WorldWideScience

Sample records for alaskan tussock tundra

  1. Annual patterns and budget of CO2 flux in an Alaskan arctic tussock tundra ecosystem at Atqasuk, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oechel, W. C.; Kalhori, A. A.; Burba, G. G.; Gioli, B.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic ecosystem functioning is not only critically affected by climate change, but also has the potential for major positive feedbacks on climate. There is however relatively little information available on the role, patterns, and vulnerabilities of CO2 fluxes during the non-summer seasons. Presented here is a year-around study of CO2 fluxes in an Alaskan Arctic tussock tundra ecosystem. Also presented are key environmental controls on CO2 fluxes as well as possible impacts of likely changes in season timing. This is aided by a new empirical quantification of seasons in the Arctic based on net radiation, which can help describe seasonal responses to greenhouse gas fluxes under climate change. The fluxes were computed using standard FluxNet methodology and corrected using standard WPL density terms, adjusted for influences of instrument surface heating. The results showed that the non-summer season comprises a significant source of carbon to the atmosphere. The summer period was a net sink of 10.83 g C m-2 yr-1, while the non-summer seasons released more than four times the CO2 uptake observed in the summer, resulting in a net annual source of 37.6 g C m-2 yr-1 to the atmosphere. This shows a change in this region of the Arctic from a long-term annual sink of CO2 from the atmosphere to an annual source of CO2 from the terrestrial ecosystem and soils to the atmosphere. The results presented here demonstrate that nearly continuous observations may be required in order to accurately calculate the annual NEE of Arctic ecosystems, and to build predictive understanding that can be used to estimate, with confidence, Arctic fluxes under future conditions. Daily CO2 fluxes over the year, average daily net radiation, average daily PAR, average daily air temperature and average daily soil respiration (at -5 cm).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  3. Extracellular acid phosphatase activities in Eriophorum vaginatum tussocks: A modeling synthesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moorhead, D.L. (Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock (United States)); Kroehler, C.J. (Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg (United States)); Linkins, A.E. (Clarkson Univ., Potsdan, NY (United States)); Reynolds, J.F. (San Diego State Univ., CA (United States))

    1993-02-01

    Analyses of Eriophorum vaginatum tussocks provided mass and kinetic parameters for a Michaelis-Menten model of phosphatase activities in Alaskan tussock tundra. This model was used to simulate the temporal patterns of phosphatase activities, given a 90-d thawing season and organic phosphorus concentrations of 30 [mu]M in the first and last 10-d intervals; 15 [mu]M at other times. Results indicated that about 28% of the total annual tussock activity (155 mg P released) occurred during the brief period of high substrate availability in autumn; little occurred in spring because most of the tussock was frozen and live root mass was low. Phosphatases associated with living roots of E. vaginatum were responsible for about 4% of the total activity in tussocks (ca. 6 mg P), which is almost twice the annual plant demand (ca. 3.5 mg). These results suggest that (1) E. vaginatum may obtain much of its phosphorus requirement from the activities of root surface phosphatases, and (2) the timing of maximum plant phosphorus uptake (late in year) and growth (early in year) are asynchronous, i.e., E. vaginatum integrates nutrient availabilities across years. 41 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  4. Disturbance and Recovery of Arctic Alaskan Tundra Terrain. A Review of Recent Investigations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-07-01

    always considerably along the coastal plain according to available, possibly in the seed bank. Bryophyte - local substrate and temperature regime, and...Anthropogenic disturbances ......................................... 14 Toward an ecological understanding of disturbance and recovery in arctic tundra...major topic the basic research on tundra ecology . Studies of of scientific research in northern Alaska for the the response of arctic tundra to human

  5. Paenibacillus tundrae sp. nov. and Paenibacillus xylanexedens sp. nov., Psychrotolerant, Xylan-Degrading, Bacteria from Alaskan Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Psychrotolerant, xylan-degrading, strains of bacteria were isolated from soil beneath moist non-acidic and acidic tundra in northern Alaska. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that each strain belonged to the genus Paenibacillus. The highest levels of 16S rRNA gene sim...

  6. Carbon and nutrient responses to fire and climate warming in Alaskan arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Y.; Rastetter, E. B.; Shaver, G. R.; Rocha, A. V.; Kwiatkowski, B.; Pearce, A.; Zhuang, Q.; Mishra, U.

    2015-12-01

    Fire frequency has dramatically increased in the tundra of northern Alaska, which has major implications for the carbon budget of the region and the functioning of these ecosystems that support important wildlife species. We applied the Multiple Element Limitation (MEL) model to investigate both the short- and long-term post-fire succession of plant and soil carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus fluxes and stocks along a burn severity gradient in the 2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire scar in northern Alaska. We compared the patterns of biomass and soil carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus recoveries with different burn severities and warming intensities. Modeling results indicated that the early regrowth of post-fire tundra vegetation was limited primarily by its canopy photosynthetic potential, rather than nutrient availability. The long-term recovery of C balance from fire disturbance is mainly determined by the internal redistribution of nutrients among ecosystem components, rather than the supply of nutrients from external sources (e.g., nitrogen deposition and fixation, phosphorus weathering). Soil organic matter is the principal source of plant-available nutrients and determines the spatial variation of vegetation biomass across the North Slope of Alaska. Across the North Slope of Alaska, we examined the effects of changes in N and P cycles on tundra C budgets under climate warming. Our results indicate that the ongoing climate warming in Arctic enhances mineralization and leads to a net transfer of nutrient from soil organic matter to vegetation, thereby stimulating tundra plant growth and increased C sequestration in the tundra ecosystems.

  7. 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.

  8. The modeled effects of fire on carbon balance and vegetation abundance in Alaskan tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietze, M. C.; Davidson, C. D.; Kelly, R.; Higuera, P. E.; Hu, F.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic climate is warming at a rate disproportionately faster than the rest of the world. Changes have been observed within the tundra that are attributed to this trend, including active layer thickening, shrub land expansion, and increases in fire frequency. Whether tundra remains a global net sink of carbon could depend upon the effects of fire on vegetation, specifically concerning the speed at which vegetation reestablishes, the stimulation of growth after fire, and the changes that occur in species composition during succession. While rapid regeneration of graminoid vegetation favors the spread of this functional type in early succession, late succession appears to favor shrub vegetation at abundances greater than those observed before fire. Possible reasons for this latter observation include changes in albedo, soil insulation, and soil moisture regimes. Here we investigate the course of succession after fire disturbance within tundra ecosystems, and the mechanisms involved. A series of simulated burn experiments were conducted on the burn site left by the 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire to access the behavior of the Ecosystem Demography model v2.2 (ED2) in the simulation of fire on the tundra. The land surface sub-model within ED is modified to improve simulate permafrost through the effects of an increased soil-column depth, a peat texture class, and the effects of wind compaction and depth hoar on snow density. Parameterization is conducted through Bayesian techniques used to constrain parameter distributions based upon data from a literature survey, field measurements at Toolik Lake, Alaska, and a data assimilation over three datasets. At each step, priority was assigned to measurements that could constrain parameters that account for the greatest explained variance in model output as determined through sensitivity analysis. Following parameterization, a series of simulations were performed to gauge the suitability of the model in predicting carbon balance and

  9. Summertime surface O3 behavior and deposition to tundra in the Alaskan Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Dam, Brie; Helmig, Detlev; Doskey, Paul V.; Oltmans, Samuel J.

    2016-07-01

    Atmospheric turbulence quantities, boundary layer ozone (O3) levels, and O3 deposition to the tundra surface were investigated at Toolik Lake, AK, during the 2011 summer season. Beginning immediately after snowmelt, a diurnal cycle of O3 in the atmospheric surface layer developed with daytime O3 maxima, and minima during low-light hours, resulting in a mean amplitude of 13 ppbv. This diurnal O3 cycle is far larger than observed at other high Arctic locations during the snow-free season. During the snow-free months of June, July, and August, O3 deposition velocities were ˜3 to 5 times faster than during May, when snow covered the ground most of the month. The overall mean O3 deposition velocity between June and August was 0.10 cm s-1. The month of June had the highest diurnal variation, with a median O3 deposition velocity of 0.2 cm s-1 during the daytime and 0.08 cm s-1 during low-light conditions. These values are slightly lower than previously reported summertime deposition velocities in northern latitudes over tundra or fen. O3 loss during low-light periods was attributed to a combination of surface deposition to the tundra and stable boundary layer conditions. We also hypothesize that emissions of reactive biogenic volatile organic compounds into the shallow boundary layer may contribute to nighttime O3 loss.

  10. 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.

  11. Influence of BRDF on NDVI and biomass estimations of Alaska Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchhorn, Marcel; Raynolds, Martha K.; Walker, Donald A.

    2016-12-01

    Satellites provide the only practical source of data for estimating biomass of large and remote areas such as the Alaskan Arctic. Researchers have found that the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) correlates well with biomass sampled on the ground. However, errors in NDVI and biomass estimates due to bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) effects are not well reported in the literature. Sun-sensor-object geometries and sensor band-width affect the BRDF, and formulas relating NDVI to ground-sampled biomass vary between projects. We examined the effects of these different variables on five studies that estimated above-ground tundra biomass of two common arctic vegetation types that dominate the Alaska tundra, moist acidic tussock tundra (MAT) and moist non-acidic tundra (MNT). We found that biomass estimates were up to 33% (excluding extremes) more sensitive than NDVI to BRDF effects. Variation between the sensors resulted in differences in NDVI of under 3% over all viewing geometries, and wider bands were more stable in their biomass estimates than narrow bands. MAT was more sensitive than MNT to BRDF effects due to irregularities in surface reflectance created by the tussocks. Finally, we found that studies that sampled only a narrow range of biomass and NDVI produced equations that were more difficult to correct for BRDF effects.

  12. 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.

  13. Formation of tussocks by sedges: effects of hydroperiod and nutrients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Beth A; Zedler, Joy B

    2011-07-01

    Tussock formation is a global phenomenon that enhances microtopography and increases biodiversity by adding structure to ecological communities, but little is known about tussock development in relation to environmental factors. To further efforts to restore wetland microtopography and associated functions, we investigated Carex stricta tussock size in relation to elevation (a proxy for water depth) at a range of sites in southern Wisconsin, USA, and tested the effect of five hydroperiods and N+P addition (15 g N/m2 + 0.37 g P/m2) on tussock formation during a three-year mesocosm experiment. Wet meadows dominated by C. stricta averaged 4.9 tussocks/m2, with a mean volume of 1160 cm3 and height of 15 cm. Within sites, taller tussocks occurred at lower elevations, suggesting a structural adaptation to anoxic conditions. In our mesocosm experiment, C. stricta accelerated tussock formation when inundated, and it increased overall productivity with N + P addition. Within two growing seasons, continuous inundation (+18 cm) in the mesocosms led to tussocks that were nearly as tall as in our field survey (mean height in mesocosms, 10 +/- 1.3 cm; maximum, 17 cm). Plants grown with constant low water (-18 cm) only formed short mounds (mean height = 2 +/- 0.4 cm). After three growing seasons, the volume of the largest tussocks (3274 +/- 376 cm3, grown with +18 cm water depth and N + P addition) was 12 times that of the smallest (275 +/- 38 cm3, grown with -18 cm water depth and no N + P). Though tussock composition varied among hydroperiods, tussocks were predominantly organic (74-94% of dry mass) and composed of leaf bases (46-59%), fine roots (10-31%), and duff (5-13%). Only the plants subjected to high water levels produced the vertically oriented rhizomes and ascending shoot bases that were prevalent in field-collected tussocks. Under continuous or periodic inundation, tussocks achieved similar heights and accumulated similar levels of organic matter (range: 163-394 g C

  14. 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

  15. Soil bacterial community composition altered by increased nutrient availability in Arctic tundra soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akihiro eKoyama

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The pool of soil organic carbon (SOC in the Arctic is disproportionally large compared to those in other biomes. This large quantity of SOC accumulated over millennia due to slow rates of decomposition relative to net primary productivity. Decomposition is constrained by low temperatures and nutrient concentrations, which limit soil microbial activity. We investigated how nutrients limit bacterial and fungal biomass and community composition in organic and mineral soils within moist acidic tussock tundra ecosystems. We sampled two experimental arrays of moist acidic tussock tundra that included fertilized and non-fertilized control plots. One array included plots that had been fertilized annually since 1989 and the other since 2006. Fertilization significantly altered overall bacterial community composition and reduced evenness, to a greater degree in organic than mineral soils, and in the 1989 compared to the 2006 site. The relative abundance of copiotrophic α-proteobacteria and β-proteobacteria was higher in fertilized than control soils, and oligotrophic Acidobacteria were less abundant in fertilized than control soils at the 1989 site. Fungal community composition was less sensitive to increased nutrient availability, and fungal responses to fertilization were not consistent between soil horizons and sites. We detected two ectomycorrhizal genera, Russula and Cortinarius spp., associated with shrubs. Their relative abundance was not affected by fertilization despite increased dominance of their host plants in the fertilized plots. Our results indicate that fertilization, which has been commonly used to simulate warming in Arctic tundra, has limited applicability for investigating fungal dynamics under warming.

  16. Action of Douglas Fir Tussock Moth Larvae and Their Microflora on Dietary Terpenes

    OpenAIRE

    Andrews, R E; Spence, K. D.

    1980-01-01

    A single type of bacterium, tentatively identified as a member of the genus Bacillus, was isolated from 2 of 20 midguts of Douglas fir tussock moth larvae being fed a diet of fir needles. No bacteria could be isolated from most midguts. Although spherically shaped bodies were present in the food bolus, these bodies, if microorganisms, could not be distinguished from spherical bodies associated with the plant tissue. The Douglas fir tussock moth dietary terpenes were altered during their passa...

  17. Tundra in the rain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Keuper, Frida; Parmentier, Frans-Jan; 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...... tundra (northeast Siberia) and a dry Sphagnum fuscum-dominated bog (northern Sweden). Positive responses to approximately doubled ambient precipitation (an increase of 200 mm year-1) were observed at the Siberian site, for B. nana (30 % larger length increments), Salix pulchra (leaf size and length...... at the plant level, total tundra plant productivity is, at least at the short or medium term, largely irresponsive to experimentally increased summer precipitation....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  20. The Blazing Arctic? Linkages of Tundra Fire Regimes to Climatic Change and Implications for Carbon Cycling (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, F.; Higuera, P. E.; Walsh, J. E.; Chapman, W.; Duffy, P.; Brubaker, L.; Chipman, M. L.

    2010-12-01

    Among the major challenges in anticipating Arctic changes are “surprises” stemming from changes in system components that have remained relatively stable in the historic record. Tundra burning is potentially one such component. We conducted charcoal analysis of lake sediments from several tundra regions to evaluate the uniqueness of recent tundra fires, and examined potential climatic controls of Alaskan tundra fires from CE 1950-2009. A striking example of tundra burning is the 2007 Anaktuvuk River (AR) Fire, an unusually large fire in the tundra of the Alaskan Arctic. This fire doubled the area burned north of 68 oN in that region since record keeping began in 1950. Analysis of lake-sediment cores reveals peak values of charcoal accumulation corresponding to the AR Fire in 2007, with no evidence of other fire events in that area throughout the past five millennia. However, a number of tundra fires, including one as large as the AR Fire, have occurred over the past 60 years in western Alaska, where average summer temperatures are substantially higher than the AR area. In addition, charcoal analysis of lake sediments from interior and northwestern Alaska suggests that during certain periods of the Late Glacial and Holocene, tundra fire frequencies were as high as those of the modern boreal forests. These records along with the AR and historic fires demonstrate that tundra ecosystems support diverse fire regimes and can burn frequently. Reconciling these dramatic differences in tundra fire regimes requires knowledge of climate-fire relationships. Atmospheric reanalysis suggests that the AR Fire was favored by exceptionally warm/dry weather conditions in summer and early autumn. Boosted regression tree modeling shows that warm, dry summer conditions can explain up to 95% of the inter-annual variability in tundra area burned throughout Alaska over the past 60 years and that the response of tundra burning to climatic warming is non-linear. Additionally, tundra area

  1. 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

  2. An Alaskan legend

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, H.; Blodgett, R.B.

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Tundra photosynthesis captured by satellite-observed solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luus, K. A.; Commane, R.; Parazoo, N. C.; Benmergui, J.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Frankenberg, C.; Joiner, J.; Lindaas, J.; Miller, C. E.; Oechel, W. C.; Zona, D.; Wofsy, S.; Lin, J. C.

    2017-02-01

    Accurately quantifying the timing and magnitude of respiration and photosynthesis by high-latitude ecosystems is important for understanding how a warming climate influences global carbon cycling. Data-driven estimates of photosynthesis across Arctic regions often rely on satellite-derived enhanced vegetation index (EVI); we find that satellite observations of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) provide a more direct proxy for photosynthesis. We model Alaskan tundra CO2 cycling (2012-2014) according to temperature and shortwave radiation and alternately input EVI or SIF to prescribe the annual seasonal cycle of photosynthesis. We find that EVI-based seasonality indicates spring "green-up" to occur 9 days prior to SIF-based estimates, and that SIF-based estimates agree with aircraft and tower measurements of CO2. Adopting SIF, instead of EVI, for modeling the seasonal cycle of tundra photosynthesis can result in more accurate estimates of growing season duration and net carbon uptake by arctic vegetation.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, Matteo; Michelsen, Anders; Demey, A;

    2009-01-01

    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......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...... of the vegetation production occurred aboveground (85%). Ecosystem C and N stocks were 2100-8200 g C m-2 and 80-330 g N m-2, respectively, stored mainly in the soil turf and in the fine organic soil. Such stocks are comparable to the C and N stocks of moister tundra types, such as tussock tundra....

  5. Drivers of post-fire successional trajectories in arctic tundra: the importance of physical and biophysical interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, A. V.; Jiang, Y.; Rastetter, E. B.; Drysdale, J.; Kremers, K.; Shaver, G. R.

    2013-12-01

    Fires in arctic tundra are rare with return intervals in the hundreds to thousands of years, but these events have large implications for carbon and energy fluxes in an environmentally changing and sensitive ecosystem. Permafrost degradation, species composition shifts, and ecosystem function alterations are just a few of the potential consequences of fire that could feedback on future climate change. Here we describe remote sensing, eddy covariance, thaw depth, and biomass measurements along an arctic tundra chronosequence to understand long-term post-fire carbon and energy budgets. Historical remote sensing and fire perimeter data were used to choose sites that were representative of a 0-6, 18, and 36 year old fire scar, which were paired with a representative nearby unburned control. Fires caused successional changes to carbon and energy budgets through changes to the soil thermal regime, caused by decreased organic layer from combustion, and shifts from tussock to grass and shrub dominated systems. Measurements and modeling with the Multiple Element Limitation (MEL) model indicate that nutrients played a key role in these shifts and that these dynamics change are controlled by biophysical conditions immediately after fire (i.e. residual organic layer depth) and climate during early succession. Results highlight the importance of initial conditions in determining the successional trajectory of arctic tundra and yield important insights on how these systems will respond to future climate change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Radiation budget and soil heat fluxes in different Arctic tundra vegetation types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juszak, Inge; Iturrate Garcia, Maitane; Gastellu-Etchegorry, Jean-Philippe; Schaepman, Michael E.; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela

    2016-04-01

    While solar radiation is one of the primary energy sources for warming and thawing permafrost soil, the amount of shortwave radiation reaching the soil is reduced by vegetation shading. Climate change has led to greening, shrub expansion and encroachment in many Arctic tundra regions and further changes are anticipated. These vegetation changes feed back to the atmosphere and permafrost as they modify the surface energy budget. However, canopy transmittance of solar radiation has rarely been measured or modelled for a variety of tundra vegetation types. We assessed the radiation budget of the most common vegetation types at the Kytalyk field site in North-East Siberia (70.8°N, 147.5°E) with field measurements and 3D radiative transfer modelling and linked it to soil heat fluxes. Our results show that Arctic tundra vegetation types differ in canopy albedo and transmittance as well as in soil heat flux and active layer thickness. Tussock sedges transmitted on average 56% of the incoming light and dwarf shrubs 27%. For wet sedges we found that the litter layer was very important as it reduced the average transmittance to only 6%. Model output indicated that both, albedo and transmittance, also depend on the spatial aggregation of vegetation types. We found that permafrost thaw was more strongly related to soil properties than to canopy shading. The presented radiative transfer model allows quantifying effects of the vegetation layer on the surface radiation budget in permafrost areas. The parametrised model can account for diverse vegetation types and variation of properties within types. Our results highlight small scale radiation budget and permafrost thaw variability which are indicated and partly caused by vegetation. As changes in species composition and biomass increase can influence thaw rates, small scale patterns should be considered in assessments of climate-vegetation-permafrost feedbacks.

  9. Long-term climate patterns in Alaskan surface temperature and precipitation and their biological consequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, James J.; Hufford, Gary L.; Fleming, Michael D.; Berg, Jared S.; Ashton, J.B.

    2002-01-01

    Mean monthly climate maps of Alaskan surface temperature and precipitation produced by the parameter-elevation regression on independent slopes model (PRISM) were analyzed. Alaska is divided into interior and coastal zones with consistent but different climatic variability separated by a transition region; it has maximum interannual variability but low long-term mean variability. Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO)- and El Nin??o southern oscillation (ENSO)-type events influence Alaska surface temperatures weakly (1-2 ??C) statewide. PDO has a stronger influence than ENSO on precipitation but its influence is largely localized to coastal central Alaska. The strongest influence of Arctic oscillation (AO) occurs in northern and interior Alaskan precipitation. Four major ecosystems are defined. A major eco-transition zone occurs between the interior boreal forest and the coastal rainforest. Variability in insolation, surface temperature, precipitation, continentality, and seasonal changes in storm track direction explain the mapped ecosystems. Lack of westward expansion of the interior boreal forest into the western shrub tundra is influenced by the coastal marine boundary layer (enhanced cloud cover, reduced insolation, cooler surface and soil temperatures). In this context, the marine boundary layer acts in an analogous fashion to the orographic features which form the natural boundaries of other Alaskan ecosystems. Variability in precipitation may play a secondary role.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euskirchen, Eugénie S; Carman, Tobey B; McGuire, A David

    2014-03-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Value of Alaskan wetlands for waterfowl: Draft

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Few studies have focused specifically on use of Alaskan wetlands by waterfowl and only two of these have been published. However, substantial information on the...

  15. Koyukuk NWR tundra/trumpeter swan survey

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. 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.

  17. Alaskan North Slope petroleum systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magoon, L.B.; Lillis, P.G.; Bird, K.J.; Lampe, C.; Peters, K.E.

    2003-01-01

    Six North Slope petroleum systems are identified, described, and mapped using oil-to-oil and oil-to-source rock correlations, pods of active source rock, and overburden rock packages. To map these systems, we assumed that: a) petroleum source rocks contain 3.2 wt. % organic carbon (TOC); b) immature oil-prone source rocks have hydrogen indices (HI) >300 (mg HC/gm TOC); c) the top and bottom of the petroleum (oil plus gas) window occur at vitrinite reflectance values of 0.6 and 1.0% Ro, respectively; and d) most hydrocarbons are expelled within the petroleum window. The six petroleum systems we have identified and mapped are: a) a southern system involving the Kuna-Lisburne source rock unit that was active during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous; b) two western systems involving source rock in the Kingak-Blankenship, and GRZ-lower Torok source rock units that were active during the Albian; and c) three eastern systems involving the Shublik-Otuk, Hue Shale and Canning source rock units that were active during the Cenozoic. The GRZ-lower Torok in the west is correlative with the Hue Shale to the east. Four overburden rock packages controlled the time of expulsion and gross geometry of migration paths: a) a southern package of Early Cretaceous and older rocks structurally-thickened by early Brooks Range thrusting; b) a western package of Early Cretaceous rocks that filled the western part of the foreland basin; c) an eastern package of Late Cretaceous and Paleogene rocks that filled the eastern part of the foreland basin; and d) an offshore deltaic package of Neogene rocks deposited by the Colville, Canning, and Mackenzie rivers. This petroleum system poster is part of a series of Northern Alaska posters on modeling. The poster in this session by Saltus and Bird present gridded maps for the greater Northern Alaskan onshore and offshore that are used in the 3D modeling poster by Lampe and others. Posters on source rock units are by Keller and Bird as well as

  18. Aspects of the grammar of Tundra Yukaghir

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Schmalz

    2013-01-01

    The present thesis is an attempt at a grammatical description of Tundra Yukaghir (TY), based on a variety of primary data including those collected by the author during three field trips from 2009 till 2012. TY is a highly endangered minority language spoken in north-eastern Russia. It has slightly

  19. Stochastic daily modeling of arctic tundra ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erler, A.; Epstein, H. E.; Frazier, J.

    2011-12-01

    ArcVeg is a dynamic vegetation model that has simulated interannual variability of production and abundance of arctic tundra plant types in previous studies. In order to address the effects of changing seasonality on tundra plant community composition and productivity, we have uniquely adapted the model to operate on the daily timescale. Each section of the model-weather generation, nitrogen mineralization, and plant growth dynamics-are driven by daily fluctuations in simulated temperature conditions. These simulation dynamics are achieved by calibrating stochastic iterative loops and mathematical functions with raw field data. Air temperature is the fundamental driver in the model, parameterized by climate data collected in the field across numerous arctic tundra sites, and key daily statistics are extracted (mean and standard deviation of temperature for each day of the year). Nitrogen mineralization is calculated as an exponential function from the simulated temperature. The seasonality of plant growth is driven by the availability of nitrogen and constrained by historical patterns and dynamics of the remotely sensed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), as they pertain to the seasonal onset of growth. Here we describe the methods used for daily weather generation, nitrogen mineralization, and the daily competition among twelve plant functional types for nitrogen and subsequent growth. This still rather simple approach to vegetation dynamics has the capacity to generate complex relationships between seasonal patterns of temperature and arctic tundra vegetation community structure and function.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Above- and belowground responses of Arctic tundra ecosystems to altered soil nutrients and mammalian herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, Laura; Moore, John C; Shaver, Gauis R; Simpson, Rodney T; Johnson, David R

    2012-07-01

    Theory and observation indicate that changes in the rate of primary production can alter the balance between the bottom-up influences of plants and resources and the top-down regulation of herbivores and predators on ecosystem structure and function. The exploitation ecosystem hypothesis (EEH) posited that as aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) increases, the additional biomass should support higher trophic levels. We developed an extension of EEH to include the impacts of increases in ANPP on belowground consumers in a similar manner as aboveground, but indirectly through changes in the allocation of photosynthate to roots. We tested our predictions for plants aboveground and for phytophagous nematodes and their predators belowground in two common arctic tundra plant communities subjected to 11 years of increased soil nutrient availability and/or exclusion of mammalian herbivores. The less productive dry heath (DH) community met the predictions of EEH aboveground, with the greatest ANPP and plant biomass in the fertilized plots protected from herbivory. A palatable grass increased in fertilized plots while dwarf evergreen shrubs and lichens declined. Belowground, phytophagous nematodes also responded as predicted, achieving greater biomass in the higher ANPP plots, whereas predator biomass tended to be lower in those same plots (although not significantly). In the higher productivity moist acidic tussock (MAT) community, aboveground responses were quite different. Herbivores stimulated ANPP and biomass in both ambient and enriched soil nutrient plots; maximum ANPP occurred in fertilized plots exposed to herbivory. Fertilized plots became dominated by dwarf birch (a deciduous shrub) and cloudberry (a perennial forb); under ambient conditions these two species coexist with sedges, evergreen dwarf shrubs, and Sphagnum mosses. Phytophagous nematodes did not respond significantly to changes in ANPP, although predator biomass was greatest in control plots. The

  3. Offshore oil in the alaskan arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, W F; Weller, G

    1984-07-27

    Oil and gas deposits in the Alaskan Arctic are estimated to contain up to 40 percent of the remaining undiscovered crude oil and oil-equivalent nature gas within U.S. jurisdiction. Most (65 to 70 percent) of these estimated reserves are believed to occur offshore beneath the shallow, ice-covered seas, of the Alaskan continental shelf. Offshore recovery operations for such areas are far from routine, with the primary problems associated with the presence of ice. Some problems that must be resolved if efficient, cost-effective, environmentally safe, year-round offshore production is to be achieved include the accurate estimation of ice forces on offshore structures, the proper placement of pipelines beneath ice-produced gouges in the sea floor, and the cleanup of oil spills in pack ice areas.

  4. 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.

  5. Constraining predictions of tundra permafrost and vegetation through model-data feedbacks and data-assimilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, C. D.; Dietze, M.

    2011-12-01

    Arctic climate is warming at a rate disproportionate to the rest of the world, and recent interest has emerged in using terrestrial biosphere models to understand and predict the response of tundra ecosystems to such warming. Of particular interest are the potential feedbacks between permafrost melting, plant community dynamics, and biogeochemical cycles. Here, we report on efforts to calibrate and validate version 2 of the Ecosystem Demography model (ED2) for the Alaskan tundra and on the use of model analyses to motivate targeted field measurements. ED2 is a terrestrial biosphere model unique in its ability to scale physiological and plant community dynamics to regional levels. We began by assessing the ability of ED2's land surface model to capture permafrost thermodynamics and hydrology. Simulations at Barrow and Toolik Lake, Alaska bore several incongruities with observed data, with soil temperatures significantly higher and soil moisture lower than observed. Modifications were made to increase the soil column depth and to simulate the effect of wind compaction on snow density, and in turn, the insulation of winter soils. In addition to these changes, a new soil class was created to represent unique characteristics within the organic horizon of tundra soils. Together these changes significantly improved permafrost dynamics without substantially altering dynamics in the temperate region. To capture tundra vegetation dynamics, tundra species were classified into three plant functional types (graminoid, deciduous shrub, evergreen shrub). ED2 was then iteratively calibrated for the tundra using the Predictive Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn), a scientific workflow and ecoinformatics toolbox developed to aid model parameterization and analysis. Initial parameter estimates were derived from a formal Bayesian meta-analysis of compiled plant trait data. Sensitivity analyses and variance decomposition demonstrated that model uncertainties were driven by the minimum

  6. 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%.

  7. The unseen iceberg: plant roots in arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iversen, Colleen M; Sloan, Victoria L; Sullivan, Patrick F; Euskirchen, Eugenie S; McGuire, A David; Norby, Richard J; Walker, Anthony P; Warren, Jeffrey M; Wullschleger, Stan D

    2015-01-01

    Plant roots play a critical role in ecosystem function in arctic tundra, but root dynamics in these ecosystems are poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we synthesized available literature on tundra roots, including their distribution, dynamics and contribution to ecosystem carbon and nutrient fluxes, and highlighted key aspects of their representation in terrestrial biosphere models. Across all tundra ecosystems, belowground plant biomass exceeded aboveground biomass, with the exception of polar desert tundra. Roots were shallowly distributed in the thin layer of soil that thaws annually, and were often found in surface organic soil horizons. Root traits - including distribution, chemistry, anatomy and resource partitioning - play an important role in controlling plant species competition, and therefore ecosystem carbon and nutrient fluxes, under changing climatic conditions, but have only been quantified for a small fraction of tundra plants. Further, the annual production and mortality of fine roots are key components of ecosystem processes in tundra, but extant data are sparse. Tundra root traits and dynamics should be the focus of future research efforts. Better representation of the dynamics and characteristics of tundra roots will improve the utility of models for the evaluation of the responses of tundra ecosystems to changing environmental conditions.

  8. The unseen iceberg: Plant roots in arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, Colleen M.; Sloan, Victoria L.; Sullivan, Patrick F.; Euskirchen, E.S.; McGuire, Anthony; Norby, Richard J.; Walker, Anthony P.; Warren, Jeffrey M.; Wullschleger, Stan D.

    2015-01-01

    Plant roots play a critical role in ecosystem function in arctic tundra, but root dynamics in these ecosystems are poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we synthesized available literature on tundra roots, including their distribution, dynamics and contribution to ecosystem carbon and nutrient fluxes, and highlighted key aspects of their representation in terrestrial biosphere models. Across all tundra ecosystems, belowground plant biomass exceeded aboveground biomass, with the exception of polar desert tundra. Roots were shallowly distributed in the thin layer of soil that thaws annually, and were often found in surface organic soil horizons. Root traits – including distribution, chemistry, anatomy and resource partitioning – play an important role in controlling plant species competition, and therefore ecosystem carbon and nutrient fluxes, under changing climatic conditions, but have only been quantified for a small fraction of tundra plants. Further, the annual production and mortality of fine roots are key components of ecosystem processes in tundra, but extant data are sparse. Tundra root traits and dynamics should be the focus of future research efforts. Better representation of the dynamics and characteristics of tundra roots will improve the utility of models for the evaluation of the responses of tundra ecosystems to changing environmental conditions.

  9. Alaskan Haida Stories of Language Growth and Regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breinig, Jeane

    2006-01-01

    In this article, the author talks about the decline of fluent Alaskan Haida speakers. She features her mother's story as an example of why the Haida language is "on the brink." English language fluency as a tool for Indigenous survival is common to Native peoples, as is the desire to see languages flourish again. Alaskan Haidas…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Recent Arctic tundra fire initiates widespread thermokarst development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Benjamin M.; Grosse, Guido; Arp, Christopher D.; Miller, Eric K.; Liu, Lingli; Hayes, Daniel J.; Larsen, Christopher F.

    2015-01-01

    Fire-induced permafrost degradation is well documented in boreal forests, but the role of fires in initiating thermokarst development in Arctic tundra is less well understood. Here we show that Arctic tundra fires may induce widespread thaw subsidence of permafrost terrain in the first seven years following the disturbance. Quantitative analysis of airborne LiDAR data acquired two and seven years post-fire, detected permafrost thaw subsidence across 34% of the burned tundra area studied, compared to less than 1% in similar undisturbed, ice-rich tundra terrain units. The variability in thermokarst development appears to be influenced by the interaction of tundra fire burn severity and near-surface, ground-ice content. Subsidence was greatest in severely burned, ice-rich upland terrain (yedoma), accounting for ~50% of the detected subsidence, despite representing only 30% of the fire disturbed study area. Microtopography increased by 340% in this terrain unit as a result of ice wedge degradation. Increases in the frequency, magnitude, and severity of tundra fires will contribute to future thermokarst development and associated landscape change in Arctic tundra regions.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. U.S. Tundra Biome-International Biological Program. U.S. Tundra Biome Publication List.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-09-01

    4040) /Bib 33-4561/ Rastorfer, J.R., H.J. Webster and D.K. Smith (1973) Floristic and ecologic studies of bryophytes of selected habitats at...al., Eds). Stockholm: IBP Tundra Biome Steering Committee, pp. 375-378. (1799) /Bib 29-3367/ Flock, J.W. (1978) Lichen- bryophyte distribution along a...1973) Natural oil seeps at Cape Simpson, Alaska: Localized influences on terrestrial habitat . Proceedings of the Symposium on the Impact of Soil

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

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

  17. 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...... habitats at contrasting altitude, microtopography, latitude, geographical location, and soil type, in both the sub- and High Arctic. We found that secondary growth has a modest sensitivity to the environment but with large differences among species. For example, the evergreen Cassiope tetragona is affected...... by altitude, microtopography, and latitude, whereas the evergreen Empetrum hermaphroditum has rather constant secondary growth in all environments. Deciduous species seem to be most affected by microtopography. Furthermore, the impact of the environment on secondary growth differed from the impact on primary...

  18. Review of SOP's for Prodcutivity Surveys for EP tundra swans

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report reviews the SOPs for productivity surveys of tundra swans to identify areas of improvement. An average of 18,700 swans has been surveyed in the Atlantic...

  19. Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Rapid climate warming in the tundra biome has been linked to increasing shrub dominance1–4. Shrub expansion can modify climate by altering surface albedo, energy and water balance, and permafrost2,5–8, yet the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. Dendroecological data consisting...... be incorporated into Earth system models to improve future projections of climate change impacts across the tundra biome....

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebauer, Konstanze; Dickinson, Katharine J M; Whigham, Peter A; Seddon, Philip J

    2013-01-01

    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. 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

  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. Vegetation shifts observed in arctic tundra 17 years after fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Kirsten; Rocha, Adrian V.; van de Weg, Martine Janet; Shaver, Gaius

    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 North Slope of Alaska. Fire-related shifts in vegetation composition were assessed from remote-sensing imagery and ground observations of the burn scar and an adjacent control site. Early-season remotely sensed imagery from the burn scar exhibits a low vegetation index compared with the control site, whereas the late-season signal is slightly higher. The range and maximum vegetation index are greater in the burn scar, although the mean annual values do not differ among the sites. Ground observations revealed a greater abundance of moss in the unburned site, which may account for the high early growing season normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) anomaly relative to the burn. The abundance of graminoid species and an absence of Betula nana in the post-fire tundra sites may also be responsible for the spectral differences observed in the remotely sensed imagery. The partial replacement of tundra by graminoid-dominated ecosystems has been predicted by the ALFRESCO model of disturbance, climate and vegetation succession.

  5. The Changing Seasonality of Tundra Nutrient Cycling: Implications for Arctic Ecosystem Function

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    Arctic soils contain large stores of carbon (C) and may act as a significant CO2 source with warming. However, the key to understanding tundra soil processes is nitrogen (N), as both plant growth and decomposition are N limited. However, current models of tundra ecosystems assume that while N limits plant growth, C limits decomposition. In addition, N availability is strongly seasonal with relatively high concentrations early in the growing season followed by a pronounced crash. We need to understand the controls on this seasonality to predict responses to climate change, but there are multiple questions that need answers: 1) What causes the seasonality in N? 2) Does microbial activity switch seasonally between C and N limitation? 3) How will a lengthening of the growing season alter overall ecosystem C and N dynamics, as a result of differential extension of the periods before and after the nutrient crash? We hypothesized that microbial activity is C limited early in the growing season, when N availability is higher and root exudate C is unavailable, and that microbial activity becomes N limited in response to plant N uptake and immobilization stimulated by root C. To address these questions we are conducting an accelerated snow-melt X warming field experiment in an Alaskan moist acidic arctic tundra community, and following plant and soil dynamics. Changes in the timing of C and N interactions in the different treatments will enable us to develop an enhanced mechanistic understanding of why the nutrient crash occurs and what the implications are for a lengthening of the arctic growing season. In 2010 we successfully accelerated snowmelt by 4 days. Both earlier snowmelt and warming accelerated early season plant life history events, with a few exceptions. However, responses to the combined treatment could not always be predicted from single factor effects. End of season life history events occurred later in response to the treatments, again with a few exceptions

  6. Mammoth prefab modules speed Alaskan oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-07-01

    Modularization on a scale never before attempted was achieved in a project so mammoth in terms of materials, equipment and people that its only rival in size is the TransAlaska Pipeline itself. Built to serve that pipeline the oil and gas production facilities at Alaska's Prudhoe Bay are notable, too, for the fact that they were completed ahead of time and within budget. Principal elements of the project are manifolds and well test facilities at 10 drill sites; three oil and gas separation centers producing a total of 600,000 barrels per day of dewatered, degasified crude for transport via the pipeline and 1.76 billion ft/sup 3/ per day of oil-associated gas; a central compression plant to reinject this gas (plus that of adjacent leases) into the formation for storage pending construction of a gas pipeline; and a field fuel gas plant to serve the complex and four of the crude oil pumping stations. Included in the project was the construction of two bridges; approximately 19 mi of oil and gas gathering, fuel gas and injection gas pipelines; camps for up to 2,600 people, and maintenance shops and warehouses (winterized for shelter against snow and temperatures as low as -50 to -60 degrees F. All major elements were designed for prefabrication in the lower 48 states (mostly the Seattle-Tacoma, Wash. area) as interlocking modules to be transported by barges to Prudhoe Bay. Modules at the site were installed some 40 ft apart and parallel to one another atop piles which were sunken 20 to 30 ft deep into the arctic tundra and anchored with a sand and water slurry that freezes concrete-hard. Barge shipments of the prefab modules took place in 1975 and 1976. About nine barges are set to carry the 30 large modules, 19 connecting buildings, and tons of cargo and piping.

  7. 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…

  8. STARS (Secondary Training for Alaskan Rural Students): Mathematics. Draft Copy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Ned; Ostrom, Robert

    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 graders on Kodiak Island. Revision was done by teachers who had been using…

  9. 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

  10. Carbon dioxide and methane dynamics in Russian tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    Russia. The area is situated at 67°N in the European part of northeast Russia within the Pechora basin. The Russian tundra region is an area which has recently been subject to many speculations in relation to climatic change effects and greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange but still little scientific ev...

  11. [The gene pool of native inhabitants of the Samburg tundra].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osipova, L P; Posukh, O L; Ivakin, E A; Kriukov, Iu A; Karafet, T M

    1996-06-01

    This study continues a series of investigations of the gene pool of native Siberian ethnic groups. In a population of Tundra Nentsi (Northern Samoyeds) and a group of Komi-Zyryans (Finno-Ugrian) (Samburg settlement, Tyumenskaya oblast, Yamalo-Nenetskii Autonomous okrug), gene markers of the following genetic systems were studied: blood groups (ABO, MNSs, Rhesus, Kell, Duffy, and P), erythrocyte acid phosphatase (AcP), phosphoglucomutase 1 (PGM 1), haptoglobin (Hp), and transferrin (Tf). The population of Samburg Tundra Nentsi was shown to have a close genetic relationship with the "core" of the Forest Nentsi population. In Northern Samoyeds, three carriers of the rare allele K (blood group Kell) were found for the first time. It is suggested that this allele was transferred into the population of Tundra Nentsi from Komi. Samburg Tundra Nentsi are found to have the maximum frequency of the allele PGM 1 (Posphoglucomutase 1) among aboriginal populations of northern Asia. Analysis of original data and the literature revealed a significant genetic distance between the Komi and Northern Samoyed populations. It was shown that Samburg Komi occupy an intermediate position between the clusters of Nenets populations and Finno-Ugrians (Komi) living in Komi Republic.

