Science.gov

Sample records for arctic aquatic ecosystem

  1. Energy flow in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1988-12-31

    Natural isotope abundances to trace major pathways of energy flow to consumers in Imnavait Creek and the tundra ecosystem of the R4D watershed with comparative work in the coastal tundra. Our overall goals are to a determine if carbon is accumulating in upland and coastal tundra; determine the role of eroded peat carbon in the aquatic ecosystem; and to determine the distribution of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the tundra-pond ecosystem to establish the feasibility of using natural differences as tracers. Past work on fishes, birds, and the prey species of insects and aquatic crustaceans has shown that peat carbon is very important in the energy supply supporting the food webs over the course of the year. Obligate freshwater fishes from the coastal lakes and Colville River have been shown to contain up to 60 percent peat carbon at the end of the winter season. In contrast, migratory shorebirds and passerines contained much smaller radiocarbon abundances in summer, indicating a major shift to recent in situ primary production in pond and stream ecosystems in summer months. For the past two years, we have narrowed our focus to the processes supplying carbon to the beaded stream system at MS-117 and have concentrated on determining the transfer and accumulation rates of carbon in the watershed.

  2. Energy flow in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1988-01-01

    Natural isotope abundances to trace major pathways of energy flow to consumers in Imnavait Creek and the tundra ecosystem of the R4D watershed with comparative work in the coastal tundra. Our overall goals are to a determine if carbon is accumulating in upland and coastal tundra; determine the role of eroded peat carbon in the aquatic ecosystem; and to determine the distribution of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the tundra-pond ecosystem to establish the feasibility of using natural differences as tracers. Past work on fishes, birds, and the prey species of insects and aquatic crustaceans has shown that peat carbon is very important in the energy supply supporting the food webs over the course of the year. Obligate freshwater fishes from the coastal lakes and Colville River have been shown to contain up to 60 percent peat carbon at the end of the winter season. In contrast, migratory shorebirds and passerines contained much smaller radiocarbon abundances in summer, indicating a major shift to recent in situ primary production in pond and stream ecosystems in summer months. For the past two years, we have narrowed our focus to the processes supplying carbon to the beaded stream system at MS-117 and have concentrated on determining the transfer and accumulation rates of carbon in the watershed.

  3. Energy flow in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1993-01-01

    This project has been using natural isotope abundances to trace major pathways of energy flow to consumers in Imnavait Creek and the tundra ecosystem of the R4D watershed with comparative work in the coastal tundra. We are processing samples collected at the R4D intensive site over the past three years and are comparing these data with similar samples collected from the coastal plain. Our approach is to determine if carbon is accumulating in upland and coastal tundra; to determine the role of eroded peat carbon in the aquatic ecosystem; and to determine the distribution of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the tundra-pond ecosystem to establish the feasibility of using natural differences as tracers.

  4. Energy flow in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1993-05-01

    This project has been using natural isotope abundances to trace major pathways of energy flow to consumers in Imnavait Creek and the tundra ecosystem of the R4D watershed with comparative work in the coastal tundra. We are processing samples collected at the R4D intensive site over the past three years and are comparing these data with similar samples collected from the coastal plain. Our approach is to determine if carbon is accumulating in upland and coastal tundra; to determine the role of eroded peat carbon in the aquatic ecosystem; and to determine the distribution of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the tundra-pond ecosystem to establish the feasibility of using natural differences as tracers.

  5. [Energy flow in arctic aquatic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1985-12-31

    This study is aimed at determining the major pathways of energy flow in freshwater ecosystems of the Alaskan arctic coastal plain. Selected sites for study of the processes supplying energy to streams and lakes to verify the generality of past findings will be surveyed for collection of organisms including the Colville River drainage and the lake region around Teshekpuk Lake. Specific objectives are to collect food web apex organisms (fish and birds) from a variety of sites in the coastal plain to verify descriptive models of ecosystem structure and food web pathways and to compare the utilization rates by insect larvae of fresh litter and in situ primary production relative to more refractory peaty materials through seasonal sampling for isotopic analysis.

  6. [Energy flow in arctic aquatic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1985-01-01

    This study is aimed at determining the major pathways of energy flow in freshwater ecosystems of the Alaskan arctic coastal plain. Selected sites for study of the processes supplying energy to streams and lakes to verify the generality of past findings will be surveyed for collection of organisms including the Colville River drainage and the lake region around Teshekpuk Lake. Specific objectives are to collect food web apex organisms (fish and birds) from a variety of sites in the coastal plain to verify descriptive models of ecosystem structure and food web pathways and to compare the utilization rates by insect larvae of fresh litter and in situ primary production relative to more refractory peaty materials through seasonal sampling for isotopic analysis.

  7. Energy flow in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1983-12-31

    This component of the terrestrial-aquatic interaction group seeks to use the natural stable carbon isotope ratios and radiocarbon abundances to trace the movement of photosynthate from the terrestrial environment to the stream system at MS-117. In addition to estimating the total flux, we will also attempt to describe the relative fractions derived from modern primary production and that derived from delayed inputs of eroded peat. We will also seek to determine the coupling efficiency of these energy sources to the invertebrate faunal populations in the tundra soils and streams.

  8. Energy flow in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1983-01-01

    This component of the terrestrial-aquatic interaction group seeks to use the natural stable carbon isotope ratios and radiocarbon abundances to trace the movement of photosynthate from the terrestrial environment to the stream system at MS-117. In addition to estimating the total flux, we will also attempt to describe the relative fractions derived from modern primary production and that derived from delayed inputs of eroded peat. We will also seek to determine the coupling efficiency of these energy sources to the invertebrate faunal populations in the tundra soils and streams.

  9. AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS,

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aquatic ecosystems are a vital part of the urban water cycle (and of urban areas more broadly), and, if healthy, provide a range of goods and services valued by humans (Meyer 1997). For example, aquatic ecosystems (e.g., rivers, lakes, wetlands) provide potable water, food resou...

  10. AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS,

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aquatic ecosystems are a vital part of the urban water cycle (and of urban areas more broadly), and, if healthy, provide a range of goods and services valued by humans (Meyer 1997). For example, aquatic ecosystems (e.g., rivers, lakes, wetlands) provide potable water, food resou...

  11. Changing seasonality of Arctic hydrology disrupts key biotic linkages in Arctic aquatic ecosystems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deegan, L.; MacKenzie, C.; Peterson, B. J.; Fishscape Project

    2011-12-01

    Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) is an important circumpolar species that provide a model system for understanding the impacts of changing seasonality on arctic ecosystem function. Grayling serve as food for other biota, including lake trout, birds and humans, and act as top-down controls in stream ecosystems. In Arctic tundra streams, grayling spend their summers in streams but are obligated to move back into deep overwintering lakes in the fall. Climatic change that affects the seasonality of river hydrology could have a significant impact on grayling populations: grayling may leave overwintering lakes sooner in the spring and return later in the fall due to a longer open water season, but the migration could be disrupted by drought due to increased variability in discharge. In turn, a shorter overwintering season may impact lake trout dynamics in the lakes, which may rely on the seasonal inputs of stream nutrients in the form of migrating grayling into these oligotrophic lakes. To assess how shifting seasonality of Arctic river hydrology may disrupt key trophic linkages within and between lake and stream components of watersheds on the North Slope of the Brooks Mountain Range, Alaska, we have undertaken new work on grayling and lake trout population and food web dynamics. We use Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags coupled with stream-width antenna units to monitor grayling movement across Arctic tundra watersheds during the summer, and into overwintering habitat in the fall. Results indicate that day length may prime grayling migration readiness, but that flooding events are likely the cue grayling use to initiate migration in to overwintering lakes. Many fish used high discharge events in the stream as an opportunity to move into lakes. Stream and lake derived stable isotopes also indicate that lake trout rely on these seasonally transported inputs of stream nutrients for growth. Thus, changes in the seasonality of river hydrology may have broader

  12. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1989-01-01

    The Phase II studies of the R4D Program on stream and watershed ecology reflect the accomplishments and accumulation of baseline information obtained during the past studies. Although our rough estimates indicate that nitrogen inputs to the watershed ba lance losses, the carbon fluxes suggest that they are not in equilibrium and that there is a net loss of carbon from the tundra ecosystem through respiration and transport out of the watershed via the stream system. Radiocarbon profiles of soil sections coupled with mass transport calculations revealed that peat accumulation has essentially ceased in the R4D watershed and appears to be in ablative loss. Thus the carbon flux measurements provide validation tests for the PLANTGRO and GAS-HYDRO models of the PHASE II studies. These findings are also important in the context of global CO[sub 2] increases from positive feedback mechanisms in peatlands associated with climatic warming in the subarctic regions.

  13. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1989-12-31

    The Phase II studies of the R4D Program on stream and watershed ecology reflect the accomplishments and accumulation of baseline information obtained during the past studies. Although our rough estimates indicate that nitrogen inputs to the watershed ba lance losses, the carbon fluxes suggest that they are not in equilibrium and that there is a net loss of carbon from the tundra ecosystem through respiration and transport out of the watershed via the stream system. Radiocarbon profiles of soil sections coupled with mass transport calculations revealed that peat accumulation has essentially ceased in the R4D watershed and appears to be in ablative loss. Thus the carbon flux measurements provide validation tests for the PLANTGRO and GAS-HYDRO models of the PHASE II studies. These findings are also important in the context of global CO{sub 2} increases from positive feedback mechanisms in peatlands associated with climatic warming in the subarctic regions.

  14. Reviews and syntheses: Effects of permafrost thaw on Arctic aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Bowden, W. B.; Laurion, I.; Vincent, W. F.; Alekseychik, P.; Amyot, M.; Billet, M. F.; Canário, J.; Cory, R. M.; Deshpande, B. N.; Helbig, M.; Jammet, M.; Karlsson, J.; Larouche, J.; MacMillan, G.; Rautio, M.; Anthony, K. M. Walter; Wickland, K. P.

    2015-12-01

    of dissolved vs. particulate organic matter, coupled with the composition of that organic matter and the morphology and stratification characteristics of recipient systems will play an important role in determining the balance between the release of organic matter as greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4), its burial in sediments, and its loss downstream. The magnitude of thaw impacts on northern aquatic ecosystems is increasing, as is the prevalence of thaw-impacted lakes and streams. There is therefore an urgent need to quantify how permafrost thaw is affecting aquatic ecosystems across diverse Arctic landscapes, and the implications of this change for further climate warming.

  15. Reviews and Syntheses: Effects of permafrost thaw on arctic aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Bowden, W. B.; Laurion, I.; Vincent, W. F.; Alekseychik, P.; Amyot, M.; Billet, M. F.; Canário, J.; Cory, R. M.; Deshpande, B. N.; Helbig, M.; Jammet, M.; Karlsson, J.; Larouche, J.; MacMillan, G.; Rautio, M.; Anthony, K. M. Walter; Wickland, K. P.

    2015-07-01

    dissolved vs. particulate organic matter, coupled with the composition of that organic matter and the morphology and stratification characteristics of recipient systems will play an important role in determining the balance between the release of organic matter as greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4), its burial in sediments, and its loss downstream. The magnitude of thaw impacts on northern aquatic ecosystems is increasing, as is the prevalence of thaw-impacted lakes and streams. There is therefore an urgent need to address the key gaps in understanding in order to predict the full effects of permafrost thaw on aquatic ecosystems throughout the Arctic, and their consequential feedbacks to climate.

  16. Methane turnover and methanotrophic communities in arctic aquatic ecosystems of the Lena Delta, Northeast Siberia.

    PubMed

    Osudar, Roman; Liebner, Susanne; Alawi, Mashal; Yang, Sizhong; Bussmann, Ingeborg; Wagner, Dirk

    2016-08-01

    Large amounts of organic carbon are stored in Arctic permafrost environments, and microbial activity can potentially mineralize this carbon into methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In this study, we assessed the methane budget, the bacterial methane oxidation (MOX) and the underlying environmental controls of arctic lake systems, which represent substantial sources of methane. Five lake systems located on Samoylov Island (Lena Delta, Siberia) and the connected river sites were analyzed using radiotracers to estimate the MOX rates, and molecular biology methods to characterize the abundance and the community composition of methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB). In contrast to the river, the lake systems had high variation in the methane concentrations, the abundance and composition of the MOB communities, and consequently, the MOX rates. The highest methane concentrations and the highest MOX rates were detected in the lake outlets and in a lake complex in a flood plain area. Though, in all aquatic systems, we detected both, Type I and II MOB, in lake systems, we observed a higher diversity including MOB, typical of the soil environments. The inoculation of soil MOB into the aquatic systems, resulting from permafrost thawing, might be an additional factor controlling the MOB community composition and potentially methanotrophic capacity. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Environmental behaviour of short-chain chlorinated paraffins in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of Ny-Ålesund and London Island, Svalbard, in the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Li, Huijuan; Fu, Jianjie; Pan, Wenxiao; Wang, Pu; Li, Yingming; Zhang, Qinghua; Wang, Yawei; Zhang, Aiqian; Liang, Yong; Jiang, Guibin

    2017-07-15

    The environmental behaviour of short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) was investigated in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the Arctic. The mean concentrations of SCCPs in the aquatic and terrestrial samples were 178.9ng/g dry weight (dw) and 157.2ng/g dw, respectively. Short carbon chain (C10) and less-chlorinated (Cl6) congener groups were predominant in the Arctic samples, accounting for 48.6% and 34.8% of the total SCCPs, respectively. The enrichment of lighter SCCP congener groups (i.e., fewer chlorine atoms with shorter carbon chain lengths) indicated that the fractionation process occurred during long-range transport. The biomagnification factor (BMF) was 0.46 from gammarid to cod, which indicated that the SCCPs did not biomagnify between these two species. The soil-vegetation bioaccumulation factor (BAF) of SCCPs was 29.9, and C13 and Cl7, 8 congener groups tended to accumulate in the terrestrial vegetation. Regression analysis (BAFs=10.9×#C+5.6×#Cl-125.2, R=0.53, P<0.01) showed that the number of carbon and chlorine atoms influenced the bioaccumulative behaviour of SCCPs and suggested that the number of carbon atoms had a greater influence on the BAFs of SCCPs in the terrestrial ecosystem than did the number of chlorine atoms.

  18. Microplastic in Aquatic Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Ivleva, Natalia P; Wiesheu, Alexandra C; Niessner, Reinhard

    2017-02-06

    The contamination of marine and freshwater ecosystems with plastic, and especially with microplastic (MP), is a global ecological problem of increasing scientific concern. This has stimulated a great deal of research on the occurrence of MP, interaction of MP with chemical pollutants, the uptake of MP by aquatic organisms, and the resulting (negative) impact of MP. Herein, we review the major issues of MP in aquatic environments, with the principal aims 1) to characterize the methods applied for MP analysis (including sampling, processing, identification and quantification), indicate the most reliable techniques, and discuss the required further improvements; 2) to estimate the abundance of MP in marine/freshwater ecosystems and clarify the problems that hamper the comparability of such results; and 3) to summarize the existing literature on the uptake of MP by living organisms. Finally, we identify knowledge gaps, suggest possible strategies to assess environmental risks arising from MP, and discuss prospects to minimize MP abundance in aquatic ecosystems.

  19. Nitrogen in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Rabalais, Nancy N

    2002-03-01

    Aquatic ecosystems respond variably to nutrient enrichment and altered nutrient ratios, along a continuum from fresh water through estuarine, coastal, and marine systems. Although phosphorus is considered the limiting nutrient for phytoplankton production in freshwater systems, the effects of atmospheric nitrogen and its contribution to acidification of fresh waters can be detrimental. Within the estuarine to coastal continuum, multiple nutrient limitations occur among nitrogen, phosphorus, and silicon along the salinity gradient and by season, but nitrogen is generally considered the primary limiting nutrient for phytoplankton biomass accumulation. There are well-established, but nonlinear, positive relationships among nitrogen and phosphorus flux, phytoplankton primary production, and fisheries yield. There are thresholds, however, where the load of nutrients to estuarine, coastal and marine systems exceeds the capacity for assimilation of nutrient-enhanced production, and water-quality degradation occurs. Impacts can include noxious and toxic algal blooms, increased turbidity with a subsequent loss of submerged aquatic vegetation, oxygen deficiency, disruption of ecosystem functioning, loss of habitat, loss of biodiversity, shifts in food webs, and loss of harvestable fisheries.

  20. Arctic terrestrial ecosystem contamination.

    PubMed

    Thomas, D J; Tracey, B; Marshall, H; Norstrom, R J

    1992-07-15

    Limited data have been collected on the presence of contaminants in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystem, with the exception of radioactive fallout from atmospheric weapons testing. Although southern and temperate biological systems have largely cleansed themselves of radioactive fallout deposited during the 1950s and 1960s, Arctic environments have not. Lichens accumulate radioactivity more than many other plants because of their large surface area and long life span; the presence and persistence of radioisotopes in the Arctic is of concern because of the lichen----reindeer----human ecosystem. Effective biological half-life of cesium 137 is reckoned to be substantially less than its physical half-life. The database on organochlorines in Canadian Arctic terrestrial mammals and birds is very limited, but indications are that the air/plant/animal contaminant pathway is the major route of these compounds into the terrestrial food chain. For terrestrial herbivores, the most abundant organochlorine is usually hexachlorobenzene followed by hexachlorocyclohexane isomers. PCB accumulation favours the hexachlorobiphenyl, pentachlorobiphenyl and heptachlorobiphenyl homologous series. The concentrations of the various classes of organochlorine compounds are substantially lower in terrestrial herbivore tissues than in marine mammal tissues. PCBs and DDT are the most abundant residues in peregrine falcons (a terrestrial carnivore) reaching average levels of 9.2 and 10.4 micrograms.g-1, respectively, more than 10 times higher than other organochlorines and higher than in marine mammals, including the polar bear. Contaminants from local sources include metals from mining activities, hydrocarbons and waste drilling fluids from oil and gas exploration and production, wastes from DEW line sites, naturally occurring radionuclides associated with uranium mineralization, and smoke containing SO2 and H2SO4 aerosol from the Smoking Hills at Cape Bathurst, N.W.T.

  1. Chemical contaminants in Canadian aquatic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Pierce, R.C.; Whittle, D.M.; Bramwell, J.B.

    1998-12-31

    This report focuses on those chemicals that persist in the Canadian environment and that are accumulated by aquatic organisms. It summarizes scientific information collected previously, with emphasis on Canadian research findings published in the last decade. The first part of the report introduces the general features of aquatic ecosystems and provides basic information on the fate and effects of chemical contaminants. The second part reviews contaminant related issues for the following geographic areas: Atlantic marine ecosystems including the St. Lawrence, Bay of Fundy, and general north-west Atlantic; freshwater ecosystems including the Great Lakes and inland waters; the Arctic marine ecosystem; and Pacific aquatic ecosystems including the British Columbia coastal ecosystem, the open coast, and some of the major rivers. All chapters discuss the major contaminant issues, important oceanographic or limnological features, biological resources, and sources of contaminants as well as contaminant trends, distribution, and effects. Current and emerging chemical contaminant issues and associated research topics are summarized at the end of each chapter. The third part is an overall assessment of current knowledge of chemical contaminants and their effects on fish and fish habitat, and identifies major current and emerging contaminant issues confronting Canada`s fish and fish habitat.

  2. Impacts of Climate and UV Change on Arctic Freshwater Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wrona, F. J.; Prowse, T. D.; Reist, J. D.

    2004-05-01

    An overview is provided of the key findings of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), which is an international project of the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), to evaluate and synthesize knowledge on climate variability, climate change, and increased ultraviolet radiation and their consequences. Predicted changes in climate and UV in the Arctic are expected to have far-reaching impacts on the hydrology and ecology of freshwater ecosystems. Key effects include changes in the distribution, abundance and ecology of aquatic species in various trophic levels, dramatic alterations in the physical environment that makes up their habitat, changes to the chemical properties of that environment, and alterations to the processes that act on and within freshwater ecosystems. Interactions of climatic variables, such as temperature and precipitation, with freshwater ecosystems are highly complex and hence can be propagated through ecosystems in ways that are often difficult to predict. This is partly because of our still relatively poor understanding of the structure and function of arctic freshwater systems and their basic interrelationships with climate and other environmental variables, as well as by a paucity of long-term freshwater monitoring sites and integrated hydro-ecological research programs in the Arctic. Predictions of hydro-ecological impacts are further complicated by synergistic and cumulative effects.

  3. Deer Island Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-07-01

    Ecosystem Restoration Project (Deer Island AERP) has been identified as a case study for EWN, based on its “triple-win” benefits, operational efficiency...responsive, innovative, and adaptive (USACE EWN 2014). ERDC TN-EWN-15-2 July 2015 Deer Island Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project By Jennifer...TITLE AND SUBTITLE Deer Island Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S

  4. Arctic Ecosystem Integrated Survey (Arctic Eis): Marine ecosystem dynamics in the rapidly changing Pacific Arctic Gateway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueter, Franz J.; Weems, Jared; Farley, Edward V.; Sigler, Michael F.

    2017-01-01

    Arctic Marine Ecosystems are undergoing rapid changes associated with ice loss and surface warming resulting from human activities (IPCC, 2013). The most dramatic changes include an earlier ice retreat and a longer ice-free season, particularly on Arctic inflow shelves such as the Barents Sea in the Atlantic Arctic and the northern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea in the Pacific Arctic, the two major gateways into the Arctic (Danielson et al., 2016; Frey et al., 2015; Serreze et al., 2007; Wood et al., 2015). The retreat of Arctic sea ice has opened access to the Arctic marine environment and its resources, particularly during summer, and among other changes has brought with it increased research activities. For the Pacific Arctic region, these activities have led to several recent compendiums examining physical, biogeochemical, and biological patterns and trends in this rapidly changing environment (Arrigo, 2015, 2016; Arrigo et al., 2014; Bluhm et al., 2010; Dunton et al., 2014; Grebmeier and Maslowski, 2014; Hopcroft and Day, 2013; Moore and Stabeno, 2015).

  5. Chemical contamination in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Iwata, Hisato; Kim, Eun-Young; Yamauchi, Masanobu; Inoue, Suguru; Agusa, Tetsuro; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2007-03-01

    The 21st Century's Center of Excellence (COE) Program "Coastal Marine Environmental Research" in Ehime University, funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Government of Japan, started its activities in October 2002. One of the core projects of the COE Program in Ehime University is "studies on environmental behavior of hazardous chemicals and their toxic effects on wildlife". This core project deals with studies of the local and global distribution of environmental contaminants in aquatic ecosystems, retrospective analysis of such chemicals, their toxicokinetics in humans and wildlife, molecular mechanisms to determine species-specific reactions, and sensitivity of chemically induced effects, and with the development of methodology for risk assessment for the conservation of ecological and species diversity. This presentation describes our recent achievements of this project, including research on contamination by arsenic and organohalogen pollutants in the Mekong River basin and molecular mechanisms of morphologic deformities in dioxin-exposed red seabream (Pagrus major) embryos. We established the Environmental Specimen Bank (es-BANK) in Ehime University in 2004, archiving approximately 100000 cryogenic samples containing tissues of wildlife and humans that have been collected for the past 40 years. The CMES homepage offers details of samples through online database retrieval. The es-BANK facility was in operation by the end of 2005.

  6. Tipping elements in the Arctic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Carlos M; Agustí, Susana; Wassmann, Paul; Arrieta, Jesús M; Alcaraz, Miquel; Coello, Alexandra; Marbà, Núria; Hendriks, Iris E; Holding, Johnna; García-Zarandona, Iñigo; Kritzberg, Emma; Vaqué, Dolors

    2012-02-01

    The Arctic marine ecosystem contains multiple elements that present alternative states. The most obvious of which is an Arctic Ocean largely covered by an ice sheet in summer versus one largely devoid of such cover. Ecosystems under pressure typically shift between such alternative states in an abrupt, rather than smooth manner, with the level of forcing required for shifting this status termed threshold or tipping point. Loss of Arctic ice due to anthropogenic climate change is accelerating, with the extent of Arctic sea ice displaying increased variance at present, a leading indicator of the proximity of a possible tipping point. Reduced ice extent is expected, in turn, to trigger a number of additional tipping elements, physical, chemical, and biological, in motion, with potentially large impacts on the Arctic marine ecosystem.

  7. Spatial distribution of aquatic marine fungi across the western Arctic and sub-arctic.

    PubMed

    Hassett, Brandon T; Ducluzeau, Anne-Lise L; Collins, Roy E; Gradinger, Rolf

    2017-02-01

    Fungi are important parasites of primary producers and nutrient cyclers in aquatic ecosystems. In the Pacific-Arctic domain, fungal parasitism is linked to light intensities and algal stress that can elevate disease incidence on algae and reduce diatom concentrations. Fungi are vastly understudied in the marine realm and knowledge of their function is constrained by the current understanding of fungal distribution and drivers on global scales. To investigate the spatial distribution of fungi in the western Arctic and sub-Arctic, we used high throughput methods to sequence 18S rRNA, cloned and sequenced 28S rRNA and microscopically counted chytrid-infected diatoms. We identified a broad distribution of fungal taxa predominated by Chytridiomycota and Dikarya. Phylogenetic analysis of our Chytridiomycota clones placed Arctic marine fungi sister to the order Lobulomycetales. This clade of fungi predominated in fungal communities under ice with low snowpack. Microscopic examination of fixed seawater and sea ice samples revealed chytrids parasitizing diatoms collected across the Arctic that notably infected 25% of a single diatom species in the Bering Sea. The Pezizomycotina comprised > 95% of eukaryotic sequence reads in Greenland, providing preliminary evidence for osmotrophs being a substitute for algae as the base of food webs. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Aquatic ecosystems of the redwood region

    Treesearch

    Hartwell H. Welsh; T.D. Roelofs; C.A. Frissell

    2000-01-01

    The primary purpose of this chapter is to describe aquatic ecosystems within the redwood region and discuss related management and conservation issues. Although scientists from many disciplines have conducted research in the redwood region, few comprehensive interdisciplinary studies exist (but see Ziemer 1998b) and no regionwide overview or synthesis of the aquatic...

  9. Systems and Cycles: Learning about Aquatic Ecosystems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.; Jordan, Rebecca; Eberbach, Catherine; Rugaber, Spencer; Goel, Ashok

    2011-01-01

    In this research, the authors present both the design and preliminary testing of a technology-intensive classroom intervention designed to support middle schools students' understanding of an aquatic ecosystem. The goals of their intervention are to help learners develop deep understanding of ecosystems and to use tools that make the relationships…

  10. Diversity and Distribution of Aquatic Fungal Communities in the Ny-Ålesund Region, Svalbard (High Arctic): Aquatic Fungi in the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tao; Wang, Neng-Fei; Zhang, Yu-Qin; Liu, Hong-Yu; Yu, Li-Yan

    2016-04-01

    We assessed the diversity and distribution of fungi in 13 water samples collected from four aquatic environments (stream, pond, melting ice water, and estuary) in the Ny-Ålesund Region, Svalbard (High Arctic) using 454 pyrosequencing with fungi-specific primers targeting the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the ribosomal rRNA gene. Aquatic fungal communities in this region showed high diversity, with a total of 43,061 reads belonging to 641 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) being found. Of these OTUs, 200 belonged to Ascomycota, 196 to Chytridiomycota, 120 to Basidiomycota, 13 to Glomeromycota, and 10 to early diverging fungal lineages (traditional Zygomycota), whereas 102 belonged to unknown fungi. The major orders were Helotiales, Eurotiales, and Pleosporales in Ascomycota; Chytridiales and Rhizophydiales in Chytridiomycota; and Leucosporidiales and Sporidiobolales in Basidiomycota. The common fungal genera Penicillium, Rhodotorula, Epicoccum, Glaciozyma, Holtermanniella, Betamyces, and Phoma were identified. Interestingly, the four aquatic environments in this region harbored different aquatic fungal communities. Salinity, conductivity, and temperature were important factors in determining the aquatic fungal diversity and community composition. The results suggest the presence of diverse fungal communities and a considerable number of potentially novel fungal species in Arctic aquatic environments, which can provide reliable data for studying the ecological and evolutionary responses of fungi to climate change in the Arctic ecosystem.

  11. Climate impacts on arctic freshwater ecosystems and fisheries: background, rationale and approach of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA).

    PubMed

    Wrona, Frederick J; Prowse, Terry D; Reist, James D; Hobbie, John E; Lévesque, Lucie M J; Vincent, Warwick F

    2006-11-01

    Changes in climate and ultraviolet radiation levels in the Arctic will have far-reaching impacts, affecting aquatic species at various trophic levels, the physical and chemical environment that makes up their habitat, and the processes that act on and within freshwater ecosystems. Interactions of climatic variables, such as temperature and precipitation, with freshwater ecosystems are highly complex and can propagate through the ecosystem in ways that are difficult to project. This is partly due to a poor understanding of arctic freshwater systems and their basic interrelationships with climate and other environmental variables, and partly due to a paucity of long-term freshwater monitoring sites and integrated hydro-ecological research programs in the Arctic. The papers in this special issue are an abstraction of the analyses performed by 25 international experts and their associated networks on Arctic freshwater hydrology and related aquatic ecosystems that was initially published by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) in 2005 as "Chapter 8--Freshwater Ecosystems and Fisheries". The papers provide a broad overview of the general hydrological and ecological features of the various freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic, including descriptions of each ACIA region, followed by a review of historical changes in freshwater systems during the Holocene. This is followed by an assessment of the effects of climate change on broad-scale hydro-ecology; aquatic biota and ecosystem structure and function; and arctic fish and fisheries. Potential synergistic and cumulative effects are also discussed, as are the roles of ultraviolet radiation and contaminants. The nature and complexity of many of the effects are illustrated using case studies from around the circumpolar north, together with a discussion of important threshold responses (i.e., those that produce stepwise and/or nonlinear effects). The issue concludes with summary the key findings, a list of gaps in

  12. Prehistoric Inuit whalers affected Arctic freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Marianne S V; Smol, John P; Savelle, James M; Blais, Jules M

    2004-02-10

    It is commonly assumed that High Arctic lakes and ponds were not affected by direct local human activities before the arrival of Europeans, because most native peoples were primarily nomadic, maintained relatively low population densities, and practiced unintrusive hunting and gathering technologies. Our archeological and paleolimnological data show that this was not always the case. Thule Inuit whalers, whose winter settlements consisted of houses constructed from the bones of bowhead whales on Somerset Island between about anno Domini 1200 and 1600, markedly changed pond water quality and ecology. The arrival of whalers 8 centuries ago caused marked changes in water chemistry and the expansion of moss substrates. Although whalers abandoned the area >4 centuries ago, the legacy of these human disturbances is still evident in the pond's present-day limnology and is characterized by elevated nutrient concentrations and atypical biota. This is the earliest reported paleolimnological record of changes in aquatic ecology associated with local human activities in Canada or the United States, or for any circumpolar ecosystem.

  13. Surface water types in the Western Canadian Arctic: geochemical evolution and aquatic carbon transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dean, Joshua F.; Billett, Mike F.; Dinsmore, Kerry J.; Lessels, Jason S.; Street, Lorna; Washbourne, Ian; Subke, Jens-Arne; Tetzlaff, Doerthe; Baxter, Robert; Wookey, Philip A.

    2015-04-01

    Arctic surface waters are a substantial conduit for terrestrial C flow as well as a potential source of GHGs to the atmosphere - a significant positive feedback to global climate warming and a key component of the net ecosystem carbon balance in permafrost regions. As temperatures rise in the Arctic, permafrost thaw deepens releasing C from the landscape into the aquatic system making streams and lakes increasingly important conduits and reactors of both allochthonous and autochthonous C. The HYDRA project ('Permafrost catchments in transition: hydrological controls on carbon cycling and greenhouse gas budgets'), aims to quantify the assimilation of C and the controls of C movement between the plant-soil-water-atmosphere continuum. The specific aspect of the project presented here considers the different aquatic pathways in warming Arctic permafrost catchments, and the potential role that they play in GHG emissions and aquatic C cycling. This study presents the surface water geochemistry of Siksik Creek, a small (

  14. Interaction webs in arctic ecosystems: Determinants of arctic change?

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Niels M; Hardwick, Bess; Gilg, Olivier; Høye, Toke T; Krogh, Paul Henning; Meltofte, Hans; Michelsen, Anders; Mosbacher, Jesper B; Raundrup, Katrine; Reneerkens, Jeroen; Stewart, Lærke; Wirta, Helena; Roslin, Tomas

    2017-02-01

    How species interact modulate their dynamics, their response to environmental change, and ultimately the functioning and stability of entire communities. Work conducted at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, has changed our view on how networks of arctic biotic interactions are structured, how they vary in time, and how they are changing with current environmental change: firstly, the high arctic interaction webs are much more complex than previously envisaged, and with a structure mainly dictated by its arthropod component. Secondly, the dynamics of species within these webs reflect changes in environmental conditions. Thirdly, biotic interactions within a trophic level may affect other trophic levels, in some cases ultimately affecting land-atmosphere feedbacks. Finally, differential responses to environmental change may decouple interacting species. These insights form Zackenberg emphasize that the combination of long-term, ecosystem-based monitoring, and targeted research projects offers the most fruitful basis for understanding and predicting the future of arctic ecosystems.

  15. Changing Arctic ecosystems: ecology of loons in a changing Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Uher-Koch, Brian; Schmutz, Joel; Whalen, Mary; Pearce, John M.

    2014-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative informs key resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information on current and future ecosystem response to a changing climate. From 2010 to 2014, a key study area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. This region has experienced rapid warming during the past 30 years, leading to the thawing of permafrost and changes to lake and river systems. These changes, and projections of continued change, have raised questions about effects on wildlife populations that rely on northern lake ecosystems, such as loons. Loons rely on freshwater lakes for nesting habitat and the fish and invertebrates inhabiting the lakes for food. Loons live within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) on Alaska’s northern coast, where oil and gas development is expected to increase. Research by the USGS examines how breeding loons use the Arctic lake ecosystem and the capacity of loons to adapt to future landscape change.

  16. Great Basin riparian and aquatic ecosystems

    Treesearch

    Don Sada

    2008-01-01

    Most Great Basin riparian and aquatic ecosystems are associated with streams and springs that are comparatively small and isolated from one another because of the naturally arid climate. There are few rivers and lakes in the region. Surface waters and aquifers that support springs provide the only water available to humans and wildlife. Springs occur at all elevations...

  17. PAHS IN THE LAKE MICHIGAN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    PAHs in the Lake Michigan Aquatic Ecosystem. Fernandez, JD*, Burkhard, LP, Cook, PM, Nichols, JW, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, U.S. EPA, Duluth MN. In this study, we are investigating the accumulation of PAHs in the Lake Michigan food web. Focusing on EPA's 16 "Priority Po...

  18. Ship canals and aquatic ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aron, William I.; Smith, Stanford H.

    1971-01-01

    Through a combination of ecosystem homeostasis and the perversity of man and nature, oftentimes the significant biological changes effected by environmental modifications are not detected until long after the initial change has taken place. The immediate impact, which may range from the spectacular to the undetectable, is a deceptive measure of the long-term and often more important changes in the ecosystem. Two major engineering achievements illustrate this premise: (i) construction of the Erie Canal, which provided access from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, and the Welland Canal, which bypasses the block between Lakes Ontario and Erie created by Niagara Falls (Fig. 1), and (ii) construction of the Suez Canal between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

  19. Mercury contamination of aquatic ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krabbenhoft, David P.; Rickert, David A.

    1995-01-01

    Mercury has been well known as an environmental pollutant for several decades. As early as the 1950's it was established that emissions of mercury to the environment could have serious effects on human health. These early studies demonstrated that fish and other wildlife from various ecosystems commonly attain mercury levels of toxicological concern when directly affected by mercury-containing emissions from human-related activities. Human health concerns arise when fish and wildlife from these ecosystems are consumed by humans. During the past decade, a new trend has emerged with regard to mercury pollution. Investigations initiated in the late 1980's in the northern-tier states of the U.S., Canada, and Nordic countries found that fish, mainly from nutrient-poor lakes and often in very remote areas, commonly have high levels of mercury. More recent fish sampling surveys in other regions of the U.S. have shown widespread mercury contamination in streams, wet-lands, reservoirs, and lakes. To date, 33 states have issued fish consumption advisories because of mercury contamination. These continental to global scale occurrences of mercury contamination cannot be linked to individual emissions of mercury, but instead are due to widespread air pollution. When scientists measure mercury levels in air and surface water, however, the observed levels are extraordinarily low. In fact, scientists have to take extreme precautions to avoid direct contact with water samples or sample containers, to avert sample contamination (Fig 3). Herein lies an apparent discrepancy: Why do fish from some remote areas have elevated mercury concentrations, when contamination levels in the environment are so low?

  20. Microplastics in aquatic environments: Implications for Canadian ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Julie C; Park, Bradley J; Palace, Vince P

    2016-11-01

    Microplastics have been increasingly detected and quantified in marine and freshwater environments, and there are growing concerns about potential effects in biota. A literature review was conducted to summarize the current state of knowledge of microplastics in Canadian aquatic environments; specifically, the sources, environmental fate, behaviour, abundance, and toxicological effects in aquatic organisms. While we found that research and publications on these topics have increased dramatically since 2010, relatively few studies have assessed the presence, fate, and effects of microplastics in Canadian water bodies. We suggest that efforts to determine aquatic receptors at greatest risk of detrimental effects due to microplastic exposure, and their associated contaminants, are particularly warranted. There is also a need to address the gaps identified, with a particular focus on the species and conditions found in Canadian aquatic systems. These gaps include characterization of the presence of microplastics in Canadian freshwater ecosystems, identifying key sources of microplastics to these systems, and evaluating the presence of microplastics in Arctic waters and biota.

  1. Effective Best Management Practices for Nitrogen Removal in Aquatic Ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Elevated nitrate levels in streams and groundwater are detrimental to human and ecosystem health. The Ground Water and Ecosystems Restoration Division (GWERD) of the USEPA investigates best management practices (BMP’s) that enhance nitrogen removal in aquatic ecosystems througho...

  2. Effective Best Management Practices for Nitrogen Removal in Aquatic Ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Elevated nitrate levels in streams and groundwater are detrimental to human and ecosystem health. The Ground Water and Ecosystems Restoration Division (GWERD) of the USEPA investigates best management practices (BMP’s) that enhance nitrogen removal in aquatic ecosystems througho...

  3. General features of the arctic relevant to climate change in freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Prowse, Terry D; Wrona, Frederick J; Reist, James D; Hobbie, John E; Lévesque, Lucie M J; Vincent, Warwick F

    2006-11-01

    Large variations exist in the size, abundance and biota of the two principal categories of freshwater ecosystems, lotic (flowing water; e.g., rivers, streams, deltas and estuaries) and lentic (standing water; lakes, ponds and wetlands) found across the circumpolar Arctic. Arctic climate, many components of which exhibit strong variations along latitudinal gradients, directly affects a range of physical, chemical and biological processes in these aquatic systems. Furthermore, arctic climate creates additional indirect ecological effects through the control of terrestrial hydrologic systems and processes, particularly those associated with cryospheric components such as permafrost, freshwater ice and snow accumulation/ablation. The ecological structure and function of arctic freshwater systems are also controlled by external processes and conditions, particularly those in the headwaters of the major arctic rivers and in the adjacent marine environment. The movement of physical, chemical and biotic components through the interlinked lentic and lotic freshwater systems are major determinants of arctic freshwater ecology.

  4. Aquatic Plants and Animals as Ecosystem Engineers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wotton, R. S.

    2005-05-01

    Studies on aquatic plants and animals focus on population dynamics, the structure of communities and the part played by organisms in food webs and other ecosystem processes. As Lawton and Jones point out in "Linking Species and Ecosystems", less attention is given to the role of organisms as ecosystem engineers, modifying the environment in which they live. Yet plants can have a profound effect on their surroundings, altering flow patterns and trapping large amounts of organic and inorganic material. Animals also affect aquatic ecosystems in many ways, both in building structures such as tubes and shelters, and in their feeding. For example, detritus feeders often produce large numbers of faecal pellets (and pseudofaeces in bivalves) and these are very different in size to the materials ingested. Pellets are deposited in masses over the bed of streams, lakes and the sea and therefore effect a translocation of nutrients. The action of plants and animals in altering their environment is likely to be a significant process in all water bodies, from both small to large scale.

  5. Assessment of potential aquatic herbicide impacts to California aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Siemering, Geoffrey S; Hayworth, Jennifer D; Greenfield, Ben K

    2008-10-01

    A series of legal decisions culminated in 2002 with the California State Water Resources Control Board funding the San Francisco Estuary Institute to develop and implement a 3-year monitoring program to determine the potential environmental impacts of aquatic herbicide applications. The monitoring program was intended to investigate the behavior of all aquatic pesticides in use in California, to determine potential impacts in a wide range of water-body types receiving applications, and to help regulators determine where to direct future resources. A tiered monitoring approach was developed to achieve a balance between program goals and what was practically achievable within the project time and budget constraints. Water, sediment, and biota were collected under "worst-case" scenarios in close association with herbicide applications. Applications of acrolein, copper sulfate, chelated copper, diquat dibromide, glyphosate, fluridone, triclopyr, and 2,4-D were monitored. A range of chemical analyses, toxicity tests, and bioassessments were conducted. At each site, risk quotients were calculated to determine potential impacts. For sediment-partitioning herbicides, sediment quality triad analysis was performed. Worst-case scenario monitoring and special studies showed limited short-term and no long-term toxicity directly attributable to aquatic herbicide applications. Risk quotient calculations called for additional risk characterizations; these included limited assessments for glyphosate and fluridone and more extensive risk assessments for diquat dibromide, chelated copper products, and copper sulfate. Use of surfactants in conjunction with aquatic herbicides was positively associated with greater ecosystem impacts. Results therefore warrant full risk characterization for all adjuvant compounds.

  6. Arctic ecosystems in a changing climate: An ecophysiological perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F.S. III; Jefferies, R.L.; Reynolds, J.F.; Shaver, G.R.; Svoboda, J.

    1992-01-01

    This book is an international synthesis of studies on arctic ecosystems, a region where climatic change is greatest, presenting the interrelationship between climate change and ecosystems. In addition to chapters dealing specifically with climatic change issues, important background information on arctic ecosystems and vegetation is given. Individual contributions are arranged into four parts: The Arctic System; Carbon Balance; Water and Nutrient Balance; and Interactions. An brief introduction, summary, and a useful index are also included.

  7. Pressure and Buoyancy in Aquatic Ecosystems. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Christina E.

    This module is part of a series designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This module explores some of the characteristics of aquatic organisms which can be…

  8. The changing Arctic carbon cycle: using the past to understand terrestrial-aquatic linkages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, N. J.; van Hardenbroek, M.; Jones, V.; McGowan, S.; Langdon, P. G.; Whiteford, E.; Turner, S.; Edwards, M. E.

    2016-12-01

    Predicted shifts in terrestrial vegetation cover associated with Arctic warming are altering the delivery and processing of carbon to aquatic ecosystems. This process could determine whether lakes are net carbon sources or sinks and, because lake density is high in many Arctic areas, may alter regional carbon budgets. Lake sediment records integrate information from within the lake and its catchment and can be used quantify past vegetation shifts associated with known climatic episodes of warmer (Holocene Thermal Maximum) and cooler (Neoglacial) conditions. We analysed sediment cores located in different Arctic vegetation biomes (tundra, shrub, forested) in Greenland, Norway and Alaska and used biochemical (algal pigments, stable isotopes) remains to evaluate whether past vegetation shifts were associated with changes in ecosystem carbon processing and biodiversity. When lake catchments were sparsely vegetated and soil vegetation was limited ultra-violet radiation (UVR) screening pigments indicate clear lake waters, scarce dissolved organic carbon/ matter (DOC/M). Moderate vegetation development (birch scrub in Norway; herb tundra in Greenland) appears to enhance delivery of DOM to lakes, and to stimulate algal production which is apparently linked to heterotrophic carbon processing pathways (e.g. algal mixotrophy, nutrient release via the microbial loop). Mature forest cover (in Alaska and Norway) supressed lake autotrophic production, most likely because coloured DOM delivered from catchment vegetation limited light availability. During wetter periods when mires developed lake carbon processing also changed, indicating that hydrological delivery of terrestrial DOM is also important. Therefore, future changes in Arctic vegetation and precipitation patterns are highly likely to alter the way that arctic ecosystems process carbon. Our approach provides an understanding of how ecosystem diversity and carbon processing respond to past climate change and the difficulty

  9. Long-term changes in pigmentation of arctic Daphnia provide potential for reconstructing aquatic UV exposure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nevalainen, Liisa; Rantala, Marttiina V.; Luoto, Tomi P.; Ojala, Antti E. K.; Rautio, Milla

    2016-07-01

    Despite the biologically damaging impacts of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) in nature, little is known about its natural variability, forcing mechanisms, and long-term effects on ecosystems and organisms. Arctic zooplankton, for example the aquatic keystone genus Daphnia (Crustacea, Cladocera) responds to biologically damaging UV by utilizing photoprotective strategies, including pigmentation. We examined the preservation and content of UV-screening pigments in fossil Daphnia remains (ephippia) in two arctic lake sediment cores from Cornwallis Island (Lake R1), Canada, and Spitsbergen (Lake Fugledammen), Svalbard. The aims were to document changes in the degree of UV-protective pigmentation throughout the past centuries, elucidate the adaptive responses of zooplankton to long-term variations in UV exposure, and estimate the potential of fossil zooplankton pigments in reconstructing aquatic UV regimes. The spectroscopic absorbance measurements of fossil Daphnia ephippia under UV (280-400 nm) and visible light (400-700 nm) spectral ranges indicated that melanin (absorbance maxima at UV wavebands 280-350 nm) and carotenoids (absorbance maxima at 400-450 nm) pigments were preserved in the ephippia in both sediment cores. Downcore measurements of the most important UV-protective pigment melanin (absorbance measured at 305 and 340 nm) showed marked long-term variations in the degree of melanisation. These variations likely represented long-term trends in aquatic UV exposure and were positively related with solar radiation intensity. The corresponding trends in melanisation and solar activity were disrupted at the turn of the 20th century in R1, but remained as strong in Fugledammen. The reversed trends in the R1 core were simultaneous with a significant aquatic community reorganization taking place in the lake, suggesting that recent environmental changes, likely related to climate warming had a local effect on pigmentation strategies. This time horizon is also

  10. [Radioecological problems of aquatic ecosystems of the Chernobyl exclusion zone].

    PubMed

    Gudkov, D I; Kuz'menko, M I; Kireev, S I; Nazarov, A B; Shevtsova, N L; Dziubenko, E V; Kaglian, A E

    2009-01-01

    The results of radioactive contamination dynamics in the main components of aquatic ecosystems and the absorbed dose rate for hydrobionts within the Chernobyl accident exclusion zone was analysed. Some cytogenetical and haematological effects of long-term irradiation on aquatic organisms as well as damage of higher aquatic plants by parasitic fungi and gall-producing arthropods were considered.

  11. The Role of Aquatic Ecosystems in the Elimination of Pollutants

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Contamination of aquatic ecosystems is always of concern to environmental scientists; however, these systems also possess unique capabilities allowing them to eliminate or mitigate certain levels of pollutants. Primarily through the presence of vegetation, aquatic ecosystems are known to be capable...

  12. Aquatic ecotoxicological models and their applicability in Arctic regions.

    PubMed

    Fahd, Faisal; Khan, Faisal; Veitch, Brian; Yang, Ming

    2017-07-15

    Dose-response modeling is one of the most important steps of ecological risk assessment. It requires concentration-effects relationships for the species under consideration. There are very limited studies and experimental data available for the Arctic aquatic species. Lack of toxicity data hinders obtaining dose-response relationships for lethal (LC50 values), sub-lethal and carcinogenic effects. Gaps in toxicity data could be filled using a variety of in-silico ecotoxicological methods. This paper reviews the suitability of such methods for the Arctic scenario. Mechanistic approaches like toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic analysis are found to be better suited for interspecies extrapolation than statistical methods, such as Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships/Quantitative Structure Activity-Activity Relationship, ICE, and other empirical models, such as Haber's law and Ostwald's equation. A novel approach is proposed where the effects of the toxicant exposure are quantified based on the probability of cellular damage and metabolites interactions. This approach recommends modeling cellular damage using a toxicodynamic model and physiology or metabolites interactions using a toxicokinetic model. Together, these models provide more reliable estimates of toxicity in the Arctic aquatic species, which will assist in conducting ecological risk assessment of Arctic environment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Changing Arctic ecosystems--research to understand and project changes in marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geiselman, Joy; DeGange, Anthony R.; Oakley, Karen; Derksen, Dirk; Whalen, Mary

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystems and their wildlife communities are not static; they change and evolve over time due to numerous intrinsic and extrinsic factors. A period of rapid change is occurring in the Arctic for which our current understanding of potential ecosystem and wildlife responses is limited. Changes to the physical environment include warming temperatures, diminishing sea ice, increasing coastal erosion, deteriorating permafrost, and changing water regimes. These changes influence biological communities and the ways in which human communities interact with them. Through the new initiative Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) strives to (1) understand the potential suite of wildlife population responses to these physical changes to inform key resource management decisions such as those related to the Endangered Species Act, and (2) provide unique insights into how Arctic ecosystems are responding under new stressors. Our studies examine how and why changes in the ice-dominated ecosystems of the Arctic are affecting wildlife and will provide a better foundation for understanding the degree and manner in which wildlife species respond and adapt to rapid environmental change. Changes to Arctic ecosystems will be felt broadly because the Arctic is a production zone for hundreds of species that migrate south for the winter. The CAE initiative includes three major research themes that span Arctic ice-dominated ecosystems and that are structured to identify and understand the linkages between physical processes, ecosystems, and wildlife populations. The USGS is applying knowledge-based modeling structures such as Bayesian Networks to integrate the work.

