplants to previously ungrazed ranges, or to areas where reindeer and caribou had been absent for many decades. In 2 of 5 populations body weight increased significantly, and likely increased in the other 3 populations, but data were insufficient. Natality rate increased in all 5 populations, proportion of fecund yearlings was high and 3 of the 5 newly established herds increased at about the maximum biological potential for the species (lambda=1.35. In the Adak transplant, a lactating yearling was documented. These 5 transplanted populations provide additional evidence that body weight and natality rate in Alaskan caribou are sensitive to changes in population density and relatively short-term (i.e., 10 years increases in grazing pressure independenr of climate and genetics.

  13. 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%.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 14C-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 14C-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

  15. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  17. Re-analysis of Alaskan benchmark glacier mass-balance data using the index method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Beusekom, Ashely E.; O'Nell, Shad R.; March, Rod S.; Sass, Louis C.; Cox, Leif H.

    2010-01-01

    At Gulkana and Wolverine Glaciers, designated the Alaskan benchmark glaciers, we re-analyzed and re-computed the mass balance time series from 1966 to 2009 to accomplish our goal of making more robust time series. Each glacier's data record was analyzed with the same methods. For surface processes, we estimated missing information with an improved degree-day model. Degree-day models predict ablation from the sum of daily mean temperatures and an empirical degree-day factor. We modernized the traditional degree-day model and derived new degree-day factors in an effort to match the balance time series more closely. We estimated missing yearly-site data with a new balance gradient method. These efforts showed that an additional step needed to be taken at Wolverine Glacier to adjust for non-representative index sites. As with the previously calculated mass balances, the re-analyzed balances showed a continuing trend of mass loss. We noted that the time series, and thus our estimate of the cumulative mass loss over the period of record, was very sensitive to the data input, and suggest the need to add data-collection sites and modernize our weather stations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, J.R.; Schindler, D.E.; Balistrieri, L.S.; Ruggerone, G.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. ?? 2011, by the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc.

  19. Cost-Optimal Pathways to 75% Fuel Reduction in Remote Alaskan Villages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-08-01

    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%.

  20. Tundra shrubification and tree-line advance amplify arctic climate warming: results from an individual-based dynamic vegetation model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. (letter)

  1. The role of endophytic methane oxidizing bacteria in submerged Sphagnum in determining methane emissions of Northeastern Siberian tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J. Dolman

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The behavior of tundra ecosystems is critical in the global carbon cycle due to their wet soils and large stores of carbon. Recently, cooperation was observed between methanotrophic bacteria and submerged Sphagnum, which reduces methane emissions in this type of vegetation and supplies CO2 for photosynthesis to the plant. Although proven in the lab, the differences that exist in methane emissions from inundated vegetation types with or without Sphagnum have not been linked to these bacteria before. To further investigate the importance of these bacteria, chamber flux measurements, microbial analysis and flux modeling were used to show that methane emissions in a submerged Sphagnum/sedge vegetation type were 50% lower compared to an inundated sedge vegetation without Sphagnum. From examining the results of the measurements, incubation experiments and flux modeling, it was found that it is likely that this difference is due to, for a large part, oxidation of methane below the water table by these endophytic bacteria. This result is important when upscaled spatially since oxidation by these bacteria plays a large role in 15% of the net methane emissions, while at the same time they promote photosynthesis of Sphagnum, and thus carbon storage. Future changes in the spread of submerged Sphagnum, in combination with the response of these bacteria to a warmer climate, could be an important factor in predicting future greenhouse gas exchange from tundra.

  2. Repeat Photography of Alaskan Glaciers and Landscapes as Both Art and as a Means of Communicating Climat Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnia, B. F.

    2013-12-01

    For nearly 15 years, I have used repeat photography of Alaskan glaciers and landscapes to communicate to fellow scientists, policymakers, the media, and society that Alaskan glaciers and landscapes have been experiencing significant change in response to post-Little Ice Age climate change. I began this pursuit after being contacted by a U.S. Department of the Interior senior official who requested unequivocal and unambiguous documentation that climate change was real and underway. After considering several options as to how best respond to this challenge, I decided that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a pair of photographs, both with the same field of view, spanning a century or more, and showing dramatic differences, would speak volumes to documenting that dynamic climate change is occurring over a very broad region of Alaska. To me, understating the obvious with photographic pairs was the best mechanism to present irrefutable, unambiguous, nonjudgmental, as well as unequivocal visual documentation that climate change was both underway and real. To date, more than 150 pairs that meet these criteria have been produced. What has surprised me most is that the many of the photographs contained in the pairs present beautiful images of stark, remote landscapes that convey the majestic nature of this dynamic region with its unique topography and landscapes. Typically, over periods of just several decades, the photographed landscapes change from black and white to blue and green. White ice becomes blue water and dark rock becomes lush vegetation. Repeat photography is a technique in which a historical photograph and a modern photograph, both having the same field of view, are compared and contrasted to quantitatively and qualitatively determine their similarities and differences. I have used this technique from both ground-based photo stations and airborne platforms at Alaskan locations in Kenai Fjords National Park, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

  3. 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

  4. Two-source energy balance model implementation in the Alaska Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristóbal-Rosselló, J.; Prakash, A.; Anderson, M. C.; Kustas, W. P.; Kane, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Evaporation and transpiration are the two main processes involved in water transfer from vegetated and non-vegetated areas to the atmosphere. Evapotranspiration (ET) from the Earth's vegetation constitutes 88% of the total terrestrial ET, and returns more than 50% of terrestrial precipitation to the atmosphere (Oki and Kane, 2006); therefore it plays a key role in both the hydrological cycle and the energy balance of the land surface. In Arctic regions, surface-atmosphere exchanges due to ET are estimated from water balance computations to be about 74% of summer precipitation or 50% of annual precipitation. Even though ET is a significant component of the hydrologic cycle in this region, these bulk estimates do not accurately account for spatial and temporal variability due to vegetation type, topography, etc. (Kane and Yang, 2004). In this work we present the implementation of the Two-Source Energy Balance method, TSEB (Norman et al., 1995), in two Alaska Arctic tundra settings, as a base-line to retrieve energy fluxes at the regional scale from remote sensing imagery. In order to calibrate and validate the model, four flux towers located at the Imanvait Creek and the Anaktuvuk river were used. The TSEB model mainly requires meteorological inputs as well as land surface temperature (LST) and leaf area index (LAI) data. In this study, TSEB was run from late May to early September from 2008 to 2011 in all sky conditions using half hour intervals of meteorological data from the flux tower, and the LST derived from the four component net radiation instrument. TERRA/AQUA MODIS LAI daily product (MOD15/MYD15) was used as LAI input data. Results show an acceptable agreement between the TSEB model and flux tower data. RMSE obtained in the case of net radiation, latent heat, sensible heat and soil heat fluxes was 12, 51, 60 and 27 W/m2. Further efforts will be focused on the daily energy flux integration through implementation of the DTD model (Norman et al., 2000).

  5. Plant and microbial uptake and allocation of organic and inorganic nitrogen related to plant growth forms and soil conditions at two subarctic tundra sites in Sweden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Pernille Lærkedal; Clemmensen, Karina Engelbrecht; Michelsen, Anders;

    2008-01-01

    In order to follow the uptake and allocation of N in different plant functional types and microbes in two tundra ecosystems differing in nutrient availability, we performed a 15Nlabeling experiment with three N forms and followed the partitioning of 15N label among plants, microorganisms and soil...

  6. Sulfur dioxide emissions from Alaskan volcanoes quantified using an ultraviolet SO_{2} camera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Christoph; Werner, Cynthia; Kelly, Peter; Brewer, Ian; Ketner, Dane; Paskievitch, John; Power, John

    2016-04-01

    Alaskan volcanoes are difficult targets for direct gas measurements as they are extremely remote and their peaks are mostly covered in ice and snow throughout the year. This makes access extremely difficult. In 2015, we were able to make use of an ultraviolet SO2 camera to quantify the SO2 emissions from Augustine Volcano, Redoubt Volcano, Mount Cleveland and Shishaldin Volcano in the Aleutian Arc. An airborne gas survey performed at Augustine Volcano in April 2015 found that the SO2 emission rate from the summit area was below 10 tonnes per day (t/d). SO2 camera measurements were performed two months later (June 2015) from a snow-free area just 100 meters from the fumarole on the south side of Augustine's summit dome to maximize camera sensitivity. Though the visible appearance of the plume emanating from the fumarole was opaque, the SO2 emissions were only slightly above the 40 ppmṡm detection limit of the SO2 camera. Still, SO2 could be detected and compared to coincident MultiGAS measurements of SO2, CO2 and H2S. At Redoubt Volcano, SO2 camera measurements were conducted on 13 June 2015 from a location 2 km to the north of the final 72x106 m3 dome extruded during the 2009 eruption. Imagery was collected of the plume visibly emanating from the top of the dome. Preliminary evaluation of the imagery and comparison with a coincident, helicopter-based DOAS survey showed that SO2 emission rates had dropped below 100 t/d (down from 180 t/d measured in April 2014). Mount Cleveland and Shishaldin Volcano were visited in August 2015 as part of an NSF-funded ship-based research expedition in the Central Aleutian Arc. At Mount Cleveland, inclement weather prohibited the collection of a lengthy time-series of SO2 camera imagery, but the limited data that was collected shows an emission rate of several hundred t/d. At Shishaldin, several hours of continuous imagery was acquired from a location 5 km east of the summit vent. The time series shows an SO2 emission rate of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Cerqueira-Cézar, Camila K; Verma, Shiv Kumar; Mowery, Joseph; Carmena, David; Beckmen, Kimberlee; Dubey, Jitender P

    2016-07-01

    Sarcocystis sarcocysts are common in muscles of herbivores but are rare in muscles of carnivores. Here, we report sarcocysts in the muscles of a gray wolf (Canis lupus) from Alaska, USA, for the first time. Sarcocysts extracted from the tongue of the wolf were up to 900 μm long and slender and appeared to have a relatively thin wall by light microscope. By transmission electron microscopy, the sarcocyst wall most closely resembled "type 9c," and had a wavy parasitophorous vacuolar membrane folded as pleomorphic villar protrusions (vp), with anastomoses of tips. The vp and the ground substance (gs) layer were smooth without tubules or granules. The gs was up to 2.0 μm thick. The total width of the wall including vp and the gs was 3.5 μm. The vp were up to 1.5 μm long. Mature sarcocysts contained numerous bradyzoites and few metrocytes. The bradyzoites were 9.5 μm long and 1.5 μm wide, and contained all organelles found in Sarcocystis bradyzoites with at least two rhoptries. Molecular characterization showed the highest identity for 18S rRNA, 28S rRNA, ITS-1, and cox1 sequences of Sarcocystis arctica of the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) from Norway. The ultrastructure of S. arctica from the fox is unknown. Here, we provide ultrastructure of S. arctica from the Alaskan wolf for the first time. The definitive host of S. arctica remains unknown. PMID:27112760

  8. Temperature calibration and phylogenetically distinct distributions for freshwater alkenones: Evidence from northern Alaskan lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, William M.; Theroux, Susanna; Giblin, Anne E.; Zheng, Yinsui; Dillon, James T.; Huang, Yongsong

    2016-05-01

    Alkenones are a class of unsaturated long-chain ketone biomarkers that have been used to reconstruct sea surface temperature and, more recently, continental temperature, by way of alkenone unsaturation indices (e.g. U37K and U37K‧). Alkenones are frequently found in brackish and saline lakes, however species effects confound temperature reconstructions when multiple alkenone-producing species with different temperature responses are present. Interestingly, available genetic data indicate that numerous freshwater lakes host a distinct phylotype of alkenone-producing haptophyte algae (the Group I or Greenland phylotype), providing evidence that species effects may be diminished in freshwater lakes. These findings encourage further investigation of alkenone paleotemperature proxies in freshwater systems. Here, we investigated lakes from northern Alaska (n = 35) and show that alkenones commonly occurred in freshwater lakes, where they featured distinct distributions, characterized by dominant C37:4 alkenones and a series of tri-unsaturated alkenone isomers. The distributions were characteristic of Group I-type alkenone distributions previously identified in Greenland and North America. Our analysis of suspended particulate matter from Toolik Lake (68° 38‧N, 149° 36‧W) yielded the first in situ freshwater U37K calibration (U37K = 0.021 * T - 0.68; r2 = 0.85; n = 52; RMSE = ±1.37 °C). We explored the environmental significance of the tri-unsaturated isomers using our northern Alaskan lakes dataset in conjunction with new data from haptophyte cultures and Canadian surface sediments. Our results show that these temperature-sensitive isomers are biomarkers for the Group I phylotype and indicators of multiple-species effects. Together, these findings highlight freshwater lakes as valuable targets for continental alkenone-based paleotemperature reconstructions and demonstrate the significance of the recently discovered tri-unsaturated isomers.

  9. Geographic and seasonal variation of dissolved methane and aerobic methane oxidation in Alaskan lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Cruz, K.; Sepulveda-Jauregui, A.; Anthony, K. Walter; Thalasso, F.

    2015-08-01

    Methanotrophic bacteria play an important role oxidizing a significant fraction of methane (CH4) produced in lakes. Aerobic CH4 oxidation depends mainly on lake CH4 and oxygen (O2) concentrations, in such a manner that higher MO rates are usually found at the oxic/anoxic interface, where both molecules are present. MO also depends on temperature, and via methanogenesis, on organic carbon input to lakes, including from thawing permafrost in thermokarst (thaw)-affected lakes. Given the large variability in these environmental factors, CH4 oxidation is expected to be subject to large seasonal and geographic variations, which have been scarcely reported in the literature. In the present study, we measured CH4 oxidation rates in 30 Alaskan lakes along a north-south latitudinal transect during winter and summer with a new field laser spectroscopy method. Additionally, we measured dissolved CH4 and O2 concentrations. We found that in the winter, aerobic CH4 oxidation was mainly controlled by the dissolved O2 concentration, while in the summer it was controlled primarily by the CH4 concentration, which was scarce compared to dissolved O2. The permafrost environment of the lakes was identified as another key factor. Thermokarst (thaw) lakes formed in yedoma-type permafrost had significantly higher CH4 oxidation rates compared to other thermokarst and non-thermokarst lakes formed in non-yedoma permafrost environments. As thermokarst lakes formed in yedoma-type permafrost have been identified to receive large quantities of terrestrial organic carbon from thaw and subsidence of the surrounding landscape into the lake, confirming the strong coupling between terrestrial and aquatic habitats and its influence on CH4 cycling.

  10. Inversion of borehole temperature data for recent climatic changes: Examples from the Alaskan arctic and Antarctica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A temperature disturbance at the earth's surface causes a downward-propagating thermal wave which can be sampled at later times in a geophysical borehole. This effect allows the surface temperature history at a given site to be reconstructed from precise temperature measurements at depth within the earth. Continuous permafrost regions are well suited for this type of paleoclimate reconstruction since they lack the disturbing effects of groundwater flow. Application of Backus-Gilbert theory to this inverse problem indicates the highest temporal resolution that can be obtained for surface disturbances occurring at time ∼to before present is ±0.40*to. If temperature measurements are limited to depths less than zb, temporal resolution is severely degraded for event times to > zb2/(18k) where k is the thermal diffusivity. Optimal resolution is retained back to ∼40 Y.B.P. when measurements to depths of 150 m (300 m) are utilized in the inversion. The resolution of events at time ∼to is also degraded if the vertical distance between measurements (dz) is > (kto/2)0.5. This is unlikely to cause a problem in practice, except when temperature data are acquired from a limited number of fixed thermistors. The authors are applying formal inversion techniques to the Alaskan Arctic dataset reported earlier by Lachenbruch and Marshall. On the basis of their data and a forward analysis, they concluded much of the permafrost surface in this region has warmed 2-4C during the last century. Application of inverse methods to this dataset provides improved estimates of the magnitude and timing of the recent arctic warming. Inversion of a recent temperature profile from the 300-m DVDP hole 1 1 in Taylor Valley, Antarctica, shows clear evidence for a 1C warming during the last ∼15 years

  11. Combustion of mixtures of weathered Alaskan crude oils and water under external heat flux

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Two Alaskan oils, Milne Point crude and Alaska North Slope (ANS) crude oil were subjected to laboratory scale burn tests. These tests were conducted for weathered crude oil-water mixture layers floating on water. The oils were subjected to external radiation heat flux to determine threshold values of the heat flux required for ignition and sustained burning. It was determined that there is a threshold heat flux value for each type of mixture. Ignition and sustained combustion cannot be achieved when a layer of the mixture floating on top of the water surface is subjected to a heat flux that is lower than this threshold value. However, the mixture can be burned successfully when the external incident heat flux value is greater than or equal to the threshold value. The value of the threshold heat flux was found to be dependent on the oil type, the amount of water in the mixture, and the extent of weathering by the crude oil prior to ignition. The threshold heat flux value increased with increased amounts of water and increased level of weathering. The data for threshold heat flux correlates well with the density of crude oil at all water contents and weathering levels for all types of oil. This paper included simple charts to illustrate heat flux values for a given mixture. It was concluded that it is feasible to provide external heat flux greater than the threshold heat flux to a spill on an open body of water if an appropriately sized pool fire is started near the spill. 8 refs., 1 tab., 8 figs

  12. 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)

    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 (206Pb/207Pb 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 (206Pb/207Pb = 1.170 ± 0.002; mean ± SD) overlapped with that of the peat (206Pb/207Pb = 1.16 ± 0.01) representing a proxy for atmospheric aerosols, but was clearly different from that of the parent soil material (206Pb/207Pb = 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 206Pb/207Pb 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. → Atmospheric

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The southernmost Andean Mountain soils: a toposequence from Nothofagus Forest to Sub Antarctic Tundra at Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firme Sá, Mariana M.; Schaefer, Carlos E.; Loureiro, Diego C.; Simas, Felipe N.; Francelino, Marcio R.; Senra, Eduardo O.

    2015-04-01

    Located at the southern tip of the Fuegian Andes Cordilhera, the Martial glacier witnessed a rapid process of retreat in the last century. Up to now little is known about the development and genesis of soils of this region. A toposequence of six soils, ranging from 430-925 m a.s.l, was investigated, with emphasis on genesis, chemical and mineralogical properties. The highest, youngest soil is located just below the Martial Glacier Martial Sur sector, and the lowest soils occur on sloping moraines under Nothofagus pumilio forests. Based on chemical, physical and mineralogical characteristics, the soils were classified according to the Soil taxonomy, being keyed out as Inceptisols and Entisols. Soil parent material of the soil is basically moraines, in which the predominant lithic components dominated by metamorphic rocks, with allochthonous contributions of wind-blown materials (very small fragments of volcanic glass) observed by hand lens in all horizons, except the highest profile under Tundra. In Nothofagus Deciduous Forests at the lowest part of the toposequence, poorly developed Inceptisols occur with Folistic horizons, with mixed "andic" and "spodic" characters, but with a predominance of andosolization (Andic Drystrocryepts). Under Tundra vegetation, Inceptisols are formed under hydromorphism and andosolization processes (Oxiaquic Dystrocrepts and Typic Dystrocrepts). On highland periglacial environments, soils without B horizon with strong evidence of cryoturbation and cryogenesis occur, without present-day permafrost down to 2 meters (Typic Cryorthents and Lithic Haploturbels). The mountain soils of Martial glacier generalize young, stony and rich in organic matter, with the exception of barely vegetated Tundra soils at higher altitudes. The forest soils are more acidic and have higher Al3+activity. All soils are dystrophic, except for the highest profile of the local periglacial environment. The organic carbon amounts are higher in forest soils and

  16. Methane dynamics in the subarctic tundra: combining stable isotope analyses, plot- and ecosystem-scale flux measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marushchak, M. E.; Friborg, T.; Biasi, C.; Herbst, M.; Johansson, T.; Kiepe, I.; Liimatainen, M.; Lind, S. E.; Martikainen, P. J.; Virtanen, T.; Soegaard, H.; Shurpali, N. J.

    2016-02-01

    Methane (CH4) fluxes were investigated in a subarctic Russian tundra site in a multi-approach study combining plot-scale data, ecosystem-scale eddy covariance (EC) measurements, and a fine-resolution land cover classification scheme for regional upscaling. The flux data as measured by the two independent techniques resulted in a seasonal (May-October 2008) cumulative CH4 emission of 2.4 (EC) and 3.7 g CH4 m-2 (manual chambers) for the source area representative of the footprint of the EC instruments. Upon upscaling for the entire study region of 98.6 km2, the chamber measured flux data yielded a regional flux estimate of 6.7 g CH4 m-2 yr-1. Our upscaling efforts accounted for the large spatial variability in the distribution of the various land cover types (LCTs) predominant at our study site. Wetlands with emissions ranging from 34 to 53 g CH4 m-2 yr-1 were the most dominant CH4-emitting surfaces. Emissions from thermokarst lakes were an order of magnitude lower, while the rest of the landscape (mineral tundra) was a weak sink for atmospheric methane. Vascular plant cover was a key factor in explaining the spatial variability of CH4 emissions among wetland types, as indicated by the positive correlation of emissions with the leaf area index (LAI). As elucidated through a stable isotope analysis, the dominant CH4 release pathway from wetlands to the atmosphere was plant-mediated diffusion through aerenchyma, a process that discriminates against 13C-CH4. The CH4 released to the atmosphere was lighter than that in the surface porewater, and δ13C in the emitted CH4 correlated negatively with the vascular plant cover (LAI). The mean value of δ13C obtained here for the emitted CH4, -68.2 ± 2.0 ‰, is within the range of values from other wetlands, thus reinforcing the use of inverse modelling tools to better constrain the CH4 budget. Based on the IPCC A1B emission scenario, a temperature increase of 6.1 °C relative to the present day has been predicted for the

  17. The exchange of carbon dioxide between wet arctic tundra and the atmosphere at the Lena River Delta, Northern Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Kutzbach

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The exchange fluxes of carbon dioxide between wet arctic polygonal tundra and the atmosphere were investigated by the micrometeorological eddy covariance method. The investigation site was situated in the centre of the Lena River Delta in Northern Siberia (72°22' N, 126°30' E. The study region is characterized 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 soils at the site are characterized by high organic matter content, low nutrient availability and pronounced water logging. The vegetation is dominated by sedges and mosses. The micrometeorological campaigns were performed during the periods July–October 2003 and May–July 2004 which included the period of snow and soil thaw as well as the beginning of soil refreeze. The main CO2 exchange processes, the gross photosynthesis and the ecosystem respiration, were found to be of a generally low intensity. The gross photosynthesis accumulated to –432 g m−2 over the photosynthetically active period (June–September. The contribution of mosses to the gross photosynthesis was estimated to be about 40%. The diurnal trend of the gross photosynthesis was mainly controlled by the incoming photosynthetically active radiation. During midday the photosynthetic apparatus of the canopy was frequently near saturation and represented the limiting factor on gross photosynthesis. The synoptic weather conditions strongly affected the exchange fluxes of CO2 by changes in cloudiness, precipitation and pronounced changes of air temperature. The ecosystem respiration accumulated to +327 g m−2 over the photosynthetically active period, which corresponds to 76% of the CO2 uptake by photosynthesis. However, the ecosystem respiration continued at substantial rates during autumn when photosynthesis had ceased and the soils

  18. Tissue Distribution of Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Organochlorine Pesticides and Potential Toxicity to Alaskan Northern Fur Seals Assessed Using PCBs Congener Specific Mode of Action Schemes

    Science.gov (United States)

    The concentrations of 145 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners were measured using gas chromatography-ion trap mass spectrometry in 8 different tissues (blubber, brain, heart, kidney, liver, lung, muscle, and reproductive tissues) of 10 Alaskan northern fur seals. The mean concentrations of bot...

  19. 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…

  20. 33 CFR 334.1300 - Blying Sound area, Gulf of Alaska, Alaska; air-to-air gunnery practice area, Alaskan Air Command...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Blying Sound area, Gulf of Alaska, Alaska; air-to-air gunnery practice area, Alaskan Air Command, U.S. Air Force. 334.1300 Section 334.1300... AND RESTRICTED AREA REGULATIONS § 334.1300 Blying Sound area, Gulf of Alaska, Alaska;...

  1. Complete genome sequence of Granulicella mallensis type strain MP5ACTX8(T), an acidobacterium from tundra soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rawat, Suman R. [Rutgers University; Mannisto, Minna [Finnish Forest Research Institute, Parkano, Finland; Starovoytov, Valentin [Rutgers University; Goodwin, Lynne A. [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Nolan, Matt [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Hauser, Loren John [ORNL; Land, Miriam L [ORNL; Davenport, Karen W. [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Woyke, Tanja [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Haggblom, Max [Rutgers University

    2013-01-01

    Granulicella mallensis MP5ACTX8(T) is a novel species of the genus Granulicella in subdivision 1 of Acidobacteria. G. mallensis is of ecological interest being a member of the dominant soil bacterial community active at low temperatures and nutrient limiting conditions in Arctic alpine tundra. G. mallensis is a cold-adapted acidophile and a versatile heterotroph that hydrolyzes a suite of sugars and complex polysaccharides. Genome analysis revealed metabolic versatility with genes involved in metabolism and transport of carbohydrates. These include gene modules encoding the carbohydrate-active enzyme (CAZyme) family involved in breakdown, utilization and biosynthesis of diverse structural and storage polysaccharides including plant based carbon polymers. The genome of Granulicella mallensis MP5ACTX8(T) consists of a single replicon of 6,237,577 base pairs (bp) with 4,907 protein-coding genes and 53 RNA

  2. SRXRF determination of the multielement composition of the hair and blood of the children of Tundra Nenetz population

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 cm2 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

  3. 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; Vermeulen, Annemie; Samson, R; Lemeur, R

    2009-01-01

    production was obtained from average species growth rates, previously assessed at the sites. Results showed that aboveground vascular NPP (15-270 g m-2), annual NPP (214-282 g m-2 or 102-137 g C m-2) and vegetation biomass (330-2450 g m-2) varied greatly among communities. Vegetation dominated by Empetrum...... 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 of......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...

  4. 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, B.; 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.

  5. Pulsed resources at tundra breeding sites affect winter irruptions at temperate latitudes of a top predator, the snowy owl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robillard, A; Therrien, J F; Gauthier, G; Clark, K M; Bêty, J

    2016-06-01

    Irruptive migration is mostly observed in species specialized on pulsed resources and is thought to be a response to unpredictable changes in food supply. We assessed two alternative hypotheses to explain the periodic winter irruptions of snowy owls Bubo scandiacus every 3-5 years in temperate North America: (a) the lack-of-food hypothesis, which states that a crash in small mammal abundance on the Arctic breeding grounds forces owls to move out of the tundra massively to search for food in winter; (b) the breeding-success hypothesis, which states that high abundance of tundra small mammals during the summer allows for high production of young, thus increasing the pool of migrants moving south the following winter. We modeled winter irruptions of snowy owls in relation to summer food resources and geographic location. Winter abundance of owls was obtained from citizen-based surveys from 1994 to 2011 and summer abundance of small mammals was collected in summer at two distant sites in Canada: Bylot Island, NU (eastern High Arctic) and Daring Lake, NWT (central Low Arctic). Winter owl abundance was positively related to prey abundance during the previous summer at both sites and tended to decrease from western to eastern temperate North America. Irruptive migration of snowy owls was therefore best explained by the breeding success hypothesis and was apparently caused by large-scale summer variations in food. Our results, combined with previous findings, suggest that the main determinants of irruptive migration may be species specific even in a guild of apparently similar species. PMID:26920901

  6. 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

  7. Response of vegetation structure and function to experimental drought and flooding in an Alaskan fen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, A. C.; Hollingworth, T. N.; McGuire, A. D.; Turetsky, M. R.