  12. Global assessment of experimental climate warming on tundra vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elmendorf, S.C.; Henry, G.H.R.; Bjorkman, A.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...

  13. Lepidoptera Larvae as an Indicator of Multi-trophic Level Responses to Changing Seasonality in an Arctic Tundra Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, K. M.; Steltzer, H.; Boelman, N.; Weintraub, M. N.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Sullivan, P.; Gough, L.; Rich, M.; Hendrix, C.; Kielland, K.; Philip, K.; Doak, P.; Ferris, C.; Sikes, D.

    2011-12-01

    Earlier snowmelt and warming temperatures in the Arctic will impact multiple trophic levels through the timing and availability of food resources. Lepidoptera are a vital link within the ecosystem; their roles include pollinator, parasitized host for other pollinating insects, and essential food source for migrating birds and their fledglings. Multiple environmental cues including temperature initiate plant growth, and in turn, trigger the emergence of Lepidoptera and the migrations of birds. If snowmelt is accelerated and temperature is increased, it is expected that the Lepidoptera larvae will respond to early plant growth by increasing their abundance within areas that have accelerated snowmelt and warmer conditions. In May of 2011 in a moist acidic tussock tundra system, we accelerated snowmelt by 15 days through the use of radiation-absorbing fabric and warmed air and soil temperatures using open-top chambers, individually and in combination. Every 1-2 days from May 27th to July 8th, 2 minute searches were performed for Lepidoptera larvae in all treatments; when an animal was found, their micro-habitat, surface temperature, behavior, food source, and time of day were noted. The length, body and head width were measured, and the animals were examined for braconid wasp and tachinid fly parasites. Lepidoptera larvae collected in pitfall traps from May 26th to July 7th were also examined and measured. Total density of parasitized larvae accounted for 54% of observed specimens and 50% of pitfall specimens, indicating that Lepidoptera larvae serve an integral role as a host for other pollinators. Total larvae density was highest within the accelerated snowmelt plots compared to the control plots; 66% of observed live specimens and 63% of pitfall specimens were found within the accelerated snowmelt plots. Ninety percent of the total observed animals were found within the open-top warming chambers. Peak density of animals occurred at Solar Noon between 14:00 -15

  14. 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.

  15. 36 CFR 223.10 - Free use to Alaskan settlers, miners, residents, and prospectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Free use to Alaskan settlers, miners, residents, and prospectors. 223.10 Section 223.10 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST... § 223.10 Free use to Alaskan settlers, miners, residents, and prospectors. Bona fide settlers,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Energy fluxes retrieval on an Alaskan Arctic and Sub-Arctic vegetation by means MODIS imagery and the DTD method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristobal, J.; Prakash, A.; Starkenburg, D. P.; Fochesatto, G. J.; Anderson, M. C.; Gens, R.; Kane, D. L.; Kustas, W.; Alfieri, J. G.

    2012-12-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) plays a significant role in the hydrologic cycle of Arctic and Sub-Arctic basins. 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, the bulk estimates don't accurately account for spatial and temporal variability due to vegetation type, topography, etc. (Kane and Yang, 2004). Nowadays, remote sensing is the only technology capable of providing the necessary radiometric measurements for the calculation of the ET at global scales and in a feasible economic way, especially in Arctic and Sub-Arctic Alaskan basins with a very sparse network of both meteorological and flux towers. In this work we present the implementation and validation of the Dual-Time-Difference model (Kustas et al., 2001) to retrieve energy fluxes (ET, sensible heat flux, net radiation and soil heat flux) in tundra vegetation in Arctic conditions and in a black spruce (Picea mariana) forest in Sub-Arctic conditions. In order to validate the model in tundra vegetation we used a flux tower from the Imnavait Creek sites of the Arctic Observatory Network (Euskirchen et al. 2012). In the case of the black spruce forest, on September 2011 we installed a flux tower in the University of Alaska Fairbanks north campus that includes an eddy-covariance system as well a net radiometer, air temperature probes, soil heat flux plates, soil moisture sensors and thermistors to fully estimate energy fluxes in the field (see http://www.et.alaska.edu/ for further details). Additionally, in order to upscale energy fluxes into MODIS spatial resolution, a scintillometer was also installed covering 1.2 km across the flux tower. DTD model mainly requires meteorological inputs as well as land surface temperature (LST) and leaf area index (LAI) data, both coming from satellite imagery, at two different times: after

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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. The Cooling Capacity of Mosses: Controls on Water and Energy Fluxes in a Siberian Tundra Site

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blok, D.; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Schaepman-Strub, G.; Ruijven, van J.; Parmentier, F.J.W.; Maximov, T.C.; Berendse, F.

    2011-01-01

    Arctic tundra vegetation composition is expected to undergo rapid changes during the coming decades because of changes in climate. Higher air temperatures generally favor growth of deciduous shrubs, often at the cost of moss growth. Mosses are considered to be very important to critical tundra ecosy

  3. Tundra in the rain: differential vegetation responses to three years of experimentally doubled summer precipitation in Siberian shrub and Swedish bog tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keuper, Frida; Parmentier, Frans-Jan W; Blok, Daan; van Bodegom, Peter M; Dorrepaal, Ellen; van Hal, Jurgen R; van Logtestijn, Richard S P; Aerts, Rien

    2012-01-01

    Precipitation amounts and patterns at high latitude sites have been predicted to change as a result of global climatic changes. We addressed vegetation responses to three years of experimentally increased summer precipitation in two previously unaddressed tundra types: Betula nana-dominated shrub tundra (northeast Siberia) and a dry Sphagnum fuscum-dominated bog (northern Sweden). Positive responses to approximately doubled ambient precipitation (an increase of 200 mm year(-1)) were observed at the Siberian site, for B. nana (30 % larger length increments), Salix pulchra (leaf size and length 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 plant level, total tundra plant productivity is, at least at the short or medium term, largely irresponsive to experimentally increased summer precipitation.

  4. Phlorotannins from Alaskan Seaweed Inhibit Carbolytic Enzyme Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua Kellogg

    2014-10-01

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

  5. Decadal changes of phenological patterns over Arctic tundra biome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, G. J.; Epstein, H. E.; Walker, D. A.; Wang, H.

    2008-12-01

    The northern high latitudes have experienced a continuous and accelerated trend of warming during the past 30 years, with most recent decade ranks the warmest years since 1850. Warmer springs are especially evident throughout the Arctic. Meanwhile, Arctic sea ice declined rapidly to unprecedented low extents in all months, with late summer experiences the most significant declining. Warming in the north is also evident from observations of early melting of snow and reducing snow cover. Now a key question is: in the warmth limited northern biome, what will happen to the phenological patterns of tundra vegetation as the global climate warms and seasonality of air temperature, sea ice, and snow cover shift? To answer the question we examined the onset of vegetation greenness, senescence of greenness, length of growing season, and dates of peak greenness along Arctic bioclimate gradients (subzones) to see how they change over years. Here, we combine multi-scale sub-pixel analysis and remote sensing time-series analysis to investigate recent decadal changes in vegetation phenology along spatial gradients of summer temperature and vegetation in the Arctic. The datasets used here are AVHRR 15-day 8 km time series, AVHRR 8-day 1 km dataset, and MODIS 8-day 500m Collection 5 dataset. There were detectable changes in phenological pattern over tundra biome in past two decades. Increases of vegetation greenness were observed in most of the summer periods in low arctic and mid-summer in high arctic. Peak greenness appeared earlier in high arctic and declined slower after peak in low arctic. Generally, tundra plants were having longer and stronger photosynthesis activities, and therefore increased annual vegetation productivities. Field studies have observed early growth and enhanced peak growth of many deciduous shrub species in tundra plant communities. These changes in seasonality are very likely to alter surface albedo and heat budget, modify plant photosynthesis

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Air-cushion tankers for Alaskan North Slope oil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, J. L.

    1973-01-01

    A concept is described for transporting oil from the Arctic to southern markets in 10,000-ton, chemically fueled air-cushion vehicles (ACV's) configured as tankers. Based on preliminary cost estimates the conceptual ACV tanker system as tailored to the transportation of Alaskan North Slope oil could deliver the oil for about the same price per barrel as the proposed trans-Alaska pipeline with only one-third of the capital investment. The report includes the description of the conceptual system and its operation; preliminary cost estimates; an appraisal of ACV tanker development; and a comparison of system costs, versatility, vulnerability, and ecological effect with those of the trans-Alaska pipeline.

  11. Climate Variations and Alaska Tundra Vegetation Productivity Declines in Spring

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    While sea ice has continued to decline, vegetation productivity increases have declined particularly during spring in Alaska as well as many parts of the Arctic tundra. To understand the processes behind these features we investigate spring climate variations that includes temperature, circulation patterns, and snow cover to determine how these may be contributing to spring browning. This study employs remotely sensed weekly 25-km sea ice concentration, weekly surface temperature, and bi-weekly NDVI from 1982 to 2014. 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), atmospheric reanalysis data, dynamically downscaled climate data, meteorological station data, and snow water equivalent (GlobSnow, assimilated snow data set). We analyzed the data for the full period (1982-2014) and for two sub-periods (1982-1998 and 1999-2014), which were chosen based on the declining Alaska SWI since 1998. MaxNDVI has increased from 1982-2014 over most of the Arctic but has declined from 1999 to 2014 southwest Alaska. TI-NDVI has trends that are similar to those for MaxNDVI for the full period but display widespread declines over the 1999-2014 period. Therefore, as the MaxNDVI has continued to increase overall for the Arctic, TI-NDVI has been declining since 1999 and these declines are particularly noteworthy during spring in Alaska. Spring declines in Alaska have been linked to increased spring snow cover that can delay greenup (Bieniek et al. 2015) but recent ground observations suggest that after an initial warming and greening, late season freezing temperature are damaging the plants. The late season freezing temperature hypothesis will be explored with meteorological climate/weather data sets for Alaska tundra regions. References P.A. Bieniek, US Bhatt, DA Walker, MK Raynolds, JC Comiso, HE Epstein, JE Pinzon, CJ Tucker, RL Thoman, H Tran, N M

  12. Cumulative impacts of oil fields on northern alaskan landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, D A; Webber, P J; Binnian, E F; Everett, K R; Lederer, N D; Nordstrand, E A; Walker, M D

    1987-11-06

    Proposed further developments on Alaska's Arctic Coastal Plain raise questions about cumulative effects on arctic tundra ecosystems of development of multiple large oil fields. Maps of historical changes to the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field show indirect impacts can lag behind planned developments by many years and the total area eventually disturbed can greatly exceed the planned area of construction. For example, in the wettest parts of the oil field (flat thaw-lake plains), flooding and thermokarst covered more than twice the area directly affected by roads and other construction activities. Protecting critical wildlife habitat is the central issue for cumulative impact analysis in northern Alaska. Comprehensive landscape planning with the use of geographic information system technology and detailed geobotanical maps can help identify and protect areas of high wildlife use.

  13. 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

  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. 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 — This report covers terrestrial bird populations and habitat use on the coastal plain tundra of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Bird census plots were monitored....

  16. 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...

  17. 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 long-term study. Radio...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Magnus; Stiegler, Christian; Abermann, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    The surface energy balance (SEB) is essential for understanding the coupled cryosphere–atmosphere system in the Arctic. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability in SEB across tundra, snow and ice. During the snow-free period, the main energy sink for ice sites is surface melt....... For tundra, energy is used for sensible and latent heat flux and soil heat flux leading to permafrost thaw. Longer snow-free period increases melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers and may promote tundra permafrost thaw. During winter, clouds have a warming effect across surface types whereas during...... summer clouds have a cooling effect over tundra and a warming effect over ice, reflecting the spatial variation in albedo. The complex interactions between factors affecting SEB across surface types remain a challenge for understanding current and future conditions. Extended monitoring activities coupled...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, Magnus; Stiegler, Christian; Abermann, Jakob; Citterio, Michele; Hansen, Birger U; van As, Dirk

    2017-02-01

    The surface energy balance (SEB) is essential for understanding the coupled cryosphere-atmosphere system in the Arctic. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability in SEB across tundra, snow and ice. During the snow-free period, the main energy sink for ice sites is surface melt. For tundra, energy is used for sensible and latent heat flux and soil heat flux leading to permafrost thaw. Longer snow-free period increases melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers and may promote tundra permafrost thaw. During winter, clouds have a warming effect across surface types whereas during summer clouds have a cooling effect over tundra and a warming effect over ice, reflecting the spatial variation in albedo. The complex interactions between factors affecting SEB across surface types remain a challenge for understanding current and future conditions. Extended monitoring activities coupled with modelling efforts are essential for assessing the impact of warming in the Arctic.

  20. 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.

  1. Transformation of nitrogen compounds in the tundra soils of Northern Fennoscandia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslov, M. N.; Makarov, M. I.

    2016-07-01

    The transformation of organic nitrogen compounds in the soils of tundra ecosystems of Northern Fennoscandia has been studied under laboratory and natural conditions. Tundra soils contain significant reserves of total nitrogen, but they are poor in its extractable mineral and organic forms. The potential rates of the net mineralization and net immobilization of nitrogen by microorganisms vary among the soils and depend on the C: N ratio in the extractable organic matter and microbial biomass of soil. Under natural conditions, the rate of nitrogen net mineralization is lower than the potential rate determined under laboratory conditions by 6-25 times. The incubation of tundra soils in the presence of plants does not result in the accumulation of mineral nitrogen compounds either in the soil or in microbial biomass. This confirms the high competitive capacity of plants under conditions of limited nitrogen availability in tundra ecosystems.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Ecology of invasive Melilotus albus on Alaskan glacial river floodplains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conn, Jeff S.; Werdin-Pfisterer, Nancy R.; Beattie, Katherine L.; Densmore, Roseann V.

    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 tectorumand 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.

  6. A Formal Messaging Notation for Alaskan Aviation Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rios, Joseph L.

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Below-ground carbon transfer among Betula nana may increase with warming in Arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deslippe, Julie R; Simard, Suzanne W

    2011-11-01

    • Shrubs are expanding in Arctic tundra, but the role of mycorrhizal fungi in this process is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that mycorrhizal networks are involved in interplant carbon (C) transfer within a tundra plant community. • Here, we installed below-ground treatments to control for C transfer pathways and conducted a (13)CO(2)-pulse-chase labelling experiment to examine C transfer among and within plant species. • We showed that mycorrhizal networks exist in tundra, and facilitate below-ground transfer of C among Betula nana individuals, but not between or within the other tundra species examined. Total C transfer among conspecific B. nana pairs was 10.7 ± 2.4% of photosynthesis, with the majority of C transferred through rhizomes or root grafts (5.2 ± 5.3%) and mycorrhizal network pathways (4.1 ± 3.3%) and very little through soil pathways (1.4 ± 0.35%). • Below-ground C transfer was of sufficient magnitude to potentially alter plant interactions in Arctic tundra, increasing the competitive ability and mono-dominance of B. nana. C transfer was significantly positively related to ambient temperatures, suggesting that it may act as a positive feedback to ecosystem change as climate warms.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-08-01

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

  12. How will the tundra-taiga interface respond to climate change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skre, Oddvar; Baxter, Robert; Crawford, Robert M M; Callaghan, Terry V; Fedorkov, Alexey

    2002-08-01

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

  13. 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 (PLoS ONE 10(9): e0136536.

  14. Monitoring larval populations of the douglas-fir tussock moth and the western spruce budworm on permanent plots: Sampling methods and statistical properties of data. Forest Service general technical report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mason, R.R.; Paul, H.G.

    1994-05-01

    Procedures for monitoring Larval populations of the Douglas-fir tussock moth and the western spruce budworm are recommended based on many years experience of sample these species in eastern Oregon and Washington. It is shown that statistically reliable estimates of larval density can be made for a population by sampling host trees in a series of permanent plots in a geographical monitoring unit. The most practical method is to estimate densities of both insect species simultaneously on a plot by the nondestructive sampling of foliage on lower crown branches of host trees. For best results, sampling methods need to be consistent with monitoring done annually to accumulate continuous databases that reflect the behavior of defoliator populations over a long period of time.

  15. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Kolk, Henk-Jan; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; van Huissteden, Jacobus; Pullens, Jeroen W. M.; Berendse, Frank

    2016-11-01

    Over the past decades, vegetation and climate have changed significantly in the Arctic. Deciduous shrub cover is often assumed to expand in tundra landscapes, but more frequent abrupt permafrost thaw resulting in formation of thaw ponds could lead to vegetation shifts towards graminoid-dominated wetland. Which factors drive vegetation changes in the tundra ecosystem are still not sufficiently clear. In this study, the dynamic tundra vegetation model, NUCOM-tundra (NUtrient and COMpetition), was used to evaluate the consequences of climate change scenarios of warming and increasing precipitation for future tundra vegetation change. The model includes three plant functional types (moss, graminoids and shrubs), carbon and nitrogen cycling, water and permafrost dynamics and a simple thaw pond module. Climate scenario simulations were performed for 16 combinations of temperature and precipitation increases in five vegetation types representing a gradient from dry shrub-dominated to moist mixed and wet graminoid-dominated sites. Vegetation composition dynamics in currently mixed vegetation sites were dependent on both temperature and precipitation changes, with warming favouring shrub dominance and increased precipitation favouring graminoid abundance. Climate change simulations based on greenhouse gas emission scenarios in which temperature and precipitation increases were combined showed increases in biomass of both graminoids and shrubs, with graminoids increasing in abundance. The simulations suggest that shrub growth can be limited by very wet soil conditions and low nutrient supply, whereas graminoids have the advantage of being able to grow in a wide range of soil moisture conditions and have access to nutrients in deeper soil layers. Abrupt permafrost thaw initiating thaw pond formation led to complete domination of graminoids. However, due to increased drainage, shrubs could profit from such changes in adjacent areas. Both climate and thaw pond formation

  17. Modeling the spatiotemporal variability in subsurface thermal regimes across a low-relief polygonal tundra landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Jitendra; Collier, Nathan; Bisht, Gautam; Mills, Richard T.; Thornton, Peter E.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Romanovsky, Vladimir

    2016-09-01

    Vast carbon stocks stored in permafrost soils of Arctic tundra are under risk of release to the atmosphere under warming climate scenarios. Ice-wedge polygons in the low-gradient polygonal tundra create a complex mosaic of microtopographic features. This microtopography plays a critical role in regulating the fine-scale variability in thermal and hydrological regimes in the polygonal tundra landscape underlain by continuous permafrost. Modeling of thermal regimes of this sensitive ecosystem is essential for understanding the landscape behavior under the current as well as changing climate. We present here an end-to-end effort for high-resolution numerical modeling of thermal hydrology at real-world field sites, utilizing the best available data to characterize and parameterize the models. We develop approaches to model the thermal hydrology of polygonal tundra and apply them at four study sites near Barrow, Alaska, spanning across low to transitional to high-centered polygons, representing a broad polygonal tundra landscape. A multiphase subsurface thermal hydrology model (PFLOTRAN) was developed and applied to study the thermal regimes at four sites. Using a high-resolution lidar digital elevation model (DEM), microtopographic features of the landscape were characterized and represented in the high-resolution model mesh. The best available soil data from field observations and literature were utilized to represent the complex heterogeneous subsurface in the numerical model. Simulation results demonstrate the ability of the developed modeling approach to capture - without recourse to model calibration - several aspects of the complex thermal regimes across the sites, and provide insights into the critical role of polygonal tundra microtopography in regulating the thermal dynamics of the carbon-rich permafrost soils. Areas of significant disagreement between model results and observations highlight the importance of field-based observations of soil thermal and

  18. Effects of temperature seasonality on tundra vegetation productivity using a daily vegetation dynamics model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, H. E.; Erler, A.; Frazier, J.; Bhatt, U. S.

    2011-12-01

    Changes in the seasonality of air temperature will elicit interacting effects on the dynamics of snow cover, nutrient availability, vegetation growth, and other ecosystem properties and processes in arctic tundra. Simulation models often do not have the fine temporal resolution necessary to develop theory and propose hypotheses for the effects of daily and weekly timescale changes on ecosystem dynamics. We therefore developed a daily version of an arctic tundra vegetation dynamics model (ArcVeg) to simulate how changes in the seasonality of air temperatures influences the dynamics of vegetation growth and carbon sequestration across regions of arctic tundra. High temporal-resolution air and soil temperature data collected from field sites across the five arctic tundra bioclimate subzones were used to develop a daily weather generator operable for sites throughout the arctic tundra. Empirical relationships between temperature and soil nitrogen were used to generate daily dynamics of soil nitrogen availability, which drive the daily uptake of nitrogen and growth among twelve tundra plant functional types. Seasonal dynamics of the remotely sensed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and remotely sensed land surface temperature from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) GIMMS 3g dataset were used to investigate constraints on the start of the growing season, although there was no indication of any spatially consistent temperature or day-length controls on greening onset. Because of the exponential nature of the relationship between soil temperature and nitrogen mineralization, temperature changes during the peak of the growing season had greater effects on vegetation productivity than changes earlier in the growing season. However, early season changes in temperature had a greater effect on the relative productivities of different plant functional types, with potential influences on species composition.

  19. Shrub Abundance Mapping in Arctic Tundra with Misr

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  20. Digital necrobacillosis in Norwegian wild tundra reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handeland, K; Boye, M; Bergsjø, B; Bondal, H; Isaksen, K; Agerholm, J S

    2010-07-01

    Outbreaks of digital necrobacillosis in Norwegian wild tundra reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) are described. The outbreaks occurred in late summer and autumn 2007 and 2008, subsequent to periods with an unusually high number of days with precipitation and high air temperature. Lesions were generally restricted to one foot and the disease incidence was highest in calves. Single limbs from 20 animals and six whole carcasses were submitted for laboratory examination. Gross lesions were characterized by swelling of the fetlock to coronary band area and cutaneous sinus tracts with sparse discharge 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, skin lesions were characterized by deep ulcers with centrally located necrotic tissue, bordered by a zone of oedema and intense inflammation with granulation tissue and fibrosis. Necrosis, suppurative inflammation and oedema were found in the synovial membranes, tendons and tendon sheaths. Digital bone lesions were characterized by necrosis, fibrosis and extensive bone proliferation. Vasculitis and thrombosis were common in all lesions. Elongate filamentous gram-negative bacteria in necrotic lesions from all animals were identified as Fusobacterium necrophorum by fluorescence in-situ hybridization. F. necrophorum was cultured from the foot lesions of six animals. Five of these isolates were examined by 16S rRNA sequencing. The sequences were identical and differed from all other strains listed in GenBank. These results are consistent with circulation of a reindeer-adapted pathogenic strain of F. necrophorum in the wild reindeer population, causing outbreaks of digital necrobacillosis following warm and humid summers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramony, Deepak Prem

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Using Technology To Educate Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children in Rural Alaskan General Education Settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillai, Patrick

    1999-01-01

    A survey of 79 teachers of Alaskan students with deafness found those who use instructional technology tended to be older, hold an advanced degree and secondary education certification, benefit from in-service training onsite, are connected to the Internet, and actively use the technology available at their schools. (Contains references.)…

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Program Demand Cost Model for Alaskan Schools. 6th Edition. Revised.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaska State Dept. of Education, Juneau.

    The Program Demand Cost Model for Alaskan Schools (Cost Model) is a tool for use by school districts and their consultants in estimating school construction costs in the planning phase of a project. This document sets out the sixth edition of the demand-cost model, a rewrite of the whole system. The model can be used to establish a complete budget…

  6. Petroleum systems of the Alaskan North Slope: a numerical journey from source to trap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampe, C.; Peters, K.E.; Magoon, L.B.; Bird, K.J.; Lillis, P.G.

    2003-01-01

    The complex petroleum province of the Alaskan North Slope contains six petroleum systems (Magoon and others, this session). Source rocks for four of these systems include the Hue-gamma ray zone (Hue-GRZ), pebble shale unit, Kingak Shale, and Shublik Formation. Geochemical data for these source rocks are investigated in greater detail and provide the basis for numerical petroleum migration models.

  7. Intensive Evaluation of Satellite TV Impact on Four Alaskan Villages. Supplement to Basic ESCD Evaluation Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Practical Concepts, Inc., Washington, DC.

    A supplement to the final report, "Design for an Analysis and Assessment of the Education Satellite Communications Demonstration (ESCD)," this document is both: (1) a separable, sociologically oriented evaluation of the ESCD impact on Alaskan native villages; and (2) a direct extension of the work described in sections 4 and 5 in the…

  8. Alaskan glaciers: Recent observations in respect to the earthquake-advance theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, A.S.

    1965-01-01

    Preliminary aerial photographic studies indicate that the Alaskan earthquake produced some rockfalls but no significant snow and ice avalanches on glaciers. No rapid, short-lived glacier advances (surges) are conclusively associated with this earthquake. Recent evidence fails to support the earthquake-advance theory of Tarr and Martin.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    Climatewarming 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 tund

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kharuk, V.; Jon, R.; Im, S.

    2007-12-01

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

  13. 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

    considered harmless inhabitants of the abdominal cavity of ungulates causing only focal areas of mild chronic peritonitis. However, in recent years S. tundra has been associated with an emerging epidemic disease resulting in severe morbidity and mortality for both reindeer and moose in Finland. The Danish...

  14. 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

    of complex organic compounds such as vanillin, while warming has had no such effects. Furthermore, the NLFA-to-PLFA ratio for (13)C-incorporation from acetate increased in warmed plots but not in fertilized ones. Thus, fertilization cannot be used as a proxy for effects on warming in arctic tundra soils...

  15. Estimation and extrapolation of soil properties in the Siberian tundra, using field spectroscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bartholomeus, H.; Schaepman-Strub, G.; Blok, D.; Udaltsov, S.; Sofronov, R.

    2010-01-01

    The Siberian tundra is a complex and sensitive ecosystem. Predicted global warming will be highest in the Arctic and will severely affect permafrost environments. Due to its large spatial extent and large stocks of soil organic carbon, changes to the carbon fluxes in the Arctic will have significant

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranson, K Jon; Kharuk, Vyetcheslav I.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-06-01

    many habitats . Often mixed with other bryophytes . Similar to both P. proligera and P. annotina, but differs in the leaf base that is not decurrent...E R D C / C R R E L T N - 0 8 - 2 A Guide to Alaskan Black Spruce Wetland Bryophytes Species Specific to...SUBTITLE A Guide to Alaskan Black Spruce Wetland Bryophytes 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. L. Quinton

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, Kylee; Grand, James B.

    2016-10-11

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

  3. 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.

  4. Long-term recovery patterns of arctic tundra after winter seismic exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorgenson, Janet C; Ver Hoef, Jay M; Jorgenson, M T

    2010-01-01

    In response to the increasing global demand for energy, oil exploration and development are expanding into frontier areas of the Arctic, where slow-growing tundra vegetation and the underlying permafrost soils are very sensitive to disturbance. The creation of vehicle trails on the tundra from seismic exploration for oil has accelerated in the past decade, and the cumulative impact represents a geographic footprint that covers a greater extent of Alaska's North Slope tundra than all other direct human impacts combined. Seismic exploration for oil and gas was conducted on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, USA, in the winters of 1984 and 1985. This study documents recovery of vegetation and permafrost soils over a two-decade period after vehicle traffic on snow-covered tundra. Paired permanent vegetation plots (disturbed vs. reference) were monitored six times from 1984 to 2002. Data were collected on percent vegetative cover by plant species and on soil and ground ice characteristics. We developed Bayesian hierarchical models, with temporally and spatially autocorrelated errors, to analyze the effects of vegetation type and initial disturbance levels on recovery patterns of the different plant growth forms as well as soil thaw depth. Plant community composition was altered on the trails by species-specific responses to initial disturbance and subsequent changes in substrate. Long-term changes included increased cover of graminoids and decreased cover of evergreen shrubs and mosses. Trails with low levels of initial disturbance usually improved well over time, whereas those with medium to high levels of initial disturbance recovered slowly. Trails on ice-poor, gravel substrates of riparian areas recovered better than those on ice-rich loamy soils of the uplands, even after severe initial damage. Recovery to pre-disturbance communities was not possible where trail subsidence occurred due to thawing of ground ice. Previous studies of

  5. Efficacy of different treatment regimes against setariosis (Setaria tundra, Nematoda: Filarioidea and associated peritonitis in reindeer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nieminen Mauri

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background When a severe peritonitis outbreak in semi-domesticated reindeer was noticed in 2003 in Finland, the concerned industry urged immediate preventive actions in order to avoid detrimental effects of S. tundra and further economical losses. A research programme was swiftly initiated to study S. tundra and its impact on the health and wellbeing of reindeer. Methods The ultimate aim of this study was to test the efficacy of different treatment regimes against S. tundra and associated peritonitis in reindeer. The timing of the trials was planned to be compatible with the annual rhythm of the reindeer management; (1 the treatment of calves in midsummer, during routine calf ear marking, with ivermectin injection prophylaxis and deltamethrin pour-on solution as a repellent against insect vectors, (2 the treatment of infected calves in early autumn with ivermectin injection, and (3 ivermectin treatment of breeding reindeer in winter. The results were assessed using the post mortem inspection data and S. tundra detection. Finally, to evaluate on the population level the influence of the annual (late autumn-winter ivermectin treatment of breeding reindeer on the transmission dynamics of S. tundra, a questionnaire survey was conducted. Results In autumn, ivermectin treatment was efficient against peritonitis and in midsummer had a slight negative impact on the degree of peritonitis and positive on the fat layer, but deltamethrin had none. Ivermectin was efficient against adult S. tundra and its smf. All the reindeer herding cooperatives answered the questionnaire and it appeared that antiparasitic treatment of reindeer population was intense during the study period, when 64–90% of the animals were treated. In the southern part of the Finnish reindeer husbandry area, oral administration of ivermectin was commonly used. Conclusion Autumn, and to a lesser degree summer, treatment of reindeer calves with injectable ivermectin resulted in

  6. Response of rhizosphere soil microbial to Deyeuxia angustifolia encroaching in two different vegetation communities in alpine tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lin; Xing, Ming; Lv, Jiangwei; Wang, Xiaolong; Chen, Xia

    2017-02-01

    Deyeuxia angustifolia (Komarov) Y. L Chang is an herb species originating from the birch forests in the Changbai Mountain. Recently, this species has been found encroaching into large areas in the western slopes of the alpine tundra in the Changbai Mountain, threatening the tundra ecosystem. In this study, we systematically assessed the response of the rhizosphere soil microbial to D. angustifolia encroaching in alpine tundra by conducting experiments for two vegetation types (shrubs and herbs) by real-time PCR and Illumina Miseq sequencing methods. The treatments consisted of D. angustifolia sites (DA), native sites (NS, NH) and encroaching sites (ES, EH). Our results show that (1) Rhizosphere soil properties of the alpine tundra were significantly impacted by D. angustifolia encroaching; microbial nutrient cycling and soil bacterial communities were shaped to be suitable for D. angustifolia growth; (2) The two vegetation community rhizosphere soils responded differently to D. angustifolia encroaching; (3) By encroaching into both vegetation communities, D. angustifolia could effectively replace the native species by establishing positive plant-soil feedback. The strong adaptation and assimilative capacity contributed to D. angustifolia encroaching in the alpine tundra. Our research indicates that D. angustifolia significantly impacts the rhizosphere soil microbial of the alpine tundra.

  7. 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

  8. Mapping Arctic Tundra Vegetation Communities Using Field Spectroscopy and Multispectral Satellite Data in North Alaska, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott J. Davidson

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic is currently undergoing intense changes in climate; vegetation composition and productivity are expected to respond to such changes. To understand the impacts of climate change on the function of Arctic tundra ecosystems within the global carbon cycle, it is crucial to improve the understanding of vegetation distribution and heterogeneity at multiple scales. Information detailing the fine-scale spatial distribution of tundra communities provided by high resolution vegetation mapping, is needed to understand the relative contributions of and relationships between single vegetation community measurements of greenhouse gas fluxes (e.g., ~1 m chamber flux and those encompassing multiple vegetation communities (e.g., ~300 m eddy covariance measurements. The objectives of this study were: (1 to determine whether dominant Arctic tundra vegetation communities found in different locations are spectrally distinct and distinguishable using field spectroscopy methods; and (2 to test which combination of raw reflectance and vegetation indices retrieved from field and satellite data resulted in accurate vegetation maps and whether these were transferable across locations to develop a systematic method to map dominant vegetation communities within larger eddy covariance tower footprints distributed along a 300 km transect in northern Alaska. We showed vegetation community separability primarily in the 450–510 nm, 630–690 nm and 705–745 nm regions of the spectrum with the field spectroscopy data. This is line with the different traits of these arctic tundra communities, with the drier, often non-vascular plant dominated communities having much higher reflectance in the 450–510 nm and 630–690 nm regions due to the lack of photosynthetic material, whereas the low reflectance values of the vascular plant dominated communities highlight the strong light absorption found here. High classification accuracies of 92% to 96% were achieved using

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Experimentally substantiated equations of the interrelations between the agrochemical characteristics of tundra soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasil'Evskaya, V. D.; Grigor'ev, V. Ya.; Pogozhev, E. Yu.; Pogozheva, E. A.

    2011-01-01

    The detailed analysis of the results obtained in the course of experimental studying of the tundra soils in Western and Central Siberia and in the European part of Russia has revealed the general regularities of the variability and the relationships between the agrochemical and other properties of the soils. On the basis of these data, the calculated methods for the assessment of a complex of agrochemical properties of natural and disturbed tundra soils under different moisture and thermal conditions were elaborated. Among the properties analyzed, the following are important for plant growth: the acidity and the content of humus, organic carbon, total nitrogen, mobile phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. The relationships between the soil agro-chemical properties and the plant productivity allowed applying them for the quantitative evaluation of the environmental threat of the soil-plant cover's degradation because of different predominantly mechanical disturbances.

  11. 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.

  12. Distribution patterns of typical enzyme activities in tundra soils on the Fildes Peninsula of maritime Antarctica

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DING Wei; WANG Qing; ZHU Renbin; MA Dawei

    2015-01-01

    Soil enzyme activities can be used as indicators of microbial activity and soil fertility. In this paper, the activities of invertase (IA), phosphatase (PA) and urease (UA) were investigated in tundra soils collected from marine animal colonies, areas of human activity and background areas on Fildes Peninsula, maritime Antarctica. Soil enzyme activities were in the range of 1.0–82.7 mg·kg-1·h-1 for IA, 0.2–8.2 mg·kg-1·h-1 for PA and 0.2–39.8 mg·kg-1·h-1 for UA. The spatial distribution patterns for soil enzyme activities corresponded strongly with marine animal activity and human activity. Significantly higher soil IA and PA activities occurred in penguin colony soils, whereas seal colony soils showed higher UA activity. Statistical analysis indicated that soil IA activity was controlled by the levels of soil nutrients (TOC, TN and TP), PA activity was closely related with TP, and UA activity was affected by the soil pH. Overall, the deposition amount of penguin guano or seal excreta could impact the distribution of enzyme activity in Antarctic tundra soils. Multiple stepwise regression models were established between the enzyme activities, soil physicochemical properties and heavy metals Cu and Zn ([IA]=0.7[TP]–0.2[Cu]+22.3[TN]+15.1, [PA]=0.3[TP]+0.03[Mc]+0.2, [UA]=16.7[pH]–0.5[Cu]+ 0.4[Zn]–72.6). These models could be used to predict enzyme activities in the tundra soils, which could be helpful to study the effects of marine animal activity and environmental change on tundra ecosystems in maritime Antarctica.

  13. Remote sensing of vegetation and land-cover change in Arctic Tundra Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stow, D.A.; Hope, A.; McGuire, D.; Verbyla, D.; Gamon, J.; Huemmrich, F.; Houston, S.; Racine, C.; Sturm, M.; Tape, K.; Hinzman, L.; Yoshikawa, K.; Tweedie, C.; Noyle, B.; Silapaswan, C.; Douglas, D.; Griffith, B.; Jia, G.; Epstein, H.; Walker, D.; Daeschner, S.; Petersen, A.; Zhou, L.; Myneni, R.

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to review research conducted over the past decade on the application of multi-temporal remote sensing for monitoring changes of Arctic tundra lands. Emphasis is placed on results from the National Science Foundation Land-Air-Ice Interactions (LAII) program and on optical remote sensing techniques. Case studies demonstrate that ground-level sensors on stationary or moving track platforms and wide-swath imaging sensors on polar orbiting satellites are particularly useful for capturing optical remote sensing data at sufficient frequency to study tundra vegetation dynamics and changes for the cloud prone Arctic. Less frequent imaging with high spatial resolution instruments on aircraft and lower orbiting satellites enable more detailed analyses of land cover change and calibration/validation of coarser resolution observations. The strongest signals of ecosystem change detected thus far appear to correspond to expansion of tundra shrubs and changes in the amount and extent of thaw lakes and ponds. Changes in shrub cover and extent have been documented by modern repeat imaging that matches archived historical aerial photography. NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) time series provide a 20-year record for determining changes in greenness that relates to photosynthetic activity, net primary production, and growing season length. The strong contrast between land materials and surface waters enables changes in lake and pond extent to be readily measured and monitored. ?? 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Microbial diversity in alpine tundra soils correlates with snow cover dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinger, Lucie; Shahnavaz, Bahar; Baptist, Florence; Geremia, Roberto A; Choler, Philippe

    2009-07-01

    The temporal and spatial snow cover dynamics is the primary factor controlling the plant communities' composition and biogeochemical cycles in arctic and alpine tundra. However, the relationships between the distribution of snow and the diversity of soil microbial communities remain largely unexplored. Over a period of 2 years, we monitored soil microbial communities at three sites, including contiguous alpine meadows of late and early snowmelt locations (LSM and ESM, respectively). Bacterial and fungal communities were characterized by using molecular fingerprinting and cloning/sequencing of microbial ribosomal DNA extracted from the soil. Herein, we show that the spatial and temporal distribution of snow strongly correlates with microbial community composition. High seasonal contrast in ESM is associated with marked seasonal shifts for bacterial communities; whereas less contrasted seasons because of long-lasting snowpack in LSM is associated with increased fungal diversity. Finally, our results indicate that, similar to plant communities, microbial communities exhibit important shifts in composition at two extremes of the snow cover gradient. However, winter conditions lead to the convergence of microbial communities independently of snow cover presence. This study provides new insights into the distribution of microbial communities in alpine tundra in relation to snow cover dynamics, and may be helpful in predicting the future of microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles in arctic and alpine tundra in the context of a warmer climate.

  15. Arctic shrubification mediates the impacts of warming climate on changes to tundra vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mod, Heidi K.; Luoto, Miska

    2016-12-01

    Climate change has been observed to expand distributions of woody plants in many areas of arctic and alpine environments—a phenomenon called shrubification. New spatial arrangements of shrubs cause further changes in vegetation via changing dynamics of biotic interactions. However, the mediating influence of shrubification is rarely acknowledged in predictions of tundra vegetation change. Here, we examine possible warming-induced landscape-level vegetation changes in a high-latitude environment using species distribution modelling (SDM), specifically concentrating on the impacts of shrubification on ambient vegetation. First, we produced estimates of current shrub and tree cover and forecasts of their expansion under climate change scenarios to be incorporated to SDMs of 116 vascular plants. Second, the predictions of vegetation change based on the models including only abiotic predictors and the models including abiotic, shrub and tree predictors were compared in a representative test area. Based on our model predictions, abundance of woody plants will expand, thus decreasing predicted species richness, amplifying species turnover and increasing the local extinction risk for ambient vegetation. However, the spatial variation demonstrated in our predictions highlights that tundra vegetation can be expected to show a wide variety of different responses to the combined effects of warming and shrubification, depending on the original plant species pool and environmental conditions. We conclude that realistic forecasts of the future require acknowledging the role of shrubification in warming-induced tundra vegetation change.

  16. Multisensor NDVI-Based Monitoring of the Tundra-Taiga Interface (Mealy Mountains, Labrador, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather Ward

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of a series of five normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI images produced information about a Labrador (Canada portion of the tundra-taiga interface. The twenty-five year observation period ranges from 1983 to 2008. The series composed of Landsat, SPOT and ASTER images, provided insight into regional scale characteristics of the tundra-taiga interface that is usually monitored from coarse resolution images. The image set was analyzed by considering an ordinal classification of the NDVI to account for the cumulative effect of differences of near-infrared spectral resolutions, the temperature anomalies, and atmospheric conditions. An increasing trend of the median values in the low, intermediate and high NDVI classes is clearly marked while accounting for variations attributed to cross-sensor radiometry, phenology and atmospheric disturbances. An encroachment of the forest on the tundra for the whole study area was estimated at 0 to 60 m, depending on the period of observation, as calculated by the difference between the median retreat and advance of an estimated location of the tree line. In small sections, advances and retreats of up to 320 m are reported for the most recent four- and seven-year periods of observations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Changing Climate Sensitivity in Response to Forest-Tundra Snow Albedo Feedback during the mid to late Pliocene Cooling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paiewonsky, P.