  14. Crossing the Threshold - Reviewed Evidence for Regime Shifts in Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mård Karlsson, J.; Destouni, G.; Peterson, G.; Gordon, L.

    2009-12-01

    The Arctic is rapidly changing, and the Arctic terrestrial ecosystems may respond to changing conditions in different ways. We review the evidence of regime shifts (ecosystem change from one set of mutually reinforcing feedbacks to another) in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems in relation to the hydrological cycle, as part of a larger interdisciplinary research project on Pan-Arctic ice-water-biogeochemical system responses and social-ecological resilience effects in a warming climate, which has in turn been part of the International Polar Year project Arctic-HYDRA. Such regime shifts may have implications for the Earth system as a whole, through changes in water flows and energy balance that yield feedbacks to hydrology and the local and global climate. Because the presence or absence of permafrost is a main control on local hydrological processes in the Arctic, we use the ecological response to permafrost warming to define three types of regime shifts: 1) Conversion of aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems due to draining of lakes and wetlands caused by permafrost degradation and thermokarst processes, which may have a large impact on local people and animals that depend on these ecosystems for food, domestic needs, and habitat, and on climate as the water conditions influence the direction of CO2 exchange. 2) Conversion of terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems as forests are being replaced by wet sedge meadows, bogs, and thermokarst ponds that favor aquatic birds and mammals, as thawing permafrost atop continuous permafrost undermines and destroys the root zone, leading to collapse and death of the trees. 3) Shifts in terrestrial ecosystems due to transition from tundra to shrubland and/or forest, caused by warming of air and soil, resulting in increased surface energy exchanges and albedo, which may in turn feed back to enhanced warming at the local-regional scale. We compare the impact, scale and key processes for each of these regime shifts, and assess the degree to

  15. Risk Assessment Considerations for Veterinary Medicines in Aquatic Ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    This chapter provides a critical evaluation of prospective and retrospective risk assessment approaches for veterinary medicines in aquatic ecosystems and provides recommendations for possible alternative approaches for hazard characterization.

  16. Development of resource shed delineation in aquatic ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental issues in aquatic ecosystems of high management priority involve spatially explicit phenomena that occur over vast areas. A "landscape" perspective is thus necessary, including an understanding of how ecological phenomena at a local scale are affected by physical fo...

  17. Risk Assessment Considerations for Veterinary Medicines in Aquatic Ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    This chapter provides a critical evaluation of prospective and retrospective risk assessment approaches for veterinary medicines in aquatic ecosystems and provides recommendations for possible alternative approaches for hazard characterization.

  18. Development of resource shed delineation in aquatic ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental issues in aquatic ecosystems of high management priority involve spatially explicit phenomena that occur over vast areas. A "landscape" perspective is thus necessary, including an understanding of how ecological phenomena at a local scale are affected by physical fo...

  19. Review on environmental alterations propagating from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco; Gergs, René; Brühl, Carsten A; Diehl, Dörte; Entling, Martin H; Fahse, Lorenz; Frör, Oliver; Jungkunst, Hermann F; Lorke, Andreas; Schäfer, Ralf B; Schaumann, Gabriele E; Schwenk, Klaus

    2015-12-15

    Terrestrial inputs into freshwater ecosystems are a classical field of environmental science. Resource fluxes (subsidy) from aquatic to terrestrial systems have been less studied, although they are of high ecological relevance particularly for the receiving ecosystem. These fluxes may, however, be impacted by anthropogenically driven alterations modifying structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems. In this context, we reviewed the peer-reviewed literature for studies addressing the subsidy of terrestrial by aquatic ecosystems with special emphasis on the role that anthropogenic alterations play in this water-land coupling. Our analysis revealed a continuously increasing interest in the coupling of aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems between 1990 and 2014 (total: 661 studies), while the research domains focusing on abiotic (502 studies) and biotic (159 studies) processes are strongly separated. Approximately 35% (abiotic) and 25% (biotic) of the studies focused on the propagation of anthropogenic alterations from the aquatic to the terrestrial system. Among these studies, hydromorphological and hydrological alterations were predominantly assessed, whereas water pollution and invasive species were less frequently investigated. Less than 5% of these studies considered indirect effects in the terrestrial system e.g. via food web responses, as a result of anthropogenic alterations in aquatic ecosystems. Nonetheless, these very few publications indicate far-reaching consequences in the receiving terrestrial ecosystem. For example, bottom-up mediated responses via soil quality can cascade over plant communities up to the level of herbivorous arthropods, while top-down mediated responses via predatory spiders can cascade down to herbivorous arthropods and even plants. Overall, the current state of knowledge calls for an integrated assessment on how these interactions within terrestrial ecosystems are affected by propagation of aquatic ecosystem alterations. To fill

  20. DNA barcodes for assessment of the biological integrity of aquatic ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Water quality regulations and aquatic ecosystem monitoring increasingly rely on direct assessments of biological integrity. Because these aquatic “bioassessments” evaluate the incidence and abundance of sensitive aquatic species, they are able to measure cumulative ecosystem eff...

  1. DNA barcodes for assessment of the biological integrity of aquatic ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Water quality regulations and aquatic ecosystem monitoring increasingly rely on direct assessments of biological integrity. Because these aquatic “bioassessments” evaluate the incidence and abundance of sensitive aquatic species, they are able to measure cumulative ecosystem eff...

  2. Carbon Cycling in Permafrost Aquatic Systems of Bylot Island, Eastern Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouchard, F.; Preskienis, V.; Laurion, I.; Fortier, D.

    2014-12-01

    Aquatic systems are widespread in permafrost environments and play a crucial role in biogeochemical cycles, especially in GHG emissions (CO2, CH4). Amount, rate and age of carbon released from permafrost thawing can be strongly influenced by local geomorphology, which affects the biogeochemical dynamics of ponds and lakes. Bylot Island (Nunavut) is located in the heart of the Eastern Canadian Arctic and comprises numerous glacial and periglacial aquatic landscapes. Several glacial valleys of the island represent highly dynamic biogeosystems rich in permafrost ground ice, peat, and aquatic environments. We aimed at characterizing the influence of geomorphology and permafrost degradation processes on aquatic system biogeochemistry. We sampled gas, water, permafrost and lacustrine sediment in different types of aquatic systems: polygonal ponds, collapsed ice-wedge trough ponds, and larger lakes overlying unfrozen soil ('talik'). Preliminary results and field observations indicate a relationship between pond/lake morphology, processes of permafrost degradation, and the age of carbon processed - ultimately released as GHG - in these aquatic systems. Small and shallow ponds produced modern or young (< 500 yr BP) CO2 and CH4, whereas larger and deeper lakes released older (< 2000 yr BP) gases. We also observed a substantial difference in gas fluxes between similar ponds of comparable size and depth. When pond margins were actively eroding (eroded and collapsed peat blocks), fluxes were several orders of magnitude higher than when their margins were stabilized. Such findings underscore the strong impact of local geomorphology and permafrost degradation processes on aquatic system biogeochemistry. Upscaling of GHG emissions at the watershed scale requires a better understanding of the emissions from different types of ecosystems.

  3. Ecological history vs. social expectations: managing aquatic ecosystems.

    Treesearch

    Gordon H. Reeves; Sally L. Duncan

    2009-01-01

    The emerging perspective of ecosystems as both non-equilibrium and dynamic fits aquatic ecosystems as well as terrestrial systems. It is increasingly recognized that watersheds historically passed through different conditions over time. Habitat conditions varied in quantity and quality, primarily as a function of the time since the last major disturbance and the legacy...

  4. Impacts to ecosystem services from aquatic acidification: using ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Increases in anthropogenic emissions of sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) have resulted in increases in the associated atmospheric deposition of acidic compounds. In sensitive watersheds, this deposition has initiated a cascade of negative environmental effects on aquatic ecosystems, resulting in a degradation or loss of valuable ecosystem goods and services. Here we report the activities of an expert workgroup to synthesize information on acidic deposition-induced aquatic acidification from the published literature and to link critical load exceedances with ecosystem services and beneficiaries, using the STEPS Framework (STressor – Ecological Production function – Final Ecosystem Services) and the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services Classification System (FEGS-CS). Experts identified and documented the sensitive aquatic ecosystem ecological endpoints that humans value, and the environmental pathways through which these endpoints may experience degradation in response to acidification. Beneficiary groups were then identified for each sensitive ecological endpoint to clarify relationships between humans and the effects of aquatic acidification, and to lay the foundation for future research and analysis to value these Final Ecosystem Goods and Services. This manuscript introduces a novel way to implement a Final Ecosystem Goods and Services Classification System as the foundation for identifying heretofore difficult and unknown linkages between humans and compone

  5. Comparing resource pulses in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Nowlin, Weston H; Vanni, Michael J; Yang, Louie H

    2008-03-01

    Resource pulses affect productivity and dynamics in a diversity of ecosystems, including islands, forests, streams, and lakes. Terrestrial and aquatic systems differ in food web structure and biogeochemistry; thus they may also differ in their responses to resource pulses. However, there has been a limited attempt to compare responses across ecosystem types. Here, we identify similarities and differences in the causes and consequences of resource pulses in terrestrial and aquatic systems. We propose that different patterns of food web and ecosystem structure in terrestrial and aquatic systems lead to different responses to resource pulses. Two predictions emerge from a comparison of resource pulses in the literature: (1) the bottom-up effects of resource pulses should transmit through aquatic food webs faster because of differences in the growth rates, life history, and stoichiometry of organisms in aquatic vs. terrestrial systems, and (2) the impacts of resource pulses should also persist longer in terrestrial systems because of longer generation times, the long-lived nature of many terrestrial resource pulses, and reduced top-down effects of consumers in terrestrial systems compared to aquatic systems. To examine these predictions, we use a case study of a resource pulse that affects both terrestrial and aquatic systems: the synchronous emergence of periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) in eastern North American forests. In general, studies that have examined the effects of periodical cicadas on terrestrial and aquatic systems support the prediction that resource pulses transmit more rapidly in aquatic systems; however, support for the prediction that resource pulse effects persist longer in terrestrial systems is equivocal. We conclude that there is a need to elucidate the indirect effects and long-term implications of resource pulses in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

  6. Impacts of atrazine in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Graymore, M; Stagnitti, F; Allinson, G

    2001-06-01

    A portion of all herbicides applied to forests, croplands, road sides, and gardens are inevitably lost to water bodies either directly through runoff or indirectly by leaching through groundwater into ephemeral streams and lakes. Once in the aquatic environment, herbicides may cause stress within aquatic communities and radically alter community structure. Atrazine is one of the most effective and inexpensive herbicides in the world and is consequently used more frequently than any other herbicide. Atrazine is frequently detected in aquatic waters, and has been known to affect reproduction of aquatic flora and fauna, which in turn impacts on the community structure as a whole. This paper presents a summary of the reported direct and indirect impacts of atrazine on aquatic organisms and community structure. The information can be used for developing improved management guidelines and legislation. It is concluded that a single universal maximum limit on the atrazine application in catchments, as suggested by many regulatory authorities, does not provide adequate protection of the aquatic environment. Rather, it is advocated that flexible limits on the application of atrazine be developed in line with the potential risk of contamination to surface and subsurface water and fragility of the aquatic environment.

  7. Endocrine-Disrupting Compounds in Aquatic Ecosystems.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a ubiquitous issue of concern in our aquatic systems. Commonly detected EDCs include natural and synthetic hormones, surfactants, plasticizers, disinfectants, herbicides and metals. The potency of these chemicals varies substantially, as ...

  8. Endocrine-Disrupting Compounds in Aquatic Ecosystems.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are a ubiquitous issue of concern in our aquatic systems. Commonly detected EDCs include natural and synthetic hormones, surfactants, plasticizers, disinfectants, herbicides and metals. The potency of these chemicals varies substantially, as ...

  9. Restoration of aquatic ecosystems: Science, technology, and public policy

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    Aquatic ecosystems perform numerous valuable environmental functions. However, intensified industrial, commercial, and residential development in the US has led to the pollution of surface waters by fertilizers, insecticides, motor oil, toxic landfill leachates, and feedlot wastes while at the same time more water usage has lead to less water for dilution of wastes. Increased sediments from construction, agriculture and forestry has also heavily damaged aquatic ecosystems. Restorating aquatic ecosystems may be accomplished in stages, and in certain situations, partial ecological restoration may be the operant management goal, providing significant ecological benefits even though full restoration is not attained. A large scale aquatic ecosystem restoration program in the US should do as follows: (1) correct nonpoint source pollution problems; (2) arrest the decline of wildlife populations; (3) restore all types of wildlife habitats with priority to endangered species habitat. A national aquatic ecosystem strategy is recommended including four elements: (1) national restoration goals and assessment strategies for each ecoregion; (2) principles for priority setting and decision making; (3) policy and program redesign; (4) Innovation in financing and use of land and water markets. Major sections of the report discuss the following areas in detail: Overview of long-term, large scale coordinated restoration-planning, evaluating, and monitoring; Lakes (largest section); Rivers and Stream; and Wetlands.

  10. Watershed geomorphology modifies the temperature sensitivity of aquatic ecosystem metabolism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jankowski, K. J.; Schindler, D.

    2015-12-01

    How carbon cycles are regulated by temperature remains a substantial uncertainty in our understanding of how watersheds will respond to ongoing climate change. Aquatic ecosystems are significant components of carbon flux to the atmosphere and ocean, yet we have limited understanding of how changing thermal regimes will alter rates of ecosystem metabolic processes, and, therefore, aquatic contributions to carbon cycles at watershed to global scales. Watershed geomorphology controls the landscape-scale distribution of organic material that can form the metabolic base of aquatic ecosystems, which will likely affect the temperature sensitivity of aquatic ecosystem metabolism. Across 23 streams in a boreal river basin, we estimated how temperature sensitivity of ecosystem respiration (ER), an important component of the aquatic C cycle, varied among streams with different watershed characteristics. We found that geomorphic conditions imposed strong ultimate controls on temperature sensitivity: ER in streams draining flat watersheds was much more sensitive to temperature than streams draining steeper watersheds. Further, we show that the link between watershed geomorphology and temperature sensitivity was related to changes in the quality of carbon substrates across the gradient in watershed slope. These results suggest that geomorphic conditions will ultimately control how carbon processing responds to warming climate, thereby affecting carbon transport and storage, and likely food web responses, in river networks.

  11. Water chemistry of Rocky Mountain Front Range aquatic ecosystems

    Treesearch

    Robert C. Musselman; Laura Hudnell; Mark W. Williams; Richard A. Sommerfeld

    1996-01-01

    A study of the water chemistry of Colorado Rocky Mountain Front Range alpine/subalpine lakes and streams in wilderness ecosystems was conducted during the summer of 1995 by the USDA Forest Service Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, and the University of Colorado Institute of Alpine and Arctic Research. Data...

  12. Exploratory hydrocarbon drilling impacts to Arctic lake ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Thienpont, Joshua R; Kokelj, Steven V; Korosi, Jennifer B; Cheng, Elisa S; Desjardins, Cyndy; Kimpe, Linda E; Blais, Jules M; Pisaric, Michael F J; Smol, John P

    2013-01-01

    Recent attention regarding the impacts of oil and gas development and exploitation has focused on the unintentional release of hydrocarbons into the environment, whilst the potential negative effects of other possible avenues of environmental contamination are less well documented. In the hydrocarbon-rich and ecologically sensitive Mackenzie Delta region (NT, Canada), saline wastes associated with hydrocarbon exploration have typically been disposed of in drilling sumps (i.e., large pits excavated into the permafrost) that were believed to be a permanent containment solution. However, failure of permafrost as a waste containment medium may cause impacts to lakes in this sensitive environment. Here, we examine the effects of degrading drilling sumps on water quality by combining paleolimnological approaches with the analysis of an extensive present-day water chemistry dataset. This dataset includes lakes believed to have been impacted by saline drilling fluids leaching from drilling sumps, lakes with no visible disturbances, and lakes impacted by significant, naturally occurring permafrost thaw in the form of retrogressive thaw slumps. We show that lakes impacted by compromised drilling sumps have significantly elevated lakewater conductivity levels compared to control sites. Chloride levels are particularly elevated in sump-impacted lakes relative to all other lakes included in the survey. Paleolimnological analyses showed that invertebrate assemblages appear to have responded to the leaching of drilling wastes by a discernible increase in a taxon known to be tolerant of elevated conductivity coincident with the timing of sump construction. This suggests construction and abandonment techniques at, or soon after, sump establishment may result in impacts to downstream aquatic ecosystems. With hydrocarbon development in the north predicted to expand in the coming decades, the use of sumps must be examined in light of the threat of accelerated permafrost thaw, and the

  13. Exploratory Hydrocarbon Drilling Impacts to Arctic Lake Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Thienpont, Joshua R.; Kokelj, Steven V.; Korosi, Jennifer B.; Cheng, Elisa S.; Desjardins, Cyndy; Kimpe, Linda E.; Blais, Jules M.; Pisaric, Michael FJ.; Smol, John P.

    2013-01-01

    Recent attention regarding the impacts of oil and gas development and exploitation has focused on the unintentional release of hydrocarbons into the environment, whilst the potential negative effects of other possible avenues of environmental contamination are less well documented. In the hydrocarbon-rich and ecologically sensitive Mackenzie Delta region (NT, Canada), saline wastes associated with hydrocarbon exploration have typically been disposed of in drilling sumps (i.e., large pits excavated into the permafrost) that were believed to be a permanent containment solution. However, failure of permafrost as a waste containment medium may cause impacts to lakes in this sensitive environment. Here, we examine the effects of degrading drilling sumps on water quality by combining paleolimnological approaches with the analysis of an extensive present-day water chemistry dataset. This dataset includes lakes believed to have been impacted by saline drilling fluids leaching from drilling sumps, lakes with no visible disturbances, and lakes impacted by significant, naturally occurring permafrost thaw in the form of retrogressive thaw slumps. We show that lakes impacted by compromised drilling sumps have significantly elevated lakewater conductivity levels compared to control sites. Chloride levels are particularly elevated in sump-impacted lakes relative to all other lakes included in the survey. Paleolimnological analyses showed that invertebrate assemblages appear to have responded to the leaching of drilling wastes by a discernible increase in a taxon known to be tolerant of elevated conductivity coincident with the timing of sump construction. This suggests construction and abandonment techniques at, or soon after, sump establishment may result in impacts to downstream aquatic ecosystems. With hydrocarbon development in the north predicted to expand in the coming decades, the use of sumps must be examined in light of the threat of accelerated permafrost thaw, and the

  14. Environmental estrogens in an urban aquatic ecosystem: II. Biological effects.

    PubMed

    Schultz, Melissa M; Minarik, Thomas A; Martinovic-Weigelt, Dalma; Curran, Erin M; Bartell, Stephen E; Schoenfuss, Heiko L

    2013-11-01

    Urban aquatic ecosystems are often overlooked in toxicological studies even though they serve many ecosystem functions and sustain fish populations despite large-scale habitat alterations. However, urban fish populations are likely exposed to a broad range of stressors, including environmental estrogens (EEs) that may affect anatomy, physiology and reproduction of exposed fish. Although significant progress has been made in establishing ecological consequences of EE exposure, these studies have focused largely on hydrologically simple systems that lack the complexity of urban aquatic environments. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the occurrence and biological effects of EEs across a large urbanized aquatic ecosystem. A multi-pronged study design was employed relying on quantitative determination of select EEs by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry and repeated biological monitoring of wild-caught and caged fish for indications of endocrine disruption. Over three years, EEs were measured in aqueous samples (n=42 samples) and biological effects assessed in >1200 male fish across the 2000km(2) aquatic ecosystems of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Chicago, IL. Our study demonstrated that in addition to water reclamation plant (WRP) effluents, non-WRP sources contribute significant EE loads to the aquatic ecosystem. While resident and caged male fish responded with the induction of the egg-yolk protein vitellogenin, an indicator of EE exposure, neither resident nor caged sunfish exhibited prevalent histopathological changes to their reproductive organs (i.e., intersex) that have been reported in other studies. Vitellogenin induction was greater in spring than the fall and was not correlated with body condition factor, gonadosomatic index or hepatosomatic index. Exposure effects were not correlated with sites downstream of treated effluent discharge further affirming the complexity of sources and effects of EEs in urban aquatic ecosystems

  15. Geologic processes influence the effects of mining on aquatic ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, Travis S.; Clements, William H.; Wanty, Richard B.; Verplanck, Philip L.; Church, Stanley E.; San Juan, Carma A.; Fey, David L.; Rockwell, Barnaby W.; DeWitt, Ed H.; Klein, Terry L.

    2012-01-01

    Geologic processes strongly influence water and sediment quality in aquatic ecosystems but rarely are geologic principles incorporated into routine biomonitoring studies. We test if elevated concentrations of metals in water and sediment are restricted to streams downstream of mines or areas that may discharge mine wastes. We surveyed 198 catchments classified as “historically mined” or “unmined,” and based on mineral-deposit criteria, to determine whether water and sediment quality were influenced by naturally occurring mineralized rock, by historical mining, or by a combination of both. By accounting for different geologic sources of metals to the environment, we were able to distinguish aquatic ecosystems limited by metals derived from natural processes from those due to mining. Elevated concentrations of metals in water and sediment were not restricted to mined catchments; depauperate aquatic communities were found in unmined catchments. The type and intensity of hydrothermal alteration and the mineral deposit type were important determinants of water and sediment quality as well as the aquatic community in both mined and unmined catchments. This study distinguished the effects of different rock types and geologic sources of metals on ecosystems by incorporating basic geologic processes into reference and baseline site selection, resulting in a refined assessment. Our results indicate that biomonitoring studies should account for natural sources of metals in some geologic environments as contributors to the effect of mines on aquatic ecosystems, recognizing that in mining-impacted drainages there may have been high pre-mining background metal concentrations.

  16. Geologic processes influence the effects of mining on aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Travis S; Clements, William H; Wanty, Richard B; Verplanck, Philip L; Church, Stanley E; San Juan, Carma A; Fey, David L; Rockwell, Barnaby W; DeWitt, Ed H; Klein, Terry L

    2012-04-01

    Geologic processes strongly influence water and sediment quality in aquatic ecosystems but rarely are geologic principles incorporated into routine biomonitoring studies. We test if elevated concentrations of metals in water and sediment are restricted to streams downstream of mines or areas that may discharge mine wastes. We surveyed 198 catchments classified as "historically mined" or "unmined," and based on mineral-deposit criteria, to determine whether water and sediment quality were influenced by naturally occurring mineralized rock, by historical mining, or by a combination of both. By accounting for different geologic sources of metals to the environment, we were able to distinguish aquatic ecosystems limited by metals derived from natural processes from those due to mining. Elevated concentrations of metals in water and sediment were not restricted to mined catchments; depauperate aquatic communities were found in unmined catchments. The type and intensity of hydrothermal alteration and the mineral deposit type were important determinants of water and sediment quality as well as the aquatic community in both mined and unmined catchments. This study distinguished the effects of different rock types and geologic sources of metals on ecosystems by incorporating basic geologic processes into reference and baseline site selection, resulting in a refined assessment. Our results indicate that biomonitoring studies should account for natural sources of metals in some geologic environments as contributors to the effect of mines on aquatic ecosystems, recognizing that in mining-impacted drainages there may have been high pre-mining background metal concentrations.

  17. Are aliens threatening European aquatic coastal ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reise, Karsten; Olenin, Sergej; Thieltges, David W.

    2006-05-01

    Inshore waters of European coasts have accumulated a high share of non-indigenous species, where a changeable palaeoenvironment has caused low diversity in indigenous biota. Also strongly transformed modern coastal ecosystems seem to assimilate whatever species have been introduced and tolerate the physical regime. Adding non-native species does not have any directional predetermined effects on recipient coastal ecosystems. The status of being a non-native rather refers to a position in evolutionary history than qualify as an ecological category with distinct and consistent properties. Effects of invaders vary between habitats and with the phase of invasion and also with shifting ambient conditions. Although aliens accelerate change in European coastal biota, we found no evidence that they generally impair biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. More often, invaders expand ecosystem functioning by adding new ecological traits, intensifying existing ones and increasing functional redundancy.

  18. A model for an aquatic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiao, Han Li; Venturino, Ezio

    2016-06-01

    An ecosystem made of nutrients, plants, detritus and dissolved oxygen is presented. Its equilibria are established. Sufficient conditions for the existence of the coexistence equilibrium are derived and its feasibility is discussed in every detail.

  19. Developing an Interdisciplinary Curriculum Framework for Aquatic-Ecosystem Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saito, Laurel; Segale, Heather M.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Jenkins, Stephen H.

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents results from a July 2005 workshop and course aimed at developing an interdisciplinary course on modeling aquatic ecosystems that will provide the next generation of practitioners with critical skills for which formal training is presently lacking. Five different course models were evaluated: (1) fundamentals/general principles…

  20. Developing an Interdisciplinary Curriculum Framework for Aquatic-Ecosystem Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saito, Laurel; Segale, Heather M.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Jenkins, Stephen H.

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents results from a July 2005 workshop and course aimed at developing an interdisciplinary course on modeling aquatic ecosystems that will provide the next generation of practitioners with critical skills for which formal training is presently lacking. Five different course models were evaluated: (1) fundamentals/general principles…

  1. BIOGEOCHEMISTRY OF CHLORINATED ORGANIC CONTAMINANTS IN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Over the last several years we have conducted both laboratory and field studies to develop a better understanding of the movement of chlorinated organic compounds through aquatic ecosystems, with special emphasis on the differential movement of these compounds due to physical/che...

  2. BIOGEOCHEMISTRY OF CHLORINATED ORGANIC CONTAMINANTS IN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Over the last several years we have conducted both laboratory and field studies to develop a better understanding of the movement of chlorinated organic compounds through aquatic ecosystems, with special emphasis on the differential movement of these compounds due to physical/che...

  3. AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT ACROSS SCALES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The mission of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is to protect human health and the environment. As part of the Office of Research and Development within the USEPA, the Ecosystems Research Branch of the National Exposure Research Laboratory, located in Ci...

  4. AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT ACROSS SCALES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The mission of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is to protect human health and the environment. As part of the Office of Research and Development within the USEPA, the Ecosystems Research Branch of the National Exposure Research Laboratory, located in Ci...

  5. Measurement of undisturbed di-nitrogen emissions from aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Shuping, Clough, Timothy, Lou, Jiafa; Hu, Chunsheng; Oenema, Oene; Wrage-Mönnig, Nicole; Zhang, Yuming

    2016-04-01

    Increased production of reactive nitrogen (Nr) from atmospheric di-nitrogen (N2) during the last century has greatly contributed to increased food production1-4. However, enriching the biosphere with Nr through N fertilizer production, combustion, and biological N2 fixation has also caused a series of negative effects on global ecosystems 5,6, especially aquatic ecosystems7. The main pathway converting Nr back into the atmospheric N2 pool is the last step of the denitrification process, i.e., the reduction of nitrous oxide (N2O) into N2 by micro-organisms7,8. Despite several attempts9,10, there is not yet an accurate, fast and direct method for measuring undisturbed N2 fluxes from denitrification in aquatic sediments at the field scale11-14. Such a method is essential to study the feedback of aquatic ecosystems to Nr inputs1,2,7. Here we show that the measurement of both N2O emission and its isotope signature can be used to infer the undisturbed N2 fluxes from aquatic ecosystems. The microbial reduction of N2O increases the natural abundance of 15N-N2O relative to 14N-N2O (δ15N-N2O). We observed linear relationships between δ15N-N2O and the logarithmic transformed N2O/(N2+N2O) emission ratios. Through independent measurements, we verified that the undisturbed N2 flux from aquatic ecosystems can be inferred from measurements of N2O emissions and the δ15N-N2O signature. Our method allows the determination of field-scale N2 fluxes from undisturbed aquatic ecosystems, and thereby allows model predictions of denitrification rates to be tested. The undisturbed N2 fluxes observed are almost one order of magnitude higher than those estimated by the traditional method, where perturbation of the system occurs, indicating that the ability of aquatic ecosystems to remove Nr may have been severely underestimated.

  6. A new way to study the changing Arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Hubbard, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Berkeley Lab scientists Susan Hubbard and Margaret Torn discuss the proposed Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, which is designed to answer one of the most urgent questions facing researchers today: How will a changing climate impact the Arctic, and how will this in turn impact the planet's climate? More info: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2011/09/14/alaska-climate-change/

  7. A new way to study the changing Arctic ecosystem

    ScienceCinema

    Hubbard, Susan

    2016-07-12

    Berkeley Lab scientists Susan Hubbard and Margaret Torn discuss the proposed Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, which is designed to answer one of the most urgent questions facing researchers today: How will a changing climate impact the Arctic, and how will this in turn impact the planet's climate? More info: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2011/09/14/alaska-climate-change/

  8. A successful closed aquatic ecosystem in SZ-8 mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiaoyan; Wang, Gaohong; Richter, Peter; Liu, Yongding; Schuster, Martin; Lebert, Michael

    2012-07-01

    Aquatic ecosystem is a useful means to explore complex interaction among different species, and data got from this kind of system can be used to re-constructer or bio-remedy damaged ecosystem or explore other planet, such as Mars. To deeply investigate interactions of different species in space environment, we established a closed aquatic ecosystem of 60 milliliter with Chlorella, Euglena and Bulinus. As a major oxygen producer, Euglena was put into the lower chamber. The initial concentration of Euglena was adjusted to 40000 cells per milliliter to avoid damage of high oxygen concentration to other organisms. As a secondary oxygen producer and food provider, Chlorella was put into the upper chamber together with 3 bulinus. The initial concentration of Chlorella was 3.2*105 cells per milliliter. After 17.5 days of duration, the system run well with 1 bulinus alive in the spaceflight group and all kept alive in the ground control.

  9. Communicating Climate and Ecosystem Change in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soreide, N. N.; Overland, J. E.; Calder, J. A.; Rodionov, S.

    2005-12-01

    There is an explosion of interest in Northern Hemisphere climate, highlighting the importance of recent changes in the Arctic on mid-latitude climate and its impact on marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Traditional sea ice and tundra dominated arctic ecosystems are being reorganizing into warmer sub-arctic ecosystem types. Over the previous two years we have developed a comprehensive, near real-time arctic change detection protocol to track physical and biological changes for presentation on the web: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/detect. The effort provides a continuous update to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) Report, released in November 2004. Principles for the protocol include an accessible narrative style, scientifically credible and objective indicators, notes multiple uses for the information, acknowledges uncertainties, and balances having too many indicators-which leads to information overload-and too few-which does not capture the complexity of the system. Screening criteria include concreteness, public awareness, being understandable, availability of historical time series, and sensitivity. The site provides sufficient information for an individual to make their own assessment regarding the balance of the evidence for tracking change. The product provides an overview, recent news, links to many arctic websites, and highlights climate, global impacts, land and marine ecosystems, and human consequences. Since its inception a year ago, it has averaged about 9000 hits an day on the web, and is a major information source as determined by Google search. The future direction focuses on understanding the causes for change. In spring 2005 we also presented a near real-time ecological and climatic surveillance website for the Bering Sea: www.beringclimate.noaa.gov. The site provides up-to-date information which ties northward shifts of fish, invertebrate and marine mammal populations to physical changes in the Arctic. This site is more technical than the

  10. 76 FR 55060 - Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-Stressor...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-06

    ... AGENCY Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-Stressor... of Availability. SUMMARY: EPA is releasing a final report entitled, Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality... and aquatic ecosystems across the United States to the potential impacts of global change. Using a...

  11. Pulses, linkages, and boundaries of coupled aquatic-terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tockner, K.

    2009-04-01

    Riverine floodplains are linked ecosystems where terrestrial and aquatic habitats overlap, creating a zone where they interact, the aquatic-terrestrial interface. The interface or boundary between aquatic and terrestrial habitats is an area of transition, contact or separation; and connectivity between these habitats may be defined as the ease with which organisms, matter or energy traverse these boundaries. Coupling of aquatic and terrestrial systems generates intertwining food webs, and we may predict that coupled systems are more productive than separated ones. For example, riparian consumers (aquatic and terrestrial) have alternative prey items external to their respective habitats. Such subsidized assemblages occupy a significant higher trophic position than assemblages in unsubsidized areas. Further, cross-habitat linkages are often pulsed; and even small pulses of a driver (e.g. short-term increases in flow) can cause major resource pulses (i.e. emerging aquatic insects) that control the recipient community. For example, short-term additions of resources, simulating pulsed inputs of aquatic food to terrestrial systems, suggest that due to resource partitioning and temporal separation among riparian arthropod taxa the resource flux from the river to the riparian zone increases with increasing riparian consumer diversity. I will discuss the multiple transfer and transformation processes of matter and organisms across aquatic-terrestrial habitats. Key landscape elements along river corridors are vegetated islands that function as instream riparian areas. Results from Central European rivers demonstrate that islands are in general more natural than fringing riparian areas, contribute substantially to total ecotone length, and create diverse habitats in the aquatic and terrestrial realm. In braided rivers, vegetated islands are highly productive landscape elements compared to the adjacent aquatic area. However, aquatic habitats exhibit a much higher decomposition

  12. Stochastic daily modeling of arctic tundra ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  13. Mercury bioaccumulation and biomagnification in a small Arctic polynya ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Clayden, Meredith G; Arsenault, Lilianne M; Kidd, Karen A; O'Driscoll, Nelson J; Mallory, Mark L

    2015-03-15

    Recurring polynyas are important areas of biological productivity and feeding grounds for seabirds and mammals in the Arctic marine environment. In this study, we examined food web structure (using carbon and nitrogen isotopes, δ(13)C and δ(15)N) and mercury (Hg) bioaccumulation and biomagnification in a small recurring polynya ecosystem near Nasaruvaalik Island (Nunavut, Canada). Methyl Hg (MeHg) concentrations increased by more than 50-fold from copepods (Calanus hyperboreus) to Arctic terns (Sterna paradisaea), the abundant predators at this site. The biomagnification of MeHg through members of the food web - using the slope of log MeHg versus δ(15)N - was 0.157 from copepods (C. hyperboreus) to fish. This slope was higher (0.267) when seabird chicks were included in the analyses. Collectively, our results indicate that MeHg biomagnification is occurring in this small polynya and that its trophic transfer is at the lower end of the range of estimates from other Arctic marine ecosystems. In addition, we measured Hg concentrations in some poorly studied members of Arctic marine food webs [e.g. Arctic alligatorfish (Ulcina olrikii) and jellyfish, Medusozoa], and found that MeHg concentrations in jellyfish were lower than expected given their trophic position. Overall, these findings provide fundamental information about food web structure and mercury contamination in a small Arctic polynya, which will inform future research in such ecosystems and provide a baseline against which to assess changes over time resulting from environmental disturbance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Small birds, big effects: the little auk (Alle alle) transforms high Arctic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    González-Bergonzoni, Ivan; Johansen, Kasper L; Mosbech, Anders; Landkildehus, Frank; Jeppesen, Erik; Davidson, Thomas A

    2017-02-22

    In some arctic areas, marine-derived nutrients (MDN) resulting from fish migrations fuel freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, increasing primary production and biodiversity. Less is known, however, about the role of seabird-MDN in shaping ecosystems. Here, we examine how the most abundant seabird in the North Atlantic, the little auk (Alle alle), alters freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems around the North Water Polynya (NOW) in Greenland. We compare stable isotope ratios (δ(15)N and δ(13)C) of freshwater and terrestrial biota, terrestrial vegetation indices and physical-chemical properties, productivity and community structure of fresh waters in catchments with and without little auk colonies. The presence of colonies profoundly alters freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems by providing nutrients and massively enhancing primary production. Based on elevated δ(15)N in MDN, we estimate that MDN fuels more than 85% of terrestrial and aquatic biomass in bird influenced systems. Furthermore, by using different proxies of bird impact (colony distance, algal δ(15)N) it is possible to identify a gradient in ecosystem response to increasing bird impact. Little auk impact acidifies the freshwater systems, reducing taxonomic richness of macroinvertebrates and truncating food webs. These results demonstrate that the little auk acts as an ecosystem engineer, transforming ecosystems across a vast region of Northwest Greenland.

  15. Freshwater ecosystems and aquatic insects: a paradox in biological invasions.

    PubMed

    Fenoglio, Stefano; Bonada, Núria; Guareschi, Simone; López-Rodríguez, Manuel J; Millán, Andrés; Tierno de Figueroa, J Manuel

    2016-04-01

    Biological invasions have increased significantly in response to global change and constitute one of the major causes of biodiversity loss. Insects make up a large fraction of invasive species, in general, and freshwaters are among the most invaded ecosystems on our planet. However, even though aquatic insects dominate most inland waters, have unparalleled taxonomic diversity and occupy nearly all trophic niches, there are almost no invasive insects in freshwaters. We present some hypotheses regarding why aquatic insects are not common among aquatic invasive organisms, suggesting that it may be the result of a suite of biological, ecological and anthropogenic factors. Such specific knowledge introduces a paradox in the current scientific discussion on invasive species; therefore, a more in-depth understanding could be an invaluable aid to disentangling how and why biological invasions occur.

  16. Freshwater ecosystems and aquatic insects: a paradox in biological invasions

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions have increased significantly in response to global change and constitute one of the major causes of biodiversity loss. Insects make up a large fraction of invasive species, in general, and freshwaters are among the most invaded ecosystems on our planet. However, even though aquatic insects dominate most inland waters, have unparalleled taxonomic diversity and occupy nearly all trophic niches, there are almost no invasive insects in freshwaters. We present some hypotheses regarding why aquatic insects are not common among aquatic invasive organisms, suggesting that it may be the result of a suite of biological, ecological and anthropogenic factors. Such specific knowledge introduces a paradox in the current scientific discussion on invasive species; therefore, a more in-depth understanding could be an invaluable aid to disentangling how and why biological invasions occur. PMID:27072403

  17. Fire, Carbon, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Aquatic Ecosystems in the Yukon-Kuskokwim River Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schade, J. D.; Kuhn, M. A.; Mann, P. J.; Holmes, R. M.; Natali, S.; Ludwig, S.; Wagner, S.

    2016-12-01

    constraints of low pH. These results suggest a strong positive feedback on climate from short-term responses of aquatic ecosystems to fire in the Arctic.

  18. Global ecological impacts of invasive species in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Gallardo, Belinda; Clavero, Miguel; Sánchez, Marta I; Vilà, Montserrat

    2016-01-01

    alteration). Considering the strong trophic links that characterize aquatic ecosystems, this framework is relevant to anticipate the far-reaching consequences of biological invasions on the structure and functionality of aquatic ecosystems.

  19. Past changes in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems, climate and UV radiation.

    PubMed

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus

    2004-11-01

    At the last glacial maximum, vast ice sheets covered many continental areas. The beds of some shallow seas were exposed thereby connecting previously separated landmasses. Although some areas were ice-free and supported a flora and fauna, mean annual temperatures were 10-13 degrees C colder than during the Holocene. Within a few millennia of the glacial maximum, deglaciation started, characterized by a series of climatic fluctuations between about 18,000 and 11,400 years ago. Following the general thermal maximum in the Holocene, there has been a modest overall cooling trend, superimposed upon which have been a series of millennial and centennial fluctuations in climate such as the "Little Ice Age spanning approximately the late 13th to early 19th centuries. Throughout the climatic fluctuations of the last 150,000 years, Arctic ecosystems and biota have been close to their minimum extent within the most recent 10,000 years. They suffered loss of diversity as a result of extinctions during the most recent large-magnitude rapid global warming at the end of the last glacial stage. Consequently, Arctic ecosystems and biota such as large vertebrates are already under pressure and are particularly vulnerable to current and projected future global warming. Evidence from the past indicates that the treeline will very probably advance, perhaps rapidly, into tundra areas, as it did during the early Holocene, reducing the extent of tundra and increasing the risk of species extinction. Species will very probably extend their ranges northwards, displacing Arctic species as in the past. However, unlike the early Holocene, when lower relative sea level allowed a belt of tundra to persist around at least some parts of the Arctic basin when treelines advanced to the present coast, sea level is very likely to rise in future, further restricting the area of tundra and other treeless Arctic ecosystems. The negative response of current Arctic ecosystems to global climatic conditions

  20. Aquatic biodiversity in forests: A weak link in ecosystem services resilience

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Penaluna, Brooke E.; Olson, Deanna H.; Flitcroft, Rebecca L; Weber, Matthew A.; Bellmore, J. Ryan; Wondzell, Steven M.; Dunham, Jason; Johnson, Sherri L.; Reeves, Gordon H.

    2016-01-01

    The diversity of aquatic ecosystems is being quickly reduced on many continents, warranting a closer examination of the consequences for ecological integrity and ecosystem services. Here we describe intermediate and final ecosystem services derived from aquatic biodiversity in forests. We include a summary of the factors framing the assembly of aquatic biodiversity in forests in natural systems and how they change with a variety of natural disturbances and human-derived stressors. We consider forested aquatic ecosystems as a multi-state portfolio, with diverse assemblages and life-history strategies occurring at local scales as a consequence of a mosaic of habitat conditions and past disturbances and stressors. Maintaining this multi-state portfolio of assemblages requires a broad perspective of ecosystem structure, various functions, services, and management implications relative to contemporary stressors. Because aquatic biodiversity provides multiple ecosystem services to forests, activities that compromise aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity could be an issue for maintaining forest ecosystem integrity. We illustrate these concepts with examples of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem services in forests of northwestern North America, also known as Northeast Pacific Rim. Encouraging management planning at broad as well as local spatial scales to recognize multi-state ecosystem management goals has promise for maintaining valuable ecosystem services. Ultimately, integration of information from socio-ecological ecosystems will be needed to maintain ecosystem services derived directly and indirectly from forest aquatic biota.

  1. Aquatic ecosystem condition: The Fraser River Action Plan approach

    SciTech Connect

    Tuominen, T.; Raymond, B.; Sekela, M.; Reynoldson, T.

    1995-12-31

    A major goal of the Canadian government`s Fraser River Action Plan (FRAP) is to clean up existing pollution problems in the Fraser River Basin. In support of this goal, the Environmental Quality Assessment Program is assessing the quality of the aquatic environment, particularly with respect to contaminants. The program, conducted from 1993 to 1998, is to establish a baseline condition for the aquatic ecosystem against which the success of clean up efforts can be measured. The FRAP approach is to use a combination of contaminant exposure or stressor indicators and organism ``effects`` indicators. The focus is on three components of the aquatic ecosystem: (1) bed sediment, (2) resident fish and (3) benthos. A priority for the program is integration of the three components, wherever possible. Bed sediments, as indicators of contaminant stress, are sampled at fourteen reaches in the river and major tributaries. Two species of resident fish are sampled and analyzed for condition factors, enzyme induction, histopathology and contaminant content at each of nine sites in the basin. The resident fish data are providing a measure of contaminant exposure and effect. Organism community effects will be assessed by a study which is classifying approximately 200 tributary and mainstem sites based on benthos community structure. For the first time in a large river system in Canada, this benthos study uses a multivariate approach which relates a suite of chemical and physical characteristics to benthos community structure.

  2. Biogeochemical data from terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in a periglacial catchment, West Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindborg, Tobias; Rydberg, Johan; Tröjbom, Mats; Berglund, Sten; Johansson, Emma; Löfgren, Anders; Saetre, Peter; Nordén, Sara; Sohlenius, Gustav; Andersson, Eva; Petrone, Johannes; Borgiel, Micke; Kautsky, Ulrik; Laudon, Hjalmar

    2016-09-01

    Global warming is expected to be most pronounced in the Arctic where permafrost thaw and release of old carbon may provide an important feedback mechanism to the climate system. To better understand and predict climate effects and feedbacks on the cycling of elements within and between ecosystems in northern latitude landscapes, a thorough understanding of the processes related to transport and cycling of elements is required. A fundamental requirement to reach a better process understanding is to have access to high-quality empirical data on chemical concentrations and biotic properties for a wide range of ecosystem domains and functional units (abiotic and biotic pools). The aim of this study is therefore to make one of the most extensive field data sets from a periglacial catchment readily available that can be used both to describe present-day periglacial processes and to improve predictions of the future. Here we present the sampling and analytical methods, field and laboratory equipment and the resulting biogeochemical data from a state-of-the-art whole-ecosystem investigation of the terrestrial and aquatic parts of a lake catchment in the Kangerlussuaq region, West Greenland. This data set allows for the calculation of whole-ecosystem mass balance budgets for a long list of elements, including carbon, nutrients and major and trace metals. The data set is freely available and can be downloaded from PANGAEA: doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.860961.

  3. DEVELOPMENT OF A DISTURBANCE INDEX TO ASSESS THE CONDITION OF AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    An objective of aquatic monitoring is to assess the condition of aquatic habitats and biota. To rationally interpret aquatic condition, we must identify the range of human activities and the risks they pose to aquatic ecosystems. Placing stream reaches and their watersheds on a...

  4. Establishing of Simple Closed Aquatic Ecosystem (CAES) in Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, G.

    In order to study the effect of microgravity on the operation of Closed Ecosystem A two-element Closed Aquatic Ecosystem CAES were established by microalgae Chlorella pyrenoidosa and snail Bulinus australianus By remote sensing to investigate the two-element Closed Aquatic Ecosystem CAES on spacecraft SHENZHOU- the real-time data of operation of CAES in real microgravity was got firstly The 1g centrifuge on board was also designed to be the control at the first time ground 1g and 1 4g centrifuged were set up too It found that microgravity is the major factor to affect the operation of CAES in space The change of biomass of producer during every day in microgravity group is much bigger than that other control groups The meal value of biomass of each day decreased but that of other control groups increased for days and then balanced Microgravity s effect on biomass of producer maybe result from microgravity lead to the increasing of metabolism of consumer and change of that of producer

  5. An automated platform for phytoplankton ecology and aquatic ecosystem monitoring.

    PubMed

    Pomati, Francesco; Jokela, Jukka; Simona, Marco; Veronesi, Mauro; Ibelings, Bas W

    2011-11-15

    High quality monitoring data are vital for tracking and understanding the causes of ecosystem change. We present a potentially powerful approach for phytoplankton and aquatic ecosystem monitoring, based on integration of scanning flow-cytometry for the characterization and counting of algal cells with multiparametric vertical water profiling. This approach affords high-frequency data on phytoplankton abundance, functional traits and diversity, coupled with the characterization of environmental conditions for growth over the vertical structure of a deep water body. Data from a pilot study revealed effects of an environmental disturbance event on the phytoplankton community in Lake Lugano (Switzerland), characterized by a reduction in cytometry-based functional diversity and by a period of cyanobacterial dominance. These changes were missed by traditional limnological methods, employed in parallel to high-frequency monitoring. Modeling of phytoplankton functional diversity revealed the importance of integrated spatiotemporal data, including circadian time-lags and variability over the water column, to understand the drivers of diversity and dynamic processes. The approach described represents progress toward an automated and trait-based analysis of phytoplankton natural communities. Streamlining of high-frequency measurements may represent a resource for understanding, modeling and managing aquatic ecosystems under impact of environmental change, yielding insight into processes governing phytoplankton community resistance and resilience.

  6. Planning the Next Generation of Arctic Ecosystem Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, Stan D.; Hinzman, Larry D.; Wilson, Cathy J.

    2011-04-01

    Climate Change Experiments in High-Latitude Ecosystems; Fairbanks, Alaska, 13-14 October 2010 ; A 2-day climate change workshop was held at the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks. The workshop, sponsored by Biological and Environmental Research, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), was attended by 45 subject matter experts from universities, DOE national laboratories, and other federal and nongovernmental organizations. The workshop sought to engage the Arctic science community in planning for a proposed Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic) project in Alaska (http://ngee.ornl.gov/). The goal of this activity is to provide data, theory, and models to improve representations of high-latitude terrestrial processes in Earth system models. In particular, there is a need to better understand the processes by which warming may drive increased plant productivity and atmospheric carbon uptake and storage in biomass and soils, as well as those processes that may drive an increase in the release of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) through microbial decomposition of soil carbon stored in thawing permafrost. This understanding is required to quantify the important feedback mechanisms that define the role of terrestrial processes in regional and global climate.