    2010-12-01

    Northern peatlands historically represent a net sink for atmospheric CO2, but the future of peatland carbon balance will be highly dependent upon localized responses to changing climate and disturbance regimes. Remote sensing in interior Alaska has shown a long-term drying trend (i.e., past 50 years) in major wetland complexes, likely in response to warming and increased evapotranspiration. More recently interior Alaska experienced extreme flood and drought events in 2008 (100 yr flood) and 2009 (drought yr). Because peatland vegetation structure and physiology are strongly mediated by the position of the water table, inter-annual variation in hydrology and affiliated environmental conditions such as active layer depth and soil moisture will influence plant CO2 uptake and the overall ecosystem carbon balance. Additionally, hydrology and vegetation responses to directional climate change will influence local carbon cycling rates via altering litter quality and decomposition. At the Alaskan Peatland Experiment (http://www.uoguelph.ca/Apex), located near the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest, we initiated a water table manipulation during the spring of 2005. Here, our objectives are to quantify the influence of experimental drought and flooding, as well as inter-annual variation in water table position, on plant community composition and CO2 uptake for the growing seasons in 2007-2010. Previous results showed no differences in vegetation structure after two years of water table manipulation; however, after four years we found that the lowered water table treatment (drought) had more deciduous shrubs and fewer mosses than the control treatment. Within the raised water table treatment (flooding), graminoids increased in abundance relative to the control. Rates of Gross Primary Productivity (GPP), measured biweekly during the growing season using static chambers, varied significantly among water table treatments, with the lowest GPP in the drought plot and the highest

  8. Hydrological Controls on Ecosystem CO2 and CH4 Exchange in a MIXED Tundra and a FEN within an Arctic Landscape UNDER Current and Future Climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, R. F.; Humphreys, E.; Lafleur, P.

    2014-12-01

    Variation in CO2 and CH4 exchange in years with contrasting weather is strongly affected by hydrology in landscapes underlain by permafrost. Hypotheses for this variation were incorporated into the ecosystem model ecosys which simulated CO2 and CH4 fluxes along a topographic gradient within an arctic landscape at Daring Lake, NWT, Canada. Fluxes modelled at mixed tundra and fen sites within the gradient were compared with CO2 fluxes measured at eddy covariance towers from 2006 to 2009, and with CH4 fluxes measured with surface chambers in 2008. Slopes and correlation coefficients from regressions of modelled vs. measured CO2 fluxes were 1.0 ± 0.1 and 0.7 - 0.8 for both sites in all years. At the mixed tundra site, rises in net CO2 uptake in warmer years with earlier snowmelt were constrained by midafternoon declines in CO2 influxes when vapor pressure deficits (D) exceeded 1.5 kPa, and by rises in CO2 effluxes with greater active layer depth (ALD). Consequently annual net CO2 uptake at this site rose little with warming. At the fen site, CO2 influxes declined less with D and CO2 effluxes rose less with warming, so that rises in net CO2 uptake in warmer years were greater than those at the mixed tundra site. The greater declines in CO2 influxes with warming at the mixed tundra site were modelled from greater soil-plant-atmosphere water potential gradients that developed in drier soil, and the smaller rises in CO2 effluxes with warming at the fen site were modelled from O2 constraints to heterotrophic and below-ground autotrophic respiration that limited their responses to greater ALD. Modelled and measured CH4 exchange during July and August indicated very small influxes at the mixed tundra site, and larger emissions at the fen site. Emissions of CH4 modelled during soil freezing in October - November contributed about one-third of the annual total, and so should be included in estimates of annual emissions. These contrasting responses to warming under current

  9. Using remotely-sensed nearshore suspended sediment as an indicator of environmental change on the Alaskan North Slope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobson, Anne Carrie Hickey

    The effects of climate change are increasing the vulnerability the delicate Arctic system on the North Slope of Alaska. Concurrently, oil and gas development is projected to expand across the region, the wide-scale effects of which are largely unknown in a less-resilient system. This research provides the framework for using satellite data to assess and monitor suspended sediment conditions in the nearshore Alaskan Beaufort Sea, which provide a key indicator of environmental change. Satellite monitoring of suspended sediment levels provides a cost-effective means to obtain nearly real-time, synoptic information about environmental change on the North Slope. This information can be incorporated into cumulative effects analyses and enhance their capability to assess and predict the environmental effects of oil and gas development in a changing climate. Surface reflectance data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensors were calibrated to total suspended sediment (TSS) concentrations in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea and used to construct time series of proxy TSS data for 2000--2005 and 1981--2004, respectively. These time series produced a baseline quantifying the interannual variability and 24-year trends in median annual TSS concentrations at locations in the nearshore Alaskan Beaufort Sea. Increasing trends over the analysis period were identified in the outflow areas of the Ikpikpuk, Colville, Kuparuk and Sagavanirktok Rivers, as well as in Admiralty Bay. Additionally, TSS levels in 1994 and 2000 exceeded the normal range of variability at several of the nearshore locations investigated. Different areas along the nearshore had varying TSS magnitudes and modes of variability, a function of the terrestrial and nearshore processes controlling TSS conditions at each location. An empirical model explained 65 percent of the variability in annual median TSS values using precipitation factors that

  10. Effects of interannual variability in snow accumulation on energy partitioning and surface energy exchange in a high-Arctic tundra ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Stiegler, C; Lund, M.; Christensen, T.R.; M. Mastepanov; A. Lindroth

    2016-01-01

    Snow cover is one of the key factors controlling Arctic ecosystem functioning and productivity. In this study we assess the impact of strong interannual variability in snow accumulation during two subsequent years (2013–2014) on the land–atmosphere interactions and surface energy exchange in two high-Arctic tundra ecosystems (wet fen and dry heath) in Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland. We observed that record-low snow cover during the winter 2012/13 resulted in strong response of th...

  11. 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)

  12. Ecosystem CO2 and CH4 exchange in a mixed tundra and a fen within a hydrologically diverse Arctic landscape: 1. Modeling versus measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, R. F.; Humphreys, E. R.; Lafleur, P. M.

    2015-07-01

    CO2 and CH4 exchange are strongly affected by hydrology in landscapes underlain by permafrost. Hypotheses for these effects in the model ecosys were tested by comparing modeled CO2 and CH4 exchange with CO2 fluxes measured by eddy covariance from 2006 to 2009, and with CH4 fluxes measured with surface chambers in 2008, along a topographic gradient at Daring Lake, NWT. In an upland tundra, rises in net CO2 uptake in warmer years were constrained by declines in CO2 influxes when vapor pressure deficits (D) exceeded 1.5 kPa and by rises in CO2 effluxes with greater active layer depth. Consequently, net CO2 uptake rose little with warming. In a lowland fen, CO2 influxes declined less with D and CO2 effluxes rose less with warming, so that rises in net CO2 uptake were greater than those in the tundra. Greater declines in CO2 influxes with warming in the tundra were modeled from greater soil-plant-atmosphere water potential gradients that developed under higher D in drained upland soil, and smaller rises in CO2 effluxes with warming in the fen were modeled from O2 constraints to heterotrophic and belowground autotrophic respiration from a shallow water table in poorly drained lowland soil. CH4 exchange modeled during July and August indicated very small influxes in the tundra and larger effluxes characterized by afternoon emission events caused by degassing of warming soil in the fen. Emissions of CH4 modeled from degassing during soil freezing in October-November contributed about one third of the annual total.

  13. The Role of Explicitly Modeling Bryophytes in Simulating Carbon Exchange and Permafrost Dynamics of an Arctic Coastal Tundra at Barrow, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, F.; Thornton, P. E.; McGuire, A. D.; Oechel, W. C.; Yang, B.; Tweedie, C. E.; Rogers, A.; Norby, R. J.

    2013-12-01

    Bryophyte cover is greater than 50% in many Arctic tundra ecosystems. In regions of the Arctic where shrubs are expanding it is expected that bryophyte cover will be substantially reduced. Such a loss in cover could influence the hydrological, biogeochemical, and permafrost dynamics of Arctic tundra ecosystems. The explicit representation of bryophyte physiological and biophysical processes in large-scale ecological and land surface models is rare, and we hypothesize that the representation of bryophytes has consequences for estimates of the exchange of water, energy, and carbon by these models. This study explicitly represents the effects of bryophyte function and structure on the exchange of carbon (e.g., summer photosynthesis effects) and energy (e.g., summer insulation effects) with the atmosphere in the Community Land Model (CLM-CN). The modified model was evaluated for its ability to simulate C exchange, soil temperature, and soil moisture since the 1970s at Barrow, Alaska through comparison with data from AmeriFlux sites, USDA Soil Climate Networks observation sites at Barrow, and other sources. We also compare the outputs of the CLM-CN simulations with those of the recently developed Dynamical Organic Soil coupled Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (DOS-TEM). Overall, our evaluation indicates that bryophytes are important contributors to land-atmospheric C exchanges in Arctic tundra and that they play an important role to permafrost thermal and hydrological processes which are critical to permafrost stability. Our next step in this study is to examine the climate system effects of explicitly representing bryophyte dynamics in the land surface model. Key Words: Bryophytes, Arctic coastal tundra, Vegetation composition, Net Ecosystem Exchange, Permafrost, Land Surface Model, Terrestrial Ecosystem Model

  14. Cultural Resilience of Social-ecological Systems in the Nenets and Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs, Russia: A Focus on Reindeer Nomads of the Tundra

    OpenAIRE

    Forbes, Bruce C.

    2013-01-01

    Empirical data on resilience in social-ecological systems (SESs) are reviewed from local and regional scale case studies among full-time nomads in the 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 ...

  15. 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.

  16. Regional, temporal, and species patterns of mercury in Alaskan seabird eggs: Mercury sources and cycling or food web effects?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mercury concentration ([Hg]), δ15N, and δ13C 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 δ15N 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 δ15N. ► Geographic Hg patterns persist independent of trophic normalization. ► Trophic normalization reduces difference among taxa, but not temporal variability. ► Measuring δ15N and δ13C 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.

  17. 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 (p 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 (> 200,000 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 organic layer fire depth. Because quantitative differences in post-fire surface characteristics do not directly influence spectral properties, these modeling techniques provide better information than the use of remote sensing data alone.

  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. Microbial community response to permafrost thaw after wildfire in an Alaskan upland boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tas, N.; Jorgenson, M. T.; Wang, S.; Berhe, A. A.; Wickland, K. P.; Waldrop, M. P.; Jansson, J. K.

    2012-12-01

    Fire is a major factor controlling the long-term dynamics of soil carbon in Alaskan boreal forests. Wildfire not only contributes to a significant global emission of greenhouse gasses but also can indirectly result in the deepening of the active layer and thawing of near-surface permafrost due to reductions in organic layer depth and increases in heat flux through soil. Although boreal ecosystems are fire-adapted, increased fire frequency and rising global temperatures may result in warmer soils and therefore increase the metabolic rates of decomposer microbes and result in accelerated permafrost decomposition and greenhouse gas fluxes. In addition to fire-mediated changes in soil and vegetation structure, changes in the soil microbial community structure are likely to have consequences for rates of soil carbon cycling. In this study we aimed to define the impact of fire on soil microbial communities in an upland black spruce forest and to assess microbial metabolic potential for soil respiration, methanogenesis, and nitrous oxide (N2O) flux. Soil samples from two fire impacted and three control (unburned) locations were collected near Nome Creek, AK, an upland moderately drained black spruce forest. This location was within the Boundary fire that burned between mid-June and the end of August 2004. Soil temperature measurements from before and after the fire showed that soils were warmer after the fire event and the permafrost thawed below 1m. At each sampling location, soil and permafrost samples were collected every 10 cm to a depth of 1 m. Besides biochemical characterization, CO2, CH4, N2O fluxes and potential activities of enzymes involved in extracellular decomposition of complex organic molecules (hemicellulose, chitin and lignin) were measured. The microbial community composition in the samples was determined by sequencing of 16S rRNA genes and microbial metabolic potential was assessed via sequencing of total genomic DNA (metagenomics) in selected active

  20. Mercury and major element snowmelt chemistry at an Alaskan Arctic coastal site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, T. A.; Prevost, R.; Sturm, M.; Blum, J. D.; Sherman, L.; Berezovskaya, S.

    2008-12-01

    Mercury is deposited to snow in Polar Regions during the late winter and early spring. This deposition is driven by photochemical reactions that involve reactive halogens and snow and ice surfaces. The Arctic also receives trace metals, sulfate and black carbon during spring time Arctic haze events. Mercury, Arctic haze metals and sulfate in Arctic snow are likely mobilized during metamorphism, melt and surface runoff in the spring. To investigate this we implemented a daily sampling campaign for mercury and major elements during spring snow melt near Barrow, Alaska in 2008. The area is underlain by continuous permafrost and there is no base flow in the winter. We focused on a small (52,000 m2) ephemeral stream watershed to quantify chemical fluxes at the microscale. Prior to the melt the snow pack was 35 cm high with a density of 0.3 g/cm3. The snow pack height was measured daily at 15 locations along two 1 kilometer long transects throughout the melt to track snow pack loss. Discharge in our micro watershed was measured using a sonic sounder above a small dam constructed in the stream bed and by quantifying flow through a PVC pipe at the dam outlet. Percolation columns began to migrate downward through the snow pack on May 26 and within two days the snow pack was isothermal. Flow in the micro watershed began as a slushy trickle on May 28 that increased to a steady flow by June 4. Peak discharge rates of slightly over 3 L/sec were measured in the late afternoons on June 7, 8 and 9. By June 9 slightly more than half the tundra surface was exposed and snow was relegated to low lying areas. The first melt water to pool at the base of the snow pack had the highest cation (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and ammonium) and anion (chloride, bromide, sulfate, nitrate, bicarbonate) concentrations of all inorganic ions measured in snow, melt water or surface runoff. These major element concentrations were 5 to 10 times higher than pre melt snow pack values. The pre

  1. A Gly98Val mutation in the N-Myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) in Alaskan Malamutes with polyneuropathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruun, Camilla S; Jäderlund, Karin H; Berendt, Mette; Jensen, Kristine B; Spodsberg, Eva H; Gredal, Hanne; Shelton, G Diane; Mickelson, James R; Minor, Katie M; Lohi, Hannes; Bjerkås, Inge; Stigen, Oyvind; Espenes, Arild; Rohdin, Cecilia; Edlund, Rebecca; Ohlsson, Jennie; Cizinauskas, Sigitas; Leifsson, Páll S; Drögemüller, Cord; Moe, Lars; Cirera, Susanna; Fredholm, Merete

    2013-01-01

    The first cases of early-onset progressive polyneuropathy appeared in the Alaskan Malamute population in Norway in the late 1970s. Affected dogs were of both sexes and were ambulatory paraparetic, progressing to non-ambulatory tetraparesis. On neurologic examination, affected dogs displayed predominantly laryngeal paresis, decreased postural reactions, decreased spinal reflexes and muscle atrophy. The disease was considered eradicated through breeding programmes but recently new cases have occurred in the Nordic countries and the USA. The N-myc downstream-regulated gene (NDRG1) is implicated in neuropathies with comparable symptoms or clinical signs both in humans and in Greyhound dogs. This gene was therefore considered a candidate gene for the polyneuropathy in Alaskan Malamutes. The coding sequence of the NDRG1 gene derived from one healthy and one affected Alaskan Malamute revealed a non-synonymous G>T mutation in exon 4 in the affected dog that causes a Gly98Val amino acid substitution. This substitution was categorized to be "probably damaging" to the protein function by PolyPhen2 (score: 1.000). Subsequently, 102 Alaskan Malamutes from the Nordic countries and the USA known to be either affected (n = 22), obligate carriers (n = 7) or healthy (n = 73) were genotyped for the SNP using TaqMan. All affected dogs had the T/T genotype, the obligate carriers had the G/T genotype and the healthy dogs had the G/G genotype except for 13 who had the G/T genotype. A protein alignment showed that residue 98 is conserved in mammals and also that the entire NDRG1 protein is highly conserved (94.7%) in mammals. We conclude that the G>T substitution is most likely the mutation that causes polyneuropathy in Alaskan Malamutes. Our characterization of a novel candidate causative mutation for polyneuropathy offers a new canine model that can provide further insight into pathobiology and therapy of human polyneuropathy. Furthermore, selection against this mutation can

  2. A Gly98Val mutation in the N-Myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1 in Alaskan Malamutes with polyneuropathy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilla S Bruun

    Full Text Available The first cases of early-onset progressive polyneuropathy appeared in the Alaskan Malamute population in Norway in the late 1970s. Affected dogs were of both sexes and were ambulatory paraparetic, progressing to non-ambulatory tetraparesis. On neurologic examination, affected dogs displayed predominantly laryngeal paresis, decreased postural reactions, decreased spinal reflexes and muscle atrophy. The disease was considered eradicated through breeding programmes but recently new cases have occurred in the Nordic countries and the USA. The N-myc downstream-regulated gene (NDRG1 is implicated in neuropathies with comparable symptoms or clinical signs both in humans and in Greyhound dogs. This gene was therefore considered a candidate gene for the polyneuropathy in Alaskan Malamutes. The coding sequence of the NDRG1 gene derived from one healthy and one affected Alaskan Malamute revealed a non-synonymous G>T mutation in exon 4 in the affected dog that causes a Gly98Val amino acid substitution. This substitution was categorized to be "probably damaging" to the protein function by PolyPhen2 (score: 1.000. Subsequently, 102 Alaskan Malamutes from the Nordic countries and the USA known to be either affected (n = 22, obligate carriers (n = 7 or healthy (n = 73 were genotyped for the SNP using TaqMan. All affected dogs had the T/T genotype, the obligate carriers had the G/T genotype and the healthy dogs had the G/G genotype except for 13 who had the G/T genotype. A protein alignment showed that residue 98 is conserved in mammals and also that the entire NDRG1 protein is highly conserved (94.7% in mammals. We conclude that the G>T substitution is most likely the mutation that causes polyneuropathy in Alaskan Malamutes. Our characterization of a novel candidate causative mutation for polyneuropathy offers a new canine model that can provide further insight into pathobiology and therapy of human polyneuropathy. Furthermore, selection against

  3. Aboveground and belowground responses to nutrient additions and herbivore exclusion in Arctic tundra ecosystems in northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J. C.; Gough, L.; Simpson, R.; Johnson, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic has experienced significant increased regional warming over the past 30 years. Warming generally increases tundra soil nutrient availability by creating a more favorable environment for plant growth, decomposition and nutrient mineralization. Aboveground there has been a "greening" of the Arctic with increased net primary productivity (NPP), and an increase in woody vegetation. Concurrent with the changes aboveground has been an increase in root growth at lower depths and a loss of soil organic C (40 -100 g C m-2 yr-1). Given that arctic soils contain 14% of the global soil C pool, understanding the mechanisms behind shifts of this magnitude that are changing arctic soils from a net sink to a net source of atmospheric C is critical. We took an integrated multi-trophic level approach to examine how altering soil nutrients and mammalian herbivore activity affects vegetation, soil fauna, and microbial communities as well as soil physical characteristics in moist acidic (MAT) and dry heath (DH) tundra. Our work was conducted at the Arctic LTER site in northern Alaska. We sampled the nutrient (controls and annual N+P additions) and herbivore (controls and exclosures) manipulations established in 1996 after 10 years of treatment. Models that incorporated the biomass estimates from the field were used to characterize the trophic structure of the belowground food web and to estimate carbon flux among soil organisms and C-mineralization rates. Both MAT and DH exhibited significant increases in NPP and root growth and changes in vegetation structure with transitions from a mixed community to deciduous shrubs in MAT and from lichens to grasses and shrubs in DH, with nutrient additions and herbivore exclosures. Belowground responses to the treatments were dependent on ecosystem type, but exposed alterations in trophic structure that included changes in microbial biomass, the establishment of microbivorous enchytreaids, increases in root-feeding nematodes, and

  4. Seasonality of Air-sea-ice-land Variables for Arctic Tundra in Northern Eurasia and North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, U. S.; Walker, D. A.; Raynolds, M. K.; Steele, M.; Epstein, H.; Jia, G.; Comiso, J. C.; Pinzon, J. E.; Tucker, C. J.

    2009-12-01

    The strength of tundra productivity trends as measured by the annual maximum Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (MaxNDVI) and time integrated NDVI (TI-NDVI) vary around the Arctic over the 1982-2008 period. Our analysis suggests that the timing of terrestrial vegetation growth is connected to seasonal patterns of sea-ice concentrations, ocean temperatures and land surface temperatures. This study used SSMI estimates of sea ice concentration, based on a bootstrap algorithm and AVHRR radiometric surface temperature. Summer Warmth Index (SWI) was calculated as the sum from May to August of the degree months above freezing of surface temperature at each pixel and is an accepted measure of plant growth potential. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) represents vegetation greenness and has been used extensively to monitor changes in the Arctic. The albedo of green plants varies with solar radiation wavelength, which is the basis for the NDVI index. The analysis was conducted within 50 km of the Arctic coastline to focus on the region of maximum maritime influence. Time series of regional sea-ice concentration, SWI and NDVI were constructed for the 50-km width domains for the Pan-Arctic, North America, Eurasia and Arctic subregions. Standard climate analysis techniques were applied to the regional time series to investigate the seasonality of sea ice, NDVI and SWI. MaxNDVI has increased in the 50-km land domain contiguous to the Beaufort Sea by 17% since 1982, whereas it has only increased by 3% in the coastal Kara Sea region. Analysis of semimonthly MaxNDVI indicates that the vegetation greens up more rapidly in the spring in the Beaufort than the W. Kara and the Kara has slightly higher NDVI in the fall. The climatological weekly sea ice concentrations in 50-km coastal domain displays an earlier breakup in the Beaufort and a later freeze-up in the Kara Sea area. Regional differences in the seasonal cycle can in part explain the spatially varied trends

  5. Modern and fossilized biological communities from sediments of Bolshoy Harbei lake (Bolshezemelskaya tundra, Russia) and their response to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tumanov, Oleg; Nazarova, Larisa; Fefilova, Elena; Baturina, Maria; Loskutova, Olga; Frolova, Larisa; Palagushkina, Olga

    2013-04-01

    High-altitude regions are subjected to the threats of global warming. During the last decade the depth of seasonal melting of permafrost in Northern Russia, significantly increased. Investigation of lake sediments from polar regions has an extreme importance for understanding of the modern environmental processes and their influence on northern ecosystems and biological diversity of these regions. Invertebrate communities are used for diagnostic of lake ecosystems because they have a great sensitivity to climatic changes (Andronnikova, 1996; Lazareva, 2008; O'Brien et al., 2005). The data can be used as well as a basis for inference models for reconstruction of the paleoclimatic conditions. Chironomid-based, Cladocera-based and diatom models have successfully been developed (Nazarova et al., 2008, 2011; Self et al., 2011) and can be used for precise paleotemperature reconstructions (Kienast et al., 2011). In summer 2012, we investigated complex of Kharbei lakes, located in the interfluve of Korotaiha and Bolshaya Rogovaya rivers in the east side of Bolshezemelskaya tundra, Russia (67°33'22″ N, 62°53'23″ E). Six different lakes were investigated using modern hydrobiological and palaeoecological methods. In total 9 cores were obtained, cut, dated and further investigated using sedimenthological, geochemical, and paleobiological methods. The standard hydrobiological methods have shown that the modern zooplankton communities did not change significantly during the last 40 years. Taxonomic composition and structure of planktonic communities didn't change, except for appearance of crustaceans Polyarthra euryptera and Daphnia cucullata. In planktonic communities of Bolshoy Harbei lake we revealed 39 species and forms of Rotifera, 19 - Cladocera and 11 - Copepoda. In zoobenthic communities we registered 24 taxonomical groups characteristic for large tundra lakes of the North East of Russia. Chironomids and Oligochaeta are dominant groups of invertebrates. 103 taxa of

  6. 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.

  7. Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Computerized Self-Administered Diet History Questionnaire for Use in Studies of American Indian and Alaskan Native People

    OpenAIRE

    Slattery, Martha L; Murtaugh, Maureen A.; Schumacher, Mary Catherine; Johnson, Jennifer; Edwards, Sandra; Edwards, Roger; Benson, Joan; Tom-Orme, Lillian; Lanier, Anne P.

    2008-01-01

    Collection of dietary intake in epidemiologic studies involves using methods that are comprehensive yet appropriate for the population being studied. Here we describe a diet history questionnaire (DHQ) that was developed using an audio self-administered computer-assisted interview technique. The DHQ was developed for use in a cohort of American Indians and Alaskan Natives with tribal input and area-specific modules to incorporate local food availability. The DHQ includes 54 main food group qu...

  8. American Indians/Native Alaskans with Traumatic Brain Injury: Examining the Impairments of Traumatic Brain Injury, Disparities in Service Provision, and Employment Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitfield, Harold Wayne; Lloyd, Rosalind

    2008-01-01

    The researchers analyzed data from fiscal year 2006 and found that American Indians/Native Alaskans (AI/NA) with traumatic brain injury experienced similar functional limitations at application as did non-AI/NA. Fewer funds were expended on purchased services for AI/NA than for non-AI/NA. The wages of AI/NA were equitable to those of non-AI/NA at…

  9. Comparative Analysis of Phenolic Content and Profile, Antioxidant Capacity and Anti-inflammatory Bioactivity in Wild Alaskan and Commercial Vaccinium Berries

    OpenAIRE

    Grace, Mary H; Esposito, Debora; Dunlap, Kriya L.; Lila, Mary Ann

    2013-01-01

    Wild Alaskan Vaccinium berries, V. vitis-idaea (lowbush cranberry) and V. uliginosum (bog blueberry), were investigated in parallel to their commercial berry counterparts; V. macrocarpon (cranberry) and V. angustifolium (lowbush blueberry). Lowbush cranberry accumulated about twice the total phenolics (624.4 mg/100 g FW) and proanthocyanidins (278.8 mg/100 g) content as commercial cranberries, but A-type proanthocyanidins were more prevalent in the latter. Bog blueberry anthocyanin and total ...

  10. 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.

  11. Treating hepatitis C in American Indians/Alaskan Natives: A survey of Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) utilization by Indian Health Service providers

    OpenAIRE

    Pindyck, Talia; Kalishman, Summers; Flatow-Trujillo, Lainey; Thornton, Karla

    2015-01-01

    Background: American Indians/Alaskan Natives have a high mortality associated with hepatitis C virus, yet treatment rates are low. The ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) model™, a videoconferencing technology for primary care providers, is underutilized at Indian Health Service facilities. Purpose: To ascertain Indian Health Service providers’ benefit of and barriers to utilizing hepatitis C virus TeleECHO clinics. Methods: We electronically sent an Active Participant Survey t...

  12. A QTL for genotype by sex interaction for anthropometric measurements in Alaskan Eskimos (GOCADAN study) on chromosome 19q12-13

    OpenAIRE

    Voruganti, V. Saroja; Diego, Vincent P.; Haack, Karin; Cole, Shelley A.; Blangero, John; Göring, Harald HH; Laston, Sandra; Wenger, Charlotte R; Ebbesson, Sven OE; Fabsitz, Richard R.; Devereux, Richard B; Howard, Barbara V.; Umans, Jason G.; MacCluer, Jean W; Comuzzie, Anthony G.

    2011-01-01

    Variation in anthropometric measurements due to sexual dimorphism can be the result of genotype by sex interactions (G×S). The purpose of this study was to examine the sex-specific genetic architecture in anthropometric measurements in Alaskan Eskimos from the Genetics of Coronary Artery Disease in Alaska Natives (GOCADAN) study. Maximum likelihood based variance components decomposition methods, implemented in SOLAR, were used for GxS analyses. Anthropometric measurements included BMI, waist...

  13. A Gly98Val Mutation in the N-Myc Downstream Regulated Gene 1 (NDRG1) in Alaskan Malamutes with Polyneuropathy

    OpenAIRE

    Bruun, Camilla S.; Jäderlund, Karin H.; Mette Berendt; Jensen, Kristine B; Spodsberg, Eva H.; Hanne Gredal; G Diane Shelton; Mickelson, James R.; Minor, Katie M; Hannes Lohi; Inge Bjerkås; Oyvind Stigen; Arild Espenes; Cecilia Rohdin; Rebecca Edlund

    2013-01-01

    The first cases of early-onset progressive polyneuropathy appeared in the Alaskan Malamute population in Norway in the late 1970s. Affected dogs were of both sexes and were ambulatory paraparetic, progressing to non-ambulatory tetraparesis. On neurologic examination, affected dogs displayed predominantly laryngeal paresis, decreased postural reactions, decreased spinal reflexes and muscle atrophy. The disease was considered eradicated through breeding programmes but recently new cases have oc...