    2015-12-01

    The forest-tundra snow albedo feedback is an important feedback in Earth's climate system, especially due to its potential role in modulating glacial cycles. Until now, little research has been done on how the strength of this feedback might vary with the background climate state. Over the last 4 million years, I hypothesize that the feedback has been generally weaker under warm Northern Hemispheric conditions when tundra has been primarily confined to the high Arctic and forest has extended to most of the Arctic coastline than under cooler Northern Hemispheric conditions in which the forest-tundra boundary has generally lain to the south, extending across the interiors of the large continental land masses. To test the hypothesis of the weakened/strengthened feedback, I used an Earth System Model of Intermediate Complexity that consists of a dynamic terrestrial vegetation model coupled to a climate model. A set of time-slice experiments with different orbital and greenhouse gas concentrations were analyzed. In one set of experiments, the feedback gain with respect to annual average top-of-atmosphere net short wave radiation due to vegetation was 1.42 for modern conditions but only 1.14 for the mid-Pliocene. Additionally, we compared experiments with different shortwave-radiation parameterizations, which differed in the amount of shortwave energy flux reaching the surface (and subsequently affecting vegetative biomass). These techniques allowed us to isolate the mechanisms responsible for the varying strength of the forest-tundra snow albedo feedback. The results also show that many factors affect the strength of feedback. In this presentation I will concentrate on the availability of land for conversion of forest to tundra (and vice versa), cloud cover near the forest-tundra boundary, and the integrated surface insolation contrast between tundra and forest during the snow-covered season.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Nearshore Thermal Habitat and General Circulation Mapping in Arctic Alaskan Coasts Using Archived AVHRR Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prakash, A.; Engle, K.; Panda, S.; Margraf, J. F.; Underwood, T.

    2008-12-01

    At the University of Alaska Fairbanks a continuous archive of images from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) onboard the series of NOAA satellites is now available starting from 1993 through 2008 for large parts of the circum Arctic north. The largest temporal coverage available is for the Alaskan Arctic coasts and includes over 40000 images for the summer months. The broader objective of our study is to use this wealth of available data for mapping general sea surface temperatures and monitoring trends in changes in the sea surface temperatures in the last 15 years in the Alaskan Arctic Coastal regions. A second objective of our study is to look at near shore circulation patterns, and investigate how changes in the landcover of the adjacent lands affect the nearshore circulation patterns. This information is fundamentally important to understand and predict the dynamics of the shallow coastal habitats that in turn influence the distribution and condition of the fish populations. From the AVHRR archive we extracted all images from the months of July, August and September that covered at least 60 percent of the Arctic Alaskan coastal areas. The images that were in sensor projection were converted to map projection using the coastal boundary vector layer as a guideline for manually selecting tie points to correct for the geometry. Starting from the oldest images in our archive from 1993 we processed over 2000 AVHRR scenes which were then used to generate sea surface temperature images and NDVI images and a time series animation of changing patterns of NDVI. The prototype animation generated to demonstrate the landcover and coastal region dynamics will be further extended to cover the entire time span from 1993 through 2008.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Christopher Ryan Penton; Caiyun Yang; Liyou Wu; Qiong Wang; Jin Zhang; Feifei Liu; Yujia Qin; Ye Deng; Hemme, Christopher L.; Tianling Zheng; Edward A.G. Schuur; James M. Tiedje; Jizhong Zhou

    2016-01-01

    Since nitrogen (N) is often limiting in permafrost soils, we investigated the N2-fixing genetic potential and the inferred taxa harboring those genes by sequencing nifH gene fragments in samples taken along a permafrost thaw gradient in an Alaskan boreal soil. Samples from minimally, moderately and extensively thawed sites were taken to a depth of 79 cm to encompass zones above and below the depth of the water table. NifH reads were translated with frameshift correction and 112,476 sequences ...

  5. The role of summer precipitation and summer temperature in establishment and growth of dwarf shrub Betula nana in northeast Siberian tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique M P D; Berendse, Frank;

    2016-01-01

    It is widely believed that deciduous tundra-shrub dominance is increasing in the pan-Arctic region, mainly due to rising temperature. We sampled dwarf birch (Betula nana L.) at a northeastern Siberian tundra site and used dendrochronological methods to explore the relationship between climatic...

  6. Partitioning of organic carbon in European Russian tundra and taiga ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

    Sorption of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) on mineral phases is an important process for carbon preservation and element cycling in soils. Sorption of DOC to active minerals results in its fractionation because hydrophobic compounds (humic and fulvic acids) will be preferentially sorbed. Binding of cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, Al3+, Fe3+) by the DOC reduces the negative charge and thus its water solubility. At low pH and high cation concentrations, cations may cause coagulation of DOC. The sorption and/or coagulation are important factors in relation to DOC transport. Little is known about DOC partitioning between the soil solid and solution phases of arctic ecosystems. As a consequence of future warming arctic ecosystem will shift from surface water dominated to groundwater dominated systems. In general, permafrost affected soils with shallow active layers, having lateral flow towards the stream with only short contact time to mineral layers, lead to higher hydrophobic (humic and fulvic acid) DOC concentrations in streams compared to permafrost free soils where a larger share of hydrophilic DOC is expected to be discharged into streams. Changes in the delivery of DOC, nutrients and major ions to arctic rivers may have important consequences for primary production and carbon cycling. The partitioning of DOC is a fundamental process needed for modelling current and future stream water quality and solute transport. Therefore, the objective of this study is to determine the sorption and consequent fractionation of DOC in arctic ecosystems. During fieldwork carried out in the summer of 2007 and 2008 in the Russian Komi Republic, we collected soil, soil solution and surface water samples in both a forested taiga and a permafrost affected tundra catchment. The liquid samples were analysed for total organic carbon and inorganic cations. A rapid batch procedure was used for determining the humic-, fulvic- and hydrophilic acid fractions. Using the chemical speciation model

  7. Nitrogen deposition but not climate warming promotes Deyeuxia angustifolia encroachment in alpine tundra of the Changbai Mountains, Northeast China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Shengwei; Jin, Yinghua; Xu, Jiawei; Wu, Zhengfang; He, Hongshi; Du, Haibo; Wang, Lei

    2016-02-15

    Vegetation in the alpine tundra area of the Changbai Mountains, one of two alpine tundra areas in China, has undergone great changes in recent decades. The aggressive herb species Deyeuxia angustifolia (Komarov) Y. L. Chang, a narrow-leaf small reed, was currently encroaching upon the alpine landscape and threatening tundra biota. The alpine tundra of the Changbai Mountains has been experiencing a warmer climate and receiving a high load of atmospheric nitrogen deposition. In this study, we aimed to assess the respective roles of climate warming and atmospheric nitrogen deposition in promoting the upward encroachment of D. angustifolia. We conducted experiments for three years to examine the response of D. angustifolia and a native alpine shrub, Rhododendron chrysanthum, to the conditions in which temperature and nitrogen were increased. Treatments consisting of temperature increase, nitrogen addition, temperature increase combined with nitrogen addition, and controls were conducted on the D. angustifolia communities with three encroachment levels (low, medium, and high levels). Results showed that 1) D. angustifolia grew in response to added nutrients but did not grow well when temperature increased. R. chrysanthum showed negligible responses to the simulated environmental changes. 2) Compared to R. chrysanthum, D. angustifolia could effectively occupy the above-ground space by increasing tillers and growing rapidly by efficiently using nitrogen. The difference in nitrogen uptake abilities between the two species contributed to expansion of D. angustifolia. 3) D. angustifolia encroachment could deeply change the biodiversity of tundra vegetation and may eventually result in the replacement of native biota, especially with nitrogen addition. Our research indicated that nutrient perturbation may be more important than temperature perturbation in promoting D. angustifolia encroachment upon the nutrient- and species-poor alpine tundra ecosystem in the Changbai

  8. 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 1.2 g Nm(-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.

  9. Tall shrub and tree expansion in Siberian tundra ecotones since the 1960s.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E

    2014-04-01

    Circumpolar expansion of tall shrubs and trees into Arctic tundra is widely thought to be occurring as a result of recent climate warming, but little quantitative evidence exists for northern Siberia, which encompasses the world's largest forest-tundra ecotonal belt. We quantified changes in tall shrub and tree canopy cover in 11, widely distributed Siberian ecotonal landscapes by comparing very high-resolution photography from the Cold War-era 'Gambit' and 'Corona' satellite surveillance systems (1965-1969) with modern imagery. We also analyzed within-landscape patterns of vegetation change to evaluate the susceptibility of different landscape components to tall shrub and tree increase. The total cover of tall shrubs and trees increased in nine of 11 ecotones. In northwest Siberia, alder (Alnus) shrubland cover increased 5.3-25.9% in five ecotones. In Taymyr and Yakutia, larch (Larix) cover increased 3.0-6.7% within three ecotones, but declined 16.8% at a fourth ecotone due to thaw of ice-rich permafrost. In Chukotka, the total cover of alder and dwarf pine (Pinus) increased 6.1% within one ecotone and was little changed at a second ecotone. Within most landscapes, shrub and tree increase was linked to specific geomorphic settings, especially those with active disturbance regimes such as permafrost patterned-ground, floodplains, and colluvial hillslopes. Mean summer temperatures increased at most ecotones since the mid-1960s, but rates of shrub and tree canopy cover expansion were not strongly correlated with temperature trends and were better correlated with mean annual precipitation. We conclude that shrub and tree cover is increasing in tundra ecotones across most of northern Siberia, but rates of increase vary widely regionally and at the landscape scale. Our results indicate that extensive changes can occur within decades in moist, shrub-dominated ecotones, as in northwest Siberia, while changes are likely to occur much more slowly in the highly continental

  10. Root traits explain observed tundra vegetation nitrogen uptake patterns: Implications for trait-based land models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Qing; Iversen, Colleen M.; Riley, William J.; Slette, Ingrid J.; Vander Stel, Holly M.

    2016-12-01

    Ongoing climate warming will likely perturb vertical distributions of nitrogen availability in tundra soils through enhancing nitrogen mineralization and releasing previously inaccessible nitrogen from frozen permafrost soil. However, arctic tundra responses to such changes are uncertain, because of a lack of vertically explicit nitrogen tracer experiments and untested hypotheses of root nitrogen uptake under the stress of microbial competition implemented in land models. We conducted a vertically explicit 15N tracer experiment for three dominant tundra species to quantify plant N uptake profiles. Then we applied a nutrient competition model (N-COM), which is being integrated into the ACME Land Model, to explain the observations. Observations using an 15N tracer showed that plant N uptake profiles were not consistently related to root biomass density profiles, which challenges the prevailing hypothesis that root density always exerts first-order control on N uptake. By considering essential root traits (e.g., biomass distribution and nutrient uptake kinetics) with an appropriate plant-microbe nutrient competition framework, our model reasonably reproduced the observed patterns of plant N uptake. In addition, we show that previously applied nutrient competition hypotheses in Earth System Land Models fail to explain the diverse plant N uptake profiles we observed. Our results cast doubt on current climate-scale model predictions of arctic plant responses to elevated nitrogen supply under a changing climate and highlight the importance of considering essential root traits in large-scale land models. Finally, we provided suggestions and a short synthesis of data availability for future trait-based land model development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  12. Net ecosystem exchange over heterogeneous Arctic tundra: Scaling between chamber and eddy covariance measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Andrew M.; Huntley, Brian; Lloyd, Colin R.; Williams, Mathew; Baxter, Robert

    2008-06-01

    Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was estimated for an area of tundra near Abisko using both eddy covariance (EC) data and chamber measurements. This area of tundra is heterogeneous with six principal elements forming a landscape mosaic. Chamber measurements in patches of the individual mosaic elements were used to model NEE as a function of irradiance and temperature. The area around the EC mast was mapped, and a footprint model was used to simulate the varying source fraction attributable to each mosaic element. Various upscaling approaches were used to estimate NEE for comparison with NEE calculated from the EC observations. The results showed that EC measurements made for such a heterogeneous site are robust to the variations in NEE between mosaic elements that also vary substantially in their source fractions. However, they also revealed a large (˜60%) bias in the absolute magnitude of the cumulative negative NEE for a 40-day study period simulated by various upscaling approaches when compared to the value calculated from the EC observations. The magnitude of this bias, if applied to estimates for the entire tundra region, is substantial in relation to other components of the global carbon budget. Various hypotheses to account for this bias are discussed and, where possible, evaluated. A need is identified for more systematic sampling strategies when performing chamber measurements in order to assess the extent to which subjectivity of chamber location may account for much of the observed bias. If this is the origin of the bias, then upscaling approaches using chamber measurements may generally overestimate CO2 uptake.

  13. Short-term herbivory has long-term consequences in warmed and ambient high Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Chelsea J.; Cutting, Helen; Alatalo, Juha; Cooper, Elisabeth

    2017-02-01

    Climate change is occurring across the world, with effects varying by ecosystem and region but already occurring quickly in high-latitude and high-altitude regions. Biotic interactions are important in determining ecosystem response to such changes, but few studies have been long-term in nature, especially in the High Arctic. Mesic tundra plots on Svalbard, Norway, were subjected to grazing at two different intensities by captive Barnacle geese from 2003–2005, in a factorial design with warming by Open Top Chambers. Warming manipulations were continued through 2014, when we measured vegetation structure and composition as well as growth and reproduction of three dominant species in the mesic meadow. Significantly more dead vascular plant material was found in warmed compared to ambient plots, regardless of grazing history, but in contrast to many short-term experiments no difference in the amount of living material was found. This has strong implications for nutrient and carbon cycling and could feed back into community productivity. Dominant species showed increased flowering in warmed plots, especially in those plots where grazing had been applied. However, this added sexual reproduction did not translate to substantial shifts in vegetative cover. Forbs and rushes increased slightly in warmed plots regardless of grazing, while the dominant shrub, Salix polaris, generally declined with effects dependent on grazing, and the evergreen shrub Dryas octopetala declined with previous intensive grazing. There were no treatment effects on community diversity or evenness. Thus despite no changes in total live abundance, a typical short-term response to environmental conditions, we found pronounced changes in dead biomass indicating that tundra ecosystem processes respond to medium- to long-term changes in conditions caused by 12 seasons of summer warming. We suggest that while high arctic tundra plant communities are fairly resistant to current levels of climate warming

  14. Fine-scale population genetic structure in Alaskan Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Pacific halibut collected in the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska were used to test the hypothesis of genetic panmixia for this species in Alaskan marine waters. Nine microsatellite loci and sequence data from the mitochondrial (mtDNA) control region were analyzed. Eighteen unique mtDNA haplotypes were found with no evidence of geographic population structure. Using nine microsatellite loci, significant heterogeneity was detected between Aleutian Island Pacific halibut and fish from the other two regions (FST range = 0.007–0.008). Significant FST values represent the first genetic evidence of divergent groups of halibut in the central and western Aleutian Archipelago. No significant genetic differences were found between Pacific halibut in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea leading to questions about factors contributing to separation of Aleutian halibut. Previous studies have reported Aleutian oceanographic conditions at deep inter-island passes leading to ecological discontinuity and unique community structure east and west of Aleutian passes. Aleutian Pacific halibut genetic structure may result from oceanographic transport mechanisms acting as partial barriers to gene flow with fish from other Alaskan waters.

  15. Spatial variability and landscape controls of near-surface permafrost within the Alaskan Yukon River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastick, Neal J.; Jorgenson, M. Torre; Wylie, Bruce K.; Rose, Joshua R.; Rigge, Matthew; Walvoord, Michelle A.

    2014-01-01

    The distribution of permafrost is important to understand because of permafrost's influence on high-latitude ecosystem structure and functions. Moreover, near-surface (defined here as within 1 m of the Earth's surface) permafrost is particularly susceptible to a warming climate and is generally poorly mapped at regional scales. Subsequently, our objectives were to (1) develop the first-known binary and probabilistic maps of near-surface permafrost distributions at a 30 m resolution in the Alaskan Yukon River Basin by employing decision tree models, field measurements, and remotely sensed and mapped biophysical data; (2) evaluate the relative contribution of 39 biophysical variables used in the models; and (3) assess the landscape-scale factors controlling spatial variations in permafrost extent. Areas estimated to be present and absent of near-surface permafrost occupy approximately 46% and 45% of the Alaskan Yukon River Basin, respectively; masked areas (e.g., water and developed) account for the remaining 9% of the landscape. Strong predictors of near-surface permafrost include climatic indices, land cover, topography, and Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus spectral information. Our quantitative modeling approach enabled us to generate regional near-surface permafrost maps and provide essential information for resource managers and modelers to better understand near-surface permafrost distribution and how it relates to environmental factors and conditions.

  16. Parallel genetic basis for repeated evolution of armor loss in Alaskan threespine stickleback populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cresko, William A; Amores, Angel; Wilson, Catherine; Murphy, Joy; Currey, Mark; Phillips, Patrick; Bell, Michael A; Kimmel, Charles B; Postlethwait, John H

    2004-04-20

    Most adaptation is thought to occur through the fixation of numerous alleles at many different loci. Consequently, the independent evolution of similar phenotypes is predicted to occur through different genetic mechanisms. The genetic basis of adaptation is still largely unknown, however, and it is unclear whether adaptation to new environments utilizes ubiquitous small-effect polygenic variation or large-effect alleles at a small number of loci. To address this question, we examined the genetic basis of bony armor loss in three freshwater populations of Alaskan threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, that evolved from fully armored anadromous populations in the last 14,000 years. Crosses between complete-armor and low-armor populations revealed that a single Mendelian factor governed the formation of all but the most anterior lateral plates, and another independently segregating factor largely determined pelvic armor. Genetic mapping localized the Mendelian genes to different chromosomal regions, and crosses among these same three widely separated populations showed that both bony plates and pelvic armor failed to fully complement, implicating the same Mendelian armor reduction genes. Thus, rapid and repeated armor loss in Alaskan stickleback populations appears to be occurring through the fixation of large-effect variants in the same genes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  18. Asticcacaulis benevestitus sp. nov., a psychrotolerant, dimorphic, prosthecate bacterium from tundra wetland soil.

    OpenAIRE

    Vasilyeva, Lina V; Omelchenko, Marina V.; Berestovskaya, Yulia Y; Lysenko, Anatolii M; Abraham, Wolf-Rainer; Dedysh, Svetlana N.; Zavarzin, George A

    2006-01-01

    A Gram-negative, aerobic, heterotrophic, non-pigmented, dimorphic prosthecate bacterium was isolated from tundra wetland soil and designated strain Z-0023(T). Cells of this strain had a dimorphic life cycle and developed a non-adhesive stalk at a site not coincident with the centre of the cell pole, a characteristic typical of representatives of the genus Asticcacaulis. A highly distinctive feature of cells of strain Z-0023(T) was the presence of a conical, bell-shaped sheath when grown at lo...

  19. 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...... contrasting subarctic heaths during the growing season 2007, from about 2 weeks after bud burst until about 2 weeks before senescence. The communities generally showed an early season LAI and TFN increase, owing to leaf development of deciduous shrubs, and limited variations later on, owing to concurrent leaf...

  20. Soil Organic Matter in Forest Ecosystems of the Forest-tundra zone of Central Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhortova, Liudmila

    2010-05-01

    Our study was conducted on 17 forest sample plots in the forest-tundra zone of Central Siberia, Krasnoyarsk region, Russia. They were covered by larch/feather moss/shrub and larch/grass forest types growing on cryozems and podburs (Cryosols). The investigation was aimed at estimating soil organic matter storage and structure in forest ecosystems growing along the northern tree line. Such ecosystems have low rates of exchange processes and biological productivity. Estimating soil carbon in these forest types is important for a deeper understanding of their role in biogeochemical cycles and forecasting consequences of climate changes. Soil organic matter was divided into pools by biodegradation resistance level and, hence, different roles of these pools in biological cycles. The soil organic matter was divided into an easily mineralizable (LMOM) fraction, which includes labile (insoluble) (LOM) and mobile (soluble) (MOM) organic compounds, and a stable organic matter fraction that is humus substances bound with soil matrix. The forest-tundra soil carbon was found to total 30.9 to 125.9 tons/ha. Plant residues were the main part of the soil easily mineralizable organic matter and contained from 13.3 to 62.4% of this carbon. Plant residue carbon was mainly allocated on the soil surface, in the forest litter. Plant residues in the soil (dead roots + other "mortmass") were calculated to contribute 10-30% of the plant residues carbon, or 2.5-15.1% of the total soil carbon. Soil surface and in-soil dead plant material included 60-95% of heavily decomposed residues that made up a forest litter fermentation subhorizon and an "other mortmass" fraction of the root detritus. Mobile organic matter (substances dissolved in water and 0.1N NaOH) of plant residues was found to allocate 15-25% of carbon. In soil humus, MOM contribution ranged 14 to 64%. Easily mineralizable organic matter carbon appeared to generally dominate forest-tundra soil carbon pool. It was measured to

  1. 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

    the globe. We assess the effects of climatic warming on non-methane BVOC emissions from a subarctic heath. • We performed ecosystem-based chamber measurements and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses of the BVOCs collected on adsorbent over two growing seasons at a wet subarctic tundra......• 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. Asticcacaulis benevestitus sp. nov., a psychrotolerant, dimorphic, prosthecate bacterium from tundra wetland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasilyeva, Lina V; Omelchenko, Marina V; Berestovskaya, Yulia Y; Lysenko, Anatolii M; Abraham, Wolf-Rainer; Dedysh, Svetlana N; Zavarzin, George A

    2006-09-01

    A Gram-negative, aerobic, heterotrophic, non-pigmented, dimorphic prosthecate bacterium was isolated from tundra wetland soil and designated strain Z-0023(T). Cells of this strain had a dimorphic life cycle and developed a non-adhesive stalk at a site not coincident with the centre of the cell pole, a characteristic typical of representatives of the genus Asticcacaulis. A highly distinctive feature of cells of strain Z-0023(T) was the presence of a conical, bell-shaped sheath when grown at low temperature. This prosthecate bacterium was a psychrotolerant, moderately acidophilic organism capable of growth between 4 and 28 degrees Celsius (optimum 15-20 degrees Celsius) and between pH 4.5 and 8.0 (optimum 5.6-6.0). The major phospholipid fatty acid was 18 : 1omega7c and the major phospholipids were phosphatidylglycerols. The G+C content of the DNA was 60.4 mol%. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity, strain Z-0023(T) was most closely related to Asticcacaulis biprosthecium (98 % similarity), Asticcacaulis taihuensis (98 %) and Asticcacaulis excentricus (95 %). However, low levels of DNA-DNA relatedness to these organisms and a number of distinctive features of the tundra wetland isolate indicated that it represented a novel species of the genus Asticcacaulis, for which the name Asticcacaulis benevestitus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is Z-0023(T) (=DSM 16100(T)=ATCC BAA-896(T)).

  6. Russian Arctic warming and ‘greening’ are closely tracked by tundra shrub willows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, B. C.; Macias Fauria, M.; Zetterberg, P.

    2009-12-01

    Growth in arctic vegetation is generally expected to increase under a warming climate, particularly among deciduous shrubs. We analyzed annual ring growth for an abundant and nearly circumpolar erect willow (Salix lanata L.) from the coastal zone of the northwest Russian Arctic (Nenets Autonomous Okrug). The resulting chronology is strongly related to summer temperature for the period 1942-2005. Remarkably high correlations occur at long distances (>1600 km) across the tundra and taiga zones of West Siberia and Eastern Europe. We also found a clear relationship with photosynthetic activity for upland vegetation at a regional scale for the period 1981-2005, confirming a parallel ‘greening’ trend reported for similarly warming North American portions of the tundra biome. The standardized growth curve suggests a significant increase in shrub willow growth over the last six decades. These findings are in line with field and remote sensing studies that have assigned a strong shrub component to the reported greening signal since the early 1980s. Furthermore, the growth trend agrees with qualitative observations by nomadic Nenets reindeer herders of recent increases in willow size in the region. The quality of the chronology as a climate proxy is exceptional. Given its wide geographic distribution and the ready preservation of wood in permafrost, S. lanata L. has great potential for extended temperature reconstructions in remote areas across the Arctic.

  7. Sea ice, rain-on-snow and tundra reindeer nomadism in Arctic Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Bruce C; Kumpula, Timo; Meschtyb, Nina; Laptander, Roza; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Zetterberg, Pentti; Verdonen, Mariana; Skarin, Anna; Kim, Kwang-Yul; Boisvert, Linette N; Stroeve, Julienne C; Bartsch, Annett

    2016-11-01

    Sea ice loss is accelerating in the Barents and Kara Seas (BKS). Assessing potential linkages between sea ice retreat/thinning and the region's ancient and unique social-ecological systems is a pressing task. Tundra nomadism remains a vitally important livelihood for indigenous Nenets and their large reindeer herds. Warming summer air temperatures have been linked to more frequent and sustained summer high-pressure systems over West Siberia, Russia, but not to sea ice retreat. At the same time, autumn/winter rain-on-snow (ROS) events have become more frequent and intense. Here, we review evidence for autumn atmospheric warming and precipitation increases over Arctic coastal lands in proximity to BKS ice loss. Two major ROS events during November 2006 and 2013 led to massive winter reindeer mortality episodes on the Yamal Peninsula. Fieldwork with migratory herders has revealed that the ecological and socio-economic impacts from the catastrophic 2013 event will unfold for years to come. The suggested link between sea ice loss, more frequent and intense ROS events and high reindeer mortality has serious implications for the future of tundra Nenets nomadism.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Mobile Phone Revolution in the Tundra? Technological Change among Russian Reindeer Nomads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian M. Stammler

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available This contribution looks at the influence of technological change thatnomads in the Russian North have undergone, using as examples two crucial innovations: the snowmobile and the mobile phone. I argue that the snowmobile did not have the same revolutionary impact on the Russian tundra as it did in Fennoscandia, for reasons connected to long distances, infrastructure, spare parts, availability of fuel, priorities of Soviet transport policy as well as the convenience of previously used practices of herd control using ‘sitting transport’. Different from that, I argue that mobile phones have the potential for a greater penetration into nomadic societies. Because they encourage equality rather than stratification, they are low maintenance; they are small enough to be embedded into existing social contexts. Connecting not only neighbours but the whole world, in principle, mobile phones may entail a significant socio-cultural change. The article presents first fieldwork evidence of such change among tundra nomads and relates this to existing theoretical studies on how mobile communication changes societies. Attention is paid to the particularities of a mobile type of communication introduced in mobile communities, that is, among nomads. In doing so, I explore similarities and differences in how technological change influences sedentary and nomadic societies.

  12. 100% Retention of Snowpack Derived Nitrogen Over 10 Years in High Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhary, S.; Tye, A. M.; Young, S. D.; West, H. M.; Phoenix, G. K.

    2013-12-01

    Tundra ecosystems are susceptible to atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition, increasing as a result of anthropogenic activities as well as climate change. Depositions that get accumulated within the snowpack during winter months are released in spring during snowmelt, providing a periodic input of reactive N in the melt water to such nutrient limited ecosystems. Identifying ecosystem N retention and allocation and how this change over time is important to understanding the long-term consequences of such N depositions to these ecosystems. We reanalysed 10 years later an atmospheric N deposition study established in Svalbard that in 2001 used 15N isotope tracers to determine the fate of N released from melting snowpack. Applications of 15N (99 atom%) at 0.1 and 0.5 g N m-2 were made immediately after snowmelt in 2001 as either Na15NO3 or 15NH4Cl. These applications were approximately 1 × and 5 × the yearly atmospheric deposition rates. In both the previous short-term (one week to two years after 15N tracer application) and our long-term re-sampling (10 years after 15N tracer application), ~67% of the total applied 15N was retained in the ecosystem, irrespective of the N forms or N dose. This meant the tundra had 100% long-term N retention after initial partitioning, suggesting a highly conservative N cycling. Bryophytes, followed by the organic soil horizon and then the microbial biomass formed the greatest short-term 15N sink. Maximum changes in 15N retention from the short- to long-term were observed in the microbial 15N pools, with ~75% of the 15N in soil located in its biomass during the initial partitioning (July 2001) decreasing to ~17% 10 years later. This indicates significant microbial N turnover mostly into stable humus N. In contrast, vascular plants, particularly Salix polaris, showed significant increases (~60%) in their 15N retention after 10 years, indicating a high capacity for acting as a long-term N sink in this tundra ecosystem. Because the largest

  13. THE HYDRAULIC CHARACTERISTICS AND GEOCHEMISTRY OF HYPORHEIC AND PARAFLUVIAL ZONES IN ARCTIC TUNDRA STREAMS, NORTH SLOPE, ALASKA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sodium bromide and Rhodamine WT were used as conservative tracers to examine the hydrologic characteristics of seven tundra streams in Arctic Alaska, during the summers of 1994-1996. Continuous tracer additions were conducted in seven rivers ranging from 1st to 5th order with sam...

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  16. Fisheries portfolio diversification and turnover buffer Alaskan fishing communities from abrupt resource and market changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cline, Timothy J; Schindler, Daniel E; Hilborn, Ray

    2017-01-16

    Abrupt shifts in natural resources and their markets are a ubiquitous challenge to human communities. Building resilient social-ecological systems requires approaches that are robust to uncertainty and to regime shifts. Harvesting diverse portfolios of natural resources and adapting portfolios in response to change could stabilize economies reliant on natural resources and their markets, both of which are prone to unpredictable shifts. Here we use fisheries catch and revenue data from Alaskan fishing communities over 34 years to test whether diversification and turnover in the composition of fishing opportunities increased economic stability during major ocean and market regime shifts in 1989. More than 85% of communities show reduced fishing revenues following these regime shifts. However, communities with the highest portfolio diversity and those that could opportunistically shift the composition of resources they harvest, experienced negligible or even positive changes in revenue. Maintaining diversity in economic opportunities and enabling turnover facilitates sustainability of communities reliant on renewable resources facing uncertain futures.

  17. Google's Geo Education Outreach: Results and Discussion of Outreach Trip to Alaskan High Schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, E. J.; Bailey, J.; Bishop, A.; Cain, J.; Goddard, M.; Hurowitz, K.; Kennedy, K.; Ornduff, T.; Sfraga, M.; Wernecke, J.

    2008-12-01

    The focus of Google's Geo Education outreach efforts (http://www.google.com/educators/geo.html) is on helping primary, secondary, and post-secondary educators incorporate Google Earth and Sky, Google Maps, and SketchUp into their classroom lessons. In partnership with the University of Alaska, our Geo Education team members visited several remote Alaskan high schools during a one-week period in September. At each school, we led several 40-minute hands-on learning sessions in which Google products were used by the students to investigate local geologic and environmental processes. For the teachers, we provided several resources including follow-on lesson plans, example KML-based lessons, useful URL's, and website resources that multiple users can contribute to. This talk will highlight results of the trip and discuss how educators can access and use Google's Geo Education resources.

  18. Fisheries portfolio diversification and turnover buffer Alaskan fishing communities from abrupt resource and market changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cline, Timothy J.; Schindler, Daniel E.; Hilborn, Ray

    2017-01-01

    Abrupt shifts in natural resources and their markets are a ubiquitous challenge to human communities. Building resilient social-ecological systems requires approaches that are robust to uncertainty and to regime shifts. Harvesting diverse portfolios of natural resources and adapting portfolios in response to change could stabilize economies reliant on natural resources and their markets, both of which are prone to unpredictable shifts. Here we use fisheries catch and revenue data from Alaskan fishing communities over 34 years to test whether diversification and turnover in the composition of fishing opportunities increased economic stability during major ocean and market regime shifts in 1989. More than 85% of communities show reduced fishing revenues following these regime shifts. However, communities with the highest portfolio diversity and those that could opportunistically shift the composition of resources they harvest, experienced negligible or even positive changes in revenue. Maintaining diversity in economic opportunities and enabling turnover facilitates sustainability of communities reliant on renewable resources facing uncertain futures. PMID:28091534

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henden, John-André; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Ims, Rolf A; Langeland, Knut

    2013-01-01

    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 of willow thickets

  20. The growth of shrubs on high Arctic tundra at Bylot Island: impact on snow physical properties and permafrost thermal regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domine, Florent; Barrere, Mathieu; Morin, Samuel

    2016-12-01

    With climate warming, shrubs have been observed to grow on Arctic tundra. Their presence is known to increase snow height and is expected to increase the thermal insulating effect of the snowpack. An important consequence would be the warming of the ground, which will accelerate permafrost thaw, providing an important positive feedback to warming. At Bylot Island (73° N, 80° W) in the Canadian high Arctic where bushes of willows (Salix richardsonii Hook) are growing, we have observed the snow stratigraphy and measured the vertical profiles of snow density, thermal conductivity and specific surface area (SSA) in over 20 sites of high Arctic tundra and in willow bushes 20 to 40 cm high. We find that shrubs increase snow height, but only up to their own height. In shrubs, snow density, thermal conductivity and SSA are all significantly lower than on herb tundra. In shrubs, depth hoar which has a low thermal conductivity was observed to grow up to shrub height, while on herb tundra, depth hoar only developed to 5 to 10 cm high. The thermal resistance of the snowpack was in general higher in shrubs than on herb tundra. More signs of melting were observed in shrubs, presumably because stems absorb radiation and provide hotspots that initiate melting. When melting was extensive, thermal conductivity was increased and thermal resistance was reduced, counteracting the observed effect of shrubs in the absence of melting. Simulations of the effect of shrubs on snow properties and on the ground thermal regime were made with the Crocus snow physics model and the ISBA (Interactions between Soil-Biosphere-Atmosphere) land surface scheme, driven by in situ and reanalysis meteorological data. These simulations did not take into account the summer impact of shrubs. They predict that the ground at 5 cm depth at Bylot Island during the 2014-2015 winter would be up to 13 °C warmer in the presence of shrubs. Such warming may however be mitigated by summer effects.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John-André Henden

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  3. Quantifying soil carbon accumulation in Alaskan terrestrial ecosystems during the last 15 000 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Sirui; Zhuang, Qianlai; Yu, Zicheng

    2016-11-01

    Northern high latitudes contain large amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC), of which Alaskan terrestrial ecosystems account for a substantial proportion. In this study, the SOC accumulation in Alaskan terrestrial ecosystems over the last 15 000 years was simulated using a process-based biogeochemistry model for both peatland and non-peatland ecosystems. Comparable with the previous estimates of 25-70 Pg C in peatland and 13-22 Pg C in non-peatland soils within 1 m depth in Alaska using peat-core data, our model estimated a total SOC of 36-63 Pg C at present, including 27-48 Pg C in peatland soils and 9-15 Pg C in non-peatland soils. Current vegetation stored 2.5-3.7 Pg C in Alaska, with 0.3-0.6 Pg C in peatlands and 2.2-3.1 Pg C in non-peatlands. The simulated average rate of peat C accumulation was 2.3 Tg C yr-1, with a peak value of 5.1 Tg C yr-1 during the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) in the early Holocene, 4-fold higher than the average rate of 1.4 Tg C yr-1 over the rest of the Holocene. The SOC accumulation slowed down, or even ceased, during the neoglacial climate cooling after the mid-Holocene, but increased again in the 20th century. The model-estimated peat depths ranged from 1.1 to 2.7 m, similar to the field-based estimate of 2.29 m for the region. We found that the changes in vegetation and their distributions were the main factors in determining the spatial variations of SOC accumulation during different time periods. Warmer summer temperature and stronger radiation seasonality, along with higher precipitation in the HTM and the 20th century, might have resulted in the extensive peatland expansion and carbon accumulation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Blok

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 for the global climate system. However, little information is available on the natural long-term shrub growth response to climatic variability. Our aim was to determine the climate factor and time period that are most important to annual shrub growth in our research site in NE-Siberia. Therefore, we determined annual radial growth rates in Salix pulchra and Betula nana shrubs by measuring ring widths. We constructed shrub ring width chronologies and compared growth rates to regional climate and remotely sensed greenness data. Early summer temperature was the most important factor influencing ring width of S. pulchra (Pearson's r=0.73, p<0.001 and B. nana (Pearson's r=0.46, p<0.001. No effect of winter precipitation on shrub growth was observed. In contrast, summer precipitation of the previous year correlated positively with B. nana ring width (r=0.42, p<0.01, suggesting that wet summers facilitate shrub growth in the following growing season. S. pulchra ring width correlated positively with peak summer NDVI, despite the small coverage of S. pulchra shrubs (<5% surface cover in our research area. We provide the first climate-growth study on shrubs for Northeast Siberia, the largest tundra region in the world. We show that two deciduous shrub species with markedly different growth forms have a similar growth response to changes in climate. The obtained shrub growth response to climate variability in the past increases our understanding of the mechanisms underlying current shrub expansion, which is required to predict future climate-driven tundra vegetation shifts.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Blok

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available 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 for the global climate system. However, little information is available on the natural long-term shrub growth response to climatic variability. Our aim was to determine the climate factor and time period that are most important to annual shrub growth in our research site in NE-Siberia. Therefore, we determined annual radial growth rates in Salix pulchra and Betula nana shrubs by measuring ring widths. We constructed shrub ring width chronologies and compared growth rates to regional climate and remotely sensed greenness data. Early summer temperature was the most important factor influencing ring width of S. pulchra (Pearson's r = 0.73, p < 0.001 and B. nana (Pearson's r = 0.46, p < 0.001. No effect of winter precipitation on shrub growth was observed. In contrast, summer precipitation of the previous year correlated positively with B. nana ring width (Pearson's r = 0.42, p < 0.01, suggesting that wet summers facilitate shrub growth in the following growing season. S. pulchra ring width correlated positively with peak summer NDVI, despite the small coverage of S. pulchra shrubs (< 5 % surface cover in our research area. We provide the first climate-growth study on shrubs for Northeast Siberia, the largest tundra region in the world. We show that two deciduous shrub species with markedly different growth forms have a similar growth response to changes in climate. The obtained shrub growth response to climate variability in the past increases our understanding of the mechanisms underlying current shrub expansion, which is required to predict future climate

  6. How is climate warming altering the carbon cycle of a tundra ecosystem in the Siberian Arctic?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belelli Marchesini, Luca; (Ko) van Huissteden, Jacobus; van der Molen, Michiel; Parmentier, Frans-Jan W.; Maximov, Trofim; Budishchev, Artem; Gallagher, Angela; (Han) Dolman, Albertus J.

    2015-04-01

    Climate has been warming over the the Arctic region with the strongest anomalies taking place in autumn and winter for the period 2000-2010, particularly in northern Eurasia. The quantification of the impact on climate warming on the degradation of permafrost and the associated potential release to the atmosphere of carbon stocked in the soil under the form of greenhouse gases, thus further increasing the radiative forcing of the atmosphere, is currently a matter of scientific debate. The positive trend in primary productivity in the last decades inferred by vegetation indexes (NDVI) and confirmed by observations on the enhanced growth of shrub vegetation represents indeed a contrasting process that, if prevalent could offset GHG emissions or even strengthen the carbon sink over the Arctic tundra. At the site of Kytalyk, in north-eastern Siberia, net fluxes of CO2 at ecosystem scale (NEE) have been monitored by eddy covariance technique since 2003. While presenting the results of the seasonal (snow free period) and inter-annual variability of NEE, conceived as the interplay between meteorological drivers and ecosystem responses, we test the role of climate as the main source of NEE variability in the last decade using a data oriented statistical approach. The impact of the timing and duration of the snow free period on the seasonal carbon budget is also considered. Finally, by including the results of continuous micrometeorological observations of methane fluxes taken during summer 2012, corroborated with seasonal CH4 budgets from two previous shorter campaigns (2008, 2009), as well as an experimentally determined estimate of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) flux, we provide an assessment of the carbon budget and its stability over time. The examined tundra ecosystem was found to sequester CO2 during the snow free season with relatively small inter-annual variability (-97.9±12.1gC m-2) during the last decade and without any evident trend despite the carbon uptake

  7. Potential methane production rates and its carbon isotopic composition from ornithogenic tundra soils in coastal Antarctic

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    BAO Tao; ZHU Renbin; BAI Bo; XU Hua

    2016-01-01

    Methane (CH4) is one of important greenhouse gases with chemical activity. The determination of isotopic compositions for CH4 emitted from the soils helps us to understand its production mechanisms. CH4 isotope measurements have been conducted for different types of global terrestrial ecosystems. However, no isotopic data of CH4 have been reported from Antarctic tundra soils. In this paper, ornithogenic soil profiles were collected from four penguin colonies, and potential CH4 production rates and its13C ratio (δ13C) were investigated based upon laboratory incubation experiments. The mean CH4 production rates are highly variable in these soil proifles, ranging from 0.7 to 20.3 μg CH4−C kg−1∙h−1. These ornithogenic soils had high potential production rates of CH4 under ambient air incubation or under N2 incubation, indicating the importance of potential CH4 emissions from penguin colonies. Most of the soil samples had higher δ13C-CH4 under N2 incubation (−39.28%~−43.53%) than under the ambient air incubation (−42.81%~−57.19%). Highly anaerobic conditions were conducive to the production of CH4 enriched in13C, and acetic acid reduction under N2 incubation might be a predominant source for soil CH4production. Overall theδ13C-CH4 showed a signiifcant negative correlation with CH4 production rates in ornithogenic tundra soils under N2 incubation (R2=0.41,p<0.01) or under the ambient air incubation (R2=0.50,p<0.01). Potential CH4 production from ornithogenic soils showed a signiifcant positive correlation with total phosphorus (TP) and NH4+−N contents, pH and soil moisture (Mc), but the δ13C-CH4 showed a signiifcant negative correlation with TP and NH4+−N contents, pH and Mc, indicating that the deposition amount of penguin guano increased potential CH4 production rates from tundra soils, but decreased the δ13C-CH4. The CH4 emissions from the ornithogenic soils affect carbon isotopic compositions of atmospheric CH4in coastal Antarctica.

  8. Energy fluxes in a high Arctic tundra heath subjected to strong climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, M.; Hansen, B. U.; Pedersen, S. H.; Stiegler, C.; Tamstorf, M. P.