  7. Planning the Next Generation of Arctic Ecosystem Experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Hinzman, Larry D; Wilson, Cathy

    2011-01-01

    Climate Change Experiments in High-Latitude Ecosystems; Fairbanks, Alaska, 13-14 October 2010; A 2-day climate change workshop was held at the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks. The workshop, sponsored by Biological and Environmental Research, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), was attended by 45 subject matter experts from universities, DOE national laboratories, and other federal and nongovernmental organizations. The workshop sought to engage the Arctic science community in planning for a proposed Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic) project in Alaska (http:// ngee.ornl.gov/). The goal of this activity is to provide data, theory, and models to improve representations of high-latitude terrestrial processes in Earth system models. In particular, there is a need to better understand the processes by which warming may drive increased plant productivity and atmospheric carbon uptake and storage in biomass and soils, as well as those processes that may drive an increase in the release of methane (CH{sub 4}) and carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) through microbial decomposition of soil carbon stored in thawing permafrost. This understanding is required to quantify the important feedback mechanisms that define the role of terrestrial processes in regional and global climate.

  8. Improved Climate Prediction through a System Level Understanding of Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems: Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic)*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, S. S.; Graham, D. E.; Hinzman, L. D.; Liang, L.; Liljedahl, A.; Norby, R. J.; Rogers, A.; Rowland, J. C.; Thornton, P. E.; Torn, M. S.; Riley, W. J.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2013-12-01

    Characterized by vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost and a rapidly evolving landscape, the Arctic has emerged as an important focal point for the study of climate change. Although recognized as an ecosystem highly vulnerable to climate change, mechanisms that govern feedbacks between the terrestrial and climate system are not well understood. Increasing our confidence in climate projections for high-latitude regions of the world requires coordinated investigations that target improved process understanding and model representation of important ecosystem-climate feedbacks. The Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic) seeks to address this challenge by quantifying the physical, chemical, and biological behavior of terrestrial ecosystems in Alaska. The NGEE-Arctic project is a large, multi-disciplinary activity sponsored by the Department of Energy, Office of Science. Recent NGEE-Arctic research has focused on the highly dynamic landscapes of the North Slope Arctic tundra where thaw lakes, drained thaw lake basins, and ice-rich polygonal ground offer distinct land units for investigation and modeling. The project is working on the Barrow Environmental Observatory to study interactions that drive critical climate feedbacks within these environments through greenhouse gas fluxes and changes in surface energy balance associated with permafrost degradation and the many other processes that arise as a result of these landscape dynamics. Ongoing are mechanistic studies in the field and in the laboratory; modeling of critical and interrelated water, nitrogen, carbon, and energy dynamics; and characterization of important interactions from molecular to landscape scales that drive feedbacks to the climate system. A suite of climate-, intermediate- and fine-scale models are being used to guide observations and interpret data, while characterization information and process studies serve to initialize state variables in models, provide new algorithms and

  9. Terrestrial reserve networks do not adequately represent aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Herbert, Matthew E; McIntyre, Peter B; Doran, Patrick J; Allan, J David; Abell, Robin

    2010-08-01

    Protected areas are a cornerstone of conservation and have been designed largely around terrestrial features. Freshwater species and ecosystems are highly imperiled, but the effectiveness of existing protected areas in representing freshwater features is poorly known. Using the inland waters of Michigan as a test case, we quantified the coverage of four key freshwater features (wetlands, riparian zones, groundwater recharge, rare species) within conservation lands and compared these with representation of terrestrial features. Wetlands were included within protected areas more often than expected by chance, but riparian zones were underrepresented across all (GAP 1-3) protected lands, particularly for headwater streams and large rivers. Nevertheless, within strictly protected lands (GAP 1-2), riparian zones were highly represented because of the contribution of the national Wild and Scenic Rivers Program. Representation of areas of groundwater recharge was generally proportional to area of the reserve network within watersheds, although a recharge hotspot associated with some of Michigan's most valued rivers is almost entirely unprotected. Species representation in protected areas differed significantly among obligate aquatic, wetland, and terrestrial species, with representation generally highest for terrestrial species and lowest for aquatic species. Our results illustrate the need to further evaluate and address the representation of freshwater features within protected areas and the value of broadening gap analysis and other protected-areas assessments to include key ecosystem processes that are requisite to long-term conservation of species and ecosystems. We conclude that terrestrially oriented protected-area networks provide a weak safety net for aquatic features, which means complementary planning and management for both freshwater and terrestrial conservation targets is needed.

  10. Methodological tests of a heterotrophy index for aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Antonio, R M; Bianchini Júnior, I

    2003-08-01

    Experiments in glucose mineralization were carried out to investigate the effects caused by natural forcing functions on both the decomposition rates and heterotrophy capacity of aquatic ecosystems. In addition, the methodology used could show connections between mineralization rates measured in both laboratory and field work with those measured in aquatic ecosystems. Water samples from Infernão lagoon (21 degrees 35'S and 47 degrees 51'W) were collected, filtered, enriched with glucose, and incubated under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The glucose concentration variation, dissolved oxygen (DO) consumption, pH, electric conductivity, and total CO2 amount in the water were determined for sixteen days. In the period with intense oxygen consumption there was also an evident glucose demand and the dissolved oxygen consumption rate was approximately the same as that for glucose mineralization. The process in the aerobic chambers was 2.2 times faster than that in the anaerobic chambers. An initial acidification of the water samples, probably due to microbial carbonic acid liberation, was noted. A rise in pH values was also observed at the end of the process. The electric conductivity was low for both aerobic and anaerobic chambers, indicating a probable ion uptake by microbial organisms due to the presence of carbon sources. The glucose content variations corresponded to both CO2 formation and dissolved oxygen consumption. It was estimated that 19.4% of the initial glucose content turned into CO2 and the remaining 80.6% into humic compounds and microbial biomass. This experiment showed that glucose can be used as a substrate indicating the heterotrophy of a given aquatic ecosystem.

  11. Characterizing Geohydrologic Linkages using Process Domains for Monitoring Aquatic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weekes, A.; Torgersen, C.; Montgomery, D. R.; Woodward, A.; Bolton, S.

    2009-12-01

    Aquatic habitats in glaciated headwater basins can differ widely within a mountain region and are often more complex than those found in lowland river systems. Current legislative mandates for ecosystem monitoring often require the ability to relate geomorphic and hydrologic stream attributes to ecological response. The capacity to define meaningful references states against which to evaluate current status and trends is particularly challenging in mountain aquatic ecosystems. To aid in the implementation of the National Park Service (NPS) Vital Signs Monitoring Program in the mountainous North Coast and Cascades Network (NCCN) parks, this project sought a systematic way to characterize both the spatial distribution of geomorphic controls within the stream hierarchy and to integrate hydrologic response. These controls comprise the physical context that supports biotic “vital signs” in park ecosystems and have consequences that directly affect the life history strategies and persistence of biota living in mountain streams and other aquatic habitats. However, there are currently no monitoring protocols that provide a precedent for incorporating the geomorphic spatial characteristics or diverse types of hydrologic response at the spatial and temporal scales unique to these headwater systems. To address this issue, we investigated relationships between valley-scale glacial macroforms and hydrologic indices (e.g. streamflow gauging, stable isotope analysis and water temperature measurements) in small (1 - 20 km2) headwater basins on the east side of Mount Rainier National Park. The linkage between geomorphic and hydrologic response was found to be best expressed in process domains defined as colluvial, alluvial and bedrock systems. Study results show a correlation between the percentage of colluvial process domains within a headwater catchment and the characteristic hydrologic regime of the basin. These relationships offer a framework that can account for the innate

  12. Alaska's Arctic Landscapes: Land cover, Monitoring and Assessing Arctic Ecosystems and their Change Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guyer, P. S.

    2013-12-01

    The challenge for agencies who manage the 89,000 square miles constituting Alaska's arctic ecoregion is in understanding what, where and to what extent important ecosystems exist. How do each of these ecosystems function? What are the key components of these ecosystems? How are they affected by the changing climate, fire, permafrost changes and development? Answers to these management questions come not from one specific project or program but from a series of data gathering efforts. Landcover mapping of Alaska's arctic using satellite imagery began in the mid 1990's. Over the past three years the land cover has been updated using additional ground truth data and the most up to date image processing software. In 2012, the updated map was used for the first time to select sites for an inventory and monitoring pilot project. The project established a baseline of information for long-term monitoring of regional ecological components. That same year the Bureau of Land Management began a Rapid Ecoregional Assessment across the North Slope of Alaska. This effort will utilize the known environments established by the land cover map and will model the effects of climate change, fire, permafrost change and development. The assessment and modeling effort will show how the effect of these change agents would shape long term conservation, restoration and development efforts. These interactions together will advance the understanding of the arctic ecoregion its values, processes and functions and how the agents of change will shape the future.

  13. Climate change effects on hydroecology of arctic freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Prowse, Terry D; Wrona, Frederick J; Reist, James D; Gibson, John J; Hobbie, John E; Lévesque, Lucie M J; Vincent, Warwick F

    2006-11-01

    In general, the arctic freshwater-terrestrial system will warm more rapidly than the global average, particularly during the autumn and winter season. The decline or loss of many cryospheric components and a shift from a nival to an increasingly pluvial system will produce numerous physical effects on freshwater ecosystems. Of particular note will be reductions in the dominance of the spring freshet and changes in the intensity of river-ice breakup. Increased evaporation/evapotranspiration due to longer ice-free seasons, higher air/water temperatures and greater transpiring vegetation along with increase infiltration because of permafrost thaw will decrease surface water levels and coverage. Loss of ice and permafrost, increased water temperatures and vegetation shifts will alter water chemistry, the general result being an increase in lotic and lentic productivity. Changes in ice and water flow/levels will lead to regime-specific increases and decreases in habitat availability/quality across the circumpolar Arctic.

  14. Herbivore regulation of plant abundance in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wood, Kevin A; O'Hare, Matthew T; McDonald, Claire; Searle, Kate R; Daunt, Francis; Stillman, Richard A

    2017-05-01

    Herbivory is a fundamental process that controls primary producer abundance and regulates energy and nutrient flows to higher trophic levels. Despite the recent proliferation of small-scale studies on herbivore effects on aquatic plants, there remains limited understanding of the factors that control consumer regulation of vascular plants in aquatic ecosystems. Our current knowledge of the regulation of primary producers has hindered efforts to understand the structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems, and to manage such ecosystems effectively. We conducted a global meta-analysis of the outcomes of plant-herbivore interactions using a data set comprised of 326 values from 163 studies, in order to test two mechanistic hypotheses: first, that greater negative changes in plant abundance would be associated with higher herbivore biomass densities; second, that the magnitude of changes in plant abundance would vary with herbivore taxonomic identity. We found evidence that plant abundance declined with increased herbivore density, with plants eliminated at high densities. Significant between-taxa differences in impact were detected, with insects associated with smaller reductions in plant abundance than all other taxa. Similarly, birds caused smaller reductions in plant abundance than echinoderms, fish, or molluscs. Furthermore, larger reductions in plant abundance were detected for fish relative to crustaceans. We found a positive relationship between herbivore species richness and change in plant abundance, with the strongest reductions in plant abundance reported for low herbivore species richness, suggesting that greater herbivore diversity may protect against large reductions in plant abundance. Finally, we found that herbivore-plant nativeness was a key factor affecting the magnitude of herbivore impacts on plant abundance across a wide range of species assemblages. Assemblages comprised of invasive herbivores and native plant assemblages were associated with

  15. Brominated flame retardants in aquatic organisms from the North Sea in comparison with biota from the high Arctic marine environment.

    PubMed

    Sørmo, Eugen G; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Lie, Elisabeth; Skaare, Janneche U

    2009-10-01

    The extent of trophic transfer of brominated flame retardants (BFRs), including hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and seven polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), were examined in pelagic and benthic aquatic animals (invertebrates and fish) in a near-shore estuary environment of the southeastern North Sea (Norway; 59 degrees N). Whole-body burdens of HBCD and several of the most abundant PBDEs biomagnified with increasing trophic position in the food web. Biomagnification of HBCD was particularly strong, resulting in whole-body burdens of this compound comparable to those of total PBDEs in the higher-trophic-level species. Body burdens of PBDEs were higher in pelagic than in benthic aquatic organisms. This was particularly evident for the lesser-brominated and volatile PBDE congeners. Atmospheric gas-water-phytoplankton exchange of these volatile compounds over the water surface may account for this observation. The PBDE burdens in pelagic zooplankton from the North Sea were more than 60-fold greater than those in corresponding pelagic zooplankton from the colder high Arctic latitudes (>78 degrees N) of Norway (Svalbard). This great difference may relate to reduced chemical gas-water exchange over open waters at the colder Arctic latitudes. However, previously measured whole-body burdens of BFRs in other aquatic marine organisms from the high Arctic were comparable or even exceeded those in the North Sea samples of the present study. These include sympagic (sea ice-associated) invertebrates and fish accumulating high burdens of particle-associated BFRs. The present study provides new insight regarding the distribution of BFRs in ecologically different compartments of marine ecosystems, essential information for understanding the food-web transfer and geographical dispersal of these compounds.

  16. Satellite Monitoring of Disturbances in Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prieto-Blanco, A.; Disney, M.; Lewis, P.

    2008-12-01

    We explored the capability of satellite remote sensing to detect temporal changes in northern Fennoscandian regions through the application of a temporal model of surface bidirectional reflectance. Remote sensing offers the potential to monitor changes over large areas and at hard to access locations. Specifically in remote Arctic locations, where ground surveys and aircraft observations are constrained by weather conditions and logistics, remote sensing provides a unique capability for repetitive and frequent sampling. A major disturbance in mountain birch forests typical of northern Sweden and Finland is caused by outbreaks of defoliating insects such as the autumn moth (Epirrita autumnata) and the winter moth (Operophtera brumata). These outbreaks occur more or less cyclically every 9-10 years and attack mainly birch (Betula spp.) leaving a mosaic of open woodland within the forest. It is expected that global warming will affect the incidence and the intensity of this outbreaks. The ecological and economical consequences can be severe hence the importance of close monitoring of shifts in the distribution of events. Defoliated areas of up to 6000 to 7000 ha of birch forest have been reported. Severely affected areas could potentially be detected by satellite providing valuable data to understand the behavior, estimate the damage and predict the development of forest pests. Quantification of the impact of such outbreaks will also permit far more accurate estimation of the terrestrial carbon budget of such regions. Here we applied a generic algorithm to detect sudden changes on land surface cover to daily 500m MODIS surface reflectance data over the Fennoscandian area. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectraradiometer (MODIS) sensors on board the polar orbiting satellites Terra and Aqua provide an overpass at least once a day over the area of interest. Unfortunately, frequent cloud cover limits the acquisition of satellite imagery and persistent cloud cover may

  17. Physical Thresholds as Ecological Proxies in Aquatic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hausner, M. B.; Gaines, D. B.; Morrison, R. R.; Sada, D. W.; Scoppettone, G. G.; Stone, M. C.; Suarez, F. I.; Tyler, S. W.; Wilson, K. P.

    2015-12-01

    It is often difficult to directly quantify ecological thresholds and predict ecological responses to changing environmental conditions. Here, we present two case studies from Death Valley National Park - Devils Hole and Travertine Springs - in which physical parameters are used as proxies for ecological processes to assess the consequences of environmental change on aquatic ecosystems. In Devils Hole, seasonal thresholds for water temperature and food availability are defined to quantify the optimal recruitment window for the Devils Hole pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis). At Travertine Springs, physical thresholds of water depth, velocity, and temperature are used to define the spatial extent of the preferred habitat of several threatened macroinvertebrate species. In both systems, mechanistic models are developed to predict the response of those physical thresholds to changing environmental conditions informed by climate change scenarios and potential changes in water availability. By examining the temporal and spatial response of targeted physical parameters to alternative scenarios, we can assess potential ecosystem impacts without direct measurement of ecological processes.

  18. The Northern Bering Sea: An Arctic Ecosystem in Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebmeier, J. M.; Cooper, L. W.

    2004-12-01

    Arctic systems can be rich and diverse habitats for marine life in spite of the extreme cold environment. Benthic faunal populations and associated biogeochemical cycling processes are influenced by sea-ice extent, seawater hydrography (nutrients, salinity, temperature, currents), and water column production. Benthic organisms on the Arctic shelves and margins are long-term integrators of overlying water column processes. Because these organisms have adapted to living at cold extremes, it is reasonable to expect that these communities will be among the most susceptible to climate warming. Recent observations show that Arctic sea ice in the North American Arctic is melting and retreating northward earlier in the season and the timing of these events can have dramatic impacts on the biological system. Changes in overlying primary production, pelagic-benthic coupling, and benthic production and community structure can have cascading effects to higher trophic levels, particularly benthic feeders such as walruses, gray whales, and diving seaducks. Recent indicators of contemporary Arctic change in the northern Bering Sea include seawater warming and reduction in ice extent that coincide with our time-series studies of benthic clam population declines in the shallow northern Bering shelf in the 1990's. In addition, declines in benthic amphipod populations have also likely influenced the movement of feeding gray whales to areas north of Bering Strait during this same time period. Finally a potential consequence of seawater warming and reduced ice extent in the northern Bering Sea could be the northward movement of bottom feeding fish currently in the southern Bering Sea that prey on benthic fauna. This would increase the feeding pressure on the benthic prey base and enhance competition for this food source for benthic-feeding marine mammals and seabirds. This presentation will outline recent biological changes observed in the northern Bering Sea ecosystem as documented in

  19. Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES): Pilot Project - Marine Mammal Tagging and Tracking

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES): Pilot Project...inter-relationships of biophysical and chemical parameters on living resources, including marine mammals that use this ecosystem . This larger picture

  20. Arctic patterned-ground ecosystems: A synthesis of field studies and models along a North American Arctic Transect

    Treesearch

    Walker D.A.; Romanovsky V.E.; Ping C.L.; Michaelson G.J.; Daanen R.P.; Shur Y.; Peterson R.A.; Krantz W.B.; Raynolds M.K.; William Gould; Grizelle Gonzalez; Nicolsky D.J.; Vonlanthen C.M.; Kade A.N.; Kuss P.; Kelley A.M.; Munger C.A.; Tarnocai C.T.; Matveyeva N.V.; Daniels F.J.A.

    2008-01-01

    Arctic landscapes have visually striking patterns of small polygons, circles, and hummocks. The linkages between the geophysical and biological components of these systems and their responses to climate changes are not well understood. The “Biocomplexity of Patterned Ground Ecosystems” project examined patterned-ground features (PGFs) in all five Arctic bioclimate...

  1. Risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wu, Bing; Zhang, Rui; Cheng, Shu-Pei; Ford, Timothy; Li, Ai-Min; Zhang, Xu-Xiang

    2011-07-01

    A probability risk assessment of anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, fluorene, phenanthrene and pyrene was carried out to examine the ecological risk of these six polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in aquatic ecosystems in China. The literature on PAH concentrations in surface water in China was collected to evaluate the environmental exposure concentrations (EEC). The 10th percentile of predicted no observed effect concentration (PNEC(10%)) of PAHs, calculated according to the data from the USEPA AQUIRE database and regulatory reviews, was applied as the toxicity assessment endpoint. The ratio of EEC and PNEC(10%), expressed as a risk quotient (RQ), was used to characterize the risk value. Bootstrapping method and Monte Carlo simulation were utilized to calculate the distribution of EEC, PNEC(10%), RQ and associated uncertainties. Risk assessment showed that reliable maximum RQs of anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, fluorene and phenanthrene were in the range of 0.064-0.755, lower than the acceptable value of 1. However, the reliable maximum RQ of pyrene was 1.39, indicating its potential ecological risk. Notwithstanding the uncertainty, these results suggest that the aquatic ecosystems with high PAH concentrations might pose potential ecological risks, and concerted efforts are required to ensure that surface water is protected.

  2. Aquatic noise pollution: implications for individuals, populations, and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Kunc, Hansjoerg P; McLaughlin, Kirsty Elizabeth; Schmidt, Rouven

    2016-08-17

    Anthropogenically driven environmental changes affect our planet at an unprecedented scale and are considered to be a key threat to biodiversity. According to the World Health Organization, anthropogenic noise is one of the most hazardous forms of anthropogenically driven environmental change and is recognized as a major global pollutant. However, crucial advances in the rapidly emerging research on noise pollution focus exclusively on single aspects of noise pollution, e.g. on behaviour, physiology, terrestrial ecosystems, or on certain taxa. Given that more than two-thirds of our planet is covered with water, there is a pressing need to get a holistic understanding of the effects of anthropogenic noise in aquatic ecosystems. We found experimental evidence for negative effects of anthropogenic noise on an individual's development, physiology, and/or behaviour in both invertebrates and vertebrates. We also found that species differ in their response to noise, and highlight the potential underlying mechanisms for these differences. Finally, we point out challenges in the study of aquatic noise pollution and provide directions for future research, which will enhance our understanding of this globally present pollutant.

  3. Aquatic noise pollution: implications for individuals, populations, and ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Kunc, Hansjoerg P.; McLaughlin, Kirsty Elizabeth; Schmidt, Rouven

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenically driven environmental changes affect our planet at an unprecedented scale and are considered to be a key threat to biodiversity. According to the World Health Organization, anthropogenic noise is one of the most hazardous forms of anthropogenically driven environmental change and is recognized as a major global pollutant. However, crucial advances in the rapidly emerging research on noise pollution focus exclusively on single aspects of noise pollution, e.g. on behaviour, physiology, terrestrial ecosystems, or on certain taxa. Given that more than two-thirds of our planet is covered with water, there is a pressing need to get a holistic understanding of the effects of anthropogenic noise in aquatic ecosystems. We found experimental evidence for negative effects of anthropogenic noise on an individual's development, physiology, and/or behaviour in both invertebrates and vertebrates. We also found that species differ in their response to noise, and highlight the potential underlying mechanisms for these differences. Finally, we point out challenges in the study of aquatic noise pollution and provide directions for future research, which will enhance our understanding of this globally present pollutant. PMID:27534952

  4. Ecosystem response to antibiotics entering the aquatic environment.

    PubMed

    Costanzo, Simon D; Murby, John; Bates, John

    2005-01-01

    Awareness of antibiotics in wastewaters and aquatic ecosystems is growing as investigations into alternate pollutants increase and analytical techniques for detecting these chemicals improve. The presence of three antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin and cephalexin) was evaluated in both sewage effluent and environmental waters downstream from a sewage discharge. Bacteria cultured from the sewage bioreactor and receiving waters were tested for resistance against six antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, ampicillin, trimethoprim, erythromycin and trimethoprim/sulphamethoxazole) and effects of short term exposure (24 h) to antibiotics on bacterial denitrification rates were examined. Antibiotics were detected entering the sewage treatment plant with varying levels of removal during the treatment process. Antibiotics were also detected in effluent entering receiving waters and detectable 500 m from the source. Among the bacteria cultured from the sewage bioreactor, resistance was displayed against all six antibiotics tested and bacteria cultured from receiving waters were resistant against two of the antibiotics tested. Rates of denitrification were observed to decrease in response to some antibiotics and not to others, though this was only observed at concentrations exceeding those likely to be found in the environment. Findings from this preliminary research have indicated that antibiotics are entering our aquatic systems and pose a potential threat to ecosystem function and potentially human health.

  5. Seabird-driven shifts in Arctic pond ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Michelutti, Neal; Keatley, Bronwyn E; Brimble, Samantha; Blais, Jules M; Liu, Huijun; Douglas, Marianne S V; Mallory, Mark L; Macdonald, Robie W; Smol, John P

    2009-02-07

    Migratory animals such as seabirds, salmon and whales can transport large quantities of nutrients across ecosystem boundaries, greatly enriching recipient food webs. As many of these animals biomagnify contaminants, they can also focus pollutants at toxic levels. Seabirds arguably represent the most significant biovectors of nutrients and contaminants from the ocean to the land, given their sheer numbers and global distribution. However, long-term census data on seabirds are rare. Using palaeolimnological proxies, we show that a colony of Arctic seabirds has experienced climate-induced population increases in recent decades. We then document increasing concentrations of contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls and cadmium, in pond sediments that are linked to biotransport by seabirds. Our findings suggest that climate-related shifts in global seabird populations will have the unexpected consequence of restructuring coastal ecosystems.

  6. Arctic mosses govern below-ground environment and ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Gornall, J L; Jónsdóttir, I S; Woodin, S J; Van der Wal, R

    2007-10-01

    Mosses dominate many northern ecosystems and their presence is integral to soil thermal and hydrological regimes which, in turn, dictate important ecological processes. Drivers, such as climate change and increasing herbivore pressure, affect the moss layer thus, assessment of the functional role of mosses in determining soil characteristics is essential. Field manipulations conducted in high arctic Spitsbergen (78 degrees N), creating shallow (3 cm), intermediate (6 cm) and deep (12 cm) moss layers over the soil surface, had an immediate impact on soil temperature in terms of both average temperatures and amplitude of fluctuations. In soil under deep moss, temperature was substantially lower and organic layer thaw occurred 4 weeks later than in other treatment plots; the growing season for vascular plants was thereby reduced by 40%. Soil moisture was also reduced under deep moss, reflecting the influence of local heterogeneity in moss depth, over and above the landscape-scale topographic control of soil moisture. Data from field and laboratory experiments show that moss-mediated effects on the soil environment influenced microbial biomass and activity, resulting in warmer and wetter soil under thinner moss layers containing more plant-available nitrogen. In arctic ecosystems, which are limited by soil temperature, growing season length and nutrient availability, spatial and temporal variation in the depth of the moss layer has significant repercussions for ecosystem function. Evidence from our mesic tundra site shows that any disturbance causing reduction in the depth of the moss layer will alleviate temperature and moisture constraints and therefore profoundly influence a wide range of ecosystem processes, including nutrient cycling and energy transfer.

  7. Variation in peak growing season net ecosystem production across the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Lafleur, Peter M; Humphreys, Elyn R; St Louis, Vincent L; Myklebust, May C; Papakyriakou, Tim; Poissant, Laurier; Barker, Joel D; Pilote, Martin; Swystun, Kyle A

    2012-08-07

    Tundra ecosystems store vast amounts of soil organic carbon, which may be sensitive to climatic change. Net ecosystem production, NEP, is the net exchange of carbon dioxide (CO(2)) between landscapes and the atmosphere, and represents the balance between CO(2) uptake by photosynthesis and release by decomposition and autotrophic respiration. Here we examine CO(2) exchange across seven sites in the Canadian low and high Arctic during the peak growing season (July) in summer 2008. All sites were net sinks for atmospheric CO(2) (NEP ranged from 5 to 67 g C m(-2)), with low Arctic sites being substantially larger CO(2) sinks. The spatial difference in NEP between low and high Arctic sites was determined more by CO(2) uptake via gross ecosystem production than by CO(2) release via ecosystem respiration. Maximum gross ecosystem production at the low Arctic sites (average 8.6 μmol m(-2) s(-1)) was about 4 times larger than for high Arctic sites (average 2.4 μmol m(-2) s(-1)). NEP decreased with increasing temperature at all low Arctic sites, driven largely by the ecosystem respiration response. No consistent temperature response was found for the high Arctic sites. The results of this study clearly indicate there are large differences in tundra CO(2) exchange between high and low Arctic environments and this difference should be a central consideration in studies of Arctic carbon balance and climate change.

  8. Pleistocene graminoid-dominated ecosystems in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blinnikov, Mikhail S.; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Walker, Donald A.; Wooller, Matthew J.; Zazula, Grant D.

    2011-10-01

    We review evidence obtained from analyses of multiple proxies (floristics, mammal remains, paleoinsects, pollen, macrofossils, plant cuticles, phytoliths, stable isotopes, and modeling) that elucidate the composition and character of the graminoid-dominated ecosystems of the Pleistocene Arctic. The past thirty years have seen a renewed interest in this now-extinct biome, sometimes referred to as "tundra-steppe" (steppe-tundra in North American sources). While many questions remain, converging evidence from many new terrestrial records and proxies coupled with better understanding of paleoclimate dynamics point to the predominance of xeric and cold adapted grassland as the key former vegetation type in the Arctic confirming earlier conjectures completed in the 1960s-1980s. A variety of still existing species of grasses and forbs played key roles in the species assemblages of the time, but their mixtures were not analogous to the tundras of today. Local mosaics based on topography, proximity to the ice sheets and coasts, soil heterogeneity, animal disturbance, and fire regimes were undoubtedly present. However, inadequate coverage of terrestrial proxies exist to resolve this spatial heterogeneity. These past ecosystems were maintained by a combination of dry and cold climate and grazing pressure/disturbance by large (e.g., mammoth and horse) and small (e.g., ground squirrels) mammals. Some recent studies from Eastern Beringia (Alaska) suggest that more progress will be possible when analyses of many proxies are combined at local scales.

  9. Environmental bacteriophages: viruses of microbes in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sime-Ngando, Télesphore

    2014-01-01

    Since the discovery 2-3 decades ago that viruses of microbes are abundant in marine ecosystems, viral ecology has grown increasingly to reach the status of a full scientific discipline in environmental sciences. A dedicated ISVM society, the International Society for Viruses of Microorganisms, (http://www.isvm.org/) was recently launched. Increasing studies in viral ecology are sources of novel knowledge related to the biodiversity of living things, the functioning of ecosystems, and the evolution of the cellular world. This is because viruses are perhaps the most diverse, abundant, and ubiquitous biological entities in the biosphere, although local environmental conditions enrich for certain viral types through selective pressure. They exhibit various lifestyles that intimately depend on the deep-cellular mechanisms, and are ultimately replicated by members of all three domains of cellular life (Bacteria, Eukarya, Archaea), as well as by giant viruses of some eukaryotic cells. This establishes viral parasites as microbial killers but also as cell partners or metabolic manipulators in microbial ecology. The present chapter sought to review the literature on the diversity and functional roles of viruses of microbes in environmental microbiology, focusing primarily on prokaryotic viruses (i.e., phages) in aquatic ecosystems, which form the bulk of our knowledge in modern environmental viral ecology.

  10. Environmental bacteriophages: viruses of microbes in aquatic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Sime-Ngando, Télesphore

    2014-01-01

    Since the discovery 2–3 decades ago that viruses of microbes are abundant in marine ecosystems, viral ecology has grown increasingly to reach the status of a full scientific discipline in environmental sciences. A dedicated ISVM society, the International Society for Viruses of Microorganisms, (http://www.isvm.org/) was recently launched. Increasing studies in viral ecology are sources of novel knowledge related to the biodiversity of living things, the functioning of ecosystems, and the evolution of the cellular world. This is because viruses are perhaps the most diverse, abundant, and ubiquitous biological entities in the biosphere, although local environmental conditions enrich for certain viral types through selective pressure. They exhibit various lifestyles that intimately depend on the deep-cellular mechanisms, and are ultimately replicated by members of all three domains of cellular life (Bacteria, Eukarya, Archaea), as well as by giant viruses of some eukaryotic cells. This establishes viral parasites as microbial killers but also as cell partners or metabolic manipulators in microbial ecology. The present chapter sought to review the literature on the diversity and functional roles of viruses of microbes in environmental microbiology, focusing primarily on prokaryotic viruses (i.e., phages) in aquatic ecosystems, which form the bulk of our knowledge in modern environmental viral ecology. PMID:25104950

  11. A review of the Northern Ecosystem Initiative in Arctic Canada: facilitating arctic ecosystem research through traditional and novel approaches.

    PubMed

    Mallory, Mark L; Ogilvie, Carey; Gilchrist, H Grant

    2006-02-01

    The Canadian Arctic is undergoing considerable social and environmental change. Anthropogenic stressors on this sensitive environment include climate change, contaminants, resource extraction, tourism and increasing human populations. The Northern Ecosystem Initiative (NEI) is a program aimed at supporting the sustainability of northern communities, and at improving our understanding of how northern ecosystems respond to these environmental stressors. A key element of the NEI is to establish partnerships between all levels of government, non-governmental environmental agencies, and northern residents. The NEI is an important source of financial support critical for social and environmental scientists as well as northern residents and their community and regional organizations. Initiated in 1998, the NEI has supported numerous northern scientific and capacity-building projects, and has evaluated the information gained from this work to refine and focus its future support to address key information gaps and northern needs.

  12. Direct and terrestrial vegetation-mediated effects of environmental change on aquatic ecosystem processes

    Treesearch

    Becky A. Ball; John S. Kominoski; Heather E. Adams; Stuart E. Jones; Evan S. Kane; Terrance D. Loecke; Wendy M. Mahaney; Jason P. Martina; Chelse M. Prather; Todd M.P. Robinson; Christopher T. Solomon

    2010-01-01

    Global environmental changes have direct effects on aquatic ecosystems, as well as indirect effects through alterations of adjacent terrestrial ecosystem structure and functioning. For example, shifts in terrestrial vegetation communities resulting from global changes can affect the quantity and quality of water, organic matter, and nutrient inputs to aquatic...

  13. Fire and aquatic ecosystems of the Western USA: current knowledge and key questions.

    Treesearch

    P.A. Bisson; B.E. Rieman; C. Luce; P.F. Hessburg; D.C. Lee; J.L. Kershner; G.H. Reeves; R.E. Gresswell

    2003-01-01

    Understanding of the effects of wildland fire and fire management on aquatic and riparian ecosystems is an evolving field, with many questions still to be resolved. Limitations of current knowledge, and the certainty that fire management will continue, underscore the need to summarize available information. Integrating fire and fuels management with aquatic ecosystem...

  14. Eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems: Bistability and soil phosphorus

    PubMed Central

    Carpenter, Stephen R.

    2005-01-01

    Eutrophication (the overenrichment of aquatic ecosystems with nutrients leading to algal blooms and anoxic events) is a persistent condition of surface waters and a widespread environmental problem. Some lakes have recovered after sources of nutrients were reduced. In others, recycling of phosphorus from sediments enriched by years of high nutrient inputs causes lakes to remain eutrophic even after external inputs of phosphorus are decreased. Slow flux of phosphorus from overfertilized soils may be even more important for maintaining eutrophication of lakes in agricultural regions. This type of eutrophication is not reversible unless there are substantial changes in soil management. Technologies for rapidly reducing phosphorus content of overenriched soils, or reducing erosion rates, are needed to improve water quality. PMID:15972805

  15. Environmental behavior of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) in aquatic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yongyuan; Tan, Yuyun; Korte, F.

    1991-03-01

    LAS degradation rate in Donghu Lake water under aerobic was much faster than under anaerobic condition. The half life of LAS in aerobic and anaerobic environment was 3.2 days and 57 days, respectively. The degradation rate at 25 27°C was approximately 20 times higher than that at 1.5 3.5 °C. In a laboratory model aquatic ecosystem, two stages of bioconcentration in fish, daphnia and snail were observed. The first stage, on second day exposure, resulted from accumulation of intact LAS, and the second stage, on 16th day exposure, was due to metabolites. The bioconcentration factor (BCF) of LAS was extremely low in the muscle of hybrid carp (0.64), but rather high (2485) in the gall bladder.

  16. Selection of candidate aquatic high plants as producer of closed aquatic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Gaohong; Hao, Zongjie; Liu, Yongding

    Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) is very important for long-term manned space flight. Aquatic organism was regarded to be suitable for this study because of their great adaptation to the weightless condition which approximate to their wild condition in water. In order to study of operation of CELSS in space, the first step is to choose good candidate species for study. In this report, we compared the characteristics of nutrient content, growth and suitability with animals among five types of aquatic high plants including Ceratophyllum demersum L., Vallisneria spiralis L., Hydrilla verticillata Royle, Brasenia schreberi, Wolfia arrhiza under control condition. It was found that B. schreberi had the best nutrients content, but it growth depended on gas interface which may be a big problem in microgravity. C. demersum and W. arrhiza had the better nutrient content than other types, and V. spiralis and H. verticillata had the worst nutrient content. The closed aquatic system can provided condition for the growth of other plants than B. schreberi. So we selected C. demersum and W. arrhiza as the candidate of producer for establish Closed Aquatic Ecosystem. We also established a simple system& by housing three small freshwater snails (Bulinus australianus) and C. demersum in a 500mL box with light and temperature control. The values about pH, oxygen concentration, temperature and light had been acquired by sensors in real time for about 3 month. It was found that plant's biomass increased for several days and then leveled off and the snails survive, and the atmosphere and biomass for food met snails' requirement during experiments.

  17. Ecological Relationships Between Components in Closed Aquatic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisman, Tamara; Somova, Lydia

    The work considers the problems of relationships between algae and other microorganisms in aquatic ecosystems. Using small-scale laboratory "autotroph-heterotroph" ecosystems with different types of closure, we showed the results of the investigation into the ecological relation-ships of algae in biocenoses. The autotrophic component was represented by green microalgae, and the heterotrophic component -by yeast and bacteria. An important role in functioning of algobacterial communities is played by 2 -2 (oxygen -carbon dioxide) exchange. The gas exchange between algae and yeast was studied in the "autotroph-heterotroph" gas-closed ecosystem with space-divided components. It was shown that the gas exchange closure of the components into a system prolongs its existence. Hav-ing increased the degree of the system closure by introducing two yeast species with positive metabolic interaction to the heterotrophic component, we observed a significant increase in the gas exchange between the components and thus in the biomass of algae and yeast. The most ancient and ecologically relevant symbioses known in nature are symbiotic associa-tions of algae and heterotrophic organisms. The main symbionts of algae in aquatic ecosystems are bacteria. The cenosis-forming role of algae is based on two characteristics: firstly, their mucous covers and membranes are able to absorb and retain large amounts of water; secondly, many algae evolve various organic substances during their lifetime. An example of algobacterial associations are microalgae Chlorella vulgaris and accompanying microbial flora. Experiments with non-sterile batch culture of algae showed that the increase in the algae biomass was accompanied by the increase in the bacterial biomass. As a result of theoretical and experi-mental investigation into their relationships, it was shown that the largest biomass of bacteria is achieved when using organic substances evolved by algae and having bacteria grow on dead algae; i

  18. Climate change on arctic environment, ecosystem services and society (CLICHE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weckström, J.; Korhola, A.; Väliranta, M.; Seppä, H.; Luoto, M.; Tuittila, E.-S.; Leppäranta, M.; Kahilainen, K.; Saarinen, J.; Heikkinen, H.

    2012-04-01

    The predicted climate warming has raised many questions and concerns about its impacts on the environment and society. As a respond to the need of holistic studies comprising both of these areas, The Academy of Finland launched The Finnish Research Programme on Climate Change (FICCA 2011-2014) in spring 2010 with the main aim to focus on the interaction between the environment and society. Ultimately 11 national consortium projects were funded (total budget 12 million EUR). Here we shortly present the main objectives of the largest consortium project "Climate change on arctic environment, ecosystem services and society" (CLICHE). The CLICHE consortium comprises eight interrelated work packages (treeline, diversity, peatlands, snow, lakes, fish, tourism, and traditional livelihoods), each led by a prominent research group and a team leader. The research consortium has three main overall objectives: 1) Investigate, map and model the past, present and future climate change-induced changes in central ecosystems of the European Arctic with unprecedented precision 2) Deepen our understanding of the basic principles of ecosystem and social resilience and dynamics; identify key taxa, structures or processes that clearly indicate impending or realised global change through their loss, occurrence or behaviour, using analogues from the past (e.g. Holocene Thermal Maximum, Medieval Warm Period), experiments, observations and models 3) Develop adaptation and mitigation strategies to minimize the adverse effects of climate change on local communities, traditional livelihoods, fisheries, and tourism industry, and promote sustainable development of local community structures and enhance the quality of life of local human populations. As the project has started only recently no final results are available yet. However, the fieldwork as well as the co-operation between the research teams has thus far been very successful. Thus, the expectations for the final outcome of the project

  19. Assessing the effects of contaminants on the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Giddings, J.M.

    1981-01-01

    Ecosystems are the context in which all organisms live, reproduce, interact, and evolve. A balanced approach to environmental impact assessment includes consideration of effects on whole ecosystems as well as analyses of effects on organisms and populations. Potential effects of contaminants on whole ecosystems include changes in energy flow, nutrient flow, or trophic structure. Such changes are generally not predictable from measurements of responses of individual species, but must be determined by investigating whole ecosystems. Responses of aquatic ecosystems to organic and inorganic contaminants have been demonstrated in microcosms (laboratory models of ecosystems) simulating various aquatic environments.

  20. Seasonal shift in factors controlling net ecosystem production in a high Arctic terrestrial ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Masaki; Kishimoto, Ayaka; Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Nakatsubo, Takayuki; Kanda, Hiroshi; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2010-01-01

    We examined factors controlling temporal changes in net ecosystem production (NEP) in a high Arctic polar semi-desert ecosystem in the snow-free season. We examined the relationships between NEP and biotic and abiotic factors in a dominant plant community (Salix polaris-moss) in the Norwegian high Arctic. Just after snowmelt in early July, the ecosystem released CO(2) into the atmosphere. A few days after snowmelt, however, the ecosystem became a CO(2) sink as the leaves of S. polaris developed. Diurnal changes in NEP mirrored changes in light incidence (photosynthetic photon flux density, PPFD) in summer. NEP was significantly correlated with PPFD when S. polaris had fully developed leaves, i.e., high photosynthetic activity. In autumn, NEP values decreased as S. polaris underwent senescence. During this time, CO(2) was sometimes released into the atmosphere. In wet conditions, moss made a larger contribution to NEP. In fact, the water content of the moss regulated NEP during autumn. Our results indicate that the main factors controlling NEP in summer are coverage and growth of S. polaris, PPFD, and precipitation. In autumn, the main factor controlling NEP is moss water content.

  1. A simple closed aquatic ecosystem (CAES) for space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Gaohong; Liu, Yongding; Li, Genbao; Hu, Chunxiang; Zhang, Delu; Li, Xiaoyan

    A closed aquatic ecosystem (CAES) was developed to study the effects of microgravity on the function of closed ecosystems aboard the Chinese retrieved satellite and on the spacecraft SHENZHOU-II. These systems housed a small freshwater snail (Bulinus australianus) and an autotrophic green algae (Chlorella pyrenoidosa). The results of the test on the satellite were that the concentration of algae changed little, but that the snails died during the experiments. We then sought to optimize the function of the control system, the cultural conditions and the data acquisition system and carried out an experiment on the spacecraft SHENZHOU-II. Using various sensors to monitor the CAES, real-time data regarding the operation of the CAES in microgravity was acquired. In addition, an on-board 1g centrifuge was included to identify gravity-related factors. It was found that microgravity is the major factor affecting the operation of the CAES in space. The change in biomass of the primary producer during each day in microgravity was larger than that of the control groups. The mean biomass concentration per day in the microgravity group decreased, but that of the control groups increased for several days and then leveled off. Space effects on the biomass of a primary producer may be a result of microgravity effects leading to increasing metabolic rates of the consumer combined with decreases in photosynthesis.

  2. Does eutrophication-driven evolution change aquatic ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Alexander, Timothy J; Vonlanthen, Pascal; Seehausen, Ole

    2017-01-19

    Eutrophication increases primary production and changes the relative abundance, taxonomic composition and spatial distribution of primary producers within an aquatic ecosystem. The changes in composition and location of resources alter the distribution and flow of energy and biomass throughout the food web. Changes in productivity also alter the physico-chemical environment, which has further effects on the biota. Such ecological changes influence the direction and strength of natural and sexual selection experienced by populations. Besides altering selection, they can also erode the habitat gradients and/or behavioural mechanisms that maintain ecological separation and reproductive isolation among species. Consequently, eutrophication of lakes commonly results in reduced ecological specialization as well as genetic and phenotypic homogenization among lakes and among niches within lakes. We argue that the associated loss in functional diversity and niche differentiation may lead to decreased carrying capacity and lower resource-use efficiency by consumers. We show that in central European whitefish species radiations, the functional diversity affected by eutrophication-induced speciation reversal correlates with community-wide trophic transfer efficiency (fisheries yield per unit phosphorus). We take this as an example of how evolutionary dynamics driven by anthropogenic environmental change can have lasting effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'.

  3. Climate change decreases aquatic ecosystem productivity of Lake Tanganyika, Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Reilly, Catherine M.; Alin, Simone R.; Plisnier, Pierre-Denis; Cohen, Andrew S.; McKee, Brent A.

    2003-08-01

    Although the effects of climate warming on the chemical and physical properties of lakes have been documented, biotic and ecosystem-scale responses to climate change have been only estimated or predicted by manipulations and models. Here we present evidence that climate warming is diminishing productivity in Lake Tanganyika, East Africa. This lake has historically supported a highly productive pelagic fishery that currently provides 25-40% of the animal protein supply for the populations of the surrounding countries. In parallel with regional warming patterns since the beginning of the twentieth century, a rise in surface-water temperature has increased the stability of the water column. A regional decrease in wind velocity has contributed to reduced mixing, decreasing deep-water nutrient upwelling and entrainment into surface waters. Carbon isotope records in sediment cores suggest that primary productivity may have decreased by about 20%, implying a roughly 30% decrease in fish yields. Our study provides evidence that the impact of regional effects of global climate change on aquatic ecosystem functions and services can be larger than that of local anthropogenic activity or overfishing.

  4. Changing Arctic ecosystems: resilience of caribou to climatic shifts in the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gustine, David; Adams, Layne; Whalen, Mary; Pearce, John

    2014-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative strives to inform key resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information and forecasts for current and future ecosystem response to a warming climate. Over the past 5 years, a focal area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the North Slope of Alaska. This region has experienced a warming trend over the past 60 years, yet the rate of change has been varied across the North Slope, leading scientists to question the future response and resilience of wildlife populations, such as caribou (Rangifer tarandus), that rely on tundra habitats for forage. Future changes in temperature and precipitation to coastal wet sedge and upland low shrub tundra are expected, with unknown consequences for caribou that rely on these plant communities for food. Understanding how future environmental change may affect caribou migration, nutrition, and reproduction is a focal question being addressed by the USGS CAE research. Results will inform management agencies in Alaska and people that rely on caribou for food.

  5. Hydrological and geochemical response and recovery in disturbed Arctic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    This progress report is a funding, extension request to continue the database work for the Hydrological and Geochemical Response and Recovery in Disturbed Arctic Ecosystems Program. Throughout the period from 1985 to 1992 the Department of Energy supported research on the hydrology and geochemistry of the headwater basin of Imnavait Creek has focused on the quantification of the input from atmospheric sources of biologically significant and other related chemical variables; the transport of these variables in surface and subsurface flow and their efflux from the basin; and the development of geochemical budgets. The acquisition of multi-year data sets (the longest and most detailed sets in the Arctic) have made it possible to define seasonal ranges and amplitudes; determine spatial and temporal relationships within the different flow compartments; to begin to model the pathways and rates of movement through and across different landscape units. The length of record has also made it possible to examine the quantity and influence of local and extra-regional additions.

  6. 75 FR 30393 - The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-01

    ... AGENCY The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian... Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields.... ADDRESSES: The draft reports, ``The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of...

  7. 76 FR 30938 - The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-27

    ... AGENCY The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian... Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields (EPA/600/R-09/138F... The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian...

  8. 75 FR 51058 - The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-18

    ... AGENCY The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian... Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields.... ADDRESSES: The draft reports, ``The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of...

  9. 75 FR 39934 - The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-13

    ... AGENCY The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian...) ``The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian.... ADDRESSES: The draft reports, ``The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of...

  10. The Closed Equilibrated Biological Aquatic System: A 12 months Test of an Artificial Aquatic Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blüm, V.; Andriske, M.; Ludwig, Ch.; Paaßen, U.; Voeste, D.

    1999-01-01

    The ``Closed Equilibrated Biological Aquatic System'' (C.E.B.A.S.) is finally disposed for long-term multi-generation experiments with aquatic organisms in a space station. Therefore a minimum operation time of three month is required. It is verified in three versions of laboratory prototypes. The third one passed successfully a 12 months mid-term test in 1995/96 thus demonstrating its high biological stability. The third version of the C.E.B.A.S. consists of a 100 l animal tank, two plant cultivators with a volume of 15 l each with independent illuminations, a 3.0 l semibiological ``mechanical'' filter, a 3.0 l bacteria filter, a heating/cooling device and a dummy filter unit. The live-bearing teleost Xiphophorus helleri is the vertebrate and the pulmonate water snail Biomphalaria glabrata the invertebrate experimental animal in the system. The rootless higher water plant Ceratophyllum demersum is the producer organism. Ammonia oxidizing bacteria and other microorganisms settle in the filters. A simple data acquisition is combined with temperature and plant illumination control. Besides of the space aspects the C.E.B.A.S. proved to be an extremely suitable tool to investigate the organism and subcomponent interactions in a well defined terrestrial aquatic closed ecosystem by providing physical, chemical and biological data which allow an approach to a comprehensive system analysis. Moreover the C.E.B.A.S. is the base for the development of innovative combined animal-plant aquaculture systems for human nutrition on earth which could be implemented into bioregenerative life support systems with a higher degree of complexity suitable for lunar or planetary bases.