  14. Site-level model intercomparison of high latitude and high altitude soil thermal dynamics in tundra and barren landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ekici

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Modelling soil thermal dynamics at high latitudes and altitudes requires representations of specific physical processes such as snow insulation, soil freezing/thawing, as well as subsurface conditions like soil water/ice content and soil texture type. We have compared six different land models (JSBACH, ORCHIDEE, JULES, COUP, HYBRID8, LPJ-GUESS at four different sites with distinct cold region landscape types (i.e. Schilthorn-Alpine, Bayelva-high Arctic, Samoylov-wet polygonal tundra, Nuuk-non permafrost Arctic to quantify the importance of physical processes in capturing observed temperature dynamics in soils. This work shows how a range of models can represent distinct soil temperature regimes in permafrost and non-permafrost soils. Snow insulation is of major importance for estimating topsoil conditions and must be combined with accurate subsoil temperature dynamics to correctly estimate active layer thicknesses. Analyses show that land models need more realistic surface processes (such as detailed snow dynamics and moss cover with changing thickness/wetness as well as better representations of subsoil thermal dynamics (i.e. soil heat transfer mechanism and correct parameterization of heat conductivity/capacities.

  15. Complete genome sequence of Granulicella tundricola type strain MP5ACTX9T, an Acidobacteria from tundra soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rawat, Suman R. [Rutgers University; Mannisto, Minna [Finnish Forest Research Institute, Parkano, Finland; Starovoytov, Valentin [Rutgers University; Goodwin, Lynne A. [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Nolan, Matt [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Hauser, Loren John [ORNL; Land, Miriam L [ORNL; Davenport, Karen W. [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Woyke, Tanja [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Haggblom, Max [Rutgers University

    2013-01-01

    Granulicella tundricola strain MP5ACTX9T is a novel species of the genus Granulicella in subdivision 1 Acidobacteria. G. tundricola is a predominant member of soil bacterial communities, active at low temperatures and nutrient limiting conditions in Arctic alpine tundra. The organism is a cold-adapted acidophile and a versatile heterotroph that hydro-lyzes a suite of sugars and complex polysaccharides. Genome analysis revealed metabolic versatility with genes involved in metabolism and transport of carbohydrates, including gene modules encoding for the carbohydrate-active enzyme (CAZy) families for the break-down, utilization and biosynthesis of diverse structural and storage polysaccharides such as plant based carbon polymers. The genome of G. tundricola strain MP5ACTX9T consists of 4,309,151 bp of a circular chromosome and five mega plasmids with a total genome con-tent of 5,503,984 bp. The genome comprises 4,705 protein-coding genes and 52 RNA genes.

  16. Morphology and properties of the soils of permafrost peatlands in the southeast of the Bol'shezemel'skaya tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaverin, D. A.; Pastukhov, A. V.; Lapteva, E. M.; Biasi, C.; Marushchak, M.; Martikainen, P.

    2016-05-01

    The morphology and properties of the soils of permafrost peatlands in the southeast of the Bol'shezemel'skaya tundra are characterized. The soils developing in the areas of barren peat circles differ from oligotrophic permafrost-affected peat soils (Cryic Histosols) of vegetated peat mounds in a number of morphological and physicochemical parameters. The soils of barren circles are characterized by the wellstructured surface horizons, relatively low exchangeable acidity, and higher rates of decomposition and humification of organic matter. It is shown that the development of barren peat circles on tops of peat mounds is favored by the activation of erosional and cryogenic processes in the topsoil. The role of winter wind erosion in the destruction of the upper peat and litter horizons is demonstrated. A comparative analysis of the temperature regime of soils of vegetated peat mounds and barren peat circles is presented. The soil-geocryological complex of peat mounds is a system consisting of three major layers: seasonally thawing layer-upper permafrost-underlying permafrost. The upper permafrost horizons of peat mounds at the depth of 50-90 cm are morphologically similar to the underlying permafrost. However, these layers differ in their physicochemical properties, especially in the composition and properties of their organic matter.

  17. Complete genome sequence of Terriglobus saanensis type strain SP1PR4T, an Acidobacteria from tundra soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rawat, Suman R. [Rutgers University; Mannisto, Minna [Finnish Forest Research Institute, Parkano, Finland; Starovoytov, Valentin [Rutgers University; Goodwin, Lynne A. [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Nolan, Matt [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Hauser, Loren John [ORNL; Land, Miriam L [ORNL; Davenport, Karen W. [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Woyke, Tanja [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Haggblom, Max [Rutgers University

    2012-01-01

    Terriglobus saanensis SP1PR4T is a novel species of the genus Terriglobus. T. saanensis is of ecological interest because it is a representative of the phylum Acidobacteria, which are dominant members of bacterial soil microbiota in Arctic ecosystems. T. saanensis is a cold-adapted acidophile and a versatile heterotroph utilizing a suite of simple sugars and complex polysaccharides. The genome contained an abundance of genes assigned to metabolism and transport of carbohydrates including gene modules encoding for carbohydrate-active enzyme (CAZyme) family involved in breakdown, utilization and biosynthesis of diverse structural and storage polysaccharides. T. saanensis SP1PR4T represents the first member of genus Terriglobus with a completed genome sequence, consisting of a single replicon of 5,095,226 base pairs (bp), 54 RNA genes and 4,279 protein-coding genes. We infer that the physiology and metabolic potential of T. saanensis is adapted to allow for resilience to the nutrient-deficient conditions and fluctuating temperatures of Arctic tundra soils.

  18. Inclusion of Additional Plant Species and Trait Information in Dynamic Vegetation Modeling of Arctic Tundra and Boreal Forest Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Patil, V.; Roach, J.; Griffith, B.; McGuire, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) have been developed to model the ecophysiological characteristics of plant functional types in terrestrial ecosystems. They have frequently been used to answer questions pertaining to processes such as disturbance, plant succession, and community composition under historical and future climate scenarios. While DVMs have proved useful in these types of applications, it has often been questioned if additional detail, such as including plant dynamics at the species-level and/or including species-specific traits would make these models more accurate and/or broadly applicable. A sub-question associated with this issue is, 'How many species, or what degree of functional diversity, should we incorporate to sustain ecosystem function in modeled ecosystems?' Here, we focus on how the inclusion of additional plant species and trait information may strengthen dynamic vegetation modeling in applications pertaining to: (1) forage for caribou in northern Alaska, (2) above- and belowground carbon storage in the boreal forest and lake margin wetlands of interior Alaska, and (3) arctic tundra and boreal forest leaf phenology. While the inclusion of additional information generally proved valuable in these three applications, this additional detail depends on field data that may not always be available and may also result in increased computational complexity. Therefore, it is important to assess these possible limitations against the perceived need for additional plant species and trait information in the development and application of dynamic vegetation models.

  19. Chemical composition of spinel from Uralian-Alaskan-type Mafic-Ultramafic complexes and its petrogenetic significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, J.; Brügmann, G. E.; Pushkarev, E. V.

    2011-02-01

    Uralian-Alaskan-type mafic-ultramafic complexes are recognized as a distinct class of intrusions regarding lithologic assemblage, mineral chemistry and petrogenetic setting. In the present study, we discuss new data on the distribution of major elements in minerals of the spinel group in rocks from Uralian-Alaskan-type complexes in the Ural Mountains, Russia. Cr-rich spinel (Cr2O3 = 20-53 wt%) in dunite with interstitial clinopyroxene and in wehrlite cumulates indicate that it reacted with interstitial liquid resulting in the progressive substitution of Al2O2 and Cr2O3 by Fe2O3 and TiO2. A distinct change in the spinel chemistry in dunite (Cr2O3 = 47-53 wt%), towards Al2O3- and Cr2O3-poor but Fe2O3-rich compositions monitors the onset of clinopyroxene fractionation in wehrlite (Cr2O3 = 15-35 wt%, Al2O3 = 1-8 wt%, Fe2O3 = 25-55 wt%). In more fractionated mafic rocks, the calculated initial composition of exsolved spinel traces the sustained crystallization of clinopyroxene by decreasing Cr2O3 and increasing FeO, Fe2O3 and fO2. Finally, the initiation of feldspar crystallization buffers the Al2O3 content in most of the spinels in mafic rocks at very low Cr2O3 contents (<5 wt%). The fractionation path all along and the reaction with interstitial liquid are accompanied by increasing Fe2O3 contents in the spinel. This likely is caused by a significant increase in the oxygen fugacity, which suggests closed system fractionation processes. Spinel with Cr2O3 < 27 wt% is exsolved into a Fe2O3-rich and an Al2O3-rich phase forming a variety of textures. Remarkably, exsolved spinel in different lithologies from complexes 200 km apart follows one distinct solvus line defining a temperature of ca. 600°C. This indicates that the parental magmas were emplaced and eventually cooled at similar levels in the lithosphere, likely near the crust-mantle boundary. Eventually, these 600°C hot bodies were rapidly transported into colder regions of the upper crust during a regional tectonic

  20. Controls on variations in MODIS fire radiative power in Alaskan boreal forests: implications for fire severity conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Kirsten; Kasischke, Eric S.

    2013-01-01

    Fire activity in the Alaskan boreal forest, though episodic at annual and intra-annual time scales, has experienced an increase over the last several decades. Increases in burned area and fire severity are not only releasing more carbon to the atmosphere, but likely shifting vegetation composition in the region towards greater deciduous dominance and a reduction in coniferous stands. While some recent studies have addressed qualitative differences between large and small fire years in the Alaskan boreal forest, the ecological effects of a greater proportion of burning occurring during large fire years and during late season fires have not yet been examined. Some characteristics of wildfires that can be detected remotely are related to fire severity and can provide new information on spatial and temporal patterns of burning. This analysis focused on boreal wildfire intensity (fire radiative power, or FRP) contained in the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) daily active fire product from 2003 to 2010. We found that differences in FRP resulted from seasonality and intra-annual variability in fire activity levels, vegetation composition, latitudinal variation, and fire spread behavior. Our studies determined two general categories of active fire detections: new detections associated with the spread of the fire front and residual pixels in areas that had already experienced front burning. Residual pixels had a lower average FRP than front pixels, but represented a high percentage of all pixels during periods of high fire activity (large fire years, late season burning, and seasonal periods of high fire activity). As a result, the FRP from periods of high fire activity was less intense than those from periods of low fire activity. Differences related to latitude were greater than expected, with higher latitudes burning later in the season and at a higher intensity than lower latitudes. Differences in vegetation type indicate that coniferous vegetation

  1. 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

  2. Are low altitude alpine tundra ecosystems under threat? A case study from the Parc National de la Gaspésie, Québec

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  3. Long-term experimentally deepened snow decreases growing-season respiration in a low- and high-arctic tundra ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semenchuk, Philipp R.; Christiansen, Casper T.; Grogan, Paul; Elberling, Bo; Cooper, Elisabeth J.

    2016-05-01

    Tundra soils store large amounts of carbon (C) that could be released through enhanced ecosystem respiration (ER) as the arctic warms. Over time, this may change the quantity and quality of available soil C pools, which in-turn may feedback and regulate ER responses to climate warming. Therefore, short-term increases in ER rates due to experimental warming may not be sustained over longer periods, as observed in other studies. One important aspect, which is often overlooked, is how climatic changes affecting ER in one season may carry-over and determine ER in following seasons. Using snow fences, we increased snow depth and thereby winter soil temperatures in a high-arctic site in Svalbard (78°N) and a low-arctic site in the Northwest Territories, Canada (64°N), for 5 and 9 years, respectively. Deepened snow enhanced winter ER while having negligible effect on growing-season soil temperatures and soil moisture. Growing-season ER at the high-arctic site was not affected by the snow treatment after 2 years. However, surprisingly, the deepened snow treatments significantly reduced growing-season ER rates after 5 years at the high-arctic site and after 8-9 years at the low-arctic site. We speculate that the reduction in ER rates, that became apparent only after several years of experimental manipulation, may, at least in part, be due to prolonged depletion of labile C substrate as a result of warmer soils over multiple cold seasons. Long-term changes in winter climate may therefore significantly influence annual net C balance not just because of increased wintertime C loss but also because of "legacy" effects on ER rates during the following growing seasons.

  4. The role of seasonality and large-scale climate drivers in recent Pan-Arctic tundra vegetation variability and change

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    An increase of Pan-Arctic tundra vegetation greenness has been documented using the remotely sensed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and a coherent variability between NDVI, springtime coastal sea ice and land surface temperatures has been shown. The goal of this paper is to understand the forcing factors of this change and variability better through an analysis of the seasonality of these remotely sensed variables as well as long-term climate data sets. This study uses remotely sensed submonthly 25-km sea ice concentration, surface temperature, and NDVI from 1982 to 2010. The NDVI3g data has been corrected for biases in the spring and fall. Standard climate data (station, reanalysis, and model data) and ground observations are also examined. For overall trends, we find that summer time open water area has increased most in the Beaufort, and Siberian Seas. The seasonality of SWI trends display distinct heterogeneity across the Arctic, with maximum warming in August for most regions (Figure 1). The monthly time integrated NDVI trends display the largest positive values for most of the Arctic in July, with the exception of the E. Bering and Kara regions, which show declines during most months (Figure 2). The largest magnitude increases in Max-NDVI tend to be in subzones that are inland, particularly in the Beaufort and Chukchi regions. NDVI has increased more during spring in Eurasia and more during peak vegetation activity (July) over North America. The analysis suggests that local atmospheric circulation as well as other local factors likely plays an important role in vegetation productivity.

  5. Evaluation of a Thermodynamically Based Soil Microbial Decomposition Model Based on a 13c Tracer Study in Arctic Tundra Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, X.; Tang, J.; Riley, W. J.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Cotrufo, M. F.; Machmuller, M. B.; Lynch, L.

    2014-12-01

    The incorporation of explicit representation of biological complexity in soil carbon decomposition models may improve our ability to accurately predict terrestrial carbon-climate feedbacks. A new generation of microbe-explicit soil decomposition models (MEMs) are being developed that represent soil biological complexity, but only a few take into account detailed biotic and abiotic components and competitive interactions in the complex soil system. In view of this, we have developed a thermodynamically based MEM with a detailed component network (polymeric organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon, microbes, extracellular enzymes, and mineral surfaces), in which competitive interactions and microbial metabolism are modeled using Equilibrium Chemistry Approximation kinetics and Dynamic Energy Budget theory, respectively. The model behavior has been tested and is qualitatively consistent with many empirical studies, but further evaluation of the model with field or lab experimental data in specific ecosystems is needed. Stable carbon isotope (13C) tracer experiments provide a means to directly evaluate soil carbon dynamics simulated by MEMs. In this study, we further develop the model to explicitly account for different carbon isotopes, including 13C and 14C. Isotopic fractionations in soil decomposition processes, including soil organic matter transformations and microbial metabolism, are considered. The 13C signals of different soil components derived from a 13C tracer experiment in Arctic tundra soils are used to test the model behavior and identify needed parametric and structural improvements. Our modeling and data comparison identify several key mechanisms that need to be included in MEMs. Finally, we present an analysis of the relative benefits and costs of additional complexity in MEMs compared to traditional pool-based modeling structures.

  6. Modeling different freeze/thaw processes in heterogeneous landscapes of the Arctic polygonal tundra using an ecosystem model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Yi

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Freeze/thaw (F/T processes can be quite different under the various land surface types found in the heterogeneous polygonal tundra of the Arctic. Proper simulation of these different processes is essential for accurate prediction of the release of greenhouse gases under a warming climate scenario. In this study we have modified the dynamic organic soil version of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (DOS-TEM to simulate F/T processes beneath the polygon rims, polygon centers (with and without water, and lakes that are common features in Arctic lowland regions. We first verified the F/T algorithm in the DOS-TEM against analytical solutions, and then compared the results with in situ measurements from Samoylov Island, Siberia. In the final stage, we examined the different responses of the F/T processes for different water levels at the various land surface types. The simulations revealed that (1 the DOS-TEM was very efficient and its results compared very well with analytical solutions for idealized cases, (2 the simulations compared reasonably well with in situ measurements although there were a number of model limitations and uncertainties, (3 the DOS-TEM was able to successfully simulate the differences in F/T dynamics under different land surface types, and (4 permafrost beneath water bodies was found to respond highly sensitive to changes in water depths between 1 and 2 m. Our results indicate that water is very important in the thermal processes simulated by the DOS-TEM; the heterogeneous nature of the landscape and different water depths therefore need to be taken into account when simulating methane emission responses to a warming climate.

  7. Regulation of methane production, oxidation, and emission by vascular plants and bryophytes in ponds of the northeast Siberian polygonal tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoblauch, Christian; Spott, Oliver; Evgrafova, Svetlana; Kutzbach, Lars; Pfeiffer, Eva-Maria

    2015-12-01

    Methane (CH4) production, oxidation, and emission were studied in ponds of the permafrost-affected polygonal tundra in northeast Siberia. Microbial degradation of organic matter in water-saturated soils is the most important source for the climate-relevant trace gas CH4. Although ponds and lakes cover a substantial fraction of the land surface of northern Siberia, data on CH4 fluxes from these water bodies are scarce. Summer CH4 fluxes were measured with closed chambers at the margins of ponds vegetated by vascular plants and in their centers without vascular plants. Furthermore, CH4 and oxygen concentration gradients, stable carbon isotope signatures of dissolved and emitted CH4, and microbial CH4 production and CH4 oxidation were determined. Mean summer fluxes were significantly higher at the margins of the ponds (46.1 ± 15.4 mg CH4 m-2 d-1) than at the centers (5.9 ± 8.2 mg CH4 m-2 d-1). CH4 transport was dominated by diffusion in most open water sites, but substantial ebullitive fluxes (12.0 ± 8.1 mg CH4 m-2 d-1) were detected in one pond. Plant-mediated transport accounted for 70 to 90% of total CH4 fluxes above emerged vegetation. In the absence of vascular plants, 61 to 99% of the CH4 produced in the anoxic bottom soil was consumed in a layer of the submerged moss Scorpidium scorpioides, which covered the bottoms of the ponds. The fraction of CH4 oxidized was lower at sites with vascular plants since CH4 was predominantly transported through their aerenchyma, thereby bypassing the CH4 oxidation zone in the moss layer. These results emphasize the importance of moss-associated CH4 oxidation causing low CH4 fluxes from the studied Siberian ponds.

  8. 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.

  9. Using Tree Rings, CO2 Fluxes, and Long-Term Measurements to Understand Carbon Dynamics in an Alaskan Boreal Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond-Lamberty, B. P.; Anderson, C.; Crump, A.; Stegen, J.

    2015-12-01

    Decadal and centennial processes are usually poorly constrained by data, but many opportunities exist to combine disparate data sources such as tree rings, greenhouse gas fluxes from the soil to atmosphere, and long-term tree inventories. At high northern latitudes, permafrost (and its current degradation across large scales) is presumed to exert a strong control on long-term ecosystem carbon uptake and storage. We integrate a variety of data from both Canada and Alaska, focusing on two years of observations across a permafrost gradient in a black spruce Alaskan watershed (the Caribou/Poker Creek Research Watershed ~50 km northeast of Fairbanks, AK, USA). Permafrost depth changes were strongly associated with changes in vegetation and leaf morphology, as well as soil greenhouse fluxes (0.1-2.0 μmol/m2/s, with strong spatial dependencies) and aboveground net primary production (60-550 gC/m2/yr). We use tree-ring data covering the last century to examine how tree response to climate variability changes with elevation and permafrost depth, both along small-scale transects and across the entire 104 km2 watershed. A weakness is that these results are from a single site and point in successional time; we quantify potential variability in this area using 16 years of observations from a Canadian boreal chronosequence. We emphasize that both short and long term observations and experiments, using multiple approaches, are necessary to constrain ecosystem carbon uptake and storage.

  10. Mechanosensory Neuron Aging: Differential Trajectories with Lifespan-Extending Alaskan Berry and Fungal Treatments in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scerbak, Courtney; Vayndorf, Elena M; Hernandez, Alicia; McGill, Colin; Taylor, Barbara E

    2016-01-01

    Many nutritional interventions that increase lifespan are also proposed to postpone age-related declines in motor and cognitive function. Potential sources of anti-aging compounds are the plants and fungi that have adapted to extreme environments. We studied the effects of four commonly consumed and culturally relevant Interior Alaska berry and fungus species (bog blueberry, lowbush cranberry, crowberry, and chaga) on the decline in overall health and neuron function and changes in touch receptor neuron morphology associated with aging. We observed increased wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan and improved markers of healthspan upon treatment with Alaskan blueberry, lowbush cranberry, and chaga extracts. Interestingly, although all three treatments increased lifespan, they differentially affected the development of aberrant morphologies in touch receptor neurons. Blueberry treatments decreased anterior mechanosensory neuron (ALM) aberrations (i.e., extended outgrowths and abnormal cell bodies) while lowbush cranberry treatment increased posterior mechanosensory neuron (PLM) aberrations, namely process branching. Chaga treatment both decreased ALM aberrations (i.e., extended outgrowths) and increased PLM aberrations (i.e., process branching and loops). These results support the large body of knowledge positing that there are multiple cellular strategies and mechanisms for promoting health with age. Importantly, these results also demonstrate that although an accumulation of abnormal neuron morphologies is associated with aging and decreased health, not all of these morphologies are detrimental to neuronal and organismal health. PMID:27486399

  11. Preterm birth among American Indian/Alaskan natives in Washington and Montana: comparison with non-Hispanic Whites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Melody; Shrestha, Archana; Yazzie, Sheldwin; Jackson, Michael L

    2013-12-01

    Preterm birth is the single most important cause of perinatal mortality in North America. Given that American Indians/Alaskan Natives (AI/ANs) in the United States continue to have adverse birth outcomes, the purpose of this study is to compare the risk of preterm birth among AI/AN mothers to Non-Hispanic White mothers living in Washington and Montana from 2003 to 2009. A population-based retrospective cohort study was conducted examining the association between AI/AN mothers (self-reported) and the risk of preterm birth (gestational age Hispanic White singleton infants (n = 26,648) born to residents of Washington and Montana were randomly selected as a comparison group and logistic regression was used to analyze the data. AI/AN mothers living in Washington and Montana between 2003 and 2009 were 1.34 times (95 % CI 1.25-1.44) as likely to have a preterm birth compared to Non-Hispanic Whites after adjusting for maternal and paternal characteristics as well as pregnancy risk factors. AI/AN mothers residing in Washington and Montana from 2003 to 2009 were at a significantly increased risk of having a preterm birth compared to Non-Hispanic Whites. Identifying etiologic differences in preterm birth experienced by AI/ANs is essential in targeting future interventions. PMID:23288503

  12. Mechanosensory Neuron Aging: Differential Trajectories with Lifespan-Extending Alaskan Berry and Fungal Treatments in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scerbak, Courtney; Vayndorf, Elena M.; Hernandez, Alicia; McGill, Colin; Taylor, Barbara E.

    2016-01-01

    Many nutritional interventions that increase lifespan are also proposed to postpone age-related declines in motor and cognitive function. Potential sources of anti-aging compounds are the plants and fungi that have adapted to extreme environments. We studied the effects of four commonly consumed and culturally relevant Interior Alaska berry and fungus species (bog blueberry, lowbush cranberry, crowberry, and chaga) on the decline in overall health and neuron function and changes in touch receptor neuron morphology associated with aging. We observed increased wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan and improved markers of healthspan upon treatment with Alaskan blueberry, lowbush cranberry, and chaga extracts. Interestingly, although all three treatments increased lifespan, they differentially affected the development of aberrant morphologies in touch receptor neurons. Blueberry treatments decreased anterior mechanosensory neuron (ALM) aberrations (i.e., extended outgrowths and abnormal cell bodies) while lowbush cranberry treatment increased posterior mechanosensory neuron (PLM) aberrations, namely process branching. Chaga treatment both decreased ALM aberrations (i.e., extended outgrowths) and increased PLM aberrations (i.e., process branching and loops). These results support the large body of knowledge positing that there are multiple cellular strategies and mechanisms for promoting health with age. Importantly, these results also demonstrate that although an accumulation of abnormal neuron morphologies is associated with aging and decreased health, not all of these morphologies are detrimental to neuronal and organismal health. PMID:27486399

  13. Response of plant community structure and primary productivity to experimental drought and flooding in an Alaskan fen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, A.C.; Turetsky, Merritt R.; McGuire, Anthony; Hollingsworth, Teresa N.

    2014-01-01

    Northern peatlands represent a long-term net sink for atmospheric CO2, but these ecosystems can shift from net carbon (C) sinks to sources based on changing climate and environmental conditions. In particular, changes in water availability associated with climate control peatland vegetation and carbon uptake processes. We examined the influence of changing hydrology on plant species abundance and ecosystem primary production in an Alaskan fen by manipulating the water table in field treatments to mimic either sustained flooding (raised water table) or drought (lowered water table) conditions for 6 years. We found that water table treatments altered plant species abundance by increasing sedge and grass cover in the raised water table treatment and reducing moss cover while increasing vascular green area in the lowered water table treatment. Gross primary productivity was lower in the lowered treatment than in the other plots, although there were no differences in total biomass or vascular net primary productivity among the treatments. Overall, our results indicate that vegetation abundance was more sensitive to variation in water table than total biomass and vascular biomass accrual. Finally, in our experimental peatland, drought had stronger consequences for change in vegetation abundance and ecosystem function than sustained flooding.

  14. Aerial surveys of endangered whales in the Alaskan Chukchi and western Beaufort Seas, 1990. Final report, Oct-Nov 90

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syed H. Imam

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available 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 highest flexural modulus (500-770 Mpa. Above 20% fiber content, the modulus dropped considerably in all foam samples. Foam panels with pollock frames had the highest flexural modulus, at about 15% fiber content (770 Mpa. Foams with salmon heads registered the lowest modulus, at 25% concentration. Attempts were also made to cast starch-glycerol-poly (vinyl alcohol films containing 25% fish by-product (salmon heads. These films showed a tensile strength of 15 Mpa and elongation at break of 78.2%. All foams containing fish by-product degraded well in compost at ambient temperature (24oC, loosing roughly between 75-80% of their weight within 7 weeks. The films degraded at a much higher rate initially. When left in water, foams prepared without fish by-product absorbed water much more quickly and deteriorated faster, whereas, water absorption in foams with fish by-product was initially delayed and/or slowed for about 24 h. After this period, water absorption was rapid.

  16. MODIS-informed greenness responsesto daytime land surface temperaturefluctuations and wildfire disturbancesin the Alaskan Yukon River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Zhengxi; Liu, Shu-Guang; Jenkerson, Calli; Oeding, Jennifer; Wylie, Bruce K.; Rover, Jennifer R.; Young, Claudia J.

    2012-01-01

    Pronounced climate warming and increased wildfire disturbances are known to modify forest composition and control the evolution of the boreal ecosystem over the Yukon River Basin (YRB) in interior Alaska. In this study, we evaluate the post-fire green-up rate using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from 250 m 7 day eMODIS (an alternative and application-ready type of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data) acquired between 2000 and 2009. Our analyses indicate measureable effects on NDVI values from vegetation type, burn severity, post-fire time, and climatic variables. The NDVI observations from both fire scars and unburned areas across the Alaskan YRB showed a tendency of an earlier start to the growing season (GS); the annual variations in NDVI were significantly correlated to daytime land surface temperature (LST) fluctuations; and the rate of post-fire green-up depended mainly on burn severity and the time of post-fire succession. The higher average NDVI values for the study period in the fire scars than in the unburned areas between 1950 and 2000 suggest that wildfires enhance post-fire greenness due to an increase in post-fire evergreen and deciduous species components

  17. Transport of Alaskan Dust into the Gulf of Alaska and Comparison with Similar High-Latitude Dust Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crusium, John; Levy, Rob; Wang, Jun; Campbell, Rob; Schroth, Andrew W.

    2012-01-01

    Transport of Alaskan dust into the Gulf of Alaska and comparison with similar high-latitude dust environments. An airborne flux of the micronutrient iron, derived from dust originating from coastal regions may be an important contributor of iron to the Gulf of Alaska's (GoA) oligotrophic waters. Dust blowing off glacier termini and dry riverbeds is a recurring phenomenon in Alaska, usually occurring in the autumn. Since previous studies assumed that dust originating in the deserts of Asia was the largest source of . airborne iron to the GoA, the budget of aeolian deposition of iron needs to be reassessed. Since late 20 I 0, our group has been monitoring dust activity using satellites over the Copper River Delta (CRD) where the most vigorous dust plumes have been observed. Since 2011, sample aerosol concentration and their composition are being collected at Middleton Island (100km off shore of CRD). This presentation will show a summary of the ongoing dust observations and compare with other similar environments (Patagonia, Iceland) by showing case studies. Common features will be highlighted

  18. 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.