    2012-12-01

    During recent decades the observed warming in the Arctic has been almost twice as large as the global average. The implications of such strong warming on surface energy balance, regulating permafrost thaw, hydrology, soil stability and carbon mineralization, need to be assessed. In Zackenberg, northeast Greenland, measurements of energy balance components in various environments have been performed since late 90's, coordinated by Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations. During 1996-2009, mean annual temperature in the area has increased by ca. 0.15 °C yr-1; while maximum thaw depth has increased by 1.4-1.8 cm yr-1. Eddy covariance measurements of energy fluxes have been performed in a Cassiope heath plant community, a commonly occurring tundra ecosystem type in circumpolar middle and high Arctic areas, in Zackenberg allowing for detailed investigations of relationships between energy fluxes and meteorological and soil physical characteristics. As the available data set spans more than a decade, possible trends in energy flux components resulting from warming related changes such as earlier snow melt, increased active layer depth and higher temperatures can be investigated. This presentation will focus on the mid-summer period from which eddy covariance measurements are available. The summer-time energy partitioning at the Zackenberg tundra heath site will be characterized using ratios of sensible, latent and ground heat flux to net radiation and Bowen ratio, whereas the surface characteristics will be described using surface resistance, McNaughton and Jarvis Ω value and Priestley-Taylor α coefficient. Furthermore, we aim to estimate the full year, all energy balance components for the tundra heath site using Snow Model (Liston and Elder 2006) for the dark winter period during which no eddy covariance measurements are available. The snow cover duration in the area is a major regulator of the energy partitioning. Early results point towards high summer

  9. Increased ectomycorrhizal fungal abundance after long-term fertilization and warming of two arctic tundra ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Karina Engelbrecht; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven Evert;

    2006-01-01

    the response in EM fungal abundance to long-term warming and fertilization in two arctic ecosystems with contrasting responses of the EM shrub Betula nana. •  Ergosterol was used as a biomarker for living fungal biomass in roots and organic soil and ingrowth bags were used to estimate EM mycelial production....... We measured 15N and 13C natural abundance to identify the EM-saprotrophic divide in fungal sporocarps and to validate the EM origin of mycelia in the ingrowth bags. •  Fungal biomass in soil and EM mycelial production increased with fertilization at both tundra sites, and with warming at one site....... This was caused partly by increased dominance of EM plants and partly by stimulation of EM mycelial growth. •  We conclude that cycling of carbon and nitrogen through EM fungi will increase when strongly nutrient-limited arctic ecosystems are exposed to a warmer and more nutrient-rich environment. This has...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Development of Antarctic herb tundra vegetation near Arctowski station, King George Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozeretska, I. A.; Parnikoza, I. Yu.; Mustafa, O.; Tyschenko, O. V.; Korsun, S. G.; Convey, P.

    2010-01-01

    We studied the development of the Antarctic herb tundra vegetation formation in relation to the history of deglaciation across a range of habitats near H. Arctowski Research Station (King George Island, South Shetland Islands). Across the three identified environmental zones (coastal, intermediate, periglacial), we quantified the total vegetation cover, cover of the two indigenous flowering plants and bryophytes, age structure and reproductive features of the two flowering plants, and species diversity of mosses and liverworts. Analysis of these data supported the recognition of the three environmental zones; however, there were few indications of systematic differences in biological features of the two higher plants across the three zones, generally supporting the view that these, and the grass Deschampsia antarctica in particular, are effective primary colonists of recently deglaciated ground in this region.

  12. 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

    is a predicted long-term consequence of climatic warming and mimicked by fertilization, both increase soil microbial biomass. However, while fertilization increased the relative abundance of fungi, warming caused only a minimal shift in the microbial community composition based on the phospholipid fatty acid......If microbial degradation of carbon substrates in arctic soil is stimulated by climatic warming, this would be a significant positive feedback on global change. With data from a climate change experiment in Northern Sweden we show that warming and enhanced soil nutrient availability, which...... of complex organic compounds such as vanillin, while warming has had no such effects. Furthermore, the NLFA-to-PLFA ratio for (13)C-incorporation from acetate increased in warmed plots but not in fertilized ones. Thus, fertilization cannot be used as a proxy for effects on warming in arctic tundra soils...

  13. Microbes residing in young organic rich Alaskan soils contain older carbon than those residing in old mineral high Arctic soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziolkowski, L. A.; Slater, G. F.; Onstott, T. C.; Whyte, L.; Townsend-Small, A.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic soils range from very organic rich to low carbon and mineral-dominated soils. At present, we do not yet fully understand if all carbon in the Arctic is equally vulnerable to mineralization in a warmer climate. Many studies have demonstrated that ancient carbon is respired when permafrost has thawed, yet our understanding of the active layer and permafrost carbon dynamics is still emerging. In an effort to remedy this disconnect between our knowledge of surface fluxes and below ground processes, we used radiocarbon to examine the microbial carbon dynamics in soil cores from organic rich soils near Barrow, Alaska and mineral soils from the Canadian high Arctic. Specifically, we compared the microbial community using lipid biomarkers, the inputs of carbon using n-alkanes and measured the 14C of both the bulk organic carbon and of the microbial lipids. In theory, the microbial lipids (phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA) represent the viable microbial community, as these lipids are hydrolyzed quickly after cell death. Variations in the PLFA distributions suggested that different microbial communities inhabit organic rich Alaskan soils and those of the Canadian high Arctic. When the PLFA concentrations were converted to cellular concentration, they were within the same order of magnitude (1 to 5 x 108 cells/g dry soil) with slightly higher cell concentrations in the organic rich Alaskan soils. When these cellular concentrations were normalized to the organic carbon content, the Canadian high Arctic soils contained a greater proportion of microbes. Although bulk organic carbon 14C of Alaskan soils indicated more recent carbon inputs into the soil than the Canadian high Arctic soils, the 14C of the PLFA revealed the opposite. For corresponding depth horizons, microbes in Alaskan soils were consuming carbon 1000 to 1500 years older than those in the Canadian high Arctic. Differences between the 14C content of bulk organic carbon and the microbial lipids were much smaller

  14. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus Surveillance for Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge: Raw data

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Example of raw data submitted from the National Wildlife Health Center of test results from oral-pharyngeal and cloacal swabs collected on Tundra Swans and Wood...

  15. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus Surveillance for Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge: Raw data

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Example of raw data submitted to the National Wildlife Health Center of test results from oral-pharyngeal and cloacal swabs collected on Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks...

  16. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus Surveillance for Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge: Batch 324NC Summary

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Batch summaries from the National Wildlife Health Center of test results from oral-pharyngeal and cloacal swabs collected on Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks on Pocosin...

  17. 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%.

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Mercury dynamics of an arctic tundra ecosystem in northern Alaska: a mass balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obrist, D.; Helmig, D.; Agnan, Y.; Hedge, C.; Moore, C. W.; Paxton, D.; Hueber, J.

    2015-12-01

    To constrain the mercury (Hg) mass balance of a tundra ecosystem, we measured atmospheric mercury (Hg) concentrations and surface-atmosphere exchange at Toolik Field Station (68° 38' N) beginning September 2014. We also conducted automated measurements of gaseous Hg in soil pores and snow interstitial air to quantify gas exchange between soils, snow, and the atmosphere; and characterized wet and dry deposition and plant-derived Hg inputs. Results show that atmospheric Hg concentrations peak in winter, decrease in spring, and show summertime minima. Oxidized atmospheric Hg was below detection limits (0.05 ng m-3) indicating no significant dry deposition. Summertime minima of atmospheric Hg concentrations were associated with depositional fluxes of gaseous Hg (up to 2.8 ng m-2 hr-1; measured by a gradient method) that emerged after complete snowmelt. In contrast, gaseous Hg fluxes were below detection limits when snowpack was present; this was supported by in situ snowpack measurements and in contrast to commonly observed gaseous emissions from temperate snowpacks. The cumulative annual gaseous deposition flux of mercury was 12 µg m-2, in similar range as plant-derived inputs (17 µg m-2 yr-1) which we consider the major reason for observed gaseous Hg sink. Wet deposition was extremely low (<1 µg m-2 yr-1) compared to other sites. Hg concentrations in plants and soils are similar to levels found at temperate sites, but terrestrial pool sizes are large in comparison ranging around 400 g ha-1. The results suggest that: atmospheric Hg exposure is low at this site; that deposition is dominated by plant-derived deposition; and that significant Hg pools accumulate in tundra soils, likely driven by strong retention and low re-emissions after deposition. The high Hg soil pool sizes and key role of plant-productivity for Hg deposition may indicate a high sensitivity to climate change, in particular to permafrost soil thawing and increased growing season length.

  1. Isotopic insights into methane production, oxidation, and emissions in Arctic polygon tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn, Lydia J S; Conrad, Mark E; Bill, Markus; Torn, Margaret S

    2016-10-01

    Arctic wetlands are currently net sources of atmospheric CH4 . Due to their complex biogeochemical controls and high spatial and temporal variability, current net CH4 emissions and gross CH4 processes have been difficult to quantify, and their predicted responses to climate change remain uncertain. We investigated CH4 production, oxidation, and surface emissions in Arctic polygon tundra, across a wet-to-dry permafrost degradation gradient from low-centered (intact) to flat- and high-centered (degraded) polygons. From 3 microtopographic positions (polygon centers, rims, and troughs) along the permafrost degradation gradient, we measured surface CH4 and CO2 fluxes, concentrations and stable isotope compositions of CH4 and DIC at three depths in the soil, and soil moisture and temperature. More degraded sites had lower CH4 emissions, a different primary methanogenic pathway, and greater CH4 oxidation than did intact permafrost sites, to a greater degree than soil moisture or temperature could explain. Surface CH4 flux decreased from 64 nmol m(-2)  s(-1) in intact polygons to 7 nmol m(-2)  s(-1) in degraded polygons, and stable isotope signatures of CH4 and DIC showed that acetate cleavage dominated CH4 production in low-centered polygons, while CO2 reduction was the primary pathway in degraded polygons. We see evidence that differences in water flow and vegetation between intact and degraded polygons contributed to these observations. In contrast to many previous studies, these findings document a mechanism whereby permafrost degradation can lead to local decreases in tundra CH4 emissions.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Shrub encroachment in Arctic tundra: Betula nana effects on above- and below-ground litter decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaren, Jennie R; Buckeridge, Kate M; van de Weg, Martine J; Shaver, Gaius R; Schimel, Joshua P; Gough, Laura

    2017-03-06

    Rapid arctic vegetation change as a result of global warming includes an increase in the cover and biomass of deciduous shrubs. Increases in shrub abundance will result in a proportional increase of shrub litter in the litter community, potentially affecting carbon turnover rates in arctic ecosystems. We investigated the effects of leaf and root litter of a deciduous shrub, Betula nana, on decomposition, by examining species-specific decomposition patterns, as well as effects of Betula litter on the decomposition of other species. We conducted a two-year decomposition experiment in moist acidic tundra in northern Alaska, where we decomposed three tundra species (Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Rhododendron palustre, and Eriophorum vaginatum) alone and in combination with Betula litter. Decomposition patterns for leaf and root litter were determined using three different measures of decomposition (mass loss, respiration, extracellular enzyme activity). We report faster decomposition of Betula leaf litter compared to other species, with support for species differences coming from all three measures of decomposition. Mixing effects were less consistent among the measures, with negative mixing effects shown only for mass loss. In contrast, there were few species differences or mixing effects for root decomposition. Overall, we attribute longer-term litter mass loss patterns in to patterns created by early decomposition processes in the first winter. We note numerous differences for species patterns between leaf and root decomposition, indicating that conclusions from leaf litter experiments should not be extrapolated to below-ground decomposition. The high decomposition rates of Betula leaf litter aboveground, and relatively similar decomposition rates of multiple species below, suggest a potential for increases in turnover in the fast-decomposing carbon pool of leaves and fine roots as the dominance of deciduous shrubs in the Arctic increases, but this outcome may be tempered

  5. The importance of willow thickets for ptarmigan and hares in shrub tundra: the more the better?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrich, Dorothée; Henden, John-André; Ims, Rolf Anker; Doronina, Lilyia O; Killengren, Siw Turid; Lecomte, Nicolas; Pokrovsky, Ivan G; Skogstad, Gunnhild; Sokolov, Alexander A; Sokolov, Vasily A; Yoccoz, Nigel Gilles

    2012-01-01

    In patchy habitats, the relationship between animal abundance and cover of a preferred habitat may change with the availability of that habitat, resulting in a functional response in habitat use. Here, we investigate the relationship of two specialized herbivores, willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) and mountain hare (Lepus timidus), to willows (Salix spp.) in three regions of the shrub tundra zone-northern Norway, northern European Russia and western Siberia. Shrub tundra is a naturally patchy habitat where willow thickets represent a major structural element and are important for herbivores both as food and shelter. Habitat use was quantified using feces counts in a hierarchical spatial design and related to several measures of willow thicket configuration. We document a functional response in the use of willow thickets by ptarmigan, but not by hares. For hares, whose range extends into forested regions, occurrence increased overall with willow cover. The occurrence of willow ptarmigan showed a strong positive relationship to willow cover and a negative relationship to thicket fragmentation in the region with lowest willow cover at landscape scale, where willow growth may be limited by reindeer browsing. In regions with higher cover, in contrast, such relationships were not observed. Differences in predator communities among the regions may contribute to the observed pattern, enhancing the need for cover where willow thickets are scarce. Such region-specific relationships reflecting regional characteristics of the ecosystem highlight the importance of large-scale investigations to understand the relationships of habitat availability and use, which is a critical issue considering that habitat availability changes quickly with climate change and human impact.

  6. Could 4 degrees warming change Arctic tundra from carbon sink to carbon source?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torn, M. S.; Abramoff, R. Z.; Chafe, O.; Curtis, J. B.; Smith, L. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2015-12-01

    We have set up a controlled, active warming experiment in permafrost tundra on the North Slope of Alaska. The aim of this micro-warming experiment is to investigate the direct effect of soil warming on microbial decomposition of soil organic matter. We are testing the feasibility of small, short-term, in situ warming that can be run off batteries for distributed deployment and that preserves plant-soil relations and natural variability in wind, temperature, and precipitation. Based on preliminary results, the approach looks promising. One resistance heater cable per plot (25 cm diameter plots) was inserted vertically to 50 cm, spanning the full active layer (maximum thaw depth was 40 cm in 2014). Heaters were turned on August 1, 2015, and heated plots reached the 4ºC warming target within 1-3 days. We are measuring soil microclimate, thaw depth, CO2 and CH4 fluxes, and 14CO2, and microbial composition, as part of the DOE Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic). Ecosystem respiration increased immediately in the heated plots, and net ecosystem exchange under clear chambers changed from net uptake to net CO2 source in two of the four plots. CH4 flux shifted toward reduced net emissions or greater net uptake in all plots. These rapid responses demonstrate direct changes in decomposition without complications from microbial acclimation, altered community structure or changes in substrate availability. However, future Arctic tundra carbon balance will depend on both short term and long term microbial responses, as well as the links between warming, decomposition, nitrogen mineralization, and plant growth. Thus, we envision that distributed micro-warming plots could be combined with new approaches to aboveground passive warming being developed in NGEE, gradient studies, and modeling.

  7. Isolation of a complete circular virus genome sequence from an Alaskan black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) gastrointestinal tract sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna, Zachary R.; Runckel, Charles; Fuchs, Jerome; DeRisi, Joseph L.; Mindell, David P.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Handel, Colleen M.; Dumbacher, John P.

    2015-01-01

    We report here the genome sequence of a circular virus isolated from samples of an Alaskan black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) gastrointestinal tract. The genome is 2,152 bp in length and is most similar (30 to 44.5% amino acid identity) to the genome sequences of other single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) circular viruses belonging to the gemycircularvirus group.

  8. Experimental modeling of the influence of the rise in average summer temperatures on carbon circulation in tundra ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkhatov, Yu. V.; Tikhomirov, A. A.; Ushakova, S. A.; Shikhov, V. N.; Bartsev, S. I.; Degermendzhi, A. G.

    2016-11-01

    A sealed vegetation chamber was designed and constructed for physical simulation of climate conditions in the Subarctic zone during the spring-summer time. The small laboratory tundra-simulating ecosystem (TSE) was created for comparative evaluation of the rates of soil respiration and of the total balance of carbon fluxes in tundra ecosystems. The test experiment was performed to study the TSE response to a temperature rise in air and soil by 2°C in terms of the intensity of the CO2 flux. It was shown that this increase in temperature would cause a pronounced shift in the balance of CO2 production and utilization in the ecosystem from near-zero values to a stable generation of 24 μmol/h of CO2 per 1 kg of dry biomass.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Acidobacteria dominate the active bacterial communities of Arctic tundra with widely divergent winter-time snow accumulation and soil temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Männistö, Minna K; Kurhela, Emilia; Tiirola, Marja; Häggblom, Max M

    2013-04-01

    The timing and extent of snow cover is a major controller of soil temperature and hence winter-time microbial activity and plant diversity in Arctic tundra ecosystems. To understand how snow dynamics shape the bacterial communities, we analyzed the bacterial community composition of windswept and snow-accumulating shrub-dominated tundra heaths of northern Finland using DNA- and RNA-based 16S rRNA gene community fingerprinting (terminal restriction fragment polymorphism) and clone library analysis. Members of the Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria dominated the bacterial communities of both windswept and snow-accumulating habitats with the most abundant phylotypes corresponding to subdivision (SD) 1 and 2 Acidobacteria in both the DNA- and RNA-derived community profiles. However, different phylotypes within Acidobacteria were found to dominate at different sampling dates and in the DNA- vs. RNA-based community profiles. The results suggest that different species within SD1 and SD2 Acidobacteria respond to environmental conditions differently and highlight the wide functional diversity of these organisms even within the SD level. The acidic tundra soils dominated by ericoid shrubs appear to select for diverse stress-tolerant Acidobacteria that are able to compete in the nutrient poor, phenolic-rich soils. Overall, these communities seem stable and relatively insensitive to the predicted changes in the winter-time snow cover.

  13. Divergent hydrological responses to 20th century climate change in shallow tundra ponds, western Hudson Bay Lowlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Brent B.; Light, Erin M.; Macrae, Merrin L.; Hall, Roland I.; Eichel, Kaleigh; Jasechko, Scott; White, Jerry; Fishback, LeeAnn; Edwards, Thomas W. D.

    2011-12-01

    The hydrological fate of shallow tundra lakes and ponds under conditions of continued warming remains uncertain, but has important implications for wildlife habitat and biogeochemical cycling. Observations of unprecedented pond desiccation, in particular, signify catastrophic loss of aquatic habitat in some Arctic locations. Shallow tundra ponds are a ubiquitous feature in the western Hudson Bay Lowlands (HBL), a region that has undergone intense warming over the past ˜50 years. But it remains unknown how hydrological processes in these ponds have responded. Here, we use cellulose-inferred pond water oxygen isotope records from sediment cores, informed by monitoring of modern pond water isotope compositions during the 2009 and 2010 ice-free seasons, to reconstruct hydrological conditions of four shallow tundra ponds in the western HBL over the past three centuries. Following an interval of relative hydrological stability during the early part of the records, results reveal widely differing hydrological responses to 20th century climate change among the study sites, which is largely dependent on hydrological connectivity of the basins within their respective surrounding peatlands. These findings suggest the 20th century has been characterized by an increasingly dynamic landscape that has variably influenced surface water balance - a factor that is likely to play a key role in determining the future water balance of ponds in this region.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. Long-term mountain tundra composition's responses to grazing pressure in the context of environmental changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saccone, Patrick; Pyykkonen, Tuija; Eskelinen, Anu; Virtanen, Risto

    2013-04-01

    Strong changes in northern tundra in response to climate changes are expected and in particular an increasing shrubiness. However, global changes contain not only warming or shifts in snow-cover but also changes in land-use, e.g. for arctic low productive ecosystems changes in grazing pressure. Grazing could also represent an important driver of future Arctic tundra communities. However, the relative importance of biotic and abiotic drivers of plant communities' composition remains largely unknown, in particular because short-term experiments provided to conflicting evidences. Here, we present the results from a long-term (23 years) experiment set up in 1989 at Kilpisjärvi in the north-western Finnish Lapland. The experiment consisted in the transplantation of twenty 40x50 cm blocks of Vaccinium myrtillus heath including 5-10 cm thick soil layer from a 660 m.a.s.l. dry slope to a snowbed 150m higher in elevation containing dry and wet sites. We considered the transplantation at higher altitude in snowbed conditions an increase in harsher conditions (shorter growing season, lower productivity). Half of the transplanted blocks were protected from herbivores and the percentage cover of each plant species was estimated in mid-august 2012 from a central 12.5 x12.5 cm area in each block. Our results showed that the dominance of the shrub V. myrtillus was strongly reduced as response to transplantation to snowbed. Consequently the competitive pressure also decreased and allowed an increase of the species richness. Soil moisture differences between installation locations induced divergence in plant communities' composition allowing the increase in abundance of subordinate species as bryophytes and graminoids in wet and dry sites respectively. Excluding herbivory, some species assumed high dominance reducing the community diversity. In the wet exclosures, quarter of the surface was covered by a moss and V. myrtillus co-dominated. The strongest changes occurred in dry

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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%.

  20. Attitudes toward harm reduction and abstinence-only approaches to alcohol misuse among Alaskan college students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica C. Skewes

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Background. Harm reduction is a public health approach that aims to guide hazardous drinkers to change unsafe drinking and minimize alcohol-related consequences without requiring abstinence. In contrast, abstinence-based interventions are designed for people with more severe alcohol problems and they aim to eliminate consequences via complete abstinence from alcohol. Current best practices for treating college student alcohol misuse involve harm reduction strategies, but no research has been conducted examining students’ perceptions of these strategies. Objective. Understanding attitudes is critical prior to the implementation of an intervention in a new setting, particularly when attitudes may serve as barriers to treatment enrolment and retention. For this reason, we sought to examine attitudes toward contrasting alcohol misuse interventions among college students in two large public universities in the circumpolar north. Design. A web-based survey was conducted with 461 students from two public universities in Alaska. Participants completed questionnaires assessing attitudes toward alcohol treatment, current drinking behaviour, and demographic information. Results. Findings indicated that emerging adult (18–25 years old students who would be targets of future interventions (hazardous drinkers evidenced more positive attitudes toward harm reduction than abstinence-only approaches. Conclusion. This research provides support for the implementation of harm reduction intervention strategies for Alaskan college students who misuse alcohol. It is likely that harm reduction will be acceptable in this population.

  1. Children's Depression Inventory: A unidimensional factor structure for American Indian and Alaskan native youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Walter D; Clapp, Joshua; Mileviciute, Inga; Mousseau, Alicia

    2016-01-01

    Given that American Indian and Alaskan Native (AI/AN) youth are at increased risk for a variety of depression-related outcomes and may experience depression uniquely, the fact that the factor structure of the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI; Kovacs, 1992) is unknown for these populations represents a significant obstacle. In Study 1 with an AI youth sample, we conducted confirmatory factor analyses and failed to find support for either of the 2 predominant CDI multifactor models (Craighead, Smucker, Craighead, & Ilardi, 1998; Kovacs, 1992). In subsequent exploratory structural equation modeling, we found the most support for a unidimensional factor structure. In Study 2, using confirmatory modeling with independent AI/AN youth samples, we found further support for this unidimensional model. Finally, in Study 3, we found support across AI/AN groups varying in gender and age for measurement invariance with respect to both factor structure and factor loadings. Overall, for these AI/AN youth populations, our findings support the practice of calculating total CDI scores, and they suggest a unique construction of the depression experience.

  2. Transport of fecal bacteria by boots and vehicle tires in a rural Alaskan community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Molly K; Ford, Malcolm R; White, Daniel M; Barnes, David L; Schiewer, Silke

    2009-02-01

    People living without piped water and sewer can be at increased risk for diseases transmitted via the fecal-oral route. One rural Alaskan community that relies on hauling water into homes and sewage from homes was studied to determine the pathways of fecal contamination of drinking water and the human environment so that barriers can be established to protect health. Samples were tested for the fecal indicator, Escherichia coli, and the less specific indicator group, total coliforms. Shoes transported fecal contamination from outside to floor material inside buildings. Contamination in puddles on the road, in conjunction with contamination found on all-terrain vehicle (ATV) tires, supports vehicle traffic as a mechanism for transporting contamination from the dumpsite or other source areas to the rest of the community. The abundance of fecal bacteria transported around the community on shoes and ATV tires suggests that centralized measures for waste disposal as well as shoe removal in buildings could improve sanitation and health in the community.

  3. Chemical and biological assessment of two offshore drilling sites in the Alaskan Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trefry, John H; Dunton, Kenneth H; Trocine, Robert P; Schonberg, Susan V; McTigue, Nathan D; Hersh, Eric S; McDonald, Thomas J

    2013-05-01

    A retrospective chemical and biological study was carried out in Camden Bay, Alaskan Beaufort Sea, where single exploratory oil wells were drilled at two sites more than two decades ago. Barium from discharged drilling mud was present in sediments at concentrations as high as 14%, ~200 times above background, with significantly higher concentrations of Ba, but not other metals, within 250 m of the drilling site versus reference stations. Elevated concentrations of Cr, Cu, Hg and Pb were found only at two stations within 25 m of one drilling site. Concentrations of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (TPAH) were not significantly different at reference versus drilling-site stations; however, TPAH were elevated in Ba-rich layers from naturally occurring perylene in ancient formation cuttings. Infaunal biomass and species abundance were not significantly different at reference versus drilling-site stations; infauna were less diverse at drilling-site stations. Our assessment showed that discharges from single wells within large areas caused minimal long-term, adverse impacts to the benthic ecosystem.

  4. Measuring melt and velocity of Alaskan mountain glaciers using phase-sensitive radar and differential GPS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuhaus, S.; Tulaczyk, S. M.

    2015-12-01

    Alaskan glaciers show some of the highest rates of retreat worldwide, contributing to sea level rise. This retreat is due to both increased velocity and increased melt. We seek to understand the role of glacial meltwater on velocity. Matanuska glacier, a land terminating glacier in Alaska, has been well-studied using traditional glaciological techniques, but new technology has emerged that allows us to measure melt and velocity more accurately. We employed high-resolution differential GPS to create surface velocity profiles across flow in the ablation zone during the summer of 2015. We also measured surface ablation using stakes and measured basal melt using phase-sensitive radar designed by the British Antarctic Survey. The positions acquired by differential GPS are obtained to a resolution of less than 0.5m, while feature tracking using time-lapse photography for the same time period yields positions with greater and more variable uncertainty. The phase-sensitive radar provides ice thinning rates. Phase-sensitive radar together with ground penetrating radar provides us with an understanding of the internal structure of the glacier. This suite of data allows us to determine the relative importance of surface melt, basal melt, and internal deformation on ice velocity in warm mountain glaciers.

  5. Hepatitis C Virus in American Indian/Alaskan Native and Aboriginal Peoples of North America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Uhanova

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Liver diseases, such as hepatitis C virus (HCV, are “broken spirit” diseases. The prevalence of HCV infection for American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN in the United States and Canadian Aboriginals varies; nonetheless, incidence rates of newly diagnosed HCV infection are typically higher relative to non-indigenous people. For AI/AN and Aboriginal peoples risk factors for the diagnosis of HCV can reflect that of the general population: predominately male, a history of injection drug use, in midlife years, with a connection with urban centers. However, the face of the indigenous HCV infected individual is becoming increasingly female and younger compared to non-indigenous counterparts. Epidemiology studies indicate that more effective clearance of acute HCV infection can occur for select Aboriginal populations, a phenomenon which may be linked to unique immune characteristics. For individuals progressing to chronic HCV infection treatment outcomes are comparable to other racial cohorts. Disease progression, however, is propelled by elevated rates of co-morbidities including type 2 diabetes and alcohol use, along with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV co-infection relative to non-indigenous patients. Historical and personal trauma has a major role in the participation of high risk behaviors and associated diseases. Although emerging treatments provide hope, combating HCV related morbidity and mortality will require interventions that address the etiology of broken spirit diseases.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Long-term Nutrient Fertilization Increases CO2 Loss in Arctic Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    As anthropogenic climate change warms the Arctic, organic carbon (C) trapped in permafrost is at an increased risk of being released to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2). At the same time, higher rates of decomposition may increase nutrient availability and enhance plant growth, leading to an uptake of C that may offset respiratory losses. Arctic tundra ecosystems are highly nitrogen (N) limited, and the indirect effects of warming on nutrient availability will be the most likely outcome of increased temperature on plant productivity. This study aims to understand the effects of nutrient addition on arctic CO2 and H2O exchange in a tundra ecosystem at Toolik Lake Field Station, Alaska. The nutrient addition experiment, which began in 2006, is comprised of 7 fertilization treatments: 0.5, 1, 2, 5, and 10 g m-2 of N as NO3- and NH4+ (1:1) with 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2.5, and 5 g m-2 of phosphorus as PO43-; 5 g m-2 of N as NO3-; 5 g m-2 of N as NH4+, and one control plot. Plot-level CO2 and H2O exchange was measured at 5 light levels 7 times over a four-week period in June and July 2015. We measured ecosystem CO2 and H2O exchange using a rectangular plexiglass chamber (0.49 m2) that was connected to an infrared gas analyzer (LI-840). Other ecosystem variables measured include thaw depth, soil moisture and temperature, and normalized difference vegetation index. After 10 years of nutrient addition, fertilization significantly altered ecosystem C cycling. Soil respiration was greatest in the highest fertilization treatment (2.97 μmol m-2 s-1), increasing linearly with nutrient level at a rate of 0.133 μmol m-2 s-1 per g m-2 of N added (R2=0.914). Net CO2 uptake was greatest under highest fertilization (-2.06 μmol m-2 s-1), decreasing linearly with nutrient addition at a rate of -0.068 μmol m-2 s-1 per g m-2 of N added (R2=0.687). These results suggest that as nutrients become more available under a warmer climate, plant productivity increases may not offset respiratory

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Backscatter from ice growing on shallow tundra lakes near Barrow, Alaska, winter 1991-1992

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffries, M. O.; Wakabayashi, H.; Weeks, W. F.; Morris, K.

    1993-01-01

    The timing of freeze-up and break-up of Arctic lake ice is a potentially useful environmental indicator that could be monitored using SAR. In order to do this, it is important to understand how the properties and structure of the ice during its growth and decay affect radar backscatter and thus lake ice SAR signatures. The availability of radiometrically and geometrically calibrated digital SAR data time series from the Alaska SAR Facility has made it possible for the first time to quantify lake ice backscatter intensity (sigma(sup o)) variations. This has been done for ice growing on shallow tundra lakes near Barrow, NW Alaska, from initial growth in September 1991 until thawing and decay in June 1992. Field and laboratory observations and measurements of the lake ice were made in late April 1992. The field investigations of the coastal lakes near Barrow confirmed previous findings that, (1) ice frozen to the lake bottom had a dark signature in SAR images, indicating weak backscatter, while, (2) ice that was floating had a bright signature, indicating strong backscatter. At all sites, regardless of whether the ice was grounded or floating, there was a layer of clear, inclusion-free ice overlaying a layer of ice with dense concentrations of vertically oriented tubular bubbles. At some sites, there was a third layer of porous, snow-ice overlaying the clear ice.

  14. Plant response to climate change along the forest-tundra ecotone in northeastern Siberia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berner, Logan T; Beck, Pieter S A; Bunn, Andrew G; Goetz, Scott J

    2013-11-01

    Russia's boreal (taiga) biome will likely contract sharply and shift northward in response to 21st century climatic change, yet few studies have examined plant response to climatic variability along the northern margin. We quantified climate dynamics, trends in plant growth, and growth-climate relationships across the tundra shrublands and Cajander larch (Larix cajanderi Mayr.) woodlands of the Kolyma river basin (657 000 km(2) ) in northeastern Siberia using satellite-derived normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI), tree ring-width measurements, and climate data. Mean summer temperatures (Ts ) increased 1.0 °C from 1938 to 2009, though there was no trend (P > 0.05) in growing year precipitation or climate moisture index (CMIgy ). Mean summer NDVI (NDVIs ) increased significantly from 1982 to 2010 across 20% of the watershed, primarily in cold, shrub-dominated areas. NDVIs positively correlated (P  0.05), which significantly correlated with NDVIs (r = 0.44, P 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.

  15. Pentecostals and Charismatic Protestants in the Republic of Komi and Nenets Tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Art Leete

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Between 2010 and 2012, an extended team of scholars studied contemporary Protestant groups in Russia. The project was labelled Center for the Study of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements in Russia1 (CSPCMR and was led by Aleksandr Panchenko from the European University in Saint Petersburg and Patrick Plattet from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Besides Russia and the USA, scholars from Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, and Estonia were involved in this collaborative research effort. The host institution of the project was the European University in St. Petersburg. The aim of the project was to analyse the Protestant-charismatic (P/c Christianity in various regions of post-Soviet Russia. The project proceeded from the notions concerned with global effects of the rapid extension of P/c Christianity in the contemporary world. In the anthropology of Pentecostalism, problems of continuity and change, globalisation and indigenisation, preservation of pre-Pentecostal ontologies, creating the new morality and approaches to economy and politics have been discussed (Coleman 2000; Robbins 2004a, 2004b. The Estonian team’s specific task was to analyse contemporary Protestant missions and churches in the north-eastern corner of European Russia, in the Republic of Komi and the European Nenets tundra.

  16. Short-term Climate Characteristics at Ny-(A)lesund over the Arctic Tundra Area

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    Based on the Germany Koldwey Station's 1994-2003 conventional observation hourly data, this paper conducts a statistical analysis on the short-term climate characteristics for an arctic tundra region (Ny-(A)lesund island) where our first arctic expedition station (Huanghe Station) was located. Affected by the North Atlantic warming current, this area has a humid temperate climate, and the air temperature at Ny-(A)lesund rose above 0 ℃ even during deep winter season during our research period. The wind speed in this area was low and appeared most at southeast direction. We find that the temperature at Ny-(A)lesund rose in the faster rate (0.68 ℃/10 a) than those at the whole Arctic area. Compared with the floating ices where our expedition conducted in the Arctic, Ny-(A)lesund was warmer and more humid and had lower wind speed. Comparison of the near surface air temperature derived by NCEP/NCAR reanalysis to the conventional measurements conducted at the Koldwey site in Ny-(A)lesund area shows a good agreement for winter season and a significant difference for summer season.

  17. 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.

  18. Forest patch height uncertainty from spaceborne data in the taiga-tundra ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montesano, P. M.; Sun, G.; Ranson, J.; Dubayah, R.

    2014-12-01

    In the taiga-tundra ecotone (TTE), vegetation structure change can be subtle and site-dependent, yet occur across broad scales. Recent remote sensing studies have highlighted the degree to which vegetation structure in the TTE can be characterized with spaceborne remote sensing at the plot-scale. These studies demonstrate the fundamental uncertainty of space-based local-scale vertical structure measurements that are available across broad scales and provide the opportunity to understand regional variation in detailed vegetation characteristics. Patch-scale analyses of vegetation structure provide a means to examine vertical structure and horizontal patch form, their association with landscape characteristics, and a basis for examining the variation of change in patch characteristics across sites. In this study we delineate forest patches in study sites along the TTE in northern Siberia with high resolution (0.5 - 3m) spaceborne imagery (HRSI) and attribute patches with tree cover and spectral data from Landsat 7, backscatter power from ALOS PALSAR and canopy height data based on a HRSI-derived digital surface model and ICESat-GLAS ground elevation. We examine the uncertainty of forest patch height from this suite of spaceborne medium and high resolution optical, radar, and LiDAR data. Results demonstrate the potential and limits of spaceborne estimates of patch-scale forest height whose differences are often small, biophysically relevant, and subject to variable rates of change across the broad-scale of the circumpolar TTE.

  19. 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,

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. Net carbon exchange across the Arctic tundra-boreal forest transition in Alaska 1981-2000

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

    Shifts in the carbon balance of high-latitude ecosystems could result from differential responses of vegetation and soil processes to changing moisture and temperature regimes and to a lengthening of the growing season. Although shrub expansion and northward movement of treeline should increase carbon inputs, the effects of these vegetation changes on net carbon exchange have not been evaluated. We selected low shrub, tall shrub, and forest tundra sites near treeline in northwestern Alaska, representing the major structural transitions expected in response to warming. In these sites, we measured aboveground net primary production (ANPP) and vegetation and soil carbon and nitrogen pools, and used these data to parameterize the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model. We simulated the response of carbon balance components to air temperature and precipitation trends during 1981-2000. In areas experiencing warmer and dryer conditions, Net Primary Production (NPP) decreased and heterotrophic respiration (R H ) increased, leading to a decrease in Net Ecosystem Production (NEP). In warmer and wetter conditions NPP increased, but the response was exceeded by an increase in R H ; therefore, NEP also decreased. Lastly, in colder and wetter regions, the increase in NPP exceeded a small decline in R H , leading to an increase in NEP. The net effect for the region was a slight gain in ecosystem carbon storage over the 20 year period. This research highlights the potential importance of spatial variability in ecosystem responses to climate change in assessing the response of carbon storage in northern Alaska over the last two decades. ?? Springer 2005.

  3. Site Scale Wetness Classification of Tundra Regions with C-Band SAR Satellite Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widhalm, Barbara; Bartsch, Annett; Siewert, Matthias Benjamin; Gugelius, Gustaf; Elberling, Bo; Leibman, Marina; Dvornikov, Yury; Khomutov, Artem

    2016-08-01

    A representative and consistent wetland map for the circumpolar region is required for a range of applications including modelling of permafrost properties as well as upscaling of carbon pools and fluxes. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data has been shown to be suitable for wetland mapping, especially C- band ASAR GM data (1-km resolution). A circumpolar wetness classification map has been introduced previously [1].With heterogeneity being a major challenge in the Arctic, higher spatial resolution products than GM are essential. In this study we therefore investigate the potential of this approach at site scale using ENVISAT ASAR WS data ( 120 m resolution). These higher resolution ASAR WS maps have been produced for study sites representing different settings throughout the Arctic and compared to high resolution land cover maps and field survey data.It can be shown that a medium resolution C-band SAR based wetness level map can be derived for tundra regions where no scattering due to tree trunks hampers the applied methodology.

  4. 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

  5. Martian and Ionian Analogs of Permafrost-Volcano Interactions in Alaskan Permafrost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kargel, J. S.; Beget, J. E.; Skinner, J. A.; Wessels, R.

    2005-12-01

    Volcanic landforms in Alaskan lowland permafrost exhibit several unique morphological attributes, as described in a companion AGU abstract (Beget et al.). These features include (1) giant maar sizes (in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve) an order of magnitude larger than common in non-permafrost terrains, (2) composite volcanic forms produced by repeated maar-forming explosions (the novel Ingakslugwat-type volcano in Yukon Delta), and (3) super-inflated lava flows with marginal thermokarst pits (Lost Jim flow, Imuruk Lake Volcanic Field, Bering Land Bridge area). We have identified on Mars, in areas not indicating glaciation, several landforms and on Io an active volcanic process that might be analogs of these in Alaska. On Mars, within and near Elysium (Galaxias Fossae and Hrad Vallis region) multiple crater-like depressions occur with other volcanic features. Their characteristics suggest that the depressions are maars. The composite structures suggest similarities to Ingakslugwat volcanoes. Possible analogs of giant oversize maars also have been identified on Mars. In addition to surface gravitational differences between Earth and Mars, it seems likely that volatile composition is a key aspect controlling the explosivity and sizes of maars on both planets. In Alaska, we suspect that volcanic interactions with methane clathrate hydrate-rich permafrost tends to yield larger maar sizes than with ice-rich permafrost or ground water. This working hypothesis fits well with observations that the giant maars formed during the climatically coldest periods (Beget et al., 2005, this conference). During those periods, permafrost was thick, strong, and unpunctured by lakes and rivers, and so it could have trapped clathrate-forming gases. During interglacials, thinner permafrost and the widespread occurrence of thaw lakes and surface streams may cause the permafrost to be ineffective in confining ascending gases, and so clathrates were absent or not abundant, and volcanic

  6. Seasonal variation of upwelling in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea: Impact of sea ice cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, Lena M.; Pickart, Robert S.

    2012-06-01

    Data from a mooring array deployed from August 2002 to September 2004 are used to characterize differences in upwelling near the shelf break in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea due to varying sea ice conditions. The record is divided into three ice seasons: open water, partial ice, and full ice. The basic response is the same in each of the seasons. Roughly 8 h after the onset of easterly winds the shelf break jet reverses, followed approximately 10 h later by upwelling of saltier water which is cold near the shelf break (Pacific Winter Water) and warm at depth (Atlantic Water). The secondary circulation at the outer shelf is, to first order, consistent with a two-dimensional Ekman balance of offshore flow in the upper layer and onshore flow at depth. There are, however, important seasonal differences in the upwelling. Overall the response is strongest in the partial ice season and weakest in the full ice season. It is believed that these differences are dictated by the degree to which wind stress is transmitted through the pack-ice, as the strength of the wind-forcing was comparable over the three seasons. An EOF-based upwelling index is constructed using information about the primary flow, secondary flow, and hydrography. The ability to predict upwelling using the wind record alone is explored, which demonstrates that 90% of easterly wind events exceeding 9.5 m s-1 drive significant upwelling. During certain periods the ice cover on the shelf became landfast, which altered the upwelling and circulation patterns near the shelf break.

  7. Deciduous Tree Species Alter Nitrogen and Phosphorus Availability in Mid-successional Alaskan Boreal Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melvin, A. M.; Mack, M. C.; Johnstone, J. F.; Schuur, E. A.