  11. The closed equilibrated biological aquatic system: a 12 months test of an artificial aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Blum, V; Andriske, M; Ludwig, C h; Paassen, U; Voeste, D

    1999-01-01

    The Closed Equilibrated Biological Aquatic System" (C.E.B.A.S.) is finally disposed for long-term multi-generation experiments with aquatic organisms in a space station. Therefore a minimum operation time of three months is required. It is verified in three versions of laboratory prototypes. The third one passed successfully a 12 months mid-term test in 1995/96 thus demonstrating its high biological stability. The third version of the C.E.B.A.S. consists of a 100 l animal tank, two plant cultivators with a volume of 15 l each with independent illuminations, a 3.0 l semibiological "mechanical" filter, a 3.0 l bacteria filter, a heating/cooling device and a dummy filter unit. The live-bearing teleost Xiphophorus helleri is the vertebrate and the pulmonate water snail Biomphalana glabrata the invertebrate experimental animal in the system. The rootless higher water plant Ceratophyllum demersum is the producer organism. Ammonia oxidizing bacteria and other microorganisms settle in the filters. A sample data acquisition is combined with temperature and plant illumination control. Besides of the space aspects the C.E.B.A.S. proved to be an extremely suitable tool to investigate the organism and subcomponent interactions in a well defined terrestrial aquatic closed ecosystem by providing physical, chemical and biological data which allow an approach to a comprehensive system analysis. Moreover the C.E.B.A.S. is the base for the development of innovative combined animal-plant aquaculture systems for human nutrition on earth which could be implemented into bioregenerative life support systems with a higher degree of complexity suitable for lunar or planetary bases.

  12. Fire and aquatic ecosystems of the western USA: Current knowledge and key questions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bisson, P.A.; Rieman, B.; Luce, C.; Hessburg, Paul F.; Lee, D.; Kershner, J.; Reeves, G.H.; Gresswell, Robert E.

    2003-01-01

    Understanding of the effects of wildland fire and fire management on aquatic and riparian ecosystems is an evolving field, with many questions still to be resolved. Limitations of current knowledge, and the certainty that fire management will continue, underscore the need to summarize available information. Integrating fire and fuels management with aquatic ecosystem conservation begins with recognizing that terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are linked and dynamic, and that fire can play a critical role in maintaining aquatic ecological diversity. To protect aquatic ecosystems we argue that it will be important to: (1) accommodate fire-related and other ecological processes that maintain aquatic habitats and biodiversity, and not simply control fires or fuels; (2) prioritize projects according to risks and opportunities for fire control and the protection of aquatic ecosystems; and (3) develop new consistency in the management and regulatory process. Ultimately, all natural resource management is uncertain; the role of science is to apply experimental design and hypothesis testing to management applications that affect fire and aquatic ecosystems. Policy-makers and the public will benefit from an expanded appreciation of fire ecology that enables them to implement watershed management projects as experiments with hypothesized outcomes, adequate controls, and replication.

  13. Acid deposition in aquatic ecosystems: Setting limits empirically

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newcombe, Charles P.

    1985-07-01

    The problem of acid deposition and its harmful effects on aquatic ecosystems has created a new branch of science that is called upon to provide the knowledge on which legislative controls can be based. However, because of the nature of existing legislation, which requires evidence of cause and effect between industrial emissions and pollution, and because of science's inability to provide this information over the short term, considerable controversy has arisen about whether sufficient information exists to warrant control measures at this time. Among those who advocate controls, there is genuine divergence of opinion about how stringent the controls must be to achieve any desired level of protection. The controversy has led to an impasse between the scientific and political participants, which is reflected in the slow pace of progress toward an effective management strategy. Resolution of the impasse, at least in the short term, may demand that science and politics rely on empirical models rather than explanatory ones. The empirical model, which is the major proposal in this article, integrates all of the major variables and many of the minor ones, and constructs a three-dimensionally curved surface capable of representing the status of any waterbody subjected to the effects of acid deposition. When suitably calibrated—a process involving the integration of knowledge and data from aquatic biology, geochemistry, meteorology, and limnology—it can be used to depict limits to the rate of acid deposition required for any level of environmental protection. Because it can generate a pictorial display of the effects of management decisions and legislative controls, the model might serve as a basis for enhancing the quality of communication among all the scientific and political participants and help to resolve many of their controversies.

  14. Effects of micro- and nanoplastics on aquatic ecosystems: Current research trends and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Chae, Yooeun; An, Youn-Joo

    2017-02-17

    Contamination by bulk plastics and plastic debris is currently the one of the most serious environmental problems in aquatic ecosystems. In particular, small-scale plastic debris such as microplastics and nanoplastics has become leading contributors to the pollution of marine and freshwater ecosystems. Studies are investigating the impacts of micro-and nanoplastics on aquatic organisms and ecosystems worldwide. This review covers 83 studies that investigated the distribution of microplastics and the ecotoxicity of micro- and nanoplastics in marine and freshwater ecosystems. The studies indicated that micro-sized plastics and plastic debris were distributed at various concentrations in aquatic ecosystems around the world. They had various effects on the growth, development, behavior, reproduction, and mortality of aquatic animals. We discuss these studies in detail and suggest directions for future research.

  15. Nutrient sources and transport along urban flowpaths to aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finlay, J. C.; Janke, B.; Baker, L. A.; Hobbie, S. E.; Nidzgorski, D.; Sterner, R.; Wilson, B. N.

    2012-12-01

    Water quality of urban freshwater ecosystems is widely impaired by eutrophication, with little recent improvement and much potential for further degradation due to urban expansion and intensification. Despite the degradation of water quality in urban streams and lakes and adjacent coastal areas, relatively little is known about the relative importance of specific nutrient sources and the processes that regulate their movement across highly modified land-water interfaces. To better understand the nutrient sources and cycling that affect aquatic ecosystems, we assess nutrient movement through urban drainage networks in St. Paul, Minnesota. Nutrient concentrations and flux in stormwater at six intensively monitored sites show consistent seasonal patterns, with peaks in total nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in the late spring. Trees contributed to nutrient movement via litterfall and throughfall to impervious surfaces, with peaks in inputs that corresponded to stormwater nutrient patterns. Despite runoff generated primarily from impervious surfaces, organic carbon and nitrogen concentrations were high, with organic N accounting for >80% of stormwater N loading. Together, these data suggested an important role for urban tree canopies in nutrient mobilization in stormwater. Base flow, present in larger storm drains and buried streams, results primarily from groundwater seepage and from outflow of surface water connected to drains. Base flow contributed significantly to nutrient export, particularly for N (33 to 68% of warm season export) but also for P (8 to 34%). Sites with upstream hydrologic connections to lakes and remnant above-ground stream reaches had higher baseflow organic carbon and P, and reduced N concentrations compared to sites dominated by groundwater. Together, these data show that the characteristics of urban vegetation and the nature of human alterations to hydrologic connections are dominant features influencing the form and amount of nutrient movement

  16. Aquatic Ecosystem Enhancement at Mountaintop Mining Sites Symposium

    SciTech Connect

    Black, D. Courtney; Lawson, Peter; Morgan, John; Maggard, Randy; Schor, Horst; Powell, Rocky; Kirk, Ed. J.

    2000-01-12

    Welcome to this symposium which is part of the ongoing effort to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) regarding mountaintop mining and valley fills. The EIS is being prepared by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Office of Surface Mining, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with the State of West Virginia. Aquatic Ecosystem Enhancement (AEE) at mountaintop mining sites is one of fourteen technical areas identified for study by the EIS Interagency Steering Committee. Three goals were identified in the AEE Work Plan: 1. Assess mining and reclamation practices to show how mining operations might be carried out in a way that minimizes adverse impacts to streams and other environmental resources and to local communities. Clarify economic and technical constraints and benefits. 2. Help citizens clarify choices by showing whether there are affordable ways to enhance existing mining, reclamation, mitigation processes and/or procedures. 3. Ide identify data needed to improve environmental evaluation and design of mining projects to protect the environment. Today’s symposium was proposed in the AEE Team Work Plans but coordinated planning for the event began September 15, 1999 when representatives from coal industry, environmental groups and government regulators met in Morgantown. The meeting participants worked with a facilitator from the Canaan Valley Institute to outline plans for the symposium. Several teams were formed to carry out the plans we outlined in the meeting.

  17. Performance of a simple Closed Aquatic Ecosystem (CAES) in space.

    PubMed

    Wang, G-H; Li, G-B; Hu, C-X; Liu, Y-D; Song, L-R; Tong, G-H; Liu, X-M; Cheng, E-T

    2004-01-01

    A simple Closed Aquatic Ecosystem (CAES) consisting of single-celled green algae (Chlorella pyrenoidosa, producer), a spiral snail (Bulinus australianus, consumer) and a data acquisition and control unit was flown on the Chinese Spacecraft SHENZHOU-II in January 2001 for 7 days. In order to study the effect of microgravity on the operation of CAES, a 1 g centrifuge reference group in space, a ground 1 g reference group and a ground 1 g centrifuge reference group (1.4 g group) were run concurrently. Real-time data about algae biomass (calculated from transmission light intensity), temperature, light and centrifugation of the CAES were logged at minute intervals. It was found that algae biomass of both the microgravity group and the ground 1 g-centrifuge reference group (1.4 g) fluctuated during the experiment, but the algae biomass of the 1 g centrifuge reference group in space and the ground 1 g reference group increased during the experiment. The results may be attributable to influences of microgravity and 1.4 g gravity on the algae and snails metabolisms. Microgravity is the main factor to affect the operation of CAES in space and the contribution of microgravity to the effect was also estimated. These data may be valuable for the establishment of a complex CELSS in the future.

  18. Effects of solar UV-B radiation on aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Häder, D.-P.

    Solar UV degrades dissolved organic carbon photolytically so that they can readily be taken up by bacterioplankton. On the other hand solar UV radiation inhibits bacterioplankton activity. Bacterioplankton productivity is far greater than previously thought and is comparable to phytoplankton primary productivity. According to the "microbial loop hypothesis," bacterioplankton is seen in the center of a food web, having a similar function to phytoplankton and protists. The penetration of UV and PAR into the water column can be measured. Marine waters show large temporal and regional differences in their concentrations of dissolved and particulate absorbing substances. A network of dosimeters (ELDONET) has been installed in Europe ranging from Abisko in Northern Sweden to Gran Canaria. Cyanobacteria are capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen which is then made available to higher plants. The agricultural potential of cyanobacteria has been recognized as a biological fertilizer for wet soils such as in rice paddies. UV-B is known to impair processes such as growth, survival, pigmentation, motility, as well as the enzymes of nitrogen metabolism and CO 2 fixation. The marine phytoplankton represents the single most important ecosystem on our planet and produces about the same biomass as all terrestrial ecosystems taken together. It is the base of the aquatic food chain and any changes in the size and composition of phytoplankton communities will directly affect food production for humans from marine sources. Another important role of marine phytoplankton is to serve as a sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. Recent investigations have shown a large sensitivity of most phytoplankton organisms toward solar short-wavelength ultraviolet radiation (UV-B); even at ambient levels of UV-B radiation many organisms seem to be under UV stress. Because of their requirement for solar energy, the phytoplankton dwell in the top layers of the water column. In this near-surface position

  19. Effects of solar UV-B radiation on aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hader, D P

    2000-01-01

    Solar UV degrades dissolved organic carbon photolytically so that they can readily be taken up by bacterioplankton. On the other hand solar UV radiation inhibits bacterioplankton activity. Bacterioplankton productivity is far greater than previously thought and is comparable to phytoplankton primary productivity. According to the "microbial loop hypothesis," bacterioplankton is seen in the center of a food web, having a similar function to phytoplankton and protists. The penetration of UV and PAR into the water column can be measured. Marine waters show large temporal and regional differences in their concentrations of dissolved and particulate absorbing substances. A network of dosimeters (ELDONET) has been installed in Europe ranging from Abisko in Northern Sweden to Gran Canaria. Cyanobacteria are capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen which is then made available to higher plants. The agricultural potential of cyanobacteria has been recognized as a biological fertilizer for wet soils such as in rice paddies. UV-B is known to impair processes such as growth, survival, pigmentation, motility, as well as the enzymes of nitrogen metabolism and CO2 fixation. The marine phytoplankton represents the single most important ecosystem on our planet and produces about the same biomass as all terrestrial ecosystems taken together. It is the base of the aquatic food chain and any changes in the size and composition of phytoplankton communities will directly affect food production for humans from marine sources. Another important role of marine phytoplankton is to serve as a sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. Recent investigations have shown a large sensitivity of most phytoplankton organisms toward solar short-wavelength ultraviolet radiation (UV-B); even at ambient levels of UV-B radiation many organisms seem to be under UV stress. Because of their requirement for solar energy, the phytoplankton dwell in the top layers of the water column. In this near-surface position

  20. Regionalizing aquatic ecosystems based on the river subbasin taxonomy concept and spatial clustering techniques.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yongnian; Gao, Junfeng; Chen, Jiongfeng; Xu, Yan; Zhao, Jiahu

    2011-11-01

    Aquatic ecoregions were increasingly used as spatial units for aquatic ecosystem management at the watershed scale. In this paper, the principle of including land area, comprehensiveness and dominance, conjugation and hierarchy were selected as regionalizing principles. Elevation and drainage density were selected as the regionalizing indicators for the delineation of level I aquatic ecoregions, and percent of construction land area, percent of cultivated land area, soil type and slope for the level II. Under the support of GIS technology, the spatial distribution maps of the two indicators for level I and the four indicators for level II aquatic ecoregion delineation were generated from the raster data based on the 1,107 subwatersheds. River subbasin taxonomy concept, two-step spatial clustering analysis approach and manual-assisted method were used to regionalize aquatic ecosystems in the Taihu Lake watershed. Then the Taihu Lake watershed was divided into two level I aquatic ecoregions, including Ecoregion I1 and Ecoregion I2, and five level II aquatic subecoregions, including Subecoregion II11, Subecoregion II12, Subecoregion II21, Subecoregion II22 and Subecoregion II23. Moreover, the characteristics of the two level I aquatic ecoregions and five level II aquatic subecoregions in the Taihu Lake watershed were summarized, showing that there were significant differences in topography, socio-economic development, water quality and aquatic ecology, etc. The results of quantitative comparison of aquatic life also indicated that the dominant species of fish, benthic density, biomass, dominant species, Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Margalef species richness index, Pielou evenness index and ecological dominance showed great spatial variability between the two level I aquatic ecoregions and five level II aquatic subecoregions. It reflected the spatial heterogeneities and the uneven natures of aquatic ecosystems in the Taihu Lake watershed.

  1. Determining the Effectiveness of Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, Conservation, and Management Practices.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The science of aquatic ecosystem restoration and management is still in its infancy, largely because most projects are inadequately tracked and monitored for assessing their success. Historically, evaluating the effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs) has relied heavily...

  2. Determining the Effectiveness of Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, Conservation, and Management Practices.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The science of aquatic ecosystem restoration and management is still in its infancy, largely because most projects are inadequately tracked and monitored for assessing their success. Historically, evaluating the effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs) has relied heavily...

  3. CONCEPTUAL MODELS AND METHODS TO GUIDE DIAGNOSTIC RESEARCH INTO CAUSES OF IMPAIRMENT TO AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Methods and conceptual models to guide the development of tools for diagnosing the causes of biological impairment within aquatic ecosystems of the United States are described in this report. The conceptual models developed here address nutrients, suspended and bedded sediments (...

  4. Geologic sources of nutrients for aquatic ecosystems (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahlgren, R. A.; Jeffres, C.; Nichols, A. L.; Deas, M.; Willis, A.; Mount, J.

    2010-12-01

    Nutrient inputs from geologic materials are not typically considered an ecologically significant source of nutrients for freshwater aquatic ecosystems. However, in volcanic terrains where regional groundwater interacts with volcanic and underlying sedimentary deposits, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from geologic sources can provide ecologically significant inputs of nutrients to fuel aquatic food webs. The Big Springs-Shasta River complex emanating from the flanks of Mt. Shasta, a stratovolcano in northern California, creates a unique ecological niche that we propose as the explanation for the exceptionally high historical abundances and productivity of salmonids in the Shasta River. The Big Springs complex is a slightly-thermal springs (natural flow of 2.6 m3/s) that is the primary source of water for the Shasta River. The spring waters have a mean recharge elevation of 2880 m on Mt. Shasta. During the 20-50 years of transport as groundwater, both nitrogen and phosphorus are released from the underlying marine sedimentary and volcanic rocks. Mean NO3-N and soluble-reactive PO4-P concentrations over a two year period were 0.48 mg/L and 0.15 mg/L, respectively. The PO4 concentrations are in equilibrium with hydroxyapatite (Ca2OHPO4) suggesting that release of PO4 by chemical weathering of the highly weatherable volcanic deposits is the primary source of the PO4. The primary source of nitrogen is from detrital organic matter incorporated in the marine sedimentary rocks during diagensis. This “geologic” nitrogen is released from rocks by hydrothermal waters and transported with the groundwater. The nitrogen and phosphorus coupled with year round consistent water flow volumes and thermal buffering (10-12o C) fuel primary productivity and enhance food web productivity. Abundant nutrients allow for high rates of primary productivity, providing food for invertebrates, which ultimately comprise the primary food source for salmonids. These volcanic-derived, spring

  5. CLASSIFICATION FRAMEWORK FOR COASTAL ECOSYSTEM RESPONSES TO AQUATIC STRESSORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many classification schemes have been developed to group ecosystems based on similar characteristics. To date, however, no single scheme has addressed coastal ecosystem responses to multiple stressors. We developed a classification framework for coastal ecosystems to improve the ...

  6. MICROBIAL INDICATORS OF AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM CHANGE: CURRENT APPLICATIONS TO EUTROPHICATION STUDIES. (R828677C001)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Human encroachment on aquatic ecosystems is increasing at an unprecedented rate. The impacts of human pollution and habitat alteration are most evident and of greatest concern at the microbial level, where a bulk of production and nutrient cycling takes place. Aquatic ecosyste...

  7. MICROBIAL INDICATORS OF AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM CHANGE: CURRENT APPLICATIONS TO EUTROPHICATION STUDIES. (R828677C001)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Human encroachment on aquatic ecosystems is increasing at an unprecedented rate. The impacts of human pollution and habitat alteration are most evident and of greatest concern at the microbial level, where a bulk of production and nutrient cycling takes place. Aquatic ecosyste...

  8. Concentrated standing tailwater: a mechanism for nutrient delivery to downstream aquatic ecosystems

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Contribution of first flush runoff events from intense rainfall to downstream aquatic ecosystems are often reported in terms of sediment and nutrient delivery, with hardly any consideration to the contribution that standing, concentrated tailwater in primary aquatic systems makes to downstream nutri...

  9. Biogeochemistry and nitrogen cycling in an Arctic, volcanic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogel, M. L.; Benning, L.; Conrad, P. G.; Eigenbrode, J.; Starke, V.

    2007-12-01

    As part of a study on Mars Analogue environments, the biogeochemistry of Sverrefjellet Volcano, Bocfjorden, Svalbard, was conducted and compared to surrounding glacial, thermal spring, and sedimentary environments. An understanding of how nitrogen might be distributed in a landscape that had extinct or very cold adapted, slow- growing extant organisms should be useful for detecting unknown life forms. From high elevations (900 m) to the base of the volcano (sea level), soil and rock ammonium concentrations were uniformly low, typically less than 1- 3 micrograms per gm of rock or soil. In weathered volcanic soils, reduced nitrogen concentrations were higher, and oxidized nitrogen concentrations lower. The opposite was found in a weathered Devonian sedimentary soil. Plants and lichens growing on volcanic soils have an unusually wide range in N isotopic compositions from -5 to +12‰, a range rarely measured in temperate ecosystems. Nitrogen contents and isotopic compositions of volcanic soils and rocks were strongly influenced by the presence or absence of terrestrial herbivores or marine avifauna with higher concentrations of N and elevated N isotopic compositions occurring as patches in areas immediately influenced by reindeer, Arctic fox ( Alopex lagopus), and marine birds. Because of the extreme conditions in this area, ephemeral deposition of herbivore feces results in a direct and immediate N pulses into the ecosystem. The lateral extent and distribution of marine- derived nitrogen was measured on a landscape scale surrounding an active fox den. Nitrogen was tracked from the bones of marine birds to soil to vegetation. Because of extreme cold, slow biological rates and nitrogen cycling, a mosaic of N patterns develops on the landscape scale.

  10. Rare earth elements in freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems in the eastern Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    MacMillan, Gwyneth Anne; Chételat, John; Heath, Joel P; Mickpegak, Raymond; Amyot, Marc

    2017-09-07

    Few ecotoxicological studies exist for rare earth elements (REEs), particularly field-based studies on their bioaccumulation and food web dynamics. REE mining has led to significant environmental impacts in several countries (China, Brazil, U.S.), yet little is known about the fate and transport of these contaminants of emerging concern. Northern ecosystems are potentially vulnerable to REE enrichment from prospective mining projects at high latitudes. To understand how REEs behave in remote northern food webs, we measured REE concentrations and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios (∂(15)N, ∂(13)C) in biota from marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems of the eastern Canadian Arctic (N = 339). Wildlife harvesting and tissue sampling was partly conducted by local hunters through a community-based monitoring project. Results show that REEs generally follow a coherent bioaccumulation pattern for sample tissues, with some anomalies for redox-sensitive elements (Ce, Eu). Highest REE concentrations were found at low trophic levels, especially in vegetation and aquatic invertebrates. Terrestrial herbivores, ringed seal, and fish had low total REE levels in muscle tissue (∑REE for 15 elements <0.1 nmol g(-1)), yet accumulation was an order of magnitude higher in liver tissues. Age- and length-dependent REE accumulation also suggest that REE uptake is faster than elimination for some species. Overall, REE bioaccumulation patterns appear to be species- and tissue-specific, with limited potential for biomagnification. This study provides novel data on the behaviour of REEs in ecosystems and will be useful for environmental impact assessment of REE enrichment in northern regions.

  11. Monitoring ecosystem dynamics in an Arctic tundra ecosystem using hyperspectral reflectance and a robotic tram system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Santonu

    Global change, which includes climate change and the impacts of human disturbance, is altering the provision and sustainability of ecosystem goods and services. These changes have the capacity to initiate cascading affects and complex feedbacks through physical, biological and human subsystems and interactions between them. Understanding the future state of the earth system requires improved knowledge of ecosystem dynamics and long term observations of how these are being impacted by global change. Improving remote sensing methods is essential for such advancement because satellite remote sensing is the only means by which landscape to continental-scale change can be observed. The Arctic appears to be impacted by climate change more than any other region on Earth. Arctic terrestrial ecosystems comprise only 6% of the land surface area on Earth yet contain an estimated 25% of global soil organic carbon, most of which is stored in permafrost. If projected increases in plant productivity do not offset forecast losses of soil carbon to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases, regional to global greenhouse warming could be enhanced. Soil moisture is an important control of land-atmosphere carbon exchange in arctic terrestrial ecosystems. However, few studies to date have examined using remote sensing, or developed remote sensing methods for observing the complex interplay between soil moisture and plant phenology and productivity in arctic landscapes. This study was motivated by this knowledge gap and addressed the following questions as a contribution to a large scale, multi investigator flooding and draining experiment funded by the National Science Foundation near Barrow, Alaska (71°17'01" N, 156°35'48" W): (1) How can optical remote sensing be used to monitor the surface hydrology of arctic landscapes? (2) What are the spatio-temporal dynamics of land-surface phenology (NDVI) in the study area and do hydrological treatment has any effect on inter-annual patterns? (3

  12. Changing Arctic ecosystems--the role of ecosystem changes across the Boreal-Arctic transition zone on the distribution and abundance of wildlife populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McNew, Lance; Handel, Colleen; Pearce, John; DeGange, Anthony R.; Holland-Bartels, Leslie; Whalen, Mary

    2013-01-01

    Arctic and boreal ecosystems provide important breeding habitat for more than half of North America’s migratory birds as well as many resident species. Northern landscapes are projected to experience more pronounced climate-related changes in habitat than most other regions. These changes include increases in shrub growth, conversion of tundra to forest, alteration of wetlands, shifts in species’ composition, and changes in the frequency and scale of fires and insect outbreaks. Changing habitat conditions, in turn, may have significant effects on the distribution and abundance of wildlife in these critical northern ecosystems. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting studies in the Boreal–Arctic transition zone of Alaska, an environment of accelerated change in this sensitive margin between Arctic tundra and boreal forest.

  13. Predicted responses of arctic and alpine ecosystems to altered seasonality under climate change.

    PubMed

    Ernakovich, Jessica G; Hopping, Kelly A; Berdanier, Aaron B; Simpson, Rodney T; Kachergis, Emily J; Steltzer, Heidi; Wallenstein, Matthew D

    2014-10-01

    Global climate change is already having significant impacts on arctic and alpine ecosystems, and ongoing increases in temperature and altered precipitation patterns will affect the strong seasonal patterns that characterize these temperature-limited systems. The length of the potential growing season in these tundra environments is increasing due to warmer temperatures and earlier spring snow melt. Here, we compare current and projected climate and ecological data from 20 Northern Hemisphere sites to identify how seasonal changes in the physical environment due to climate change will alter the seasonality of arctic and alpine ecosystems. We find that although arctic and alpine ecosystems appear similar under historical climate conditions, climate change will lead to divergent responses, particularly in the spring and fall shoulder seasons. As seasonality changes in the Arctic, plants will advance the timing of spring phenological events, which could increase plant nutrient uptake, production, and ecosystem carbon (C) gain. In alpine regions, photoperiod will constrain spring plant phenology, limiting the extent to which the growing season can lengthen, especially if decreased water availability from earlier snow melt and warmer summer temperatures lead to earlier senescence. The result could be a shorter growing season with decreased production and increased nutrient loss. These contrasting alpine and arctic ecosystem responses will have cascading effects on ecosystems, affecting community structure, biotic interactions, and biogeochemistry.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  15. Biomonitoring: an appealing tool for assessment of metal pollution in the aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Qunfang; Zhang, Jianbin; Fu, Jianjie; Shi, Jianbo; Jiang, Guibin

    2008-01-14

    Wide occurrence of aquatic metal pollution has caused much attention. Biomonitoring offers an appealing tool for the assessment of metal pollution in aquatic ecosystem. The bioindicators including algae, macrophyte, zooplankton, insect, bivalve mollusks, gastropod, fish, amphibian and others are enumerated and compared for their advantages and disadvantages in practical biomonitoring of aquatic metal pollution. The common biomonitoring techniques classified as bioaccumulation, biochemical alterations, morphological and behavior observation, population- and community-level approaches and modeling are discussed. The potential applications of biomonitoring are proposed to mainly include evaluation of actual aquatic metal pollution, bioremediation, toxicology prediction and researches on toxicological mechanism. Further perspectives are made for the biomonitoring of metal pollution in aquatic ecosystem.

  16. Increases in terrestrially derived carbon stimulate organic carbon processing and CO₂ emissions in boreal aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lapierre, Jean-François; Guillemette, François; Berggren, Martin; del Giorgio, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    The concentrations of terrestrially derived dissolved organic carbon have been increasing throughout northern aquatic ecosystems in recent decades, but whether these shifts have an impact on aquatic carbon emissions at the continental scale depends on the potential for this terrestrial carbon to be converted into carbon dioxide. Here, via the analysis of hundreds of boreal lakes, rivers and wetlands in Canada, we show that, contrary to conventional assumptions, the proportion of biologically degradable dissolved organic carbon remains constant and the photochemical degradability increases with terrestrial influence. Thus, degradation potential increases with increasing amounts of terrestrial carbon. Our results provide empirical evidence of a strong causal link between dissolved organic carbon concentrations and aquatic fluxes of carbon dioxide, mediated by the degradation of land-derived organic carbon in aquatic ecosystems. Future shifts in the patterns of terrestrial dissolved organic carbon in inland waters thus have the potential to significantly increase aquatic carbon emissions across northern landscapes.

  17. Soil Biota and Litter Decay in High Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González, G.; Rivera, F.; Makarova, O.; Gould, W. A.

    2006-12-01

    Frost heave action contributes to the formation of non-sorted circles in the High Arctic. Non-sorted circles tend to heave more than the surrounding tundra due to deeper thaw and the formation of ice lenses. Thus, the geomorphology, soils and vegetation on the centers of the patterned-ground feature (non-sorted circles) as compared to the surrounding soils (inter-circles) can be different. We established a decomposition experiment to look at in situ decay rates of the most dominant graminoid species on non-sorted circles and adjacent inter-circle soils along a climatic gradient in the Canadian High Arctic as a component of a larger study looking at the biocomplexity of small-featured patterned ground ecosystems. Additionally, we investigated variation in soil chemical properties and biota, including soil microarthropods and microbial composition and biomass, as they relate to climate, topographic position, and litter decay rates. Our three sites locations, from coldest to warmest, are Isachsen, Ellef Ringnes Island (ER), NU (bioclimatic subzone A); Mould Bay (MB), Prince Patrick Island, NT (bioclimatic subzone B), and Green Cabin (GC), Aulavik National Park, Thomsen River, Banks Island, NT (bioclimatic subzone C). Our sample design included the selection of 15 non-sorted circles and adjacent inter-circle areas within the zonal vegetation at each site (a total of 90 sites), and a second set of 3 non-sorted circles and adjacent inter-circle areas in dry, mesic and wet tundra at each of the sites. Soil invertebrates were sampled at each site using both pitfall traps, soil microbial biomass was determined using substrate induced respiration and bacterial populations were determined using the most probable number method. Decomposition rates were measured using litterbags and as the percent of mass remaining of Carex misandra, Luzula nivalis and Alopecuris alpinus in GC, MB and ER, respectively. Our findings indicate these graminoid species decayed significantly over

  18. Turbulence and Fluid Flow: Perspectives. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simpson, James R.

    This module is part of a series on Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems. The materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process.…

  19. Biological Production in Lakes. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Ecological Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walters, R. A.; Carey, G. F.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. Primary production in aquatic ecosystems is carried out by phytoplankton, microscopic plants…

  20. Critical review of mercury fates and contamination in the Arctic tundra ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Poissant, Laurier; Zhang, Hong H; Canário, João; Constant, Philippe

    2008-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination in tundra region has raised substantial concerns, especially since the first report of atmospheric mercury depletion events (AMDEs) in the Polar Regions. During the past decade, steady progress has been made in the research of Hg cycling in the Polar Regions. This has generated a unique opportunity to survey the whole Arctic in respect to Hg issue and to find out new discoveries. However, there are still considerable knowledge gaps and debates on the fate of Hg in the Arctic and Antarctica, especially regarding the importance and significance of AMDEs vs. net Hg loadings and other processes that burden Hg in the Arctic. Some studies argued that climate warming since the last century has exerted profound effects on the limnology of High Arctic lakes, including substantial increases in autochthonous primary productivity which increased in sedimentary Hg, whereas some others pointed out the importance of the formation and postdeposition crystallographic history of the snow and ice crystals in determining the fate and concentration of mercury in the cryosphere in addition to AMDEs. Is mercury re-emitted back to the atmosphere after AMDEs? Is Hg methylation effective in the Arctic tundra? Where the sources of MeHg are? What is its fate? Is this stimulated by human made? This paper presents a critical review about the fate of Hg in the Arctic tundra, such as pathways and process of Hg delivery into the Arctic ecosystem; Hg concentrations in freshwater and marine ecosystems; Hg concentrations in terrestrial biota; trophic transfer of Hg and bioaccumulation of Hg through food chain. This critical review of mercury fates and contamination in the Arctic tundra ecosystem is assessing the impacts and potential risks of Hg contamination on the health of Arctic people and the global northern environment by highlighting and "perspectiving" the various mercury processes and concentrations found in the Arctic tundra.

  1. Development of scientific tools for monitoring the health of aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caldararu, Aurelia; Voiculescu, Mirela; Georgescu, Lucian P.

    2010-05-01

    Humanity is faced nowadays with the major problem of water availability and quality which is a conseqquence of growing demand for water as well as the decline of water quality and quantity. It is not an exaggeration to claim that, without effective management of aquatic ecosystems, the future social and economic development of the world will suffer serious constraints or will be placed significantly at risk. Taking into consideration the fact that the world is rapidly changing, current practices of water management must also change. Developed and developing countries will have to adopt the most effective policies for the management of aquatic ecosystems. They will also have to start using the best techniques for water monitoring. The nature of future problems that could arise in aquatic ecosystems must be carefully anticipated and then objectively analysed in the light of the expected changes. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires a holistic knowledge of abiotic and biotic structure and processes that determine the functioning of aquatic ecosystems. Ecological indicators are provided to monitor the ecosystem responses to anthropogenic pressures. We will summarize in this presentation ecological indices that can be used for effective and accurate monitoring of aquatic ecosystems. Different contexts where these indices can be used for environmental health monitoring will be also analysed.

  2. A Source of Terrestrial Organic Carbon to Investigate the Browning of Aquatic Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Lennon, Jay T.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Muscarella, Mario E.; Grandy, A. Stuart; Wickings, Kyle; Jones, Stuart E.

    2013-01-01

    There is growing evidence that terrestrial ecosystems are exporting more dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to aquatic ecosystems than they did just a few decades ago. This “browning” phenomenon will alter the chemistry, physics, and biology of inland water bodies in complex and difficult-to-predict ways. Experiments provide an opportunity to elucidate how browning will affect the stability and functioning of aquatic ecosystems. However, it is challenging to obtain sources of DOC that can be used for manipulations at ecologically relevant scales. In this study, we evaluated a commercially available source of humic substances (“Super Hume”) as an analog for natural sources of terrestrial DOC. Based on chemical characterizations, comparative surveys, and whole-ecosystem manipulations, we found that the physical and chemical properties of Super Hume are similar to those of natural DOC in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. For example, Super Hume attenuated solar radiation in ways that will not only influence the physiology of aquatic taxa but also the metabolism of entire ecosystems. Based on its chemical properties (high lignin content, high quinone content, and low C:N and C:P ratios), Super Hume is a fairly recalcitrant, low-quality resource for aquatic consumers. Nevertheless, we demonstrate that Super Hume can subsidize aquatic food webs through 1) the uptake of dissolved organic constituents by microorganisms, and 2) the consumption of particulate fractions by larger organisms (i.e., Daphnia). After discussing some of the caveats of Super Hume, we conclude that commercial sources of humic substances can be used to help address pressing ecological questions concerning the increased export of terrestrial DOC to aquatic ecosystems. PMID:24124511

  3. Isotopic and Geochemical Fingerprinting of a Polygonal Arctic Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Throckmorton, H.; Heikoop, J. M.; Newman, B. D.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic tundra contain large C stocks and may be an important source of CO2 and CH4 over the next century due to a rapidly changing climate, degrading permafrost, and redistribution of water across high latitude landscapes. This presentation synthesizes geochemical and isotopic data and examines vertical and lateral factors and processes critical to predicting the C, N, and water balance of tundra ecosystems. Stable water isotope analyses (delta 2H and delta 18O) indicate that summer rain is the dominant source for active layer groundwater, with melting seasonal ice contributing to deeper pore waters in late summer. Microtopography and water table effects on geochemistry were apparent from a comprehensive spatial examination of active layer biogeochemistry, showing a number of significant differences in the concentrations of cations and anions for high- vs. low-centered polygons, microtopographic features (polygonal centers vs. troughs), and with depth. Results have implications for future nutrient availability with projected permafrost degradation and landscape evolution, suggesting greater availability of limiting nutrients (sulfate, phosphate, and nitrate) where polygons undergo a shift from low- to high-centered. Nitrate isotopes (delta 15N and delta 18O) indicated a predominantly microbial source for nitrate in high centered polygons active layers. However, atmospheric nitrate was preserved in permafrost, and may serve as a potential indicator of permafrost degradation. Additionally, results suggest that older, deeper C sources may be promoting a shift in methanogenic pathway, from predominantly acetoclastic to hydrogenotrophic. This mechanistic shift is attributed to the source and quality of available organic substrate. Overall, results showed substantial lateral and vertical variability in biogeochemical, biogeophysical, and hydrological processes across microtopographic- to landscape scales that needs to be accounted for in fine and intermediate scale

  4. NON-TRADITIONAL RESPONSES TO PHARMACEUTICALS IN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Quantitation of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals in environmental matrices has resulted in pharmaceuticals in the environment receiving unprecedented attention from the scientific community. Aquatic hazard assessments often use quantitative structure activity relationships an...

  5. NON-TRADITIONAL RESPONSES TO PHARMACEUTICALS IN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Quantitation of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals in environmental matrices has resulted in pharmaceuticals in the environment receiving unprecedented attention from the scientific community. Aquatic hazard assessments often use quantitative structure activity relationships an...

  6. Fear Mediates Trophic Cascades: Nonconsumptive Effects of Predators Drive Aquatic Ecosystem Function.

    PubMed

    Breviglieri, Crasso Paulo B; Oliveira, Paulo S; Romero, Gustavo Q

    2017-05-01

    Predators control prey populations and influence communities and the functioning of ecosystems through a combination of consumptive and nonconsumptive effects. These effects can be locally confined to one ecosystem but can also be extended to neighboring ecosystems. In this study, we investigated the nonconsumptive effects of terrestrial avian predators on the communities of aquatic invertebrates inhabiting bromeliads and on the functioning of these natural ecosystems. Bromeliads with stuffed birds placed nearby showed a decrease in aquatic damselfly larvae abundance and biomass, and we can infer that these changes were caused by antipredator responses. These larvae, which are top predators in bromeliad ecosystems, changed the composition of the entire aquatic invertebrate community. While total species richness, mesopredator richness, and shredder abundance increased in the presence of birds, scraper biomass decreased, possibly as a consequence of the increase in mesopredator richness. High scraper biomass in the absence of birds may have accelerated detrital decomposition, making more nutrients available for bromeliads, which grew more. These results show that nonconsumptive effects triggered by terrestrial predators can cascade down to lower trophic levels and dramatically affect the functioning of aquatic ecosystems, which can in turn alter nutrient provision to terrestrial ecosystems.

  7. Changing Arctic ecosystems: sea ice decline, permafrost thaw, and benefits for geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flint, Paul; Whalen, Mary; Pearce, John M.

    2014-01-01

    Through the Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) strives to inform resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information on current and future ecosystem response to a warming climate. A key area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. This region has experienced a warming trend over the past 30 years, leading to reductions in sea ice and thawing of permafrost. Loss of sea ice has increased ocean wave action, leading to erosion and salt water inundation of coastal habitats. Saltwater tolerant plants are now thriving in these areas and this appears to be a positive outcome for geese in the Arctic. This finding is contrary to the deleterious effects that declining sea ice is having on habitats of ice-dependent animals, such as polar bear and walrus.

  8. Metrics of ecosystem status for large aquatic systems: a global comparison

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dobiesz, N.E.; Hecky, R.E.; Johnson, T.B.; Sarvala, J.; Dettmers, J.M.; Lehtiniemi, M.; Rudstam, L. G.; Madenjian, C.P.; Witte, F.

    2010-01-01

    We identified an objective set of 25 commonly available ecosystem metrics applicable across the world's large continental freshwater and brackish aquatic ecosystem. These metrics measure trophic structure, exploited species, habitat alteration, and catchment changes. We used long-term trends in these metrics as indicators of perturbations that represent an ecosystem not in homeostasis. We defined a healthy ecosystem as being in a homeostatic state; therefore, ecosystems with many changing trends were defined as more disturbed than ecosystems with fewer changing trends. Healthy ecosystems (lakes Baikal, Superior, and Tanganyika) were large, deep lakes in relatively unpopulated areas with no signs of eutrophication and no changes to their trophic structure. Disturbed ecosystems (lakes Michigan, Ontario, and Victoria) had shallow to moderately deep basins with high watershed population pressure and intense agricultural and residential land use. Transitioning systems had widely varying trends and faced increasing anthropogenic pressures. Standardized methodologies for capturing data could improve our understanding of the current state of these ecosystems and allow for comparisons of the response of large aquatic ecosystems to local and global stressors thereby providing more reliable insights into future changes in ecosystem health.

  9. Mercury bioaccumulation along food webs in temperate aquatic ecosystems colonized by aquatic macrophytes in south western France.

    PubMed

    Gentès, Sophie; Maury-Brachet, Régine; Guyoneaud, Rémy; Monperrus, Mathilde; André, Jean-Marc; Davail, Stéphane; Legeay, Alexia

    2013-05-01

    Mercury (Hg) is considered as an important pollutant for aquatic systems as its organic form, methylmercury (MeHg), is easily bioaccumulated and bioamplified along food webs. In various ecosystems, aquatic periphyton associated with macrophyte was identified as an important place for Hg storage and methylation by microorganisms. Our study concerns temperate aquatic ecosystems (South Western France) colonized by invasive macrophytes and characterized by high mercury methylation potentials. This work establishes original data concerning Hg bioaccumulation in organisms (plants, crustaceans, molluscs and fish) from five contrasting ecosystems. For low trophic level species, total Hg (THg) concentrations were low (from 27±2ngTHgg(-1)dw in asiatic clam Corbicula fluminea to 418±114ngTHgg(-1)dw in crayfish Procambarus clarkii). THg concentrations in some carnivorous fish (high trophic level) were close to or exceeded the International Marketing Level (IML) with values ranging from 1049±220ngTHgg(-1)dw in pike perch muscle (Sander lucioperca) to 3910±1307ngTHgg(-1)dw in eel muscle (Anguilla Anguilla). Trophic levels for the individuals were also evaluated through stable isotope analysis, and linked to Hg concentrations of organisms. A significant Hg biomagnification (r(2)= 0.9) was observed in the Aureilhan lake, despite the absence of top predator fish. For this site, Ludwigia sp. periphyton, as an entry point of Hg into food webs, is a serious hypothesis which remains to be confirmed. This study provides a first investigation of Hg transfer in the ecosystems of south western France and allows the assessment of the risk associated with the presence of Hg in aquatic food webs.

  10. Rough-Legged Buzzards, Arctic Foxes and Red Foxes in a Tundra Ecosystem without Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Pokrovsky, Ivan; Ehrich, Dorothée; Ims, Rolf A.; Kondratyev, Alexander V.; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Kulikova, Olga; Mihnevich, Julia; Pokrovskaya, Liya; Shienok, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25692786

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

    PubMed

    Pokrovsky, Ivan; Ehrich, Dorothée; Ims, Rolf A; Kondratyev, Alexander V; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Kulikova, Olga; Mihnevich, Julia; Pokrovskaya, Liya; Shienok, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    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.

  12. Cyanotoxins in arctic lakes of southwestern Greenland and the potential for toxin transfer within-lake and across the aquatic-terrestrial boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trout-Haney, J. V.; Cottingham, K. L.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic lakes are often characterized as low-resource environments in which the autotrophic community is limited by factors such as nutrients, temperature, and light. Studies of cyanotoxins have traditionally focused on nutrient-rich lakes with conspicuous blooms, however toxigenic cyanobacteria are confined to neither high nutrient environments nor planktonic taxa. We quantified the occurrence of cyanotoxins across 19 arctic lakes of varying size and depth in the Kangerlussuaq region of southwestern Greenland. Whole lake water microcystins (MC) were detected in all lakes and ranged from low (<5 ng/L) to moderate (>100 ng/L) concentrations. Benthic colonial cyanobacteria of the genus Nostoc are a prominent feature of certain lakes in this region, with estimated densities ranging between 500 and >500,000 colonies per lake. MC were present in the tissue of Nostoc colonies (95% CI, 1638.9 - 3237.6 pg MC (g wet weight)-1) and were actively released by colonies into surrounding water in laboratory trials. These results highlight the potential importance of toxic benthic cyanobacteria in lake ecosystems. Further, we investigated the transfer of these cyanotoxins to other organisms in the lake as well as several mechanisms (i.e., emerging insects, aerosols) that may influence the movement of toxins into the terrestrial ecosystem. The presence and movement of cyanotoxins in the coupled terrestrial-aquatic ecosystem demonstrate that high-latitude lakes can support toxigenic cyanobacteria, and that we may be underestimating the potential for these systems to develop high levels of toxicity in the future.

  13. Potent toxins in Arctic environments--presence of saxitoxins and an unusual microcystin variant in Arctic freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Julia; Wood, Susanna A; Puddick, Jonathan; Schleheck, David; Küpper, Frithjof C; Dietrich, Daniel

    2013-11-25

    Cyanobacteria are the predominant phototrophs in freshwater ecosystems of the polar regions where they commonly form extensive benthic mats. Despite their major biological role in these ecosystems, little attention has been paid to their physiology and biochemistry. An important feature of cyanobacteria from the temperate and tropical regions is the production of a large variety of toxic secondary metabolites. In Antarctica, and more recently in the Arctic, the cyanobacterial toxins microcystin and nodularin (Antarctic only) have been detected in freshwater microbial mats. To date other cyanobacterial toxins have not been reported from these locations. Five Arctic cyanobacterial communities were screened for saxitoxin, another common cyanobacterial toxin, and microcystins using immunological, spectroscopic and molecular methods. Saxitoxin was detected for the first time in cyanobacteria from the Arctic. In addition, an unusual microcystin variant was identified using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Gene expression analyses confirmed the analytical findings, whereby parts of the sxt and mcy operon involved in saxitoxin and microcystin synthesis, were detected and sequenced in one and five of the Arctic cyanobacterial samples, respectively. The detection of these compounds in the cryosphere improves the understanding of the biogeography and distribution of toxic cyanobacteria globally. The sequences of sxt and mcy genes provided from this habitat for the first time may help to clarify the evolutionary origin of toxin production in cyanobacteria. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Effects of selenium supplementation in cattle on aquatic ecosystems in northern California

    SciTech Connect

    Norman, B.; Nader, G.; Oliver, M.; Delmas, R.; Drake, D.; George, H. )

    1992-09-15

    The potential impact on aquatic ecosystems of supplementing the diets of beef cattle with selenium (Se) was studied on 4 northern California ranches. All study sites included an area of concentrated use by cattle that had diets supplemented with Se. In each case, a stream flowed through the site and provided a control sampling area upstream and a treated sampling area downstream. Specimens of water, sediment, algae, aquatic plants, aquatic invertebrates, and fish were analyzed fluorometrically for total Se content. Significant differences in Se concentration were not found between specimens from upstream control areas and those from downstream areas subjected to use by Se-treated cattle. Evidence was not found that Se supplementation in cattle at maximal permitted concentrations caused Se accumulation in associated aquatic ecosystems.

  15. Technology-Supported Inquiry for Learning about Aquatic Ecosystems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.; Eberbach, Catherine; Jordan, Rebecca

    2014-01-01

    Understanding ecosystems is challenging, but important for becoming environmentally-literate citizens of today's society. People have difficulty considering how different components, mechanisms, and phenomena, both visible and invisible, are interconnected within ecosystems. This research presents both the design and initial testing of an…

  16. Technology-Supported Inquiry for Learning about Aquatic Ecosystems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.; Eberbach, Catherine; Jordan, Rebecca

    2014-01-01

    Understanding ecosystems is challenging, but important for becoming environmentally-literate citizens of today's society. People have difficulty considering how different components, mechanisms, and phenomena, both visible and invisible, are interconnected within ecosystems. This research presents both the design and initial testing of an…

  17. Effects on the function of Arctic ecosystems in the short- and long-term perspectives.

    PubMed

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus

    2004-11-01

    Historically, the function of Arctic ecosystems in terms of cycles of nutrients and carbon has led to low levels of primary production and exchanges of energy, water and greenhouse gases have led to low local and regional cooling. Sequestration of carbon from atmospheric CO2, in extensive, cold organic soils and the high albedo from low, snow-covered vegetation have had impacts on regional climate. However, many aspects of the functioning of Arctic ecosystems are sensitive to changes in climate and its impacts on biodiversity. The current Arctic climate results in slow rates of organic matter decomposition. Arctic ecosystems therefore tend to accumulate organic matter and elements despite low inputs. As a result, soil-available elements like nitrogen and phosphorus are key limitations to increases in carbon fixation and further biomass and organic matter accumulation. Climate warming is expected to increase carbon and element turnover, particularly in soils, which may lead to initial losses of elements but eventual, slow recovery. Individual species and species diversity have clear impacts on element inputs and retention in Arctic ecosystems. Effects of increased CO2 and UV-B on whole ecosystems, on the other hand, are likely to be small although effects on plant tissue chemisty, decomposition and nitrogen fixation may become important in the long-term. Cycling of carbon in trace gas form is mainly as CO2 and CH4. Most carbon loss is in the form of CO2, produced by both plants and soil biota. Carbon emissions as methane from wet and moist tundra ecosystems are about 5% of emissions as CO2 and are responsive to warming in the absence of any other changes. Winter processes and vegetation type also affect CH4 emissions as well as exchanges of energy between biosphere and atmosphere. Arctic ecosystems exhibit the largest seasonal changes in energy exchange of any terrestrial ecosystem because of the large changes in albedo from late winter, when snow reflects most

  18. Increases in Growing Season Length and Changes in Precipitation at Six Different Arctic and Subarctic Ecosystems from 1906-Present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Culler, L. E.; Finger, R.; Plane, E.; Ayres, M.; Virginia, R. A.