  19. Two years with extreme and little snowfall: effects on energy partitioning and surface energy exchange in a high-Arctic tundra ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiegler, Christian; Lund, Magnus; Røjle Christensen, Torben; Mastepanov, Mikhail; Lindroth, Anders

    2016-07-01

    Snow cover is one of the key factors controlling Arctic ecosystem functioning and productivity. In this study we assess the impact of strong variability in snow accumulation during 2 subsequent years (2013-2014) on the land-atmosphere interactions and surface energy exchange in two high-Arctic tundra ecosystems (wet fen and dry heath) in Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland. We observed that record-low snow cover during the winter 2012/2013 resulted in a strong response of the heath ecosystem towards low evaporative capacity and substantial surface heat loss by sensible heat fluxes (H) during the subsequent snowmelt period and growing season. Above-average snow accumulation during the winter 2013/2014 promoted summertime ground heat fluxes (G) and latent heat fluxes (LE) at the cost of H. At the fen ecosystem a more muted response of LE, H and G was observed in response to the variability in snow accumulation. Overall, the differences in flux partitioning and in the length of the snowmelt periods and growing seasons during the 2 years had a strong impact on the total accumulation of the surface energy balance components. We suggest that in a changing climate with higher temperature and more precipitation the surface energy balance of this high-Arctic tundra ecosystem may experience a further increase in the variability of energy accumulation, partitioning and redistribution.

  20. Resilience strategies in the face of short- and long-term change: out-migration and fisheries regulation in Alaskan fishing communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amber Himes-Cornell

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Historically, communities persisted in remote, isolated areas of Alaska in large part because of the abundance of marine and terrestrial resources, as well as the ability of local people to opportunistically access those resources as they became available. Species switching and the ability to shift effort away from fisheries during poor years allowed local residents to diversify their livelihoods in the face of uncertainties and ecological change. The advent of modern fisheries management, which views Alaskan fisheries as the property of all citizens of the United States, has fundamentally altered the relationship of place-based communities to fishery resources. Local access to fisheries has been particularly affected by the development of transferable fishing privileges, making it possible for fishing rights to leave place-based communities through the choices of individual community members to sell or to move away. When fishing communities in Alaska lose active fishing businesses, over time the loss of various types of community capital will follow, including human, social, cultural, technical, and financial capital. In some cases, communities are able to adapt or transform through diversification of their local economies. In other cases, no alternatives to a fishery-based economy are accessible. We have used resilience theory to explore drivers of change affecting Alaskan fishing communities. Emphasis was placed on two primary change drivers, the regulatory environment and rural out-migration, as well as their interconnections and their impacts on individuals, communities, and the larger social-ecological system. We summarized several government programs that have been implemented to support the continued participation of communities in Alaskan fisheries. In addition, we reviewed informal and private-sector efforts to generate resilience strategies that can facilitate new entry into fisheries or retain fishing businesses and fishing rights

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Copper in the sea: a physical--chemical study of reservoirs, fluxes, and pathways in an Alaskan fjord

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heggie, D.T.

    1978-05-01

    Copper in the sea is derived principally from continental weathered products added to the oceans at continental boundaries; hence processes, fluxes, and pathways in estuaries control the supply of copper to the marine biosphere. From mass balances, the fluxes, sources, and sinks of copper in an Alaskan fjord were examined by utilizing fjord deep waters as an approximation to a closed chemical system. Copper was measured in the water columns and interstitial waters electroanalytically. Concentrations of soluble copper ranged between 0.14 ..mu..g l/sup -1/ and 3.13 ..mu..g l/sup -1/. Approximately 40% of total copper was associated with particulate matter in the water column. Concentrations of copper in interstitial waters varied between 1.02 and 9.98 ..mu..g l/sup -1/; maximum concentrations were always found in surface segments. Concentrations of copper on sediments were about 20 mg kg /sup -1/. Copper was removed from the water column and transported to the sediments by particulate matter; net annual removal was estimated to be between 9.6 and 14.2 ..mu..g Cu cm/sup -2/. Copper was remobilized from the solid phase(s) in surface sediments and subsequently returned to the overlying water; net annual transport across the sediment-seawater interface was estimated to be 1.9 ..mu..g Cu cm/sup -/2. Therefore, between 13 and 20% of copper removed from the water column to the sediments was returned to the water column. Remobilized copper not returned to the water column was removed from interstitial waters in the anoxic zone of sediments. Remobilization and removal processes in sediments take place in thin approx. 10 cm zone and effective rates of reactions in sediments may be one of three orders of magnitude greater than reaction rates in the water column. A hypothesis is presented for transport of copper to the sediments predominately on biogenic particles.

  4. Measurement-based upscaling of Pan Arctic Net Ecosystem Exchange: the PANEEx project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Njuabe Mbufong, Herbert; Kusbach, Antonin; Lund, Magnus; Persson, Andreas; Christensen, Torben R.; Tamstorf, Mikkel P.; Connolly, John

    2016-04-01

    The high variability in Arctic tundra net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon (C) can be attributed to the high spatial heterogeneity of Arctic tundra due to the complex topography. Current models of C exchange handle the Arctic as either a single or few ecosystems, responding to environmental change in the same manner. In this study, we developed and tested a simple pan Arctic NEE (PANEEx) model using the Misterlich light response curve (LRC) function with photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) as the main driving variable. Model calibration was carried out with eddy covariance carbon dioxide (CO2) data from 12 Arctic tundra sites. The model input parameters (Fcsat, Rd and α) were estimated as a function of air temperature (AirT) and leaf area index (LAI) and represent specific characteristics of the NEE-PPFD relationship, including the saturation flux, dark respiration and initial light use efficiency, respectively. LAI and air temperature were respectively estimated from empirical relationships with remotely sensed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land surface temperature (LST). These are available as MODIS Terra product MOD13Q1 and MOD11A1 respectively. Therefore, no specific knowledge of the vegetation type is required. The PANEEx model captures the spatial heterogeneity of the Arctic tundra and was effective in simulating 77% of the measured fluxes (r2 = 0.72, p < 0.001) at the 12 sites used in the calibration of the model. Further, the model effectively estimates NEE in three disparate Alaskan ecosystems (heath, tussock and fen) with an estimation ranging between 10 - 36% of the measured fluxes. We suggest that the poor agreement between the measured and modeled NEE may result from the disparity between ground-based measured LAI (used in model calibration) and remotely sensed LAI (estimated from NDVI and used in NEE estimation). Moreover, our results suggests that using simple linear regressions may be inadequate as parameters estimated

  5. The Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE): Measurements of Seasonal to Interannual Variability in Alaskan CO2 and CH4 Fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Charles; Dinardo, Steve

    2015-04-01

    CARVE is a NASA Earth Ventures (EV-1) investigation designed to quantify correlations between atmospheric and surface state variables for the Alaskan terrestrial ecosystems through intensive seasonal aircraft campaigns, ground-based observations, and analysis sustained over a 5-year mission. CARVE campaigns across 2012-2014 growing seasons have established a baseline for monthly, regional scale estimates for surface-atmosphere fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), and revealed large interannual variability in arctic and boreal carbon cycle dynamics. We find that measurements during the freeze/thaw shoulder seasons, especially the fall refreeze, are critical to accurate evaluation of the annual carbon budget for Alaska. Additionally, we find that Alaskan carbon fluxes exhibit responses to environmental forcings that extend across multiple growing seasons. In 2014 we initiated flights to the Mackenzie Delta and will compare the CO2 and CH4 fluxes from this region with those observed over Alaska. We provide lessons learned from CARVE to guide future investigations of carbon cycling and ecosystem vulnerability in the Arctic-Boreal region.

  6. Comparative analysis of phenolic content and profile, antioxidant capacity, and anti-inflammatory bioactivity in wild Alaskan and commercial Vaccinium berries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, Mary H; Esposito, Debora; Dunlap, Kriya L; Lila, Mary Ann

    2014-05-01

    Wild Alaskan Vaccinium berries, V. vitis-idaea (lowbush cranberry) and V. uliginosum (bog blueberry), were investigated in parallel with their commercial berry counterparts, V. macrocarpon (cranberry) and V. angustifolium (lowbush blueberry). Lowbush cranberry accumulated about twice the total phenolics (624.4 mg/100 g FW) and proanthocyanidins (278.8 mg/100 g) content as commercial cranberries, but A-type proanthocyanidins were more prevalent in the latter. Bog blueberry anthocyanin and total phenolic contents of 220 and 504.5 mg/100 g, respectively, significantly exceeded those of the lowbush blueberry. Chlorogenic acid, however, was quite high in lowbush blueberry (83.1 mg/100 g), but undetected in bog blueberry, and the proanthocyanidins of lowbush blueberry had significantly higher levels of polymerization. Antioxidant capacity (DPPH, APTS, and FRAP) correlated with phenolic content for each berry. A polyphenol-rich fraction from lowbush cranberry exhibited dose-dependent inhibition of LPS-elicited induction of IL-1β in RAW 264.7 cells, indicative of strong anti-inflammatory activity. These results corroborate the historic use of wild Alaskan berries as medicinally important foods in Alaska Native communities. PMID:24219831

  7. Using Coarse Resolution Land Surface Temperature Time Series Data for Vegetation Analysis in the Taiga Tundra Transition Zone. a Case Study for Yamal, Krasnoyarsk Kray and Yakutia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, M.; Schmullius, C. C.; Hese, S.; Herold, M.

    2011-12-01

    Predictions from Global Climate Models have shown increasing trends of global temperature for the 21th century. Since the arctic regions are highly vulnerable to global climate changes, rising temperatures will lead to an intensification of vegetation activity which benefits the extension of the boreal forest into tundra areas. Especially the recruitment of trees into the northern regions, which were controlled by summer temperature and the length of the growing season, is of high importance for the Global Climate System. The tree line movement will lead to a positive feedback in climate conditions since dark forest areas will reduce the albedo which leads to higher warming rates. A multi scale concept for the monitoring of the arctic tree line and changes in vegetation structure in the taiga tundra transition zone of Siberia using Earth Observation data and products on coarse, medium and high spatial resolution is presented. On coarse scale, global land surface temperature data from TERRA, AQUA, ERS and ENVISAT as well as land cover, biomass and phenological information will be integrated to analyze the vegetation composition within the taiga tundra transition zone. On medium spatial resolution, optical and SAR remote sensing data with a pixel size of approx. 30 m will be used to analyze the vegetation structure at the tree line. On very high spatial scale recent Rapideye and Corona imagery from the 1960s will be used to identify vegetation changes and the movement of trees within this 40-50 year time period. As this is a multi-scale approach, the findings on all spatial scales can be connected to each other to verify the results. The first results at coarse scale level have shown the relation between the mean summer temperature and the location of the arctic tree line, which was extracted from the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map (CAVM) by Walker et al. (2005). The assumption is that trees have their optimal growing conditions at a mean summer temperature of 10

  8. Allocation of atmospheric CO2 into labile sub-surface carbon pools: a stable isotope labelling approach in a tundra wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rüggen, Norman; Knoblauch, Christian; Pfeiffer, Eva-Maria

    2015-04-01

    Greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost-affected wetlands are intensively studied due to their important role in the global carbon cycle. There are concerns of increasing methane and carbon dioxide fluxes from tundra wetlands due to permafrost degradation and hydrology changes in a warming Arctic. Understanding the sub-surface carbon pool interactions will improve the prediction on how trace gas fluxes from these ecosystems will respond to changing environmental conditions. Partitioning the sources of greenhouse gas fluxes will help to evaluate the quantitative role of recently produced plant photosynthates. Furthermore, partitioning allows separating respiration of long-term stored organic matter and freshly produced plant products. This knowledge is crucial for understanding the response of greenhouse gas fluxes in such wetlands to environmental changes. An in situ 13CO2 pulse-labelling experiment has been conducted in the northeast Siberian tundra (Samoylov island, Lena river delta) in August 2013 to quantify interactions among sub-surface carbon pools (DIC, DOC, CH4) in three depths (6, 16 and 36 cm) of the active layer. The experimental site was a low-centred polygon centre in a polygonal tundra landscape, with a sedge-moss (Carex-Scorpidium) plant association. The water table was at the soils' surface and the permafrost table in a depth of 50 cm. After the system has been 13CO2 pulse labelled, all three studied subsurface carbon pools (CH4, DIC and DOC) were clearly 13C-enriched, which accounts for atmospheric C incorporated into these pools. One day after the labelling, in 6 cm depth 1.5 percent of DIC and 0.1 percent of CH4were replaced by label C, which then steadily declined over a ten days period. The label C content of DOC increased gradually over the same period. In 16 cm depth, the label C increased gradually after labelling in both DIC and CH4. Label C was found in DIC and CH4 even in a depth of 36 cm, although in less pronounced concentrations

  9. ``What comes up … must come down'': Peat carbon and mineral-interactions in Arctic Coastal tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raab, T. K.; Lipson, D.; Crook, N. P.; Miller, K.; Bozzolo, F.

    2010-12-01

    Coastal arctic tundra is a significant landscape unit above 65o N, and in the absence of significant nitrate, sulfate or manganese, these wet, permafrost-influenced soils have few electron acceptors readily available to support microbial anaerobiosis. Based on morphological criteria and satellite photos, we selected 4 drained, thaw-lake basins (DTLBs) of vastly differing ages - 50 to 5500 years, based on 14C-dating efforts near Barrow AK. Replicate 100m transects for each thawed-lake basin were collected using a towable 500 MHz ground-penetrating radar system. Inspection of the raw profiles in the field further suggested points along which 20m-length common-midpoint gathers were also obtained to discriminate contrasting propagation speeds within the top 0.5 m of the surface. At later visits, several SIPRE cores were taken to 0.5 m-depth, and the cores stored frozen until analysis. The cores were measured, and physical/color and mineral data collected to correlate with the CMP velocity-profiles. The point of these measurements was to ascertain the minimum-depth to mineral material below the surficial peats, and to build-up a profile of basin age versus mineral-depth. Availability of inorganic reducing agents may provide a significant constraint on soil microbial C-processing. Minimum-tension microlysimeters (PTFE and iron-free) were deployed along replicate transects in each of 5 basins, and filtered soil-pore water was collected from 0-10 cm, as was filtered, acidified standing water from early June-Sept of both 2009 and 2010. Results of inorganic analyses are presented in a separate poster. Fluorescence spectroscopy was used to monitor seasonal patterns in DOC composition, and fluorescence emission intensity of soil pore-water was inversely proportional to basin age - humic signature emission spectra peaked sharply at 445 nm, and a broader secondary maximum occurred at 500 nm. Fluorescence emission varied 5-fold among basins, and decreased at all sites as soil

  10. An Intercomparison of Semi-Eulerian and Lagrangian Based Cyclone Tracking Methods for the North Pacific and Alaskan Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shippee, N. J.; Atkinson, D. E.

    2014-12-01

    The idea of considering the "end user perspective" regarding storm activity and objective tracking methods used to compile information on their behaviour is particularly important in the Alaskan region. Annually, coastal regions in the North are exposed to stormy conditions, though most impacts occur during periods where multiple storms track over the same area in a short period of time (serial cyclones) or where strong storms occur without the presence of a protective sea ice buffer. From a fixed perspective (i.e. Eulerian), a storm may be identified more by the impacts that it generates at that location (winds, sea state, erosion). From a Lagrangian (tracking) view, the intensity, duration, and characteristics of the synoptic environment may prove more relevant for understanding. The overall "effectiveness" of an objective tracking method depends on the intended use of the provided information. While pitting different methods against each other is not necessarily a fruitful exercise (Mesquita et al. 2009), the reality is that one method may better reflect the reality of storm activity and impacts to those experiencing the weather first hand. One of the more subtle points in extra-tropical cyclone tracking and comparison work is the method by which a storm is defined. Most cyclones are analyzed on MSLP fields; others define a cyclone by relative vorticity (ζ) maxima at 850 hPa (NH) and minima (SH). Storms can also be defined by wind events, or even impacts, at a location. Using counts of strong wind events at a grid point or location can account for pressure gradients both associated with storms and absent of a synoptic event. Three separate tracking algorithms are analyzed to determine the method most likely to produce a long-term homogeneous dataset that can be used to train a statistical seasonal prediction method. These methods include the Serreze algorithm, Hodges TRACK algorithm, and Atkinson algorithm. Both the Serreze and Hodges methods provide a tracking

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Bulk partitioning the growing season net ecosystem exchange of CO2 in Siberian tundra reveals the seasonality of its carbon sequestration strength

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.-M. Pfeiffer

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper evaluates the relative contribution of light and temperature on net ecosystem CO2 uptake during the 2006 growing season in a~polygonal tundra ecosystem in the Lena River Delta in Northern Siberia (72°22´ N, 126°30´ E. We demonstrate that the timing of warm periods may be an important determinant of the magnitude of the ecosystem's carbon sink function, as they drive temperature-induced changes in respiration. Hot spells during the early portion of the growing season are shown to be more influential in creating mid-day surface-to-atmosphere net ecosystem CO2 exchange fluxes than those occurring later in the season. In this work we also develop and present a bulk flux partition model to better account for tundra plant physiology and the specific light conditions of the arctic region that preclude the successful use of traditional partition methods that derive a respiration-temperature relationship from all night-time data. Night-time, growing season measurements are rare during the arctic summer, however, so the new method allows for temporal variation in the parameters describing both ecosystem respiration and gross uptake by fitting both processes at the same time. Much of the apparent temperature sensitivity of respiration seen in the traditional partition method is revealed in the new method to reflect seasonal changes in basal respiration rates. Understanding and quantifying the flux partition is an essential precursor to describing links between assimilation and respiration at different time scales, as it allows a more confident evaluation of measured net exchange over a broader range of environmental conditions. The growing season CO2 sink estimated by this study is similar to those reported previously for this site, and is substantial enough to withstand the long, low-level respiratory CO2 release during the rest of the year to maintain the site's CO2 sink function on an annual basis.

  14. 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

  15. Recent Tree-growth Responses to Warming Vary by Geographic Region and Ecosystem Type within the Boreal Forest-tundra Transition Zone in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherriff, R.; Miller, A. E.

    2015-12-01

    A critical concern for boreal ecosystems centers on broad-scale responses to warming; i.e., where warming will lead to declining growth and mortality, or enhanced growth and greater productivity. However, few studies have synthesized tree growth along biogeographic gradients in an attempt to address this issue. We sought to develop a broader understanding of how trees have responded to recent warming for a dominant conifer species from the southern boreal to the western forest margin, an area expected to show signs of an early-stage boreal biome shift. A new 30-site network of ring-width chronologies (1216 trees >4cm dbh) were evaluated for growth differences in Picea glauca across low-elevation, closed forests, open woodlands, and altitudinal treeline from southern interior boreal forest to the western forest-tundra margin. Regional temperature records were used to evaluate 1) whether tree growth near western treeline, which experiences cooler summers but warmer winters than in the interior, showed greater sensitivity to temperature than interior sites, 2) if the temperature-growth response varied through time, across ecosystem types, and by tree age, and 3) if there was a temperature-growth threshold. Positive growth trends since the 1980s in many open stands were consistent with the predicted expansion of western and altitudinal treeline. However, years with temperatures >13oC corresponded with a growth plateau or decline at all but the altitudinal treeline sites regardless of geographic location. Closed-canopy stands showed growth declines, high spruce beetle activity, and less resiliency to further warming. Warming leads to markedly different responses according to ecosystem type and biogeographical setting at the boreal forest-tundra margin. Low-elevation forests are less resilient to further warming where temperatures have already reached threshold levels and further spruce beetle outbreaks occur, even at the western margin of boreal forest.

  16. The Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) Measurements of Seasonal to Interannual Variability in Alaskan CO2 and CH4 Fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, C. E.; Dinardo, S. J.

    2014-12-01

    CARVE is a NASA Earth Ventures (EV-1) investigation designed to quantify correlations between atmospheric and surface state variables for the Alaskan terrestrial ecosystems through intensive seasonal aircraft campaigns, ground-based observations, and analysis sustained over a 5-year mission. CARVE campaigns across 2012-2014 growing seasons have established a baseline for monthly, regional scale estimates for surface-atmosphere fluxes of carbon dioxide and methane, and revealed large interannual variability in arctic and boreal carbon cycle dynamics. We find that measurements during the freeze/thaw shoulder seasons, especially the fall refreeze, are critical to accurate evaluation of the annual carbon budget for Alaska. In 2014 we initiated flights to the Mackenzie Delta and will compare the carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from this region with those observed over Alaska. We provide lessons learned from CARVE to guide future investigations of carbon cycling and ecosystem vulnerability in the Arctic-Boreal region.

  17. Alaskan sport fishing waters

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — As a guide to newcomers and visitors, fishery biologists have compiled a list of some of the well-known fishing waters in Alaska. The list is merely a starting...

  18. Bulk partitioning the growing season net ecosystem exchange of CO2 in Siberian tundra reveals the seasonality of its carbon sequestration strength

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. R. K. Runkle

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper evaluates the relative contribution of light and temperature on net ecosystem CO2 uptake during the 2006 growing season in a polygonal tundra ecosystem in the Lena River Delta in Northern Siberia (72°22´ N, 126°30´ E. The occurrence and frequency of warm periods may be an important determinant of the magnitude of the ecosystem's carbon sink function, as they drive temperature-induced changes in respiration. Hot spells during the early portion of the growing season, when the photosynthetic apparatus of vascular plants is not fully developed, are shown to be more influential in creating positive mid-day surface-to-atmosphere net ecosystem CO2 exchange fluxes than those occurring later in the season. In this work we also develop and present a multi-step bulk flux partition model to better account for tundra plant physiology and the specific light conditions of the arctic region. These conditions preclude the successful use of traditional partition methods that derive a respiration–temperature relationship from all nighttime data or from other bulk approaches that are insensitive to temperature or light stress. Nighttime growing season measurements are rare during the arctic summer, however, so the new method allows for temporal variation in the parameters describing both ecosystem respiration and gross uptake by fitting both processes at the same time. Much of the apparent temperature sensitivity of respiration seen in the traditional partition method is revealed in the new method to reflect seasonal changes in basal respiration rates. Understanding and quantifying the flux partition is an essential precursor to describing links between assimilation and respiration at different timescales, as it allows a more confident evaluation of measured net exchange over a broader range of environmental conditions. The growing season CO2 sink estimated by this study is similar to those reported previously for this site, and is substantial

  19. Multiscale Observational Platforms and Bayesian Data Integration to Estimate Snow Depth and Snow-water-equivalent over the Ice-wedge Polygonal Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wainwright, H. M.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Peterson, J.; Dafflon, B.; Ulrich, C.; Gusmeroli, A.; Hubbard, S. S.

    2015-12-01

    Snow has a profound impact on permafrost and ecosystem functioning in the Arctic tundra. Characterizing snow depths and snow-water-equivalent (SWE) is difficult over a large area, since they are quite heterogeneous, particularly in ice-wedge polygonal ground. In this study, we explore various strategies to characterize snow depths and SWE, using multiscale observational platforms, including a snow probe, ground penetrating radar (GPR), unmanned aerial system (UAS) and ground/airborne LiDAR. In addition, our statistical analysis and data locations are designed such that we can characterize the snow heterogeneity in multiple spatial scales. We demonstrate our approach using the datasets collected in the ice-wedge polygonal tundra near Barrow, AK. We first document the characteristics of each platform. GPR can cover ~100s meters, and also provide depth-averaged snow density. The UAS-based snow-surface elevation is used to estimate the snow depth over a larger area with much less labor than GPR. Snow density analysis, using both cores and GPR, suggests that the depth-averaged snow density is quite uniform over the site. The spatial variability of snow depths is then quantified, and correlated with various topographic measures (e.g., curvature) from the LiDAR digital elevation map as well as the wind direction. We explore different scales of moving average to separate micro and macro-topography. Results show that the wind factor is not significant in our case, except for at the edge of a drained thaw-lake basin. The wind distribution fills microtopographic lows (i.e., troughs and centers of low-centered polygons) and creates a smooth snow surface following the macro-topography, which depends on polygon sizes. Finally, we develop a Bayesian geostatistical method to integrate these multiscale datasets for estimating snow depths and SWE over the study site (~1km by 1km). We compare two strategies: interpolating (1) the residual of the topographic correlations or (2) the

  20. 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%.

  1. 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)

    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.

  2. Provenance of Holocene sediment on the Chukchi-Alaskan margin based on combined diffuse spectral reflectance and quantitative X-Ray Diffraction analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, J.D.; Polyak, L.; Grebmeier, J.M.; Darby, D.; Eberl, D.D.; Naidu, S.; Nof, D.

    2009-01-01

    Sediment clay and silt mineral assemblages provide an excellent means of assessing the provenance of fine-grained Arctic sediment especially when a unique mineral assemblage can be tied to specific source areas. The diffuse spectral reflectance (DSR) first derivative measurements and quantitative X-Ray Diffraction (qXRD) on a high-resolution sediment core from the continental slope north of Alaska constrain the sediment mineralogy. DSR results are augmented by measurements on several adjacent cores and compared to surface sediment samples from the northern Alaskan shelf and slope. Using Principal Component Analysis (PCA), we infer that the three leading DSR modes relate to mixtures of smectite + dolomite, illite + goethite, and chlorite + muscovite. This interpretation is consistent with the down core qXRD results. While the smectite + dolomite, and illite + goethite factors show increased variability down core, the chlorite + muscovite factor had highest positive loadings in the middle Holocene, between ca. 6.0 and 3.6??ka. Because the most likely source of the chlorite + muscovite suite in this vicinity lies in the North Pacific, we argue that the oscillations in chlorite + muscovite values likely reflect an increase in the inflow of Pacific water to the Arctic through the Bering Strait. The time interval of this event is associated in other parts of the globe with a non-linear response of the climate system to the decrease in insolation, which may be related to changes in water exchange between the Pacific and Arctic Ocean. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  3. Development, implementation, and evaluation of a computerized self-administered diet history questionnaire for use in studies of American Indian and Alaskan native people.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, Martha L; Murtaugh, Maureen A; Schumacher, Mary Catherine; Johnson, Jennifer; Edwards, Sandra; Edwards, Roger; Benson, Joan; Tom-Orme, Lillian; Lanier, Anne P

    2008-01-01

    Collection of dietary intake in epidemiologic studies involves using methods that are comprehensive yet appropriate for the population being studied. Here we describe a diet history questionnaire (DHQ) that was developed using an audio self-administered computer-assisted interview technique. The DHQ was developed for use in a cohort of American Indians and Alaskan Natives with tribal input and area-specific modules to incorporate local food availability. The DHQ includes 54 main food group questions, specific food items within the main food group, and food preparation and general eating practice questions. The questionnaire was programmed to be self-administered using a computer with a touch screen. The average time for the first 6,604 participants to complete the questionnaire was 36 minutes. Almost 100% of participants had complete DHQ data and the average number of food items selected was 70. The methods developed for collection of dietary data appear to be appropriate for the targeted population and may have usefulness for other populations where collecting dietary data in a self-administered format is desirable. PMID:18155994

  4. Challenges for understanding the combined impacts of climate change and the 2001-2010 fires on carbon cycling in Alaskan boreal forests (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasischke, E. S.; Alexander, H. D.; Barrett, K.; Genet, H.; Goetz, S. J.; Harden, J. W.; Hoy, E.; Johnstone, J. F.; Jorgenson, T.; Kane, E. S.; Kavenskiy, M.; Mack, M. C.; McGuire, A. D.; Mitchell, S. R.; O'Donnell, J. A.; Turetsky, M.

    2013-12-01

    During the 2000s, Alaska's boreal forest experienced more wildland fire than any decade in recorded history (since 1940). Examination of charcoal data suggests that the level of burning over the past decade surpasses that observed over the past 10,000 years in the Yukon River Flats(Kelly et al. 2013). Here, we will review recent research directed towards understanding how fire and climate interact to control carbon cycling in Alaska's boreal forest. In particular, we will focus on fire-climate-permafrost-ecosystem interactions as the key drivers of changes to carbon cycling in this biome. Topics covered in this presentation will include: (a) recent changes to Alaska's fire regime; (b) factors controlling the burning of surface organic layers in Alaskan boreal forests; (c) factors controlling changes in permafrost following fire; (d) how variations in fire severity and changes in permafrost control patterns of tree seedling recruitment and growth; and (e) integrated assessments (including modeling) of the impacts of these processes on carbon cycling. Reference: Kelly, R. et al. PNAS, doi/10.1073/ pnas.1305069110, 2013.