    2013-12-01

    In Alaskan boreal forest, increased fire severity associated with climate change is altering successional processes and ecosystem nutrient dynamics. Fire is a common disturbance in Interior Alaska and typically burns forests dominated by black spruce (Picea mariana), a tree species associated with slow nutrient turnover and high soil organic matter accumulation rates. Historically, low severity fires have driven black spruce regeneration post-fire, thereby maintaining slow nutrient cycling rates and large soil organic matter stocks. In contrast, high severity fires consume the organic layer and can lead to the establishment of deciduous tree species on exposed mineral soil, which produce less recalcitrant leaf litter and exhibit faster nutrient cycling rates. To improve our understanding of the long-term impacts of tree species composition on nutrient cycling in boreal forest, we quantified nitrogen (N) cycling rates and estimated soil N, phosphorus (P), and base cation pools in adjacent, mid-successional stands of black spruce and Alaska paper birch (Betula neoalaskana) that established following a 1960 fire near Fairbanks, Alaska. Results indicate significantly higher net N mineralization in paper birch soils relative to black spruce for both the fibric organic layer and top 10 cm of mineral soil during 30-day and 90-day lab incubation studies. Net nitrification was significantly higher in the paper birch fibric layer after 90 days. Total soil N concentrations did not differ between paper birch and black spruce stands, however the black spruce organic layer was significantly larger than that of birch, resulting in larger organic layer N stocks (130 vs. 87 g N m2). In contrast, total P concentrations were significantly higher in the organic layer in birch forest, but the total P stocks did not differ significantly between species because of the larger mass of soil organic matter in the black spruce. These findings suggest that a shift towards greater deciduous

  8. Experimental Evidence that Fungi are Dominant Microbes in Carbon Content and Growth Response to Added Soluble Organic Carbon in Moss-rich Tundra Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, O Roger; Lee, Jee Min; McGuire, Krista

    2016-05-01

    Global warming significantly affects Arctic tundra, including permafrost thaw and soluble C release that may differentially affect tundra microbial growth. Using laboratory experiments, we report some of the first evidence for the effects of soluble glucose-C enrichment on tundra soil prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) and fungi, with comparisons to microbial eukaryotes. Fungal increase in C-biomass was equivalent to 10% (w/w) of the added glucose-C, and for prokaryote biomass 2% (w/w), the latter comparable to prior published results. The C-gain after 14 d was 1.3 mg/g soil for fungi, and ~200 μg/g for prokaryotes.

  9. Chromosomal evolution of Arvicolinae (Cricetidae, Rodentia). I. The genome homology of tundra vole, field vole, mouse and golden hamster revealed by comparative chromosome painting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitnikova, Natalia A; Romanenko, Svetlana A; O'Brien, Patricia C M; Perelman, Polina L; Fu, Beiyuan; Rubtsova, Nadezhda V; Serdukova, Natalya A; Golenishchev, Feodor N; Trifonov, Vladimir A; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Yang, Fengtang; Graphodatsky, Alexander S

    2007-01-01

    Cross-species chromosome painting has become the mainstay of comparative cytogenetic and chromosome evolution studies. Here we have made a set of chromosomal painting probes for the field vole (Microtus agrestis) by DOP-PCR amplification of flow-sorted chromosomes. Together with painting probes of golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) and mouse (Mus musculus), the field vole probes have been hybridized onto the metaphases of the tundra vole (Microtus oeconomus). A comparative chromosome map between these two voles, golden hamster and mouse has been established based on the results of cross-species chromosome painting and G-banding comparisons. The sets of paints from the field vole, golden hamster and mouse identified a total of 27, 40 and 47 homologous autosomal regions, respectively, in the genome of tundra vole; 16, 41 and 51 fusion/fission rearrangements differentiate the karyotype of the tundra vole from the karyotypes of the field vole, golden hamster and mouse, respectively.

  10. 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.

  11. The transcriptional response of microbial communities in thawing Alaskan permafrost soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coolen, Marco J L; Orsi, William D

    2015-01-01

    Thawing of permafrost soils is expected to stimulate microbial decomposition and respiration of sequestered carbon. This could, in turn, increase atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide and methane, and create a positive feedback to climate warming. Recent metagenomic studies suggest that permafrost has a large metabolic potential for carbon processing, including pathways for fermentation and methanogenesis. Here, we performed a pilot study using ultrahigh throughput Illumina HiSeq sequencing of reverse transcribed messenger RNA to obtain a detailed overview of active metabolic pathways and responsible organisms in up to 70 cm deep permafrost soils at a moist acidic tundra location in Arctic Alaska. The transcriptional response of the permafrost microbial community was compared before and after 11 days of thaw. In general, the transcriptional profile under frozen conditions suggests a dominance of stress responses, survival strategies, and maintenance processes, whereas upon thaw a rapid enzymatic response to decomposing soil organic matter (SOM) was observed. Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, ascomycete fungi, and methanogens were responsible for largest transcriptional response upon thaw. Transcripts indicative of heterotrophic methanogenic pathways utilizing acetate, methanol, and methylamine were found predominantly in the permafrost table after thaw. Furthermore, transcripts involved in acetogenesis were expressed exclusively after thaw suggesting that acetogenic bacteria are a potential source of acetate for acetoclastic methanogenesis in freshly thawed permafrost. Metatranscriptomics is shown here to be a useful approach for inferring the activity of permafrost microbes that has potential to improve our understanding of permafrost SOM bioavailability and biogeochemical mechanisms contributing to greenhouse gas emissions as a result of permafrost thaw.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The origin of spheroidal patterns of weathering in the Pados-Tundra mafic-ultramafic complex, Kola Peninsula, Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.Y. Barkov

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available We document a new and unusual occurrence of patterns of protruding spheroidal weathering developed in a dunitic rock of the Pados-Tundra mafic-ultramafic complex of Early Proterozoic age, Kola Peninsula, Russia. It provides an example similar to that reported recently from a mineralized harzburgite in the Monchepluton layered complex in the same region. These patterns are genetically different from common results of “normal spheroidal weathering” sensu stricto. The spheroidally weathered dunite at Pados-Tundra consists of a high-Fo olivine, Ol (Fo 87. 5, which is, in fact, not altered. Accessory grains of aluminous chromite are present. Relief spheroids (1.5 to 4 cm in diameter; up to ~5 vol. % are distributed sparsely and heterogeneously. They are hosted by the olivine matrix and composed of talc, Tlc, and tremolite, Tr, (Mg# = 95-96 formed presumably at the expense of orthopyroxene, Opx, (i.e., pre-existing oikocrysts during a deuteric (autometasomatic alteration. In contrast, oikocrystic Opx (En 86.0 is quite fresh in related spheroids at Monchepluton, in which only minor deuteric alteration (Tlc + Tr are observed. We infer that (1 the ball-shaped morphology of the weathered surface is a reflection of the presence of oikocrysts of Opx, which crystallized after Ol at the magmatic stage; they were entirely replaced by the deuterically induced Tlc + Tr at Pados-Tundra. (2 Differential rates of weathering are implied for rock-forming minerals in these ultramafic rocks, with a higher resistance of Opx vs. Fo-rich Ol, and Tlc + Tr vs. Fo-rich Ol. (3 The ball-like shape of the large spheroids, produced by magmatic processes, may likely represent an additional factor of their higher stability to weathering in the superficial environment. Similar patterns can be expected in other mafic-ultramafic complexes, especially in layered intrusions.

  15. Potential changes in arctic seasonality and plant communities may impact tundra soil chemistry and carbon dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, S.; Cooper, E.; Beilman, D.; Filley, T.; Reimer, P.

    2009-04-01

    On the Svalbard archipelago, as in other high Arctic regions, tundra soil organic matter (SOM) is primarily plant detritus that is largely stabilized by cold, moist conditions and low nitrogen availability. However, the resistance of SOM to decomposition is also influenced by the quality of organic matter inputs to soil. Different plant communities are likely to give different qualities to SOM, especially where lignin-rich woody species encroach into otherwise graminoid and bryophyte-dominated regions. Arctic woody plant species are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature, snow cover, and growing season length. In a changing environment, litter chemistry may emerge as an important control on tundra SOM stabilization. In summer 2007, we collected plant material and soil from the highly-organic upper horizon (appx. 0-5 cm) and the mineral-dominated lower horizon (appx. 5-10cm) from four locations in the southwest facing valleys of Svalbard, Norway. The central goal of the ongoing experiment is to determine whether a greater abundance of woody plants could provide a negative feedback to warming impacts on the carbon (C) balance of Arctic soils. Towards this, we used a combination of plant biopolymer analyses (cupric oxide oxidation and quantification of lignin-derived phenols and cutin/suberin-derived aliphatics) and radiocarbon-based estimates of C longevity and mean residence time (MRT) to characterize potential links between plant type and soil C pools. We found that graminoid species regenerate above- and belowground tissue each year, whereas woody species (Cassiope tetragona and Dryas octopetala) regenerated only leaves yearly. In contrast, C within live branches and roots persisted for 15-18 yr on average. Leaves from woody species remained nearly intact in surface litter for up to 20 yr without being incorporated into the upper soil horizon. Leaves from both graminoid and woody species were concentrated in lignin-derived phenols relative to roots, but

  16. Rough-legged buzzards, Arctic foxes and red foxes in a tundra ecosystem without rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Pokrovsky

    Full Text Available Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species-rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox - perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013 we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey - altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period - a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers.

  17. Inter-annual Variability in Tundra Phenology Captured with Digital Photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melendez, M.; Vargas, S. A.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2012-12-01

    The need to improve multi-scale phenological monitoring of arctic terrestrial ecosystems has been a persistent research challenge. Although there has been a range of advances in remote sensing capacities over the past decade, these present costly, and sometimes logistically challenging and technically demanding solutions for arctic terrestrial ecosystems. In this poster and undergraduate research project, we demonstrate how seasonal and inter-annual variability in landscape phenology can be derived for multiple tundra ecosystems using a low-cost and low-tech kite aerial photography (KAP) system that has been developed as a contribution to the US Arctic Observing Network. Seasonal landscape phenology was observed over the Networked Info-Mechanical Systems (NIMS) grids (2 x 50 meters) located in Barrow and Atqasuk, Alaska using imagery acquired with KAP and analyzed for a range of greenness indices. Preliminary results showed that the 2G-RB greenness index correlated the best with NDVI values calculated from ground based hyperspectral reflectance measurements. 2012 had the highest 2G-RB greenness index values for both Barrow and Atqasuk sites, which correlated well with NDVI values acquired from ground-based hyperspectral reflectance measurements. Wet vegetation types showed the most interannual variability at the Atqasuk site based on the 2G-RB greenness index while in Barrow the moist vegetation types showed the most interannual variability. These results show that vegetation indices similar to those acquired from hyperspectral remote sensing platforms can be derived using low-cost and low-tech techniques. Further analysis using these same techniques is required in order to link relatively small scale vegetation dynamics measured with KAP with those documented at large scales using satellite imagery.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Assessing Seasonal Backscatter Variations with Respect to Uncertainties in Soil Moisture Retrieval in Siberian Tundra Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elin Högström

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of surface hydrology is essential for many applications, including studies that aim to understand permafrost response to changing climate and the associated feedback mechanisms. Advanced remote sensing techniques make it possible to retrieve a range of land-surface variables, including radar retrieved soil moisture (SSM. It has been pointed out before that soil moisture retrieval from satellite data can be challenging at high latitudes, which correspond to remote areas where ground data are scarce and the applicability of satellite data of this type is essential. This study investigates backscatter variability other than associated with changing soil moisture in order to examine the possible impact on soil moisture retrieval. It focuses on issues specific to SSM retrieval in the Arctic, notably variations related to tundra lakes. ENVISAT Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR Wide Swath (WS, 120 m data are used to understand and quantify impacts on Metop (AAdvanced Scatterometer (ASCAT, 25 km soil moisture retrieval during the snow free period. Sites of interest are chosen according to ASAR WS availability, high or low agreement between output from the land surface model ORCHIDEE and ASCAT derived SSM. Backscatter variations are analyzed with respect to the ASCAT footprint area. It can be shown that the low model agreement is related to water fraction in most cases. No difference could be detected between periods with floating ice (in snow off situation and ice free periods at the chosen sites. The mean footprint backscatter is however impacted by partial short term surface roughness change. The water fraction correlates with backscatter deviations (relative to a smooth water surface reference image within the ASCAT footprint areas (R = 0.91

  4. Geomorphological and geochemistry changes in permafrost after the 2002 tundra wildfire in Kougarok, Seward Peninsula, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwahana, Go; Harada, Koichiro; Uchida, Masao; Tsuyuzaki, Shiro; Saito, Kazuyuki; Narita, Kenji; Kushida, Keiji; Hinzman, Larry D.

    2016-09-01

    Geomorphological and thermohydrological changes to tundra, caused by a wildfire in 2002 on the central Seward Peninsula of Alaska, were investigated as a case study for understanding the response from ice-rich permafrost terrain to surface disturbance. Frozen and unfrozen soil samples were collected at burned and unburned areas, and then water isotope geochemistry and cryostratigraphy of the active layer and near-surface permafrost were analyzed to investigate past hydrological and freeze/thaw conditions and how this information could be recorded within the permafrost. The development of thermokarst subsidence due to ice wedge melting after the fire was clear from analyses of historical submeter-resolution remote sensing imagery, long-term monitoring of thermohydrological conditions within the active layer, in situ surveys of microrelief, and geochemical signals recorded in the near-surface permafrost. The resulting polygonal relief coincided with depression lines along an underground ice wedge network, and cumulative subsidence to 2013 was estimated as at least 10.1 to 12.1 cm (0.9-1.1 cm/year 11 year average). Profiles of water geochemistry in the ground indicated mixing or replenishment of older permafrost water with newer meteoric water, as a consequence of the increase in active layer thickness due to wildfire or past thaw event. Our geocryological analysis of cores suggests that permafrost could be used to reconstruct the permafrost degradation history for the study site. Distinct hydrogen and oxygen isotopic compositions above the Global Meteoric Water Line were found for water from these sites where permafrost degradation with geomorphological change and prolonged surface inundation were suggested.

  5. Automatic monitoring of the effective thermal conductivity of snow in a low Arctic shrub tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domine, F.; Barrere, M.; Sarrazin, D.; Morin, S.

    2015-03-01

    The effective thermal conductivity of snow, keff, is a critical variable which determines the temperature gradient in the snowpack and heat exchanges between the ground and the atmosphere through the snow. Its accurate knowledge is therefore required to simulate snow metamorphism, the ground thermal regime, permafrost stability, nutrient recycling and vegetation growth. Yet, few data are available on the seasonal evolution of snow thermal conductivity in the Arctic. We have deployed heated needle probes on low Arctic shrub tundra near Umiujaq, Quebec, (56°34´ N; 76°29´ W) and monitored automatically the evolution of keff for two consecutive winters, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, at 4 heights in the snowpack. Shrubs are 20 cm high dwarf birch. Here, we develop an algorithm for the automatic determination of keff from the heating curves and obtain 404 keff values. We evaluate possible errors and biases associated with the use of the heated needles. The time-evolution of keff is very different for both winters. This is explained by comparing the meteorological conditions in both winters, which induced different conditions for snow metamorphism. In particular, important melting events the second year increased snow hardness, impeding subsequent densification and increase in thermal conductivity. Shrubs are observed to have very important impacts on snow physical evolution: (1) shrubs absorb light and facilitate snow melt under intense radiation; (2) the dense twig network of dwarf birch prevents snow compaction and therefore keff increase; (3) the low density depth hoar that forms within shrubs collapsed in late winter, leaving a void that was not filled by snow.

  6. Automatic monitoring of the effective thermal conductivity of snow in a low-Arctic shrub tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domine, F.; Barrere, M.; Sarrazin, D.; Morin, S.; Arnaud, L.

    2015-06-01

    The effective thermal conductivity of snow, keff, is a critical variable which determines the temperature gradient in the snowpack and heat exchanges between the ground and the atmosphere through the snow. Its accurate knowledge is therefore required to simulate snow metamorphism, the ground thermal regime, permafrost stability, nutrient recycling and vegetation growth. Yet, few data are available on the seasonal evolution of snow thermal conductivity in the Arctic. We have deployed heated needle probes on low-Arctic shrub tundra near Umiujaq, Quebec, (N56°34'; W76°29') and monitored automatically the evolution of keff for two consecutive winters, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, at four heights in the snowpack. Shrubs are 20 cm high dwarf birch. Here, we develop an algorithm for the automatic determination of keff from the heating curves and obtain 404 keff values. We evaluate possible errors and biases associated with the use of the heated needles. The time evolution of keff is very different for both winters. This is explained by comparing the meteorological conditions in both winters, which induced different conditions for snow metamorphism. In particular, important melting events in the second year increased snow hardness, impeding subsequent densification and increase in thermal conductivity. We conclude that shrubs have very important impacts on snow physical evolution: (1) shrubs absorb light and facilitate snow melt under intense radiation; (2) the dense twig network of dwarf birch prevent snow compaction, and therefore keff increase; (3) the low density depth hoar that forms within shrubs collapsed in late winter, leaving a void that was not filled by snow.

  7. The seasonal cycle of the greenhouse gas balance of a continental tundra site in the Indigirka lowlands, NE Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. K. van der Molen

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Carbon dioxide and methane fluxes were measured at a tundra site near Chokurdakh, in the lowlands of the Indigirka river in north-east Siberia. This site is one of the few stations on Russian tundra and it is different from most other tundra flux stations in its continentality. A suite of methods was applied to determine the fluxes of NEE, GPP, Reco and methane, including eddy covariance, chambers and leaf cuvettes. Net carbon dioxide fluxes were unusually high, compared with other tundra sites, with NEE=–92 g C m−2 yr−1, which is composed of an Reco=+141 g C m−2 yr−1 and GPP=–232 g C m−2 yr−1. This large carbon dioxide sink may be explained by the continental climate, that is reflected in low winter soil temperatures (–14°C, reducing the respiration rates, and short, relatively warm summers, stimulating high photosynthesis rates. Interannual variability in GPP was dominated by the frequency of light limitation (Rg <200 W m−2, whereas Reco depends most directly on soil temperature and time in the growing season, which serves as a proxy of the combined effects of active layer depth, leaf area index, soil moisture and substrate availability. The methane flux, in units of global warming potential, was +28 g C-CO2e m−2 yr−1, so that the greenhouse gas balance was –64 g C-CO2e m−2 yr−1. Methane fluxes depended only slightly on soil temperature and were highly sensitive to hydrological conditions and vegetation composition.

  8. The growing season greenhouse gas balance of a continental tundra site in the Indigirka lowlands, NE Siberia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. K. van der Molen

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Carbon dioxide and methane fluxes were measured at a tundra site near Chokurdakh, in the lowlands of the Indigirka river in north-east Siberia. This site is one of the few stations on Russian tundra and it is different from most other tundra flux stations in its continentality. A suite of methods was applied to determine the fluxes of NEE, GPP, Reco and methane, including eddy covariance, chambers and leaf cuvettes. Net carbon dioxide fluxes were high compared with other tundra sites, with NEE=−92 g C m−2 yr−1, which is composed of an Reco=+141 g C m−2 yr−1 and GPP=−232 g C m−2 yr−1. This large carbon dioxide sink may be explained by the continental climate, that is reflected in low winter soil temperatures (−14°C, reducing the respiration rates, and short, relatively warm summers, stimulating high photosynthesis rates. Interannual variability in GPP was dominated by the frequency of light limitation (Rg<200 W m−2, whereas Reco depends most directly on soil temperature and time in the growing season, which serves as a proxy of the combined effects of active layer depth, leaf area index, soil moisture and substrate availability. The methane flux, in units of global warming potential, was +28 g C-CO2e m−2 yr−1, so that the greenhouse gas balance was −64 g C-CO2e m−2 yr−1. Methane fluxes depended only slightly on soil temperature and were highly sensitive to hydrological conditions and vegetation composition.

  9. Invasion of terrestrial enchytraeids into two postglacial tundras: North-eastern Greenland and the Arctic Archipelago of Canada (Enchytraeidae, Oligochaeta)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Bent; Dózsa-Farkas, Klára

    2006-01-01

    that of potential source regions indicating either strong selection or varied dispersal ability. It appears that the Archipelago is influenced mainly from North America and North-eastern Greenland from Europe while the specialized fauna of the ancient Beringian tundra is of minor importance. The two alternative...... scenarios: (a) survival of a prepleistocene fauna in protected refugia within the area or (b) a postglacial re-invasion from outside are discussed, but the available data do not discriminate between these two possibilities. A total of 24 terrestrial enchytraeid taxa are recorded of which 22 are identified...

  10. Use of fish hydrolysates and fishmeal by-products of the Alaskan fishing industry in diets for Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The suitability of four fish hydrolysates and two fishmeals derived from by-products of the Alaskan fishing industry, as menhaden fishmeal replacements in shrimp diets was determined. A control diet (30% crude protein and 8.5% crude lipid) was produced with menhaden meal (13% of diet). Experimental ...

  11. Historical changes in trace metals and hydrocarbons in nearshore sediments, Alaskan Beaufort Sea, prior and subsequent to petroleum-related industrial development: Part I. Trace metals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naidu, A Sathy; Blanchard, Arny L; Misra, Debasmita; Trefry, John H; Dasher, Douglas H; Kelley, John J; Venkatesan, M Indira

    2012-10-01

    Concentrations of Fe, As, Ba, Cd, Cu, Cr, Pb, Mn, Ni, Sn, V and Zn in mud (drilling effluents. In Prudhoe Bay, concentration spikes of metals in ∼1988 presumably reflect enhanced metals deposition following maximum oil drilling in 1980s. In summary, the Alaskan Arctic nearshore has remained generally free of metal contamination despite petroleum-related activities in past 40 years.

  12. Apolipoprotein E isoforms 3/3 and 3/4 differentially interact with circulating stearic, palmitic, and oleic fatty acids and lipid levels in Alaskan Natives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellanos-Tapia, Lyssia; López-Alvarenga, Juan Carlos; Ebbesson, Sven O E; Ebbesson, Lars O E; Tejero, M Elizabeth

    2015-04-01

    Lifestyle changes in Alaskan Natives have been related to the increase of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome in the last decades. Variation of the apolipoprotein E (Apo E) genotype may contribute to the diverse response to diet in lipid metabolism and influence the association between fatty acids in plasma and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The aim of this investigation was to analyze the interaction between Apo E isoforms and plasma fatty acids, influencing phenotypes related to metabolic diseases in Alaskan Natives. A sample of 427 adult Siberian Yupik Alaskan Natives was included. Fasting glucose, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, Apo A1, and Apo B plasma concentrations were measured using reference methods. Concentrations of 13 fatty acids in fasting plasma were analyzed by gas chromatography, and Apo E variants were identified. Analyses of covariance were conducted to identify Apo E isoform and fatty acid main effects and multiplicative interactions. The means for body mass index and age were 26 ± 5.2 and 47 ± 1.5, respectively. Significant main effects were observed for variation in Apo E and different fatty acids influencing Apo B levels, triglycerides, and total cholesterol. Significant interactions were found between Apo E isoform and selected fatty acids influencing total cholesterol, triglycerides, and Apo B concentrations. In summary, Apo E3/3 and 3/4 isoforms had significant interactions with circulating levels of stearic, palmitic, oleic fatty acids, and phenotypes of lipid metabolism in Alaskan Natives.

  13. 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...

  14. Alaskan Superintendent Turnover: Is There a Correlation between Anticipated Turnover and the Organizational Culture of School Boards in the State of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbert, David M. Q.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to determine if a particular type of school board culture is predictive of Alaskan public school superintendents' intention to leave their positions. Cameron and Quinn's four types of organizational culture--hierarchy, market, clan, and adhocracy--serve as the model for the study, which surveyed Alaska's…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payette, Serge; Filion, Louise; Delwaide, Ann

    2008-07-12

    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 intervals over the last 2,000 years using several fire dating techniques. Past fire occurrences and post-fire regeneration at the northern forest limit indicate 70% reduction of forest cover since 1800 yr BP and nearly complete cessation of forest regeneration since 900 yr BP. Regression of forest cover was particularly important between 1500s-1700s and possibly since 900 yr BP. Although fire frequency was very low over the last 100 years, each fire event was followed by drastic removal of spruce cover. Contrary to widespread belief of northward boreal forest expansion due to recent warming, lack of post-fire recovery during the last centuries, in comparison with active tree regeneration more than 1,000 years ago, indicates that the current climate does not favour such expansion.

  16. Chamber and Diffusive Based Carbon Flux Measurements in an Alaskan Arctic Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkman, E.; Oechel, W. C.; Zona, D.

    2013-12-01

    Eric Wilkman, Walter Oechel, Donatella Zona Comprising an area of more than 7 x 106 km2 and containing over 11% of the world's organic matter pool, Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are vitally important components of the global carbon cycle, yet their structure and functioning are sensitive to subtle changes in climate and many of these functional changes can have large effects on the atmosphere and future climate regimes (Callaghan & Maxwell 1995, Chapin et al. 2002). Historically these northern ecosystems have acted as strong C sinks, sequestering large stores of atmospheric C due to photosynthetic dominance in the short summer season and low rates of decomposition throughout the rest of the year as a consequence of cold, nutrient poor, and generally water-logged conditions. Currently, much of this previously stored carbon is at risk of loss to the atmosphere due to accelerated soil organic matter decomposition in warmer future climates (Grogan & Chapin 2000). Although there have been numerous studies on Arctic carbon dynamics, much of the previous soil flux work has been done at limited time intervals, due to both the harshness of the environment and labor and time constraints. Therefore, in June of 2013 an Ultraportable Greenhouse Gas Analyzer (UGGA - Los Gatos Research Inc.) was deployed in concert with the LI-8100A Automated Soil Flux System (LI-COR Biosciences) in Barrow, AK to gather high temporal frequency soil CO2 and CH4 fluxes from a wet sedge tundra ecosystem. An additional UGGA in combination with diffusive probes, installed in the same location, provides year-round soil and snow CO2 and CH4 concentrations. When used in combination with the recently purchased AlphaGUARD portable radon monitor (Saphymo GmbH), continuous soil and snow diffusivities and fluxes of CO2 and CH4 can be calculated (Lehmann & Lehmann 2000). Of particular note, measuring soil gas concentration over a diffusive gradient in this way allows one to separate both net production and

  17. 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

  18. Holocene evolution of lakes in the forest-tundra biome of northern Manitoba, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbs, William O.; Edlund, Mark B.; Umbanhowar, Charles E.; Camill, Philip; Lynch, Jason A.; Geiss, Christoph; Stefanova, Vania

    2017-03-01

    The late-Quaternary paleoenvironmental history of the western Hudson Bay region of Subarctic Canada is poorly constrained. Here, we present a regional overview of the post-glacial history of eight lakes which span the forest-tundra biome in northern Manitoba. We show that during the penultimate drainage phase of Lake Agassiz the lake water had an estimated pH of ∼6.0, with abundant quillwort (Isöetes spp.) along the lakeshore and littoral zone and some floating green algae (Botryococcus spp. and Pediastrum sp.). Based on multiple sediment proxies, modern lake ontogeny in the region commenced at ∼7500 cal yrs BP. Pioneering diatom communities were shaped by the turbid, higher alkalinity lake waters which were influenced by base cation weathering of the surrounding till following Lake Agassiz drainage. By ∼7000 cal yrs BP, soil development and Picea spp. establish and the lakes began a slow trajectory of acidification over the remaining Holocene epoch. The natural acidification of the lakes in this region is slow, on the order of several millennia for one pH unit. Each of the study lakes exhibit relatively stable aquatic communities during the Holocene Thermal Maximum, suggesting this period is a poor analogue for modern climatic changes. During the Neoglacial, the beginning of the post-Little Ice Age period represents the most significant climatic event to impact the lakes of N. Manitoba. In the context of regional lake histories, the rate of diatom floristic change in the last 200-300 years is unprecedented, with the exception of post-glacial lake ontogeny in some of the lakes. For nearly the entire history of the lakes in this region, there is a strong linkage between landscape development and the aquatic ecosystems; however this relationship appears to become decoupled or less strong in the post-LIA period. Significant 20th century changes in the aquatic ecosystem cannot be explained wholly by changes in the terrestrial ecosystem, suggesting that future

  19. 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

  20. Impacts of introduced Rangifer on ecosystem processes of maritime tundra on subarctic islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricca, Mark; Miles, A. Keith; Van Vuren, Dirk H.; Eviner, Valerie T.

    2016-01-01

    Introductions of mammalian herbivores to remote islands without predators provide a natural experiment to ask how temporal and spatial variation in herbivory intensity alter feedbacks between plant and soil processes. We investigated ecosystem effects resulting from introductions of Rangifer tarandus (hereafter “Rangifer”) to native mammalian predator- and herbivore-free islands in the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska. We hypothesized that the maritime tundra of these islands would experience either: (1) accelerated ecosystem processes mediated by positive feedbacks between increased graminoid production and rapid nitrogen cycling; or (2) decelerated processes mediated by herbivory that stimulated shrub domination and lowered soil fertility. We measured summer plant and soil properties across three islands representing a chronosequence of elapsed time post-Rangifer introduction (Atka: ~100 yr; Adak: ~50; Kagalaska: ~0), with distinct stages of irruptive population dynamics of Rangifer nested within each island (Atka: irruption, K-overshoot, decline, K-re-equilibration; Adak: irruption, K-overshoot; Kagalaska: initial introduction). We also measured Rangifer spatial use within islands (indexed by pellet group counts) to determine how ecosystem processes responded to spatial variation in herbivory. Vegetation community response to herbivory varied with temporal and spatial scale. When comparing temporal effects using the island chronosequence, increased time since herbivore introduction led to more graminoids and fewer dwarf-shrubs, lichens, and mosses. Slow-growingCladonia lichens that are highly preferred winter forage were decimated on both long-termRangifer-occupied islands. In addition, linear relations between more concentrated Rangifer spatial use and reductions in graminoid and forb biomass within islands added spatial heterogeneity to long-term patterns identified by the chronosequence. These results support, in part, the hypothesis that

  1. The role of summer precipitation and summer temperature in establishment and growth of dwarf shrub Betula nana in northeast Siberian tundra

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bingxi Li,; Heijmans, M.M.P.D.; Berendse, F.; Blok, D.; Maximov, T.; Sass-Klaassen, U.G.W.

    2016-01-01

    It is widely believed that deciduous tundrashrub
    dominance is increasing in the pan-Arctic region,
    mainly due to rising temperature. We sampled dwarf birch
    (Betula nana L.) at a northeastern Siberian tundra site and
    used dendrochronological methods to explore the relationship
    bet

  2. The contribution of Alaskan, Siberian, and Canadian coastal polynas to the cold halocline layer of the Arctic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalieri, Donald J.; Martin, Seelye

    1994-01-01

    Numerous Arctic Ocean circulation and geochemical studies suggest that ice growth in polynyas over the Alaskan, Siberian, and Canadian continental shelves is a source of cold, saline water which contributes to the maintenance of the Arctic Ocean halocline. The purpose of this study is to estimate for the 1978-1987 winters the contributions of Arctic coastal polynyas to the cold halocline layer of the Arctic Ocean. The study uses a combination of satellite, oceanographic, and weather data to calculate the brine fluxes from the polynyas; then an oceanic box model is used to calculate their contributions to the cold halocline layer of the Arctic Ocean. This study complements and corrects a previous study of dense water production by coastal polynyas in the Barents, Kara, and Laptev Seas.

  3. Petrology of a Neoproterozoic Alaskan-type complex from the Eastern Desert of Egypt: Implications for mantle heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khedr, Mohamed Zaki; Arai, Shoji

    2016-10-01

    This paper details petrological and geochemical studies of an ultramafic-mafic intrusion in the Southern Eastern Desert of Egypt. The Dahanib complex shows a concentric zonation, from dunites at the core, through chromitites, clinopyroxene-rich dunites, wehrlites, harzburgites, gabbronorites and layered gabbros, to hornblende gabbros/diorites at the rim, similar to other Alaskan-type complexes. These lithologies typically feature cumulate textures and layering. Their pyroxenes (Mg#s, 0.54-0.94) evidence Fe, Mn and Na enrichment, but Al, Cr, Mg and Ti are depleted with differentiation. Their chromian spinels have a wide range of Cr# (0.31-0.61), along with high Ti and Fe, as a result of their origin through crystal accumulation and reaction with interstitial liquids. The clinopyroxenes (Cpxs) in peridotites and gabbroic rocks, which are high in REE concentration (2-100 times chondrite), are depleted in LREE relative to HREE and are similar to Cpx crystallized from asthenospheric melts. The mineral inclusions in spinel, the chemistry of Cpx in peridotites (rich in Al, Cr, Na, Ti and ΣREE = 13.7), and the melts in equilibrium with Cpx suggest that the Neoproterozoic lithosphere were partially refertilized by trace asthenospheric melts. The early magmas were possibly enriched by Mg, Cr, Ni, Ti, V and Sr, while the evolved types were rich in Fe, Mn, Na, Li, Zr, Co and REE via crystal accumulation and the interaction with interstitial liquids. The Neoproterozoic sub-arc mantle in Egypt is chemically heterogeneous and generally low in Nb, Ta, Zr and K, due to the low solubility of HFSE in slab-derived fluids and no other external addition of these elements. The large variations in lithology and chemistry, as well as the occurrence of scattered chromitite clots in the Dahanib peridotites, are related to a continuous supply of primitive magmas and/or the reaction between interstitial liquids and early cumulus crystals during multistage fractional crystallization. The

  4. Remotely sensed vicennial changes of green phytomass, Salix cover, and leaf turnover in a sedge-shrub tundra, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushida, K.; Kim, Y.; Tsuyuzaki, S.; Watanabe, M.; Kadosaki, G.; Sawada, Y.; Ishikawa, M.; Fukuda, M.

    2007-12-01

    We obtained the relationship between spectral indices, green phytomass, Salix - non-Salix ratio, and leaf turnover in a sedge-shrub tundra, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), Alaska based on the field observations of spectral reflectance and phytomass, and we used Landsat TM images acquired in July of 1986, 1994, and 2006 and the time series of NOAA AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) for evaluating the vicennial changes. 51% of Beaufort coastal plain, Alaska was occupied by lowland moist sedge-shrub tundra, lowland wet sedge tundra, riverine moist sedge-shrub tundra, and riverine wet sedge tundra, where willow shrubs and sedges dominate. We set a 50-m × 50-m plot located on the floodplain of Jago River in ANWR. Shrub (Salix lanata L.) and sedge (Carex bigelowii Torr.) dominated in the plot. Ten 0.5-m × 0.5-m quadrates (Salix} quadrates) were set on the Salix cover and ten 0.5-m × 0.5-m quadrates (non-Salix quadrates) were set on the ground that was not covered with Salix lanata. Salix lanata in each of the Salix quadrates was harvested, and the leaf area index (LAI) and the oven-dried weights of the photosynthetic (leaf) and non-photosynthetic parts were measured. After harvesting Salix, other green plants were harvested and the oven-dried weights of the plants were measured. The Salix quadrates were spectrally measured with a spectroradiometer at a wavelength of 350 - 2500 nm before and after harvesting Salix and after harvesting other green plants. Non-Salix quadrates were also spectrally measured with the spectroradiometer. The coefficients of determination (R2) of the green phytomass, Salix - non-Salix ratio, and leaf turnover estimations from the spectral indices were 0.63, 0.57, and 0.79, respectively. These estimations were used for evaluating the vicennial changes using the satellite data.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Seasonal variation in soil nitrogen availability across a fertilization chronosequence in moist acidic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaren, J. R.; Gough, L.; Weintraub, M. N.

    2012-12-01

    Changes in global climate may result in altered timing of seasonal events including the timing of the spring-thaw and fall freeze-up. In addition to this changing seasonality, arctic environments are experiencing overall increases in nutrient availability caused by climate warming resulting in alterations of plant species composition, such as the observed increases in the abundance of deciduous shrubs. Changing species composition may have large effects on nutrient dynamics in the surrounding ecosystem because of documented differences in how particular plant species influence soil nutrient availability. Although we have some idea of how plant identity influences soil nutrients, soil biogeochemical processes are strongly seasonal, and we have a poor understanding of how plant identity, or nutrient levels, may influence these seasonal patterns. We examined the responses of moist acidic tundra to experimentally increased soil nutrient availability and the accompanying increase in shrub abundance at the Arctic Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site at Toolik Lake, Alaska. We examined a chrono-sequence of long-term fertilization experiments, composed of experiments fertilized for 5, 15 and 22 years, which has resulted in increasing shrub density with time since fertilization. The fertilized plots receive both nitrogen (N, 10 g/m2/yr) and phosphorus (5 g/m2/yr) annually following snowmelt. In the 2011 growing season we measured variation in soil available N weekly, including measures of ammonium (NH4), nitrate (NO3) and total free amino acids (TFAA). We found that differences between fertilized and control plots depended strongly on both the seasonal timing of measurements, as well as the duration of the fertilization treatment. Early in the growing season fertilization resulted in large increases in available soil N (both NH4 and NO3) across the entire chronosequence. As the season progressed, however, older fertilized plots show evidence of N saturation, where

  9. Timing, Magnitude and Sources of Ecosystem Respiration in High Arctic Tundra of NW Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupascu, M.; Xu, X.; Lett, C.; Maseyk, K. S.; Lindsey, D. S.; Thomas, J. S.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2011-12-01

    High arctic ecosystems with low vegetation density contain significant stocks of organic carbon (C) in the form of soil organic matter that range in age from modern to ancient. How rapidly these C pools can be mineralized and lost to the atmosphere as CO2 (ecosystem respiration, ER) as a consequence of warming and, or changes in precipitation is a major uncertainty in our understanding of current and future arctic biogeochemistry and for predicting future levels of atmospheric CO2. In a 2-year study (2010-2011), we monitored seasonal changes in the magnitude, timing and sources of ER and soil pore space CO2 in the High Arctic of NW Greenland under current and simulated, future climate conditions. Measurements were taken from May to August at a multi-factorial, long-term climate change experiment in prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra on patterned ground with 5 treatments: (T1) +2oC warming, (T2) +4oC warming, (W) +50% summer precipitation, (T2W) +4oC + 50% summer precipitation, and (C) control. ER (using opaque chambers) and soil CO2 concentrations (wells) were monitored daily via infrared spectroscopy (LI-COR 800 & 840). The source of CO2 was inferred from its radiocarbon (14C) content analyzed at the AMS facility in UCI. CO2 was sampled monthly using molecular sieve traps (chambers) or evacuated canisters (wells). Highest rates of ER are observed on vegetated ground with a maximum in mid summer - reflecting a peak in plant productivity and soil temperature. Respiration rates from bare ground remain similar throughout the summer. Additional soil moisture, administered or due to precipitation events, strongly enhances ER from both vegetated and bare ground. Daily ER budget for the sampling period was of 53.1 mmol C m-2 day-1 for the (C) vegetated areas compared to the 60.0 for the (T2), 68.1 for the (T2W) or the 79.9 for the (W) treatment. ER was highly correlated to temperature (eg. C = 0.8; T2W = 0.8) until middle of July, when heavy precipitation started to occur. In

  10. Impacts of twenty years of experimental warming on soil carbon, nitrogen, moisture and soil across alpine/subarctic tundra communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    M. Alatalo, Juha; K. Jägerbrand, Annika; Juhanson, Jaanis

    2017-01-01

    High-altitude and alpine areas are predicted to experience rapid and substantial increases in future temperature, which may have serious impacts on soil carbon, nutrient and soil fauna. Here we report the impact of 20 years of experimental warming on soil properties and soil mites in three...... contrasting plant communities in alpine/subarctic Sweden. Long-term warming decreased juvenile oribatid mite density, but had no effect on adult oribatids density, total mite density, any major mite group or the most common species. Long-term warming also caused loss of nitrogen, carbon and moisture from...... be important for buffering mites from global warming. The results indicated that juvenile mites may be more vulnerable to global warming than adult stages. Importantly, the results also indicated that global warming may cause carbon and nitrogen losses in alpine and tundra mineral soils and that its effects...

  11. 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

  12. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus Surveillance for Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks on Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge: Batches 651NC and 670NC Summaries.

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Batch summaries from the National Wildlife Health Center of test results from oral-pharyngeal and cloacal swabs collected on Tundra Swans and Wood Ducks on Pocosin...

  13. A sampling method for tundra swans summering in the Bristol Bay lowlands, northern Alaska Peninsula: A summary of a presentation given at the second Alaska Bird Conference, Juneau, Alaska 3-4 April 1987

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A "census" of tundra swans occurring in the northern Alaska Peninsula was collected over 1984-1985, with supplemental information provided from preliminary surveys...

  14. Press releases, preliminary maps, and preliminary reports released by the Geologic Branch and Alaskan Branch between January 1, 1938 and January 1, 1945

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Lois S.; Keroher, R.P.

    1945-01-01

    This pamphlet contains a complete list of all maps and reports issued by the Geologic Branch and Alaskan Branch of the Geological Survey whose release was announced by press notice during the period between January 1, 1938 and January 1, 1945. The Geologic Branch material was compiled by Lois S. Kent, and the Alaskan Branch material by R. P. Kerocher. It is expected that similar lists will be published annually hereafter. These reports and maps are the results of work carried out by Survey geologists on mineral deposits in the United States, Alaska, and Cuba during the war and the years immediately preceding the war. They were released in preliminary form as rapidly as possible in this period to avoid the delays necessarily attendant upon formal publication and to make the information contained in them promptly available to property owners and mine operators concerned with the production of strategic and critical mineral commodities.

  15. 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.

  16. Permafrost and surface energy balance of a polygonal tundra site in Northern Siberia – Part 2: Winter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Langer

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost is largely determined by the surface energy balance. Its vulnerability to degradation due to climate warming depends on complex soil-atmosphere interactions. This article is the second part of a comprehensive surface energy balance study at a polygonal tundra site in Northern Siberia. It comprises two consecutive winter periods from October 2007 to May 2008 and from October 2008 to January 2009. The surface energy balance is obtained by independent measurements of the radiation budget, the sensible heat flux and the ground heat flux, whereas the latent heat flux is inferred from measurements of the atmospheric turbulence characteristics and a model approach. The measurements reveal that the long-wave radiation is the dominant factor in the surface energy balance. The radiative losses are balanced to about 60% by the ground heat flux and almost 40% by the sensible heat fluxes, whereas the contribution of the latent heat flux is found to be relatively small. The main controlling factors of the surface energy budget are the snow cover, the cloudiness and the soil temperature gradient. Significant spatial differences in the surface energy balance are observed between the tundra soils and a small pond. The heat flux released from the subsurface heat storage is by a factor of two increased at the freezing pond during the entire winter period, whereas differences in the radiation budget are only observed at the end of winter. Inter-annual differences in the surface energy balance are related to differences in snow depth, which substantially affect the temperature evolution at the investigated pond. The obtained results demonstrate the importance of the ground heat flux for the soil-atmosphere energy exchange and reveal high spatial and temporal variabilities in the subsurface heat budget during winter.