    2015-12-01

    Ecological dynamics across the Arctic are responding to rapid changes in climate. As a whole, the Arctic has warmed at approximately twice the rate of the rest of the world, but changes in temperature and precipitation experienced at regional and local scales are most important for coupled human-natural systems. In addition, biologically-relevant climate indices are necessary for quantifying ecological responses of terrestrial and aquatic systems to varying climate. We compared climatic changes at six different Arctic and sub-Arctic locations, including two in Greenland (Kangerlussuaq, Sisimiut), one in Sweden (Abisko), and three in Alaska (Barrow, Nome, Fairbanks). We amassed weather data (daily temperature and precipitation), dating as far back as 1906, from public-access databases and used these data to calculate indices such as length of growing season, growing season degree days (GDD), and growing season precipitation. Annual GDD increased at all locations (average of 13% increase in GDD since 1980), but especially in western Greenland (16 and 37% in Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut, respectively). Changes in growing season precipitation were more variable, with only Barrow, AK and Abisko, Sweden experiencing increased precipitation. All other sites experienced stable or slightly declining precipitation. Increasing temperatures and relatively stable precipitation translates to increased evapotranspiration potential, which influences soil moisture, lake depth, vegetation, carbon emissions, and fire susceptibility. Understanding local and regional trends in temperature and precipitation can help explain observed phenological changes and other processes at population, community, and ecosystem levels. In addition, identification of locations most susceptible to future change will allow scientists to closely monitor their ecological dynamics, anticipate changes in coupled human-natural systems, and consider adaptation plans for the most rapidly changing systems.

  19. Ecosystem-phase interactions: aquatic eutrophication decreases terrestrial plant diversity in California vernal pools.

    PubMed

    Kneitel, Jamie M; Lessin, Carrie L

    2010-06-01

    Eutrophication has long been known to negatively affect aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. In freshwater ecosystems, excessive nutrient input results in a shift from vascular plant dominance to algal dominance, while the nutrient-species richness relationship is found to be unimodal. Eutrophication studies are usually conducted in continuously aquatic or terrestrial habitats, but it is unclear how these patterns may be altered by temporal heterogeneity driven by precipitation and temperature variation. The California vernal pool (CVP) ecosystem consists of three distinct phases (aquatic, terrestrial, and dry) caused by variation in climatic conditions. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that resource addition during the aquatic phase results in increased algal abundance, which reduces vascular plant cover and richness of the terrestrial phase upon desiccation. We used mesocosms layered with CVP soil, in which treatments consisted of five levels of nitrogen and phosphorous added every 2 weeks. Resource addition increased available phosphorus levels and algae cover during the aquatic phase. Increased algal crusts resulted in decreased vascular plant percent cover and species richness. Few significant patterns were observed with individual plant species and total biomass. The phosphorus-plant richness relationship was not significant, but species composition was significantly different among the low and high treatment comparisons. These results highlight a neglected effect of eutrophication in seasonal habitats. Interactions among ecosystem phases clearly require more attention empirically and theoretically. Management and restoration of temporally heterogeneous habitat, such as the endemic-rich CVP, need to consider the extensive effects of increased nutrient input.

  20. Effects of acid-mine wastes on aquatic ecosystems

    Treesearch

    John David Parsons

    1976-01-01

    The Cedar Creek Basin (39th N parallel 92nd W meridian) was studied for the period June 1952 through August 1954 to observe the effects of both continuous and periodic acid effluent flows on aquatic communities. The acid strip-mine effluent contained ferric and ferrous iron, copper, lead, zinc, aluminum, magnesium, titratable acid, and elevated hydrogen ion...

  1. Community ecology theory predicts the effects of agrochemical mixtures on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem properties.

    PubMed

    Halstead, Neal T; McMahon, Taegan A; Johnson, Steve A; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; Crumrine, Patrick W; Rohr, Jason R

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystems are often exposed to mixtures of chemical contaminants, but the scientific community lacks a theoretical framework to predict the effects of mixtures on biodiversity and ecosystem properties. We conducted a freshwater mesocosm experiment to examine the effects of pairwise agrochemical mixtures [fertiliser, herbicide (atrazine), insecticide (malathion) and fungicide (chlorothalonil)] on 24 species- and seven ecosystem-level responses. As postulated, the responses of biodiversity and ecosystem properties to agrochemicals alone and in mixtures was predictable by integrating information on each functional group's (1) sensitivity to the chemicals (direct effects), (2) reproductive rates (recovery rates), (3) interaction strength with other functional groups (indirect effects) and (4) links to ecosystem properties. These results show that community ecology theory holds promise for predicting the effects of contaminant mixtures on biodiversity and ecosystem services and yields recommendations on which types of agrochemicals to apply together and separately to reduce their impacts on aquatic ecosystems. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  2. Acclimation of ecosystem CO2 exchange in the Alaskan Arctic in response to decadal climate warming

    PubMed

    Oechel; Vourlitis; Hastings; Zulueta; Hinzman; Kane

    2000-08-31

    Long-term sequestration of carbon in Alaskan Arctic tundra ecosystems was reversed by warming and drying of the climate in the early 1980s, resulting in substantial losses of terrestrial carbon. But recent measurements suggest that continued warming and drying has resulted in diminished CO2 efflux, and in some cases, summer CO2 sink activity. Here we compile summer CO2 flux data for two Arctic ecosystems from 1960 to the end of 1998. The results show that a return to summer sink activity has come during the warmest and driest period observed over the past four decades, and indicates a previously undemonstrated capacity for ecosystems to metabolically adjust to long-term (decadal or longer) changes in climate. The mechanisms involved are likely to include changes in nutrient cycling, physiological acclimation, and population and community reorganization. Nevertheless, despite the observed acclimation, the Arctic ecosystems studied are still annual net sources of CO2 to the atmosphere of at least 40 g C m(-2) yr(-1), due to winter release of CO2, implying that further climate change may still exacerbate CO2 emissions from Arctic ecosystems.

  3. Preventing, controlling, and managing alien species introduction for the health of aquatic and marine ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, C.I.; Gross, S.K.; Wilkinson, D.

    2004-01-01

    The introduction and spread of invasive species is an emerging global problem. As economic and ecological impacts continue to grow, there will be an increasing need to develop innovative solutions and global partnerships to combat the increasing rate of invasions and their accompanying impacts. Threats to sustainable fisheries in North America associated with alien species come from many global directions and sources and can be deliberate or the unintended consequence of other actions. Decisions about the role of sustainable fisheries in protecting and restoring the health of aquatic ecosystems become even more complex when economic and social factors are considered along with environmental impacts, because many intentionally introduced species also have associated economic and community costs and benefits. Actions designed to prevent or control alien species in an aquatic ecosystem are often complicated by these nonenvironmental factors as well as public perception and opinion. Aquatic ecosystems are disturbed to varying degrees by alien species, including disease organisms. Prevention is the first and best line of defense. Determining likely pathways and effective countermeasures is more cost-effective than either eradication or control. Our ability to quickly identify new species and their associated risk to ecosystems is critical in designing and implementing effective control and management actions. Lack of infrastructure and necessary resources, clear-cut authority for regulation and action, and scientific information about the biology of alien species and effective control techniques are often limiting factors that prevent the needed action to protect aquatic ecosystems.

  4. Production of EPA and DHA in aquatic ecosystems and their transfer to the land.

    PubMed

    Gladyshev, Michail I; Sushchik, Nadezhda N; Makhutova, Olesia N

    2013-12-01

    Most omnivorous animals, including humans, have to some degree relied on physiologically important polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from food. Only some taxa of microalgae, rather than higher plants can synthesize de novo high amounts of EPA and DHA. Once synthesized by microalgae, PUFA are transferred through trophic chain to organisms of higher levels. Thus, aquatic ecosystems play the unique role in the Biosphere as the principal source of EPA and DHA for most omnivorous animals, including inhabitants of terrestrial ecosystems. PUFA are transferred from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems through riparian predators, drift of carrion and seaweeds, emergence of amphibiotic insects, and water birds. The essential PUFA are transferred through trophic chains with about twice higher efficiency than bulk carbon. Thereby, PUFA are accumulated, rather than diluted in biomass of organisms of higher trophic levels, e.g., in fish. Mankind is faced with a severe deficiency of EPA and DHA in diet. Although additional sources of PUFA supply for humans, such as aquaculture, biotechnology of microorganisms and transgenic terrestrial oil-seed producing plants are developed, natural fish production of aquatic ecosystems will remain one of the main sources of EPA and DHA for humans. Aquatic ecosystems have to be protected from anthropogenic impacts, such as eutrophication, pollution and warming, which reduce PUFA production.

  5. Linking Aquatic Ecosystems to Human Well-Being

    EPA Science Inventory

    While ecological indicators should have relevance to people, a clear methodology to develop and evaluate this characteristic of ecological indicators is not well developed. Economists developed the concept of “Final Ecosystem Goods and Services”. Because these featur...

  6. Linking Aquatic Ecosystems to Human Well-Being

    EPA Science Inventory

    While ecological indicators should have relevance to people, a clear methodology to develop and evaluate this characteristic of ecological indicators is not well developed. Economists developed the concept of “Final Ecosystem Goods and Services”. Because these featur...

  7. Use of mesocosm data to predict effects in aquatic ecosystems: Limits to interpretation: Chapter 16

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    La Point, Thomas W.; Fairchild, James F.; Graney, Robert L.; Kennedy, James H.; Rodgers, John H.

    1993-01-01

    Aquatic mesocosm studies are being used to refute a presumption of risk derived from laboratory toxicity tests conducted under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Mesocosm studies incorporate many biological, chemical and physical characteristics of natural ecosystems. Hence, they serve as realistic surrogates of natural ecosystems and allow tests of pesticide effect at the population, community, and ecosystem level. We discuss two factors, ecosystem trophic status and organism life history, which influence the results derived from aquatic mesocosm studies.  Trophic status influences the fat and effects of chemicals which strongly sorb or biologically degrade, yet may not be as important in the fate and effects of more water soluble chemicals.  Life history traits of organisms and the intensity, frequency, and duration of the pesticide disturbance also determine the mesocosm response pattern.

  8. Growing season and spatial variations of carbon fluxes of Arctic and boreal ecosystems in Alaska (USA).

    PubMed

    Ueyama, Masahito; Iwata, Hiroki; Harazono, Yoshinobu; Euskirchen, Eugénie S; Oechel, Walter C; Zona, Donatella

    2013-12-01

    To better understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of CO2 exchange between Arctic ecosystems and the atmosphere, we synthesized CO2 flux data, measured in eight Arctic tundra and five boreal ecosystems across Alaska (USA) and identified growing season and spatial variations of the fluxes and environmental controlling factors. For the period examined, all of the boreal and seven of the eight Arctic tundra ecosystems acted as CO2 sinks during the growing season. Seasonal patterns of the CO2 fluxes were mostly determined by air temperature, except ecosystem respiration (RE) of tundra. For the tundra ecosystems, the spatial variation of gross primary productivity (GPP) and net CO2 sink strength were explained by growing season length, whereas RE increased with growing degree days. For boreal ecosystems, the spatial variation of net CO2 sink strength was mostly determined by recovery of GPP from fire disturbance. Satellite-derived leaf area index (LAI) was a better index to explain the spatial variations of GPP and NEE of the ecosystems in Alaska than were the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and enhanced vegetation index (EVI). Multiple regression models using growing degree days, growing season length, and satellite-derived LAI explained much of the spatial variation in GPP and net CO2 exchange among the tundra and boreal ecosystems. The high sensitivity of the sink strength to growing season length indicated that the tundra ecosystem could increase CO2 sink strength under expected future warming, whereas ecosystem compositions associated with fire disturbance could play a major role in carbon release from boreal ecosystems.

  9. Pan-Arctic modelling of net ecosystem exchange of CO2.

    PubMed

    Shaver, G R; Rastetter, E B; Salmon, V; Street, L E; van de Weg, M J; Rocha, A; van Wijk, M T; Williams, M

    2013-08-19

    Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of C varies greatly among Arctic ecosystems. Here, we show that approximately 75 per cent of this variation can be accounted for in a single regression model that predicts NEE as a function of leaf area index (LAI), air temperature and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). The model was developed in concert with a survey of the light response of NEE in Arctic and subarctic tundras in Alaska, Greenland, Svalbard and Sweden. Model parametrizations based on data collected in one part of the Arctic can be used to predict NEE in other parts of the Arctic with accuracy similar to that of predictions based on data collected in the same site where NEE is predicted. The principal requirement for the dataset is that it should contain a sufficiently wide range of measurements of NEE at both high and low values of LAI, air temperature and PAR, to properly constrain the estimates of model parameters. Canopy N content can also be substituted for leaf area in predicting NEE, with equal or greater accuracy, but substitution of soil temperature for air temperature does not improve predictions. Overall, the results suggest a remarkable convergence in regulation of NEE in diverse ecosystem types throughout the Arctic.

  10. Arctic foxes as ecosystem engineers: increased soil nutrients lead to increased plant productivity on fox dens.

    PubMed

    Gharajehdaghipour, Tazarve; Roth, James D; Fafard, Paul M; Markham, John H

    2016-04-05

    Top predators can provide fundamental ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, and their impact can be even greater in environments with low nutrients and productivity, such as Arctic tundra. We estimated the effects of Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) denning on soil nutrient dynamics and vegetation production near Churchill, Manitoba in June and August 2014. Soils from fox dens contained higher nutrient levels in June (71% more inorganic nitrogen, 1195% more extractable phosphorous) and in August (242% more inorganic nitrogen, 191% more extractable phosphorous) than adjacent control sites. Inorganic nitrogen levels decreased from June to August on both dens and controls, whereas extractable phosphorous increased. Pup production the previous year, which should enhance nutrient deposition (from urine, feces, and decomposing prey), did not affect soil nutrient concentrations, suggesting the impact of Arctic foxes persists >1 year. Dens supported 2.8 times greater vegetation biomass in August, but δ(15)N values in sea lyme grass (Leymus mollis) were unaffected by denning. By concentrating nutrients on dens Arctic foxes enhance nutrient cycling as an ecosystem service and thus engineer Arctic ecosystems on local scales. The enhanced productivity in patches on the landscape could subsequently affect plant diversity and the dispersion of herbivores on the tundra.

  11. Arctic foxes as ecosystem engineers: increased soil nutrients lead to increased plant productivity on fox dens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gharajehdaghipour, Tazarve; Roth, James D.; Fafard, Paul M.; Markham, John H.

    2016-04-01

    Top predators can provide fundamental ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, and their impact can be even greater in environments with low nutrients and productivity, such as Arctic tundra. We estimated the effects of Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) denning on soil nutrient dynamics and vegetation production near Churchill, Manitoba in June and August 2014. Soils from fox dens contained higher nutrient levels in June (71% more inorganic nitrogen, 1195% more extractable phosphorous) and in August (242% more inorganic nitrogen, 191% more extractable phosphorous) than adjacent control sites. Inorganic nitrogen levels decreased from June to August on both dens and controls, whereas extractable phosphorous increased. Pup production the previous year, which should enhance nutrient deposition (from urine, feces, and decomposing prey), did not affect soil nutrient concentrations, suggesting the impact of Arctic foxes persists >1 year. Dens supported 2.8 times greater vegetation biomass in August, but δ15N values in sea lyme grass (Leymus mollis) were unaffected by denning. By concentrating nutrients on dens Arctic foxes enhance nutrient cycling as an ecosystem service and thus engineer Arctic ecosystems on local scales. The enhanced productivity in patches on the landscape could subsequently affect plant diversity and the dispersion of herbivores on the tundra.

  12. Arctic foxes as ecosystem engineers: increased soil nutrients lead to increased plant productivity on fox dens

    PubMed Central

    Gharajehdaghipour, Tazarve; Roth, James D.; Fafard, Paul M.; Markham, John H.

    2016-01-01

    Top predators can provide fundamental ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, and their impact can be even greater in environments with low nutrients and productivity, such as Arctic tundra. We estimated the effects of Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) denning on soil nutrient dynamics and vegetation production near Churchill, Manitoba in June and August 2014. Soils from fox dens contained higher nutrient levels in June (71% more inorganic nitrogen, 1195% more extractable phosphorous) and in August (242% more inorganic nitrogen, 191% more extractable phosphorous) than adjacent control sites. Inorganic nitrogen levels decreased from June to August on both dens and controls, whereas extractable phosphorous increased. Pup production the previous year, which should enhance nutrient deposition (from urine, feces, and decomposing prey), did not affect soil nutrient concentrations, suggesting the impact of Arctic foxes persists >1 year. Dens supported 2.8 times greater vegetation biomass in August, but δ15N values in sea lyme grass (Leymus mollis) were unaffected by denning. By concentrating nutrients on dens Arctic foxes enhance nutrient cycling as an ecosystem service and thus engineer Arctic ecosystems on local scales. The enhanced productivity in patches on the landscape could subsequently affect plant diversity and the dispersion of herbivores on the tundra. PMID:27045973

  13. Investigating aquatic ecosystems of small lakes in Khorezm, Uzbekistan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saito, L.; Scott, J.; Rosen, M.; Nishonov, Bakhriddin; Chandra, S.; Lamers, John P.A.; Fayzieva, Dilorom; Shanafield, M.

    2009-01-01

    The Khorezm province of Uzbekistan, located in the Aral Sea Basin, suffers from severe environmental and human health problems due to decades of unsustainable land and water management. Agriculture is the dominant land use in Khorezm, and agricultural runoff water has impacted many small lakes. In this water-scarce region, these lakes may provide a water source for irrigation or fish production. Samples have been collected from 13 of these lakes since 2006 to assess water quality, the aquatic food web, and possible limits to aquatic production. Lake salinity varied from 1 to >10 g/L both between and within lakes. Although hydrophobic contaminants concentrations were low (82-241 pg toxic equivalents/mL in June 2006, October 2006, and June 2007), aquatic species diversity and relative density were low in most lakes. Ongoing work is focused on 4 lakes with pelagic food webs to estimate fish production and assess anthropogenic impacts on the food web. Lake sediment cores are also being examined for organic contaminants, and hydrology is being assessed with stable isotopes. ?? 2009 ASCE.

  14. Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Goods and Services in a Melting Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Garra, T.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic region is composed of unique ecosystems that provide a range of goods and services to local and global populations. However, Arctic sea-ice is melting at an unprecedented rate, threatening many of these ecosystems and the services they provide. Yet as the ice melts and certain goods and services are lost, other resources such as oil and minerals will become accessible. The question is: how do the losses compare with the opportunities? And how are the losses and potential gains likely to be distributed? To address these questions, this study provides a preliminary assessment of the quantity, distribution and economic value of the ecosystem services (ES) provided by Arctic ecosystems, both now and in the future given a scenario of sure climate change. Using biophysical and economic data from existing studies (and some primary data), preliminary estimates indicate that the Arctic currently provides 357m/yr (in 2014 US) in subsistence hunting value to local communities, of which reindeer/caribou comprise 83%. Reindeer herding provides 110m/yr to Arctic communities. Interestingly, 'non-use (existence/cultural) values' associated with Arctic species are very high at 11bn/yr to members of Arctic states. The Arctic also provides ES that accrue to the global community: oil resources (North Slope; 5bn profits in 2013), commercial fisheries ( 515mn/yr) and most importantly, climate regulation services. Recent models (Whiteman; Euskirchen) estimate that the loss of climate regulation services provided by Arctic ice will cost 200 - 500bn/yr, a value which dwarfs all others. Assuming no change in atmospheric temperature compared to 2014, the net present value of the Arctic by 2050 (1.4% discount rate) comes to over $9 trillion. However, given Wang and Overland (2009) predictions of ice-free summers by 2037, we expect many of these benefits will be lost. For example, it is fairly well-established that endemic species, such as polar bears, will decline with sea-ice melt

  15. Testing a 'genes-to-ecosystems' approach to understanding aquatic-terrestrial linkages.

    PubMed

    Crutsinger, Gregory M; Rudman, Seth M; Rodriguez-Cabal, Mariano A; McKown, Athena D; Sato, Takuya; MacDonald, Andrew M; Heavyside, Julian; Geraldes, Armando; Hart, Edmund M; LeRoy, Carri J; El-Sabaawi, Rana W

    2014-12-01

    A 'genes-to-ecosystems' approach has been proposed as a novel avenue for integrating the consequences of intraspecific genetic variation with the underlying genetic architecture of a species to shed light on the relationships among hierarchies of ecological organization (genes → individuals → communities → ecosystems). However, attempts to identify genes with major effect on the structure of communities and/or ecosystem processes have been limited and a comprehensive test of this approach has yet to emerge. Here, we present an interdisciplinary field study that integrated a common garden containing different genotypes of a dominant, riparian tree, Populus trichocarpa, and aquatic mesocosms to determine how intraspecific variation in leaf litter alters both terrestrial and aquatic communities and ecosystem functioning. Moreover, we incorporate data from extensive trait screening and genome-wide association studies estimating the heritability and genes associated with litter characteristics. We found that tree genotypes varied considerably in the quality and production of leaf litter, which contributed to variation in phytoplankton abundances, as well as nutrient dynamics and light availability in aquatic mesocosms. These 'after-life' effects of litter from different genotypes were comparable to the responses of terrestrial communities associated with the living foliage. We found that multiple litter traits corresponding with aquatic community and ecosystem responses differed in their heritability. Moreover, the underlying genetic architecture of these traits was complex, and many genes contributed only a small proportion to phenotypic variation. Our results provide further evidence that genetic variation is a key component of aquatic-terrestrial linkages, but challenge the ability to predict community or ecosystem responses based on the actions of one or a few genes.

  16. Bioavailability and distribution and of ceria nanoparticles in simulated aquatic ecosystems, quantification with a radiotracer technique.

    PubMed

    Lu, Kai; Zhang, Zhiyong; He, Xiao; Ma, Yuhui; Zhou, Kebin; Zhang, Haifeng; Bai, Wei; Ding, Yayun; Wu, Zhenqiang; Zhao, Yuliang; Chai, Zhifang

    2010-12-01

    Although the presence of manufactured nanoparticles in the aquatic environment is still largely undocumented, their release could certainly occur in the future, particularly via municipal treatment plant effluents of cities supporting nano-industries. To get an initial estimate of the environmental behavior of nanomaterials, we investigated the distribution and accumulation of ceria nanoparticles in simulated aquatic ecosystems which included aquatic plant, shellfish, fish, water, and sediment using a radiotracer technique. Radioactive ceria (141CeO2) nanoparticles with a diameter of ca. 7 nm were synthesized by a precipitation method and added to the simulated aquatic ecosystems. The results indicate that the concentration of ceria nanoparticles in water decreased to a steady-state value after 3 days; meanwhile, the concentrations of ceria nanoparticles in the aquatic plant and sediment increased to their highest values. The distribution and accumulation characteristics of ceria nanoparticles in various aquatic organisms were different. Ceratophyllum demersum showed a high ability of accumulation of ceria nanoparticles from water.

  17. A Survey of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation in Three Sub-arctic Lakes near Abisko, Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sampson, J.; Stilson, K.; Varner, R. K.; Crill, P. M.; Wik, M.; Crawford, M.

    2014-12-01

    We surveyed the submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in three sub-arctic lakes (Mellan Harrsjön, Inre Harrsjön, and Villasjön) located near Abisko in northern Sweden. Samples were collected using an extended rake, after which they were photographed and the plants identified. We also collected environmental data including temperature, dissolved oxygen, and secchi depth. Percent cover of SAV was taken twice using a 0.5 m. quadrat in shallow areas to track the changes in vegetation growth over time. In addition, we tested surface sediment samples for grain size and carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulfur composition. The percent cover of SAV in Mellan Harrsjön varied from 36%-49% and in Inre Harrsjön it averaged 19%. Across all three lakes, the average percent clay, silt, and sand was 3.8%, 50.1%, 46%, respectively. Because little research similar to this has been conducted in the area in such a comprehensive manner, these results are important to establish a baseline. Furthermore, these data will help establish how the SAV and environmental data may contribute to methane production and emission in these sub-arctic lakes.

  18. Factors Driving Potential Ammonia Oxidation in Canadian Arctic Ecosystems: Does Spatial Scale Matter?

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Samiran

    2012-01-01

    Ammonia oxidation is a major process in nitrogen cycling, and it plays a key role in nitrogen limited soil ecosystems such as those in the arctic. Although mm-scale spatial dependency of ammonia oxidizers has been investigated, little is known about the field-scale spatial dependency of aerobic ammonia oxidation processes and ammonia-oxidizing archaeal and bacterial communities, particularly in arctic soils. The purpose of this study was to explore the drivers of ammonia oxidation at the field scale in cryosols (soils with permafrost within 1 m of the surface). We measured aerobic ammonia oxidation potential (both autotrophic and heterotrophic) and functional gene abundance (bacterial amoA and archaeal amoA) in 279 soil samples collected from three arctic ecosystems. The variability associated with quantifying genes was substantially less than the spatial variability observed in these soils, suggesting that molecular methods can be used reliably evaluate spatial dependency in arctic ecosystems. Ammonia-oxidizing archaeal and bacterial communities and aerobic ammonia oxidation were spatially autocorrelated. Gene abundances were spatially structured within 4 m, whereas biochemical processes were structured within 40 m. Ammonia oxidation was driven at small scales (<1m) by moisture and total organic carbon, whereas gene abundance and other edaphic factors drove ammonia oxidation at medium (1 to 10 m) and large (10 to 100 m) scales. In these arctic soils heterotrophs contributed between 29 and 47% of total ammonia oxidation potential. The spatial scale for aerobic ammonia oxidation genes differed from potential ammonia oxidation, suggesting that in arctic ecosystems edaphic, rather than genetic, factors are an important control on ammonia oxidation. PMID:22081570

  19. 76 FR 10892 - Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-Stressor...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-28

    ... AGENCY Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-Stressor..., and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-stressor Vulnerability Assessments'' (EPA/600/R-11... impacts of global change. Using a large set of environmental indicators drawn from the scientific...

  20. Acid precipitation and its influence upon aquatic ecosystems--an overview

    Treesearch

    Eville Gorham

    1976-01-01

    The impact of acid precipitation reflects a usually deleterious balance between good and bad effects which may lead to serious and sometimes extreme degradation of aquatic as well as terrestrial ecosystems, particularly around metal smelters. Addition of hydrogen ions as sulfuric, nitric, and hydrochloric acid can alter and impoverish the species composition of biotic...

  1. Climate change, aquatic ecosystems, and fishes in the Rocky Mountain West: implications and alternatives for management

    Treesearch

    Bruce E. Rieman; Daniel J. Isaak

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic climate change is rapidly altering aquatic ecosystems across the Rocky Mountain West and may detrimentally impact populations of sensitive species that are often the focus of conservation efforts. The objective of this report is to synthesize a growing literature on these topics to address the following questions: (1) What is changing in climate and...

  2. Thermal Change and the Dynamics of Multi-Host Parasite Life Cycles in Aquatic Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Barber, Iain; Berkhout, Boris W.; Ismail, Zalina

    2016-01-01

    Altered thermal regimes associated with climate change are impacting significantly on the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the Earth’s natural ecosystems, with important implications for the biology of aquatic organisms. As well as impacting the biology of individual species, changing thermal regimes have the capacity to mediate ecological interactions between species, and the potential for climate change to impact host–parasite interactions in aquatic ecosystems is now well recognized. Predicting what will happen to the prevalence and intensity of infection of parasites with multiple hosts in their life cycles is especially challenging because the addition of each additional host dramatically increases the potential permutations of response. In this short review, we provide an overview of the diverse routes by which altered thermal regimes can impact the dynamics of multi-host parasite life cycles in aquatic ecosystems. In addition, we examine how experimentally amenable host–parasite systems are being used to determine the consequences of changing environmental temperatures for these different types of mechanism. Our overarching aim is to examine the potential of changing thermal regimes to alter not only the biology of hosts and parasites, but also the biology of interactions between hosts and parasites. We also hope to illustrate the complexity that is likely to be involved in making predictions about the dynamics of infection by multi-host parasites in thermally challenged aquatic ecosystems. PMID:27252219

  3. Mercury in Arctic Marine Ecosystems: Sources, Pathways, and Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Kirk, Jane L.; Lehnherr, Igor; Andersson, Maria; Braune, Birgit M.; Chan, Laurie; Dastoor, Ashu P.; Durnford, Dorothy; Gleason, Amber L.; Loseto, Lisa L.; Steffen, Alexandra; St. Louis, Vincent L.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury in the Arctic is an important environmental and human health issue. The reliance of Northern Peoples on traditional foods, such as marine mammals, for subsistence means that they are particularly at risk from mercury exposure. The cycling of mercury in Arctic marine systems is reviewed here, with emphasis placed on the key sources, pathways and processes which regulate mercury levels in marine food webs and ultimately the exposure of human populations to this contaminant. While many knowledge gaps exist limiting our ability to make strong conclusions, it appears that the long range transport of mercury from Asian emissions is an important source of atmospheric Hg to the Arctic and that mercury methylation resulting in monomethylmercury production (an organic form of mercury which is both toxic and bioaccumulated) in Arctic marine waters is the principal source of mercury incorporated into food webs. Mercury concentrations in biological organisms have increased since the onset of the industrial age and are controlled by a combination of abiotic factors (e.g., monomethylmercury supply), food web dynamics and structure, and animal behavior (e.g., habitat selection and feeding behavior). Finally, although some Northern Peoples have high mercury concentrations of mercury in their blood and hair, harvesting and consuming traditional foods has many nutritional, social, cultural and physical health benefits which must be considered in risk management and communication. PMID:23102902

  4. Fire and aquatic ecosystems in forested biomes of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gresswell, Robert E.

    1999-01-01

    Synthesis of the literature suggests that physical, chemical, and biological elements of a watershed interact with long-term climate to influence fire regime, and that these factors, in concordance with the postfire vegetation mosaic, combine with local-scale weather to govern the trajectory and magnitude of change following a fire event. Perturbation associated with hydrological processes is probably the primary factor influencing postfire persistence of fishes, benthic macroinvertebrates, and diatoms in fluvial systems. It is apparent that salmonids have evolved strategies to survive perturbations occurring at the frequency of wildland fires (100a??102 years), but local populations of a species may be more ephemeral. Habitat alteration probably has the greatest impact on individual organisms and local populations that are the least mobile, and reinvasion will be most rapid by aquatic organisms with high mobility. It is becoming increasingly apparent that during the past century fire suppression has altered fire regimes in some vegetation types, and consequently, the probability of large stand-replacing fires has increased in those areas. Current evidence suggests, however, that even in the case of extensive high-severity fires, local extirpation of fishes is patchy, and recolonization is rapid. Lasting detrimental effects on fish populations have been limited to areas where native populations have declined and become increasingly isolated because of anthropogenic activities. A strategy of protecting robust aquatic communities and restoring aquatic habitat structure and life history complexity in degraded areas may be the most effective means for insuring the persistence of native biota where the probability of large-scale fires has increased.

  5. Toxic metals in aquatic ecosystems: a microbiological perspective.

    PubMed

    Ford, T; Ryan, D

    1995-02-01

    Microbe-metal interactions in aquatic environments and their exact role in transport and transformations of toxic metals are poorly understood. This paper will briefly review our understanding of these interactions. Ongoing research in Lake Chapala, Mexico, the major water source for the City of Guadalajara, provides an opportunity to study the microbiological aspects of metal-cycling in the water column. Constant resuspension of sediments provides a microbiologically rich aggregate-based system. Data indicate that toxic metals are concentrated on aggregate material and bioaccumulate in the food chain. A provisional model is presented for involvement of microbial aggregates in metal-cycling in Lake Chapala.

  6. Toxic metals in aquatic ecosystems: a microbiological perspective.

    PubMed Central

    Ford, T; Ryan, D

    1995-01-01

    Microbe-metal interactions in aquatic environments and their exact role in transport and transformations of toxic metals are poorly understood. This paper will briefly review our understanding of these interactions. Ongoing research in Lake Chapala, Mexico, the major water source for the City of Guadalajara, provides an opportunity to study the microbiological aspects of metal-cycling in the water column. Constant resuspension of sediments provides a microbiologically rich aggregate-based system. Data indicate that toxic metals are concentrated on aggregate material and bioaccumulate in the food chain. A provisional model is presented for involvement of microbial aggregates in metal-cycling in Lake Chapala. PMID:7621793

  7. ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR PROTECTING AND ENHANCING AQUATIC RESOURCES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This poster describes research that addresses the question: Which management practices are most successful for protection and restoration of ecological resources? The Ecosystem Restoration Research Program of EPA/ORD is designed to conduct basic and applied field research to eva...

  8. Riparian spiders as sentinels of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination across heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kraus, Johanna M.; Gibson, Polly P.; Walters, David M.; Mills, Marc A.

    2017-01-01

    Riparian spiders are being used increasingly to track spatial patterns of contaminants in and fluxing from aquatic ecosystems.However, our understanding of the circumstances under which spiders are effective sentinels of aquatic pollution is limited. The present study tests the hypothesis that riparian spiders may be effectively used to track spatial patterns of sediment pollution by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in aquatic ecosystems with high habitat heterogeneity. The spatial pattern of ΣPCB concentrations in 2 common families of riparian spiders sampled in 2011 to 2013 generally tracked spatial variation in sediment ΣPCBs across all sites within the Manistique River Great Lakes Area of Concern (AOC), a rivermouth ecosystem located on the south shore of the Upper Peninsula, Manistique (MI,USA) that includes harbor, river, backwater, and lake habitats. Sediment ΣPCB concentrations normalized for total organic carbon explained 41% of the variation in lipid-normalized spider ΣPCB concentrations across 11 sites. Furthermore, 2 common riparian spider taxa (Araneidae and Tetragnathidae) were highly correlated (r2> 0.78) and had similar mean ΣPCB concentrations when averaged acrossall years. The results indicate that riparian spiders may be useful sentinels of relative PCB availability to aquatic and riparian food webs in heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems like rivermouths where habitat and contaminant variability may make the use of aquatic taxa lesseffective. Furthermore, the present approach appears robust to heterogeneity in shoreline development and riparian vegetation that support different families of large web-building spiders. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1–9. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

  9. Riparian spiders as sentinels of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination across heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Johanna M; Gibson, Polly P; Walters, David M; Mills, Marc A

    2017-05-01

    Riparian spiders are being used increasingly to track spatial patterns of contaminants in and fluxing from aquatic ecosystems. However, our understanding of the circumstances under which spiders are effective sentinels of aquatic pollution is limited. The present study tests the hypothesis that riparian spiders may be effectively used to track spatial patterns of sediment pollution by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in aquatic ecosystems with high habitat heterogeneity. The spatial pattern of ΣPCB concentrations in 2 common families of riparian spiders sampled in 2011 to 2013 generally tracked spatial variation in sediment ΣPCBs across all sites within the Manistique River Great Lakes Area of Concern (AOC), a rivermouth ecosystem located on the south shore of the Upper Peninsula, Manistique (MI, USA) that includes harbor, river, backwater, and lake habitats. Sediment ΣPCB concentrations normalized for total organic carbon explained 41% of the variation in lipid-normalized spider ΣPCB concentrations across 11 sites. Furthermore, 2 common riparian spider taxa (Araneidae and Tetragnathidae) were highly correlated (r(2)  > 0.78) and had similar mean ΣPCB concentrations when averaged across all years. The results indicate that riparian spiders may be useful sentinels of relative PCB availability to aquatic and riparian food webs in heterogeneous aquatic ecosystems like rivermouths where habitat and contaminant variability may make the use of aquatic taxa less effective. Furthermore, the present approach appears robust to heterogeneity in shoreline development and riparian vegetation that support different families of large web-building spiders. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1278-1286. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is

  10. Pollution of Nigerian Aquatic Ecosystems by Industrial Effluents: Effects on Fish Productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nwagwu, S. N.; Kuyoro, E. O.; Agboola, D. M.; Salau, K. S.; Kuyoro, T. O.

    2016-02-01

    Nigeria is uniquely endowed with vast water resources. The near-shore, estuaries, rivers, lakes and pond all taken together, offer tremendous opportunities for fish production. Globally, water bodies are primary means for disposal of waste especially the effluents from industrial, municipal, sewage and agricultural practices near the water body. Studies carried out in most cities in Nigeria has shown that industrial effluent is one of the main sources of water pollution in Nigeria and less than 10% of industries in Nigeria treat their effluents before discharging them into the water bodies. This effluent can alter the physical, chemical and biological nature of the receiving water body resulting in the death of the inhabiting organisms including fish. Untreated industrial waste discharged into water bodies have resulted in eutrophication of aquatic ecosystem as evidence by substantial algal bloom leading to dissolve oxygen depletion and eventually massive mortality of fish and other organisms. Industries like textile producing factory, paper manufacturing plants, oil refinery, brewery and fermentation factory and metal producing industries discharge their wastes into the aquatic ecosystem. These industrial wastes contain pollutants like acids, heavy metals, oil, cyanide, organic chemicals, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins etc. Some of these pollutants are carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic while some are poisonous depending on the level of exposure and intake by aquatic organisms and man. These pollutants affect the biological growth and reproduction of fishes in the aquatic ecosystem thereby reducing the amount of captured fishes. Fish and other aquatic lives face total extinction due to destruction of aquatic lives and natural habitats by pollution of water bodies. Effluents and wastes produced by industries should be minimised by using low and non-waste technologies; and effluents should be properly treated before they are discharged into

  11. Flux of aquatic insect productivity to land: comparison of lentic and lotic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Gratton, Claudio; Vander Zanden, M Jake

    2009-10-01

    Recently, food web studies have started exploring how resources from one habitat or ecosystem influence trophic interactions in a recipient ecosystem. Benthic production in lakes and streams can be exported to terrestrial habitats via emerging aquatic insects and can therefore link aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we develop a general conceptual model that highlights zoobenthic production, insect emergence, and ecosystem geometry (driven principally by area-to-edge ratio) as important factors modulating the flux of aquatic production across the ecosystem boundary. Emerging insect flux, defined as total insect production emerging per meter of shoreline (g C x m(-1) x yr(-1)) is then distributed inland using decay functions and is used to estimate insect deposition rate to terrestrial habitats (g C x m(-2) x yr(-1)). Using empirical data from the literature, we simulate insect fluxes across the water-land ecosystem boundary to estimate the distribution of fluxes and insect deposition inland for lakes and streams. In general, zoobenthos in streams are more productive than in lakes (6.67 vs. 1.46 g C x m(-2) x yr(-1)) but have lower insect emergence to aquatic production ratios (0.19 vs. 0.30). However, as stream width is on average smaller than lake radius, this results in flux (F) estimates 2 1/2 times greater for lakes than for streams. Ultimately, insect deposition onto land (within 100 m of shore) adjacent to average-sized lakes (10-ha lakes, 0.021 g C x m(-2) x yr(-1)) is greater than for average-sized streams (4 m width, 0.002 g C x m(-2) x yr(-1)) used in our comparisons. For the average lake (both in size and productivity), insect deposition rate approaches estimates of terrestrial secondary production in low-productivity ecosystems (e.g., deserts and tundra, approximately 0.07 g C x m(-2) x yr(-1)). However, larger lakes (1300 ha) and streams (16 m) can have average insect deposition rates (approximately 0.01-2.4 g C x m(-2) x yr(-1

  12. Global warming benefits the small in aquatic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Daufresne, Martin; Lengfellner, Kathrin; Sommer, Ulrich

    2009-01-01

    Understanding the ecological impacts of climate change is a crucial challenge of the twenty-first century. There is a clear lack of general rules regarding the impacts of global warming on biota. Here, we present a metaanalysis of the effect of climate change on body size of ectothermic aquatic organisms (bacteria, phyto- and zooplankton, and fish) from the community to the individual level. Using long-term surveys, experimental data and published results, we show a significant increase in the proportion of small-sized species and young age classes and a decrease in size-at-age. These results are in accordance with the ecological rules dealing with the temperature–size relationships (i.e., Bergmann's rule, James' rule and Temperature–Size Rule). Our study provides evidence that reduced body size is the third universal ecological response to global warming in aquatic systems besides the shift of species ranges toward higher altitudes and latitudes and the seasonal shifts in life cycle events. PMID:19620720

  13. Aquatic polymers can drive pathogen transmission in coastal ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Shapiro, Karen; Krusor, Colin; Mazzillo, Fernanda F. M.; Conrad, Patricia A.; Largier, John L.; Mazet, Jonna A. K.; Silver, Mary W.

    2014-01-01

    Gelatinous polymers including extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) are fundamental to biophysical processes in aquatic habitats, including mediating aggregation processes and functioning as the matrix of biofilms. Yet insight into the impact of these sticky molecules on the environmental transmission of pathogens in the ocean is limited. We used the zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii as a model to evaluate polymer-mediated mechanisms that promote transmission of terrestrially derived pathogens to marine fauna and humans. We show that transparent exopolymer particles, a particulate form of EPS, enhance T. gondii association with marine aggregates, material consumed by organisms otherwise unable to access micrometre-sized particles. Adhesion to EPS biofilms on macroalgae also captures T. gondii from the water, enabling uptake of pathogens by invertebrates that feed on kelp surfaces. We demonstrate the acquisition, concentration and retention of T. gondii by kelp-grazing snails, which can transmit T. gondii to threatened California sea otters. Results highlight novel mechanisms whereby aquatic polymers facilitate incorporation of pathogens into food webs via association with particle aggregates and biofilms. Identifying the critical role of invisible polymers in transmission of pathogens in the ocean represents a fundamental advance in understanding and mitigating the health impacts of coastal habitat pollution with contaminated runoff. PMID:25297861

  14. Palladium Nanoparticles: Is There a Risk for Aquatic Ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Lüderwald, Simon; Seitz, Frank; Seisenbaeva, Gulaim A; Kessler, Vadim G; Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco

    2016-08-01

    Nano-sized palladium (nano-Pd) is used in catalytic converters of automobiles, where it can be released into the environment by abrasion. Although these particles may subsequently be transported into surface water bodies, no data estimating their fate and toxicity in aquatic systems exists. This study characterized the particle size development of nano-Pd (advertised size ~12 nm; hydrodynamic size ~70 nm) in media with variable ionic strength (IS). Additionally, the particles' acute toxicity for daphnids and chironomids was assessed. While nano-Pd agglomerated more quickly with increasing IS, it caused only marginal effects in both test species after 96 h of exposure. After 144 h of exposure, however, an EC50 value of 1.23 mg nano-Pd/L for daphnids was determined indicating effects over the long run. When considering the relatively low environmental concentration of elemental Pd in surface waters (usually ng/L), though, this study suggests only a low aquatic risk in response to nano-Pd.

  15. Aquatic polymers can drive pathogen transmission in coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Karen; Krusor, Colin; Mazzillo, Fernanda F M; Conrad, Patricia A; Largier, John L; Mazet, Jonna A K; Silver, Mary W

    2014-11-22

    Gelatinous polymers including extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) are fundamental to biophysical processes in aquatic habitats, including mediating aggregation processes and functioning as the matrix of biofilms. Yet insight into the impact of these sticky molecules on the environmental transmission of pathogens in the ocean is limited. We used the zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii as a model to evaluate polymer-mediated mechanisms that promote transmission of terrestrially derived pathogens to marine fauna and humans. We show that transparent exopolymer particles, a particulate form of EPS, enhance T. gondii association with marine aggregates, material consumed by organisms otherwise unable to access micrometre-sized particles. Adhesion to EPS biofilms on macroalgae also captures T. gondii from the water, enabling uptake of pathogens by invertebrates that feed on kelp surfaces. We demonstrate the acquisition, concentration and retention of T. gondii by kelp-grazing snails, which can transmit T. gondii to threatened California sea otters. Results highlight novel mechanisms whereby aquatic polymers facilitate incorporation of pathogens into food webs via association with particle aggregates and biofilms. Identifying the critical role of invisible polymers in transmission of pathogens in the ocean represents a fundamental advance in understanding and mitigating the health impacts of coastal habitat pollution with contaminated runoff.

  16. Global warming benefits the small in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Daufresne, Martin; Lengfellner, Kathrin; Sommer, Ulrich

    2009-08-04

    Understanding the ecological impacts of climate change is a crucial challenge of the twenty-first century. There is a clear lack of general rules regarding the impacts of global warming on biota. Here, we present a metaanalysis of the effect of climate change on body size of ectothermic aquatic organisms (bacteria, phyto- and zooplankton, and fish) from the community to the individual level. Using long-term surveys, experimental data and published results, we show a significant increase in the proportion of small-sized species and young age classes and a decrease in size-at-age. These results are in accordance with the ecological rules dealing with the temperature-size relationships (i.e., Bergmann's rule, James' rule and Temperature-Size Rule). Our study provides evidence that reduced body size is the third universal ecological response to global warming in aquatic systems besides the shift of species ranges toward higher altitudes and latitudes and the seasonal shifts in life cycle events.

  17. ELF communications system ecological monitoring program: Aquatic ecosystem studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burton, Thomas M.; Stout, R. J.; Winterstein, Scott; Coon, Thomas; Novinger, Doug

    1994-11-01

    The U.S. Navy has completed a program that monitored biota and ecological miationships for possible effects from electromagnetic (EM) fields produced by its Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Communications System. This report documents the results and conclusions of aquatic studies conducted near its transmitting antenna in Michigan. From 1982 through 1993 researchers from the Michigan State University (MSU) monitored aquatic flora and fauna on matched reaches of the Ford River. A treatment site was located immediately adjacent to the antenna, whereas a control site was situated at a distance downstream. Functional and structural components of the periphyton, insect, and fish communities were monitored. The research team also measured ambient factors such as temperature, discharge, and water quality indicators. Data were analyzed using a variety of statistical tests; however, BACI techniques were emphasized. Results indicated a relative increase in algal biomass at the treatment site after the antenna became fully operational, but no changes in any other parameter or organism. MSU concludes that algal biomass was affected by ELF EM exposure. Since neither the other ecological characteristics of the periphyton nor the insect and fish communities showed any effects, MSU infers little EM impact to riverine habitats.

  18. Landscape Characterization of Arctic Ecosystems Using Data Mining Algorithms and Large Geospatial Datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langford, Z. L.; Kumar, J.; Hoffman, F. M.

    2015-12-01

    Observations indicate that over the past several decades, landscape processes in the Arctic have been changing or intensifying. A dynamic Arctic landscape has the potential to alter ecosystems across a broad range of scales. Accurate characterization is useful to understand the properties and organization of the landscape, optimal sampling network design, measurement and process upscaling and to establish a landscape-based framework for multi-scale modeling of ecosystem processes. This study seeks to delineate the landscape at Seward Peninsula of Alaska into ecoregions using large volumes (terabytes) of high spatial resolution satellite remote-sensing data. Defining high-resolution ecoregion boundaries is difficult because many ecosystem processes in Arctic ecosystems occur at small local to regional scales, which are often resolved in by coarse resolution satellites (e.g., MODIS). We seek to use data-fusion techniques and data analytics algorithms applied to Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR), Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR), Satellite for Observation of Earth (SPOT), WorldView-2, WorldView-3, and QuickBird-2 to develop high-resolution (˜5m) ecoregion maps for multiple time periods. Traditional analysis methods and algorithms are insufficient for analyzing and synthesizing such large geospatial data sets, and those algorithms rarely scale out onto large distributed- memory parallel computer systems. We seek to develop computationally efficient algorithms and techniques using high-performance computing for characterization of Arctic landscapes. We will apply a variety of data analytics algorithms, such as cluster analysis, complex object-based image analysis (COBIA), and neural networks. We also propose to use representativeness analysis within the Seward Peninsula domain to determine optimal sampling locations for fine-scale measurements. This methodology should provide an initial framework for analyzing dynamic landscape

  19. Endoparasites in the feces of arctic foxes in a terrestrial ecosystem in Canada

    PubMed Central

    Elmore, Stacey A.; Lalonde, Laura F.; Samelius, Gustaf; Alisauskas, Ray T.; Gajadhar, Alvin A.; Jenkins, Emily J.