  5. Treating hepatitis C in American Indians/Alaskan Natives: A survey of Project ECHO® (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) utilization by Indian Health Service providers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pindyck, Talia; Kalishman, Summers; Flatow-Trujillo, Lainey; Thornton, Karla

    2015-01-01

    Background: American Indians/Alaskan Natives have a high mortality associated with hepatitis C virus, yet treatment rates are low. The ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) model™, a videoconferencing technology for primary care providers, is underutilized at Indian Health Service facilities. Purpose: To ascertain Indian Health Service providers’ benefit of and barriers to utilizing hepatitis C virus TeleECHO clinics. Methods: We electronically sent an Active Participant Survey to Indian Health Service providers utilizing hepatitis C virus TeleECHO clinic and a Non-Participant Survey to other Indian Health Service providers interested in this clinic. Results: In total, 100% of Active Participant Survey respondents perceive moderate to major benefit of hepatitis C virus TeleECHO clinic in managing hepatitis C virus, and 67% of Non-Participant Survey respondents reported lack of administrative time as the major barrier to utilizing this resource. Conclusion: Indian Health Service providers participating in hepatitis C virus TeleECHO clinic perceive this resource as highly beneficial, but widespread utilization may be impractical without allocating time for participation. PMID:26770809

  6. Spatial and temporal predictions of soil moisture patterns and evaporative losses using TOPMODEL and the GASFLUX model for an Alaskan catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. F. Quinn

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available By using topographic indices as derived from a Digital Terrain Models (DTM, it is possible to represent the heterogeneity within a landscape. This heterogeneity can reflect both long term evolutionary patterns seen in a landscape and the short term forcing of flow dynamics during storm events. By spatial analysis, the linkage between the geomorphological- hydrological-plant physiological phenomena can be examined. In this study, a direct link will be established between the topographically-driven hydrological phenomena and the eco-physiological response. The topographic distribution function of TOPMODEL is used to control the spatial and temporal flux of the channel flow and water table. The plant physiological model GAS-FLUX is used to give a spatially and temporally dissaggregated species-sensitive estimate of evapotranspiration flux. Evapotranspiration is sensitive to the vegetation phonology, to tundra community physiology and to the temperature regime. A simple linking of TOPMODEL and the GAS-FLUX model is applied to a summer snow-free period to the Imnavait catchment, Alaska (2.2 km2. A species-sensitive evapotranspiration model proved to give the highest quality results when validated against flow observations. Predicted dynamics of variable source area and the component hydrological processes are illustrated.

  7. The Uncertainty of Plot-Scale Forest Height Estimates from Complementary Spaceborne Observations in the Taiga-Tundra Ecotone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul M. Montesano

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Satellite-based estimates of vegetation structure capture broad-scale vegetation characteristics as well as differences in vegetation structure at plot-scales. Active remote sensing from laser altimetry and radar systems is regularly used to measure vegetation height and infer vegetation structural attributes, however, the current uncertainty of their spaceborne measurements is likely to mask actual plot-scale differences in vertical structures in sparse forests. In the taiga (boreal forest—tundra ecotone (TTE the accumulated effect of subtle plot-scale differences in vegetation height across broad-scales may be significant. This paper examines the uncertainty of plot-scale forest canopy height measurements in northern Siberia Larix stands by combining complementary canopy surface elevations derived from satellite photogrammetry and ground elevations derived from the Geosciences Laser Altimeter System (GLAS from the ICESat-1 satellite. With a linear model, spaceborne-derived canopy height measurements at the plot-scale predicted TTE stand height ~5 m–~10 m tall (R2 = 0.55, bootstrapped 95% confidence interval of R2 = 0.36–0.74 with an uncertainty ranging from ±0.86 m–1.37 m. A larger sample may mitigate the broad uncertainty of the model fit, however, the methodology provides a means for capturing plot-scale canopy height and its uncertainty from spaceborne data at GLAS footprints in sparse TTE forests and may serve as a basis for scaling up plot-level TTE vegetation height measurements to forest patches.

  8. Long-term reindeer grazing limits warming-induced increases in CO2 released by tundra heath soil: potential role of soil C quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The current climate warming in the Arctic may increase the microbial degradation of vast pools of soil carbon (C); however, the temperature sensitivity of decomposition is often highly dependent on the quality of accumulated soil C. Grazing by reindeer (Rangifer tarandus L.) substantially affects the dominant vegetation and often increases graminoids in relation to dwarf shrubs in ecosystems, but the effect of this vegetation shift on the soil C quality has not been previously investigated. We analyzed the soil C quality and rate of microbially mediated CO2 release at different temperatures in long-term laboratory incubations using soils from lightly grazed dwarf shrub-dominated and heavily grazed graminoid-dominated tundra ecosystem. The soil C quality was characterized by solid-state cross-polarization magic angle spinning (CPMAS 13C NMR) spectroscopy, which showed a higher relative proportion of carbohydrate C under light grazing and higher relative proportion of aliphatic not-O-substituted C under heavy grazing. Initial measurements showed lower temperature sensitivity of the CO2 release in soils under light grazing compared with soil under heavy grazing, but the overall CO2 release rate and its temperature sensitivity increased under light grazing as the soil incubation progressed. At the end of incubation, significantly more carbohydrate C had been lost in soils under light grazing compared with heavy grazing. These findings indicate that there may be a link between the grazer-induced effects on soil C quality and the potential of soils to release CO2 to atmosphere. We suggest that vegetation shifts induced by grazing could influence the proportion of accumulated soil C that is vulnerable to microbial degradation under warming climate. (letter)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:27003689

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

    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 (δ2H), carbon (δ13C), nitrogen (δ15N) and oxygen (δ18O) 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 δ15N 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 δ2H and stem δ2H records closely matched, snow depth did not change stem δ2H or δ18O, 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 the potential to

  14. Integrating Research and Education in a Study of Biocomplexity in Arctic Tundra Ecosystems: Costs, Results, and Benefits to the Research Agenda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, W. A.; González, G.; Walker, D. A.

    2006-12-01

    The integration of research and education is one of the fundamental goals of our national science policy. There is strong interest to improve this integration at the graduate and undergraduate levels, with the general public, and with local and indigenous people. Efforts expended in integrating research and education can occur at the expense of research productivity and represent a cost. Results may include number of personnel involved, activities accomplished, research or other products produced. Benefits are difficult to quantify and may be short term and tangible, e.g. education-research projects enhancing research productivity with publications, or long-term and include intangibles such as personal interactions and experiences influencing career choices, the perception of research activities, enhanced communication, and direct or indirect influence on related research and educational projects. We have integrated the University field course Arctic Field Ecology with an interdisciplinary research project investigating the interactions of climate, vegetation, and permafrost in the study Biocomplexity of Arctic Tundra Ecosystems. The integration is designed to give students background in regional ecology; introduce students to the project objectives, methods, and personnel; provide for interaction with participating scientists; conduct research initiated by the class and instructors; and provide the opportunity to interact with indigenous people with interests in traditional ecological knowledge and land management. Our costs included increased logistical complexity and time-demands on the researchers and staff managing the integration. The educational component increased the size of the research group with the addition of 55 participants over the 4 field seasons of the study. Participants came from 7 countries and included 20 enrolled university students, 18 Inuit non student participants, 9 Inuit students, 3 visiting scientists, 3 staff, and 2 scientist

  15. Winter forage selection by barren-ground caribou: Effects of fire and snow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Saperstein

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Both long- and short-term consequences should be considered when examining the effects of fire on the foraging behavior of caribou. Post-fire increases in protein content, digestibility, and availability of E. vaginatum make burned tussock tundra an attractive feeding area for caribou in late winter. These benefits are likely short-lived, however. Lowered availability of lichens and increased relative frequency of bryophytes will persist for a much longer period.

  16. 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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong, Gi Hoon [Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute, 1270 Sa 2 dong, Ansan 426-744 (Korea, Republic of); Baskaran, Mark, E-mail: Baskaran@wayne.edu [Department of Geology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202 (United States); Molaroni, Shannon Marie [Department of Geology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202 (United States); Lee, Hyun-Mi [Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute, 1270 Sa 2 dong, Ansan 426-744 (Korea, Republic of); Burger, Joanna [Division of Life Sciences, 604 Allison Road, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8082 (United States)

    2011-09-01

    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 ({sup 90}Sr and {sup 137}Cs) and natural radionculides ({sup 40} K, {sup 210}Pb and {sup 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 {sup 90}Sr in muscle was below the detection limit of 0.14 Bq kg{sup -1} and {sup 137}Cs concentration in bones was below the detection limit of 0.15 Bq kg{sup -1}.{sup 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 {sup 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 {sup 210}Pb, {sup 40} K, and {sup 226}Ra in both muscle and bone of both caribou and muskoxen. The activities of total {sup 210}Pb in caribou and muskox bones were found to be 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than that of parent-supported {sup 210}Pb indicating the potential for dating of bones of terrestrial mammals (time elapsed since the death of the animal) based on the excess {sup 210}Pb method exists. In fish muscle samples, {sup 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, {sup 210}Pb activities varied almost an order of magnitude; however, {sup 40}K and {sup 226}Ra activities varied less than a factor of two. Total annual effective dose due to {sup 90}Sr and {sup 137}Cs from the ingestion of those terrestrial and marine meats was estimated to be negligible (ca. 9 {mu}SV/a) compared to the natural radionuclides present thus posing negligible radiological

  17. Megafauna recovered from a cold hydrocarbon seep in the deep Alaskan Beaufort Sea, including a new species of Axinus (Thracidae: Bivalvia: Mollusca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, C. L.; Valentich-Scott, P.; Lorenson, T. D.; Edwards, B. D.

    2011-12-01

    Several specimens of a new species of Axinus and a single well-worn gastropod columella provisionally assigned to the genus Neptunea (Buccinidae: Gastropoda: Mollusca) were recently recovered from at least two cores, the longest of which is 5.72 m long, from a large seafloor mound, informally named the Canning Seafloor Mound (CSM). The CSM is located at 2,530 m water depth on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea slope north of Camden Bay and is a fluid explosion feature containing methane hydrate and methane-saturated sediments overlying a folded and faulted deep basin. Only two modern species of Axinus are currently known. Axinus grandis (Verrill & Smith, 1885) is a northern Atlantic species and the recently described species, A. cascadiensis Oliver and Holmes (2007), is only known from Baby Bare Seamount, Cascadia Basin, northeastern Pacific Ocean. Common fragments, single valves, and a single articulated specimen represent this new Axinus species. These shells were distributed over nearly the entire length of the primary core. All specimens show wear and (or) dissolution. The age of these specimens is unknown and no living representatives were encountered. The genus Axinus has a fossil record back to the early Eocene in England and the Paleocene and Eocene in Egypt. Biogeographically the genus appears to have originated in the Tethys Sea and became established in the Atlantic Ocean during the Eocene, spreading across the Arctic Ocean in the late Tertiary. With the opening of the Bering Strait in the latest Miocene or early Pliocene the genus Axinus migrated southwest into the northeast Pacific. Interestingly, hydrocarbon seep deposits are also present on the adjacent North Slope of Alaska in the Marsh Anticline at Carter Creek, Camden Bay. These rocks, the Nuwok beds, contain abundant Thracidae bivalve of the genus Thracia, but not Axinus, however the rocks also represent cold seep deposits. These rocks have been variously dated from Oligocene to Pliocene and the exact age

  18. 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)

    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 (90Sr and 137Cs) and natural radionculides (40 K, 210Pb and 226Ra), 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 90Sr in muscle was below the detection limit of 0.14 Bq kg-1 and 137Cs concentration in bones was below the detection limit of 0.15 Bq kg-1.137Cs activity varied over an order of magnitude in caribou muscle samples with an average value of 2.5 Bq/kg wet wt. Average 137Cs activity in muskoxen muscle was found to be 9.7 Bq/kg wet wt. However, there were a little variation (less than 60%) in 210Pb, 40 K, and 226Ra in both muscle and bone of both caribou and muskoxen. The activities of total 210Pb in caribou and muskox bones were found to be 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than that of parent-supported 210Pb indicating the potential for dating of bones of terrestrial mammals (time elapsed since the death of the animal) based on the excess 210Pb method exists. In fish muscle samples, 137Cs 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, 210Pb activities varied almost an order of magnitude; however, 40K and 226Ra activities varied less than a factor of two. Total annual effective dose due to 90Sr and 137Cs 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, and caribou Arctic

  19. Remote sensing of Alaskan boreal forest fires at the pixel and sub-pixel level: multi-sensor approaches and sensitivity analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waigl, C.; Stuefer, M.; Prakash, A.

    2013-12-01

    Wildfire is the main disturbance regime of the boreal forest ecosystem, a region acutely sensitive to climate change. Large fires impact the carbon cycle, permafrost, and air quality on a regional and even hemispheric scale. Because of their significance as a hazard to human health and economic activity, monitoring wildfires is relevant not only to science but also to government agencies. The goal of this study is to develop pathways towards a near real-time assessment of fire characteristics in the boreal zones of Alaska based on satellite remote sensing data. We map the location of active burn areas and derive fire parameters such as fire temperature, intensity, stage (smoldering or flaming), emission injection points, carbon consumed, and energy released. For monitoring wildfires in the sub-arctic region, we benefit from the high temporal resolution of data (as high as 8 images a day) from MODIS on the Aqua and Terra platforms and VIIRS on NPP/Suomi, downlinked and processed to level 1 by the Geographic Information Network of Alaska at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. To transcend the low spatial resolution of these sensors, a sub-pixel analysis is carried out. By applying techniques from Bayesian inverse modeling to Dozier's two-component approach, uncertainties and sensitivity of the retrieved fire temperatures and fractional pixel areas to background temperature and atmospheric factors are assessed. A set of test cases - large fires from the 2004 to 2013 fire seasons complemented by a selection of smaller burns at the lower end of the MODIS detection threshold - is used to evaluate the methodology. While the VIIRS principal fire detection band M13 (centered at 4.05 μm, similar to MODIS bands 21 and 22 at 3.959 μm) does not usually saturate for Alaskan wildfire areas, the thermal IR band M15 (10.763 μm, comparable to MODIS band 31 at 11.03 μm) indeed saturates for a percentage, though not all, of the fire pixels of intense burns. As this limits the

  20. Cetaceans and pinnipeds, Alaskan waters

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A tentative checklist of those species known or likely to occur in the inside waters of Southeastern Alaska or Prince William Sound and adjacent Gulf of Alaska.

  1. Observations afield on Alaskan wolves

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Widespread observations of wolves and their habits in Alaska during the period 1948-1954 generally confirm published reports of these phenomena elsewhere....

  2. ALASKAN OIL SPILL BIOMEDIATION PROJECT

    Science.gov (United States)

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development entered into a cooperative agreement with the Exxon Company to initiate a bioremediation study as part of an effort to clean up oil on the shorelines of Prince William Sound, Alaska. The presence of oil...

  3. Range Expansion of Moose in Arctic Alaska Linked to Warming and Increased Shrub Habitat

    OpenAIRE

    Tape, Ken D.; Gustine, David D.; Ruess, Roger W.; Adams, Layne G.; Clark, Jason A

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by for...

  4. Beware of the caterpillar: Anaphylaxis to the spotted tussock moth caterpillar, Lophocampa maculata

    OpenAIRE

    DuGar, Brandon; Sterbank, Julie; Tcheurekdjian, Haig; Hostoffer, Robert

    2014-01-01

    We present a case report of a 5-year-old boy with presumed anaphylaxis to the caterpillar, Lophocampa maculata, manifesting as the acute development of diffuse urticaria and progressive dyspnea. This reaction required prompt treatment with antihistamines and a bronchodilator. Allergen scratch testing with a homogenized caterpillar extract suggests that immunoglobulin E–mediated type I hypersensitivity as the pathophysiological mechanism responsible for the boy's anaphylaxis. This case report ...

  5. Interactions of polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides with sedimentary organic matter of retrogressive thaw slump-affected lakes in the tundra uplands adjacent to the Mackenzie Delta, NT, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eickmeyer, David C.; Kimpe, Linda E.; Kokelj, Steve V.; Pisaric, Michael F. J.; Smol, John P.; Sanei, Hamed; Thienpont, Joshua R.; Blais, Jules M.

    2016-02-01

    Using a comparative spatial analysis of sediment cores from eight lakes in tundra uplands adjacent to the Mackenzie Delta, NT, we examined how the presence of retrogressive thaw slumps on lake shores affected persistent organic pollutant (POPs, including polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides) accumulation in lake sediments. Sediments of slump-affected lakes contained higher total organic carbon (TOC)-normalized POP concentrations than nearby reference lakes that were unaffected by thaw slumps. Mean focus-corrected inorganic sedimentation rates were positively related to TOC-normalized contaminant concentrations, explaining 58-94% of the variation in POP concentrations in sediment, suggesting that reduced organic carbon in slump-affected lake water results in higher concentrations of POPs on sedimentary organic matter. This explanation was corroborated by an inverse relationship between sedimentary POP concentrations and TOC content of the lake water. Inferred chlorophyll a, S2, and S3 carbon fluxes to sediment were not significantly correlated to POP fluxes. Higher POP concentrations observed in sediment of slump-affected lakes are best explained by simple solvent switching processes of hydrophobic organic contaminants onto a smaller pool of available organic carbon when compared to neighboring lakes unaffected by thaw slump development.

  6. Suitability of postcolumn oxidation liquid chromatography method AOAC 2011.02 for monitoring paralytic shellfish toxins in Alaskan shellfish--initial pilot study versus mouse bioassay and in-house validation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hignutt, Emanuel

    2014-01-01

    An in-house study was conducted to confirm the suitability of the postcolumn oxidation (PCOX) LC method, AOAC 2011.02, for regulatory monitoring of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) in Alaskan shellfish. The following parameters were evaluated: calibration linearity, linear range, retention time stability, accuracy, repeatability, LOQ, and comparability with AOAC 959.08, the mouse bioassay (MBA) for PSTs. Mean recoveries for oyster homogenate spiked at 66 microg saxitoxin (STX) diHCI eq./100 g and 5 microg STX diHCI eq./100 g were 95 (n = 8) and 104%, respectively. Repeatability (n = 8) was 1.6 and 7% RSD, respectively. LOQ was estimated at 5 microg STX diHCl eq./100 g with S/N = 6 for STX. Comparability with the MBA was evaluated by duplicate analysis of regulatory samples using the original homogenate for both methods. Forty-one samples with MBA results varying between 40 and 500 microg STX diHCl eq./100 g were compared to corresponding PCOX values. The correlation coefficient (r2) = 0.96, with a slope of 2.1. The slope indicates an average 2X higher total toxicity result for PCOX versus MBA, a result that is consistent with prior literature showing low recoveries using the MBA. PMID:24830139

  7. Submission of the Government of the Northwest Territories to the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on alternative proposals for the transportation of Alaskan natural gas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2001-10-02

    The government of the Northwest Territories has reviewed the status of proposals for the transportation of natural gas from Alaska to the lower 48 states and presents this report to the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources regarding legislative proposals to accelerate the construction of a pipeline from Alaska. The government of the Northwest Territories names several critical factors that should be analyzed in depth before making any governmental decisions regarding pipeline routes. These include: (1) the economic cost of the pipeline, (2) the energy security implications, (3) the environmental impacts and risks of a pipeline, (4) the potential for other issues to cause delay, (5) the potential for development of future additional natural gas resources, and (6) the implications for economic development along the route and national economic benefit. Thus far, the government of the Northwest Territories supports the view that the Beaufort Sea/Mackenzie Valley option is the most promising and least costly option to move Alaskan gas to US markets and fully expects that a stand-alone project from the Mackenzie Valley will be built. This document addresses some of the misinformation regarding the Beaufort Sea/Mackenzie Valley route. Two erroneous claims in particular are that alternate pipeline routes may be legally considered, and that existing approvals may no longer be valid. Other factors that should also weigh in the decision-making process include Aboriginal issues, and construction logistics.

  8. CO2 and CH4 fluxes along a latitudinal transect in Northern Alaska using eddy covariance technique in challenging conditions: first results of a long term experiment in the Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreaux, V.; Oechel, W. C.; Losacco, S.; McEwing, R.; Murphy, P.; Zona, D.

    2013-12-01

    Being one of the most sensitive regions on earth, the Arctic is likely to be one of the most affected by global change. Physical changes (drying, snow cover, active layer depth, permafrost thawing, etc.) could create feedbacks in the release of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. Correlated to the significant increase in air temperature, changes in trace gas balance have already been reported (Oechel et al. 1998). Carbon (C) is currently trapped as organic matter in the permafrost that underlies much of the Arctic. C represents about 30-50% of the global belowground organic carbon pool (Tarnocai et al.2009, Zona et al. 2012). Stored organic matter can form the substrate for significant release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. Ubiquitous arctic wetlands are additional sources of CH4 and CO2 to the atmosphere (Melton et al. 2013). CO2 is important because of the magnitude of its fluxes, and CH4 is of interest since its global warming potential is 23 times higher than the CO2 over a 100-year time horizon. CH4 is produced by the decomposition of dead plant material in anaerobic soils, especially in tundra ponds. Methane release is mostly influenced by temperature, water table, and active layer depth. The spatial and temporal variability results in very large uncertainties of current CH4 fluxes from the Arctic. The sporadic studies available create a generally inadequate baseline from which to determine a change in emissions from this critical and sensitive environment. Here we initiate a large scale, continuously monitored, study of CO2 and CH4 budgets from tundra ecosystems across a latitudinal gradient of more than 400 km. Our main questions for this study are: (i) does the release of CO2 and CH4 from biological and geothermal processes exceed the sink of greenhouse gases from active vegetation and surface organisms? (ii) How does this balance behave over latitudinal and environmental gradients? The observations presented are the result of

  9. A Comparison of Satellite and Aircraft-Mounted Thermal Observations of Freeze/Thaw Cycling of the Alaska Tundra and Boreal Forests during the Carbon in the Arctic Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steiner, N.; McDonald, K. C.; Miller, C. E.; Dinardo, S. J.

    2014-12-01

    Freeze/thaw (F/T) related surface processes in the Arctic are important as they bracket negative and positive modes in the flux of CO2 and CH4 between the surface and atmosphere. The Carbon in the Arctic Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) monitors carbon gas cycling in Alaskan using aircraft-deployed gas sampling instruments along with remote sensing observations of the land surface condition. A nadir-pointed, forward looking infrared (FLIR) imager mounted on the CARVE aircraft is used to measure upwelling mid-infrared spectral radiance at 3-5 microns. The FLIR instrument was operated during the spring, summer and fall seasons of 2013 and 2014 during clear sky conditions and targeting ecosystem components affecting the carbon cycle. The instantaneous field of view (IFOV) of the FLIR instrument allows for a resolution of ~36 cm from a height of 500 m. This high resolution data allow for the discrimination of individual landscape components such as soil, vegetation and surface water features in the image footprint. We assess the effectiveness of the FLIR thermal images in monitoring thawing and inundation processes of individual ecosystem components of importance in biogeochemical cycling. We also observe how these individual components scale using coarse resolution satellite observations of land surface temperature (LST) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Freeze/thaw state determined from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR2) on JAXA's Shizuku (GCOM-W1) satellite. Portions of the work were carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautic and Space Administration.

  10. A comparison of ringed and bearded seal diet, condition and productivity between historical (1975-1984) and recent (2003-2012) periods in the Alaskan Bering and Chukchi seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Justin A.; Quakenbush, Lori T.; Citta, John J.

    2015-08-01

    Reductions in summer sea ice in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas are expected to affect what has been an ice-adapted marine food web in the Pacific Arctic. To determine whether recent decreases in sea ice have affected ice-associated marine predators (i.e., ringed, Pusa hispida, and bearded seals, Erignathus barbatus) in the Bering and Chukchi seas we compared diet, body condition, growth, productivity, and the proportion of pups harvested (an index of weaning success) for seals of each species harvested by 11 Alaskan villages during two periods; a historical (1975-1984) and a recent period (2003-2012). We also examined how changes in indices of seal health may be correlated with the reduction of sea ice characteristic of the recent period. For ringed seals ⩾1 year of age, the % frequency of occurrence (%FO) of Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida), walleye pollock (Gadus chalcogramma), rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax), and Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) increased from the historic to the recent period, while the %FO of invertebrates decreased for both pups and seals ⩾1 year of age. For bearded seals ⩾1 year of age, the %FO of Arctic cod, pricklebacks, and flatfish increased during the recent period, while the %FO of saffron cod (Eleginus gracilis) decreased for pups. Although invertebrates did not change overall for either age class, decreases occurred in 10 of 24 specific prey categories, for bearded seals ⩾1 year of age; only echiurids increased. The %FO of gastropods and bivalves increased for pups while isopods and one species of shrimp and crab decreased in occurrence. During the recent period ringed seals grew faster, had thicker blubber, had no change in pregnancy rate, matured 2 years earlier, and a larger proportion of pups was harvested than during the historical period. Correlations with spring ice concentration showed that the growth and blubber thickness of seals ⩾1 year of age, blubber thickness of pups, and the proportion of pups in the harvest all

  11. Sphingoaurantiacus polygranulatus gen. nov., sp. nov., isolated from high-Arctic tundra soil, and emended descriptions of the genera Sandarakinorhabdus, Polymorphobacter and Rhizorhabdus and the species Sandarakinorhabdus limnophila, Rhizorhabdus argentea and Sphingomonas wittichii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, MyongChol; Kang, OkChol; Zhang, Yumin; Ren, Lvzhi; Chang, Xulu; Jiang, Fan; Fang, Chengxiang; Zheng, Congyi; Peng, Fang

    2016-01-01

    An orange, Gram-reaction-negative and aerobic bacterium, designated MC 3718T, was isolated from a tundra soil near Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard archipelago, Norway (78° N). The cells were motile with either a polar or a subpolar flagellum and reproduced by budding or asymmetrical cell division. Growth occurred at 4-37 °C (optimum 28-30 °C) and at pH 6.0-10.0 (optimum pH 9.0). Many cells accumulated poly-β-hydroxybutyrate granules and contained a single large polyphosphate granule at a pole or in the middle of the cell. Cell walls contained meso-diaminopimelic acid as the diagnostic diamino acid, and ubiquinone 10 was the main respiratory quinone. Strain MC 3718T contained summed feature 3 (comprising C16 : 1ω7c and/or C16 : 1ω6c; 29.49 %), summed feature 8 (C18 : 1ω7c and/or C18 : 1ω6c; 29.38 %), C17 : 1ω6c (10.15 %), C14 : 0 2-OH (9.05 %) and C16 : 0 (6.84 %) as the major cellular fatty acids. The main polar lipids were two sphingoglycolipids, phosphatidylethanolamine, diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, three unknown phospholipids and two unknown polar lipids. Carotenoids were detected. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain MC 3718T belonged to the family Sphingomonadaceae. The DNA G+C content was 67.2 mol%. On the basis of phenotypic, chemotaxonomic and phylogenetic data, strain MC 3718T is considered to represent a novel genus and species in the family Sphingomonadaceae, for which the name Sphingoaurantiacus polygranulatus gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of Sphingoaurantiacus polygranulatus is MC 3718T ( = CCTCC AB 2014274T = LMG 28636T). Emended descriptions of the genera Sandarakinorhabdus, Polymorphobacter and Rhizorhabdus and the species Sandarakinorhabdus limnophila, Rhizorhabdus argentea and Sphingomonas wittichii are also provided. PMID:26475309

  12. Risk factors for obesity at age 3 in Alaskan children, including the role of beverage consumption: results from Alaska PRAMS 2005-2006 and its three-year follow-up survey, CUBS, 2008-2009.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet M Wojcicki

    Full Text Available Prenatal and early life risk factors are associated with childhood obesity. Alaska Native children have one of the highest prevalences of childhood obesity of all US racial/ethnic groups.Using the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS and the follow-up survey at 3 years of age (CUBS, we evaluated health, behavioral, lifestyle and nutritional variables in relation to obesity (95th percentile for body mass index (BMI at 3 years of age. Multivariate logistic regression modeling was conducted using Stata 12.0 to evaluate independent risk factors for obesity in non-Native and Alaska Native children.We found an obesity prevalence of 24.9% in all Alaskan and 42.2% in Alaska Native 3 year olds. Among Alaska Native children, obesity prevalence was highest in the Northern/Southwest part of the state (51.6%, 95%CI (42.6-60.5. Independent predictive factors for obesity at age 3 years in Alaska non-Native children were low income (<$10,000 in the year before the child was born (OR 3.94, 95%CI 1.22--17.03 and maternal pre-pregnancy obesity (OR 2.01, 95%CI 1.01-4.01 and longer duration of breastfeeding was protective (OR 0.95, 95%CI 0.91-0.995. Among Alaska Native children, predictive factors were witnessing domestic violence/abuse as a 3 year-old (OR 2.28, 95%CI 1.17-7.60. Among obese Alaska Native children, there was an increased daily consumption of energy dense beverages in the Northern/Southwest region of the state, which may explain higher rates of obesity in this part of the state.The high prevalence of obesity in Alaska Native children may be explained by differences in lifestyle patterns and food consumption in certain parts of the state, specifically the Northern/Southwest region, which have higher consumption of energy dense beverages.