  17. Spatial and temporal variation of bulk snow properties in northern boreal and tundra environments based on extensive field measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannula, Henna-Reetta; Lemmetyinen, Juha; Kontu, Anna; Derksen, Chris; Pulliainen, Jouni

    2016-08-01

    An extensive in situ data set of snow depth, snow water equivalent (SWE), and snow density collected in support of the European Space Agency (ESA) SnowSAR-2 airborne campaigns in northern Finland during the winter of 2011-2012 is presented (ESA Earth Observation Campaigns data 2000-2016). The suitability of the in situ measurement protocol to provide an accurate reference for the simultaneous airborne SAR (synthetic aperture radar) data products over different land cover types was analysed in the context of spatial scale, sample spacing, and uncertainty. The analysis was executed by applying autocorrelation analysis and root mean square difference (RMSD) error estimations. The results showed overall higher variability for all the three bulk snow parameters over tundra, open bogs and lakes (due to wind processes); however, snow depth tended to vary over shorter distances in forests (due to snow-vegetation interactions). Sample spacing/sample size had a statistically significant effect on the mean snow depth over all land cover types. Analysis executed for 50, 100, and 200 m transects revealed that in most cases less than five samples were adequate to describe the snow depth mean with RMSD < 5 %, but for land cover with high overall variability an indication of increased sample size of 1.5-3 times larger was gained depending on the scale and the desired maximum RMSD. Errors for most of the land cover types reached ˜ 10 % if only three measurements were considered. The collected measurements, which are available via the ESA website upon registration, compose an exceptionally large manually collected snow data set in Scandinavian taiga and tundra environments. This information represents a valuable contribution to the snow research community and can be applied to various snow studies.

  18. Enhanced summer warming reduces fungal decomposer diversity and litter mass loss more strongly in dry than in wet tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Casper T; Haugwitz, Merian S; Priemé, Anders; Nielsen, Cecilie S; Elberling, Bo; Michelsen, Anders; Grogan, Paul; Blok, Daan

    2017-01-01

    Many Arctic regions are currently experiencing substantial summer and winter climate changes. Litter decomposition is a fundamental component of ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycles, with fungi being among the primary decomposers. To assess the impacts of seasonal climatic changes on litter fungal communities and their functioning, Betula glandulosa leaf litter was surface-incubated in two adjacent low Arctic sites with contrasting soil moisture regimes: dry shrub heath and wet sedge tundra at Disko Island, Greenland. At both sites, we investigated the impacts of factorial combinations of enhanced summer warming (using open-top chambers; OTCs) and deepened snow (using snow fences) on surface litter mass loss, chemistry and fungal decomposer communities after approximately 1 year. Enhanced summer warming significantly restricted litter mass loss by 32% in the dry and 17% in the wet site. Litter moisture content was significantly reduced by summer warming in the dry, but not in the wet site. Likewise, fungal total abundance and diversity were reduced by OTC warming at the dry site, while comparatively modest warming effects were observed in the wet site. These results suggest that increased evapotranspiration in the OTC plots lowered litter moisture content to the point where fungal decomposition activities became inhibited. In contrast, snow addition enhanced fungal abundance in both sites but did not significantly affect litter mass loss rates. Across sites, control plots only shared 15% of their fungal phylotypes, suggesting strong local controls on fungal decomposer community composition. Nevertheless, fungal community functioning (litter decomposition) was negatively affected by warming in both sites. We conclude that although buried soil organic matter decomposition is widely expected to increase with future summer warming, surface litter decay and nutrient turnover rates in both xeric and relatively moist tundra are likely to be significantly restricted by

  19. Occurrence of matrix-bound phosphine in polar ornithogenic tundra ecosystems: effects of alkaline phosphatase activity and environmental variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Renbin; Ma, Dawei; Ding, Wei; Bai, Bo; Liu, Yashu; Sun, Jianjun

    2011-09-01

    Phosphine (PH(3)), a reduced phosphorus compound, is a highly toxic and reactive atmospheric trace gas. In this study, a total of ten ornithogenic soil/sediment profiles were collected from tundra ecosystems of east Antarctica and Arctic, and matrix-bound phosphine (MBP), the phosphorus fractions and alkaline phosphatase activity (APA) were analyzed. High MBP concentrations were found in these profiles with the range from 39.59 ng kg(-1) dw to 11.77 μg kg(-1) dw. MBP showed a consistent vertical distribution pattern in almost all the soil profiles, and its concentrations increased at soil surface layers and then decreased with depths. MBP levels in the ornithogenic soils were two to three orders of magnitude lower than those in ornithogenic sediments. The yield of PH(3) as a fraction of total P in all the profiles ranged from 10(-5) to 10(-9) mgPH(3) mg(-1)P with higher mean PH(3) yield in the ornithogenic sediments. The ornithogenic soils showed high concentrations of total phosphorus (TP), organic phosphorus (OP), inorganic phosphorus (IP) and metal elements (Cu, Zn, Mn, Fe, Al and Ca) but low MBP levels, vice versa for the ornithogenic sediments. No correlation had been obtained between MBP concentrations and IP, OP and TP. There existed an exponential correlation (r=0.67, psoil/sediment moisture. MBP concentrations showed a significant positive correlation with APA (r=0.668, psoils/sediments. Our results indicated that MBP is an important gaseous link in the phosphorus biogeochemical cycles of ornithogenic tundra ecosystems in Antarctica and Arctic.

  20. 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

  1. Climatically induced interannual variability in aboveground production in forest-tundra and northern taiga of central Siberia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knorre, Anastasia A; Kirdyanov, Alexander V; Vaganov, Eugene A

    2006-02-01

    To investigate the variability of primary production of boreal forest ecosystems under the current climatic changes, we compared the dynamics of annual increments and productivity of the main components of plant community (trees, shrubs, mosses) at three sites in the north of Siberia (Russia). Annual radial growth of trees and shrubs was mostly defined by summer temperature regime (positive correlation), but climatic response of woody plants was species specific and depends on local conditions. Dynamics of annual increments of mosses were opposite to tree growth. The difference in climatic response of the different vegetation components of the forest ecosystems indicates that these components seem to be adapted to use climatic conditions during the short and severe northern summer, and decreasing in annual production of one component is usually combined with the increase of other component productivity. Average productivity in the northern forest ecosystems varies from 0.05 to 0.14 t ha(-1) year(-1) for trees, from 0.05 to 0.18 t ha(-1) year(-1) for shrubs and from 0.54 to 0.66 t ha(-1) year(-1) for mosses. Higher values of tree productivity combined with lower annual moss productivity were found in sites in northern taiga in comparison with forest-tundra. Different tendencies in the productivity of the dominant species from each vegetation level (trees, shrubs, mosses) were indicated for the last 10 years studied (1990-1999): while productivity of mosses is increasing, productivity of trees is decreasing, but there is no obvious trend in the productivity of shrubs. Our results show that in the long term, the main contribution to changes in annual biomass productivity in forest-tundra and northern taiga ecosystems under the predicted climatic changes will be determined by living ground cover.

  2. InSAR Detection and Field Evidence for Thermokarst after a Tundra Wildfire, Using ALOS-PALSAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Go Iwahana

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Thermokarst is the process of ground subsidence caused by either the thawing of ice-rich permafrost or the melting of massive ground ice. The consequences of permafrost degradation associated with thermokarst for surface ecology, landscape evolution, and hydrological processes have been of great scientific interest and social concern. Part of a tundra patch affected by wildfire in northern Alaska (27.5 km2 was investigated here, using remote sensing and in situ surveys to quantify and understand permafrost thaw dynamics after surface disturbances. A two-pass differential InSAR technique using L-band ALOS-PALSAR has been shown capable of capturing thermokarst subsidence triggered by a tundra fire at a spatial resolution of tens of meters, with supporting evidence from field data and optical satellite images. We have introduced a calibration procedure, comparing burned and unburned areas for InSAR subsidence signals, to remove the noise due to seasonal surface movement. In the first year after the fire, an average subsidence rate of 6.2 cm/year (vertical was measured. Subsidence in the burned area continued over the following two years, with decreased rates. The mean rate of subsidence observed in our interferograms (from 24 July 2008 to 14 September 2010 was 3.3 cm/year, a value comparable to that estimated from field surveys at two plots on average (2.2 cm/year for the six years after the fire. These results suggest that this InSAR-measured ground subsidence is caused by the development of thermokarst, a thawing process supported by surface change observations from high-resolution optical images and in situ ground level surveys.

  3. Spatial and Temporal Variability of Methane Mole Fractions and Exchanges in and Between Soil, Snow, and the Atmosphere in a Tundra System in Northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agnan, Y.; Obrist, D.; Edwards, G. C.; Moore, C.; Hedge, C.; Helmig, D.; Paxton, D.; Jacques, H.

    2015-12-01

    An important global source of atmospheric methane (CH4) is production in tundra soils (an important global source). To place constraints on the potential role that tundra soils play in global CH4 cycling, we have been continuously measuring mole the air space in soils, snow, and the atmosphere as gradient-based surface-atmosphere fluxes for arctic tundra at Toolik Field Station (68° 38' N) starting in October 2014. We have found that atmospheric CH4 mole fractions were, on average, relatively constant during the first 9 months of sampling (averaging 1.93 µmol mol-1), with pronounced diel patterns starting in May and nighttime exceeding daytime mole fractions. However, gradients measured within the soil profile showed high variability in air withdrawn from different locations of these tundra soils (Typic Aquiturbels), with one soil profile indicating a CH4 sink during fall until January; mole fractions were similar to the atmospheric measurements during winter indicating no source or sink (average 1.89 µmol mol-1). A second soil profile 5 m away showed production of CH4 (average 2.48 µmol mol-1, two-times higher than atmospheric levels), even during mid-winter when soil temperatures were below -10 °C. Measurements of CH4 in interstitial snowpack air also exhibited a similar combination of sources and sinks. We used micrometeorological gradient surface flux measurements to confirm that the area was a net source of CH4 in fall, winter, and spring, with emissions averaging 26.6, 25.2, and 16.8 mg m-2 d-1, respectively. In the summer months, we saw strong diel flux patterns with deposition during day and emission at night, corresponding with observed diel variability in CH4 snowpack mole fractions. Our results indicated a high variability of tundra landscape CH4 fluxes, which locally shift from sources to sinks with high temporal variability. CH4 oxidation by methanotrophic bacteria probably occurs in tundra soils, confirming observations in one soil, snowpack, and

  4. A RAB3GAP1 SINE Insertion in Alaskan Huskies with Polyneuropathy, Ocular Abnormalities, and Neuronal Vacuolation (POANV Resembling Human Warburg Micro Syndrome 1 (WARBM1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michaela Wiedmer

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available We observed a hereditary phenotype in Alaskan Huskies that was characterized by polyneuropathy with ocular abnormalities and neuronal vacuolation (POANV. The affected dogs developed a progressive severe ataxia, which led to euthanasia between 8 and 16 months of age. The pedigrees were consistent with a monogenic autosomal recessive inheritance. We localized the causative genetic defect to a 4 Mb interval on chromosome 19 by a combined linkage and homozygosity mapping approach. Whole genome sequencing of one affected dog, an obligate carrier, and an unrelated control revealed a 218-bp SINE insertion into exon 7 of the RAB3GAP1 gene. The SINE insertion was perfectly associated with the disease phenotype in a cohort of 43 Alaskan Huskies, and it was absent from 541 control dogs of diverse other breeds. The SINE insertion induced aberrant splicing and led to a transcript with a greatly altered exon 7. RAB3GAP1 loss-of-function variants in humans cause Warburg Micro Syndrome 1 (WARBM1, which is characterized by additional developmental defects compared to canine POANV, whereas Rab3gap1-deficient mice have a much milder phenotype than either humans or dogs. Thus, the RAB3GAP1 mutant Alaskan Huskies provide an interesting intermediate phenotype that may help to better understand the function of RAB3GAP1 in development. Furthermore, the identification of the presumed causative genetic variant will enable genetic testing to avoid the nonintentional breeding of affected dogs.

  5. The role of summer precipitation and summer temperature in establishment and growth of dwarf shrub Betula nana in northeast Siberian tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Bingxi; Heijmans, Monique M P D; Berendse, Frank;

    2016-01-01

    It is widely believed that deciduous tundra-shrub dominance is increasing in the pan-Arctic region, mainly due to rising temperature. We sampled dwarf birch (Betula nana L.) at a northeastern Siberian tundra site and used dendrochronological methods to explore the relationship between climatic...... variables and local shrub dominance. We found that establishment of shrub ramets was positively related to summer precipitation, which implies that the current high dominance of B. nana at our study site could be related to high summer precipitation in the period from 1960 to 1990. The results confirmed...... that early summer temperature is most influential to annual growth rates of B. nana. In addition, summer precipitation stimulated shrub growth in years with warm summers, suggesting that B. nana growth may be co-limited by summer moisture supply. The dual controlling role of temperature and summer...

  6. 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

  7. Estimation of surface energy fluxes in the Arctic tundra using the remote sensing thermal-based Two-Source Energy Balance model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristóbal, Jordi; Prakash, Anupma; Anderson, Martha C.; Kustas, William P.; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Kane, Douglas L.

    2017-03-01

    The Arctic has become generally a warmer place over the past decades leading to earlier snow melt, permafrost degradation and changing plant communities. Increases in precipitation and local evaporation in the Arctic, known as the acceleration components of the hydrologic cycle, coupled with land cover changes, have resulted in significant changes in the regional surface energy budget. Quantifying spatiotemporal trends in surface energy flux partitioning is key to forecasting ecological responses to changing climate conditions in the Arctic. An extensive local evaluation of the Two-Source Energy Balance model (TSEB) - a remote-sensing-based model using thermal infrared retrievals of land surface temperature - was performed using tower measurements collected over different tundra types in Alaska in all sky conditions over the full growing season from 2008 to 2012. Based on comparisons with flux tower observations, refinements in the original TSEB net radiation, soil heat flux and canopy transpiration parameterizations were identified for Arctic tundra. In particular, a revised method for estimating soil heat flux based on relationships with soil temperature was developed, resulting in significantly improved performance. These refinements result in mean turbulent flux errors generally less than 50 W m-2 at half-hourly time steps, similar to errors typically reported in surface energy balance modeling studies conducted in more temperate climatic regimes. The MODIS leaf area index (LAI) remote sensing product proved to be useful for estimating energy fluxes in Arctic tundra in the absence of field data on the local biomass amount. Model refinements found in this work at the local scale build toward a regional implementation of the TSEB model over Arctic tundra ecosystems, using thermal satellite remote sensing to assess response of surface fluxes to changing vegetation and climate conditions.

  8. 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)

  9. 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

  10. Purification of Alaskan walleye pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus) and New Zealand hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae) liver oil using short path distillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Alex C M; Miller, Matthew R

    2014-05-22

    The beneficial health effects of a diet rich in n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA) have been extensively researched in recent years. Marine oils are an important dietary source of n-3 LC-PUFA, being especially rich in two of the most important fatty acids of this class, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid; 20:5n-3) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid; 22:6n-3). Oils rich in n-3 LC-PUFA are prone to oxidation that leads to loss of product quality. Alaskan pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus Pallas, 1814) and New Zealand's hoki (Macruronus novaezelandiae Hector, 1871) are the highest volume fisheries of their respective countries. Both produce large quantities of fishery byproducts, in particular crude or unrefined n-3 LC-PUFA containing oils. Presently these oils are used as ingredients for animal feed, and only limited quantities are used as human nutritional products. The aim of this research was to investigate the applicability of short path distillation for the purification of pollock and hoki oil to produce purified human-grade fish oil to meet quality specifications. Pollock and hoki oils were subjected to short path distillation and a significant decrease in free fatty acids and lipid oxidation (peroxide and para-anisidine values) products was observed. Purified oils met the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED) standard for edible fish oils.

  11. 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.

  12. Population structure of invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates among Alaskan children in the conjugate vaccine era, 2001 to 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miernyk, Karen M; Bulkow, Lisa R; Case, Samantha L; Zulz, Tammy; Bruce, Michael G; Harker-Jones, Marcella; Hurlburt, Debby A; Hennessy, Thomas W; Rudolph, Karen M

    2016-10-01

    Here we describe the relationships between serotypes, genotypes, and antimicrobial susceptibility among isolates causing invasive pneumococcal disease in Alaskan children during the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) era. From 2001 to 2013 we received 271 isolates representing 33 serotypes. The most common serotypes were 19A (29.5%, n= 80), 7F (12.5%, n= 34), 15B/C (6.3%, n= 17), and 22F (4.8%, n= 13). Multilocus sequence typing identified 11 clonal complexes (CC) and 45 singletons. Five CCs accounted for 52% (141/271) of the total: CC199 (21% [n= 57], serotypes 19A, 15B/C), CC191 (12.2% [n= 33], serotype 7F), CC172 (10.3% [n= 28], serotypes 19A, 23A, 23B), CC433 (4.4% [n= 12], serotype 22F), and CC100 (4.4% [n= 12], serotype 33F). The proportion of isolates nonsusceptible to erythromycin and tetracycline increased after 13-valent PCV use (14% [n= 30] versus 29% [n= 14]; P= 0.010) and (4% [n= 9] versus 22% [n= 11]; P< 0.001), respectively. The genetic diversity also increased after 13-valent PCV use (Simpson's diversity index =0.95 versus 0.91; P= 0.022).

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Fate of carbon in Alaskan Landscapes Project: database for soils from eddy covariance tower sites, Delta Junction, AK

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Stagg; Harden, Jennifer; Manies, Kristen L.; Munster, Jennie; White, L. Douglas

    2002-01-01

    Soils in Alaska, and in high latitude terrestrial ecosystems in general, contain significant amounts of organic carbon, most of which is believed to have accumulated since the start of the Holocene about 10 ky before present. High latitude soils are estimated to contain 30-40% of terrestrial soil carbon (Melillo et al., 1995; McGuire and Hobbie, 1997), or ~ 300-400 Gt C (Gt = 1015 g), which equals about half of the current atmospheric burden of carbon. Boreal forests in particular are estimated to have more soil carbon than any other terrestrial biome (Post et al., 1982; Chapin and Matthews, 1993). The relations among net primary production, soil carbon storage, recurrent fire disturbance, nutrients, the hydrologic cycle, permafrost and geomorphology are poorly understood in boreal forest. Fire disturbance has been suggested to play a key role in the interactions among the complex biogeochemical processes influencing carbon storage in boreal forest soils (Harden et al., 2000; Zhuang et al., 2002). There has been an observed increase in fire disturbance in North American boreal black spruce (Picea mariana) forests in recent decades (Murphy et al., 1999; Kasichke et al., 2000), concurrent with increases in Alaskan boreal and arctic surface temperatures and warming of permafrost (Osterkamp and Romanofsky, 1999). Understanding the role of fire in long term carbon storage and how recent changes in fire frequency and severity may influence future high latitude soil carbon pools is necessary for those working to understand or mitigate the effects of global climate change.

  16. Soil bacterial community and functional shifts in response to altered snowpack in moist acidic tundra of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricketts, Michael P.; Poretsky, Rachel S.; Welker, Jeffrey M.; Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A.

    2016-09-01

    Soil microbial communities play a central role in the cycling of carbon (C) in Arctic tundra ecosystems, which contain a large portion of the global C pool. Climate change predictions for Arctic regions include increased temperature and precipitation (i.e. more snow), resulting in increased winter soil insulation, increased soil temperature and moisture, and shifting plant community composition. We utilized an 18-year snow fence study site designed to examine the effects of increased winter precipitation on Arctic tundra soil bacterial communities within the context of expected ecosystem response to climate change. Soil was collected from three pre-established treatment zones representing varying degrees of snow accumulation, where deep snow ˜ 100 % and intermediate snow ˜ 50 % increased snowpack relative to the control, and low snow ˜ 25 % decreased snowpack relative to the control. Soil physical properties (temperature, moisture, active layer thaw depth) were measured, and samples were analysed for C concentration, nitrogen (N) concentration, and pH. Soil microbial community DNA was extracted and the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced to reveal phylogenetic community differences between samples and determine how soil bacterial communities might respond (structurally and functionally) to changes in winter precipitation and soil chemistry. We analysed relative abundance changes of the six most abundant phyla (ranging from 82 to 96 % of total detected phyla per sample) and found four (Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Chloroflexi) responded to deepened snow. All six phyla correlated with at least one of the soil chemical properties (% C, % N, C : N, pH); however, a single predictor was not identified, suggesting that each bacterial phylum responds differently to soil characteristics. Overall, bacterial community structure (beta diversity) was found to be associated with snow accumulation treatment and all soil chemical properties. Bacterial

  17. Sorting out non-sorted circles: Effects of winter climate change on the Collembola community of cryoturbated subarctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krab, Eveline; Monteux, Sylvain; Becher, Marina; Blume-Werry, Gesche; Keuper, Frida; Klaminder, Jonatan; Kobayashi, Makoto; Lundin, Erik J.; Milbau, Ann; Roennefarth, Jonas; Teuber, Laurenz Michael; Weedon, James; Dorrepaal, Ellen

    2015-04-01

    Non-sorted circles (NSC) are a common type of cryoturbated (frost-disturbed) soil in the arctic and store large amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC) by the burial of organic matter. They appear as sparsely vegetated areas surrounded by denser tundra vegetation, creating patterned ground. Snowfall in the arctic is expected to increase, which will modify freezing intensity and freeze-thaw cycles in soils, thereby impacting on SOC dynamics. Vegetation, soil fauna and microorganisms, important drivers of carbon turnover, may benefit directly from the altered winter conditions and the resulting reduction in cryoturbation, but may also impact each other through trophic cascading. We investigated how Collembola, important decomposer soil fauna in high latitude ecosystems, are affected by increased winter insulation and vegetation cover. We subjected NSC in North-Swedish subarctic alpine tundra to two years of increased thermal insulation (snow fences or fiber cloth) in winter and spring, increasing soil temperatures and strongly reducing freeze-thaw frequency. From these NSC we sampled the Collembola community in: (i) the non-vegetated center, (ii) sparsely vegetated parts in the center and (iii) the vegetated domain surrounding NSC. To link changes in Collembola density and community composition to SOC dynamics, we included measurements of decomposer activity, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total extractable nitrogen (TN). We observed differences in Collembola density, community composition and soil fauna activity between the sampling points in the NSC. Specifically Collembola diversity increased with the presence of vegetation and density was higher in the vegetated outer domains. Increased winter insulation did not affect diversity but seemed to negatively affect density and decomposer activity in the vegetated outer domains. Interestingly, SOM distribution over NSC changed with snow addition (also to a lesser extent with fleece insulation) towards less SOM in the

  18. Land-atmosphere fluxes of methane and carbon dioxide at Siberian polygonal tundra - new data from 2009 in comparison to data from 2003/04 and 2006.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, Peter; Wille, Christian; Sachs, Torsten; Pfeiffer, Eva-Maria; Kutzbach, Lars

    2010-05-01

    The fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) between wet arctic polygonal tundra and the atmosphere were investigated by the eddy covariance method and empirical modeling. The study site is situated in the Lena River Delta in Northern Siberia (72° 22' N, 126° 30' E) and 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. Flux measurements were performed during one 'synthetic' growing season consisting of the periods July - October 2003 and May - July 2004, one full growing season in 2006 (June - September), and during July - August in 2009. The main carbon exchange processes - gross photosynthesis, ecosystem respiration, and CH4 emissions - were generally found to be of low intensity. Over the 2004/2003 growing season (June - September), these gas fluxes accumulated to -0.43 kg m-2, +0.33 kg m-2, and +2 g m-2, respectively. CH4 emissions from June - September 2006 were 1.96 g m-2 with highest emissions in July (+0.57 g m-2) and August (+0.64 g m-2). Day-to-day variations of photosynthesis were mainly controlled by radiation and hence by the synoptic weather conditions. Variations of ecosystem respiration were best explained by an exponential function of surface temperature, which indicates that plant respiration plays a major role within the tundra carbon balance. The factors controlling CH4 emissions were found to be soil temperature and near-surface atmospheric turbulence. The influence of atmospheric turbulence was attributed to the high coverage of open water surfaces in the tundra. For the 2003- 2004 period, winter fluxes were modeled based on functional relationships found in the measured data. On an annual basis, CH4 emissions accounted for

  19. Environmental factors influencing soil testate amoebae in herbaceous and shrubby vegetation along an altitudinal gradient in subarctic tundra (Abisko, Sweden).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsyganov, Andrey N; Milbau, Ann; Beyens, Louis

    2013-05-01

    Shifts in community composition of soil protozoa in response to climate change may substantially influence microbial activity and thereby decomposition processes. However, effects of climate and vegetation on soil protozoa remain poorly understood. We studied the distribution of soil testate amoebae in herbaceous and shrubby vegetation along an altitudinal gradient (from below the treeline at 500 m to the mid-alpine region at 900 m a.s.l.) in subarctic tundra. To explain patterns in abundance, species diversity and assemblage composition of testate amoebae, a data set of microclimate and soil chemical characteristics was collected. Both elevation and vegetation influenced the assemblage composition of testate amoebae. The variation was regulated by interactive effects of summer soil moisture, winter soil temperature, soil pH and nitrate ion concentrations. Besides, soil moisture regulated non-linear patterns in species richness across the gradient. This is the first study showing the effects of winter soil temperatures on species composition of soil protozoa. The effects could be explained by specific adaptations of testate amoebae such as frost-resistant cysts allowing them to survive low winter temperatures. We conclude that the microclimate and soil chemical characteristics are the main drivers of changes in protozoan assemblage composition in response to elevation and vegetation.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Petrogenesis of the Alaskan-type mafic-ultramafic complex in the Makkah quadrangle, western Arabian Shield, Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habtoor, Abdelmonem; Ahmed, Ahmed Hassan; Harbi, Hesham

    2016-10-01

    -rich and Fe-rich varieties. All spinel varieties in the mafic-ultramafic rocks have high Fe3 + and TiO2 contents. The estimated melt composition in equilibrium with Gabal Taftafan complex is mostly similar to that of the SSZ boninitic magmas. The Taftafan mafic-ultramafic rocks show many similarities with the Alaskan-type mafic-ultramafic complexes, including the internal zonal lithology, bulk rock geochemistry, and mineral chemistry. Thus, it is neither related to a fragment of ophiolite sequence nor to the stratiform mafic-ultramafic intrusion. The location of the Taftafan complex along a major fracture zone parallel to the suture between Jeddah and Asir terranes in addition to the aforementioned striking similarities to the Alaskan-type complexes, suggests a formation in subduction-related setting from a common hydrous mafic magma.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Bioaccumulation of petroleum hydrocarbons in arctic amphipods in the oil development area of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neff, Jerry M; Durell, Gregory S

    2012-04-01

    An objective of a multiyear monitoring program, sponsored by the US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was to examine temporal and spatial changes in chemical and biological characteristics of the Arctic marine environment resulting from offshore oil exploration and development activities in the development area of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. To determine if petroleum hydrocarbons from offshore oil operations are entering the Beaufort Sea food web, we measured concentrations of hydrocarbons in tissues of amphipods, Anonyx nugax, sediments, Northstar crude oil, and coastal peat, collected between 1999 and 2006 throughout the development area. Mean concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), saturated hydrocarbons (SHC), and sterane and triterpane petroleum biomarkers (StTr) were not significantly different in amphipods near the Northstar oil production facility, before and after it came on line in 2001, and in amphipods from elsewhere in the study area. Forensic analysis of the profiles (relative composition and concentrations) of the 3 hydrocarbon classes revealed that hydrocarbon compositions were different in amphipods, surface sediments where the amphipods were collected, Northstar crude oil, and peat from the deltas of 4 North Slope rivers. Amphipods and sediments contained a mixture of petrogenic, pyrogenic, and biogenic PAH. The SHC in amphipods were dominated by pristane derived from zooplankton, indicating that the SHC were primarily from the amphipod diet of zooplankton detritus. The petroleum biomarker StTr profiles did not resemble those in Northstar crude oil. The forensic analysis revealed that hydrocarbons in amphipod tissues were not from oil production at Northstar. Hydrocarbons in amphipod tissues were primarily from their diet and from river runoff and coastal erosion of natural diagenic and fossil terrestrial materials, including seep oils, kerogens, and peat. Offshore oil and gas exploration and development

  8. Modeling impacts of changes in temperature and water table on C gas fluxes in an Alaskan peatland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Jia; Li, Changsheng; Frolking, Steve

    2015-07-01

    Northern peatlands have accumulated a large amount of organic carbon (C) in their thick peat profile. Climate change and associated variations in soil environments are expected to have significant impacts on the C balance of these ecosystems, but the magnitude is still highly uncertain. Verifying and understanding the influences of changes in environmental factors on C gas fluxes in biogeochemical models are essential for forecasting feedbacks between C gas fluxes and climate change. In this study, we applied a biogeochemical model, DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC), to assess impacts of air temperature (TA) and water table (WT) on C gas fluxes in an Alaskan peatland. DNDC was validated against field measurements of net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) and CH4 fluxes under manipulated surface soil temperature and WT conditions in a moderate rich fen. The validation demonstrates that DNDC was able to capture the observed impacts of the manipulations in soil environments on C gas fluxes. To investigate responses of C gas fluxes to changes in TA and soil water condition, we conducted a series of simulations with varying TA and WT. The results demonstrate that (1) uptake rates of CO2 at the site were reduced by either too colder or warmer temperatures and generally increased with increasing soil moisture; (2) CH4 emissions showed an increasing trend as TA increased or WT rose toward the peat surface; and (3) the site could shift from a net greenhouse gas (GHG) sink into a net GHG source under some warm and/or dry conditions. A sensitivity analysis evaluated the relative importance of TA and WT to C gas fluxes. The results indicate that both TA and WT played important roles in regulating NEE and CH4 emissions and that within the investigated ranges of the variations in TA and WT, changes in WT showed a greater impact than changes in TA on NEE, CH4 fluxes, and net C gas fluxes at the study fen.

  9. Trace Elements in Sea Ducks of the Alaskan Arctic Coast: Patterns of Variation Among Species, Sexes, and Ages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Micah W C; Lovvorn, James R; Matz, Angela C; Taylor, Robert J; Latty, Christopher J; Safine, David E

    2016-10-01

    Climate change and increasing industrialization in the Arctic call for the collection of reference data for assessing changes in contaminant levels. For migratory birds, measuring and interpreting changes in trace element burdens on Arctic breeding areas require insights into factors such as sex, body size, or wintering area that may modify patterns independently of local exposure. In the Alaskan Arctic, we determined levels of trace elements in liver and kidney of common eiders (Somateria mollissima) and long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis) from the Prudhoe Bay oil field and of king eiders (S. spectabilis) and threatened spectacled eiders (S. fischeri) and Steller's eiders (Polystica stelleri) from near the town of Barrow. Small-bodied Steller's eiders and long-tailed ducks from different locations had similarly low levels of selenium (Se), cadmium (Cd), and copper (Cu), perhaps reflecting high mass-specific rates of metabolic depuration during long spring migrations through areas of low exposure. In larger species, Se, Cd, and Cu concentrations were higher in adults than juveniles suggesting that these elements were acquired in nonbreeding marine habitats. Adult male spectacled eiders had exceptionally high Se, Cd, and Cu compared with adult females, possibly because of depuration into eggs and longer female occupancy of nonmarine habitats. Adult female common eiders and juvenile long-tailed ducks at Prudhoe Bay had high and variable levels of Pb, potentially due to local exposure. Explanations for substantial variations in Hg levels were not apparent. Further research into reasons for differing element levels among species and sexes will help clarify the sources, pathways, and risks of exposure.

  10. Changes in the alpine forest-tundra ecotone commensurate with recent warming in southcentral Alaska: Evidence from orthophotos and field plots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dial, Roman J.; Berg, Edward E.; Timm, Katriina; McMahon, Alissa; Geck, Jason

    2007-12-01

    The complex response of the forest-tundra ecotone (FT) to climate change may not generalize well geographically. We document FT changes in a nonpermafrost region of southcentral Alaska during a known warming period. Using 1951 and 1996 orthophotos overlain on digital elevation models across 800 km2 of the west Kenai Mountains, we identified cover classes and topography for 978 random points and the highest closed-canopy conifer patches along 205 random altitudinal gradients. Results show 29% of FT area increased in woodiness, with closed-canopy forest expanding 14%/decade and shrubs 4%/decade; unvegetated areas decreased 17.4%/decade and tundra 5%/decade. Area of open woodland remained constant but changed location. Timberline, estimated using both the 205 altitudinal gradients and the upper quartile elevations of closed-canopy forest among the 978 points, rose very little. Tree line, identified using upper quartiles of open woodland, rose ˜50 m on cool, northerly aspects, but not on other aspects. Dendrochronology on high-elevation seedlings showed a congruence between decadal recruitment and regional changes in climate from 1945 to 2005. Patterns observed in the climatic FT of the Kenai Mountains corroborate other studies that show regional and landscape specificity of the structural response of FT to climate change. FT shifted upwards on cooler, presumably more mesic aspects near seed sources; however, on warm aspects the density of shrubs and trees increased, but FT did not rise. If current conditions continue for the next 50-100 years, the Kenai FT will markedly change to a far woodier landscape with less tundra and more closed-canopy forest.

  11. Persistence of high lead concentrations and associated effects in Tundra Swans captured near a mining and smelting complex in northern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blus, L.J.; Henny, C.J.; Hoffman, D.J.; Sileo, L.; Audet, D.J.

    1999-01-01

    Lead poisoning of waterfowl, particularly tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus), has been documented in the Coeur d'Alene River Basin in northern Idaho for nearly a century. Over 90% of the lead-poisoned tundra swans in this area that were necropsied have no ingested lead shot. Spent lead shot from hunting activities over the years is therefore a minor source of lead in these swans. The migrating swans accumulated lethal burdens of lead from ingestion of sediments and aquatic vegetation during a short stopover in the spring. The lead originated from mining and smelting activities. Lead concentrations and physiological characteristics of blood were compared in swans captured in swim-in traps, with moribund swans caught by hand in the lead-contaminated area in 1987 and 1994-1995 and with birds captured by night-lighting in reference areas in 1994-1995. Blood lead concentrations in swans were highest in moribund birds (3.3 ?g g-1 in 1987 and 1995), intermediate in those trapped in the contaminated area (0.82 ?g g-1 in 1987 and 1.8 ?g g-1 in 1995), and lowest (0.11 ?g g-1) in those trapped in the reference areas. daminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) was significantly inhibited in swans from the contaminated area. Hematocrit and hemoglobin were significantly depressed only in moribund swans. Of the 19 swans found moribund and euthanized, 18 were classified as having lead toxicosis on the basis of lead levels in blood (1.3 to 9.6 ?g g-1) and livers (6 to 40 ?g g-1) and necropsy findings. The 19th swan had aspergillosis. There was no evidence that effects of lead on tundra swans had diminished from 1987 to 1995.

  12. The effects of chronic nitrogen fertilization on alpine tundra soil microbial communities: implications for carbon and nitrogen cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemergut, Diana R; Townsend, Alan R; Sattin, Sarah R; Freeman, Kristen R; Fierer, Noah; Neff, Jason C; Bowman, William D; Schadt, Christopher W; Weintraub, Michael N; Schmidt, Steven K

    2008-11-01

    Many studies have shown that changes in nitrogen (N) availability affect primary productivity in a variety of terrestrial systems, but less is known about the effects of the changing N cycle on soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. We used a variety of techniques to examine the effects of chronic N amendments on SOM chemistry and microbial community structure and function in an alpine tundra soil. We collected surface soil (0-5 cm) samples from five control and five long-term N-amended plots established and maintained at the Niwot Ridge Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) site. Samples were bulked by treatment and all analyses were conducted on composite samples. The fungal community shifted in response to N amendments, with a decrease in the relative abundance of basidiomycetes. Bacterial community composition also shifted in the fertilized soil, with increases in the relative abundance of sequences related to the Bacteroidetes and Gemmatimonadetes, and decreases in the relative abundance of the Verrucomicrobia. We did not uncover any bacterial sequences that were closely related to known nitrifiers in either soil, but sequences related to archaeal nitrifiers were found in control soils. The ratio of fungi to bacteria did not change in the N-amended soils, but the ratio of archaea to bacteria dropped from 20% to less than 1% in the N-amended plots. Comparisons of aliphatic and aromatic carbon compounds, two broad categories of soil carbon compounds, revealed no between treatment differences. However, G-lignins were found in higher relative abundance in the fertilized soils, while proteins were detected in lower relative abundance. Finally, the activities of two soil enzymes involved in N cycling changed in response to chronic N amendments. These results suggest that chronic N fertilization induces significant shifts in soil carbon dynamics that correspond to shifts in microbial community structure and function.

  13. Permafrost and surface energy balance of a polygonal tundra site in northern Siberia – Part 1: Spring to fall

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Langer

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Permafrost thawing is essentially determined by the surface energy balance, which potentially triggers the activation of a massive carbon source, if previously frozen organic soils are exposed to microbial decomposition. In this article, we present the first part of a comprehensive annual surface energy balance study performed at a polygonal tundra landscape in northeast Siberia, realized between spring 2007 and winter 2009. This part of the study focuses on the half year period from April to September 2007–2008, during which the surface energy balance is obtained from independent measurements of the radiation budget, the turbulent heat fluxes and the ground heat flux at several sites. The short-wave radiation is the dominant factor in the surface energy balance during the entire observation period. About 50% of the available net radiation is consumed by latent heat flux, while the sensible and the ground heat flux are both on the order of 20 to 30%. The ground heat flux is mainly consumed by active layer thawing, where 60% of soil energy storage are attributed to. The remainder is used for soil warming down to a depth of 15 m. The controlling factors for the surface energy partitioning are in particular the snow cover, the cloud cover and the soil temperature gradient. Significant surface temperature differences of the heterogeneous landscape indicate spatial variabilities of sensible and latent heat fluxes, which are verified by measurements at different locations. However, differences in the partition between sensible and latent heat flux for the different sites only exist during conditions of high radiative forcing, which only occur occasionally.

  14. Relationships between hyperspectral data and components of vegetation biomass in Low Arctic tundra communities at Ivotuk, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratsch, Sara; Epstein, Howard; Buchhorn, Marcel; Walker, Donald; Landes, Heather

    2017-02-01

    Warming in the Arctic has resulted in a lengthening of the growing season and changes to the distribution and composition of tundra vegetation including increased biomass quantities in the Low Arctic. Biomass has commonly been estimated using broad-band greenness indices such as NDVI; however, vegetation changes in the Arctic are occurring at spatial scales within a few meters. The aim of this paper is to assess the ability of hyperspectral remote sensing data to estimate biomass quantities among different plant tissue type categories at the North Slope site of Ivotuk, Alaska. Hand-held hyperspectral data and harvested biomass measurements were collected during the 1999 growing season. A subset of the data was used as a training set, and was regressed against the hyperspectral bands using LASSO. LASSO is a modification of SPLS and is a variable selection technique that is useful in studies with high collinearity among predictor variables such as hyperspectral remote sensing. The resulting equations were then used to predict biomass quantities for the remaining Ivotuk data. The majority of significant biomass-spectra relationships (65%) were for shrubs categories during all times of the growing season and bands in the blue, green, and red edge wavelength regions of the spectrum. The ability to identify unique biomass-spectra relationships per community is decreased at the height of the growing season when shrubs obscure lower-lying vegetation such as mosses. The results of this study support previous research arguing that shrubs are dominant controls over spectral reflectance in Low Arctic communities and that this dominance results in an increased ability to estimate shrub component biomass over other plant functional types.

  15. 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.