    2013-01-01

    The parasites of arctic foxes in the central Canadian Arctic have not been well described. Canada’s central Arctic is undergoing dramatic environmental change, which is predicted to cause shifts in parasite and wildlife species distributions, and trophic interactions, requiring that baselines be established to monitor future alterations. This study used conventional, immunological, and molecular fecal analysis techniques to survey the current gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna currently present in arctic foxes in central Nunavut, Canada. Ninety-five arctic fox fecal samples were collected from the terrestrial Karrak Lake ecosystem within the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Samples were examined by fecal flotation to detect helminths and protozoa, immunofluorescent assay (IFA) to detect Cryptosporidium and Giardia, and quantitative PCR with melt-curve analysis (qPCR-MCA) to detect coccidia. Positive qPCR-MCA products were sequenced and analyzed phylogenetically. Arctic foxes from Karrak Lake were routinely shedding eggs from Toxascaris leonina (63%). Taeniid (15%), Capillarid (1%), and hookworm eggs (2%), Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts 3%), and Eimeria sp. (6%), and Cystoisospora sp. (5%) oocysts were present at a lower prevalence on fecal flotation. Cryptosporidium sp. (9%) and Giardia sp. (16%) were detected by IFA. PCR analysis detected Sarcocystis (15%), Cystoisospora (5%), Eimeria sp., and either Neospora sp. or Hammondia sp. (1%). Through molecular techniques and phylogenetic analysis, we identified two distinct lineages of Sarcocystis sp. present in arctic foxes, which probably derived from cervid and avian intermediate hosts. Additionally, we detected previously undescribed genotypes of Cystoisospora. Our survey of gastrointestinal endoparasites in arctic foxes from the central Canadian Arctic provides a unique record against which future comparisons can be made. PMID:24533320

  20. Endoparasites in the feces of arctic foxes in a terrestrial ecosystem in Canada.

    PubMed

    Elmore, Stacey A; Lalonde, Laura F; Samelius, Gustaf; Alisauskas, Ray T; Gajadhar, Alvin A; Jenkins, Emily J

    2013-12-01

    The parasites of arctic foxes in the central Canadian Arctic have not been well described. Canada's central Arctic is undergoing dramatic environmental change, which is predicted to cause shifts in parasite and wildlife species distributions, and trophic interactions, requiring that baselines be established to monitor future alterations. This study used conventional, immunological, and molecular fecal analysis techniques to survey the current gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna currently present in arctic foxes in central Nunavut, Canada. Ninety-five arctic fox fecal samples were collected from the terrestrial Karrak Lake ecosystem within the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Samples were examined by fecal flotation to detect helminths and protozoa, immunofluorescent assay (IFA) to detect Cryptosporidium and Giardia, and quantitative PCR with melt-curve analysis (qPCR-MCA) to detect coccidia. Positive qPCR-MCA products were sequenced and analyzed phylogenetically. Arctic foxes from Karrak Lake were routinely shedding eggs from Toxascaris leonina (63%). Taeniid (15%), Capillarid (1%), and hookworm eggs (2%), Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts 3%), and Eimeria sp. (6%), and Cystoisospora sp. (5%) oocysts were present at a lower prevalence on fecal flotation. Cryptosporidium sp. (9%) and Giardia sp. (16%) were detected by IFA. PCR analysis detected Sarcocystis (15%), Cystoisospora (5%), Eimeria sp., and either Neospora sp. or Hammondia sp. (1%). Through molecular techniques and phylogenetic analysis, we identified two distinct lineages of Sarcocystis sp. present in arctic foxes, which probably derived from cervid and avian intermediate hosts. Additionally, we detected previously undescribed genotypes of Cystoisospora. Our survey of gastrointestinal endoparasites in arctic foxes from the central Canadian Arctic provides a unique record against which future comparisons can be made.

  1. Fundamental study on magnetic separation of aquatic organisms for preservation of marine ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakaguchi, F.; Akiyama, Y.; Izumi, Y.; Nishijima, S.

    2009-10-01

    Recently, destruction and disturbance of marine ecosystem have been caused by changes in global environment and transplants of farmed fishes and shellfishes. To solve the problems, water treatment techniques to kill or to remove aquatic organisms are necessary. In this study, application of magnetic separation for removal of the aquatic organisms was examined in order to establish the process with high-speed, compact device and low environmental load. Techniques of magnetic seeding and magnetic separation using superconducting magnet are important for high-speed processing of aquatic organisms. Magnetic seeding is to adhere separating object to the surface of ferromagnetic particles, and magnetic separation is to remove aquatic organisms with magnetic force. First, we confirmed the possibility of magnetic seeding of aquatic organisms, and then interaction between aquatic organisms and ferromagnetic particles was examined. Next, for practical application of magnetic separation system using superconducting magnet for removal of aquatic organisms, particle trajectories were simulated and magnetic separation experiment using superconducting magnet was performed in order to design magnetic separation system to achieve high separation efficiency.

  2. Potential effects of climate change on aquatic ecosystems of the Great Plains of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Covich, A.P.; Fritz, S.C.; Lamb, P.J.; Marzolf, R.D.; Matthews, W.J.; Poiani, K.A.; Prepas, E.E.; Richman, M.B.; Winter, T.C.

    1997-01-01

    The Great Plains landscape is less topographically complex than most other regions within North America, but diverse aquatic ecosystems, such as playas, pothole lakes, ox-bow lakes, springs, groundwater aquifers, intermittent and ephemeral streams, as well as large rivers and wetlands, are highly dynamic and responsive to extreme climatic fluctuations. We review the evidence for climatic change that demonstrates the historical importance of extremes in north-south differences in summer temperatures and east-west differences in aridity across four large subregions. These physical driving forces alter density stratification, deoxygenation, decomposition and salinity. Biotic community composition and associated ecosystem processes of productivity and nutrient cycling respond rapidly to these climatically driven dynamics. Ecosystem processes also respond to cultural effects such as dams and diversions of water for irrigation, waste dilution and urban demands for drinking water and industrial uses. Distinguishing climatic from cultural effects in future models of aquatic ecosystem functioning will require more refinement in both climatic and economic forecasting. There is a need, for example, to predict how long-term climatic forecasts (based on both ENSO and global warming simulations) relate to the permanence and productivity of shallow water ecosystems. Aquatic ecologists, hydrologists, climatologists and geographers have much to discuss regarding the synthesis of available data and the design of future interdisciplinary research. ?? 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  3. Respiration-photosynthesis balance of terrestrial aquatic ecosystems, Ottawa area, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xuefeng; Veizer, Jan

    2000-11-01

    Rivers link terrestrial and marine biospheres by transporting carbon from land to ocean and by exchanging CO 2 with the atmosphere. In an attempt to quantify the aquatic carbon cycle, we developed a technique based on carbon isotopic composition of dissolved inorganic carbon (δ 13C DIC) and oxygen isotopic composition of dissolved oxygen (δ 18O DO). The approach was tested on selected boreal ecosystems in the Ottawa area, Canada: Meech Lake; the Ottawa River; and Green Creek, the latter dewatering the Mer Bleue bog. The three ecosystems were monitored for 1 yr and the calculated aquatic respiration/photosynthesis ratios in general fell within the 1 to 3.5 ranges. The ecosystems were respiration dominated year-round, despite increased photosynthetic rates during the warm season, a development that was apparently matched by a comparable enhancement in respiration rates. The year-round predominance of respiration over photosynthesis supports the results of earlier studies, showing that boreal aquatic ecosystems, particularly the lakes, are not solely dissipation pathways for soil-generated CO 2 introduced into surficial water bodies by groundwater input. To fuel this year-round "excess" respiration, the steady state balance consideration demands that the ecosystem must have a continuous supply of allochthonous reduced carbon.

  4. Potential Effects of Climate Change on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Great Plains of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Covich, A. P.; Fritz, S. C.; Lamb, P. J.; Marzolf, R. D.; Matthews, W. J.; Poiani, K. A.; Prepas, E. E.; Richman, M. B.; Winter, T. C.

    1997-06-01

    The Great Plains landscape is less topographically complex than most other regions within North America, but diverse aquatic ecosystems, such as playas, pothole lakes, ox-bow lakes, springs, groundwater aquifers, intermittent and ephemeral streams, as well as large rivers and wetlands, are highly dynamic and responsive to extreme climatic fluctuations. We review the evidence for climatic change that demonstrates the historical importance of extremes in north-south differences in summer temperatures and east-west differences in aridity across four large subregions. These physical driving forces alter density stratification, deoxygenation, decomposition and salinity. Biotic community composition and associated ecosystem processes of productivity and nutrient cycling respond rapidly to these climatically driven dynamics. Ecosystem processes also respond to cultural effects such as dams and diversions of water for irrigation, waste dilution and urban demands for drinking water and industrial uses. Distinguishing climatic from cultural effects in future models of aquatic ecosystem functioning will require more refinement in both climatic and economic forecasting. There is a need, for example, to predict how long-term climatic forecasts (based on both ENSO and global warming simulations) relate to the permanence and productivity of shallow water ecosystems. Aquatic ecologists, hydrologists, climatologists and geographers have much to discuss regarding the synthesis of available data and the design of future interdisciplinary research.

  5. A semi-aquatic Arctic mammalian carnivore from the Miocene epoch and origin of Pinnipedia.

    PubMed

    Rybczynski, Natalia; Dawson, Mary R; Tedford, Richard H

    2009-04-23

    Modern pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and the walrus) are semi-aquatic, generally marine carnivores the limbs of which have been modified into flippers. Recent phylogenetic studies using morphological and molecular evidence support pinniped monophyly, and suggest a sister relationship with ursoids (for example bears) or musteloids (the clade that includes skunks, badgers, weasels and otters). Although the position of pinnipeds within modern carnivores appears moderately well resolved, fossil evidence of the morphological steps leading from a terrestrial ancestor to the modern marine forms has been weak or contentious. The earliest well-represented fossil pinniped is Enaliarctos, a marine form with flippers, which had appeared on the northwestern shores of North America by the early Miocene epoch. Here we report the discovery of a nearly complete skeleton of a new semi-aquatic carnivore from an early Miocene lake deposit in Nunavut, Canada, that represents a morphological link in early pinniped evolution. The new taxon retains a long tail and the proportions of its fore- and hindlimbs are more similar to those of modern terrestrial carnivores than to modern pinnipeds. Morphological traits indicative of semi-aquatic adaptation include a forelimb with a prominent deltopectoral ridge on the humerus, a posterodorsally expanded scapula, a pelvis with relatively short ilium, a shortened femur and flattened phalanges, suggestive of webbing. The new fossil shows evidence of pinniped affinities and similarities to the early Oligocene Amphicticeps from Asia and the late Oligocene and Miocene Potamotherium from Europe. The discovery suggests that the evolution of pinnipeds included a freshwater transitional phase, and may support the hypothesis that the Arctic was an early centre of pinniped evolution.

  6. The influence of glacial meltwater on alpine aquatic ecosystems: a review.

    PubMed

    Slemmons, Krista E H; Saros, Jasmine E; Simon, Kevin

    2013-10-01

    The recent and rapid recession of alpine glaciers over the last 150 years has major implications for associated aquatic communities. Glacial meltwater shapes many of the physical features of high altitude lakes and streams, producing turbid environments with distinctive hydrology patterns relative to nival systems. Over the past decade, numerous studies have investigated the chemical and biological effects of glacial meltwater on freshwater ecosystems. Here, we review these studies across both lake and stream ecosystems. Focusing on alpine regions mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, we present examples of how glacial meltwater can affect habitat by altering physical and chemical features of aquatic ecosystems, and review the subsequent effects on the biological structure and function of lakes and streams. Collectively or separately, these factors can drive the overall distribution, diversity and behavior of primary producers, triggering cascading effects throughout the food web. We conclude by proposing areas for future research, particularly in regions where glaciers are soon projected to disappear.

  7. Climate Change Experiments in Arctic Ecosystems: Scientific Strategy and Design Criteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Hinzman, L. D.; McGuire, A. D.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Oechel, W. C.; Norby, R. J.; Thornton, P. E.; Schuur, E. A.; Shugart, H. H.; Walsh, J. E.; Wilson, C. J.

    2010-12-01

    Arctic and subarctic ecosystems are sensitive to changes in climate. These are among the largest and coldest of all ecosystems and are perceived by many as especially vulnerable to environmental change. Warming, in particular, is expected to be greatest in northern latitudes with potentially significant consequences for tundra, taiga, and peat lands. Observational evidence suggests that warming is already affecting physical and ecological processes in high-latitude ecosystems. Models predict that permafrost degradation and the northward expansion of shrubs into tundra represent important feedbacks on climate. Manipulative experiments can help understand the vulnerability of ecosystems to climate warming. Previous attempts to manipulate the environment of ecosystems in arctic and subarctic regions have focused on warming plant and soils, but treatments have been limited to small scales and modest increases in temperature. Manipulating the environment at larger scales and exposing ecosystems to higher temperatures for longer periods of time will be required to fully describe the physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms that govern land-atmosphere interactions. A variety of logistical and engineering challenges must be overcome and new approaches developed before we can address the questions being asked of the scientific community especially as we continue to move toward large-scale and long-term experiments. In light of the many uncertainties that surround the response of high-latitude ecosystems to global climate change, it is important that the scientific community consider how manipulative experiments can address and resolve ecosystem impacts and feedbacks to climate. A workshop sponsored by the Department of Energy, Office of Science was recently held at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The goal of the workshop was to highlight conclusions from observational and modeling studies about the response of arctic and subarctic ecosystems to a changing climate

  8. Biophysical interactions in fluvial ecosystems: effects of submerged aquatic macrophytes on hydro-morphological processes and ecosystem functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornacchia, Loreta; Davies, Grieg; Grabowski, Robert; van der Wal, Daphne; van de Koppel, Johan; Wharton, Geraldene; Bouma, Tjeerd

    2016-04-01

    Strong mutual interactions occur at the interface between biota and physical processes in biogeomorphic ecosystems, possibly resulting in self-organized spatial patterns. While these interactions and feedbacks have been increasingly studied in a wide range of landscapes previously, they are still poorly understood in lower energy fluvial systems. Consequently, their impact on the functioning of aquatic ecosystems is largely unknown. In this study we investigate the role of aquatic macrophytes as biological engineers of flow and sediment in lowland streams dominated by water crowfoot (Ranunculus spp.). Using field measurements from two annual growth cycles, we demonstrate that seasonally-changing macrophyte cover maintains relative constant flow rates, both within and between vegetation, despite temporal changes in channel flow discharge. By means of a mathematical model representing the interaction between hydrodynamics and vegetation dynamics, we reveal that scale-dependent feedbacks between plant growth and flow redistribution explain the influence of macrophytes on stabilizing flow rates. Our analysis reveals important implications for ecosystem functions. The creation of fast-flowing channels allows an adequate conveyance of water throughout the annual cycle; yet, patches also have a significant influence on sediment dynamics leading to heterogeneous habitats, thereby facilitating other species. As a last step we investigate the consequences on stream ecosystem functioning, by exploring the relationship between changes in macrophyte cover and the provision of different ecosystem functions (e.g. water conveyance, sediment trapping). Our results highlight that self-organization promotes the combination of multiple ecosystem functions through its effects on hydrological and morphological processes within biogeomorphic ecosystems.

  9. Diatoms to human uses: linking nitrogen deposition, aquatic eutrophication, and ecosystem services

    DOE PAGES

    Rhodes, Charles; Bingham, Andrew; Heard, Andrea M.; ...

    2017-07-24

    Nitrogen (N) loading to aquatic ecosystems can lead to eutrophication, changing the ecosystem within a waterbody, including primary productivity, water clarity, and food web dynamics. Nutrient loading often first affects the primary productivity of aquatic systems through shifts in phytoplankton communities. However, ecologically important changes in phytoplankton are often not relatable to the general public—whose behavior would need to change to alter patterns of nutrient loading. Therefore, we use the STressor–Ecological Production function–final ecosystem Services Framework to develop 154 chains that link changes in biological indicators of aquatic eutrophication (a shift in phytoplankton community) to final ecosystem services that peoplemore » use or appreciate. We identify 13 ecological production functions (EPF) within three different ecosystems (alpine lakes, lakes, and estuaries) that connect changes in phytoplankton and algae to ecological endpoints that the general public and policy makers can appreciate. Using the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services Classification System, we identify 18 classes of human beneficiaries that potentially will be impacted by a change in one of these endpoints. We further assign strength-of-science scores to each link within the EPFs for the 154 chains according to how well each link is supported by current peer-reviewed literature. By identifying many pathways through which excess N loading in U.S. surface waters can affect ecosystems and ultimately the beneficiaries of ecosystem services, this work intends to draw attention to gaps in empirical ecological literature that constrain understanding of the magnitude of effects that excess N loading can have on human well-being. Here, results highlight the importance of intersections between the natural and social sciences when managers and policy makers evaluate impacts from ecological stressors. A balance between knowledgeable specialists proved key to applying this

  10. Fire effects on aquatic ecosystems: an assessment of the current state of the science

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rebecca J. Bixby,; Scott D. Cooper,; Gresswell, Bob; Lee E. Brown,; Clifford N. Dahm,; Kathleen A. Dwire,

    2015-01-01

    Fire is a prevalent feature of many landscapes and has numerous and complex effects on geological, hydrological, ecological, and economic systems. In some regions, the frequency and intensity of wildfire have increased in recent years and are projected to escalate with predicted climatic and landuse changes. In addition, prescribed burns continue to be used in many parts of the world to clear vegetation for development projects, encourage desired vegetation, and reduce fuel loads. Given the prevalence of fire on the landscape, authors of papers in this special series examine the complexities of fire as a disturbance shaping freshwater ecosystems and highlight the state of the science. These papers cover key aspects of fire effects that range from vegetation loss and recovery in watersheds to effects on hydrology and water quality with consequences for communities (from algae to fish), food webs, and ecosystem processes (e.g., organic matter subsidies, nutrient cycling) across a range of scales. The results presented in this special series of articles expand our knowledge of fire effects in different biomes, water bodies, and geographic regions, encompassing aquatic population, community, and ecosystem responses. In this overview, we summarize each paper and emphasize its contributions to knowledge on fire ecology and freshwater ecosystems. This overview concludes with a list of 7 research foci that are needed to further our knowledge of fire effects on aquatic ecosystems, including research on: 1) additional biomes and geographic regions; 2) additional habitats, including wetlands and lacustrine ecosystems; 3) different fire severities, sizes, and spatial configurations; and 4) additional response variables (e.g., ecosystem processes) 5) over long (>5 y) time scales 6) with more rigorous study designs and data analyses, and 7) consideration of the effects of fire management practices and policies on aquatic ecosystems.

  11. Oceanic periglacial in the evolution of the Arctic marine ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Matishov, G.G.

    1996-12-31

    A study of the Arctic marine and land environment and biota is connected with the analysis of the global climatic changes and the general history of Arctic and subarctic ecological systems. Ancient glaciation not only influenced the geomorphology of landscapes, physical and chemical properties of the ocean and its seas, but also caused the global change of the morphoclimatic zonality in the ocean as a whole. Submarine and subaqual hydrological, geomorphological and biological processes on the shelves of polar and temperate latitudes had intensified especially during the melting of continental glaciers. The study of the periglacial problem consists, as a whole, in the research of the geological and biological phenomena which take place in the pelagial and the benthal outside the ice sheets and are connected with them by causal, spatial and temporal relations.

  12. Arctic catchment releases mostly young aquatic carbon despite complete thawing of old organic-rich permafrost soils during growing season.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dean, Joshua F.; Billett, Michael F.; Dinsmore, Kerry J.; Garnett, Mark H.; van der Velde, Ype

    2017-04-01

    Radiocarbon (14C) dating of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in Arctic freshwaters has been used as a crucial tool for detecting old C mobilised from thawing permafrost, but DO14C in major Arctic rivers is usually quite young. New methods for the collection of both CO2 and CH4 from inland waters allow novel observation of dissolved 14CO2 and 14CH4 alongside DO14C, and provide a more sensitive method than aquatic OC alone - published Arctic freshwater 14C studies to date focus only on DOC, particulate OC, or ebullition CH4/CO2. The mobilisation of old C sourced from deepening permafrost soil active-layers into Arctic freshwaters has the potential to form a significant positive climate feedback. We compare 14C in DOC, dissolved CO2 and dissolved CH4 at five time points over a single growing season from streams, ponds and lakes underlain by continuous permafrost in the western Canadian Arctic. Using age distribution analysis based on atmospheric 14CO2 records, we estimated the age of aquatic C that would otherwise be labelled as "modern" due to the 14C bomb peak. We then calculated the vertical and lateral C fluxes in the study systems, and estimated the proportion derived from old permafrost C. The upper organic-rich soils are the dominant hydrologic pathway, which were completely thawed by late season, and we hypothesised that mobilisation of older, deeper organic soil C would be visible in the aquatic 14C by late in the growing season. Early in the season, median aquatic DO14C and CO2 ages were 65-131 years old (all 14C ages reported here are years before sampling date). By the end of the season, DO14C was 156-271 years old, while CO2 was 113-161 years old, demonstrating that aquatic C ages reflect the mobilisation of thawing older permafrost C. CH4 concentrations were generally low throughout and only two dates were obtained: 202 and 1,970 years old. Overall there was limited evidence of very old permafrost organic C, which comprised 0-10% of vertical and lateral

  13. Prediction of Changes in Arctic Benthic Ecosystems on the Basis of Large Scale Study of Benthic Biomass Size Spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazurkiewicz, M.; Włodarska-Kowalczuk, M.; Górska, B.; Renaud, P.

    2016-02-01

    Body size is a fundamental biological unit that is closely coupled to key ecological properties and processes. Decline in organisms' body-size has been predicted to be "the third universal response to global warming" (alongside changes in phenology and distribution of species) in both aquatic and terrestrial systems. Some result from pelagic studies (of zooplankton and ichthyofauna) support that hypothesis. Increasing temperature results in higher abundance of smaller organisms, associated with warmer water masses or in higher proportion of juveniles vs. adults. As climate change is most dramatic at the polar regions, we aimed to present the first assessment of Benthic Biomass Size Spectra (BBSS) in both Arctic and lower latitude locations to determine possible future effects of global warming on Arctic benthic ecosystems. The study was conducted in 6 Norwegian fiords representing a wide geographical range - from 60°N up to 80°N (Raunefjorden, Balsfjorden, Ullsfjorden, Hornsund fjord, Kongsfjorden and Rijpfjorden). We hypothesize that decreasing temperature along the latitudinal gradient is reflected in organism size, here analyzed at the community level. At each location we collected three macrobenthic samples using van Veen grab, acquired hydrological settings, and collected sediments for geochemical analyses (grain size, organic matter descriptors). All macrobenthic organisms were identified and measured using microscope-based Image Analyses System. Using volumetric formulas we calculated the biovolume of each organism. For each location we plotted the BBSS. Individual biomass values were used to estimate the secondary production. The variability in size structures and functioning (production) of the studied communities were related to the environmental settings. The results are used to predict the possible effects climate warming related environmental changes on the benthic communities in Arctic coastal waters.

  14. Assessing the potential for algae and macrophytes to degrade crop protection products in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Kevin A; Hand, Laurence H

    2011-03-01

    Rates of pesticide degradation in aquatic ecosystems often differ between those observed within laboratory studies and field trials. Under field conditions, a number of additional processes may well have a significant role, yet are excluded from standard laboratory studies, for example, metabolism by aquatic plants, phytoplankton, and periphyton. These constituents of natural aquatic ecosystems have been shown to be capable of metabolizing a range of crop protection products. Here we report the rate of degradation of six crop protection products assessed in parallel in three systems, under reproducible, defined laboratory conditions, designed to compare aquatic sediment systems which exclude macrophytes and algae against those in which macrophytes and/or algae are included. All three systems remained as close as possible to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 308 guidelines, assessing degradation of parent compound in the total system in mass balanced studies using ((14) C) labeled compounds. We observed, in all cases where estimated, significant increases in the rate of degradation in both the algae and macrophyte systems when compared to the standard systems. By assessing total system degradation within closed, mass balanced studies, we have shown that rates of degradation are enhanced in water/sediment systems that include macrophytes and algae. The contribution of these communities should therefore be considered if the aquatic fate of pesticides is to be fully understood.

  15. Effects of solar UV radiation on aquatic ecosystems and interactions with climate change.

    PubMed

    Häder, D-P; Kumar, H D; Smith, R C; Worrest, R C

    2007-03-01

    Recent results continue to show the general consensus that ozone-related increases in UV-B radiation can negatively influence many aquatic species and aquatic ecosystems (e.g., lakes, rivers, marshes, oceans). Solar UV radiation penetrates to ecological significant depths in aquatic systems and can affect both marine and freshwater systems from major biomass producers (phytoplankton) to consumers (e.g., zooplankton, fish, etc.) higher in the food web. Many factors influence the depth of penetration of radiation into natural waters including dissolved organic compounds whose concentration and chemical composition are likely to be influenced by future climate and UV radiation variability. There is also considerable evidence that aquatic species utilize many mechanisms for photoprotection against excessive radiation. Often, these protective mechanisms pose conflicting selection pressures on species making UV radiation an additional stressor on the organism. It is at the ecosystem level where assessments of anthropogenic climate change and UV-related effects are interrelated and where much recent research has been directed. Several studies suggest that the influence of UV-B at the ecosystem level may be more pronounced on community and trophic level structure, and hence on subsequent biogeochemical cycles, than on biomass levels per se.

  16. Symptoms of change in multi-scale observations of arctic ecosystem carbon cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoy, P. C.; Williams, M. D.; Hartley, I. P.; Street, L.; Hill, T. C.; Prieto-Blanco, A.; Wayolle, A.; Disney, M.; Evans, J.; Fletcher, B.; Poyatos, R.; Wookey, P.; Merbold, L.; Wade, T. J.; Moncrieff, J.

    2009-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are responding rapidly to observed climate change. Quantifying the magnitude of these changes, and their implications for the climate system, requires observations of their current structure and function, as well as extrapolation and modelling (i.e. ‘upscaling’) across time and space. Here, we describe the major results of the International Polar Year (IPY) ABACUS project, a multi-scale investigation across arctic Fennoscandia that couples plant and soil process studies, isotope analyses, flux and micrometeorological measurements, process modelling, and aircraft and satellite observations to improve predictions of the response of the arctic terrestrial biosphere to global change. We begin with a synthesis of eddy covariance observations from the global FLUXNET database. We demonstrate that a simple model parameterized using pan-arctic chamber measurements explains over 80% of the variance of half-hourly CO2 fluxes during the growing season across most arctic and montane tundra ecosystems given accurate measurements of leaf area index (LAI), which agrees with the recently proposed ‘functional convergence’ paradigm for tundra vegetation. The ability of MODIS to deliver accurate LAI estimates is briefly discussed and an adjusted algorithm is presented and validated using direct observations. We argue for an Information Theory-based framework for upscaling in Earth science by conceptualizing multi-scale research as a transfer of information across scales. We then demonstrate how error in upscaled arctic C flux estimates can be reduced to less than 4% from their high-resolution counterpart by formally preserving the information content of high spatial and spectral resolution aircraft and satellite imagery. Jaynes’ classic Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) principle is employed to incorporate logical, biological and physical constraints to reduce error in downscaled flux estimates. Errors are further reduced by assimilating flux, biological and remote

  17. Impact of petroleum pollution on aquatic coastal ecosystems in Brazil

    SciTech Connect

    Silva, E.M. da; Peso-Aguiar, M.C.; Navarro, M.F.T.; Chastinet, C.B.A.

    1997-01-01

    Although oil activities generate numerous forms of environmental impact on biological communities, studies of these impacts on Brazilian coastal ecosystems are rate. Results of tests for the content of oil in sediments and organisms indicate a substantially high rate of degradation. Results for uptake of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in bivalves suggested the recent occurrence of oil spills and that these organisms differed in their capabilities to bioconcentrate oil. The mangrove community has suffered constant inputs of oil and has responded with increased numbers of aerial roots, generation of malformed leaves and fruits by plants, and a decrease in litter production. Studies of the impact of oil on rocky shore communities and the toxicity of oil and its by-products to marine organisms have confirmed the results reported in the literature. Presently most of the available studies deal with the macroscopic effects of oil on organisms and have indicated that the nature of oil, climate characteristics, the physical environment, and the structure of the community influence the symptoms of oil contamination in organisms of coastal waters. Long-term studies should be carried out to assess changes in community structure, sublethal effects in populations, and the resilience of contaminated ecosystems.

  18. Informing Water Resource Decisionmaking Through Assessments of Global Change Impacts on Aquatic Ecosystem Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, C. E.; Julius, S. H.

    2001-05-01

    The combined forces of land use change, climate change and variability, and UV radiation are altering aquatic ecosystems (e.g., streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, estuaries, coral reefs). Changes in aquatic ecosystems are mediated by changes in temperature, hydrology, water quality/pollutant loading, sea level rise, storm surges, UV radiation and riparian habitat. The importance of these changes for water resource management is evident, but decisionmakers often have difficulty obtaining information that is timely, relevant and useful. EPA's Global Change Research Program is applying the concept of ecosystem services (conditions and processes through which ecosystems sustain and fulfill human life) to selected watersheds to help local decisionmakers evaluate how global changes could affect their water resources. We are developing a framework that will help identify a priori the types of services most likely to be affected, and methods for measuring, modeling, or estimating impacts on ecosystem services at specific sites. These methods involve using climate and land use change scenarios to drive linked hydrologic and ecological models. Our presentation will focus on how scientific information is being developed and communicated among stakeholders to inform decisions in three areas: San Pedro River Basin, San Francisco Bay & Basin, and watersheds near Washington, DC. These case studies represent different climate regimes (arid southwest, west coast Mediterranean type, subtropical zone of the east coast), different potential changes in climate (change in timing of seasonal floods and greater evaporation, change from winter snow to winter rain yielding decreased spring & summer streamflow, increased intensity of precipitation events), different land use pressures (agricultural and urban), and different spatial scales (1 to 43,000 sq. mi.). These case studies cover different sets of aquatic ecosystems and emphasize different ecosystem services. In addition, we will

  19. Modeling an aquatic ecosystem: application of an evolutionary algorithm with genetic doping to reduce prediction uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedel, Michael; Buscema, Massimo

    2016-04-01

    Aquatic ecosystem models can potentially be used to understand the influence of stresses on catchment resource quality. Given that catchment responses are functions of natural and anthropogenic stresses reflected in sparse and spatiotemporal biological, physical, and chemical measurements, an ecosystem is difficult to model using statistical or numerical methods. We propose an artificial adaptive systems approach to model ecosystems. First, an unsupervised machine-learning (ML) network is trained using the set of available sparse and disparate data variables. Second, an evolutionary algorithm with genetic doping is applied to reduce the number of ecosystem variables to an optimal set. Third, the optimal set of ecosystem variables is used to retrain the ML network. Fourth, a stochastic cross-validation approach is applied to quantify and compare the nonlinear uncertainty in selected predictions of the original and reduced models. Results are presented for aquatic ecosystems (tens of thousands of square kilometers) undergoing landscape change in the USA: Upper Illinois River Basin and Central Colorado Assessment Project Area, and Southland region, NZ.

  20. Phylogenetic signal in diatom ecology: perspectives for aquatic ecosystems biomonitoring.

    PubMed

    Keck, François; Rimet, Frédéric; Franc, Alain; Bouchez, Agnés

    2016-04-01

    Diatoms include a great diversity of taxa and are recognized as powerful bioindicators in rivers. However using diatoms for monitoring programs is costly and time consuming because most of the methodologies necessitate species-level identification. This raises the question of the optimal trade-off between taxonomic resolution and bioassessment quality. Phylogenetic tools may form the bases of new, more efficient approaches for biomonitoring if relationships between ecology and phylogeny can be demonstrated. We estimated the ecological optima of 127 diatom species for 19 environmental parameters using count data from 2119 diatom communities sampled during eight years in eastern France. Using uni- and multivariate analyses, we explored the relationships between freshwater diatom phylogeny and ecology (i.e., the phylogenetic signal). We found a significant phylogenetic signal for many of the ecological optima that were tested, but the strength of the signal varied significantly from one trait to another. Multivariate analysis also showed that the multidimensional ecological niche of diatoms can be strongly related to phylogeny. The presence of clades containing species that exhibit homogeneous ecology suggests that phylogenetic information can be useful for aquatic biomonitoring. This study highlights the presence of significant patterns of ecological optima for freshwater diatoms in relation to their phylogeny. These results suggest the presence of a signal above the species level, which is encouraging for the development of simplified methods for biomonitoring survey.

  1. Heavy Metal Pollution Characteristics of Surface Sediments in Different Aquatic Ecosystems in Eastern China: A Comprehensive Understanding

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Wenzhong; Shan, Baoqing; Zhang, Wenqiang; Zhang, Hong; Wang, Lishuo; Ding, Yuekui

    2014-01-01

    Aquatic ecosystems in eastern China are suffering threats from heavy metal pollution because of rapid economic development and urbanization. Heavy metals in surface sediments were determined in five different aquatic ecosystems (river, reservoir, estuary, lake, and wetland ecosystems). The average Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn concentrations were 0.716, 118, 37.3, 32.7, 56.6, and 204 mg/kg, respectively, and the higher concentrations were mainly found in sediment samples from river ecosystems. Cd was the most anthropogenically enriched pollutant, followed by Zn and Pb, indicated by enrichment factors >1.5. According to consensus-based sediment quality guidelines, potential ecological risk indices, and risk assessment codes, all five types of aquatic ecosystems were found to be polluted with heavy metals, and the most polluted ecosystems were mainly rivers. Cd was the most serious pollutant in all five aquatic ecosystems, and it was mainly found in the exchangeable fraction (about 30% of the total Cd concentration, on average). The results indicate that heavy metal contamination, especially of Cd, in aquatic ecosystems in eastern China should be taken into account in the development of management strategies for protecting the aquatic environment. PMID:25268385

  2. Heavy metal pollution characteristics of surface sediments in different aquatic ecosystems in eastern China: a comprehensive understanding.

    PubMed

    Tang, Wenzhong; Shan, Baoqing; Zhang, Wenqiang; Zhang, Hong; Wang, Lishuo; Ding, Yuekui

    2014-01-01

    Aquatic ecosystems in eastern China are suffering threats from heavy metal pollution because of rapid economic development and urbanization. Heavy metals in surface sediments were determined in five different aquatic ecosystems (river, reservoir, estuary, lake, and wetland ecosystems). The average Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn concentrations were 0.716, 118, 37.3, 32.7, 56.6, and 204 mg/kg, respectively, and the higher concentrations were mainly found in sediment samples from river ecosystems. Cd was the most anthropogenically enriched pollutant, followed by Zn and Pb, indicated by enrichment factors >1.5. According to consensus-based sediment quality guidelines, potential ecological risk indices, and risk assessment codes, all five types of aquatic ecosystems were found to be polluted with heavy metals, and the most polluted ecosystems were mainly rivers. Cd was the most serious pollutant in all five aquatic ecosystems, and it was mainly found in the exchangeable fraction (about 30% of the total Cd concentration, on average). The results indicate that heavy metal contamination, especially of Cd, in aquatic ecosystems in eastern China should be taken into account in the development of management strategies for protecting the aquatic environment.

  3. Decrease of lichens in Arctic ecosystems: the role of wildfire, caribou, reindeer, competition and climate in north-western Alaska

    Treesearch

    Kyle Joly; Randi R. Jandt; David R. Klein

    2009-01-01

    We review and present a synthesis of the existing research dealing with changing Arctic tundra ecosystems, in relation to caribou and reindeer winter ranges. Whereas pan-Arctic studies have documented the effects on tundra vegetation from simulated climate change, we draw upon recent long-term regional studies in Alaska that have documented the actual, on-the-ground...

  4. Diversity and Expression of Bacterial Metacaspases in an Aquatic Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Asplund-Samuelsson, Johannes; Sundh, John; Dupont, Chris L; Allen, Andrew E; McCrow, John P; Celepli, Narin A; Bergman, Birgitta; Ininbergs, Karolina; Ekman, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Metacaspases are distant homologs of metazoan caspase proteases, implicated in stress response, and programmed cell death (PCD) in bacteria and phytoplankton. While the few previous studies on metacaspases have relied on cultured organisms and sequenced genomes, no studies have focused on metacaspases in a natural setting. We here present data from the first microbial community-wide metacaspase survey; performed by querying metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets from the brackish Baltic Sea, a water body characterized by pronounced environmental gradients and periods of massive cyanobacterial blooms. Metacaspase genes were restricted to ~4% of the bacteria, taxonomically affiliated mainly to Bacteroidetes, Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria and Cyanobacteria. The gene abundance was significantly higher in larger or particle-associated bacteria (>0.8 μm), and filamentous Cyanobacteria dominated metacaspase gene expression throughout the bloom season. Distinct seasonal expression patterns were detected for the three metacaspase genes in Nodularia spumigena, one of the main bloom-formers. Clustering of normalized gene expression in combination with analyses of genomic and assembly data suggest functional diversification of these genes, and possible roles of the metacaspase genes related to stress responses, i.e., sulfur metabolism in connection to oxidative stress, and nutrient stress induced cellular differentiation. Co-expression of genes encoding metacaspases and nodularin toxin synthesis enzymes was also observed in Nodularia spumigena. The study shows that metacaspases represent an adaptation of potentially high importance for several key organisms in the Baltic Sea, most prominently Cyanobacteria, and open up for further exploration of their physiological roles in microbes and assessment of their ecological impact in aquatic habitats.

  5. Diversity and Expression of Bacterial Metacaspases in an Aquatic Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Asplund-Samuelsson, Johannes; Sundh, John; Dupont, Chris L.; Allen, Andrew E.; McCrow, John P.; Celepli, Narin A.; Bergman, Birgitta; Ininbergs, Karolina; Ekman, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Metacaspases are distant homologs of metazoan caspase proteases, implicated in stress response, and programmed cell death (PCD) in bacteria and phytoplankton. While the few previous studies on metacaspases have relied on cultured organisms and sequenced genomes, no studies have focused on metacaspases in a natural setting. We here present data from the first microbial community-wide metacaspase survey; performed by querying metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets from the brackish Baltic Sea, a water body characterized by pronounced environmental gradients and periods of massive cyanobacterial blooms. Metacaspase genes were restricted to ~4% of the bacteria, taxonomically affiliated mainly to Bacteroidetes, Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria and Cyanobacteria. The gene abundance was significantly higher in larger or particle-associated bacteria (>0.8 μm), and filamentous Cyanobacteria dominated metacaspase gene expression throughout the bloom season. Distinct seasonal expression patterns were detected for the three metacaspase genes in Nodularia spumigena, one of the main bloom-formers. Clustering of normalized gene expression in combination with analyses of genomic and assembly data suggest functional diversification of these genes, and possible roles of the metacaspase genes related to stress responses, i.e., sulfur metabolism in connection to oxidative stress, and nutrient stress induced cellular differentiation. Co-expression of genes encoding metacaspases and nodularin toxin synthesis enzymes was also observed in Nodularia spumigena. The study shows that metacaspases represent an adaptation of potentially high importance for several key organisms in the Baltic Sea, most prominently Cyanobacteria, and open up for further exploration of their physiological roles in microbes and assessment of their ecological impact in aquatic habitats. PMID:27458440

  6. Drought sensitivity predicts habitat size sensitivity in an aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Amundrud, Sarah L; Srivastava, Diane S

    2015-07-01

    Species and trophic richness often increase with habitat size. Although many ecological processes have been evoked to explain both patterns, the environmental stress associated with small habitats has rarely been considered. We propose that larger habitats may be species rich simply because their environmental conditions are within the fundamental niche of more species; larger habitats may also have more trophic levels if traits of predators render them vulnerable to environmental stress. We test this hypothesis using the aquatic insect larvae in water-filled bromeliads. In bromeliads, the probability of desiccation is greatest in small plants. For the 10 most common bromeliad insect taxa, we ask whether differences in drought tolerance and regional abundances between taxa predict community and trophic composition over a gradient of bromeliad size. First, we used bromeliad survey data to calculate the mean habitat size of occurrence of each taxon. Comparing the observed mean habitat size of occurrence to that expected from random species assembly based on differences in their regional abundances allowed us to obtain habitat size sensitivity indices (as Z scores) for the various insect taxa. Second, we obtained drought sensitivity indices by subjecting individual insects to drought and measuring the effects on relative growth rates in a mesocosm experiment. We found that drought sensitivity strongly, predicts habitat size sensitivity in bromeliad insects. However, an increase in trophic richness with habitat size could not be explained by an increased sensitivity of predators to drought, but rather by sampling effects, as predators were rare compared to lower trophic levels. This finding suggests that physiological tolerance to environmental stress can be relevant in explaining the universal increase in species with habitat size.

  7. Overarching perspectives of contemporary and future ecosystems in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wassmann, Paul

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic region has a number of specific characteristics that provide the region an exceptional global position. It comprises 5% of the earth surface, 1% of world ocean volume, 3% of world ocean area, 25% of world continental shelf, 35% of world coastline, 11% of global river runoff and 20 of worlds 100 longest rivers. The Arctic region encompasses only 0.05% of the global population, but 22% undiscovered petroleum, 15% of global petroleum production, many metals and non-metals resources and support major global fisheries (60 and 80°N). In times of increasing resource demand and limitation the world focuses increasingly onto the Arctic Ocean (AO) and adjacent regions. This development is emphasised by the recent awareness of rapid climate change in the AO, the most significant on the globe, and has resulted in increased attention to the oceanography of the high north. The loss of Arctic sea ice has emerged as a leading signal of global warming. It is taking place at a rate 2-3 times faster than global rates and sea-ice cover has decreased more than 10% per decade, while sea-ice volume may have been reduced by minimum 40% over the last 30 years (Meier et al., 2014). The reduction of ice cover and thickness makes the region available for commercial interest. The region drives also critical effects on the biophysical, political and economic system of the Northern Hemisphere (e.g., Grambling, 2015). These striking changes in physical forcing have left marine ecological footprints of climate change in the Arctic ecosystem (Wassmann et al., 2011). However, predicting the future of the pan-Arctic ecosystem remains a challenge not only because of the ever-accelerating nature of both physical and biological alterations, but also because of lack of marine ecological knowledge, that is staggering for the majority of regions (except the Barents, Chukchi and Beaufort seas).

  8. Staunton 1 reclamation demonstration project. Aquatic ecosystems. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Vinikour, W. S.

    1981-02-01

    To provide long-term indications of the potential water quality improvements following reclamation efforts at the Staunton 1 Reclamation Demonstration Project, macroinvertebrates were collected from three on-site ponds and from the receiving stream (Cahokia Creek) for site drainage. Implications for potential benthic community differences resulting from site runoff were disclosed, but macroinvertebrate diversity throughout Cahokia Creek was limited due to an unstable, sandy substrate. The three ponds sampled were the New Pond, which was created as part of the reclamation activities; the Shed Pond, which and the Old Pond, which, because it was an existing, nonimpacted pond free of site runoff, served as a control. Comparisons of macroinvertebrates from the ponds indicated the potential for the New Pond to develop into a productive ecosystem. Macroinvertebrates in the New Pond were generally species more tolerant of acid mine drainage conditions. However, due to the present limited faunal densities and the undesirable physical and chemical characteristics of the New Pond, the pond should not be stocked with fish at this time.

  9. ANN application for prediction of atmospheric nitrogen deposition to aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Palani, Sundarambal; Tkalich, Pavel; Balasubramanian, Rajasekhar; Palanichamy, Jegathambal

    2011-06-01

    The occurrences of increased atmospheric nitrogen deposition (ADN) in Southeast Asia during smoke haze episodes have undesired consequences on receiving aquatic ecosystems. A successful prediction of episodic ADN will allow a quantitative understanding of its possible impacts. In this study, an artificial neural network (ANN) model is used to estimate atmospheric deposition of total nitrogen (TN) and organic nitrogen (ON) concentrations to coastal aquatic ecosystems. The selected model input variables were nitrogen species from atmospheric deposition, Total Suspended Particulates, Pollutant Standards Index and meteorological parameters. ANN models predictions were also compared with multiple linear regression model having the same inputs and output. ANN model performance was found relatively more accurate in its predictions and adequate even for high-concentration events with acceptable minimum error. The developed ANN model can be used as a forecasting tool to complement the current TN and ON analysis within the atmospheric deposition-monitoring program in the region. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Effects of contaminants on aquatic ecosystems: experiments with microcosms and outdoor ponds. A synthesis report

    SciTech Connect

    Giddings, J.M.; Franco, P.J.; Bartell, S.M.; Cushman, R.M.; Herbes, S.E.; Hook, L.A.; Newbold, J.D.; Southworth, G.R.; Stewart, A.J.

    1985-06-01

    Ecosystem experiments were undertaken to investigate the long-term fate and effects of coal liquefaction products under more natural conditions. Two experiments were additions of a whole synthetic oil to microcosms and ponds, respectively, as a single contaminant release. Two other experiments involved continuous releases of a whole coal liquid to microcosms and ponds. This report describes the latter experiments, presents and analyzes the results, and draws conclusions regarding the nature of aquatic ecosystems and their responses to this form of chemical stress. 23 figs., 9 tabs. (ACR)

  11. Controlled Environments Enable Adaptive Management in Aquatic Ecosystems Under Altered Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, David L.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystems worldwide are impacted by altered environment conditions resulting from climate, drought, and land use changes. Gaps in the science knowledge base regarding plant community response to these novel and rapid changes limit both science understanding and management of ecosystems. We describe how CE Technologies have enabled the rapid supply of gap-filling science, development of ecosystem simulation models, and remote sensing assessment tools to provide science-informed, adaptive management methods in the impacted aquatic ecosystem of the California Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The Delta is the hub for California's water, supplying Southern California agriculture and urban communities as well as the San Francisco Bay area. The changes in environmental conditions including temperature, light, and water quality and associated expansion of invasive aquatic plants negatively impact water distribution and ecology of the San Francisco Bay/Delta complex. CE technologies define changes in resource use efficiencies, photosynthetic productivity, evapotranspiration, phenology, reproductive strategies, and spectral reflectance modifications in native and invasive species in response to altered conditions. We will discuss how the CE technologies play an enabling role in filling knowledge gaps regarding plant response to altered environments, parameterization and validation of ecosystem models, development of satellite-based, remote sensing tools, and operational management strategies.

  12. A review of climate-driven mismatches between interdependent phenophases in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Donnelly, Alison; Caffarra, Amelia; O'Neill, Bridget F

    2011-11-01

    Mismatches in phenology between mutually dependent species, resulting from climate change, can have far-reaching consequences throughout an ecosystem at both higher and lower trophic levels. Rising temperatures, due to climate warming, have resulted in advances in development and changes in behaviour of many organisms around the world. However, not all species or phenophases are responding to this increase in temperature at the same rate, thus creating a disruption to previously synchronised interdependent key life-cycle stages. Mismatches have been reported between plants and pollinators, predators and prey, and pests and hosts. Here, we review mismatches between interdependent phenophases at different trophic levels resulting from climate change. We categorized the studies into (1) terrestrial (natural and agricultural) ecosystems, and (2) aquatic (freshwater and marine) ecosystems. As expected, we found reports of 'winners' and 'losers' in each system, such as earlier emergence of prey enabling partial avoidance of predators, potential reductions in crop yield if herbivore pests emerge before their predators and possible declines in marine biodiversity due to disruption in plankton-fish phenologies. Furthermore, in the marine environment rising temperatures have resulted in synchrony in a previously mismatched prey and predator system, resulting in an abrupt population decline in the prey species. The examples reviewed suggest that more research into the complex interactions between species in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems is necessary to make conclusive predictions of how climate warming may impact the fragile balances within ecosystems in future.

  13. Perturbation-free measurement of in situ di-nitrogen emissions from denitrification in nitrate-rich aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Qin, Shuping; Clough, Timothy; Luo, Jiafa; Wrage-Mönnig, Nicole; Oenema, Oene; Zhang, Yuming; Hu, Chunsheng

    2017-02-01

    Increased production of reactive nitrogen (Nr) from atmospheric di-nitrogen (N2) has greatly contributed to increased food production. However, enriching the biosphere with Nr has also caused a series of negative effects on global ecosystems, especially aquatic ecosystems. The main pathway converting Nr back into the atmospheric N2 pool is the last step in the denitrification process. Despite several attempts, there is still a need for perturbation-free methods for measuring in situ N2 fluxes from denitrification in aquatic ecosystems at the field scale. Such a method is needed to comprehensively quantify the N2 fluxes from aquatic ecosystems. Here we observed linear relationships between the δ(15)N-N2O signatures and the logarithmically transformed N2O/(N2+N2O) emission ratios. Through independent measurements, we verified that the perturbation-free N2 flux from denitrification in nitrate-rich aquatic ecosystems can be inferred from these linear relationships. Our method allowed the determination of field-scale in situ N2 fluxes from nitrate-rich aquatic ecosystems both with and without overlaying water. The perturbation-free in situ N2 fluxes observed by the new method were almost one order of magnitude higher than those by the sediment core method. The ability of aquatic ecosystems to remove Nr may previously have been severely underestimated. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Selenium biotransformations in an engineered aquatic ecosystem for bioremediation of agricultural wastewater via brine shrimp production.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Radomir; Tantoyotai, Prapakorn; Fakra, Sirine C; Marcus, Matthew A; Yang, Soo In; Pickering, Ingrid J; Bañuelos, Gary S; Hristova, Krassimira R; Freeman, John L

    2013-05-21

    An engineered aquatic ecosystem was specifically designed to bioremediate selenium (Se), occurring as oxidized inorganic selenate from hypersalinized agricultural drainage water while producing brine shrimp enriched in organic Se and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for use in value added nutraceutical food supplements. Selenate was successfully bioremediated by microalgal metabolism into organic Se (seleno-amino acids) and partially removed via gaseous volatile Se formation. Furthermore, filter-feeding brine shrimp that accumulated this organic Se were removed by net harvest. Thriving in this engineered pond system, brine shrimp ( Artemia franciscana Kellogg) and brine fly (Ephydridae sp.) have major ecological relevance as important food sources for large populations of waterfowl, breeding, and migratory shore birds. This aquatic ecosystem was an ideal model for study because it mimics trophic interactions in a Se polluted wetland. Inorganic selenate in drainage water was metabolized differently in microalgae, bacteria, and diatoms where it was accumulated and reduced into various inorganic forms (selenite, selenide, or elemental Se) or partially incorporated into organic Se mainly as selenomethionine. Brine shrimp and brine fly larva then bioaccumulated Se from ingesting aquatic microorganisms and further metabolized Se predominately into organic Se forms. Importantly, adult brine flies, which hatched from aquatic larva, bioaccumulated the highest Se concentrations of all organisms tested.