  13. Koyukuk NWR tundra/trumpeter swan survey

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A tundratrumpeter swan survey was conducted on the Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge from 14 August to 23 August 1984. Twentyfour six mile square plots were...

  14. IMPACT OF CRITICAL ANION SOIL SOLUTION CONCENTRATION ON ALUMINUM ACTIVITY IN ALPINE TUNDRA SOIL Andrew Evans, Jr.1 , Michael B. Jacobs2, and Jason R. Janke1, (1) Metropolitan State University of Denver, Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, (2) Dept. of Chemistry, Denver, CO, United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, A.

    2015-12-01

    Soil solution anionic composition can impact both plant and microbial activity in alpine tundra soils by altering biochemical cycling within the soil, either through base cation leaching, or shifts in aluminum controlling solid phases. Although anions play a critical role in the aqueous speciation of metals, relatively few high altitude field studies have examined their impact on aluminum controlling solid phases and aluminum speciation in soil water. For this study, thirty sampling sites were selected on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO, and sampled during July, the middle of the growing season. Sampling elevations ranged from approximately 3560 - 3710 m. Soil samples were collected to a depth of 15.24 cm, and the anions were extracted using a 2:1 D.I. water to soil ratio. Filtered extracts were analyzed using IC and ICP-MS. Soil solution NO3- concentrations were significantly higher for sampling locations east of Iceberg Pass (EIBP) (mean = 86.94 ± 119.8 mg/L) compared to locations west of Iceberg Pass (WIBP) (mean 1.481 ± 2.444 mg/L). Both F- and PO43- soil solution concentrations, 0.533 and 0.440 mg/L, respectively, were substantially lower, for sampling sites located EIBP, while locations WIBP averaged 0.773 and 0.829 mg/L respectively, for F- and PO43-. Sulfate concentration averaged 3.869 ± 3.059 mg/L for locations EIBP, and 3.891 ± 3.1970 for locations WIBP. Geochemical modeling of Al3+ in the soil solution indicated that a suite of aluminum hydroxyl sulfate minerals controlled Al3+ activity in the alpine tundra soil, with shifts between controlling solid phases occurring in the presence of elevated F- concentrations.

  15. Characterization and Alteration of Wettability States of Alaskan Reserviors to Improve Oil Recovery Efficiency (including the within-scope expansion based on Cyclic Water Injection - a pulsed waterflood for Enhanced Oil Recovery)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abhijit Dandekar; Shirish Patil; Santanu Khataniar

    2008-12-31

    , cyclic water injection tests using high as well as low salinity were also conducted on several representative ANS core samples. These results indicate that less pore volume of water is required to recover the same amount of oil as compared with continuous water injection. Additionally, in cyclic water injection, oil is produced even during the idle time of water injection. It is understood that the injected brine front spreads/smears through the pores and displaces oil out uniformly rather than viscous fingering. The overall benefits of this project include increased oil production from existing Alaskan reservoirs. This conclusion is based on the performed experiments and results obtained on low-salinity water injection (including ANS lake water), vis-a-vis slightly altering the wetting conditions. Similarly, encouraging cyclic water-injection test results indicate that this method can help achieve residual oil saturation earlier than continuous water injection. If proved in field, this would be of great use, as more oil can be recovered through cyclic water injection for the same amount of water injected.

  16. Airborne Surface Profiling of Alaskan Glaciers

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set consists of glacier outline, laser altimetry profile, and surface elevation change data for 46 glaciers in Alaska and British Columbia, Canada,...

  17. Acetaldehyde in the Alaskan subarctic snow pack

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Domine

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Acetaldehyde is a reactive intermediate in hydrocarbon oxidation. It is both emitted and taken up by snowpacks and photochemical and physical processes are probably involved. Understanding the reactivity of acetaldehyde in snow and its processes of physical and chemical exchanges requires the knowledge of its incorporation mechanism in snow crystals. We have performed a season-long study of the evolution of acetaldehyde concentrations in the subarctic snowpack near Fairbanks (65° N, central Alaska, which is subjected to a vigorous metamorphism due to persistent elevated temperature gradients in the snowpack, between 20 and 200°C m−1. The snowpack therefore almost entirely transforms into depth hoar. We have also analyzed acetaldehyde in a manipulated snowpack where temperature gradients were suppressed. Snow crystals there transformed much more slowly and their original shapes remained recognizable for months. The specific surface area of snow layers in both types of snowpacks was also measured. We deduce that acetaldehyde is not adsorbed onto the surface of snow crystals and that most of the acetaldehyde is probably not dissolved in the ice lattice of the snow crystals. We propose that most of the acetaldehyde measured is either trapped or dissolved within organic aerosol particles trapped in snow, or that acetaldehyde is formed by the hydrolysis of organic precursors contained in organic aerosols trapped in the snow, when the snow is melted for analysis. These precursors are probably aldehyde polymers formed within the aerosol particles by acid catalysis, but might also be biological molecules. In a laboratory experiment, acetaldehyde-di-n-hexyl acetal, representing a potential acetaldehyde precursor, was subjected to our analytical procedure and reacted to form acetaldehyde. This confirms our suggestion that acetaldehyde in snow could be produced during the melting of snow for analysis.

  18. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richard Sigal; Kent Newsham; Thomas Williams; Barry Freifeld; Timothy Kneafsey; Carl Sondergeld; Shandra Rai; Jonathan Kwan; Stephen Kirby; Robert Kleinberg; Doug Griffin

    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. The work scope drilled and cored a well The Hot Ice No. 1 on Anadarko leases beginning in FY 2003 and completed in 2004. An on-site core analysis laboratory was built and utilized for determining the 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. The final efforts of the project are to correlate geology, geophysics, logs, and drilling and production data and provide this information to scientists developing reservoir models. No gas hydrates were encountered in this well; however, a wealth of information was generated and is contained in this report. The Hot Ice No. 1 well was drilled from the surface to a measured depth of 2300 ft. There was almost 100% core recovery from the bottom of surface casing at 107 ft to total depth. Based on the best estimate of the bottom of the methane hydrate stability zone (which used new data obtained from Hot Ice No. 1 and new analysis of data from adjacent wells), core was recovered over its complete range. Approximately 580 ft of porous, mostly frozen, sandstone and 155 of conglomerate were recovered in the Ugnu Formation and approximately 215 ft of porous sandstone were recovered in the West Sak Formation. There were gas shows in the bottom part of the Ugnu and throughout the West Sak. No hydrate-bearing zones were identified either in recovered core or on well logs. The base of the permafrost was found at about 1260 ft. With the exception of the deepest sands in the West Sak and some anomalous thin, tight zones, all sands recovered (after thawing) are unconsolidated with high porosity and high permeability. At 800 psi, Ugnu sands have an average porosity of 39.3% and geometrical mean permeability of 3.7 Darcys. Average grain density is 2.64 g/cc. West Sak sands have an average porosity of 35.5%, geometrical mean permeability of 0.3 Darcys, and average grain density of 2.70 g/cc. There were several 1-2 ft intervals of carbonate-cemented sandstone recovered from the West Sak. These intervals have porosities of only a few percent and very low permeability. On a well log they appear as resistive with a high sonic velocity. In shallow sections of other wells these usually are the only logs available. Given the presence of gas in Hot Ice No. 1, if only resistivity and sonic logs and a mud log had been available, tight sand zones may have been interpreted as containing hydrates. Although this finding does not imply that all previously mapped hydrate zones are merely tight sands, it does add a note of caution to the practice of interpreting the presence of hydrates from old well information. The methane hydrate stability zone below the Hot Ice No. 1 location includes thick sections of sandstone and conglomerate which would make excellent reservoir rocks for hydrates and below the permafrost zone shallow gas. The Ugnu formation comprises a more sand-rich section than does the West Sak formation, and the Ugnu sands when cleaned and dried are slightly more porous and significantly more permeable than the West Sak.

  19. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas E. Williams; Keith Millheim; Bill Liddell

    2005-03-01

    Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a nuisance by the oil and gas industry for years. Oil-field 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 hydrates 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 is a cost-shared partnership between Maurer Technology, Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Corporation, 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 help identify, quantify and predict production potential for hydrates located on the North Slope of Alaska. As part of the project work scope, team members drilled and cored the HOT ICE No. 1 on Anadarko leases beginning in January 2003 and completed in March 2004. Due to scheduling constraints imposed by the Arctic drilling season, operations at the site were suspended between April 21, 2003 and January 30, 2004. An on-site core analysis laboratory was designed, constructed and used for determining physical characteristics of frozen core immediately after it was retrieved from the well. The well was drilled from a new and innovative Anadarko Arctic Platform that has a greatly reduced footprint and environmental impact. Final efforts of the project were to correlate geology, geophysics, logs, and drilling and production data and provide this information to scientists for future hydrate operations. Unfortunately, no gas hydrates were encountered in this well; however, a wealth of information was generated and is contained in the project reports.

  20. Plant effects on soil carbon storage and turnover in montane beech (Nothofagus) forest and adjacent tussock grassland in New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Land cover is a critical factor that influences, and is influenced by, atmospheric chemistry and potential climate changes. As considerable uncertainty exists about the effects of differences in land cover on below-ground carbon (C) storage, we have compared soil C contents and turnover at adjacent, unmanaged, indigenous forest (Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortiodes) and grassland (Chionochloa pallens) sites near the timberline in the same climo-edaphic environment in Craigieburn Forest Park, Canterbury, New Zealand. Total soil profile C was 13% higher in the grassland than in the forest ( 19.9 v. 16.7 kg/m2), and based on bomb 14C measurements, the differences mainly resulted from more recalcitrant soil C in the grassland (5.3 v. 3.0 kg/m2). Estimated annual net primary production was about 0.4 kg C/m2 for the forest and 0.5 kg C/m2 for the grassland; estimated annual root production was about 0.2 and 0.4 kg C/m2, respectively. In situ soil surface CO2-C production was similar in the grassland and the forest. The accumulation of recalcitrant soil C was unrelated to differences in mineral weathering or soil texture, but was apparently enhanced by greater soil water retention in the grassland ecosystem. Thus, contrary to model (ROTHC) predictions, this soil C fraction could be expected to respond to the effects of climate change on precipitation patterns. Overall, our results suggest that the different patterns of soil C accumulation in these ecosystems have resulted from differences in plant C inputs, soil aluminium, and soil physical characteristics, rather than from differences in soil mineral weathering or texture. Copyright (2000) CSIRO Australia

  1. Quantification of upland thermokarst features with high resolution remote sensing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Climate-induced changes to permafrost are altering high latitude landscapes in ways that could increase the vulnerability of the vast soil carbon pools of the region. Permafrost thaw is temporally dynamic and spatially heterogeneous because, in addition to the thickening of the active layer, localized thermokarst features form when ice-rich permafrost thaws and the ground subsides. Thermokarst produces a diversity of landforms and alters the physical environment in dynamic ways. To estimate potential changes to the carbon cycle it is imperative to quantify the size and distribution of thermokarst landforms. By performing a supervised classification on a high resolution IKONOS image, we detected and mapped small, irregular thermokarst features occurring within an upland watershed in discontinuous permafrost of Interior Alaska. We found that 12% of the Eight Mile Lake (EML) watershed has undergone thermokarst, predominantly in valleys where tussock tundra resides. About 35% of the 3.7 km2 tussock tundra class has likely transitioned to thermokarst. These landscape level changes created by permafrost thaw at EML have important implications for ecosystem carbon cycling because thermokarst features are forming in carbon-rich areas and are altering the hydrology in ways that increase seasonal thawing of the soil. (letter)

  2. The Toolik Lake project: Terrestrial and freshwater research on change in the arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Toolik Lake research project in the foothills of the North Slope, Alaska, has collected data since 1975 with funding from the NSF's Division of Polar Programs and from the Long Term Ecological Research Program and Ecosystems Research Program of the Division of Biotic Systems and Resources. The broad goal is to understand and predict how ecosystems of tundra, lakes, and streams function and respond to change. One specific goal is to understand the extent of control by resources or by grazing and predation. The processes and relationships are analyzed in both natural ecosystems and in ecosystems that have undergone long-term experimental manipulations to simulate effects of climate and human-caused change. These manipulations include the fertilization of lakes and streams, the addition and removal of lake trout from lakes, the changing of the abundance of arctic grayling in sections of rivers, the exclusion of grazers from tundra, and the shading, fertilizing, and heating of the tussock tundra. A second specific goal is to monitor year-to-year variability and to measure how rapidly long-term change occurs. The measurements include: for lakes, measurements of temperature, chlorophyll, primary productivity; for streams, nutrients, chlorophyll on riffle rocks, insect and fish abundance, and water flow; and for the tundra, amount of flowering, air temperature, solar radiation, and biomass. A third specific goal is to understand the exchange of nutrients between land and water. Measurements include the flow of water in rivers, the concentration of nitrogen and phosphorus in streams, lakes, and soil porewater, and the effect of vegetation on nutrient movement through the tundra soils. A dynamic model of nutrient fluxes in the entire upper Kuparuk River watershed is being constructed that will interact with geographically referenced databases

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    of pus. Subcutaneous tissue was inflamed and oedematous with focal necrosis. Tendons, tendon sheaths, joints and periosteum of the digital bones were often affected. Animals shot during winter showed severe chronic periostitis and osteomyelitis and necrotizing deforming arthritis. Microscopically...

  4. Advancing the long view of ecological change in tundra systems

    OpenAIRE

    Post, Eric; Høye, Toke T.

    2013-01-01

    Despite uncertainties related to sustained funding, ideological rivalries and the turnover of research personnel, long-term studies and studies espousing a long-term perspective in ecology have a history of contributing landmark insights into fundamental topics, such as population- and community dynamics, species interactions and ecosystem function. They also have the potential to reveal surprises related to unforeseen events and non-stationary dynamics that unfold over the course of ongoing ...

  5. Tundra vegetation change near Barrow, Alaska (1972–2010)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knowledge of how arctic plant communities will respond to change has been largely derived from plot level experimental manipulation, not from trends of decade time scale environmental observations. This study documents plant community change in 330 marked plots at 33 sites established during the International Biological Program near Barrow, Alaska in 1972. Plots were resampled in 1999, 2008 and 2010 for species cover and presence. Cluster analysis identified nine plant communities in 1972. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS) indicates that plant communities have changed in different ways over time, and that wet communities have changed more than dry communities. The relative cover of lichens increased over time, while the response of other plant functional groups varied. Species richness and diversity also increased over time. The most dramatic changes in the cover of bryophytes, graminoids and bare ground coincided with a lemming high in 2008. (letter)

  6. Strong microsite control of seedling recruitment in tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graae, Bente J; Ejrnæs, Rasmus; Lang, Simone I;

    2011-01-01

    The inclusion of environmental variation in studies of recruitment is a prerequisite for realistic predictions of the responses of vegetation to a changing environment. We investigated how seedling recruitment is affected by seed availability and microsite quality along a steep environmental...... experimental seed addition showed that the microsite environment was even more important. For all species, seedling emergence peaked at the productive end of the gradient, irrespective of the adult niches realized. Disturbance promoted recruitment at all positions along the environmental gradient, not just at...... high productivity. Early seedling emergence constituted the main temporal bottleneck in recruitment for all species. Surprisingly, winter mortality was highest at what appeared to be the most benign end of the gradient. The results highlight that seedling recruitment patterns are largely determined by...

  7. Large tundra methane burst during onset of freezing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastepanov, Mikhail; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Dlugokencky, Edward J.; Houweling, Sander; Ström, Lena; Tamstorf, Mikkel Peter; Christensen, Torben R.

    2008-01-01

    model simulations of global atmospheric methane concentrations indicate that the observed early winter emission burst improves the agreement between the simulated seasonal cycle and atmospheric data from latitudes north of 60N. Our findings suggest that permafrost-associated freeze-in bursts of methane...

  8. Shrub expansion may reduce summer permafrost thaw in Siberian tundra

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blok, D.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Schaepman-Strub, G.; Kononov, A.V.; Maximov, T.C.; Berendse, F.

    2010-01-01

    Climate change is expected to cause extensive vegetation changes in the Arctic: deciduous shrubs are already expanding, in response to climate warming. The results from transect studies suggest that increasing shrub cover will impact significantly on the surface energy balance. However, little is kn

  9. Revisiting factors controlling methane emissions from high-Arctic tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastepanov, M.; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Tagesson, Håkan Torbern;

    2013-01-01

    known factors controlling methane emission, i.e. temperature and water table position. Late in the growing season CH4 emissions were found to be very similar between the study years (except the extremely dry 2010) despite large differences in climatic factors (temperature and water table). Late......The northern latitudes are experiencing disproportionate warming relative to the mid-latitudes, and there is growing concern about feedbacks between this warming and methane production and release from high-latitude soils. Studies of methane emissions carried out in the Arctic, particularly those......-in periods. The measurements show clear seasonal dynamics in methane emission. The start of the growing season and the increase in CH4 fluxes were strongly related to the date of snowmelt. Within each particular growing season, CH4 fluxes were highly correlated with the soil temperature (R-2 > 0.75), which...

  10. Changing climate: Geothermal evidence from permafrost in the Alaskan Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachenbruch, A.H.; Marshall, B.V.

    1986-01-01

    Temperature profiles measured in permafrost in northernmost Alaska usually have anomalous curvature in the upper 100 meters or so. When analyzed by heat-conduction theory, the profiles indicate a variable but widespread secular warming of the permafrost surface, generally in the range of 2 to 4 Celsius degrees during the last few decades to a century. Although details of the climatic change cannot be resolved with existing data, there is little doubt of its general magnitude and timing; alternative explanations are limited by the fact that heat transfer in cold permafrost is exclusively by conduction. Since models of greenhouse warming predict climatic change will be greatest in the Arctic and might already be in progress, it is prudent to attempt to understand the rapidly changing thermal regime in this region.

  11. Stable Isotope Mapping of Alaskan Grasses and Marijuana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, A. L.; Wooller, M. J.

    2008-12-01

    The spatial variation of isotope signatures in organic material is a useful forensic tool, particularly when applied to the task of tracking the production and distribution of plant-derived illicit drugs. In order to identify the likely grow-locations of drugs such as marijuana from unknown locations (i.e., confiscated during trafficking), base isotope maps are needed that include measurements of plants from known grow-locations. This task is logistically challenging in remote, large regions such as Alaska. We are therefore investigating the potential of supplementing our base (marijuana) isotope maps with data derived from other plants from known locations and with greater spatial coverage in Alaska. These currently include >150 samples of modern C3 grasses (Poaceae) as well as marijuana samples (n = 18) from known grow-locations across the state. We conducted oxygen, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses of marijuana and grasses (Poaceae). Poaceae samples were obtained from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Museum of the North herbarium collection, originally collected by field botanists from around Alaska. Results indicate that the oxygen isotopic composition of these grasses range from 10‰ to 30‰, and broadly mirror the spatial pattern of water isotopes in Alaska. Our marijuana samples were confiscated around the state of Alaska and supplied to us by the UAF Police Department. δ13C, δ15N and δ18O values exhibit geographic patterns similar to the modern grasses, but carbon and nitrogen isotopes of some marijuana plants appear to be influenced by additional factors related to indoor growing conditions (supplementary CO2 sources and the application of organic fertilizer). As well as providing a potential forensic resource, our Poaceae isotope maps could serve additional value by providing resources for studying ecosystem nutrient cycling, for tracing natural ecological processes (i.e., animal migration and food web dynamics) and providing modern data for comparison with isotope analyses conducted on fossil leaf material in paleoecological studies.

  12. Summary of Reported Whale-Vessel Collisions in Alaskan Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet L. Neilson

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Here we summarize 108 reported whale-vessel collisions in Alaska from 1978–2011, of which 25 are known to have resulted in the whale's death. We found 89 definite and 19 possible/probable strikes based on standard criteria we created for this study. Most strikes involved humpback whales (86% with six other species documented. Small vessel strikes were most common (<15 m, 60%, but medium (15–79 m, 27% and large (≥80 m, 13% vessels also struck whales. Among the 25 mortalities, vessel length was known in seven cases (190–294 m and vessel speed was known in three cases (12–19 kn. In 36 cases, human injury or property damage resulted from the collision, and at least 15 people were thrown into the water. In 15 cases humpback whales struck anchored or drifting vessels, suggesting the whales did not detect the vessels. Documenting collisions in Alaska will remain challenging due to remoteness and resource limitations. For a better understanding of the factors contributing to lethal collisions, we recommend (1 systematic documentation of collisions, including vessel size and speed; (2 greater efforts to necropsy stranded whales; (3 using experienced teams focused on determining cause of death; (4 using standard criteria for validating collision reports, such as those presented in this paper.

  13. Export market potential for Alaskan and Western US coals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Major utilization trends may create opportunity for dramatic expansion of Alaska's coal exports from a huge ultra-low sulfur coal resource base. Markets are expected to open up in the Pacific Basin for sub-bituminous and bituminous steam coals from Alaska to include not only run-of-mine coals but also product streams from beneficiation technologies. Market considerations aside, deficiencies in physical infrastructure and an unresolved resource ownership issue are the principal impediments at this time to property development

  14. Monitoring environmental state of Alaskan forests with AIRSAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcdonald, Kyle C.; Way, Jobea; Rignot, Eric; Williams, Cindy; Viereck, Les; Adams, Phylis

    1992-01-01

    During March 1988 and May 1991, the JPL airborne synthetic aperture radar, AIRSAR, collected sets of multi-temporal imagery of the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest near Fairbanks, Alaska. These data sets consist of series of multi-polarized images collected at P-, L-, and C-bands each over a period of a few days. The AIRSAR campaigns were complemented with extensive ground measurements that included observations of both static canopy characteristics such as forest architecture as well as properties that vary on short term time scales such as canopy dielectric conditions. Observations exist for several stands of deciduous and coniferous species including white spruce (Picea glauca), black spruce (Picea mariana), and balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera). Although the duration of each campaign was fairly short, significant changes in environmental conditions caused notable variations in the physiological state of the canopies. During the 1988 campaign, environmental conditions ranged from unseasonably warm to more normal subfreezing temperatures. This permitted AIRSAR observations of frozen and thawed canopy states. During May 1991, ice jams that occurred along the river caused many stands to flood while the subsequent clearing of the river then allowed the waters to recede, leaving a snow covered ground surface. This allowed observations of several stands during both flooded and nonflooded conditions. Furthermore, the local weather varied from clear sunny days to heavy overcast days with some occurrence of rain. Measurements of leaf water potential indicated that this caused significant variations in canopy water status, allowing SAR observations of water stressed and unstressed trees. Mean backscatter from several stands is examined for the various canopy physiological states. The changes in canopy backscatter that occur as a function of environmental and physiological state are analyzed. Preliminary results of a backscatter signature modeling analysis are presented. The implications of using SAR to monitor canopy phenological state are addressed.

  15. Winter chemical defense of Alaskan balsam poplar against snowshoe hares.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichardt, P B; Bryant, J P; Mattes, B R; Clausen, T P; Chapin, F S; Meyer, M

    1990-06-01

    Palatabilities of parts and growth stages of balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) to snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) are related to concentrations of specific plant metabolites that act as antifeedants. Buds are defended from hares by cineol, benzyl alcohol, and (+)-α-bisabolol. Internodes are defended by 6-hydroxycylohexenone (6-HCH) and salicaldehyde. Although defense of interaodes depends upon both compounds, the defense of juvenile internodes is principally related to salicaldehyde concentration; the defense of internode current annual growth is principally related to 6-HCH concentration. The concentration of 6-HCH can be supplemented by the hydrolysis of phenol glycosides when plant tissue is disrupted, raising the possibility of a dynamic element of the chemical defense of poplar. PMID:24263997

  16. Alaskan mountain glacial melting observed by satellite gravimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, J. L.; Tapley, B. D.; Wilson, C. R.

    2006-08-01

    We use satellite gravity measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) as an indication of mass change to study potential long-term mountain glacial melting in southern Alaska and West Canada. The first 3.5 yr of GRACE monthly gravity data, spanning April 2002-November 2005, show a prominent glacial melting trend in the mountain regions around the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). GRACE-observed surface mass changes correlate remarkably well with available mass balance data at Gulkana and Wolverine, two benchmark glaciers of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), although the GRACE signals are smaller in magnitude. In addition, terrestrial water storage (TWS) changes estimated from an advanced land surface model show significant mass loss in this region during the same period. After correcting for the leakage errors and removing TWS contributions using model estimates, we conclude that GRACE-observed glacial melting in the GOA mountain region is equivalent to ˜ - 101 ± 22 km 3/yr, which agrees quite well with the assessment of ˜ - 96 ± 35 km 3/yr based on airborne laser altimetry data, and is consistent with an earlier estimate based on the first 2 yr of GRACE data. This study demonstrates the significant potentials of satellite gravity measurements for monitoring mountain glacial melting and regional climate change.

  17. The Earthscope Plate Boundary Observatory Akutan Alaskan Volcano Network Installation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauk, B.; Jackson, M.; Mencin, D.; Power, J.; Gallaher, W.; Basset, A.; Kore, K.; Hargraves, Z.; Peterson, T.

    2005-12-01

    During June and July of 2005, the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) installed eight permanent GPS stations on Akutan Volcano, in the central Aleutian Islands of Alaska. PBO worked closely with the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the Magmatic Systems Site Selection working group to install stations with a spatial distribution to monitor and detect both short and long term volcanic deformation in response to magmatic intrusions at depth and magma migration through the volcano's conduit system. All eight of the GPS stations were installed by PBO field crews with helicopter support provided by Evergreen Helicopters and logistical support from the Trident Seafood Corporation, the City of Akutan, and the Akutan Corporation. Lack of roads and drivable trails on the remote volcanic island required that all equipment be transported to each site from the village of Akutan by slinging gear beneath the helicopter and internal loads. Each station installed on the volcano consists of a standard short braced GPS monument, two solar panels mounted to an inclined structure, and a six foot high Plaschem enclosure with two solar panels mounted to one of the inclined sides. Each Plaschem houses 24 6 volt batteries that power a Trimble NetRS GPS receiver and one or two Intuicom radios. Data from each GPS receiver is telemetered directly or through a repeater radio to a base station located in the village of Akutan that transmits the data over the internet to the UNAVCO data archive at ftp://data-out.unavco.or/pub/PBO_rinex where it is made freely available to the public.

  18. 78 FR 66916 - Alaskan Seafood Processing Effluent Limitations Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-07

    ... treatment and waste solids disposal and maximize the utilization of valuable natural resources. Furthermore... cost of waste disposal. See 46 FR 2545-2546 (January 9, 1981) for additional details on the contents of... fish wastes and by- product recovery, and that the costs associated with screening and solids...

  19. Relationship between Trophic Status and Methanogenic Pathways in Alaskan Peatlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, L.; Liu, X.; Sidelinger, W.; Wang, Y.; Hines, M. E.; Langford, L.; Chanton, J.