  16. Five Years of Land Surface Phenology in a Large Scale Hydrological Manipulation Experiment in an Arctic Tundra Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, S.; Gamon, J. A.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2010-12-01

    Climate change appears to be most pronounced at high northern latitudes. Many of the observed and modeled climate change responses in arctic tundra ecosystems have profound effects on surface energy budgets, land-atmosphere carbon exchange, plant phenology, and geomorphic processes. Detecting biotic responses to a changing environment is essential for understanding the consequences of global change. Plants can work as very effective indicators of changing conditions and, depending on the nature of the change, respond by increasing or decreasing amounts of green-leaf biomass, chlorophyll, and water content. Shifts in the composition and abundance of plant species have important effects on ecosystem processes such as net primary production and nutrient cycling. Vegetation is expected to be responsive to arctic warming, although there is some uncertainty as to how the interplay between geomorphic, hydrologic, climatic and other biotic will manifest over a range of spatial scales. The NSF-supported Biocomplexity project in Barrow, Alaska, involves experimental manipulation of water table (drained, flooded, and control treatments) in a vegetated arctic thaw lake basin to investigate the effects of altered hydrology on land-atmosphere carbon balance. In each experimental treatment, hyperspectral reflectance data were collected in the visible and near IR range of the spectrum using a robotic tram system that operated along a 300m tramline during the snow free growing period between June and August 2005-09. Water table depths and soil volumetric water content was also collected along these transects. The years 2005-2007 were control or unmanipulated experimental years and 2008 and 2009 were experimental years where water table was raised (+10cm) and lowered (-10cm) in flooding and draining experiments respectively. This presentation will document the change in phenology (NDVI) between years, treatments, and land cover types. Findings from this research have implications

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Two Component Decomposition of Dual Polarimetric HH/VV SAR Data: Case Study for the Tundra Environment of the Mackenzie Delta Region, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Ullmann

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates a two component decomposition technique for HH/VV-polarized PolSAR (Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar data. The approach is a straight forward adaption of the Yamaguchi decomposition and decomposes the data into two scattering contributions: surface and double bounce under the assumption of a negligible vegetation scattering component in Tundra environments. The dependencies between the features of this two and the classical three component Yamaguchi decomposition were investigated for Radarsat-2 (quad and TerraSAR-X (HH/VV data for the Mackenzie Delta Region, Canada. In situ data on land cover were used to derive the scattering characteristics and to analyze the correlation among the PolSAR features. The double bounce and surface scattering features of the two and three component scattering model (derived from pseudo-HH/VV- and quad-polarized data showed similar scattering characteristics and positively correlated-R2 values of 0.60 (double bounce and 0.88 (surface scattering were observed. The presence of volume scattering led to differences between the features and these were minimized for land cover classes of low vegetation height that showed little volume scattering contribution. In terms of separability, the quad-polarized Radarsat-2 data offered the best separation of the examined tundra land cover types and will be best suited for the classification. This is anticipated as it represents the largest feature space of all tested ones. However; the classes “wetland” and “bare ground” showed clear positions in the feature spaces of the C- and X-Band HH/VV-polarized data and an accurate classification of these land cover types is promising. Among the possible dual-polarization modes of Radarsat-2 the HH/VV was found to be the favorable mode for the characterization of the aforementioned tundra land cover classes due to the coherent acquisition and the preserved co-pol. phase. Contrary, HH/HV-polarized and VV

  20. Frozen ponds: production and storage of methane during the Arctic winter in a lowland tundra landscape in northern Siberia, Lena River Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Langer

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Lakes and ponds play a key role in the carbon cycle of permafrost ecosystems, where they are considered to be hotspots of carbon dioxide CO2 and methane CH4 emission. The strength of these emissions is, however, controlled by a variety of physical and biogeochemical processes whose responses to a warming climate are complex and only poorly understood. Small waterbodies have been attracting an increasing amount of attention since recent studies demonstrated that ponds can make a significant contribution to the CO2 and CH4 emissions of tundra ecosystems. Waterbodies also have a marked effect on the thermal state of the surrounding permafrost; during the freezing period they prolong the period of time during which thawed soil material is available for microbial decomposition. This study presents net CH4 production rates during the freezing period from ponds within a typical lowland tundra landscape in northern Siberia. Rate estimations were based on CH4 concentrations measured in surface lake ice from a variety of waterbody types. Vertical profiles along ice blocks showed an exponential increase in CH4 concentration with depth. These CH4 profiles were reproduced by a 1-D mass balance model and the net CH4 production rates then inferred through inverse modeling. Results revealed marked differences in early winter net CH4 production among various ponds. Initial state ponds underlain by stable permafrost with little or no signs of degradation yielded low net production rates, of the order of 10–11 to 10–10 mol m−2 s−1 (0.01 to 0.14 mgCH4 m−2 d−1. In contrast, advanced state ponds exhibiting clear signs of thermal erosion yielded net CH4 production rates of the order of 10–7 mol m−2 s−1 (140 mgCH4 m−2 d−1. The net production rate per square meter of advanced state ponds exceeded the maximum summer CH4 emission rates per square meter which was measured for the average tundra landscape at the study site. Our results therefore

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Vertical distribution of bacterial community is associated with the degree of soil organic matter decomposition in the active layer of moist acidic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hye Min; Lee, Min Jin; Jung, Ji Young; Hwang, Chung Yeon; Kim, Mincheol; Ro, Hee-Myong; Chun, Jongsik; Lee, Yoo Kyung

    2016-11-01

    The increasing temperature in Arctic tundra deepens the active layer, which is the upper layer of permafrost soil that experiences repeated thawing and freezing. The increasing of soil temperature and the deepening of active layer seem to affect soil microbial communities. Therefore, information on soil microbial communities at various soil depths is essential to understand their potential responses to climate change in the active layer soil. We investigated the community structure of soil bacteria in the active layer from moist acidic tundra in Council, Alaska. We also interpreted their relationship with some relevant soil physicochemical characteristics along soil depth with a fine scale (5 cm depth interval). The bacterial community structure was found to change along soil depth. The relative abundances of Acidobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Planctomycetes, and candidate phylum WPS-2 rapidly decreased with soil depth, while those of Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, Gemmatimonadetes, and candidate AD3 rapidly increased. A structural shift was also found in the soil bacterial communities around 20 cm depth, where two organic (upper Oi and lower Oa) horizons are subdivided. The quality and the decomposition degree of organic matter might have influenced the bacterial community structure. Besides the organic matter quality, the vertical distribution of bacterial communities was also found to be related to soil pH and total phosphorus content. This study showed the vertical change of bacterial community in the active layer with a fine scale resolution and the possible influence of the quality of soil organic matter on shaping bacterial community structure.

  5. Photosynthetic Characterization of Plant Functional Types from Coastal Tundra to Improve Representation of the Arctic in Earth System Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, A.; Xu, C.; McDowell, N. G.; Sloan, V. L.; Norby, R. J.

    2012-12-01

    The primary goal of Earth System Models (ESMs) is to improve understanding and projection of future global change. In order to do this they must accurately represent the carbon fluxes associated with the terrestrial carbon cycle. Photosynthetic CO2 uptake is well described by the Farquhar, von Caemmerer and Berry model of photosynthesis, and most ESMs use a derivation of this model. One of the key parameters required by the Farquhar, von Caemmerer and Berry model is an estimate of the maximum rate of carboxylation by the enzyme Rubisco (Vc,max). In ESMs the parameter Vc,max is usually fixed for a given plant functional type (PFT) and often estimated from the empirical relationship between leaf N content and Vc,max. However, uncertainty in the estimation of Vc,max has been shown to account for significant variation in model estimation of gross primary production, particularly in the Arctic. As part of a new multidisciplinary project to improve the representation of the Arctic in ESMs (Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments - Arctic) we have begun to characterize photosynthetic parameters and N acquisition in the key Arctic PFTs. We measured the response of photosynthesis (A) to internal CO2 concentration (ci) in situ in two sedges (Carex aquatilis, Eriophorum angustifolium), a grass (Dupontia fisheri) and a forb (Petasites frigidus) growing on the Barrow Environmental Observatory, Barrow, AK. The values of Vc,max (normalized to 25oC) currently used to represent Arctic PFTs in ESMs are approximately half of the values we measured in these species in July, 2012, on the coastal tundra in Barrow. We hypothesize that these plants have a greater fraction of leaf N invested in Rubisco (FLNR) than is assumed by the models. The parameter Vc,max is used directly as a driver for respiration in some ESMs, and in other ESMs Vc,max is linked to leaf N content and N acquisition through FLNR. Therefore, these results have implications for ESMs beyond photosynthesis, and suggest that

  6. Spatial and Temporal Variation of Bulk Snow Properties in North Boreal and Tundra Environments Based on Extensive Field Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannula, H. R.; Lemmetyinen, J.; Pulliainen, J.; Kontu, A.; Derksen, C.

    2015-12-01

    A large collection of in situ snow data was collected in a support of ESA SnowSAR airborne acquisitions in Northern Finland (Lemmetyinen et al., 2014). The purpose was to demonstrate the mission concept of the proposed ESA CoReH2O (Cold Regions Hydrology High-resolution Observatory, Rott et al., 2010) mission, a candidate in the ESA Earth Explorer series of Earth observing satellites. Around 21400 snow depth measurements, 600 SWE measurements and a number of distributed snow pit measurements were collected during 19 days between December 2011 and March 2012. In this study, these field measurements will be used to analyse the snow property variation within and between different land-cover types in North boreal and tundra environments. The wide heterogeneity of snow properties forms a challenge for remote snow information retrieval as even in flat areas the amount and type of heterogeneity vary in a number of different scales. Especially, information of hemispheric scale SWE variation is suffering from large uncertainties, although, assimilation of ground-based and space-borne information and algorithms specific for a land-cover type have lowered these remaining uncertainties (Takala et al., 2011). This study aims to contribute to this future work for more reliable SWE retrievals by statistically describing the snow parameter variation in these northern environments. Lemmetyinen, J., J. Pulliainen, A. Kontu, A. Wiesmann, C. Mätzler, H. Rott, K. Voglmeier, T. Nagler, A. Meta, A. Coccia, M. Schneebeli, M. Proksch, M. Davidson, D. Schüttemeyer, Chung-Chi Lin, and M. Kern, 2014. Observations of seasonal snow cover at X- and Ku bands during the NoSREx campaign. Proc. EUSAR 2014, 3-5 June 2014, Berlin. Rott, H., S.H. Yueh, D.W. Cline, C. Duguay, R. Essery et al., 2010. Cold Regions Hydrology High-resolution Observatory for Snow and Cold Land Processes. Proc. IEEE, 98(5), 752-765. Takala, M., K. Luojus, J. Pulliainen, C. Derksen, J. Lemmetyinen, J-P. Kärnä, J. Koskinen

  7. Spatial and Temporal Variability of Freeze back of Polygonal Tundra and Implications for Green House gas Emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

    Observations indicate a massive warming in the Arctic during the last decades and climate models predict an even increased warming trend in the following century. The changing climate conditions most likely degrade permafrost, which is often related to the formation of thermokarst lakes. The relevance of such larger water bodies for the emission of green house gases (GHG) in high latitude wetlands has been demonstrated by Walter et al. 2006. We investigate the physical processes and emission of GHG of small and shallow water bodies at our research site in the Lena Delta, Siberia. The polygonal land cover is characterized by thermokarst lakes (10%), wet depressed polygonal centers (31%), polygonal ponds (6%) and dry rims (53%). Using measured energy balance components, we compare the physical processes between the polygonal centers and ponds during 2007-2008. The physical measurements reveal a high inter-annual variability of time required for freezing of the ponds which can differ up to several months, whereas spring thawing appears to be a more constant process. The observed temporal variability is closely related to the snow cover evolution and the cloudiness, which both significantly alter the surface energy balance during the winter season. Different lengths of unfrozen periods of sediment and water favour microbial activity, which in turn could lead to inter-annual variability of green house gas production, and possibly to significant differences in green house gas emissions during the melt of ice cover. Due to the observed sensitivity of refreezing, future work on microbial activity and the energy balance of small water bodies in the arctic is highly desirable for understanding the emission potential of green house gases of permafrost regions. M Langer, S Westermann, S Muster, K Piel, J Boike. Permafrost and surface energy balance of a polygonal tundra site in Northern Siberia. Part 2: Winter. The Cryosphere. In review. KM Walter, SA Zimov, JP Chanton, D

  8. 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

  9. Challenges in modelling isoprene and monoterpene emission dynamics of Arctic plants: a case study from a subarctic tundra heath

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Jing; Schurgers, Guy; Valolahti, Hanna; Faubert, Patrick; Tiiva, Päivi; Michelsen, Anders; Rinnan, Riikka

    2016-12-01

    The Arctic is warming at twice the global average speed, and the warming-induced increases in biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emissions from Arctic plants are expected to be drastic. The current global models' estimations of minimal BVOC emissions from the Arctic are based on very few observations and have been challenged increasingly by field data. This study applied a dynamic ecosystem model, LPJ-GUESS, as a platform to investigate short-term and long-term BVOC emission responses to Arctic climate warming. Field observations in a subarctic tundra heath with long-term (13-year) warming treatments were extensively used for parameterizing and evaluating BVOC-related processes (photosynthesis, emission responses to temperature and vegetation composition). We propose an adjusted temperature (T) response curve for Arctic plants with much stronger T sensitivity than the commonly used algorithms for large-scale modelling. The simulated emission responses to 2 °C warming between the adjusted and original T response curves were evaluated against the observed warming responses (WRs) at short-term scales. Moreover, the model responses to warming by 4 and 8 °C were also investigated as a sensitivity test. The model showed reasonable agreement to the observed vegetation CO2 fluxes in the main growing season as well as day-to-day variability of isoprene and monoterpene emissions. The observed relatively high WRs were better captured by the adjusted T response curve than by the common one. During 1999-2012, the modelled annual mean isoprene and monoterpene emissions were 20 and 8 mg C m-2 yr-1, with an increase by 55 and 57 % for 2 °C summertime warming, respectively. Warming by 4 and 8 °C for the same period further elevated isoprene emission for all years, but the impacts on monoterpene emissions levelled off during the last few years. At hour-day scale, the WRs seem to be strongly impacted by canopy air T, while at the day-year scale, the WRs are a combined

  10. Deepened winter snow increases stem growth and alters stem δ13C and δ15N in evergreen dwarf shrub Cassiope tetragona in high-arctic Svalbard tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Daan; Weijers, Stef; Welker, Jeffrey M;

    2015-01-01

    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...

  11. Genome-wide association analysis identifies a mutation in the thiamine transporter 2 (SLC19A3 gene associated with Alaskan Husky encephalopathy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen M Vernau

    Full Text Available Alaskan Husky Encephalopathy (AHE has been previously proposed as a mitochondrial encephalopathy based on neuropathological similarities with human Leigh Syndrome (LS. We studied 11 Alaskan Husky dogs with AHE, but found no abnormalities in respiratory chain enzyme activities in muscle and liver, or mutations in mitochondrial or nuclear genes that cause LS in people. A genome wide association study was performed using eight of the affected dogs and 20 related but unaffected control AHs using the Illumina canine HD array. SLC19A3 was identified as a positional candidate gene. This gene controls the uptake of thiamine in the CNS via expression of the thiamine transporter protein THTR2. Dogs have two copies of this gene located within the candidate interval (SLC19A3.2 - 43.36-43.38 Mb and SLC19A3.1 - 43.411-43.419 Mb on chromosome 25. Expression analysis in a normal dog revealed that one of the paralogs, SLC19A3.1, was expressed in the brain and spinal cord while the other was not. Subsequent exon sequencing of SLC19A3.1 revealed a 4bp insertion and SNP in the second exon that is predicted to result in a functional protein truncation of 279 amino acids (c.624 insTTGC, c.625 C>A. All dogs with AHE were homozygous for this mutation, 15/41 healthy AH control dogs were heterozygous carriers while 26/41 normal healthy AH dogs were wild type. Furthermore, this mutation was not detected in another 187 dogs of different breeds. These results suggest that this mutation in SLC19A3.1, encoding a thiamine transporter protein, plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of AHE.

  12. Soil and Plant Mercury Concentrations and Pools in the Arctic Tundra of Northern Alaska by Hedge Christine, Obrist Daniel, Agnan Yannick, Moore Christopher, Biester Harald, Helmig Detlev

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedge, C.; Agnan, Y.

    2015-12-01

    We present vegetation, soil and runoff mercury (Hg) concentrations and pool sizes in vegetation and soils at several arctic tundra sites, an area that represents <7 x 106 km2 of land surface globally. The primary measurement location is at Toolik Field Station (TFS, 68° 38' N) in northern Alaska, with additional samples collected along a transect from TFS to the Arctic Ocean, and in Noatak National Preserve to be collected in August 2015. Soil and vegetation samples from all sites will be analyzed for total Hg concentration, pH, soil texture, bulk density, soil moisture content, organic and total carbon (C), nitrogen, along with major and trace elements. Initial results already obtained from TFS (characterized as moist to wet tundra with Typic Aquiturbel soils) show Hg concentrations in tundra vegetation (112±15 μg kg-1) and organic soil (140±8 μg kg-1) similar to those found in temperate sites. Calculation of plant-based Hg deposition rates by litterfall of 17.3 μg kg-1 yr-1 were surprisingly high, exceeding all other Hg deposition fluxes at this site. Hg concentrations in mineral soils (95±3 μg kg-1) were 2-3 times higher than those found at temperate sites. Hg concentrations showed weak relationships to organic C concentrations contrasting patterns from temperate soils where concentrations typically decline with depth following lower organic carbon contents. In fact, vertical mass profiles of Hg showed a strong increase with depth, with mineral layers storing over 90% (200-500 g ha-1) of Hg within these soils. A principle component analysis including major and trace elements indicated that soil Hg was not of lithogenic origin but from atmospheric sources, possibly by long-range transport. Carbon-14 dating results showed over 7,000 years old organic carbon in mineral soils of the active layer where highest concentrations of soil Hg were observed, suggesting long term retention of atmospheric Hg. These patterns suggest vertical translocation of Hg from the

  13. 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

  14. Ground measurements of the hemispherical-directional reflectance of Arctic snow covered tundra for the validation of satellite remote sensing products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, C. P.; Marks, A. A.; Green, P.; Mac Arthur, A.; Fox, N.; King, M. D.

    2013-12-01

    Surface albedo is the hemispherical and wavelength integrated reflectance over the visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared regions of the solar spectrum. The albedo of Arctic snow can be in excess of 0.8 and it is a critical component in the global radiation budget because it determines the proportion of solar radiation absorbed, and reflected, over a large part of the Earth's surface. We present here our first results of the angularly resolved surface reflectance of Arctic snow at high solar zenith angles (~80°) suitable for the validation of satellite remote sensing products. The hemispherical directional reflectance factor (HDRF) of Arctic snow covered tundra was measured using the GonioRAdiometric Spectrometer System (GRASS) during a three-week field campaign in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, in March/April 2013. The measurements provide one of few existing HDRF datasets at high solar zenith angles for wind-blown Arctic snow covered tundra (conditions typical of the Arctic region), and the first ground-based measure of HDRF at Ny-Ålesund. The HDRF was recorded under clear sky conditions with 10° intervals in view zenith, and 30° intervals in view azimuth, for several typical sites over a wavelength range of 400-1500 nm at 1 nm resolution. Satellite sensors such as MODIS, AVHRR and VIIRS offer a method to monitor the surface albedo with high spatial and temporal resolution. However, snow reflectance is anisotropic and is dependent on view and illumination angle and the wavelength of the incident light. Spaceborne sensors subtend a discrete angle to the target surface and measure radiance over a limited number of narrow spectral bands. Therefore, the derivation of the surface albedo requires accurate knowledge of the surfaces bidirectional reflectance as a function of wavelength. The ultimate accuracy to which satellite sensors are able to measure snow surface properties such as albedo is dependant on the accuracy of the BRDF model, which can only be assessed

  15. Luxury consumption of soil nutrients: a possible competitive strategy in above-ground and below-ground biomass allocation and root morphology for slow-growing arctic vegetation?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijk, van M.T.; Williams, M.; Gough, L.; Hobbie, S.E.; Shaver, G.R.

    2003-01-01

    1 A field-experiment was used to determine how plant species might retain dominance in an arctic ecosystem receiving added nutrients. We both measured and modelled the above-ground and below-ground biomass allocation and root morphology of non-acidic tussock tundra near Toolik Lake, Alaska, after 4

  16. 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 point...

  17. A sampling method for tundra swans in the Bristol Bay lowlands of the northern Alaska Peninsula: A summary of a presentation given at the Refuges and Wildlife Project Leaders' meeting, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, December 8-11, 1986

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A "census" of tundra swans occurring in the northern Alaska Peninsula was collected over 1984-1985, with supplemental information provided from preliminary surveys...

  18. Tracing the catchment-scale hydrology of polygonal tundra and implications for lateral fluxes of carbon and nitrogen, Lena River Delta, Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runkle, Benjamin R. K.; Helbig, Manuel; Knoblauch, Christian; Kutzbach, Lars

    2014-05-01

    Surface-water hydrology changes the thermal regime of permafrost, carries varying amounts of nutrients depending on its flowpath, and provides a fuel for biogeochemical reactions, including the biological production of methane and carbon dioxide by soil microbes. In this work we present the findings of hydrological investigations in the ice-wedge polygon tundra of the Samoylov Research Island in Russia's Lena River Delta. We compare the catchment-scale behaviour of two adjacent watersheds through stable isotope analysis conducted over two years of sampling (2012-13). This work also incorporates the use of conservative natural tracers such as silica concentration and sheds light on mechanisms for the transport of dissolved organic carbon into the Lena River system. Hydrological discharge measurements taken over three years (2011-13) reveal generally similar patterns in rainfall response and permafrost thaw between two adjacent watersheds - one smaller (0.02 km2) and dominantly comprised of the characteristic polygonal tundra and the second larger one (0.6 km2) also containing two large surface-water reservoirs, namely a degraded ice-wedge network and a lake. However, stable isotope measurements of hydrogen (δD) and oxygen (δ18O) reveal that the latter watershed maintains a significant surface-water isotopic signature throughout the summer period, with greater influence of evaporation on watershed dynamics. The smaller, characteristic polygon catchment shows ever-increasing influence of deeper flow paths as the thaw depth increases over the season. These small catchments release low amounts of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen both in terms of concentration (carbon budget (water, carbon, and energy cycles. Furthermore, modeling strategies will benefit from simpler process-based representations of landscape processes when upscaling to examine regional landscape-atmosphere interactions.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Characterization and evaluation of washability of Alaskan coals: Fifty selected seams from various coal fields: Final technical report, September 30, 1976-February 28, 1986. [50 coal seams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rao, P.D.

    1986-09-01

    This final report is the result of a study initiated in 1976 to obtain washability data for Alaskan coals, to supplement the efforts of the US Department of Energy in their ongoing studies on washability of US coals. Washability characteristics were determined for fifty coal samples from the Northern Alaska, Chicago Creek, Unalakleet, Nenana, Matanuska, Beluga, Yentna and Herendeen Bay coal fields. The raw coal was crushed to 1-1/2 inches, 3/8 inch, 14 mesh and 65 mesh top sizes, and float-sink separations were made at 1.30, 1.40 and 1.60 specific gravities. A limited number of samples were also crushed to 200 and 325 mesh sizes prior to float-sink testing. Samples crushed to 65 mesh top size were also separated at 1.60 specific gravity and the float and sink products were characterized for proximate and ultimate analyses, ash composition and ash fusibility. 72 refs., 79 figs., 57 tabs.

  2. Substrate Geochemistry and Soil Development in Boreal Forest and Tundra Ecosystems in the Yukon-Tanana Upland and Seward Peninsula, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, L.P.; Crock, J.G.; Wang, B.; Day, W.C.; Eberl, D.D.; Sanzolone, R.F.; Lamothe, P.J.

    2008-01-01

    We report on soil development as a function of bedrock type and the presence of loess in two high latitude ecosystems (boreal forest and tundra) and from two regions in Alaska?the Yukon-Tanana Upland (YTU, east-central Alaska) and the Seward Peninsula (SP, far-west coastal Alaska). This approach to the study of 'cold soils' is fundamental to the quantification of regional geochemical landscape patterns. Of the five state factors in this study, bedrock and biota (ecosystem; vegetation zone) vary whereas climate (within each area) and topography are controlled. The influence of time is assumed to be controlled, as these soils are thousands of years old (late Quaternary to Holocene). The primary minerals in soils from YTU, developed over loess and crystalline bedrock (metamorphic and intrusive), are quartz, plagioclase, and 2:1 clays; whereas in the SP, where loess and metasedimentary bedrock (schist and quartzite) predominate, they are quartz and muscovite. The A horizon of both regions is rich in peat. Examination of the ratio of mobile (K2O, CaO, and Fe2O3) to immobile (TiO2) major oxides, within each region, shows that very little difference exists in the chemical weathering of soils developed between the two ecosystems examined. Differences were observed between tundra soils developed in the two regions. These differences are most probably due to the dissimilarity in the geochemical importance of both loess and bedrock. A minimal loss of cadmium with soil depth is seen for soils developed over YTU crystalline bedrock in the boreal forest environments. This trend is related to the mobility of cadmium in these soils as well as to its biogenic cycling. Major differences were observed in the proportion of cadmium and zinc among the A, B, and C horizon material sequestered in various soil fractions as measured by sequential soil extractions. These trends followed such variables as the decrease with depth in organic matter, the change in clay minerals, and the change

  3. Ecosystem nitrogen fixation throughout the snow-free period in subarctic tundra: effects of willow and birch litter addition and warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousk, Kathrin; Michelsen, Anders

    2017-04-01

    Nitrogen (N) fixation in moss-associated cyanobacteria is one of the main sources of available N for N-limited ecosystems such as subarctic tundra. Yet, N2 fixation in mosses is strongly influenced by soil moisture and temperature. Thus, temporal scaling up of low-frequency in situ measurements to several weeks, months or even the entire growing season without taking into account changes in abiotic conditions cannot capture the variation in moss-associated N2 fixation. We therefore aimed to estimate moss-associated N2 fixation throughout the snow-free period in subarctic tundra in field experiments simulating climate change: willow (Salix myrsinifolia) and birch (Betula pubescens spp. tortuosa) litter addition, and warming. To achieve this, we established relationships between measured in situ N2 fixation rates and soil moisture and soil temperature and used high-resolution measurements of soil moisture and soil temperature (hourly from May to October) to model N2 fixation. The modelled N2 fixation rates were highest in the warmed (2.8 ± 0.3 kg N ha(-1) ) and birch litter addition plots (2.8 ± 0.2 kg N ha(-1) ), and lowest in the plots receiving willow litter (1.6 ± 0.2 kg N ha(-1) ). The control plots had intermediate rates (2.2 ± 0.2 kg N ha(-1) ). Further, N2 fixation was highest during the summer in the warmed plots, but was lowest in the litter addition plots during the same period. The temperature and moisture dependence of N2 fixation was different between the climate change treatments, indicating a shift in the N2 fixer community. Our findings, using a combined empirical and modelling approach, suggest that a longer snow-free period and increased temperatures in a future climate will likely lead to higher N2 fixation rates in mosses. Yet, the consequences of increased litter fall on moss-associated N2 fixation due to shrub expansion in the Arctic will depend on the shrub species' litter traits.

  4. Accumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soils and plants of the tundra zone under the impact of coal-mining industry

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

    Thirteen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds were identified in organic horizons of tundra surface-gleyed soils ( Histic Stagnosols (Gelistagnic) and plants. The total content of PAHs in contaminated soils exceeded the background values by three times. Concentrations of low-molecular weight hydrocarbons in soils at different distances from the coalmines were relatively stable. Concentrations of highmolecular weight hydrocarbons had a distinct maximum at a distance of about 0.5 km from the source of emission. The increased values of correlation coefficients were found between PAH concentrations in organic soil horizons, plants, and coal of the Vorkutinskaya mine. Mostly low-molecular weight structures predominated in the organic soil horizons and in the studied plant species. The maximum capacity for the biological accumulation of PAHs was displayed by Pleurozium schreberi and the minimum capacity was displayed by Vaccinium myrtillus. Mosses and lichens actively absorbed polyarenes from the surface; most of the PAHs were transported into the plants. This phenomenon was not observed for Vaccinium myrtillus Concentrations of PAHs on the surface and in plant tissues decreased with an increase in the distance from the mine. Distribution of polyarenes in plant organs was nonuniform. Insignificant excess of concentration of polyarenes was found in dead part of Pleurozium schreberi in comparison with its living part. The accumulation of polyarenes in the leaves of Vaccinium myrtillus was higher than that in its stems and roots.

  5. 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.

  6. Impacts of Soil Temperature and Moisture Change on Soil Carbon Dynamics in the Alaskan Yukon River Basin - From the Perspective of Vertical Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, B.; Liu, S.; Tan, Z.; Tieszen, L.; Hansen, M.

    2008-12-01

    Boreal ecosystems are experiencing rapid climate change and land surface disturbances (e.g., fires and insect outbreaks), which have triggered substantial changes in ecosystem structure and functions, biogeochemical cycle, and land surface processes. These changes in turn have major implications to the changes of regional and climate systems. There is an urgent need to develop robust process-based land surface modeling systems that can simulate the responses of many poorly understood but fast-changing soil processes in the region. In this study, we improved the soil physics module in the Erosion-Deposition-Carbon Model (EDCM), mainly following the algorithms in the Integrated BIosphere Simulator (IBIS), to simulate historical and future changes of soil temperature, moisture, active layer thickness, permafrost depth, and their impacts on organic layer and soil carbon dynamics from two boreal forest sites in the Alaskan Yukon River Basin. We used a multi-snow-soil-layer model structure to represent the vertical profiles of soil properties and processes. Our results showed more soil carbon emission than the single-soil-layer models predicted under future climate change scenarios. A multi-soil-layer model has to be used in the northern high latitudes to predict the fate of deep soil organic matter, organic layer thickness, and degradation of permafrost. At the site scale, major uncertainties for model development and characterization of the responses of vegetation and soils to future climate change include vegetation succession, transitional vegetation rooting depth change, root mortality, and fire intensity and frequency. Additional intensive site studies and remote sensing research have to be conducted to address some of the uncertainties in order to apply the model at the regional scale.

  7. 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.

  8. Spatial variation in landscape-level CO2 and CH4 fluxes from arctic coastal tundra: influence from vegetation, wetness, and the thaw lake cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturtevant, Cove S; Oechel, Walter C

    2013-09-01

    Regional quantification of arctic CO2 and CH4 fluxes remains difficult due to high landscape heterogeneity coupled with a sparse measurement network. Most of the arctic coastal tundra near Barrow, Alaska is part of the thaw lake cycle, which includes current thaw lakes and a 5500-year chronosequence of vegetated thaw lake basins. However, spatial variability in carbon fluxes from these features remains grossly understudied. Here, we present an analysis of whole-ecosystem CO2 and CH4 fluxes from 20 thaw lake cycle features during the 2011 growing season. We found that the thaw lake cycle was largely responsible for spatial variation in CO2 flux, mostly due to its control on gross primary productivity (GPP). Current lakes were significant CO2 sources that varied little. Vegetated basins showed declining GPP and CO2 sink with age (R(2) = 67% and 57%, respectively). CH4 fluxes measured from a subset of 12 vegetated basins showed no relationship with age or CO2 flux components. Instead, higher CH4 fluxes were related to greater landscape wetness (R(2) = 57%) and thaw depth (additional R(2) = 28%). Spatial variation in CO2 and CH4 fluxes had good satellite remote sensing indicators, and we estimated the region to be a small CO2 sink of -4.9 ± 2.4 (SE) g C m(-2) between 11 June and 25 August, which was countered by a CH4 source of 2.1 ± 0.2 (SE) g C m(-2) . Results from our scaling exercise showed that developing or validating regional estimates based on single tower sites can result in significant bias, on average by a factor 4 for CO2 flux and 30% for CH4 flux. Although our results are specific to the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska, the degree of landscape-scale variability, large-scale controls on carbon exchange, and implications for regional estimation seen here likely have wide relevance to other arctic landscapes.

  9. 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

  10. Land Cover Characterization and Classification of Arctic Tundra Environments by Means of Polarized Synthetic Aperture X- and C-Band Radar (PolSAR and Landsat 8 Multispectral Imagery — Richards Island, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Ullmann

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In this work the potential of polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PolSAR data of dual-polarized TerraSAR-X (HH/VV and quad-polarized Radarsat-2 was examined in combination with multispectral Landsat 8 data for unsupervised and supervised classification of tundra land cover types of Richards Island, Canada. The classification accuracies as well as the backscatter and reflectance characteristics were analyzed using reference data collected during three field work campaigns and include in situ data and high resolution airborne photography. The optical data offered an acceptable initial accuracy for the land cover classification. The overall accuracy was increased by the combination of PolSAR and optical data and was up to 71% for unsupervised (Landsat 8 and TerraSAR-X and up to 87% for supervised classification (Landsat 8 and Radarsat-2 for five tundra land cover types. The decomposition features of the dual and quad-polarized data showed a high sensitivity for the non-vegetated substrate (dominant surface scattering and wetland vegetation (dominant double bounce and volume scattering. These classes had high potential to be automatically detected with unsupervised classification techniques.

  11. 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

  12. Sr-Isotope Composition of Feldspar: Implication for age and Evolution of Gabbros from Uralian-Alaskan Type Complexes in the Ural Mountains, Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruegmann, G. E.; Krause, J.; Pushkarev, E.

    2006-12-01

    Compared to whole-rock or bulk mineral analyses single mineral composition could reveal disequilibrium features between crystals or within individual crystals which provide important information on magma chamber processes. We applied a LA-ICPMS technique to determine Sr isotopes in plagioclase and K-feldspar of gabbroic rocks from the Nizhnii Tagil and Kytlym complexes in the Ural Mountains in Russia. These complexes are Uralian-Alaskan-type zoned mafic-ultramafic complexes, consisting of dunite, clinopyroxenite and gabbro bodies. The rock association is considered to represent a cumulate sequence of a single parental melt feeding a magma chamber system. The instruments used were a NU Plasma MC-ICPMS and a solid-state 193 and 213 nm Nd:YAG laser ablation system from New Wave. The data of the present study includes up to five spot analyses (100-120 μm spot size) of each mineral in a thin section. Baselines for analyses were measured on-peak for 20 s while flushing the sample chamber with He. About 300 to 500 isotope ratios were measured during the ablation time of 80-100 s. Raw data were exported to an external data reduction spreadsheet and corrected for interferences (Kr, Rb) and mass bias using 87Sr/^{88}Sr=0.1194. During the time of analyses we measured the Sr isotope composition of an in-house marine carbonate reference material. Its 87Sr/86Sr of 0.70923±6 (2SD) agrees within error limits with our TIMS measurements. The gabbros have porphyric textures with clinopyroxene phenocrysts in a matrix of olivine, clinopyroxene and spinel. Two gabbro types can be distinguished based on additional matrix minerals. One type of gabbro is silica saturated, contains plagioclase (An57-88) and in places orthopyroxene as matrix phases. The second gabbro type is silica undersaturated and contains in the matrix plagioclase (An29-56) and pseudoleucite, a fine grained intergrowth of nepheline and K-feldspar (Or30-81). In this gabbro plagioclase has generally higher Sr

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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....

  16. Deepened winter snow increases stem growth and alters stem δ13C and δ15N in evergreen dwarf shrub Cassiope tetragona in high-arctic Svalbard tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blok, Daan; Weijers, Stef; Welker, Jeffrey M

    2015-01-01

    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......-snow individuals compared to individuals growing in ambient-snow plots during the course of the experiment, suggesting that soil N-availability was increased in deep-snow plots as a result of increased soil winter N mineralization. Although inter-annual growing season-precipitation δ 2 H and stem δ 2 H records...

  17. Toward a global barcode library for Lymantria (Lepidoptera: Lymantriinae) tussock moths of biosecurity concern

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Gypsy moth Lymantria dispar L., introduced from Europe in the 19th century, has become ...

  18. Assessment of Fire Occurrence and Future Fire Potential in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, N. H. F.; Jenkins, L. K.; Loboda, T. V.; Bourgeau-Chavez, L. L.; Whitley, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    An analysis of the occurrence of fire in Alaskan tundra was completed using the relatively complete historical record of fire for the region from 1950 to 2013. Spatial fire data for Alaskan tundra regions were obtained from the Alaska Large Fire Database for the region defined from vegetation and ecoregion maps. A detailed presentation of fire records available for assessing the fire regime of the tundra regions of Alaska as well as results evaluating fire size, seasonality, and general geographic and temporal trends is included. Assessment of future fire potential was determined for three future climate scenarios at four locations across the Alaskan tundra using the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI). Canadian Earth System Model (CanESM2) weather variables were used for historical (1850-2005) and future (2006-2100) time periods. The database includes 908 fire points and 463 fire polygons within the 482,931 km2 of Alaskan tundra. Based on the polygon database 25,656 km2 (6,340,000 acres) has burned across the six tundra ecoregions since 1950. Approximately 87% of tundra fires start in June and July across all ecoregions. Combining information from the polygon and points data records, the estimated average fire size for fire in the Alaskan Arctic region is 28.1 km2 (7,070 acres), which is much smaller than in the adjacent boreal forest region, averaging 203 km2 for high fire years. The largest fire in the database is the Imuruk Basin Fire which burned 1,680 km2 in 1954 in the Seward Peninsula region (Table 1). Assessment of future fire potential shows that, in comparison with the historical fire record, fire occurrence in Alaskan tundra is expected to increase under all three climate scenarios. Occurrences of high fire weather danger (>10 FWI) are projected to increase in frequency and magnitude in all regions modeled. The changes in fire weather conditions are expected to vary from one region to another in seasonal occurrence as well as severity and frequency

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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,...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donn McGuire; Thomas Williams; Bjorn Paulsson; Alexander Goertz

    2005-02-01

    Natural-gas hydrates have been encountered beneath the permafrost and considered a drilling hazard by the oil and gas industry for years. Drilling engineers working in Russia, Canada and the USA have documented numerous problems, including drilling 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 as a potential energy source agree that the resource potential is great--on the North Slope of Alaska alone, it has been estimated at 590 TCF. However, little information has been obtained from physical samples taken from actual hydrate-bearing rocks. 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 identify, quantify and predict production potential for hydrates located on the North Slope of Alaska. The project team drilled and continuously cored the Hot Ice No. 1 well on Anadarko-leased acreage beginning in FY 2003 and completed in 2004. An on-site core analysis laboratory was built and used for determining physical characteristics of hydrates and surrounding rock. After the well was logged, a 3D vertical seismic profile (VSP) was recorded to calibrate the shallow geologic section with seismic data and to investigate techniques to better resolve lateral subsurface variations of potential hydrate-bearing strata. Paulsson Geophysical Services, Inc. deployed their 80 level 3C clamped borehole seismic receiver array in the wellbore to record samples every 25 ft. Seismic vibrators were successively positioned at 1185 different surface positions in a circular pattern around the wellbore. This technique generated a 3D image of the subsurface. Correlations were generated of these seismic data with cores, logging, and other well data. Unfortunately, the Hot Ice No. 1 well did not encounter hydrates in the reservoir sands, although brine-saturated sands containing minor amounts of methane were encountered within the hydrate stability zone (HSZ). Synthetic seismograms created from well log data were in agreement with reflectivity data measured by the 3D VSP survey. Modeled synthetic seismograms indicated a detectable seismic response would be expected in the presence of hydrate-bearing sands. Such a response was detected in the 3D VSP data at locations up-dip to the west of the Hot Ice No. 1 wellbore. Results of this project suggest that the presence of hydrate-bearing strata may not be related as simply to HSZ thickness as previously thought. Geological complications of reservoir facies distribution within fluvial-deltaic environments will require sophisticated detection technologies to assess the locations of recoverable volumes of methane contained in hydrates. High-resolution surface seismic data and more rigorous well log data analysis offer the best near-term potential. The hydrate resource potential is huge, but better tools are needed to accurately assess their location, distribution and economic recoverability.

  7. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas E. Williams; Keith Millheim; Buddy King

    2004-07-01

    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 is in the final stages of 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 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.

  8. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas E. Williams; Keith Millheim; Bill Liddell

    2004-11-01

    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 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 a well (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 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. No gas hydrates were encountered in this well; however, a wealth of information was generated and is contained in the project reports. Documenting the results of this effort are key to extracting lessons learned and maximizing the industry's benefits for future hydrate exploitation. In addition to the Final Report, several companion Topical Reports are being published.

  9. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas E. Williams; Keith Millheim; Buddy King

    2004-06-01

    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 is in the final stages of 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 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.

  10. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas E. Williams; Keith Millheim; Bill Liddell

    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 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 a well (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 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. No gas hydrates were encountered in this well; however, a wealth of information was generated and is contained in the project reports. Documenting the results of this effort are key to extracting lessons learned and maximizing the industry's benefits for future hydrate exploitation.

  11. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomas E. Williams; Keith Millheim; Buddy King

    2004-03-01

    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 is in the second year of a three-year endeavor being sponsored by Maurer Technology, Noble, and Anadarko Petroleum, in partnership with the DOE. The purpose of the project is to build on previous and ongoing R&D in the area of onshore hydrate deposition. We plan to identify, quantify and predict production potential for hydrates located on the North Slope of Alaska. We also plan to design and implement a program to safely and economically drill, core and produce gas from arctic hydrates. The current work scope is to drill and core a well on Anadarko leases in FY 2003 and 2004. We are also using an on-site core analysis laboratory to determine some of the physical characteristics of the hydrates and surrounding rock. The well is being drilled from a new Anadarko Arctic Platform that will have minimal footprint and environmental impact. We hope to correlate geology, geophysics, logs, and drilling and production data to allow reservoir models to be calibrated. Ultimately, our goal is to form an objective technical and economic evaluation of reservoir potential in Alaska.

  12. Baseline Hearing Measurements in Alaskan Belugas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    Marine mammal research permit #14245), Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Georgia Aquarium and the Alaska Sealife Center. The work involved...restrained animals using auditory evoked potential (AEP) methods (Fig 1). Representatives from NMML, ADF&G, Georgia Aquarium and others were simultaneously...PROJECTS 1) Beluga tagging Health Assessment- NMML/ Georgia Aquarium . Collaborators: Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Sealife Center

  13. Chemical Degradation of PCBs in Alaskan Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-01

    approximate 20 to 30% reduction of Aroclor concentration compared to the controls. Tests applying Tween 80 at 15% (w/w) with NaOH at 2% (w/w) indicated that...the Tween 80 increased PCB release from soil, but no significant PCB degradation was found. An experiment was then conducted to investigate the use of

  14. One year in an Alaskan arthritis clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Templin, D

    1999-10-01

    During 1997 visits were made by 852 individuals to an arthritis clinic in Alaska serving predominantly Alaska Natives. Three hundred twenty- seven of these were seen for the first time. The ratio of women to men was 3:1. Rheumatoid Arthritis was the most common arthritic condition seen, followed by Degenerative Joint Disease and Spondyloarthropathies. Three hundred five Tlingit and 246 Eskimo made up 65% of the patients seen that year. Methotrexate was the most frequently used Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drug but the other such drugs were prescribed as well. Recording demographic and clinical information on a portable computer at the time of visit provided record linkage and the data for this report and was used in Health Care Planning.