  15. K-Pg events facilitated lineage transitions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Procheş, Serban; Polgar, Gianluca; Marshall, David J

    2014-06-01

    We use dated phylogenetic trees for tetrapod vertebrates to identify lineages that shifted between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in terms of feeding or development, and to assess the timing of such events. Both stem and crown lineage ages indicate a peak in transition events in correspondence with the K-Pg mass extinction. This meets the prediction that changes in competitive pressure and resource availability following mass extinction events should facilitate such transitions.

  16. K-Pg events facilitated lineage transitions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Procheş, Şerban; Polgar, Gianluca; Marshall, David J.

    2014-01-01

    We use dated phylogenetic trees for tetrapod vertebrates to identify lineages that shifted between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in terms of feeding or development, and to assess the timing of such events. Both stem and crown lineage ages indicate a peak in transition events in correspondence with the K-Pg mass extinction. This meets the prediction that changes in competitive pressure and resource availability following mass extinction events should facilitate such transitions. PMID:24919699

  17. Management of riparian and aquatic ecosystems using variable-width buffers

    Treesearch

    Brian Pickard; Gordon H. Reeves

    2016-01-01

    Management of aquatic and riparian ecosystems is constrained because of the reliance on “off-the-shelf” and one-size-fits-all concepts and designs, rather than considering specific features and capabilities of the location of interest. As a result, use of fixed- width buffers that generally depend on stream size is the most common approach.

  18. Ecosystem model intercomparison of under-ice and total primary production in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Meibing; Popova, Ekaterina E.; Zhang, Jinlun; Ji, Rubao; Pendleton, Daniel; Varpe, Øystein; Yool, Andrew; Lee, Younjoo J.

    2016-01-01

    Previous observational studies have found increasing primary production (PP) in response to declining sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean. In this study, under-ice PP was assessed based on three coupled ice-ocean-ecosystem models participating in the Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS) project. All models showed good agreement with under-ice measurements of surface chlorophyll-a concentration and vertically integrated PP rates during the main under-ice production period, from mid-May to September. Further, modeled 30-year (1980-2009) mean values and spatial patterns of sea ice concentration compared well with remote sensing data. Under-ice PP was higher in the Arctic shelf seas than in the Arctic Basin, but ratios of under-ice PP over total PP were spatially correlated with annual mean sea ice concentration, with higher ratios in higher ice concentration regions. Decreases in sea ice from 1980 to 2009 were correlated significantly with increases in total PP and decreases in the under-ice PP/total PP ratio for most of the Arctic, but nonsignificantly related to under-ice PP, especially in marginal ice zones. Total PP within the Arctic Circle increased at an annual rate of between 3.2 and 8.0 Tg C/yr from 1980 to 2009. This increase in total PP was due mainly to a PP increase in open water, including increases in both open water area and PP rate per unit area, and therefore much stronger than the changes in under-ice PP. All models suggested that, on a pan-Arctic scale, the fraction of under-ice PP declined with declining sea ice cover over the last three decades.

  19. Diverging Plant and Ecosystem Strategies in Response to Climate Change in the High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maseyk, K. S.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.; Lupascu, M.; Lett, C.; Seibt, U. H.

    2014-12-01

    Increasing summer precipitation means Arctic growing seasons are becoming wetter as well as warmer, but the effect of these coupled changes on tundra ecosystem functioning remains largely unknown. We have determined how warmer and wetter summers affect coupled carbon-water cycling in a High Arctic polar semi-desert ecosystem in NW Greenland. Measurements of ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes throughout the growing season and leaf ecophysiological traits (gas exchange, morphology, leaf chemistry) were made at a long-term climate change experiment. After 9 years of exposure to warmer (+ 4°C) and / or wetter (+ 50% precipitation) treatments, we found diverging plant strategies between the responses to warming with or without an increase in summer precipitation. Warming alone resulted in an increase in leaf nitrogen, mesophyll conductance and leaf-mass per area and higher rates of leaf-level photosynthesis, but with warming and wetting combined leaf traits remain largely unchanged. However, total leaf area increased with warming plus wetting but was unchanged with warming alone. The combined effect of these leaf trait and canopy adjustments is a decrease in ecosystem water-use efficiency (the ratio of net productivity to evapotranspiration) with warming only, but a substantial increase with combined warming and wetting. We conclude that increasing summer precipitation will alter tundra ecohydrological responses to warming; that leaf-level changes in ecophysiological traits have an upward cascading consequence for ecosystem and land surface-climate interactions; and the current relative resistance of High Arctic ecosystems to warming may mask biochemical and carbon cycling changes already underway.

  20. Environmental fate and biodegradability of benzene derivatives as studied in a model aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lu, P Y; Metcalf, R L

    1975-04-01

    A model aquatic ecosystem is devised for studying relatively volatile organic compounds and simulating direct discharge of chemical wastes into aquatic ecosystems. Six simple benzene derivatives (aniline, anisole, benzoic acid, chlorobenzene, nitrobenzene, and phthalic anhydride) and other important specialty chemicals: hexachlorobenzene, pentachlorophenol, 2,6-diethylaniline, and 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol were also chosen for study of environmental behavior and fate in the model aquatic ecosystem. Quantitative relationships of the intrinsic molecular properties of the environmental micropollutants with biological responses are established, e.g., water solubility, partition coefficient, pi constant, sigma constant, ecological magnification, biodegradability index, and comparative detoxication mechanisms, respectively. Water solubility, pi constant, and sigma constant are the most significant factors and control the biological responses of the food chain members. Water solubility and pi constant control the degree of bioaccumulation, and sigma constant limits the metabolism of the xenobiotics via microsomal detoxication enzymes. These highly significant correlations should be useful for predicting environmental fate of organic chemicals.

  1. Environmental fate and biodegradability of benzene derivatives as studied in a model aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed Central

    Lu, P Y; Metcalf, R L

    1975-01-01

    A model aquatic ecosystem is devised for studying relatively volatile organic compounds and simulating direct discharge of chemical wastes into aquatic ecosystems. Six simple benzene derivatives (aniline, anisole, benzoic acid, chlorobenzene, nitrobenzene, and phthalic anhydride) and other important specialty chemicals: hexachlorobenzene, pentachlorophenol, 2,6-diethylaniline, and 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol were also chosen for study of environmental behavior and fate in the model aquatic ecosystem. Quantitative relationships of the intrinsic molecular properties of the environmental micropollutants with biological responses are established, e.g., water solubility, partition coefficient, pi constant, sigma constant, ecological magnification, biodegradability index, and comparative detoxication mechanisms, respectively. Water solubility, pi constant, and sigma constant are the most significant factors and control the biological responses of the food chain members. Water solubility and pi constant control the degree of bioaccumulation, and sigma constant limits the metabolism of the xenobiotics via microsomal detoxication enzymes. These highly significant correlations should be useful for predicting environmental fate of organic chemicals. PMID:1157796

  2. Phosphate oxygen isotopes within aquatic ecosystems: global data synthesis and future research priorities.

    PubMed

    Davies, Ceri L; Surridge, Ben W J; Gooddy, Daren C

    2014-10-15

    The oxygen isotope ratio of dissolved inorganic phosphate (δ(18)Op) represents a novel and potentially powerful stable isotope tracer for biogeochemical research. Analysis of δ(18)Op may offer new insights into the relative importance of different sources of phosphorus within natural ecosystems. Due to the isotope fractionations that occur alongside the metabolism of phosphorus, δ(18)Op could also be used to better understand the intracellular and extracellular reaction mechanisms that control phosphorus cycling. In this review focussed on aquatic ecosystems, we examine the theoretical basis to using stable oxygen isotopes within phosphorus research. We consider the methodological challenges involved in accurately determining δ(18)Op, given aquatic matrices in which potential sources of contaminant oxygen are ubiquitous. Finally, we synthesise the existing global data regarding δ(18)Op in aquatic ecosystems, concluding by identifying four key areas for future development of δ(18)Op research. Through this synthesis, we seek to stimulate broader interest in the use of δ(18)Op to address the significant research and management challenges that continue to surround the stewardship of phosphorus. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. EcoCasting: Using NetLogo models of aquatic ecosystems to teach scientific inquiry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buzby, C. K.; Jona, K.

    2010-12-01

    The EcoCasting project from the Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) at Northwestern University has developed a computer model-based curriculum for high school environmental science classes to study complexity in aquatic ecosystems. EcoCasting aims to deliver cutting edge scientific research on bioaccumulation in invaded Great Lakes food webs to high school classes. Scientists and environmental engineers at Northwestern are investigating unusual bioaccumulation patterns in invaded food webs of the Great Lakes. High school students are exploring this authentic data to understand what is causing the anomalies in the data. Students use a series of NetLogo agent-based models of an aquatic ecosystem to study how toxins accumulate in the food web. Using these models, students learn about predator-prey relationships, bioaccumulation, and invasive species. Students are confronted with contradictory data collected by scientists and investigate alternative food web mechanisms at work. By studying the individual variables, students learn common scientific principles. When multiple variables are combined in a unifying model, students learn that the interactions lead to unexpected outcomes. Students learn about the complexity of the ecosystem and gain proficiency interpreting computer models and scientific data collection in this curriculum. Model of aquatic food chain

  4. Possible nutrient limiting factor in long term operation of closed aquatic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hao, Zongjie; Li, Yanhui; Cai, Wenkai; Wu, Peipei; Liu, Yongding; Wang, Gaohong

    2012-03-01

    To investigate nutrient limitation effect on the community metabolism of closed aquatic ecosystem and possible nutrient limiting factors in the experimental food chains, depletion of inorganic chemicals including carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous was tested. A closed aquatic ecosystem lab module consisting of Chlorella pyrenoidosa and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Daphnia magna and associated unidentified microbes was established. Closed ecological systems receive no carbon dioxide; therefore, we presumed carbon as a first limiting factor. The results showed that the algae population in the nutrient saturated group was statistically higher than that in the nutrient limited groups, and that the chlorophyll a content of algae in the phosphorus limited group was the highest among the limited groups. However, the nitrogen limited group supported the most Daphnia, followed by the carbon limited group, the nutrient saturated group and the phosphorus limited group. Redundancy analysis showed that the total phosphorus contents were correlated significantly with the population of algae, and that the amount of soluble carbohydrate as feedback of nutrient depletion was correlated with the number of Daphnia. Thus, these findings suggest that phosphorus is the limiting factor in the operation of closed aquatic ecosystem. The results presented herein have important indications for the future construction of long term closed ecological system.

  5. Arctic ecosystem functional zones: identification and quantification using an above and below ground monitoring strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, Susan S.; Ajo-Franklin, Jonathan B.; Dafflon, Baptiste; Dou, Shan; Kneafsey, Tim J.; Peterson, John E.; Tas, Neslihan; Torn, Margaret S.; Phuong Tran, Anh; Ulrich, Craig; Wainwright, Haruko; Wu, Yuxin; Wullschleger, Stan

    2015-04-01

    Although accurate prediction of ecosystem feedbacks to climate requires characterization of the properties that influence terrestrial carbon cycling, performing such characterization is challenging due to the disparity of scales involved. This is particularly true in vulnerable Arctic ecosystems, where microbial activities leading to the production of greenhouse gasses are a function of small-scale hydrological, geochemical, and thermal conditions influenced by geomorphology and seasonal dynamics. As part of the DOE Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE-Arctic), we are advancing two approaches to improve the characterization of complex Arctic ecosystems, with an initial application to an ice-wedge polygon dominated tundra site near Barrow, AK, USA. The first advance focuses on developing a new strategy to jointly monitor above- and below- ground properties critical for carbon cycling in the tundra. The strategy includes co-characterization of properties within the three critical ecosystem compartments: land surface (vegetation, water inundation, snow thickness, and geomorphology); active layer (peat thickness, soil moisture, soil texture, hydraulic conductivity, soil temperature, and geochemistry); and permafrost (mineral soil and ice content, nature, and distribution). Using a nested sampling strategy, a wide range of measurements have been collected at the study site over the past three years, including: above-ground imagery (LiDAR, visible, near infrared, NDVI) from various platforms, surface geophysical datasets (electrical, electromagnetic, ground penetrating radar, seismic), and point measurements (such as CO2 and methane fluxes, soil properties, microbial community composition). A subset of the coincident datasets is autonomously collected daily. Laboratory experiments and new inversion approaches are used to improve interpretation of the field geophysical datasets in terms of ecosystem properties. The new strategy has significantly advanced our ability

  6. Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of conducting Multi-Stressor Vulnerability Assessments (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This draft report investigates the issues and challenges associated with identifying, calculating, and mapping indicators of the relative vulnerability of water quality and aquatic ecosystems, across the United States, to the potential impacts of global change. Using a large set...

  7. Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-Stressor Vulnerability Assessments (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA announced the availability of the final report, Aquatic Ecosystems and Global Change: The Challenges of conducting Multi-Stressor Global Change Vulnerability Assessments. This report investigates the issues and challenges associated with identifying, calculating, and ...

  8. A REVIEW OF SINGLE SPECIES TOXICITY TESTS: ARE THE TESTS RELIABLE PREDICTORS OF AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM COMMUNITY RESPONSES?

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document provides a comprehensive review to evaluate the reliability of indicator species toxicity test results in predicting aquatic ecosystem impacts, also called the ecological relevance of laboratory single species toxicity tests.

  9. Impacts to ecosystem services from aquatic acidification: using FEGS-CS to understand the impacts of air pollution

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increases in anthropogenic emissions of sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) have resulted in increases in the associated atmospheric deposition of acidic compounds. In sensitive watersheds, this deposition has initiated a cascade of negative environmental effects on aquatic ecosystems, ...

  10. Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of conducting Multi-Stressor Vulnerability Assessments (External Review Draft)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This draft report investigates the issues and challenges associated with identifying, calculating, and mapping indicators of the relative vulnerability of water quality and aquatic ecosystems, across the United States, to the potential impacts of global change. Using a large set...

  11. Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-Stressor Vulnerability Assessments (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA announced the availability of the final report, Aquatic Ecosystems and Global Change: The Challenges of conducting Multi-Stressor Global Change Vulnerability Assessments. This report investigates the issues and challenges associated with identifying, calculating, and ...

  12. Field flume reveals aquatic vegetation's role in sediment and particulate phosphorus transport in a shallow aquatic ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harvey, J.W.; Noe, G.B.; Larsen, L.G.; Nowacki, D.J.; McPhillips, L.E.

    2011-01-01

    Flow interactions with aquatic vegetation and effects on sediment transport and nutrient redistribution are uncertain in shallow aquatic ecosystems. Here we quantified sediment transport in the Everglades by progressively increasing flow velocity in a field flume constructed around undisturbed bed sediment and emergent macrophytes. Suspended sediment 100 μm became dominant at higher velocity steps after a threshold shear stress for bed floc entrainment was exceeded. Shedding of vortices that had formed downstream of plant stems also occurred on that velocity step which promoted additional sediment detachment from epiphyton. Modeling determined that the potentially entrainable sediment reservoir, 46 g m−2, was similar to the reservoir of epiphyton (66 g m−2) but smaller than the reservoir of flocculent bed sediment (330 g m−2). All suspended sediment was enriched in phosphorus (by approximately twenty times) compared with bulk sediment on the bed surface and on plant stems, indicating that the most easily entrainable sediment is also the most nutrient rich (and likely the most biologically active).

  13. Changing snow cover in tundra ecosystems tips the Arctic carbon balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zona, D.; Hufkens, K.; Gioli, B.; Kalhori, A. A. M.; Oechel, W. C.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic environment has witnessed important changes due to global warming, resulting in increased surface air temperatures and rain events which both exacerbate snow cover deterioration (Semmens et al, 2013; Rennert et al, 2009; White et al, 2007; Min et al, 2008; Sharp et al, 2013; Schaeffer et al, 2013). Snow cover duration is declining by almost 20% per decade, a far higher rate than model estimates (Derksen and Brown, 2012). Concomitant with increasing temperatures and decreasing snow cover duration, the length of the arctic growing season is reported to have increased by 1.1 - 4.9 days per decade since 1951 (Menzel et al, 2006), and, plant productivity and CO2 uptake from arctic vegetation are strongly influenced by changes in growing season length (Myneni et al., 1997; Schaefer et al., 2005; Euskirchen et al., 2006). Based on more than a decade of eddy flux measurements in Arctic tundra ecosystems across the North slope of Alaska, and remotely sensed snow cover data, we show that earlier snow melt in the spring increase C uptake while an extended snow free period in autumn is associated with a higher C loss. Here we present the impacts of changes in snow cover dynamics between spring and autumn in arctic tundra ecosystems on the carbon dynamics and net C balance of the Alaskan Arctic. ReferencesDerksen, C., Brown R. (2012) Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2012GL053387 Euskirchen, E.S., et al. (2006) Glob. Change Biol., 12, 731-750. Menzel, A., et al. 2006. Glob. Change Biol., 12, 1969-1976. Min SK, Zhang X, Zweirs F (2008) Science 320: 518-520. Rennert K J, Roe G, Putkonen J and Bitz C M (2009) J. Clim. 22 2302-15. Schaefer, K., Denning A.S., Leonard O. (2005) Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 19, GB3017. Schaeffer, S. M., Sharp, E., Schimel, J. P. & Welker, J. M. (2013). Soil- plant N processes in a High Arctic ecosystem, NW Greenland are altered by long-term experimental warming and higher rainfall. Glob. Change Biol., 11, 3529-39. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12318

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  15. Environmental behavior of the chiral insecticide fipronil: Enantioselective toxicity, distribution and transformation in aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Qu, Han; Ma, Rui-Xue; Liu, Dong-Hui; Gao, Jing; Wang, Fang; Zhou, Zhi-Qiang; Wang, Peng

    2016-11-15

    The enantioselective environmental behaviors of the chiral insecticide fipronil and its metabolites in lab-scale aquatic ecosystems were studied and the toxicity of fipronil enantiomers and the metabolites to non-target organisms Lemna minor (L. minor) and Anodonta woodiana (A. woodiana) was also investigated in this work. Water-sediment, water-L. minor, water-A. woodiana, and water-sediment-L. minor-A. woodiana ecosystems were set up and exposed to fipronil through a 90-day period. The results showed fipronil could be degraded significantly faster (half-life of 4.6 days) in the complex water-sediment-L. minor-A. woodiana ecosystem. A. woodiana played a crucial role in the dissipation of fipronil, and the microorganisms in the sediment also made great contribution to the degradation of fipronil in aquatic ecosystems. All the three metabolites fipronil desulfinyl, fipronil sulfide and fipronil sulfone were detected in the ecosystems and were more persistent than fipronil. Enantioselective degradation of fipronil was observed with S-fipronil being preferentially degraded in sediment and L. minor, while R-fipronil was metabolized preferentially in A. woodiana. EC50 for L. minor was obtained using 7-day exposure, and for A. woodiana was obtained using 72-h exposure. S-fipronil was more toxic to A. woodiana, while R-fipronil showed higher toxicity to L. minor. Moreover, the three metabolites were found more toxic than fipronil indicating significant environment risks due to their persistence. The present study might have important implications for the risk assessment of fipronil and its metabolites in real aquatic environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Aquatic ecosystem protection and restoration: Advances in methods for assessment and evaluation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bain, M.B.; Harig, A.L.; Loucks, D.P.; Goforth, R.R.; Mills, K.E.

    2000-01-01

    Many methods and criteria are available to assess aquatic ecosystems, and this review focuses on a set that demonstrates advancements from community analyses to methods spanning large spatial and temporal scales. Basic methods have been extended by incorporating taxa sensitivity to different forms of stress, adding measures linked to system function, synthesizing multiple faunal groups, integrating biological and physical attributes, spanning large spatial scales, and enabling simulations through time. These tools can be customized to meet the needs of a particular assessment and ecosystem. Two case studies are presented to show how new methods were applied at the ecosystem scale for achieving practical management goals. One case used an assessment of biotic structure to demonstrate how enhanced river flows can improve habitat conditions and restore a diverse fish fauna reflective of a healthy riverine ecosystem. In the second case, multitaxonomic integrity indicators were successful in distinguishing lake ecosystems that were disturbed, healthy, and in the process of restoration. Most methods strive to address the concept of biological integrity and assessment effectiveness often can be impeded by the lack of more specific ecosystem management objectives. Scientific and policy explorations are needed to define new ways for designating a healthy system so as to allow specification of precise quality criteria that will promote further development of ecosystem analysis tools.

  17. Exploring the Use of Participatory Information to Improve Monitoring, Mapping and Assessment of Aquatic Ecosystem Services at Landascape Scales

    EPA Science Inventory

    Traditionally, the EPA has monitored aquatic ecosystems using statistically rigorous sample designs and intensive field efforts which provide high quality datasets. But by their nature they leave many aquatic systems unsampled, follow a top down approach, have a long lag between ...

  18. Exploring the Use of Participatory Information to Improve Monitoring, Mapping and Assessment of Aquatic Ecosystem Services at Landascape Scales

    EPA Science Inventory

    Traditionally, the EPA has monitored aquatic ecosystems using statistically rigorous sample designs and intensive field efforts which provide high quality datasets. But by their nature they leave many aquatic systems unsampled, follow a top down approach, have a long lag between ...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Transitions in Arctic ecosystems: Ecological implications of a changing hydrological regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wrona, Frederick J.; Johansson, Margareta; Culp, Joseph M.; Jenkins, Alan; Mârd, Johanna; Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Prowse, Terry D.; Vincent, Warwick F.; Wookey, Philip A.

    2016-03-01

    Numerous international scientific assessments and related articles have, during the last decade, described the observed and potential impacts of climate change as well as other related environmental stressors on Arctic ecosystems. There is increasing recognition that observed and projected changes in freshwater sources, fluxes, and storage will have profound implications for the physical, biogeochemical, biological, and ecological processes and properties of Arctic terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. However, a significant level of uncertainty remains in relation to forecasting the impacts of an intensified hydrological regime and related cryospheric change on ecosystem structure and function. As the terrestrial and freshwater ecology component of the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis, we review these uncertainties and recommend enhanced coordinated circumpolar research and monitoring efforts to improve quantification and prediction of how an altered hydrological regime influences local, regional, and circumpolar-level responses in terrestrial and freshwater systems. Specifically, we evaluate (i) changes in ecosystem productivity; (ii) alterations in ecosystem-level biogeochemical cycling and chemical transport; (iii) altered landscapes, successional trajectories, and creation of new habitats; (iv) altered seasonality and phenological mismatches; and (v) gains or losses of species and associated trophic interactions. We emphasize the need for developing a process-based understanding of interecosystem interactions, along with improved predictive models. We recommend enhanced use of the catchment scale as an integrated unit of study, thereby more explicitly considering the physical, chemical, and ecological processes and fluxes across a full freshwater continuum in a geographic region and spatial range of hydroecological units (e.g., stream-pond-lake-river-near shore marine environments).

  1. Examining Ecological and Ecosystem Level Impacts of Aquatic Invasive Species in Lake Michigan Using An Ecosystem Productivity Model, LM-Eco

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological and ecosystem-level impacts of aquatic invasive species in Lake Michigan were examined using the Lake Michigan Ecosystem Model (LM-Eco). The LM-Eco model includes a detailed description of trophic levels and their interactions within the lower food web of Lake Michiga...

  2. Examining Ecological and Ecosystem Level Impacts of Aquatic Invasive Species in Lake Michigan Using An Ecosystem Productivity Model, LM-Eco

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological and ecosystem-level impacts of aquatic invasive species in Lake Michigan were examined using the Lake Michigan Ecosystem Model (LM-Eco). The LM-Eco model includes a detailed description of trophic levels and their interactions within the lower food web of Lake Michiga...

  3. An eddy covariance derived annual carbon budget for an arctic terrestrial ecosystem (Disko, Greenland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McConnell, Alistair; Lund, Magnus; Friborg, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Ecosystems with underlying permafrost cover nearly 25% of the ice-free land area in the northern hemisphere and store almost half of the global soil carbon. Future climate changes are predicted to have the most pronounced effect in northern latitudes. These Arctic ecosystems are therefore subject to dramatic changes following thawing of permafrost, glacial retreat, and coastal erosion. The most dramatic effect of permafrost thawing is the accelerated decomposition and potential mobilization of organic matter stored in the permafrost. This will impact global climate through the mobilization of carbon and nitrogen accompanied by release of greenhouses gases, including carbon dioxide. This study presents the initial findings and first full annual carbon (CO2) budget, derived from eddy covariance measurements, for an Arctic landscape in West Greenland. The study site, a terrestrial Arctic maritime climate, is located at Østerlien, near Qeqertarsuaq, on the southern coast of Disko Island in central West Greenland (69° 15' N, 53° 34' W) within the transition zone from continuous to discontinuous permafrost. The mean annual air temperature is -5 C and the annual precipitation as rain is 150-200 mm. Arctic ecosystem feedback mechanisms and processes interact on micro, local and regional scales. This is further complicated by several potential feedback mechanisms likely to occur in permafrost-affected ecosystems, involving the interactions of microorganisms, vegetation and soil. The eddy covariance method allows us to interrogate the processes and drivers of land-atmosphere carbon exchange at extremely high temporary frequency (10 Hz), providing landscape-scale measurements of CO2, H2O and heat fluxes for the site, which are processed to derive daily, monthly and now, annual carbon fluxes. We discuss the scientific methodology, challenges, and analysis, as well as the practical and logistic challenges of working in the Arctic, and present an annual carbon budget

  4. Toxic potential of the emerging contaminant nicotine to the aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Oropesa, Ana Lourdes; Floro, António Miguel; Palma, Patrícia

    2017-07-01

    Nicotine is a "life-style compound" widely consumed by human populations and, consequently, often found in surface waters. This fact presents a concern for possible effects in the aquatic ecosystems. The objective of this study was to assess the potential lethal and sublethal toxicity of nicotine in aquatic organisms from different trophic levels (Vibrio fischeri, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, Thamnocephalus platyurus, and Daphnia magna). The bioassays were performed by exposing the organisms to concentrations of nicotine in a range of 0.5-1000 μg/L. Results showed that nicotine, at tested concentration, was not acutely toxic to V. fischeri and T. platyurus. On the contrary, this substance exhibited toxicity to P. subcapitata and Daphnia magna. Thus, concentrations of nicotine of 100 and 200 μg/L promoted an inhibition in the growth of P. subcapitata. In addition, a concentration of 100 μg/L nicotine acted on the reproduction of the crustacean D. magna, by decreasing the number of juveniles produced by female. On the other hand, the results showed that concentrations equal to or greater than 10 μg/L induced the production of daphnids male offspring, which may indicate that nicotine is a weak juvenoid compound of the D. magna endocrine system. Furthermore, the result showed that concentrations tested of this chemical have the capacity to revert the effect of fenoxycarb, a strong juvenoid chemical insecticide. The results of the study revealed that nicotine can induce several changes in some of the most important key groups of the aquatic compartment, which can compromise, in a short time, the balance of aquatic ecosystem. Finally, a preliminary environmental risk assessment of this stimulant was performed from the highest measured concentration in surface water and the no observable effect concentration value in the most sensitive species, i.e., D. magna. This process revealed that nicotine can produce an important risk to aquatic organisms.

  5. Aquatic Ecosystem Response to Timber Harvesting for the Purpose of Restoring Aspen

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Bobette E.; Krupa, Monika; Tate, Kenneth W.

    2013-01-01

    The removal of conifers through commercial timber harvesting has been successful in restoring aspen, however many aspen stands are located near streams, and there are concerns about potential aquatic ecosystem impairment. We examined the effects of management-scale conifer removal from aspen stands located adjacent to streams on water quality, solar radiation, canopy cover, temperature, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and soil moisture. This 8-year study (2003–2010) involved two projects located in Lassen National Forest. The Pine-Bogard Project consisted of three treatments adjacent to Pine and Bogard Creeks: (i) Phase 1 in January 2004, (ii) Phase 2 in August 2005, and (iii) Phase 3 in January 2008. The Bailey Project consisted of one treatment adjacent to Bailey Creek in September 2006. Treatments involved whole tree removal using track-laying harvesters and rubber tire skidders. More than 80% of all samples analyzed for NO3-N, NH4-N, and PO4-P at Pine, Bogard, and Bailey Creeks were below the detection limit, with the exception of naturally elevated PO4-P in Bogard Creek. All nutrient concentrations (NO3-N, NH4-N, PO4-P, K, and SO4-S) showed little variation within streams and across years. Turbidity and TSS exhibited annual variation, but there was no significant increase in the difference between upstream and downstream turbidity and TSS levels. There was a significant decrease in stream canopy cover and increase in the potential fraction of solar radiation reaching the streams in response to the Pine-Bogard Phase 3 and Bailey treatments; however, there was no corresponding increase in stream temperatures. Macroinvertebrate metrics indicated healthy aquatic ecosystem conditions throughout the course of the study. Lastly, the removal of vegetation significantly increased soil moisture in treated stands relative to untreated stands. These results indicate that, with careful planning and implementation of site-specific best management practices, conifer removal to

  6. Aquatic ecosystem response to timber harvesting for the purpose of restoring aspen.

    PubMed

    Jones, Bobette E; Krupa, Monika; Tate, Kenneth W

    2013-01-01

    The removal of conifers through commercial timber harvesting has been successful in restoring aspen, however many aspen stands are located near streams, and there are concerns about potential aquatic ecosystem impairment. We examined the effects of management-scale conifer removal from aspen stands located adjacent to streams on water quality, solar radiation, canopy cover, temperature, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and soil moisture. This 8-year study (2003-2010) involved two projects located in Lassen National Forest. The Pine-Bogard Project consisted of three treatments adjacent to Pine and Bogard Creeks: (i) Phase 1 in January 2004, (ii) Phase 2 in August 2005, and (iii) Phase 3 in January 2008. The Bailey Project consisted of one treatment adjacent to Bailey Creek in September 2006. Treatments involved whole tree removal using track-laying harvesters and rubber tire skidders. More than 80% of all samples analyzed for NO₃-N, NH₄-N, and PO₄-P at Pine, Bogard, and Bailey Creeks were below the detection limit, with the exception of naturally elevated PO₄-P in Bogard Creek. All nutrient concentrations (NO₃-N, NH₄-N, PO₄-P, K, and SO₄-S) showed little variation within streams and across years. Turbidity and TSS exhibited annual variation, but there was no significant increase in the difference between upstream and downstream turbidity and TSS levels. There was a significant decrease in stream canopy cover and increase in the potential fraction of solar radiation reaching the streams in response to the Pine-Bogard Phase 3 and Bailey treatments; however, there was no corresponding increase in stream temperatures. Macroinvertebrate metrics indicated healthy aquatic ecosystem conditions throughout the course of the study. Lastly, the removal of vegetation significantly increased soil moisture in treated stands relative to untreated stands. These results indicate that, with careful planning and implementation of site-specific best management practices

  7. Parasites as drivers of key processes in aquatic ecosystems: Facts and future directions.

    PubMed

    Sures, B; Nachev, M; Pahl, M; Grabner, D; Selbach, C

    2017-09-01

    Despite the advances in our understanding of the ecological importance of parasites that we have made in recent years, we are still far away from having a complete picture of the ecological implications connected to parasitism. In the present paper we highlight key issues that illustrate (1) important contributions of parasites to biodiversity, (2) their integral role in ecosystems, (3) as well as their ecological effects as keystone species (4) and in biological invasion processes. By using selected examples from aquatic ecosystems we want to provide an insight and generate interest into the topic, and want to show directions for future research in the field of ecological parasitology. This may help to convince more parasitologists and ecologists contributing and advancing our understanding of the complex and fascinating interplay of parasites, hosts and ecosystems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Sensitivity of aquatic ecosystems to climatic and anthropogenic changes: The basin and range, American Southwest and Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grimm, N. B.; Chacon, A.; Dahm, Clifford N.; Hostetler, S.W.; Lind, O.T.; Starkweather, P.L.; Wurtsbaugh, W.W.

    1997-01-01

    Variability and unpredictability are characteristics of the aquatic ecosystems, hydrological patterns and climate of the largely dryland region that encompasses the Basin and Range, American Southwest and western Mexico. Neither hydrological nor climatological models for the region are sufficiently developed to describe the magnitude or direction of change in response to increased carbon dioxide; thus, an attempt to predict specific responses of aquatic ecosystems is premature. Instead, we focus on the sensitivity of rivers, streams, springs, wetlands, reservoirs, and lakes of the region to potential changes in climate, especially those inducing a change in hydrological patterns such as amount, timing and predictability of stream flow. The major sensitivities of aquatic ecosystems are their permanence and even existence in the face of potential reduced net basin supply of water, stability of geomorphological structure and riparian ecotones with alterations in disturbance regimes, and water quality changes resulting from a modified water balance. In all of these respects, aquatic ecosystems of the region are also sensitive to the extensive modifications imposed by human use of water resources, which underscores the difficulty of separating this type of anthropogenic change from climate change. We advocate a focus in future research on reconstruction and analysis of past climates and associated ecosystem characteristics, long-term studies to discriminate directional change vs. year to year variability (including evidence of aquatic ecosystem responses or sensitivity to extremes), and studies of ecosystems affected by human activity. ?? 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. The initiation and development of small peat-forming ecosystems adjacent to lakes in the north central Canadian low arctic during the Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camill, Philip; Umbanhowar, Charles E.; Geiss, Christoph; Edlund, Mark B.; Hobbs, Will O.; Dupont, Allison; Doyle-Capitman, Catherine; Ramos, Matthew

    2017-07-01

    Small peat-forming ecosystems in arctic landscapes may play a significant role in the regional biogeochemistry of high-latitude systems, yet they are understudied compared to arctic uplands and other major peat-forming regions of the North. We present a new data set of 25 radiocarbon-dated permafrost peat cores sampled around eight low arctic lake sites in northern Manitoba (Canada) to examine the timing of peat initiation and controls on peat accumulation throughout the Holocene. We used macrofossils and charcoal to characterize changes in the plant community and fire, and we explored potential impacts of these local factors, as well as regional climatic change, on rates of C accumulation and C stocks. Peat initiation was variable across and within sites, suggesting the influence of local topography, but 56% of the cores initiated after 3000 B.P. Most cores initiated and remained as drier bog hummock communities, with few vegetation transitions in this landscape. C accumulation was relatively slow and did not appear to be correlated with Holocene-scale climatic variability, but C stocks in this landscape were substantial (mean = 45.4 kg C m-2), potentially accounting for 13.2 Pg C in the Taiga Shield ecozone. To the extent that small peat-forming systems are underrepresented in peatland mapping, soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks may be underestimated in arctic regions. Mean fire severity appeared to be negatively correlated with C accumulation rates. Initiation and accumulation of soil C may respond to both regional and local factors, and substantial lowland soil C stocks have the potential for biogeochemical impacts on adjacent aquatic ecosystems.

  10. Ecosystem responses to climate change at a Low Arctic and a High Arctic long-term research site.

    PubMed

    Hobbie, John E; Shaver, Gaius R; Rastetter, Edward B; Cherry, Jessica E; Goetz, Scott J; Guay, Kevin C; Gould, William A; Kling, George W

    2017-02-01

    Long-term measurements of ecological effects of warming are often not statistically significant because of annual variability or signal noise. These are reduced in indicators that filter or reduce the noise around the signal and allow effects of climate warming to emerge. In this way, certain indicators act as medium pass filters integrating the signal over years-to-decades. In the Alaskan Arctic, the 25-year record of warming of air temperature revealed no significant trend, yet environmental and ecological changes prove that warming is affecting the ecosystem. The useful indicators are deep permafrost temperatures, vegetation and shrub biomass, satellite measures of canopy reflectance (NDVI), and chemical measures of soil weathering. In contrast, the 18-year record in the Greenland Arctic revealed an extremely high summer air-warming of 1.3 °C/decade; the cover of some plant species increased while the cover of others decreased. Useful indicators of change are NDVI and the active layer thickness.

  11. Water quality assessment of aquatic ecosystems using ecological criteria - case study in Bulgaria.

    PubMed

    Damyanova, Sonya; Ivanova, Iliana; Ignatova, Nadka

    2014-11-02

    Four aquatic ecosystems (two rivers and two dams) situated in the western part of Bulgaria were investigated over a three years' period. The River Egulya and Petrohan dam are situated in mountainous regions at about 1000 m altitude, and are not influenced by any anthropogenic sources. Petrohan dam is a site for long-term ecosystem research as a part of Bulgarian long-term ecological research network. The other two systems belong to populated industrial areas. The River Martinovska flows through a region with former long-term mining activity, while Ogosta dam is near a battery production factory. Both the geochemical and geographical ecosystems' conditions are different, and their social usage as well. Ogosta dam water is used for irrigation and Petrohan dam for electric supply. The ecosystem sensitivity to heavy metals was evaluated by a critical load approach. Two criteria were used for risk assessment: critical load exceedance and microbial toxicity test. All studied ecosystems were more sensitive to cadmium than to lead deposition. The potential risk of Cd damage is higher for Petrohan dam and the River Egulya, where critical load exceedance was calculated for two years. Pseudomonas putida growth inhibition test detected a lack of toxicity for all studied ecosystems at the time of investigation with the exception of the low water September sample of the River Martinovska. The fast bacterial test is very suitable for a regular measurement of water toxicity because of its simplicity, lack of sophisticated equipment and clear results.

  12. Urgent and Compelling Need for Coastal and Inland Aquatic Ecosystem Research Using Space-Based Sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otis, D. B.; Muller-Karger, F. E.; Hestir, E.; Turpie, K. R.; Roberts, D. A.; Frouin, R.; Goodman, J.; Schaeffer, B. A.; Franz, B. A.; Humm, D. C.

    2016-12-01

    Coastal and inland waters and associated aquatic habitats, including wetlands, mangroves, submerged grasses, and coral reefs, are some of the most productive and diverse ecosystems on the planet. They provide services critical to human health, safety, and prosperity. Yet, they are highly vulnerable to changes in climate and other anthropogenic pressures. With a global population of over seven billion people and climbing, and a warming atmosphere driven by carbon dioxide now in excess of 400 ppb, these services are at risk of rapidly diminishing globally. We know little about how these ecosystems function. We need to characterize short-term changes in the functional biodiversity and biogeochemical cycles of these coastal and wetland ecosystems, from canopy to benthos, and trace these changes to their underlying environmental influences. This requires an observation-based approach that covers coastal and inland aquatic ecosystems in a repeated, synoptic manner. Space-borne sensing systems can provide this capability, supported by coordinated in situ calibration and product validation activities. The design requires high temporal resolution (weekly or better), medium spatial resolution (30 m pixels at nadir to complement Landsat-class sensors), and highly sensitive, ocean-color radiometric quality, high resolution spectroscopy with Visible and Short-Wave IR bands (order of 10 nm or better) to assess both atmospheric correction parameters and land vegetation composition. The strategy needs to include sunglint avoidance schemes, and methods to maximize signal to noise ratios and temporal coverage of aquatic areas. We describe such a system, and urge the U.S. to implement such an observing strategy in the short-term and sustain it for the benefit of humankind.

  13. In the dark: A review of ecosystem processes during the Arctic polar night

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berge, Jørgen; Renaud, Paul E.; Darnis, Gerald; Cottier, Finlo; Last, Kim; Gabrielsen, Tove M.; Johnsen, Geir; Seuthe, Lena; Weslawski, Jan Marcin; Leu, Eva; Moline, Mark; Nahrgang, Jasmine; Søreide, Janne E.; Varpe, Øystein; Lønne, Ole Jørgen; Daase, Malin; Falk-Petersen, Stig

    2015-12-01

    Several recent lines of evidence indicate that the polar night is key to understanding Arctic marine ecosystems. First, the polar night is not a period void of biological activity even though primary production is close to zero, but is rather characterized by a number of processes and interactions yet to be fully understood, including unanticipated high levels of feeding and reproduction in a wide range of taxa and habitats. Second, as more knowledge emerges, it is evident that a coupled physical and biological perspective of the ecosystem will redefine seasonality beyond the "calendar perspective". Third, it appears that many organisms may exhibit endogenous rhythms that trigger fitness-maximizing activities in the absence of light-based cues. Indeed a common adaptation appears to be the ability to utilize the dark season for reproduction. This and other processes are most likely adaptations to current environmental conditions and community and trophic structures of the ecosystem, and may have implications for how Arctic ecosystems can change under continued climatic warming.

  14. Herbivory Network: An international, collaborative effort to study herbivory in Arctic and alpine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrio, I. C.; Hik, D. S.; Jónsdóttir, I. S.; Bueno, C. G.; Mörsdorf, M. A.; Ravolainen, V. T.

    2016-09-01

    Plant-herbivore interactions are central to the functioning of tundra ecosystems, but their outcomes vary over space and time. Accurate forecasting of ecosystem responses to ongoing environmental changes requires a better understanding of the processes responsible for this heterogeneity. To effectively address this complexity at a global scale, coordinated research efforts, including multi-site comparisons within and across disciplines, are needed. The Herbivory Network was established as a forum for researchers from Arctic and alpine regions to collaboratively investigate the multifunctional role of herbivores in these changing ecosystems. One of the priorities is to integrate sites, methodologies, and metrics used in previous work, to develop a set of common protocols and design long-term geographically-balanced, coordinated experiments. The implementation of these collaborative research efforts will also improve our understanding of traditional human-managed systems that encompass significant portions of the sub-Arctic and alpine areas worldwide. A deeper understanding of the role of herbivory in these systems under ongoing environmental changes will guide appropriate adaptive strategies to preserve their natural values and related ecosystem services.

  15. Effects of long-term nutrient additions on Arctic tundra, stream, and lake ecosystems: beyond NPP.

    PubMed

    Gough, Laura; Bettez, Neil D; Slavik, Karie A; Bowden, William B; Giblin, Anne E; Kling, George W; Laundre, James A; Shaver, Gaius R

    2016-11-01

    Primary producers form the base of food webs but also affect other ecosystem characteristics, such as habitat structure, light availability, and microclimate. Here, we examine changes caused by 5-30+ years of nutrient addition and resulting increases in net primary productivity (NPP) in tundra, streams, and lakes in northern Alaska. The Arctic provides an important opportunity to examine how ecosystems characterized by low diversity and low productivity respond to release from nutrient limitation. We review how responses of algae and plants affect light availability, perennial biotic structures available for consumers, oxygen levels, and temperature. Sometimes, responses were similar across all three ecosystems; e.g., increased NPP significantly reduced light to the substrate following fertilization. Perennial biotic structures increased in tundra and streams but not in lakes, and provided important new habitat niches for consumers as well as other producers. Oxygen and temperature responses also differed. Life history traits (e.g., longevity) of the primary producers along with the fate of detritus drove the responses and recovery. As global change persists and nutrients become more available in the Arctic and elsewhere, incorporating these factors as response variables will enable better prediction of ecosystem changes and feedbacks in this biome and others.

  16. Heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystems and its phytoremediation using wetland plants: an ecosustainable approach.

    PubMed

    Rai, Prabhat Kumar

    2008-01-01

    This review addresses the global problem of heavymetal pollution originating from increased industrialization and urbanization and its amelioration by using wetland plants both in a microcosm as well as natural/field condition. Heavymetal contamination in aquatic ecosystems due to discharge of industrial effluents may pose a serious threat to human health. Alkaline precipitation, ion exchange columns, electrochemical removal, filtration, and membrane technologies are the currently available technologies for heavy metal removal. These conventional technologies are not economical and may produce adverse impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Phytoremediation of metals is a cost-effective "green" technology based on the use of specially selected metal-accumulating plants to remove toxic metals from soils and water. Wetland plants are important tools for heavy metal removal. The Ramsar convention, one of the earlier modern global conservation treaties, was adopted at Ramsar, Iran, in 1971 and became effective in 1975. This convention emphasized the wise use of wetlands and their resources. This review mentions salient features of wetland ecosystems, their vegetation component, and the pros and cons involved in heavy metal removal. Wetland plants are preferred over other bio-agents due to their low cost, frequent abundance in aquatic ecosystems, and easy handling. The extensive rhizosphere of wetland plants provides an enriched culture zone for the microbes involved in degradation. The wetland sediment zone provides reducing conditions that are conducive to the metal removal pathway. Constructed wetlands proved to be effective for the abatement of heavymetal pollution from acid mine drainage; landfill leachate; thermal power; and municipal, agricultural, refinery, and chlor-alkali effluent. the physicochemical properties of wetlands provide many positive attributes for remediating heavy metals. Typha, Phragmites, Eichhornia, Azolla, Lemna, and other aquatic macrophytes are some

  17. A field facility to simulate climate warming and increased nutrient supply in shallow aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hines, Jes; Hammrich, Arne; Steiner, Daniel; Gessner, Mark O

    2013-12-01

    Global warming and excess nitrogen deposition can exert strong impacts on aquatic populations, communities, and ecosystems. However, experimental data to establish clear cause-and-effect relationships in naturally complex field conditions are scarce in aquatic environments. Here, we describe the design and performance of a unique outdoor enclosure facility used to simulate warming, increased nitrogen supply, and both factors combined in a littoral freshwater wetland dominated by common reed, Phragmites australis. The experimental system effectively simulated a 2.8 °C climate warming scenario over an extended period, capturing the natural temperature variations in the wetland at diel and seasonal scales with only small deviations. Excess nitrogen supply enhanced nitrate concentrations especially in winter when it was associated with increased concentration of ammonium and dissolved organic carbon. Nitrogen also reduced dissolved oxygen concentrations, particularly in the summer. Importantly, by stimulating biological activity, warming enhanced the nitrogen uptake capacity of the wetland during the winter, emphasizing the need for multifactorial global change experiments that examine both warming and nitrogen loading in concert. Establishing similar experiments across broad environmental gradients holds great potential to provide robust assessments of the impacts of climate change on shallow aquatic ecosystems.

  18. Impact of introduced Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) on non-native aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Vicente, I S T; Fonseca-Alves, C E

    2013-02-01

    The global invasion of non-native aquatic ecosystems by Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is well documented and coincides with their increased use as an aquaculture species. Aquaculture can be defined as the farming of fish or other aquatic organisms and it varies considerably in terms of production practices. Generally, freshwater finfish, such as Nile tilapia, are reared in inland ponds (closed systems). However, in several countries, floating cages are increasingly used to rear Nile tilapia in open water bodies. In such systems, escape is inevitable. The Nile tilapia is considered an omnivorous species and it ingests zooplankton, phytoplankton, or debris present in rivers. As a consequence, the release of Nile tilapia into non-native aquatic ecosystems may result in competition for food and space, thereby damaging native species. The wide environmental tolerance and high reproductive rate of Nile tilapia facilitate its use for aquaculture, but also render the species highly invasive. Here, we review the high frequency of Nile tilapia in non-native biodiversity and indicate the existence of the species under feral conditions in every country in which it has been introduced through farming systems.

  19. The Role of Biomarkers in the Assessment of Aquatic Ecosystem Health

    PubMed Central

    Hook, Sharon E; Gallagher, Evan P; Batley, Graeme E

    2016-01-01

    Ensuring the health of aquatic ecosystems and identifying species at risk from the detrimental effects of environmental contaminants can be facilitated by integrating analytical chemical analysis with carefully selected biological endpoints measured in tissues of species of concern. These biological endpoints include molecular, biochemical and physiological markers (i.e. biomarkers) that when integrated, can clarify issues of contaminant bioavailability, bioaccumulation and ecological effects while enabling a better understanding of the effects of non-chemical stressors. In the case of contaminant stressors, an understanding of chemical modes of toxicity can be incorporated with diagnostic markers of aquatic animal physiology to help understand the health status of aquatic organisms in the field. Furthermore, new approaches in functional genomics and bioinformatics can help discriminate individual chemicals, or groups of chemicals among complex mixtures that may contribute to adverse biological effects. While the use of biomarkers is not a new paradigm, such approaches have been underutilized in the context of ecological risk assessment and natural resource damage assessment. From a regulatory standpoint, these approaches can help better assess the complex effects from coastal development activities to assessing ecosystem integrity pre- and post-development or site remediation. PMID:24574147

  20. Heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystems and its phytoremediation using wetland plants: An ecosustainable approach

    SciTech Connect

    Rai, P.K.