    2015-12-01

    To improve predictions of naturally emitted CH4 from northern wetlands, it is necessary to further examine the methanogenic pathways in these wetlands. Stable isotope C ratios (δ13C) have been used as a robust tool to distinguish different pathways, but different sources of parent compounds (acetate and CO2) with unique δ13C may add complexity to previously established criteria. Large portions of peatlands accommodate a mixture of different sphagna and sedges. Plant species may look very similar and belong to the same genus but are different morphologically and physiologically. To better understand the relationships between surface vegetation patterns and methanogenic pathways, 26 peatland sites were studied in Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska in summers of 2014 and 2015. These sites were ordinated using multiple factor analysis into 3 clusters based on pH, temp, CH4 and volatile fatty acids production rates, δ13C values, and surface vegetation species/pattern. In the low-pH trophic cluster (pH~3.5), non-vascular/vascular plant ratios (NV/V) were ~ 0.87 and dominated by diverse Sphagnum species and specific sedges (Eriophorum vaginatum), and fermentation was the dominant end-point in decomposition with no CH4 detected. Although NV/V is about the same in the intermediate cluster (0.74) (pH~4.5), and Sphagnum squarrosum was largely present, both hydrogenotrophic (HM) and acetoclastic methanogenesis (AM) were very active. Syntrophy was present at certain sites, which may provide CO2 with unique δ13C for CH4 production. At the highest pH trophic cluster examined in this study (pH~5), non-vascular plants were almost not existent and Carex aquatilis dominated. CH4 production rates (mainly HM) were slower than those in the intermediate cluster and the apparent fractionation factor a was lower than in the sites with syntrophy, which warrants further investigation of the position and compound specific δ13C analysis of volatile fatty acids.

  20. Translocation techniques used to establish pen farmed Alaskan reindeer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. A. Dieterich

    1990-09-01

    Full Text Available Small herds of reindeer (Rangifer tarandus frequently have been needed to be established in fenced holding pens for research or commercial reasons in Alaska and other areas. Native ranges of reindeer in Alaska were not on road systems, and the diet of the native reindeer had to be changed when they were translocated to small pens. Economics of transportation and feeding played an important role in the feasibility of translocation. Gathering and holding of reindeer for shipment, transport methods, adjustment of free-ranging reindeer to confinement, and a new diet were primary considerations to insure survival. Minimal psychologic stress of short duration, thermoregulation, and physical comfort were extremely important in carrying out a successful translocation. Receiving facilities, feed, and personnel were equally important. A minimum of one month was required to adjust reindeer to confinement and diet change.

  1. Radioluminescent lighting for Alaskan runway lighting and marking

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jensen, G.A.; Leonard, L.E.

    1985-03-01

    Alaska and other far northern areas have special logistical, environmental, and economic problems that make radioluminescent (RL) lighting applications, especially in the area of airport lighting, an attractive alternative to electrical systems and flare pots. Tests and demonstrations of prototype systems conducted in Alaska over the past two years have proved the basic technological worth of RL airport lighting systems for civilian and military use. If regulatory issues and other factors identified during these tests can be favorably resolved and if the system and its components can be refined through production engineering, attractive applications for RL airfield lighting systems in Alaska and other remote locations could result.

  2. Controls on CH4 flux from an Alaskan boreal wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moosavi, Sadredin C.; Crill, Patrick M.; Pullman, Erik R.; Funk, Dale W.; Peterson, Kim M.

    1996-06-01

    Factors controlling the flux of the radiatively important trace gas methane (CH4) from boreal wetlands were examined at three sites along a moisture gradient from a treed low-shrub bog to an open floating graminoid bog in Fairbanks, Alaska. In the summer of 1992 average static chamber flux measurements were -0.02, 71.5, and 289 mg CH4/m2/d in dry, wet, and floating mat communities, respectively. In contrast, the warmer, drier 1993 field season flux measurements were -0.02, 42.9 and 407 mg CH4/m2/d. The data indicate that despite net oxidation of CH4 in the dry regions of the bog, the wetland is a net source of CH4, with fluxes ranging across three orders of magnitude between different plant communities. Comparison with water levels suggests that CH4 flux is turned on and off by changes in site hydrology. In sites where sufficient moisture is present for methanogenesis to occur, CH4 flux appears to be temperature limited, responding exponentially to soil temperature changes. The combined effects of hydrology and temperature create hot spots of CH4 flux within boreal wetlands. The plant communities within Lemeta Bog respond differently to changes in temperature and moisture availability, creating both positive and negative feedbacks to potential global climate change.

  3. Calcium carbonate corrosivity in an Alaskan inland sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, W.; Mathis, J. T.; Cross, J. N.

    2014-01-01

    Ocean acidification is the hydrogen ion increase caused by the oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2, and is a focal point in marine biogeochemistry, in part, because this chemical reaction reduces calcium carbonate (CaCO3) saturation states (Ω) to levels that are corrosive (i.e., Ω ≤ 1) to shell-forming marine organisms. However, other processes can drive CaCO3 corrosivity; specifically, the addition of tidewater glacial melt. Carbonate system data collected in May and September from 2009 through 2012 in Prince William Sound (PWS), a semienclosed inland sea located on the south-central coast of Alaska and ringed with fjords containing tidewater glaciers, reveal the unique impact of glacial melt on CaCO3 corrosivity. Initial limited sampling was expanded in September 2011 to span large portions of the western and central sound, and included two fjords proximal to tidewater glaciers: Icy Bay and Columbia Bay. The observed conditions in these fjords affected CaCO3 corrosivity in the upper water column (carbon dioxide partial pressures (pCO2) well below atmospheric levels. CaCO3 corrosivity in glacial melt plumes is poorly reflected by pCO2 or pHT, indicating that either one of these carbonate parameters alone would fail to track Ω in PWS. The unique Ω and pCO2 conditions in the glacial melt plumes enhances atmospheric CO2 uptake, which, if not offset by mixing or primary productivity, would rapidly exacerbate CaCO3 corrosivity in a positive feedback. The cumulative effects of glacial melt and air-sea gas exchange are likely responsible for the seasonal reduction of Ω in PWS, making PWS highly sensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2 and amplified CaCO3 corrosivity.

  4. Calcium carbonate corrosivity in an Alaskan inland sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Evans

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification is the hydrogen ion increase caused by the oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2, and is a focal point in marine biogeochemistry, in part, because this chemical reaction reduces calcium carbonate (CaCO3 saturation states (Ω to levels that are corrosive (i.e. Ω ≤ 1 to shell-forming marine organisms. However, other processes can drive CaCO3 corrosivity; specifically, the addition of tidewater glacial melt. Carbonate system data collected in May and September from 2009 through 2012 in Prince William Sound (PWS, a semi-enclosed inland sea located on the south-central coast of Alaska that is ringed with fjords containing tidewater glaciers, reveal the unique impact of glacial melt on CaCO3 corrosivity. Initial limited sampling was expanded in September 2011 to span large portions of the western and central sound, and included two fjords proximal to tidewater glaciers: Icy Bay and Columbia Bay. The observed conditions in these fjords affected CaCO3 corrosivity in the upper water column (pCO2 well below atmospheric levels. CaCO3 corrosivity in glacial melt plumes is poorly reflected by pCO2 or pHT, indicating that either one of these carbonate parameters alone would fail to track Ω in PWS. The unique Ω and pCO2 conditions in the glacial melt plumes enhances atmospheric CO2 uptake, which, if not offset by mixing or primary productivity, would rapidly exacerbate CaCO3 corrosivity in a positive feedback. The cumulative effects of glacial melt and air-sea gas exchange are likely responsible for the seasonal widespread reduction of Ω in PWS; making PWS highly sensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2 and amplified CaCO3 corrosivity.

  5. The unreliability of place construction in contemporary Alaskan regional writing

    OpenAIRE

    Feuer-Cotter, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Alaska’s geographic isolation results in the fact that most people experience the Far North only second-hand, commonly from the narratives of visitors. Those representations, overshadowed by myth, define Alaska as a region and reflect on the literary imagination of the 49th state. This paper analyses the reader’s image of Alaska and its inhabitants by tracing how regional narratives are perceived by scholars and reviewers, paying attention to the historically different transat...

  6. Dietary biomagnification of organochlorine contaminants in Alaskan polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentzen, T.W.; Follmann, E.H.; Amstrup, Steven C.; York, G.S.; Wooller, M.J.; Muir, D.C.G.; O'Hara, T. M.

    2008-01-01

    Concentrations of organochlorine contaminants in the adipose tissue of polar bears (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) vary throughout the Arctic. The range in concentrations has not been explained fully by bear age, sex, condition, location, or reproductive status. Dietary pathways expose polar bears to a variety of contaminant profiles and concentrations. Prey range from lower trophic level bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus L., 1758), one of the least contaminated marine mammals, to highly contaminated upper trophic level ringed seals (Phoca hispida (Schreber, 1775)). We used ??15N and ??13C signatures to estimate the trophic status of 42 polar bears sampled along Alaska's Beaufort Sea coast to determine the relationship between organochlorine concentration and trophic level. The ?? 15N values in the cellular portions of blood ranged from 18.2% to 20.7%. We found strong positive relationships between concentrations of the most recalcitrant polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and ??15N values in models incorporating age, lipid content, and ??13C value. Specifically these models accounted for 67% and 76% of the variation in PCB153 and oxychlordane concentration in male polar bears and 85% and 93% in females, respectively. These results are strong indicators of variation in diet and biomagnification of organochlorines among polar bears related to their sex, age, and trophic position. ?? 2008 NRC.

  7. Beta-endorphin levels in blood from selected Alaskan mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franzmann, A W; Flynn, A; Schwartz, C C; Calkins, D G; Nichols, L

    1981-10-01

    Blood samples were analyzed for beta-endorphin from 43 non-torpid black bear (Ursus americanus), 8 torpid black bear, 3 non-torpid brown bear (Ursus arctos), 14 moose (Alces alces), 6 mountain goats (Oreamnus americanus) and 30 Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus). Beta-endorphin levels were detected in all species sampled and there were no significant differences in levels among non-torpid black bear, brown bear and sea lions. Also, no differences were detected between moose and mountain goats, but all other comparisons were significantly different (P less than 0.001). Torpid black bear had higher levels than all other groups. Moose and mountain goats had the lowest levels. The possibility of beta-endorphin influencing behavior and physiology of mammals is discussed. PMID:6279890

  8. Serologic survey for selected microbial pathogens in Alaskan wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarnke, R L

    1983-10-01

    Antibodies to Brucella spp. were detected in sera of seven of 67 (10%) caribou (Rangifer tarandus), one of 39 (3%) moose (Alces alces), and six of 122 (5%) grizzly bears (Ursus arctos). Antibodies to Leptospira spp. were found in sera of one of 61 (2%) caribou, one of 37 (3%) moose, six of 122 (5%) grizzly bears, and one of 28 (4%) black bears (Ursus americanus). Antibodies to contagious ecthyma virus were detected in sera of seven of 17 (41%) Dall sheep (Ovis dalli) and five of 53 (10%) caribou. Antibodies to epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus were found in sera of eight of 17 (47%) Dall sheep and two of 39 (6%) moose. Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus antibodies were detected in sera of six of 67 (9%) caribou. Bovine viral diarrhea virus antibodies were found in sera of two of 67 (3%) caribou. Parainfluenza 3 virus antibodies were detected in sera of 14 of 21 (67%) bison (Bison bison). Antibodies to Q fever rickettsia were found in sera of 12 of 15 (80%) Dall sheep. No evidence of prior exposure to bluetongue virus was found in Dall sheep, caribou, moose, or bison sera. PMID:6139490

  9. Assessing net community production in a glaciated Alaskan fjord

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisdorph, S. C.; Mathis, J. T.

    2015-09-01

    The impact of deglaciation in Glacier Bay has been observed to seasonally influence the biogeochemistry of this marine system. The influence from surrounding glaciers, particularly tidewater glaciers, has the potential to affect the efficiency and structure of the marine food web within Glacier Bay. To assess the magnitude and the spatial and temporal variability in net community production in a glaciated fjord, we measured dissolved inorganic carbon, inorganic macronutrients, dissolved oxygen, and particulate organic carbon between July 2011 and July 2012 in Glacier Bay, Alaska. High net community production rates were observed across the bay (~ 54 to ~ 81 mmol C m-2 d-1) between the summer and fall of 2011. However, between the fall and winter, as well as between the winter and spring of 2012, air-sea fluxes of carbon dioxide and organic matter respiration made net community production rates negative across most of the bay as inorganic carbon and macronutrient concentrations returned to pre-bloom levels. The highest organic carbon production occurred within the west arm between the summer and fall of 2011 with ~ 4.5 × 105 kg C d-1. Bay-wide, there was carbon production of ~ 9.2 × 105 g C d-1 between the summer and fall. Respiration and air-sea gas exchange were the dominant drivers of carbon chemistry between the fall and winter of 2012. The substantial spatial and temporal variability in our net community production estimates may reflect glacial influences within the bay, as meltwater is depleted in macronutrients relative to marine waters entering from the Gulf of Alaska in the middle and lower parts of the bay. Further glacial retreat will likely lead to additional modifications in the carbon biogeochemistry of Glacier Bay, with unknown consequences for the local marine food web, which includes many species of marine mammals.

  10. AFSC/REFM: Alaskan flatfish chronology Black et al

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Annual growth increment patterns observed in the hard parts of many marine organisms are often related to factors in the physical environment, and investigators are...

  11. MUTAGENICITY OF ALASKAN OIL SPILL ORGANICS DURING EPA BIOREMEDIATION EFFORTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    On 24 March 1989 approximately 11 million gallons of Prudhoe Bay crude oil spilled into the waters of Prince William Sound, Alaska ultimately contaminating nearly 1000 miles of shoreline. pproximately 300 miles of contaminated beach were considered amenable to cleanup by bioremed...

  12. Exxon Valdez oil spill: Fate and effects in Alaskan waters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia on April 26--28, 1993. The purpose of the conference was to provide a multidisciplinary forum for exchange of state-of-the-art information on the transport and environmental effects, effects on fisheries and wildlife and remediation of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Individual papers have been processed separately for inclusion in the appropriate data bases

  13. Colorectal Cancer Screening: A Circle of Health for Alaskans

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... in the colon and rectum is often called colorectal cancer. But in this brochure we use the term ... tests can be used to find polyps or colorectal cancer. Each can be used alone. Sometimes they are ...

  14. Range Expansion of Moose in Arctic Alaska Linked to Warming and Increased Shrub Habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tape, Ken D; Gustine, David D; Ruess, Roger W; Adams, Layne G; Clark, Jason A

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators. PMID:27074023

  15. Carbon Mineralization and Nitrogen Transformation During a Long Term Permafrost Incubation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmon, V. G.; Mack, M. C.; Schuur, E. A. G.

    2014-12-01

    As the limiting nutrient in warming high latitude ecosystems, nitrogen (N) is expected to play a key role in determining the future balance between permafrost carbon (C) losses and increased C sequestration by plants. During decomposition, nitrogen previously locked in soil organic matter is released into the soil solution in the form of dissolved organic molecules following depolymerization by extracellular enzymes. These dissolved organic forms of N can be consumed by the soil microbial community and incorporated in their biomass or mineralized if they are in excess of microbial demand. Once mineralized and released into the soil solutions, N can be lost from the soil system via denitrification. In well drained, low N tussock tundra, however, this pathway is unlikely. Dissolved inorganic N (DIN) and dissolved organic N (DON) are both biologically available to arctic plants. Understanding how the size of these pools changes with depth and continuing decomposition is therefore crucial to projecting the C balance of high latitude systems in a warmer future. N transformations associated with decomposition may differ greatly in surface soils, where a large labile C pool is present and soil has a high C:N ratio, versus deep soils that have a relatively small labile C pool and a lower C:N ratio. In this experiment, the relationship between N availability and C release from permafrost soils was addressed with a 225 day soil incubation performed at 15°C. Seven soil cores were collected from undisturbed, well drained tussock tundra and were partitioned into ten centimeter depth intervals to a depth of 80 cm. Carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes were measured throughout the incubation period and were used to assess cumulative carbon losses and determine the size of the labile C pool. Destructive harvests at days 16,34,55,83, 143 and 225 were performed and pools of plant available DON and DIN were measured using 2M KCl extractions. At day 225 the microbial biomass N pool was also

  16. Decadal warming causes a consistent and persistent shift from heterotrophic to autotrophic respiration in contrasting permafrost ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks Pries, Caitlin E; van Logtestijn, Richard S P; Schuur, Edward A G; Natali, Susan M; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Aerts, Rien; Dorrepaal, Ellen

    2015-12-01

    Soil carbon in permafrost ecosystems has the potential to become a major positive feedback to climate change if permafrost thaw increases heterotrophic decomposition. However, warming can also stimulate autotrophic production leading to increased ecosystem carbon storage-a negative climate change feedback. Few studies partitioning ecosystem respiration examine decadal warming effects or compare responses among ecosystems. Here, we first examined how 11 years of warming during different seasons affected autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration in a bryophyte-dominated peatland in Abisko, Sweden. We used natural abundance radiocarbon to partition ecosystem respiration into autotrophic respiration, associated with production, and heterotrophic decomposition. Summertime warming decreased the age of carbon respired by the ecosystem due to increased proportional contributions from autotrophic and young soil respiration and decreased proportional contributions from old soil. Summertime warming's large effect was due to not only warmer air temperatures during the growing season, but also to warmer deep soils year-round. Second, we compared ecosystem respiration responses between two contrasting ecosystems, the Abisko peatland and a tussock-dominated tundra in Healy, Alaska. Each ecosystem had two different timescales of warming (permafrost ecosystems. PMID:26150277

  17. Phosphorus availability and microbial respiration across biomes :  from plantation forest to tundra

    OpenAIRE

    Esberg, Camilla

    2010-01-01

    Phosphorus is the main limiting nutrient for plant growth in large areas of the world and the availability of phosphorus to plants and microbes can be strongly affected by soil properties. Even though the phosphorus cycle has been studied extensively, much remains unknown about the key processes governing phosphorus availability in different environments. In this thesis the complex dynamics of soil phosphorus and its availability were studied by relating various phosphorus fractions and soil ...

  18. Terrestrial bird populations and habitat use on coastal plain tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Presents results of four breeding season and three postbreeding season bird surveys conducted on 45 10ha plots representing seven habitat types study sites on the...

  19. RESOURCE-BASED NICHES PROVIDE A BASIS FOR PLANT SPECIES DIVERSITY AND DOMINANCE IN ARCTIC TUNDRA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecologists have long been intrigued by the ways co-occurring species divide limiting resources, and have proposed that such resource partitioning, or niche differentiation, promotes species diversity by reducing competition. Although resource partitioning is an important determi...

  20. A walk on the tundra: Host-parasite interactions in an extreme environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutz, Susan J; Hoberg, Eric P; Molnár, Péter K; Dobson, Andy; Verocai, Guilherme G

    2014-08-01

    Climate change is occurring very rapidly in the Arctic, and the processes that have taken millions of years to evolve in this very extreme environment are now changing on timescales as short as decades. These changes are dramatic, subtle and non-linear. In this article, we discuss the evolving insights into host-parasite interactions for wild ungulate species, specifically, muskoxen and caribou, in the North American Arctic. These interactions occur in an environment that is characterized by extremes in temperature, high seasonality, and low host species abundance and diversity. We believe that lessons learned in this system can guide wildlife management and conservation throughout the Arctic, and can also be generalized to more broadly understand host-parasite interactions elsewhere. We specifically examine the impacts of climate change on host-parasite interactions and focus on: (I) the direct temperature effects on parasites; (II) the importance of considering the intricacies of host and parasite ecology for anticipating climate change impacts; and (III) the effect of shifting ecological barriers and corridors. Insights gained from studying the history and ecology of host-parasite systems in the Arctic will be central to understanding the role that climate change is playing in these more complex systems. PMID:25180164

  1. Thermo-erosion gullies boost the transition from wet to mesic tundra vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perreault, Naïm; Lévesque, Esther; Fortier, Daniel; Lamarque, Laurent J.

    2016-03-01

    Continuous permafrost zones with well-developed polygonal ice-wedge networks are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Thermo-mechanical erosion can initiate the development of gullies that lead to substantial drainage of adjacent wet habitats. How vegetation responds to this particular disturbance is currently unknown but has the potential to significantly disrupt function and structure of Arctic ecosystems. Focusing on three major gullies of Bylot Island, Nunavut, we estimated the impacts of thermo-erosion processes on plant community changes. We explored over 2 years the influence of environmental factors on plant species richness, abundance and biomass in 62 low-centered wet polygons, 87 low-centered disturbed polygons and 48 mesic environment sites. Gullying decreased soil moisture by 40 % and thaw-front depth by 10 cm in the center of breached polygons within less than 5 years after the inception of ice wedge degradation, entailing a gradual yet marked vegetation shift from wet to mesic plant communities within 5 to 10 years. This transition was accompanied by a five times decrease in graminoid above-ground biomass. Soil moisture and thaw-front depth changed almost immediately following gullying initiation as they were of similar magnitude between older (> 5 years) and recently (food availability for herbivores and carbon emissions of Arctic ecosystems.

  2. What can stable isotope analysis of top predator tissues contribute to monitoring of tundra ecosystems?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ehrich, D.; Ims, R.A.; Yoccoz, N.G.; Lecomte, N.; Killengreen, S.T.; Fuglei, E.; Rodnikova, A.Y.; Ebbinge, B.S.; Menyushina, I.E.; Nolet, Bart; Prokovsky, I.G.; Popov, I.Y.; Schmidt, N.M.; Sokolov, A.; Sokolova, N.A.; Sokolov, V.A.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how climate change and increasing human impacts may exert pressure on ecosystems and threaten biodiversity requires efficient monitoring programs. Indicator species have been proposed as useful tools, and predators and their diet may be particularly suitable. The vast and remote arctic

  3. Modelling regulation of decomposition and related root/mycorrhizal processes in arctic tundra soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Linkins, A.E.

    1992-01-01

    Since this was the final year of this project principal activities were directed towards either collecting data needed to complete existing incomplete data sets or writing manuscripts. Data sets on Imnaviat Creek watershed basin are functionally complete and data finialized on the cellulose mineralizaiton and dust impact on soil organic carbon and phsophorus decomposition. Seven manuscripts were prepared, and are briefly outlined.

  4. Modelling regulation of decomposition and related root/mycorrhizal processes in arctic tundra soils. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Linkins, A.E.

    1992-09-01

    Since this was the final year of this project principal activities were directed towards either collecting data needed to complete existing incomplete data sets or writing manuscripts. Data sets on Imnaviat Creek watershed basin are functionally complete and data finialized on the cellulose mineralizaiton and dust impact on soil organic carbon and phsophorus decomposition. Seven manuscripts were prepared, and are briefly outlined.

  5. Soil fauna communities and microbial respiration in high Arctic tundra soils at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Louise I.; Holmstrup, Martin; Maraldo, Kristine;

    2006-01-01

    The soil fauna communities were described for three dominant vegetation types in a high arctic site at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland. Soil samples were extracted to quantify the densities of mites, collembolans, enchytraeids, diptera larvae, nematodes and protozoa. Rates of microbial respiration...... were also assessed. Collembolans were found in highest densities in dry heath soil, about 130,000 individuals m-2, more than twice as high as in mesic heath soils. Enchytraeids, diptera larvae and nematodes were also more abundant in the dry heath soil than in mesic heath soils, whereas protozoan...... densities (naked amoeba and heterotrophic flagellates) were equal. Respiration rate of unamended soil was similar in soil from the three plots. However, a higher respiration rate increase in carbon + nutrient amended soil and the higher densities of soil fauna (with the exception of mites and protozoa) in...

  6. Tree recruitment in the Forest-tundra Ecotone : Limitation and facilitation processes in contrasting climatic Regions

    OpenAIRE

    Albertsen, Elena

    2012-01-01

    Aim: The aim of this study was to analyse how abiotic and biotic constraint and facilitation agents determine tree recruitment in the alpine zone in climatically different regions as well as across species; Birch, pine and spruce. Location: The study was located to Grødalen, Haltdalen and Røros representing a coastal-inland gradient, where birch was included along the entire climatic gradient and all three species in one region (Haltdalen). Methods: Variables collected for seedling/...

  7. Spectral estimation of soil properties in siberian tundra soils and relations with plant species composition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartholomeus, Harm; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Blok, Daan;

    2012-01-01

    yields a good prediction model for K and a moderate model for pH. Using these models, soil properties are determined for a larger number of samples, and soil properties are related to plant species composition. This analysis shows that variation of soil properties is large within vegetation classes, but......Predicted global warming will be most pronounced in the Arctic and will severely affect permafrost environments. Due to its large spatial extent and large stocks of soil organic carbon, changes to organic matter decomposition rates and associated carbon fluxes in Arctic permafrost soils will...... significantly impact the global carbon cycle. We explore the potential of soil spectroscopy to estimate soil carbon properties and investigate the relation between soil properties and vegetation composition. Soil samples are collected in Siberia, and vegetation descriptions are made at each sample point. First...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Bååth, Erland

    2009-01-01

    acid, glycine, starch, and vanillin, and the incorporation of 13C into different phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA; indicative of growth) and neutral lipid fatty acids (NLFA; indicative of fungal storage) was measured after 1 and 7 days. The use of 13C-labeled substrates allowed the addition of substrates...... fungi, showing that different groups of the microbial community were responsible for substrate utilization. The 13C-incorporation from the complex substrates (starch and vanillin) increased over time. There was significant allocation of 13C into the fungal NLFA, except for starch. For glucose, acetic...... acid, and glycine, 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...

  9. A stochastic model for the polygonal tundra based on Poisson–Voronoi diagrams

    OpenAIRE

    Cresto Aleina, F.; Brovkin, V.; S. Muster; J. Boike; L. Kutzbach; Sachs, T.; S. Zuyev

    2013-01-01

    Sub-grid and small scale processes occur in various ecosystems and landscapes (e.g., periglacial ecosystems, peatlands and vegetation patterns). These local heterogeneities are often important or even fundamental to better understand general and large scale properties of the system, but they are either ignored or poorly parameterized in regional and global models. Because of their small scale, the underlying generating processes can be well explained and resolved only by local mechanistic ...

  10. Thermo-erosion gullies boost the transition from wet to mesic tundra vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perreault, Naïm; Lévesque, Esther; Fortier, Daniel; Lamarque, Laurent J.

    2016-03-01

    Continuous permafrost zones with well-developed polygonal ice-wedge networks are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Thermo-mechanical erosion can initiate the development of gullies that lead to substantial drainage of adjacent wet habitats. How vegetation responds to this particular disturbance is currently unknown but has the potential to significantly disrupt function and structure of Arctic ecosystems. Focusing on three major gullies of Bylot Island, Nunavut, we estimated the impacts of thermo-erosion processes on plant community changes. We explored over 2 years the influence of environmental factors on plant species richness, abundance and biomass in 62 low-centered wet polygons, 87 low-centered disturbed polygons and 48 mesic environment sites. Gullying decreased soil moisture by 40 % and thaw-front depth by 10 cm in the center of breached polygons within less than 5 years after the inception of ice wedge degradation, entailing a gradual yet marked vegetation shift from wet to mesic plant communities within 5 to 10 years. This transition was accompanied by a five times decrease in graminoid above-ground biomass. Soil moisture and thaw-front depth changed almost immediately following gullying initiation as they were of similar magnitude between older (> 5 years) and recently (lag-time in vegetation response to the altered physical environment with plant species richness and biomass differing between the two types of disturbed polygons. To date (10 years after disturbance), the stable state of the mesic environment cover has not been fully reached yet. Our results illustrate that wetlands are highly vulnerable to thermo-erosion processes, which drive landscape transformation on a relative short period of time for High Arctic perennial plant communities (5 to 10 years). Such succession towards mesic plant communities can have substantial consequences on the food availability for herbivores and carbon emissions of Arctic ecosystems.

  11. Vegetation of Paektu Mt. alpine tundra and changes of species composition in its ecotone

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kolbek, Jiří; Jarolímek, I.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 39, č. 2 (2007), s. 707-725. ISSN 0253-116X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA206/05/0119 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : High mountain vegetation * hypsometric vegetation transect * Korean -Chinese boundary Subject RIV: EF - Botanics

  12. Doubled volatile organic compound emissions from subarctic tundra under simulated climate warming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faubert, Patrick; Tiiva, Paivi; Rinnan, Åsmund;

    2010-01-01

    • 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....... 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...

  13. Mid-Miocene cooling and the extinction of tundra in continental Antarctica

    OpenAIRE

    Lewis, A R; Marchant, D.R.; Ashworth, A.C.; Hedenas, L; Hemming, S. R.; Johnson, J. V.; Leng, Melanie; Machlus, M.L.; NEWTON, A. E.; Raine, I.; Willenbring, J. K.; Williams, M; Wolfe, A. P.

    2008-01-01

    A major obstacle in understanding the evolution of Cenozoic climate has been the lack of well dated terrestrial evidence from high-latitude, glaciated regions. Here, we report the discovery of exceptionally well preserved fossils of lacustrine and terrestrial organisms from the McMurdo Dry Valleys sector of the Transantarctic Mountains for which we have established a precise radiometric chronology. The fossils, which include diatoms, palynomorphs, mosses, ostracodes, and insects, represent th...