  15. METHANE HYDRATE PRODUCTION FROM ALASKAN PERMAFROST

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donn McGuire; Steve Runyon; Richard Sigal; Bill Liddell; Thomas Williams; George Moridis

    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 is in the final stages of 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. Hot Ice No. 1 was planned to test the Ugnu and West Sak sequences for gas hydrates and a concomitant free gas accumulation on Anadarko's 100% working interest acreage in section 30 of Township 9N, Range 8E of the Harrison Bay quadrangle of the North Slope of Alaska. The Ugnu and West Sak intervals are favorably positioned in the hydrate-stability zone over an area extending from Anadarko's acreage westward to the vicinity of the aforementioned gas-hydrate occurrences. This suggests that a large, north-to-south trending gas-hydrate accumulation may exist in that area. The presence of gas shows in the Ugnu and West Sak reservoirs in wells situated eastward and down dip of the Hot Ice location indicate that a free-gas accumulation may be trapped by gas hydrates. The Hot Ice No. 1 well was designed to core from the surface to the base of the West Sak interval using the revolutionary and new Arctic Drilling Platform in search of gas hydrate and free gas accumulations at depths of approximately 1200 to 2500 ft MD. A secondary objective was the gas-charged sands of the uppermost Campanian interval at approximately 3000 ft. Summary results of geophysical analysis of the well are presented in this report.

  16. 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.

  17. Reproductive performance of female Alaskan caribou

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, L.G.; Dale, B.W.

    1998-01-01

    We examined the reproductive performance of female caribou (Rangjfer tarandus granti) in relation to age, physical condition, and reproductive experience for 9 consecutive years (1987-95) at Denali National Park, Alaska, during a period of wide variation in winter snowfall. Caribou in Denali differed from other cervid populations where reproductive performance has been investigated, because they occur at low densities (less than or equal to 0.3/km(2)) and experience high losses of young to predation. Females first gave birth at 2-6 years old; 56% of these females were 3 years old. Average annual natality rates increased from 27% for 2-year-olds to 100% for 7-year-olds, remained high for 7-13-year-olds (98%), and then declined for females greater than or equal to 14 years old. Females greater than or equal to 2 years old that failed to reproduce were primarily sexually immature (76%). Reproductive pauses of sexually mature females occurred predominantly in young (3-6 yr old) and old (greater than or equal to 14 yr old) females. Natality increased with body mass for 10-month-old females weighed 6 months prior to the autumn breeding season (P = 0.007), and for females >1 year old and weighed during autumn (late Sep-early Nov; P = 0.003). Natality for 2-, 3-, 4-, and 6-year-olds declined with increasing late-winter snowfall (Feb-May; P less than or equal to 0.039) during the winter prior to breeding. In most years, a high percentage of sexually mature females reproduced, and lactation status at die time of breeding did not influence productivity the following year. However, following particularly high snowfall during February-September 1992, productivity was reduced in 1993 for cows successfully rearing calves to autumn the precious year. High losses of calves to predators in 1992 may have increased productivity in 1993. Losses of young-of-the year to predation prior to the annual breeding season can be an important influence on subsequent productivity for ungulate populations where productivity varies with lactation status of females at die time of breeding.

  18. 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.

  19. Variation in tussock traits of the invasive cordgrass Spartina densiflora along the Pacific Coast of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Some introduced species rapidly spread to cover large novel habitats beyond their native range mediated by a high degree of phenotypic plasticity and/or rapid evolutionary responses. In this context, clonality has been described as a significant factor contributing to invasiveness. We studied the ab...

  20. Soil nitrogen dynamics and productivity of snowpack Sanguisorba sitchensis community in alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain, China%长白山高山苔原雪斑大白花地榆群落土壤氮素动态与生产力的关系

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐倩倩; 刘琪璟; 张国春

    2011-01-01

    Aims Snowpack plant communities in alpine tundra are active in comparison with surrounding vegetation, despite the short growing season due to thick snow cover. Our objective was to understand the growth mechanism of snowpack communities.Methods The nutrient dynamics and primary productivity of snowpack Sanguisorba sitchensis community in alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain was investigated in different seasons.Important findings Soil temperature under snowpack during winter was warmer than snow-free areas, and the minimum temperature was significantly higher. Litter decomposition and nitrogen mineralization under snowpack were active even in winter, and nitrogen content was high with rapid mineralization. Annual net primary productivity was 4 046 kg·hm-2·a-1. The unique hydro-thermo conditions, nutrient cycling features and high leaf area index were key factors maintaining community structure and primary productivity.%在高山苔原冬季积雪覆盖的群落生长季短,但明显比周围群落生长茂盛.为了说明雪斑地段群落生长机理,对长白山苔原雪斑土壤氮素动态以及大白花地榆(Sanguisorba sitchensis)群落生产力进行了连续测定.雪斑群落土壤冬季相对温暖,最低日平均温度-1.4℃,裸露地段-16.9℃,全年水分条件充足;积雪期凋落物分解和氮矿化均在进行,土壤具有很高的氮素含量及矿化速率.大白花地榆地上部分净初级生产力为4 046 kg·hm·a.正是独特的水热条件和养分条件,以及具有很大的叶面积同化器官,高山苔原雪斑地段的大白花地榆群落才得以维持生存并表现出很高的生产力水平.

  1. Intermediate-scale vegetation mapping of Innoko National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska using Landsat MSS digital data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talbot, Stephen S.; Markon, Carl J.

    1988-01-01

    A Landsat-derived vegetation map was prepared for lnnoko National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge lies within the northern boreal subzone of northwestern central Alaska. Six major vegetation classes and 21 subclasses were recognized: forest (closed needleleaf, open needleleaf, needleleaf woodland, mixed, and broadleaf); broadleaf scrub (lowland, upland burn regeneration, subalpine); dwarf scrub (prostrate dwarf shrub tundra, erect dwarf shrub heath, dwarf shrub-graminoid peatland, dwarf shrub-graminoid tussock peatland, dwarf shrub raised bog with scattered trees, dwarf shrub-graminoid marsh); herbaceous (graminoid bog, graminoid marsh, graminoid tussock-dwarf shrub peatland); scarcely vegetated areas (scarcely vegetated scree and floodplain); and water (clear, sedimented). The methodology employed a cluster-block technique. Sample areas were described based on a combination of helicopter-ground survey, aerial photo-interpretation, and digital Landsat data. Major steps in the Landsat analysis involved preprocessing (geometric correction), derivation of statistical parameters for spectral classes, spectral class labeling of sample areas, preliminary classification of the entire study area using a maximum-likelihood algorithm, and final classification utilizing ancillary information such as digital elevation data. The final product is 1:250,000-scale vegetation map representative of distinctive regional patterns and suitable for use in comprehensive conservation planning.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. Characterizing Variation of Isotopic Markers in Northern Alaskan Caribou Forages

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanSomeren, L.; Barboza, P. S.; Gustine, D. D.; Parrett, L. S.; Stricker, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    Isotopic markers in feces and tissues are a potential tool for monitoring the importance of feeding areas for migratory herbivores such as caribou (Rangifer tarandus). Many of these techniques are currently limited by gaps in our knowledge of how these isotopic signatures vary over the landscape. We collected seven species of preferred caribou forages along a latitudinal gradient in the summer ranges of the Central Arctic (9 sites) and Teshekpuk Lake (4 sites) caribou herds during 2011 and 2012. We analyzed forages at peak protein content and at the end of the season to characterize temporal, species-specific, and spatial variation in isotopic markers. The availability of C and N was measured by digestion in vitro. Isotopic signatures of digested samples were used to calculate fractionation that would bias the isotopic signature of feces. The range of values for isotopes (all values ‰) of nitrogen (δ15N -9.5 - +4.3), and sulfur (δ34S -3.6 - +15.5) were greater than those for carbon (δ13C -30.5 - -24.9). Small declines in forage δ13C with latitude (Carex aquatilis, Eriophorum vaginatum, Salix pulchra, and S. richardsonii [all P Sedges (Carex and Eriophorum) were significantly higher in δ15N than Salix spp. and other dicots (2.0 × 1.1 vs. -2.9 × 2.2; P < 0.01). For Salix spp., δ15N was consistent over the season and between years. Fractionation of δ15N in early season forages was 0.2 × 1.8 and not related to N availability (60% × 17%). For S. pulchra, δ34S may indicate usage of coastal habitats over foothills because δ34S was higher on the coastal plain than in the foothills (11.1 × 3.3 and 3.1 × 2.6; P < 0.01). Isotopic ratios in N and S show the greatest promise for tracking diet and location of migratory caribou whereas the narrow range in δ13C is affected by species, season and location.

  7. 78 FR 66916 - Alaskan Seafood Processing Effluent Limitations Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-07

    ... included in the original or supplemental petition because the location met the statutory criteria for BPT.... Location-by-Location Analysis 1. Anchorage 2. Cordova 3. Juneau 4. Ketchikan 5. Petersburg VIII... entities likely to be affected by this notice. Other types of entities that do not meet the above...

  8. Program Demand Cost Model for Alaskan Schools. Eighth Edition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Michael; Mearig, Tim; Coffee, Nathan

    The State of Alaska Department of Education has created a handbook for establishing budgets for the following three types of construction projects: new schools or additions; renovations; and combined new work and renovations. The handbook supports a demand cost model computer program that includes detailed renovation cost data, itemized by…

  9. 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.

  10. Ice gouge processes in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rearic, Douglas M.; Ticken, Edward J.

    1988-01-01

    A generalized picture of ice gouge characteristics from shallow inshore depths to the outer shelf at about 60 m of water is presented. Data from recent studies show that the size and quantity of gouging increases in an offshore direction to depths of about 45 m where this trend then reverses and the features decrease in size and quantity as the shelf break is approached. Ice gouges are oriented east-west and this suggests that most gouging is caused by ice approaching from the east, possibly driven by the Beaufort Sea gyre. The most intense gouging occurs in the stamukhi zone, between 20 and 40 m of water, and is caused by a high rate of ice keel production owing to shearing forces between mobile and stable sea ice. Inshore of the stamukhi zone, ice gouging still presents a significant hazard but their greatly decreased size and number make it possible to design against this hazard.

  11. Arctic Oil Spill Response Guide for the Alaskan Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-03-01

    freezeup in the Beaufort Sea. Due to its "heavy-duty" construction, it can be used for oil spill containment under calm weather conditions in water...to recover oil trapped under it. During freezeup , weir skimmers should be able to recover oil in areas where ice conditions will not cause plugging...provided by Alaska Clean Seas. 6.3.5.4 Cleanup During Freezeup /Winter During mid-September, Harrison Bay began to freeze. The ARCAT Skimmer returned to

  12. Novel Picornavirus Associated with Avian Keratin Disorder in Alaskan Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxine Zylberberg

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Avian keratin disorder (AKD, characterized by debilitating overgrowth of the avian beak, was first documented in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus in Alaska. Subsequently, similar deformities have appeared in numerous species across continents. Despite the widespread distribution of this emerging pathology, the cause of AKD remains elusive. As a result, it is unknown whether suspected cases of AKD in the afflicted species are causally linked, and the impacts of this pathology at the population and community levels are difficult to evaluate. We applied unbiased, metagenomic next-generation sequencing to search for candidate pathogens in birds affected with AKD. We identified and sequenced the complete coding region of a novel picornavirus, which we are calling poecivirus. Subsequent screening of 19 AKD-affected black-capped chickadees and 9 control individuals for the presence of poecivirus revealed that 19/19 (100% AKD-affected individuals were positive, while only 2/9 (22% control individuals were infected with poecivirus. Two northwestern crows (Corvus caurinus and two red-breasted nuthatches (Sitta canadensis with AKD-consistent pathology also tested positive for poecivirus. We suggest that poecivirus is a candidate etiological agent of AKD.

  13. Forecasting wildlife response to rapid warming in the Alaskan Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Flint, Paul L.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Koch, Joshua C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Oakley, Karen L.; Pearce, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Arctic wildlife species face a dynamic and increasingly novel environment because of climate warming and the associated increase in human activity. Both marine and terrestrial environments are undergoing rapid environmental shifts, including loss of sea ice, permafrost degradation, and altered biogeochemical fluxes. Forecasting wildlife responses to climate change can facilitate proactive decisions that balance stewardship with resource development. In this article, we discuss the primary and secondary responses to physical climate-related drivers in the Arctic, associated wildlife responses, and additional sources of complexity in forecasting wildlife population outcomes. Although the effects of warming on wildlife populations are becoming increasingly well documented in the scientific literature, clear mechanistic links are often difficult to establish. An integrated science approach and robust modeling tools are necessary to make predictions and determine resiliency to change. We provide a conceptual framework and introduce examples relevant for developing wildlife forecasts useful to management decisions.

  14. Revisiting factors controlling methane emissions from high-Arctic tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastepanov, M.; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Tagesson, Håkan Torbern;

    2013-01-01

    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-season bursts of CH4...... short-term control factors (temperature and water table). Our findings suggest the importance of multiyear studies with a continued focus on shoulder seasons in Arctic ecosystems....

  15. Legumes affect alpine tundra community composition via multiple biotic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soudzilovskaia, N.A.; Aksenova, A.A.; Makarov, M.I.; Onipchenko, V.G.; Logvinenko, O.A.; Braak, ter C.J.F.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.

    2012-01-01

    The soil engineering function of legumes in natural ecosystems is paramount but associated solely with soil nitrogen (N) subsidies, ignoring concomitant biotic interactions such as competitive or inhibitory effects and exchange between mycorrhizas and rhizobia. We aim to (1) disentangle legume effec

  16. Revisiting factors controlling methane emissions from high-Arctic tundra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Mastepanov

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available 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 with measurements made outside the growing season, are underrepresented in the literature. Here we present results of 5 yr (2006–2010 of automatic chamber measurements at a high-Arctic location in Zackenberg, NE Greenland, covering both the growing seasons and two months of the following freeze-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 (R2 > 0.75, which is probably explained by high seasonality of both variables, and weakly correlated with the water table. The greatest variability in fluxes between the study years was observed during the first part of the growing season. Somewhat surprisingly, this variability could not be explained by commonly 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-season bursts of CH4 coinciding with soil freezing in the autumn were observed during at least three years. The cumulative emission during the freeze-in CH4 bursts was comparable in size with the growing season emission for the year 2007, and about one third of the growing season emissions for the years 2009 and 2010. In all three cases the CH4 burst was accompanied by a corresponding episodic increase in CO2 emission, which can compose a significant contribution to the annual CO2 flux budget. The most probable mechanism of the late-season CH4 and CO2 bursts is physical release of gases accumulated in the soil during the growing season. In this study we discuss possible links between growing season and autumn fluxes. Multiannual dynamics of the subsurface CH4 storage pool are hypothesized to be such a link and an important driver of intearannual variations in the fluxes, capable of overruling the conventionally known short-term control factors (temperature and water table. Our findings suggest the importance of multiyear studies with a continued focus on shoulder seasons in Arctic ecosystems.

  17. Revisiting factors controlling methane emissions from high-Arctic tundra

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastepanov, M.; Sigsgaard, C.; Tagesson, T.;

    2013-01-01

    with measurements made outside the growing season, are underrepresented in the literature. Here we present results of 5 yr (2006-2010) of automatic chamber measurements at a high-Arctic location in Zackenberg, NE Greenland, covering both the growing seasons and two months of the following freeze-in periods...... explained by high seasonality of both variables, and weakly correlated with the water table. The greatest variability in fluxes between the study years was observed during the first part of the growing season. Somewhat surprisingly, this variability could not be explained by commonly 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-season bursts of CH4...

  18. 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

  19. Large tundra methane burst during onset of freezing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mastepanov, Mikhail; Sigsgaard, Charlotte; Dlugokencky, Edward J.;

    2008-01-01

    Terrestrial wetland emissions are the largest single source of the greenhouse gas methane1. Northern high-latitude wetlands contribute significantly to the overall methane emissions from wetlands, but the relative source distribution between tropical and high-latitude wetlands remains uncertain2...... after the growing season but then increase significantly during the freeze-in period. The integral of emissions during the freeze-in period is approximately equal to the amount of methane emitted during the entire summer season. Three-dimensional atmospheric chemistry and transport model simulations......,3. As a result, not all the observed spatial and seasonal patterns of atmospheric methane concentrations can be satisfactorily explained, particularly for high northern latitudes. For example, a late-autumn shoulder is consistently observed in the seasonal cycles of atmospheric methane at high-latitude sites4...

  20. 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, skin...

  1. Tundra vegetation change near Barrow, Alaska (1972-2010)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, S.; Hollister, R. D.; Johnson, D. R.; Lara, M. J.; Webber, P. J.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2012-03-01

    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.

  2. Seasonal dynamics in soil microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen and microbial quantity in a forest-alpine tundra ecotone, Eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China%青藏高原东缘高山森林-苔原交错带土壤微生物生物量碳、氮和可培养微生物数量的季节动态

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘洋; 张健; 闫帮国; 黄旭; 徐振锋; 吴福忠

    2012-01-01

    为了了解青藏高原东缘高山森林-苔原交错带土壤微生物的特征和季节变化,研究了米亚罗鹧鸪山原始针叶林、林线、树线、密灌丛、疏灌丛和高山草甸土壤微生物生物量碳(MBC)、氮(MBN)和可培养微生物数量的季节动态.结果表明,植被类型和季节动态对MBC、MBN和微生物数量都有显著影响.不同时期的微生物在各植被类型间分布有差异,植物生长季初期和生长季中期,树线以上群落的MBC高于树线下的群落,而到生长季未期恰恰相反,暗针叶林、林线和树线的MBC显著升高,各植被之间MBC的差异减小;微生物数量基本上也是以树线为界,树线以下群落土壤微生物数量显著低于树线以上群落,其中密灌丛的细菌数量最高;可培养微生物数量为生长季末期>生长季初期>生长季中期.生长季末期真菌数量显著增加,且MBC/MBN最高.统计分析表明,MBN与细菌、真菌、放线菌数量存在显著的相关关系,而MBC仅与真菌数量存在显著相关关系(p<0.05).植物生长季末期大量的凋落物输入和雪被覆盖可能是微生物季节变异的外在因素,而土壤微生物和高山植物对有效氮的竞争可能是微生物季节变异的内在因素.植物生长季初期对氮的吸收和土壤微生物在植物生长季末期对氮的固定加强了高山生态系统对氮的利用.气候变暖可能会延长高山植物的生长季,增加高山土壤微生物生物量,加速土壤有机质的分解,进而改变高山土壤碳的固存速率.%Aims The forest-alpine tundra ecotone is one of the most conspicuous climate-driven ecological boundaries. However, dynamics of soil microbial biomass and quantity during different stages of the growing season in the ecotone remain unclear. Our objective was to understand the temporal and spatial variations of microbial biomass and quantity to explore the main drivers in the ecotone. Methods We collected soil

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken D Tape

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Vegetation mapping of Nowitna National Wildlife Reguge, Alaska using Landsat MSS digital data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talbot, S. S.; Markon, Carl J.

    1986-01-01

    A Landsat-derived vegetation map was prepared for Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge lies within the middle boreal subzone of north central Alaska. Seven major vegetation classes and sixteen subclasses were recognized: forest (closed needleleaf, open needleleaf, needleleaf woodland, mixed, and broadleaf); broadleaf scrub (lowland, alluvial, subalpine); dwarf scrub (prostrate dwarf shrub tundra, dwarf shrub-graminoid tussock peatland); herbaceous (graminoid bog, marsh and meadow); scarcely vegetated areas (scarcely vegetated scree and floodplain); water (clear, turbid); and other areas (mountain shadow). The methodology employed a cluster-block technique. Sample areas were described based on a combination of helicopter-ground survey, aerial photointerpretation, and digital Landsat data. Major steps in the Landsat analysis involved preprocessing (geometric correction), derivation of statistical parameters for spectral classes, spectral class labeling of sample areas, preliminary classification of the entire study area using a maximum-likelihood algorithm, and final classification utilizing ancillary information such as digital elevation data. The final product is a 1:250,000-scale vegetation map representative of distinctive regional patterns and suitable for use in comprehensive conservation planning.

  6. Modeling dense water production and salt transport from Alaskan coastal polynyas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Signorini, Sergio R.; Cavalieri, Donald J.

    2002-09-01

    A three-dimensional primitive equation model was used to assess the effects of dense water formation from winter (1996/1997) polynyas on the ambient stratification, salt transport, and circulation in the vicinity of Barrow Canyon. The model, which includes ambient stratification and bottom topography, is forced by time-varying surface heat flux, surface salt flux, and coastal flow. The influence of sea ice drift on the circulation and salt transport is also analyzed by prescribing ice water stress at the sea surface. The surface fluxes and ice drift are derived from satellite observations (Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) and NASA scatterometer (NSCAT) sensors). The coastal flow (Alaska coastal current), which is an extension of the Bering Sea throughflow, is formulated in the model by using a wind-transport regression. One set of experiments was forced by strong and persistent polynyas, simulated by 20-day averaged heat and salt fluxes originating from the largest events. In this set of experiments both strong and weak steady coastal currents were imposed. The amount of salt exported from the generation area depended on the strength of the current. Another set of experiments was forced by weaker and less persistent polynyas using time-varying forcing. The experiments with time-varying polynya forcing were conducted with two ambient vertical stratifications, one representing fall conditions and one representing winter conditions. The amount of salt retained on the shelf was found to be quite sensitive to the initial stratification. Weaker vertical stratification promotes a deeper mixed layer, which develops 20 times faster than the horizontal advective timescale of the coastal current, thus increasing the residence time of the salt generated by the polynya on the shelf. The time-varying northeastward coastal current, combined with the offshore Ekman transport, can export 29-73% of the salt produced by polynyas upstream of Barrow Canyon, depending upon the ambient vertical stratification. The inclusion of ice water stress in the model makes the coastal current much wider due to the resulting offshore Ekman transport and also doubles the amount of salt exported.

  7. 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.

  8. Paired serologic and polymerase chain reaction analyses of avian influenza prevalence in Alaskan shorebirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, John M.; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Hall, Jeffrey S.

    2012-01-01

    Surveillance has revealed low prevalence of avian influenza viruses (AIV) in shorebirds except Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) on the North American Atlantic coast. Similarly, of five species of shorebirds surveyed in Alaska in 2010, Ruddy Turnstones had the highest AIV antibody prevalence; prevalence of AIV RNA was low or zero.

  9. H11519: NOS Hydrographic Survey , Southwestern Alaskan Peninsula, Alaska, 2006-06-30

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the statutory mandate to collect hydrographic data in support of nautical chart compilation for safe...

  10. AFSC/REFM: Alaskan yellowfin sole extended chronology Black et al 2013

    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. Killer whale depredation and associated costs to Alaskan sablefish, Pacific halibut and Greenland turbot longliners.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan J Peterson

    Full Text Available Killer whale (Orcinus orca depredation (whales stealing or damaging fish caught on fishing gear adversely impacts demersal longline fisheries for sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria, Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis and Greenland turbot (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands and Western Gulf of Alaska. These interactions increase direct costs and opportunity costs associated with catching fish and reduce the profitability of longline fishing in western Alaska. This study synthesizes National Marine Fisheries Service observer data, National Marine Fisheries Service sablefish longline survey and fishermen-collected depredation data to: 1 estimate the frequency of killer whale depredation on longline fisheries in Alaska; 2 estimate depredation-related catch per unit effort reductions; and 3 assess direct costs and opportunity costs incurred by longliners in western Alaska as a result of killer whale interactions. The percentage of commercial fishery sets affected by killer whales was highest in the Bering Sea fisheries for: sablefish (21.4%, Greenland turbot (9.9%, and Pacific halibut (6.9%. Average catch per unit effort reductions on depredated sets ranged from 35.1-69.3% for the observed longline fleet in all three management areas from 1998-2012 (p<0.001. To compensate for depredation, fishermen set additional gear to catch the same amount of fish, and this increased fuel costs by an additional 82% per depredated set (average $433 additional fuel per depredated set. In a separate analysis with six longline vessels in 2011 and 2012, killer whale depredation avoidance measures resulted in an average additional cost of $494 per depredated vessel-day for fuel and crew food. Opportunity costs of time lost by fishermen averaged $522 per additional vessel-day on the grounds. This assessment of killer whale depredation costs represents the most extensive economic evaluation of this issue in Alaska to date and will help longline fishermen and managers consider the costs and benefits of depredation avoidance and alternative policy solutions.

  12. Sexual reproduction and seasonality of the Alaskan red tree coral, Primnoa pacifica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhian G Waller

    Full Text Available The red tree coral Primnoa pacifica is an important habitat forming octocoral in North Pacific waters. Given the prominence of this species in shelf and upper slope areas of the Gulf of Alaska where fishing disturbance can be high, it may be able to sustain healthy populations through adaptive reproductive processes. This study was designed to test this hypothesis, examining reproductive mode, seasonality and fecundity in both undamaged and simulated damaged colonies over the course of 16 months using a deepwater-emerged population in Tracy Arm Fjord. Females within the population developed asynchronously, though males showed trends of synchronicity, with production of immature spermatocysts heightened in December/January and maturation of gametes in the fall months. Periodicity of individuals varied from a single year reproductive event to some individuals taking more than the 16 months sampled to produce viable gametes. Multiple stages of gametes occurred in polyps of the same colony during most sampling periods. Mean oocyte size ranged from 50 to 200 µm in any season, and maximum oocyte size (802 µm suggests a lecithotrophic larva. No brooding larvae were found during this study, though unfertilized oocytes were found adhered to the outside of polyps, where they are presumably fertilized. This species demonstrated size-dependent reproduction, with gametes first forming in colonies over 42-cm length, and steady oocyte sizes being achieved after reaching 80-cm in length. The average fecundity was 86 (± 12 total oocytes per polyp, and 17 (± 12 potential per polyp fecundity. Sub-lethal injury by removing 21-40% of colony tissue had no significant reproductive response in males or females over the course of this study, except for a corresponding loss in overall colony fecundity. The reproductive patterns and long gamete generation times observed in this study indicate that recruitment events are likely to be highly sporadic in this species increasing its vulnerability to anthropogenic disturbances.

  13. Nearshore fish distributions in an Alaskan estuary in relation to stratification, temperature, and salinity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abookire, Alisa A.; Piatt, J.F.; Robards, Martin D.

    2000-01-01

    Fish were sampled with beach seines and small-meshed beam trawls in nearshore ( water from the Gulf of Alaska, whereas the Inner Bay is more estuarine. Thermohaline properties of bottom water in the Outer and Inner Bay were essentially the same, whereas the Inner Bay water-column was stratified with warmer, less saline waters near the surface. Distribution and abundance of pelagic schooling fish corresponded with area differences in stratification, temperature and salinity. The Inner Bay supported more species and higher densities of schooling and demersal fish than the Outer Bay. Schooling fish communities sampled by beach seine differed between the Outer and Inner Bays. Juvenile and adult Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus), Pacific herring (Clupea harengus pallasi), osmerids (Osmeridae) and sculpins (Cottidae) were all more abundant in the Inner Bay. Gadids (Gadidae) were the only schooling fish taxa more abundant in the Outer Bay. Thermohaline characteristics of bottom water were similar throughout Kachemak Bay. Correspondingly, bottom fish communities were similar in all areas. Relative abundances (CPUE) were not significantly different between areas for any of the five demersal fish groups: flatfishes (Pleuronectidae), ronquils (Bathymasteridae), sculpins (Cottidae), gadids (Gadidae) and pricklebacks (Stichaeidae).

  14. Development of Alaskan gas hydrate resources: Annual report, October 1986--September 1987

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharma, G.D.; Kamath, V.A.; Godbole, S.P.; Patil, S.L.; Paranjpe, S.G.; Mutalik, P.N.; Nadem, N.

    1987-10-01

    Solid ice-like mixtures of natural gas and water in the form of natural gas hydrated have been found immobilized in the rocks beneath the permafrost in Arctic basins and in muds under the deep water along the American continental margins, in the North Sea and several other locations around the world. It is estimated that the arctic areas of the United States may contain as much as 500 trillion SCF of natural gas in the form of gas hydrates (Lewin and Associates, 1983). While the US Arctic gas hydrate resources may have enormous potential and represent long term future source of natural gas, the recovery of this resource from reservoir frozen with gas hydrates has not been commercialized yet. Continuing study and research is essential to develop technologies which will enable a detailed characterization and assessment of this alternative natural gas resource, so that development of cost effective extraction technology.

  15. Field degradation of aminopyralid and clopyralid and microbial community response to application in Alaskan soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomco, Patrick L; Duddleston, Khrystyne N; Schultz, Emily Jo; Hagedorn, Birgit; Stevenson, Timothy J; Seefeldt, Steven S

    2016-02-01

    High-latitude regions experience unique conditions that affect the degradation rate of agrochemicals in the environment. In the present study, data collected from 2 field sites in Alaska, USA (Palmer and Delta) were used to generate a kinetic model for aminopyralid and clopyralid degradation and to describe the microbial community response to herbicide exposure. Field plots were sprayed with herbicides and sampled over the summer of 2013. Quantification was performed via liquid chromatrography/tandem mass spectrometry, and microbial diversity was assessed via next-generation sequencing of bacterial 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) genes. Both compounds degraded rapidly via pseudo-first-order degradation kinetics between 0 d and 28 d (t1/2  = 9.1-23.0 d), and then degradation slowed thereafter through 90 d. Aminopyralid concentration was 0.048 μg/g to 0.120 μg/g at 90 d post application, whereas clopyralid degraded rapidly at the Palmer site but was recovered in Delta soil at a concentraction of 0.046 μg/g. Microbial community diversity was moderately impacted by herbicide treatment, with the effect more pronounced at Delta. These data predict reductions in crop yield when sensitive plants (potatoes, tomatoes, marigolds, etc.) are rotated onto treated fields. Agricultural operations in high-latitude regions, both commercial and residential, rely heavily on cultivation of such crops and care must be taken when rotating.

  16. Alaskan Auroral All-Sky Images on the World Wide Web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenbaek-Nielsen, H. C.

    1997-01-01

    In response to a 1995 NASA SPDS announcement of support for preservation and distribution of important data sets online, the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska, proposed to provide World Wide Web access to the Poker Flat Auroral All-sky Camera images in real time. The Poker auroral all-sky camera is located in the Davis Science Operation Center at Poker Flat Rocket Range about 30 miles north-east of Fairbanks, Alaska, and is connected, through a microwave link, with the Geophysical Institute where we maintain the data base linked to the Web. To protect the low light-level all-sky TV camera from damage due to excessive light, we only operate during the winter season when the moon is down. The camera and data acquisition is now fully computer controlled. Digital images are transmitted each minute to the Web linked data base where the data are available in a number of different presentations: (1) Individual JPEG compressed images (1 minute resolution); (2) Time lapse MPEG movie of the stored images; and (3) A meridional plot of the entire night activity.

  17. 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....

  18. Modeling of Dense Water Production and Salt Transport from Alaskan Coastal Polynyas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Signorini, Sergio R.; Cavalieri, Donald J.

    2000-01-01

    The main significance of this paper is that a realistic, three-dimensional, high-resolution primitive equation model has been developed to study the effects of dense water formation in Arctic coastal polynyas. The model includes realistic ambient stratification, realistic bottom topography, and is forced by time-variant surface heat flux, surface salt flux, and time-dependent coastal flow. The salt and heat fluxes, and the surface ice drift, are derived from satellite observations (SSM/I and NSCAT sensors). The model is used to study the stratification, salt transport, and circulation in the vicinity of Barrow Canyon during the 1996/97 winter season. The coastal flow (Alaska coastal current), which is an extension of the Bering Sea throughflow, is formulated in the model using the wind-transport regression. The results show that for the 1996/97 winter the northeastward coastal current exports 13% to 26% of the salt produced by coastal polynyas upstream of Barrow Canyon in 20 to 30 days. The salt export occurs more rapidly during less persistent polynyas. The inclusion of ice-water stress in the model makes the coastal current slightly weaker and much wider due to the combined effects of surface drag and offshore Ekman transport.

  19. Robustness or resilience? Managing the intersection of ecology and engineering in an urban Alaskan fishery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meagan B. Krupa

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Systems theories of robustness and resilience, which are derived from engineering and ecology, respectively, have been increasingly applied to social-ecological systems (SESs. Social-ecological robustness has been applied primarily to management of physical dimensions of SESs (e.g., water management and resilience to management of ecological dimensions of SESs (e.g., rangelands. However, cases of highly engineered systems have yet to be adequately evaluated by either approach. We find the robustness framework serves to better explain management options of a highly engineered, ecologically-based SES, the lower Ship Creek fishery in Anchorage, Alaska, USA. Robustness applies well to this system because its dynamics are highly engineered through both structures and institutions. Even the salmon are products of a hatchery fishery that operates independently of many ecological variables and feedbacks within the system. However, robustness theory has yet to develop a prescriptive method for management that can assist practitioners. We conclude by applying Ostrom's design principles to the system dynamics to assess opportunities for increasing the robustness of this urban fishery.

  20. Policy strategies to address sustainability of Alaskan boreal forests in response to a directionally changing climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapin, F Stuart; Lovecraft, Amy L; Zavaleta, Erika S; Nelson, Joanna; Robards, Martin D; Kofinas, Gary P; Trainor, Sarah F; Peterson, Garry D; Huntington, Henry P; Naylor, Rosamond L

    2006-11-07

    Human activities are altering many factors that determine the fundamental properties of ecological and social systems. Is sustainability a realistic goal in a world in which many key process controls are directionally changing? To address this issue, we integrate several disparate sources of theory to address sustainability in directionally changing social-ecological systems, apply this framework to climate-warming impacts in Interior Alaska, and describe a suite of policy strategies that emerge from these analyses. Climate warming in Interior Alaska has profoundly affected factors that influence landscape processes (climate regulation and disturbance spread) and natural hazards, but has only indirectly influenced ecosystem goods such as food, water, and wood that receive most management attention. Warming has reduced cultural services provided by ecosystems, leading to some of the few institutional responses that directly address the causes of climate warming, e.g., indigenous initiatives to the Arctic Council. Four broad policy strategies emerge: (i) enhancing human adaptability through learning and innovation in the context of changes occurring at multiple scales; (ii) increasing resilience by strengthening negative (stabilizing) feedbacks that buffer the system from change and increasing options for adaptation through biological, cultural, and economic diversity; (iii) reducing vulnerability by strengthening institutions that link the high-latitude impacts of climate warming to their low-latitude causes; and (iv) facilitating transformation to new, potentially more beneficial states by taking advantage of opportunities created by crisis. Each strategy provides societal benefits, and we suggest that all of them be pursued simultaneously.

  1. Alaskan Salmon and Gen R: hunting, fishing to cultivate ecological mindfulness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Michael P.

    2015-03-01

    Can mining and fisheries co-exist in Bristol Bay, Alaska? To delve into this interesting tension, I expand on Clay Pierce's (this special issue) thoughtful analysis of genetically modified salmon and AquaBounty Technologies, where he explores actor-network theory in relation to scientific literacy and schooling. Further, my essay explores the idea of embodied knowledge as paramount to the next generation of youth engaged with scientific literacy. I demonstrate the problems associated with using hegemonic science to normalize biocapitalism and the subjugated knowledges in relation. Ultimately, I provide justifications for strengthening an ecologically mindful scientific literacy, working towards what might be called "Neptunian democracy" in science education, including salmon and other nonhuman actors as integral for youth wrestling with ecojustice issues. To do this, I highlight the significance of renewing fishing, hunting, and salmon eating. These things ought to become an intimate characteristic of the imagined literacy of the next generation of youth (what I've been calling Generation R for responsibility).

  2. 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...

  3. Temperature and peat type control CO2 and CH4 production in Alaskan permafrost peats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treat, C C; Wollheim, W M; Varner, R K; Grandy, A S; Talbot, J; Frolking, S

    2014-08-01

    Controls on the fate of ~277 Pg of soil organic carbon (C) stored in permafrost peatland soils remain poorly understood despite the potential for a significant positive feedback to climate change. Our objective was to quantify the temperature, moisture, organic matter, and microbial controls on soil organic carbon (SOC) losses following permafrost thaw in peat soils across Alaska. We compared the carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and methane (CH4 ) emissions from peat samples collected at active layer and permafrost depths when incubated aerobically and anaerobically at -5, -0.5, +4, and +20 °C. Temperature had a strong, positive effect on C emissions; global warming potential (GWP) was >3× larger at 20 °C than at 4 °C. Anaerobic conditions significantly reduced CO2 emissions and GWP by 47% at 20 °C but did not have a significant effect at -0.5 °C. Net anaerobic CH4 production over 30 days was 7.1 ± 2.8 μg CH4 -C gC(-1) at 20 °C. Cumulative CO2 emissions were related to organic matter chemistry and best predicted by the relative abundance of polysaccharides and proteins (R(2) = 0.81) in SOC. Carbon emissions (CO2 -C + CH4 -C) from the active layer depth peat ranged from 77% larger to not significantly different than permafrost depths and varied depending on the peat type and peat decomposition stage rather than thermal state. Potential SOC losses with warming depend not only on the magnitude of temperature increase and hydrology but also organic matter quality, permafrost history, and vegetation dynamics, which will ultimately determine net radiative forcing due to permafrost thaw.

  4. Chemical indicators of cryoturbation and microbial processing throughout an alaskan permafrost soil depth profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although permafrost soils contain vast stores of carbon, we know relatively little about the chemical composition of their constituent organic matter. Soil organic matter chemistry is an important predictor of decomposition rates, especially in the initial stages of decomposition. Permafrost, organi...

  5. Thermokarst rates intensify due to climate change and forest fragmentation in an Alaskan boreal forest lowland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, M.; Genet, Helene; McGuire, Anthony; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Zhang, Yujin; Brown, Dana R. N.; Jorgenson, M.T.; Romanovsky, V.; Breen, Amy L.; Bolton, W.R.

    2016-01-01

    Lowland boreal forest ecosystems in Alaska are dominated by wetlands comprised of a complex mosaic of fens, collapse-scar bogs, low shrub/scrub, and forests growing on elevated ice-rich permafrost soils. Thermokarst has affected the lowlands of the Tanana Flats in central Alaska for centuries, as thawing permafrost collapses forests that transition to wetlands. Located within the discontinuous permafrost zone, this region has significantly warmed over the past half-century, and much of these carbon-rich permafrost soils are now within ~0.5 °C of thawing. Increased permafrost thaw in lowland boreal forests in response to warming may have consequences for the climate system. This study evaluates the trajectories and potential drivers of 60 years of forest change in a landscape subjected to permafrost thaw in unburned dominant forest types (paper birch and black spruce) associated with location on elevated permafrost plateau and across multiple time periods (1949, 1978, 1986, 1998, and 2009) using historical and contemporary aerial and satellite images for change detection. We developed (i) a deterministic statistical model to evaluate the potential climatic controls on forest change using gradient boosting and regression tree analysis, and (ii) a 30 × 30 m land cover map of the Tanana Flats to estimate the potential landscape-level losses of forest area due to thermokarst from 1949 to 2009. Over the 60-year period, we observed a nonlinear loss of birch forests and a relatively continuous gain of spruce forest associated with thermokarst and forest succession, while gradient boosting/regression tree models identify precipitation and forest fragmentation as the primary factors controlling birch and spruce forest change, respectively. Between 1950 and 2009, landscape-level analysis estimates a transition of ~15 km² or ~7% of birch forests to wetlands, where the greatest change followed warm periods. This work highlights that the vulnerability and resilience of lowland ice-rich permafrost ecosystems to climate changes depend on forest type.

  6. AFSC/ABL: Lipid Dataset of Alaskan fish, marine mammals, and invertebrates

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Nutritional Ecology Laboratory maintains a database containing all of the biochemical data we collect. The database includes seasonal information regarding size,...

  7. Alaskan soil carbon stocks: spatial variability and dependence on environmental factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Mishra

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The direction and magnitude of soil organic carbon (SOC changes in response to climate change depend on the spatial and vertical distributions of SOC. We estimated spatially resolved SOC stocks from surface to C horizon, distinguishing active-layer and permafrost-layer stocks, based on geospatial analysis of 472 soil profiles and spatially referenced environmental variables for Alaska. Total Alaska state-wide SOC stock was estimated to be 77 Pg, with 61% in the active-layer, 27% in permafrost, and 12% in non-permafrost soils. Prediction accuracy was highest for the active-layer as demonstrated by highest ratio of performance to deviation (1.5. Large spatial variability was predicted, with whole-profile, active-layer, and permafrost-layer stocks ranging from 1–296 kg C m−2, 2–166 kg m−2, and 0–232 kg m−2, respectively. Temperature and soil wetness were found to be primary controllers of whole-profile, active-layer, and permafrost-layer SOC stocks. Secondary controllers, in order of importance, were found to be land cover type, topographic attributes, and bedrock geology. The observed importance of soil wetness rather than precipitation on SOC stocks implies that the poor representation of high-latitude soil wetness in Earth system models may lead to large uncertainty in predicted SOC stocks under future climate change scenarios. Under strict caveats described in the text and assuming temperature changes from the A1B Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emissions scenario, our geospatial model indicates that the equilibrium average 2100 Alaska active-layer depth could deepen by 11 cm, resulting in a thawing of 13 Pg C currently in permafrost. The equilibrium SOC loss associated with this warming would be highest under continuous permafrost (31%, followed by discontinuous (28%, isolated (24.3%, and sporadic (23.6% permafrost areas. Our high-resolution mapping of soil carbon stock reveals the potential vulnerability of high-latitude soil carbon and can be used as a basis for future studies of anthropogenic and climatic perturbations.

  8. AFSC/REFM: Isolation by distance (IBD) Alaskan fish stock structure modeling (NCEI Accession 0130929)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This model study examines several management strategies for two marine fish species subject to isolation-by-distance (IBD): Pacific cod in the Aleutian Islands (AI)...

  9. Seasonal Effects of Habitat on Sources and Rates of Snowshoe Hare Predation in Alaskan Boreal Forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dashiell Feierabend

    Full Text Available Survival and predation of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus has been widely studied, yet there has been little quantification of the changes in vulnerabil