  14. Scaling Issues Between Plot and Satellite Radiobrightness Observations of Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Edward J.; England, Anthony W.; Judge, Jasmeet; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Data from generation of satellite microwave radiometer will allow the detection of seasonal to decadal changes in the arctic hydrology cycle as expressed in temporal and spatial patterns of moisture stored in soil and snow This nw capability will require calibrated Land Surface Process/Radiobrightness (LSP/R) model for the principal terrains found in the circumpolar Arctic. These LSP/R models can than be used in weak constraint. Dimensional Data Assimilation (DDA)of the daily satellite observation to estimate temperature and moisture profiles within the permafrost in active layer.

  15. Dispersal mechanisms of macroinvertebrates colonizing salmon flesh in a developing Alaskan stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monaghan, Kieran A.; Milner, Alexander M.

    2008-07-01

    Patterns of carcass colonization by macroinvertebrates suggest deterministic resource tracking. As salmon carcasses decay in riverine ecosystems, exudates and abraded particles enter the water column accompanied by qualitative changes in benthic biofilms. We used a combination of implanted substrates, controlled exposure experiments and descriptive surveys to examine dispersal and colonization behaviour of macroinvertebrates in a developing stream in the presence/absence of decaying salmon flesh. Macroinvertebrate colonization of implanted trays containing salmon flesh showed no relationship with their sequential downstream position and (potential) increasing gradient of decay products. Dispersal to trays was principally due to drift with colonization patterns indicative of resource evaluation by direct contact, as opposed to remote detection. Macroinvertebrates in enclosed exposure chambers switched between artificial channels with and without salmon flesh demonstrated no significant difference related to exposure history; chamber opening was followed by a net migration from both treatment and controls. In a companion experiment, macroinvertebrates freely colonizing rock baskets switched between channel treatments, demonstrated no significant difference related to exposure history. Although the distribution of macroinvertebrates in the stream corresponded to habitats where carcasses accumulated, macroinvertebrate density in respective habitats was unrelated to carcass densities. The absence of a behavioural dispersal response to the presence of decaying salmon flesh in this study might be explained by the spatio-temporal design of the experiments, the use of previously frozen flesh as opposed to fresh carcasses, and the relatively early developmental stage of this stream and its associated macroinvertebrate community.

  16. Digital storytelling: a tool for health promotion and cancer awareness in rural Alaskan communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melany Cueva

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: The purpose of this study was to learn community members’ perspectives about digital storytelling after viewing a digital story created by a Community Health Aide/Practitioner (CHA/P. Methods: Using a qualitative research design, we explored digital storytelling likeability as a health-messaging tool, health information viewers reported learning and, if viewing, cancer-related digital stories facilitated increased comfort in talking about cancer. In addition, we enquired if the digital stories affected how viewers felt about cancer, as well as if viewing the digital stories resulted in health behaviour change or intent to change health behaviour. Findings: A total of 15 adult community members participated in a 30–45 minute interview, 1–5 months post-viewing of a CHA/P digital story. The majority (13 of viewers interviewed were female, all were Alaska Native and they ranged in age from 25 to 54 years with the average age being 40 years. Due to the small size of communities, which ranged in population from 160 to 2,639 people, all viewers knew the story creator or knew of the story creator. Viewers reported digital stories as an acceptable, emotionally engaging way to increase their cancer awareness and begin conversations. These conversations often served as a springboard for reflection, insight, and cancer-prevention and risk-reduction activities.

  17. First evidence and predictions of Plasmodium transmission in Alaskan bird populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Loiseau

    Full Text Available The unprecedented rate of change in the Arctic climate is expected to have major impacts on the emergence of infectious diseases and host susceptibility to these diseases. It is predicted that malaria parasites will spread to both higher altitudes and latitudes with global warming. Here we show for the first time that avian Plasmodium transmission occurs in the North American Arctic. Over a latitudinal gradient in Alaska, from 61°N to 67°N, we collected blood samples of resident and migratory bird species. We found both residents and hatch year birds infected with Plasmodium as far north as 64°N, providing clear evidence that malaria transmission occurs in these climates. Based on our empirical data, we make the first projections of the habitat suitability for Plasmodium under a future-warming scenario in Alaska. These findings raise new concerns about the spread of malaria to naïve host populations.

  18. First Evidence and Predictions of Plasmodium Transmission in Alaskan Bird Populations

    OpenAIRE

    Claire Loiseau; Harrigan, Ryan J; Anthony J. Cornel; Sue L Guers; Molly Dodge; Timothy Marzec; Carlson, Jenny S.; Bruce Seppi; Ravinder N M Sehgal

    2012-01-01

    The unprecedented rate of change in the Arctic climate is expected to have major impacts on the emergence of infectious diseases and host susceptibility to these diseases. It is predicted that malaria parasites will spread to both higher altitudes and latitudes with global warming. Here we show for the first time that avian Plasmodium transmission occurs in the North American Arctic. Over a latitudinal gradient in Alaska, from 61°N to 67°N, we collected blood samples of resident and migratory...

  19. Energy drink use, problem drinking and drinking motives in a diverse sample of Alaskan college students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica C. Skewes

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Background. Recent research has identified the use of caffeinated energy drinks as a common, potentially risky behaviour among college students that is linked to alcohol misuse and consequences. Research also suggests that energy drink consumption is related to other risky behaviours such as tobacco use, marijuana use and risky sexual activity. Objective. This research sought to examine the associations between frequency of energy drink consumption and problematic alcohol use, alcohol-related consequences, symptoms of alcohol dependence and drinking motives in an ethnically diverse sample of college students in Alaska. We also sought to examine whether ethnic group moderated these associations in the present sample of White, Alaska Native/American Indian and other ethnic minority college students. Design. A paper-and-pencil self-report questionnaire was completed by a sample of 298 college students. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA was used to examine the effects of energy drink use, ethnic group and energy drink by ethnic group interactions on alcohol outcomes after controlling for variance attributed to gender, age and frequency of binge drinking. Results. Greater energy drink consumption was significantly associated with greater hazardous drinking, alcohol consequences, alcohol dependence symptoms, drinking for enhancement motives and drinking to cope. There were no main effects of ethnic group, and there were no significant energy drink by ethnic group interactions. Conclusion. These findings replicate those of other studies examining the associations between energy drink use and alcohol problems, but contrary to previous research we did not find ethnic minority status to be protective. It is possible that energy drink consumption may serve as a marker for other health risk behaviours among students of various ethnic groups.

  20. Energy drink use, problem drinking and drinking motives in a diverse sample of Alaskan college students

    OpenAIRE

    Monica C. Skewes; Christopher R. Decou; Gonzalez, Vivian M.

    2013-01-01

    Background. Recent research has identified the use of caffeinated energy drinks as a common, potentially risky behaviour among college students that is linked to alcohol misuse and consequences. Research also suggests that energy drink consumption is related to other risky behaviours such as tobacco use, marijuana use and risky sexual activity.Objective. This research sought to examine the associations between frequency of energy drink consumption and problematic alcohol use, alcohol-related ...

  1. Catchment influence on nitrate and dissolved organic matter in Alaskan streams across a latitudinal gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harms, Tamara K.; Edmonds, Jennifer W.; Genet, Hélène; Creed, Irena F.; Aldred, David; Balser, Andrew; Jones, Jeremy B.

    2016-02-01

    Spatial patterns in carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles of high-latitude catchments have been linked to climate and permafrost and used to infer potential changes in biogeochemical cycles under climate warming. However, inconsistent spatial patterns across regions indicate that factors in addition to permafrost and regional climate may shape responses of C and N cycles to climate change. We hypothesized that physical attributes of catchments modify responses of C and N cycles to climate and permafrost. We measured dissolved organic C (DOC) and nitrate (NO3-) concentrations, and composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in 21 streams spanning boreal to arctic Alaska, and assessed permafrost, topography, and attributes of soils and vegetation as predictors of stream chemistry. Multiple regression analyses indicated that catchment slope is a primary driver, with lower DOC and higher NO3- concentration in streams draining steeper catchments, respectively. Depth of the active layer explained additional variation in concentration of DOC and NO3-. Vegetation type explained regional variation in concentration and composition of DOM, which was characterized by optical methods. Composition of DOM was further correlated with attributes of soils, including moisture, temperature, and thickness of the organic layer. Regional patterns of DOC and NO3- concentrations in boreal to arctic Alaska were driven primarily by catchment topography and modified by permafrost, whereas composition of DOM was driven by attributes of soils and vegetation, suggesting that predicting changes to C and N cycling from permafrost-influenced regions should consider catchment setting in addition to dynamics of climate and permafrost.

  2. First Evidence and Predictions of Plasmodium Transmission in Alaskan Bird Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loiseau, Claire; Harrigan, Ryan J.; Cornel, Anthony J.; Guers, Sue L.; Dodge, Molly; Marzec, Timothy; Carlson, Jenny S.; Seppi, Bruce; Sehgal, Ravinder N. M.

    2012-01-01

    The unprecedented rate of change in the Arctic climate is expected to have major impacts on the emergence of infectious diseases and host susceptibility to these diseases. It is predicted that malaria parasites will spread to both higher altitudes and latitudes with global warming. Here we show for the first time that avian Plasmodium transmission occurs in the North American Arctic. Over a latitudinal gradient in Alaska, from 61°N to 67°N, we collected blood samples of resident and migratory bird species. We found both residents and hatch year birds infected with Plasmodium as far north as 64°N, providing clear evidence that malaria transmission occurs in these climates. Based on our empirical data, we make the first projections of the habitat suitability for Plasmodium under a future-warming scenario in Alaska. These findings raise new concerns about the spread of malaria to naïve host populations. PMID:23028595

  3. Feeding ecology and trophic relationships of Alaskan marine birds: Annual report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Evaluated stomach contents of marine birds. Squid, fish, and nektonic crustacea were found. Birds included murres, fulmar, shearwater, kittiwakes, and puffins....

  4. AFSC/REFM: Isolation by distance (IBD) Alaskan fish stock structure modeling

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — There is no established management protocol for stocks subject to isolation-by-distance (IBD) stock structure. This study examines several management strategies for...

  5. Forty years of change: a northern Alaskan seabird's response to a warming Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Divoky, G.; Suydam, R.

    2012-12-01

    While recent decadal-scale decreases in the snow and ice habitats of the Arctic are well documented, there are few concurrent long-term biological data sets, especially for species dependent on the cryopelagic ecosystem associated with arctic sea ice. The Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle mandti), a marine apex predator specializing on prey associated with arctic pack ice has been studied annually since 1975 at a colony on Cooper Island, 35 km east of Point Barrow, Alaska. Over the last four decades critical components of the species' life history have been found to be sensitive to a number of physical and biological effects associated with the region's increasing atmospheric temperatures. Black Guillemots first colonized northern Alaska in the late 1960s and early 1970s as the annual snow-free period increased sufficiently to allow access to nesting cavities for the 80 days required to successfully raise young. At the Cooper Island colony abundance increased during the 1970s and 1980s as summer length continued to increase and wooden nest cavities were provided to increase sample size for monitoring. During this time breeding success was high as summer sea ice remained in the 30-km foraging range of guillemot parents, providing Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida), the principal forage fish associated with sea ice and the preferred prey of Black Guillemots. Decreasing summer sea ice extent in the 1990s that accelerated in the last decade reduced the guillemots' access to cryopelagic prey during the critical period when parents are provisioning nestlings. Distance from the colony to the pack ice on 15 August averaged 100 km from 2003-2011. This ice retreat had a major affect on Arctic Cod availability, causing parent guillemots to shift to lower quality benthic fish resulting in decreases in nestling quality and breeding success when sea ice had retreated and SST was > 4o C. Increasing loss of summer ice in the last decade also facilitated changes in the distribution of a guillemot nest competitor and nest predator resulting in major losses of eggs and young. Horned Puffins (Fratercula corniculata) recently expanded their breeding range from the subarctic to northern Alaska and regularly disrupt guillemot nesting by displacing eggs and killing guillemot nestlings while prospecting for nest sites. Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus), rare on Cooper Island until 2002 are now seen regularly in August as they seek refuge on land and prey on guillemot young. While the loss of cryopelagic prey led to reductions in the guillemot population, the loss of eggs and nestlings to puffins and bears was severe enough to threaten the existence of the colony. In 2011 all nest sites at the colony were replaced with plastic nest cases that eliminate disturbance by bears and puffins. Upper trophic level predators are recognized as important indicators of variation in and perturbations to marine ecosystems and in the near future the waters of the western Arctic will be experiencing a range of alterations due to both atmospheric warming and industrial development. The ongoing research at the Cooper Island Black Guillemot colony, combined with its historic database. will allow assessment of those changes.

  6. Helmet use among Alaskan children involved in off-road motorized vehicle crashes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher W. Snyder

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Off-road motorized vehicle crashes are a common source of trauma among Alaska children. Injury morbidity is worse in Alaska Native children than non-Native children, but the reasons are unclear. Objective: To evaluate the differences in helmet use between the Native and the non-Native children, and to assess the impact of helmet use on injury patterns and outcomes. Design: This retrospective cohort study identified patients aged 17 or younger admitted after all-terrain vehicle, snowmobile or motorbike injury between 2001 and 2011 from the Alaska Trauma Registry. Helmeted and non-helmeted patients were compared with respect to demographics, central nervous system (CNS injury and the overall risk of death or permanent disability. Logistic regression was used to evaluate predictors of helmet use and the effects of ethnicity and helmet use on outcomes. Results: Of the 921 injured children, 51% were Alaska Native and 49% were non-Native. Helmet use was lower among Native versus non-Native patients on unadjusted comparison (24% vs. 71% and multivariable logistic regression (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.11–0.27, p<0.0001. Prevalence of CNS injury was higher among Native children (39.7% vs. 30.4%, p=0.016. However, on logistic regression with adjustment for helmet use, Native ethnicity was not a significant predictor of CNS injury (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.68–1.68, p=0.78, whereas helmet use was strongly protective against CNS injury (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.18–0.44, p<0.0001 as well as death or permanent disability (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.10–0.67, p=0.006. Conclusions: Helmet use is lower among Alaska Native children involved in off-road motorized vehicle crashes. These ethnic disparities in helmet use contribute to higher rates of CNS injury among Native children. Helmet use significantly improves overall outcome. Helmet promotion efforts should be expanded, especially in Native communities.

  7. Mycological evidence of coprophagy from the feces of an Alaskan Late Glacial mammoth

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Geel, Bas; Guthrie, R. Dale; Altmann, Jens G.; Broekens, Peter; Bull, Ian D.; Gill, Fiona L.; Jansen, Boris; Nieman, Aline M.; Gravendeel, Barbara

    2011-08-01

    Dung from a mammoth was preserved under frozen conditions in Alaska. The mammoth lived during the early part of the Late Glacial interstadial (ca 12,300 BP). Microfossils, macroremains and ancient DNA from the dung were studied and the chemical composition was determined to reconstruct both the paleoenvironment and paleobiology of this mammoth. Pollen spectra are dominated by Poaceae, Artemisia and other light-demanding taxa, indicating an open, treeless landscape ('mammoth steppe'). Fruits and seeds support this conclusion. The dung consists mainly of cyperaceous stems and leaves, with a minor component of vegetative remains of Poaceae. Analyses of fragments of the plastid rbcL gene and trnL intron and nrITS1 region, amplified from DNA extracted from the dung, supplemented the microscopic identifications. Many fruit bodies with ascospores of the coprophilous fungus Podospora conica were found inside the dung ball, indicating that the mammoth had eaten dung. The absence of bile acids points to mammoth dung. This is the second time that evidence for coprophagy of mammoths has been derived from the presence of fruit bodies of coprophilous fungi in frozen dung. Coprophagy might well have been a common habit of mammoths. Therefore, we strongly recommend that particular attention should be given to fungal remains in future fossil dung studies.

  8. Fluxes, dynamics and chemistry of suspended particulate matter in a southeast Alaskan fjord

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The weighted mean fluxes over the June 1982-October 1983 were 290, 519, 812, 1124 g m-2 yr-1, respectively, determined using sediment traps deployed at 40, 120, 300 and 375 m depth in the 380 m water column. The long-term sedimentation rate was estimated at average 589 g m-2 yr-1 from sediment 210Pb profiles. Substantial SPM input to mid-depths (below 100 m) from the side arms was noted. Thus, the flux measured at 120 m depth was designated as the primary flux of the SPM to the basin. The sediment focusing resulting from the V shaped basin does not appear to be important. Using particulate Al as a tracer, resuspension rate was estimated at some 30-80% of the vertical flux below 280 m depth. Based on the SPM dynamics, the non-conservative behavior of particulate biogenic matter, Mn and Fe was investigated using a primary-resuspended-altered flux model

  9. Major element concentrations in six Alaskan arctic rivers from melt to freeze-up

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, T. A.; Barker, A.; Jacobson, A. D.; McClelland, J. W.; Khosh, M. S.; Lehn, G. O.

    2010-12-01

    It is increasingly evident that permafrost in the Arctic is responding to climate warming. An expected response to this warming is permafrost degradation and the downward migration of the seasonally thawed (active) layer into previously frozen material. This could allow weathering of previously frozen soils and influence surface water biogeochemistry in Arctic rivers. The weathering signal would most likely be evident in surface waters during summer and early fall base flow when the active layer is at its deepest extent. Studies collecting water samples from spring through late fall could capture these flows. Fieldwork in remote regions often requires long storage times for samples prior to analysis. One aspect of our study was to investigate whether waters collected for major element analyses should be preserved by acidification. We collected up to 60 surface water samples from each of six rivers between April and October, 2009. Two rivers were underlain by organic rich permafrost, two of the rivers drained mountainous bedrock, and two rivers were underlain by a combination of both bedrock and organic rich permafrost. We collected duplicate samples from each river. Samples were filtered in the field to less than 0.45 microns and collected into high density polyethylene bottles. Waters were stored for six months prior to analysis. One set of samples was analyzed without acidification while the second set was acidified with nitric acid to a pH of 2 after 6 months of storage. Concentrations of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, ammonium, fluoride, chloride, nitrate, sulfate and phosphate were measured from all samples by ion chromatography. Sulfate, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium concentrations increase steadily through the summer from the end of spring melt into early fall. In all six rivers the potassium concentrations are unaffected by acidification. In the two streams underlain by organic rich permafrost and in one of the bedrock streams the calcium, magnesium, and sodium values are similar for both the acidified and unacidified samples. In the other rivers, however, the calcium, magnesium and sodium concentrations yield complex behavior. From spring melt into early summer the cation values are identical in the acidified and unacidified samples. However, in late summer and early fall calcium, magnesium, and sodium concentrations are roughly ten percent higher in the acidified samples than in the unacidified ones. Our results suggest an enhanced mineral weathering signal in the watersheds in the late summer which is evidenced by steadily increasing sulfate and cation concentrations throughout the summer. Potassium does not appear to be affected by acidification. Some cation species respond to acidification, especially in waters representing baseflow. However, the cause(s) for the higher values in some acidified samples is unknown.

  10. Mineralogical and rock magnetic provenance variation in Alaskan Abyssal Plain sediments, Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ullrich, A. D.; Jaeger, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    The interplay between regional tectonic activity and climate is a fundamental issue in ocean and earth sciences. These interactions are greatest in areas of high topographic relief coupled with aggressive erosional agents. Focused erosion in uplifting glaciated regions generates a positive feedback loop, accelerating uplift (Tompkin, 2007) and depositing erosional products into adjacent basins. Gulf of Alaska (GoA) strata offer insight into erosional responses to shifts in climate, such as the intensification of Cordilleran glaciation at 2.6 Ma. This coincides with increased accumulation of terrigenous sediment and appearance of ice rafted debris in the adjacent mud-rich Surveyor Fan (SF). It is hypothesized that this change in sediment accumulation and lithology at 2.6 Ma between the Lower Fan Sequence (LFS) and Upper Fan Sequence (UFS) may represent intensification of glacial erosion along the windward side of coastal mountains in southern Alaska. Establishing a provenance record of the UFS and LFS would provide insight into the history of glaciation and subsequent erosion of this region. Determining provenance of fine-grained sediments of the SF requires tracers that not only uniquely differentiate the adjacent Chugach and Yakutat geologic terranes, but are also preserved in offshore muds. Preliminary quantitative powder XRD mineralogy suggests that muds from onshore terranes and UFS sediments can be largely characterized by their distribution as resolved clusters on cross-plots of quartz, feldspar, clinochlore, and muscovite abundance. Within these plots, UFS sediments predominantly occupy the same region as Yakutat-derived samples, suggesting the mineralogy of UFS fine-grained sediments reflects that of the Yakutat Terrane. Distinctive groupings of on- and offshore sediments can also be observed on a Day plot of coercivity of remnance (Hcr/Hc) versus magnetic grain size (Mr/Ms), where Chugach and Yakutat samples group into separate clusters in the multi-domain and pseudo-single-domain (PSD) regions, respectively. UFS sediments also form a cluster in the center of the PSD region. Magnetic data are consistent with previous provenance work in which Mr/Ms, Hcr/Hc, and mass susceptibility of the sand-sized fraction were used to distinguish between the Chugach and Yakutat terranes (Cowan et al., 2006). These preliminary data suggest that mineralogic and magnetic tracers exist in the mud fraction of onshore fluvial sediments and can be used to develop a provenance history of fine-grained marine muds on the Surveyor Fan.

  11. Relationships among fires, fungi, and soil dynamics in Alaskan Boreal Forests

    OpenAIRE

    Treseder, Kathleen K.; Mack, M. C.; Cross, A

    2004-01-01

    Fires are critical pathways of carbon loss from boreal forest soils, whereas microbial communities form equally critical controls over carbon accumulation between fires. We used a chronosequence in Alaska to test Read's hypothesis that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi should dominate ecosystems with low accumulation of surface litter, and ectomycorrhizal fungi should proliferate where organic horizons are well-developed. This pattern is expected because ectomycorrhizal fungi display a greater cap...

  12. Prediction of oil spill occurrence probabilities in the Alaskan Beaufort and Chukchi Seas OCS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Estimates of oil spill occurrences are used by the Minerals Management Service (MMS) Alaska OCS Region for the development of environmental impact statements for hypothetical offshore development scenarios resulting from the sale of leases for the United States Beaufort and Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf. Although estimates of expected values of oil spill probabilities and sizes provide a simple basis for estimating environmental impacts, the magnitude and distribution of uncertainties can alter the significance of these expected values. In order to develop the probability distributions of oil spill occurrences, this paper presented a study that used non-Arctic empirical data together with their variance as a starting point. In addition, Arctic effect distributions and their impact on both the original data variance as well as additional unique Arctic effect distributions such as those for ice gouging and scour were integrated. In addition, an oil spill occurrence model based on fault tree methodology was developed and evaluated using Monte Carlo methods with all significant inputs in distributed form in order to provide the expected values and their variability. The study involved the quantification of four principal spill occurrence indicator probability distributions, including annual spill frequency; annual spill frequency per barrel produced; spill index, which refers to the product of spill size and spill frequency; and life of field averages of the above indicators. The paper summarized the methodology and presented the results of its application to the estimation of oil spill probabilities and their characteristics for the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas region for typical future offshore development scenarios. It was recommended that the use of the Monte Carlo spill occurrence indicator model should be continued for new scenarios to support MMS needs, as it is the best model available for estimating spill occurrence. 12 refs., 2 tabs., 12 figs

  13. Distribution and landscape controls of organic layer thickness and carbon within the Alaskan Yukon River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastick, Neal J.; Rigge, Matthew B.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Jorgenson, M. Torre; Rose, Joshua R.; Johnson, Kristofer D.; Ji, Lei

    2014-01-01

    Understanding of the organic layer thickness (OLT) and organic layer carbon (OLC) stocks in subarctic ecosystems is critical due to their importance in the global carbon cycle. Moreover, post-fire OLT provides an indicator of long-term successional trajectories and permafrost susceptibility to thaw. To these ends, we 1) mapped OLT and associated uncertainty at 30 m resolution in the Yukon River Basin (YRB), Alaska, employing decision tree models linking remotely sensed imagery with field and ancillary data, 2) converted OLT to OLC using a non-linear regression, 3) evaluate landscape controls on OLT and OLC, and 4) quantified the post-fire recovery of OLT and OLC. Areas of shallow (2 = 0.68; OLC: R2 = 0.66), where an average of 16 cm OLT and 5.3 kg/m2 OLC were consumed by fires. Strong predictors of OLT included climate, topography, near-surface permafrost distributions, soil wetness, and spectral information. Our modeling approach enabled us to produce regional maps of OLT and OLC, which will be useful in understanding risks and feedbacks associated with fires and climate feedbacks.

  14. Dissolved organic carbon in Alaskan boreal forest: Sources, chemical characteristics, and biodegradability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickland, K.P.; Neff, J.C.; Aiken, G.R.

    2007-01-01

    The fate of terrestrially-derived dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is important to carbon (C) cycling in both terrestrial and aquatic environments, and recent evidence suggests that climate warming is influencing DOC dynamics in northern ecosystems. To understand what determines the fate of terrestrial DOC, it is essential to quantify the chemical nature and potential biodegradability of this DOC. We examined DOC chemical characteristics and biodegradability collected from soil pore waters and dominant vegetation species in four boreal black spruce forest sites in Alaska spanning a range of hydrologic regimes and permafrost extents (Well Drained, Moderately Well Drained, Poorly Drained, and Thermokarst Wetlands). DOC chemistry was characterized using fractionation, UV-Vis absorbance, and fluorescence measurements. Potential biodegradability was assessed by incubating the samples and measuring CO2 production over 1 month. Soil pore water DOC from all sites was dominated by hydrophobic acids and was highly aromatic, whereas the chemical composition of vegetation leachate DOC varied significantly with species. There was no seasonal variability in soil pore water DOC chemical characteristics or biodegradability; however, DOC collected from the Poorly Drained site was significantly less biodegradable than DOC from the other three sites (6% loss vs. 13-15% loss). The biodegradability of vegetation-derived DOC ranged from 10 to 90% loss, and was strongly correlated with hydrophilic DOC content. Vegetation such as Sphagnum moss and feathermosses yielded DOC that was quickly metabolized and respired. In contrast, the DOC leached from vegetation such as black spruce was moderately recalcitrant. Changes in DOC chemical characteristics that occurred during microbial metabolism of DOC were quantified using fractionation and fluorescence. The chemical characteristics and biodegradability of DOC in soil pore waters were most similar to the moderately recalcitrant vegetation leachates, and to the microbially altered DOC from all vegetation leachates. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  15. Fate and Transport of Methane Formed in the Active Layer of Alaskan Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, M. E.; Curtis, J. B.; Smith, L. J.; Bill, M.; Torn, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Over the past 2 years a series of tracer tests designed to estimate rates of methane formation via acetoclastic methanogenesis in the active layer of permafrost soils were conducted at the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO) in northernmost Alaska. The tracer tests consisted of extracting 0.5 to 1.0 liters of soil water in gas-tight bags from different features of polygons at the BEO, followed by addition of a tracer cocktail including acetate with a 13C-labeled methyl group and D2O (as a conservative tracer) into the soil water and injection of the mixture back into the original extraction site. Samples were then taken at depths of 30 cm (just above the bottom of the active layer), 20 cm, 10 cm and surface flux to determine the fate of the 13C-labeled acetate. During 2014 (2015 results are pending) water, soil gas, and flux gas were sampled for 60 days following injection of the tracer solution. Those samples were analyzed for concentrations and isotopic compositions of CH4, DIC/CO2 and water. At one site (the trough of a low-centered polygon) the 13C acetate was completely converted to 13CH4 within the first 2 days. The signal persisted for throughout the entire monitoring period at the injection depth with little evidence of transport or oxidation in any of the other sampling depths. In the saturated center of the same polygon, the acetate was also rapidly converted to 13CH4, but water turnover caused the signal to rapidly dissipate. High δ13C CO2 in flux samples from the polygon center indicate oxidation of the 13CH4 in near-surface waters. Conversely, CH4 production in the center of an unsaturated, flat-centered polygon was relatively small 13CH4 and dissipated rapidly without any evidence of either 13CH4 transport to shallower levels or oxidation. At another site in the edge of that polygon no 13CH4 was produced, but significant 13C