    2008-07-01

    This review addresses the global problem of heavy metal pollution originating from increased industrialization and urbanization and its amelioration by using wetland plants both in a microcosm as well as natural/field condition. This review mentions salient features of wetland ecosystems, their vegetation component, and the pros and cons involved in heavy metal removal. Wetland plants are preferred over other bio-agents due to their low cost, frequent abundance in aquatic ecosystems, and easy handling. Constructed wetlands proved to be effective for the abatement of heavy metal pollution from acid mine drainage; landfill leachate; thermal power; and municipal, agricultural, refinery, and chlor-alkali effluent. the physicochemical properties of wetlands provide many positive attributes for remediating heavy metals. Typha, Phragmites, Eichhornia, Azolla, Lemna, and other aquatic macrophytes are some of the potent wetland plants for heavy metal removal. Biomass disposal problem and seasonal growth of aquatic macrophytes are some limitations in the transfer of phytoremediation technology from the laboratory to the field. However, the disposed biomass of macrophytes may be used for various fruitful applications. An ecosustainable model has been developed through the author's various works, which may ameliorate some of the limitations. The creation of more areas for phytoremediation may also aid in wetlands conservation. Genetic engineering and biodiversity prospecting of endangered wetland plants are important future prospects in this regard.

  1. Irrigation agriculture affects organic matter decomposition in semi-arid terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Arroita, Maite; Causapé, Jesús; Comín, Francisco A; Díez, Joserra; Jimenez, Juan José; Lacarta, Juan; Lorente, Carmen; Merchán, Daniel; Muñiz, Selene; Navarro, Enrique; Val, Jonatan; Elosegi, Arturo

    2013-12-15

    Many dryland areas are being converted into intensively managed irrigation crops, what can disrupt the hydrological regime, degrade soil and water quality, enhance siltation, erosion and bank instability, and affect biological communities. Still, the impacts of irrigation schemes on the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are poorly understood. Here we assess the effects of irrigation agriculture on breakdown of coarse organic matter in soil and water. We measured breakdown rates of alder and holm oak leaves, and of poplar sticks in terrestrial and aquatic sites following a gradient of increasing irrigation agriculture in a semi-arid Mediterranean basin transformed into irrigation agriculture in 50% of its surface. Spatial patterns of stick breakdown paralleled those of leaf breakdown. In soil, stick breakdown rates were extremely low in non-irrigated sites (0.0001-0.0003 day(-1)), and increased with the intensity of agriculture (0.0018-0.0044 day(-1)). In water, stick breakdown rates ranged from 0.0005 to 0.001 day(-1), and increased with the area of the basin subject to irrigation agriculture. Results showed that irrigation agriculture affects functioning of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, accelerating decomposition of organic matter, especially in soil. These changes can have important consequences for global carbon budgets.

  2. Aquatic ecosystems in Central Colorado are influenced by mineral forming processes and historical mining

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, T.S.; Church, S.E.; Clements, W.H.; Mitchell, K.A.; Fey, D. L.; Wanty, R.B.; Verplanck, P.L.; San, Juan C.A.; Klein, T.L.; deWitt, E.H.; Rockwell, B.W.

    2009-01-01

    Stream water and sediment toxicity to aquatic insects were quantified from central Colorado catchments to distinguish the effect of geologic processes which result in high background metals concentrations from historical mining. Our sampling design targeted small catchments underlain by rocks of a single lithology, which allowed the development of biological and geochemical baselines without the complication of multiple rock types exposed in the catchment. By accounting for geologic sources of metals to the environment, we were able to distinguish between the environmental effects caused by mining and the weathering of different mineralized areas. Elevated metal concentrations in water and sediment were not restricted to mined catchments. Impairment of aquatic communities also occurred in unmined catchments influenced by hydrothermal alteration. Hydrothermal alteration style, deposit type, and mining were important determinants of water and sediment quality and aquatic community structure. Weathering of unmined porphyry Cu-Mo occurrences resulted in water (median toxic unit (TU) = 108) and sediment quality (TU = 1.9) that exceeded concentrations thought to be safe for aquatic ecosystems (TU = 1). Metalsensitive aquatic insects were virtually absent from streams draining catchments with porphyry Cu-Mo occurrences (1.1 individuals/0.1 m2 ). However, water and sediment quality (TU = 0.1, 0.5 water and sediment, respectively) and presence of metalsensitive aquatic insects (204 individuals/0.1 m2 ) for unmined polymetallic vein occurrences were indistinguishable from that for unmined and unaltered streams (TU = 0.1, 0.5 water and sediment, respectively; 201 individuals/0.1 m2 ). In catchments with mined quartz-sericite-pyrite altered polymetallic vein deposits, water (TU = 8.4) and sediment quality (TU = 3.1) were degraded and more toxic to aquatic insects (36 individuals/0.1 m2 ) than water (TU = 0.4) and sediment quality (TU = 1.7) from mined propylitically altered

  3. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1989-01-01

    This proposal requests funding for the completion of our current ecological studies at the MS-117 research site at Toolik Lake, Alaska. We have been using a mix of stable and radioisotope techniques to assess the fluxes of carbon and nitrogen within the ecosystem and the implications for long-term carbon storage or loss from the tundra. Several tentative conclusions have emerged from our study including: Tundra in the foothills is no longer accumulating carbon. Surficial radiocarbon abundances show little or no accumulation since 1000--2500 yrs BP. Coastal plain tundra is still accumulating carbon, but the rate of accumulation has dropped in the last few thousand years. Carbon export from watersheds in the Kuparuk and Imnavait Creek drainages are in excess of that expected from estimated primary productivity; and Nitrogen isotope abundances vary between species of plants and along hydrologic gradients.

  4. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1989-12-31

    This proposal requests funding for the completion of our current ecological studies at the MS-117 research site at Toolik Lake, Alaska. We have been using a mix of stable and radioisotope techniques to assess the fluxes of carbon and nitrogen within the ecosystem and the implications for long-term carbon storage or loss from the tundra. Several tentative conclusions have emerged from our study including: Tundra in the foothills is no longer accumulating carbon. Surficial radiocarbon abundances show little or no accumulation since 1000--2500 yrs BP. Coastal plain tundra is still accumulating carbon, but the rate of accumulation has dropped in the last few thousand years. Carbon export from watersheds in the Kuparuk and Imnavait Creek drainages are in excess of that expected from estimated primary productivity; and Nitrogen isotope abundances vary between species of plants and along hydrologic gradients.

  5. Photodemethylation of Methylmercury in Eastern Canadian Arctic Thaw Pond and Lake Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Girard, Catherine; Leclerc, Maxime; Amyot, Marc

    2016-04-05

    Permafrost thaw ponds of the warming Eastern Canadian Arctic are major landscape constituents and often display high levels of methylmercury (MeHg). We examined photodegradation potentials in high-dissolved organic matter (DOC) thaw ponds on Bylot Island (BYL) and a low-DOC oligotrophic lake on Cornwallis Island (Char Lake). In BYL, the ambient MeHg photodemethylation (PD) rate over 48 h of solar exposure was 6.1 × 10(-3) m(2) E(-1), and the rate in MeHg amended samples was 9.3 × 10(-3) m(2) E(-1). In contrast, in low-DOC Char Lake, PD was only observed in the first 12 h, which suggests that PD may not be an important loss process in polar desert lakes. Thioglycolic acid addition slowed PD, while glutathione and chlorides did not impact northern PD rates. During an ecosystem-wide experiment conducted in a covered BYL pond, there was neither net MeHg increase in the dark nor loss attributable to PD following re-exposure to sunlight. We propose that high-DOC Arctic thaw ponds are more prone to MeHg PD than nearby oligotrophic lakes, likely through photoproduction of reactive species rather than via thiol complexation. However, at the ecosystem level, these ponds, which are widespread through the Arctic, remain likely sources of MeHg for neighboring systems.

  6. Increases in terrestrially derived carbon stimulate organic carbon processing and CO2 emissions in boreal aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapierre, Jean-François; Guillemette, François; Berggren, Martin; Del Giorgio, Paul A.

    2013-12-01

    The concentrations of terrestrially derived dissolved organic carbon have been increasing throughout northern aquatic ecosystems in recent decades, but whether these shifts have an impact on aquatic carbon emissions at the continental scale depends on the potential for this terrestrial carbon to be converted into carbon dioxide. Here, via the analysis of hundreds of boreal lakes, rivers and wetlands in Canada, we show that, contrary to conventional assumptions, the proportion of biologically degradable dissolved organic carbon remains constant and the photochemical degradability increases with terrestrial influence. Thus, degradation potential increases with increasing amounts of terrestrial carbon. Our results provide empirical evidence of a strong causal link between dissolved organic carbon concentrations and aquatic fluxes of carbon dioxide, mediated by the degradation of land-derived organic carbon in aquatic ecosystems. Future shifts in the patterns of terrestrial dissolved organic carbon in inland waters thus have the potential to significantly increase aquatic carbon emissions across northern landscapes.

  7. The First Law of Thermodynamics for Ecosystems. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Thermodynamics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, R. D.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This module and a comparison module are concerned with elementary concepts of thermodynamics as…

  8. Feedbacks Between Microenvironment and Plant Functional Type and Implications for CO2 Flux in Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Squires, E.; Rodenheizer, H.; Natali, S.; Mann, P.

    2013-12-01

    Future climate models predict a warmer, drier Arctic, with resultant shifts in vegetative composition and implications for ecosystem carbon budgets. The impact of vegetation change, however, may depend on which plant functional groups are favored in a warming Arctic. Physiological and functional differences between plant groups influence both the local microenvironment and, on a broader scale, whole-ecosystem CO2 flux. We examined the interactions between plants and their microenvironment, and analyzed the effect of these interactions on both soil microbial communities and CO2 flux across different functional groups. Physical and biological aspects of the microenvironment differed between plant functional groups. Lichen patches were characterized by deeper thaw depths, lower soil moisture, greater thermal conductivity, and a thinner organic layer than mosses. To better understand the development of these plant-environment interactions, we conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment, switching multiple lichen and moss patches. Temporal changes in environmental parameters at these sites will demonstrate how different plants modify their environment and will help identify associated implications for soil microbial communities and CO2 flux. We measured CO2 flux and used Biolog assays to examine soil microbial communities in undisturbed patches of mosses, lichens, and shrubs. Patches of birch shrubs had more negative net ecosystem exchange, signifying a carbon sink. Soils from alder shrubs and mosses hosted more active microbial communities than soils under birch shrubs and lichens. These results suggest a strong link between environment, plant functional type, and C cycling. Understanding how this relationship differs among plant functional types is an important part of predicting ecosystem carbon budgets as Arctic vegetation composition shifts in response to climate change.

  9. A review of ecological effects and environmental fate of illicit drugs in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Rosi-Marshall, E J; Snow, D; Bartelt-Hunt, S L; Paspalof, A; Tank, J L

    2015-01-23

    Although illicit drugs are detected in surface waters throughout the world, their environmental fate and ecological effects are not well understood. Many illicit drugs and their breakdown products have been detected in surface waters and temporal and spatial variability in use translates into "hot spots and hot moments" of occurrence. Illicit drug occurrence in regions of production and use and areas with insufficient wastewater treatment are not well studied and should be targeted for further study. Evidence suggests that illicit drugs may not be persistent, as their half-lives are relatively short, but may exhibit "pseudo-persistence" wherein continual use results in persistent occurrence. We reviewed the literature on the ecological effects of these compounds on aquatic organisms and although research is limited, a wide array of aquatic organisms, including bacteria, algae, invertebrates, and fishes, have receptors that make them potentially sensitive to these compounds. In summary, illicit drugs occur in surface waters and aquatic organisms may be affected by these compounds; research is needed that focuses on concentrations of illicit drugs in areas of production and high use, environmental fate of these compounds, and effects of these compounds on aquatic ecosystems at the concentrations that typically occur in the environment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. The impact of rice pesticides on the aquatic ecosystems of the Sacramento River and Delta (California).

    PubMed

    Byard, J L

    1999-01-01

    Since the early 1980s, when molinate was demonstrated to have killed carp in agricultural drains, an intensive research effort has been undertaken to assess the impact of rice pesticides on aquatic ecosystems in the Sacramento River and Delta. No impact has been found that can be clearly attributed to rice pesticides. However, the rice insecticides methyl parathion and carbofuran, and probably also bufencarb, reached levels in the River and Delta that, based on laboratory bioassays, would have been toxic to aquatic microinvertebrates and, in the case of bufencarb, to early life stages of striped bass. Reductions in microinvertebrate populations could have impacted higher organisms in the aquatic food chain such as striped bass and chinook salmon. Bufencarb was not used after 1981. Since then, changes in the management of the remaining rice pesticides have resulted in dramatic decreases in the levels of these chemicals in the River and Delta. Levels achieved today have no known toxicity to aquatic organisms. As releases of rice pesticides were reduced to achieve nontoxic levels in the River and Delta, however, commensurate recoveries of striped bass and chinook salmon did not occur, suggesting that rice pesticides may have had little or no role in the decline of these species.

  11. Watershed land use and aquatic ecosystem response: Ecohydrologic approach to conservation policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Randhir, Timothy O.; Hawes, Ashley G.

    2009-01-01

    SummaryLand use activities change the natural functions of a watershed impacting the flow of water and water quality, and impair aquatic ecosystems. Optimal allocation of land use depends on attributes related to terrestrial and aquatic environments. A dynamic model that links land use, overland flow, suspended sediment, and an aquatic species is used to evaluate alternate land use policies. The dwarf wedge mussel that is classified as endangered in the region is used as an indicator species of aquatic health in a watershed in Massachusetts. The simulation model is used to evaluate spatial nature of processes and land use policies. Spatial and temporal changes in runoff, sediment loading, and mussel population are modeled over a period of 4 years. Ten policy scenarios represent combinations of best management practices and development of agriculture and urban land at spatial locations of headwaters, main stem regions, riparian, and entire watershed. Increasing the proportion of agriculture and high density residential land use increased runoff, while increasing the frequency and magnitude of peak flows in the watershed. Sediment loading increased with an increased proportion of agriculture area and decreased with an expansion of high density residential area. Scenarios with an increase in sediment loading above the baseline mean exhibited an irregular recovery of the mussel population from high loading events. Policy implications include the need for best management practices to decrease runoff and sediment loading in the watershed, through education and incentive programs.

  12. Ecological and toxicological effects of inorganic nitrogen pollution in aquatic ecosystems: A global assessment.

    PubMed

    Camargo, Julio A; Alonso, Alvaro

    2006-08-01

    We provide a global assessment, with detailed multi-scale data, of the ecological and toxicological effects generated by inorganic nitrogen pollution in aquatic ecosystems. Our synthesis of the published scientific literature shows three major environmental problems: (1) it can increase the concentration of hydrogen ions in freshwater ecosystems without much acid-neutralizing capacity, resulting in acidification of those systems; (2) it can stimulate or enhance the development, maintenance and proliferation of primary producers, resulting in eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems; (3) it can reach toxic levels that impair the ability of aquatic animals to survive, grow and reproduce. Inorganic nitrogen pollution of ground and surface waters can also induce adverse effects on human health and economy. Because reductions in SO2 emissions have reduced the atmospheric deposition of H2SO4 across large portions of North America and Europe, while emissions of NOx have gone unchecked, HNO3 is now playing an increasing role in the acidification of freshwater ecosystems. This acidification process has caused several adverse effects on primary and secondary producers, with significant biotic impoverishments, particularly concerning invertebrates and fishes, in many atmospherically acidified lakes and streams. The cultural eutrophication of freshwater, estuarine, and coastal marine ecosystems can cause ecological and toxicological effects that are either directly or indirectly related to the proliferation of primary producers. Extensive kills of both invertebrates and fishes are probably the most dramatic manifestation of hypoxia (or anoxia) in eutrophic and hypereutrophic aquatic ecosystems with low water turnover rates. The decline in dissolved oxygen concentrations can also promote the formation of reduced compounds, such as hydrogen sulphide, resulting in higher adverse (toxic) effects on aquatic animals. Additionally, the occurrence of toxic algae can significantly

  13. Transfer of a cyanobacterial neurotoxin within a temperate aquatic ecosystem suggests pathways for human exposure.

    PubMed

    Jonasson, Sara; Eriksson, Johan; Berntzon, Lotta; Spácil, Zdenek; Ilag, Leopold L; Ronnevi, Lars-Olof; Rasmussen, Ulla; Bergman, Birgitta

    2010-05-18

    beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), a neurotoxic nonprotein amino acid produced by most cyanobacteria, has been proposed to be the causative agent of devastating neurodegenerative diseases on the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. Because cyanobacteria are widespread globally, we hypothesized that BMAA might occur and bioaccumulate in other ecosystems. Here we demonstrate, based on a recently developed extraction and HPLC-MS/MS method and long-term monitoring of BMAA in cyanobacterial populations of a temperate aquatic ecosystem (Baltic Sea, 2007-2008), that BMAA is biosynthesized by cyanobacterial genera dominating the massive surface blooms of this water body. BMAA also was found at higher concentrations in organisms of higher trophic levels that directly or indirectly feed on cyanobacteria, such as zooplankton and various vertebrates (fish) and invertebrates (mussels, oysters). Pelagic and benthic fish species used for human consumption were included. The highest BMAA levels were detected in the muscle and brain of bottom-dwelling fishes. The discovery of regular biosynthesis of the neurotoxin BMAA in a large temperate aquatic ecosystem combined with its possible transfer and bioaccumulation within major food webs, some ending in human consumption, is alarming and requires attention.

  14. Transfer of a cyanobacterial neurotoxin within a temperate aquatic ecosystem suggests pathways for human exposure

    PubMed Central

    Jonasson, Sara; Eriksson, Johan; Berntzon, Lotta; Spáčil, Zdenĕk; Ilag, Leopold L.; Ronnevi, Lars-Olof; Rasmussen, Ulla; Bergman, Birgitta

    2010-01-01

    β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), a neurotoxic nonprotein amino acid produced by most cyanobacteria, has been proposed to be the causative agent of devastating neurodegenerative diseases on the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. Because cyanobacteria are widespread globally, we hypothesized that BMAA might occur and bioaccumulate in other ecosystems. Here we demonstrate, based on a recently developed extraction and HPLC-MS/MS method and long-term monitoring of BMAA in cyanobacterial populations of a temperate aquatic ecosystem (Baltic Sea, 2007–2008), that BMAA is biosynthesized by cyanobacterial genera dominating the massive surface blooms of this water body. BMAA also was found at higher concentrations in organisms of higher trophic levels that directly or indirectly feed on cyanobacteria, such as zooplankton and various vertebrates (fish) and invertebrates (mussels, oysters). Pelagic and benthic fish species used for human consumption were included. The highest BMAA levels were detected in the muscle and brain of bottom-dwelling fishes. The discovery of regular biosynthesis of the neurotoxin BMAA in a large temperate aquatic ecosystem combined with its possible transfer and bioaccumulation within major food webs, some ending in human consumption, is alarming and requires attention. PMID:20439734

  15. Impacts of aquatic nonindigenous invasive species on the Lake Erie ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austen, Madeline J.W.; Ciborowski, Jan J.H.; Corkum, Lynda D.; Johnson, Tim B.; MacIsaac, Hugh J.; Metcalfe-Smith, Janice L.; Schloesser, Donald W.; George, Sandra E.

    2002-01-01

    Lake Erie is particularly vulnerable to the introduction and establishment of aquatic nonindigenous invasive species (NIS) populations. A minimum of 144 aquatic NIS have been recorded in the Lake Erie basin including several species [e.g., Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum); zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha); quagga mussel (Dreissena bugensis); an amphipod (Echinogammarus ischnus); round goby (Neogobius melanostomus); and sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)] that have had discernible impacts on the lake's ecology. NIS pose threats to the Lake Erie ecosystem for a variety of reasons including their ability to proliferate quickly, compete with native species, and transfer contaminants (e.g., PCBs) and disease through the food web. Six of the 14 beneficial use impairments listed in Annex 2 of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement are impaired in Lake Erie, in part as a result of the introduction of NIS. The Lake Erie Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) has adopted an ecosystem approach to restore beneficial use impairments in the lake. Furthermore, a research consortium, known as the Lake Erie Millennium Network, is working alongside the LaMP, to address research problems regarding NIS, the loss of habitat, and the role of contaminants in the Lake Erie ecosystem.

  16. The relationship between species richness and evenness: a meta-analysis of studies across aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Soininen, Janne; Passy, Sophia; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2012-07-01

    Biological diversity comprises both species richness, i.e., the number of species in a community, and evenness, measuring how similar species are in their abundances. The relationship between species richness and evenness (RRE) across communities remains, however, a controversial issue in ecology because no consistent pattern has been reported. We conducted a systematic meta-review of RRE in aquatic ecosystems along regional to continental gradients and across trophic groups, differing in body size by 13 orders of magnitude. Hypotheses that RRE responded to latitudinal and scale variability across trophic groups were tested by regression analyses. Significant correlations of species richness and evenness only existed in 71 out of 229 datasets. Among the RRE, 89 were negative and 140 were positive. RRE did not vary with latitude but showed a positive response to scale. In a meta-analysis with ecosystem type as a single explaining variable, RRE did not vary among ecosystem types, i.e. between marine and freshwater. Finally, autotrophs had more positive RRE than heterotrophs. The weak RRE in many aquatic datasets suggests that richness and evenness often reflect independent components of biodiversity, highlighting that richness alone may be an incomplete surrogate for biodiversity. Our results further elucidate that RRE is driven by organismal and environmental properties, both of which must be considered to gain a deeper understanding of large-scale patterns of biodiversity.

  17. GIS-based procedure for site-specific risk assessment of pesticides for aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sala, Serenella; Vighi, Marco

    2008-01-01

    The EU Water Framework Directive states that the management of surface water must be based on a site-specific assessment of water quality, that is dependent on land use. As a result, to develop a robust chemical management policy for aquatic ecosystems, the ecotoxicological risk must be strictly related to the local conditions and characteristics of the system. This paper presents a methodology developed to assess the ecotoxicological risk of pesticides to site-specific aquatic ecosystems. Spatial and relational databases, provisional models and risk indices were integrated into Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to produce maps of exposure, effect and risk at watershed scale. Each active ingredient is characterised by a data set that includes input data as well as results represented by a risk assessment cartography. The aim of this procedure is to perform a site-specific risk assessment by integrating geographical distribution of predicted environmental concentrations (PECs), ecotoxicological effects and the potential/actual quality of the exposed ecosystem. Examples of pesticide risk maps for surface waters in Lombardia Region (Northern Italy) are shown.

  18. An explicit GIS-based river basin framework for aquatic ecosystem conservation in the Amazon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venticinque, Eduardo; Forsberg, Bruce; Barthem, Ronaldo; Petry, Paulo; Hess, Laura; Mercado, Armando; Cañas, Carlos; Montoya, Mariana; Durigan, Carlos; Goulding, Michael

    2016-11-01

    Despite large-scale infrastructure development, deforestation, mining and petroleum exploration in the Amazon Basin, relatively little attention has been paid to the management scale required for the protection of wetlands, fisheries and other aspects of aquatic ecosystems. This is due, in part, to the enormous size, multinational composition and interconnected nature of the Amazon River system, as well as to the absence of an adequate spatial model for integrating data across the entire Amazon Basin. In this data article we present a spatially uniform multi-scale GIS framework that was developed especially for the analysis, management and monitoring of various aspects of aquatic systems in the Amazon Basin. The Amazon GIS-Based River Basin Framework is accessible as an ESRI geodatabase at doi:10.5063/F1BG2KX8.

  19. Quantifying Biogeochemical Cycles of CO2 and CH4 over the Land and Aquatic Ecosystems in Northern Eurasia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuang, Q.

    2015-12-01

    Under the auspices of the NASA Land-Use and Land-Cover Change Program, we have made a significant progress on quantifying both CO2 and CH4 biogeochemical cycles of the land and aquatic systems in Northern Eurasia over the last several decades. Our quantification is based on in situ and satellite data of ecosystem distribution, land cover distribution, carbon, water and energy fluxes, fire disturbances, plant biomass inventory, atmospheric CO2 and CH4, and meteorology. The evaluated process-based modeling systems for both land and aquatic ecosystems for the historical period have been used to project carbon fluxes during the 21st century over this region. The uncertainty associated with these carbon-based gases is also quantified. This presentation will update these quantifications by examining: 1) the impacts of fire disturbances on land ecosystem CO2 budget in the last few decades; 2) net CO2 and CH4 exchanges of the land and aquatic ecosystems in both historical and future periods. Our study has also assessed the role of permafrost dynamics in both land and aquatic ecosystem carbon and water dynamics in this region. Our research provides an integrated land and aquatic ecosystem model that can be used to address biogeochemical cycles of carbon and water in this climate-sensitive region.

  20. Arctic ecosystem responses to changes in water table and surface warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olivas, P. C.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Tweedie, C. E.; Oechel, W. C.

    2009-12-01

    Although low in productivity, arctic ecosystems store close to 20% of the global soil carbon as a result of low decomposition rates enhanced by high soil moisture availability and low temperatures. Expected global climatic changes are likely to significantly increase the temperature in the Arctic, disturbing surface soil moisture patterns and potentially increasing turnover of soil organic matter, thus reversing the role of the Arctic as a carbon sink. Our goal was to determine the short-term ecosystem CO2 exchange response to drying, flooding, and warming, and understand the potential effects that climatic changes could have on the long-term carbon balance of the Arctic. We carried out this study during the growing seasons from 2006 to 2008 on the coastal plain near Barrow, Alaska. We used a 62 ha thawed lake, divided into three sections: drained, flooded and intermediate treatments. Temperature treated plots were replicated within each water treatment category using open top chambers. We assessed ecosystem responses to water and temperature treatments as: ecosystem respiration (ER), gross primary photosynthesis (GPP) and net ecosystem balance (NEE) using chamber-based measurements. We found a strong CO2 exchange response to changes in water table and surface temperature. However, the magnitude of the response differed among carbon flux components. Although flooding increased NEE, the increase was more a result of a decrease in ER rather than an increase in GPP. High water tables can also reduce GPP by submerging leaf area, especially that of mosses. Drying increased ER and GPP, however, species composition and microtopography position affected the magnitude of the changes ultimately affecting NEE. Areas dominated by mosses experienced a reduction of sink capacity, whereas areas dominated by vascular plants experienced an increase in NEE regardless of the drying of the moss layer. Warming affected all CO2 flux components. GPP increased in all treatments except in

  1. Water quality assessment of aquatic ecosystems using ecological criteria – case study in Bulgaria

    PubMed Central

    Damyanova, Sonya; Ivanova, Iliana; Ignatova, Nadka

    2014-01-01

    Four aquatic ecosystems (two rivers and two dams) situated in the western part of Bulgaria were investigated over a three years’ period. The River Egulya and Petrohan dam are situated in mountainous regions at about 1000 m altitude, and are not influenced by any anthropogenic sources. Petrohan dam is a site for long-term ecosystem research as a part of Bulgarian long-term ecological research network. The other two systems belong to populated industrial areas. The River Martinovska flows through a region with former long-term mining activity, while Ogosta dam is near a battery production factory. Both the geochemical and geographical ecosystems’ conditions are different, and their social usage as well. Ogosta dam water is used for irrigation and Petrohan dam for electric supply. The ecosystem sensitivity to heavy metals was evaluated by a critical load approach. Two criteria were used for risk assessment: critical load exceedance and microbial toxicity test. All studied ecosystems were more sensitive to cadmium than to lead deposition. The potential risk of Cd damage is higher for Petrohan dam and the River Egulya, where critical load exceedance was calculated for two years. Pseudomonas putida growth inhibition test detected a lack of toxicity for all studied ecosystems at the time of investigation with the exception of the low water September sample of the River Martinovska. The fast bacterial test is very suitable for a regular measurement of water toxicity because of its simplicity, lack of sophisticated equipment and clear results. PMID:26019591

  2. Assessment of variables controlling nitrate dynamics in groundwater: is it a threat to surface aquatic ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Rasiah, V; Armour, J D; Cogle, A L

    2005-01-01

    The impact of fertilised cropping on nitrate-N dynamics in groundwater (GW) was assessed in a catchment from piezometers installed: (i) to different depths, (ii) in different soil types, (iii) on different positions on landscape, and (iv) compared with the Australian and New Zealand Environmental and Conservation Council guideline values provided for different aquatic ecosystems. The GW and NO(3)-N concentration dynamics were monitored in 39 piezometer wells, installed to 5-90 m depth, under fertilized sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum-S) in the Johnstone River Catchment, Australia, from 1999 January through September 2002. The median nitrate-N concentration ranged from 14 to 1511 microg L(-1), and the 80th percentile from 0 to 1341 microg L(-1). In 34 out of the 39 piezometer wells the 80th percentile or 80% of the nitrate-N values were higher than 30 microg L(-1), which is the maximum trigger value provided in the ANZECC table for sustainable health of different aquatic ecosystems. Nitrate-N concentration decreased with increasing well depth, increasing depth of water in wells, and with decreasing relief on landscape. Nitrate-N was higher in alluvial soil profiles than on those formed in-situ. Nitrate-N increased with increasing rainfall at the beginning of the rainy season, fluctuated during the peak rainy period, and then decreased when the rain ceased. The rapid decrease in GW after the rains ceased suggested potential existed for nitrate-N to be discharged as lateral-flow into streams. This may contribute towards the deterioration in the health of down-stream aquatic ecosystems.

  3. Beaver-mediated lateral hydrologic connectivity, fluvial carbon and nutrient flux, and aquatic ecosystem metabolism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegener, Pam; Covino, Tim; Wohl, Ellen

    2017-06-01

    River networks that drain mountain landscapes alternate between narrow and wide valley segments. Within the wide segments, beaver activity can facilitate the development and maintenance of complex, multithread planform. Because the narrow segments have limited ability to retain water, carbon, and nutrients, the wide, multithread segments are likely important locations of retention. We evaluated hydrologic dynamics, nutrient flux, and aquatic ecosystem metabolism along two adjacent segments of a river network in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado: (1) a wide, multithread segment with beaver activity; and, (2) an adjacent (directly upstream) narrow, single-thread segment without beaver activity. We used a mass balance approach to determine the water, carbon, and nutrient source-sink behavior of each river segment across a range of flows. While the single-thread segment was consistently a source of water, carbon, and nitrogen, the beaver impacted multithread segment exhibited variable source-sink dynamics as a function of flow. Specifically, the multithread segment was a sink for water, carbon, and nutrients during high flows, and subsequently became a source as flows decreased. Shifts in river-floodplain hydrologic connectivity across flows related to higher and more variable aquatic ecosystem metabolism rates along the multithread relative to the single-thread segment. Our data suggest that beaver activity in wide valleys can create a physically complex hydrologic environment that can enhance hydrologic and biogeochemical buffering, and promote high rates of aquatic ecosystem metabolism. Given the widespread removal of beaver, determining the cumulative effects of these changes is a critical next step in restoring function in altered river networks.

  4. Adaptive management of large aquatic ecosystem recovery programs in the United States.

    PubMed

    Thom, Ronald; St Clair, Tom; Burns, Rebecca; Anderson, Michael

    2016-12-01

    Adaptive management (AM) is being employed in a number of programs in the United States to guide actions to restore aquatic ecosystems because these programs are both expensive and are faced with significant uncertainties. Many of these uncertainties are associated with prioritizing when, where, and what kind of actions are needed to meet the objectives of enhancing ecosystem services and recovering threatened and endangered species. We interviewed nine large-scale aquatic ecosystem restoration programs across the United States to document the lessons learned from implementing AM. In addition, we recorded information on ecological drivers (e.g., endangered fish species) for the program, and inferred how these drivers reflected more generic ecosystem services. Ecosystem services (e.g., genetic diversity, cultural heritage), albeit not explicit drivers, were either important to the recovery or enhancement of the drivers, or were additional benefits associated with actions to recover or enhance the program drivers. Implementing programs using AM lessons learned has apparently helped achieve better results regarding enhancing ecosystem services and restoring target species populations. The interviews yielded several recommendations. The science and AM program must be integrated into how the overall restoration program operates in order to gain understanding and support, and effectively inform management decision-making. Governance and decision-making varied based on its particular circumstances. Open communication within and among agency and stakeholder groups and extensive vetting lead up to decisions. It was important to have an internal agency staff member to implement the AM plan, and a clear designation of roles and responsibilities, and long-term commitment of other involved parties. The most important management questions and information needs must be identified up front. It was imperative to clearly identify, link and continually reinforce the essential

  5. Arctic ecosystem structure and functioning shaped by climate and herbivore body size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legagneux, P.; Gauthier, G.; Lecomte, N.; Schmidt, N. M.; Reid, D.; Cadieux, M.-C.; Berteaux, D.; Bêty, J.; Krebs, C. J.; Ims, R. A.; Yoccoz, N. G.; Morrison, R. I. G.; Leroux, S. J.; Loreau, M.; Gravel, D.

    2014-05-01

    Significant progress has been made in our understanding of species-level responses to climate change, but upscaling to entire ecosystems remains a challenge. This task is particularly urgent in the Arctic, where global warming is most pronounced. Here we report the results of an international collaboration on the direct and indirect effects of climate on the functioning of Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. Our data from seven terrestrial food webs spread along a wide range of latitudes (~1,500 km) and climates (Δ mean July temperature = 8.5 °C) across the circumpolar world show the effects of climate on tundra primary production, food-web structure and species interaction strength. The intensity of predation on lower trophic levels increased significantly with temperature, at approximately 4.5% per °C. Temperature also affected trophic interactions through an indirect effect on food-web structure (that is, diversity and number of interactions). Herbivore body size was a major determinant of predator-prey interactions, as interaction strength was positively related to the predator-prey size ratio, with large herbivores mostly escaping predation. There is potential for climate warming to cause a switch from bottom-up to top-down regulation of herbivores. These results are critical to resolving the debate on the regulation of tundra and other terrestrial ecosystems exposed to global change.

  6. Hydro-Geomorphic Variability as an Ecological Template for Aquatic and Riparian Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montgomery, D. R.

    2002-12-01

    Hydro-geomorphic processes act as ecological disturbances that shape ecosystem characteristics and dynamics and play key roles in creating, modifying, and destroying aquatic habitat. Within the broad regional context set by general patterns of climate, geology, topography, and vegetation, the combined influences of the hydrologic, geomorphic, and vegetation regimes dominate the variability of river systems. Of particular relevance to aquatic and riparian ecosystems are the main processes that transport and store water, sediment, and wood, and how differences in current and potential conditions are related to both local conditions and basin-wide tends. The concept of process domains, distinct areas of a landscape that correspond to different disturbance regimes, provides a framework for integrating the inherent interplay of spatial and temporal variability in channel processes. The intensity of the impact, the size of the area affected, and the frequency of occurrence together define the disturbance regime associated with particular hydro-geomorphic processes. The disturbance regime sets the physical habitat template that influences potentially successful behavioral and life-history strategies of stream dwelling organisms. The distribution of some organisms is strongly associated with different process domains, whereas that of habitat generalists are not. Three general principles apply to the use of hydro-geomorphic variability as an ecological template for aquatic and riparian ecosystems. (1) What constitutes a disturbance is species specific and will vary according to the system or community under consideration and focusing on needs of a single target species and life stage can unintentionally degrade the system for other species or life stages. For example, river restoration efforts focused on spawning reaches and water levels for chinook salmon may ignore or exacerbate the loss of off-channel habitat such as side channels, groundwater-fed floodplain channels

  7. Imperiled mammalian fauna of aquatic ecosystems in the Southeast: A historical perspective: Chapter 9

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harvey, M.J.; Clark, J.D.; Benz, G.W.; Collins, D.E.

    1997-01-01

    The passage of the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973 resulted in an increased need for information concerning distribution and status of all native species. However, relatively little is known concerning the historical distribution and current status of many mammalian taxa, and this is particularly so for small non-game species. In this chapter we provide species accounts of mammals commonly associated with aquatic ecosystems that we consider to be imperiled in the southeastern United States. In these accounts we have included information which we feel is valuable toward best understanding the threats that challenge each considered taxon.

  8. DOC Lability Across Aquatic Ecosystems and its Link to in Situ Bacterial Carbon Metabolism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    del Giorgio, P. A.; Pace, M. L.

    2004-05-01

    The biological reactivity or lability of organic matter is a key aspect of the carbon cycling in all aquatic ecosystems. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) lability is an operational term that defines the proportion of the dissolved C pool that can be utilized by aquatic microbes within a given period of time. Lability is generally determined using bioassays that follow the changes in DOC concentration with time, typically days to weeks, in the absence of light and of any new sources of DOC or nutrients. This in vitro DOC consumption thus represents the minimum level of microbial metabolism that can be supported by the ambient DOC pool. In the past, comparisons of DOC lability reported by different studies have been hampered by differences in approaches, so it is unclear how the amount of labile DOC varies among aquatic ecosystems. Here we compare DOC lability measurements from estuaries and salt marshes, rivers and lakes, determined with similar protocols, and we compare these data with the actual in situ bacterial carbon metabolism. We show that in most freshwater systems surveyed, the in vitro rates of DOC consumption rates are low and fall within a relatively narrow range, in spite of large variations in total DOC, chlorophyll, and nutrient concentrations among systems. In most freshwater ecosystems, the proportion of labile DOC is below 3%, and this labile pool generally represents a small fraction of the measured in situ rate of bacterial respiration, suggesting that these freshwater lability bioassays only capture a remnant pool of organic matter and not the pool that fuels most of the heterotrophic microbial metabolism. The proportion of labile DOC is on average much higher in estuarine and marsh ecosystems, and also represents a larger proportion of the total in situ microbial metabolism. These results point to fundamental differences in the patterns of DOC sources and cycling between brackish and estuarine systems on the one hand, and lakes and rivers on the

  9. Global meta-analysis of native and nonindigenous trophic traits in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    McKnight, Ella; García-Berthou, Emili; Srean, Pao; Rius, Marc

    2017-05-01

    Ecologists have recently devoted their attention to the study of species traits and their role in the establishment and spread of nonindigenous species (NIS). However, research efforts have mostly focused on studies of terrestrial taxa, with lesser attention being dedicated to aquatic species. Aquatic habitats comprise of interconnected waterways, as well as exclusive introduction vectors that allow unparalleled artificial transport of species and their propagules. Consequently, species traits that commonly facilitate biological invasions in terrestrial systems may not be as represented in aquatic environments. We provide a global meta-analysis of studies conducted in both marine and freshwater habitats. We selected studies that conducted experiments with native and NIS under common environmental conditions to allow detailed comparisons among species traits. In addition, we explored whether different factors such as species relatedness, functional feeding groups, latitude, climate, and experimental conditions could be linked to predictive traits. Our results show that species with traits that enhance consumption and growth have a substantially increased probability of establishing and spreading when entering novel ecosystems. Moreover, traits associated with predatory avoidance were more prevalent in NIS and therefore favour invasive species in aquatic habitats. When we analysed NIS interacting with taxonomically distinctive native taxa, we found that consumption and growth were particularly important traits. This suggests that particular attention should be paid to newly introduced species for which there are no close relatives in the local biota. Finally, we found a bias towards studies conducted in temperate regions, and thus, more studies in other climatic regions are needed. We conclude that studies aiming at predicting future range shifts should consider trophic traits of aquatic NIS as these traits are indicative of multiple interacting mechanisms involved

  10. Impacts of a recent storm surge on an Arctic delta ecosystem examined in the context of the last millennium

    PubMed Central

    Pisaric, Michael F. J.; Thienpont, Joshua R.; Kokelj, Steven V.; Nesbitt, Holly; Lantz, Trevor C.; Solomon, Steven; Smol, John P.

    2011-01-01

    One of the most ominous predictions related to recent climatic warming is that low-lying coastal environments will be inundated by higher sea levels. The threat is especially acute in polar regions because reductions in extent and duration of sea ice cover increase the risk of storm surge occurrence. The Mackenzie Delta of northwest Canada is an ecologically significant ecosystem adapted to freshwater flooding during spring breakup. Marine storm surges during the open-water season, which move saltwater into the delta, can have major impacts on terrestrial and aquatic systems. We examined growth rings of alder shrubs (Alnus viridis subsp. fruticosa) and diatoms preserved in dated lake sediment cores to show that a recent marine storm surge in 1999 caused widespread ecological changes across a broad extent of the outer Mackenzie Delta. For example, diatom assemblages record a striking shift from freshwater to brackish species following the inundation event. What is of particular significance is that the magnitude of this recent ecological impact is unmatched over the > 1,000-year history of this lake ecosystem. We infer that no biological recovery has occurred in this lake, while large areas of terrestrial vegetation remain dramatically altered over a decade later, suggesting that these systems may be on a new ecological trajectory. As climate continues to warm and sea ice declines, similar changes will likely be repeated in other coastal areas of the circumpolar Arctic. Given the magnitude of ecological changes recorded in this study, such impacts may prove to be long lasting or possibly irreversible. PMID:21576496

  11. Impacts of a recent storm surge on an Arctic delta ecosystem examined in the context of the last millennium.

    PubMed

    Pisaric, Michael F J; Thienpont, Joshua R; Kokelj, Steven V; Nesbitt, Holly; Lantz, Trevor C; Solomon, Steven; Smol, John P

    2011-05-31

    One of the most ominous predictions related to recent climatic warming is that low-lying coastal environments will be inundated by higher sea levels. The threat is especially acute in polar regions because reductions in extent and duration of sea ice cover increase the risk of storm surge occurrence. The Mackenzie Delta of northwest Canada is an ecologically significant ecosystem adapted to freshwater flooding during spring breakup. Marine storm surges during the open-water season, which move saltwater into the delta, can have major impacts on terrestrial and aquatic systems. We examined growth rings of alder shrubs (Alnus viridis subsp. fruticosa) and diatoms preserved in dated lake sediment cores to show that a recent marine storm surge in 1999 caused widespread ecological changes across a broad extent of the outer Mackenzie Delta. For example, diatom assemblages record a striking shift from freshwater to brackish species following the inundation event. What is of particular significance is that the magnitude of this recent ecological impact is unmatched over the > 1,000-year history of this lake ecosystem. We infer that no biological recovery has occurred in this lake, while large areas of terrestrial vegetation remain dramatically altered over a decade later, suggesting that these systems may be on a new ecological trajectory. As climate continues to warm and sea ice declines, similar changes will likely be repeated in other coastal areas of the circumpolar Arctic. Given the magnitude of ecological changes recorded in this study, such impacts may prove to be long lasting or possibly irreversible.

  12. Rapid decline in river icings detected in Arctic Alaska: Implications for a changing hydrologic cycle and river ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavelsky, Tamlin M.; Zarnetske, Jay P.

    2017-04-01

    Arctic river icings are surface ice accumulations that can be >10 km2 in area and >10 m thick. They commonly impact the hydrology, geomorphology, and ecology of Arctic river environments. Previous examination of icing dynamics in Arctic Alaska found no substantial changes in extent through 2005. However, here we use daily time series of satellite imagery for 2000-2015 to demonstrate that the temporal persistence and minimum summertime extent of large icings in part of Arctic Alaska and Canada have declined rapidly. We identified 122 large ephemeral icings, and 70 are disappearing significantly earlier in the summer, with a mean trend of -1.6 ± 0.9 day-1 for fully ephemeral features. Additionally, 14 of 25 icings that usually persist through the summer have significantly smaller minimum extents (-2.6 ± 1.6% yr-1). These declines are remarkably rapid and suggest that Arctic hydroclimatic systems generating icings, and their associated ecosystems, are changing rapidly.

  13. Managing invasive aquatic plants in a changing system: strategic consideration of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Hershner, Carl; Havens, Kirk J

    2008-06-01

    Climate change is projected to increase stress for many coastal plant communities. Along large portions of the North American coast, habitat degradation from anthropogenic changes to the environment already threaten the community structure of tidal marshes and submerged aquatic grass beds. The potential loss of ecological services historically provided by these communities has been a long-standing rationale for aggressive control of invading plants such as Phragmites australis and Hydrilla verticillata. Increasing evidence of ecological services provided by invasive species such as P. australis and H. verticillata suggest that, in the face of increasing stress, it may be prudent to take a more pragmatic approach regarding the effect of these species on coastal ecosystems. The notable resilience of these species to control efforts and their competitive success and comparative vigor in stressed systems and capacity to provide at least some beneficial services combine to suggest some invasive species may have a useful role in managed coastal ecosystems.

  14. Environmental influence on the response of aquatic laboratory ecosystems to a toxicant

    SciTech Connect

    Woltering, D.M.

    1981-10-01

    The influence of prevailing environmental conditions on population and community responses to chronic toxicant perturbation was addressed in a 36-month laboratory ecosystem study. A series of 16 aquatic communities incorporating guppy, amphipod, snail, planaria, algal, and microbial populations were established in 750-L (200-gal) fiberglass tanks and were monitored monthly for changes in population biomasses. The environmental variables were the exploitation levels of the fish populations and the energy input and habitat availability. The development and resultant near steady states of the predator, prey, and competitor populations were represented graphically using phase plane analysis. Both the density-dependent and the time-dependent responses of the laboratory ecosystems to ''established'' sublethal dieldrin exposure varied according to the prevailing levels of environmental conditions. The ecologically different outcomes ranged from substantial perturbation, including mortalities but with eventual recovery to the preexposure population densities and community structure, to the extinction of a major population as a result of sublethal effects.

  15. Aquatic metabolism and ecosystem health assessment using dissolved O2 stable isotope diel curves.

    PubMed

    Venkiteswaran, Jason J; Schiff, Sherry L; Wassenaar, Leonard I

    2008-06-01

    Dissolved O2 concentration and delta18O-O2 diel curves can be combined to assess aquatic photosynthesis, respiration, and metabolic balance, and to disentangle some of the confounding factors associated with interpretation of traditional O2 concentration curves. A dynamic model is used to illustrate how six key environmental and biological parameters interact to affect diel O2 saturation and delta18O-O2 curves, thereby providing a fundamental framework for the use of delta18O-O2 in ecosystem productivity studies. delta18O-O2 provides information unavailable from concentration alone because delta18O-O2 and saturation curves are not symmetrical and can be used to constrain gas exchange and isotopic fractionation by eliminating many common assumptions. Changes in key parameters affect diel O2 saturation and delta18O-O2 curves as follows: (1) an increase in primary production and respiration rates increases the diel range of O2 saturation and delta18O-O2 and decreases the mean delta18O-O2 value; (2) a decrease in the primary production to respiration ratio (P:R) decreases the level of O2 saturation and increases the delta18O-O2 values; (3) an increase in the gas exchange rate decreases the diel range of O2 saturation and delta18O-O2 values and moves the mean O2 saturation and delta18O-O2 values toward atmospheric equilibrium; (4) a decrease in strength of the respiratory isotopic fractionation (alphaR closer to 1) has no effect on O2 saturation and decreases the delta18O-O2 values; (5) an increase in the delta18O of water has no effect on O2 saturation and increases the minimum (daytime) delta18O-O2 value; and (6) an increase in temperature reduces O2 solubility and thus increases the diel range of O2 saturation and delta18O-O2 values. Understanding the interplay between these key parameters makes it easier to decipher the controls on O2 and delta18O-O2, compare aquatic ecosystems, and make quantitative estimates of ecosystem metabolism. The photosynthesis to

  16. Hydrology modifies ecosystem responses to warming through interactions between soil, leaf and canopy processes in a high Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maseyk, K. S.; Welker, J. M.; Lett, C.; Czimczik, C. I.; Lupascu, M.; Seibt, U. H.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are experiencing temperature increases more strongly than the global average, and increases in precipitation are also expected amongst the climate impacts on this region in the future. These changes are expected to strongly influence both plant physiology and soil biogeochemistry, and therefore ecosystem carbon balance, hydrology and nutrient cycling. We have investigated the effects of a long-term (10 years) increase in temperature (T2), soil water (W) and the combination of both (T2W) on leaf-level structure and function and ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes in a tundra ecosystem at a field manipulation experiment in NW Greenland. Leaf-level gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and morphology were measured on Salix arctica plants in treatment and control plots in June-July 2011, and continuous measurements of net ecosystem fluxes of carbon and water were made using automatic chambers coupled to a trace gas analyzer. Contrasting responses to the treatments were observed between leaf-level and net ecosystem fluxes. Plants in the elevated temperature treatment had the highest leaf-level photosynthetic capacity in terms of net CO2 assimilation rates and photosystem II efficiencies, and lowest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation during photosynthesis. The plants in the plots with both elevated temperatures and additional water had the lowest photosystem II efficiencies and the highest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation. However, net photosynthetic rates remained similar to control plants with additional water, due in part to higher stomatal conductance (W) and lower dark respiration rates (T2W). In contrast, net ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes were highest in the T2W plots, due largely to a 35% increase in leaf area. Total growing season C accumulation was 3-5 times greater, water fluxes were 1.5-2 times higher, and water use efficiency was about 3 times higher in the combined treatment than the control

  17. Adaptive genetic variation mediates bottom-up and top-down control in an aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Rudman, Seth M; Rodriguez-Cabal, Mariano A; Stier, Adrian; Sato, Takuya; Heavyside, Julian; El-Sabaawi, Rana W; Crutsinger, Gregory M

    2015-08-07

    Research in eco-evolutionary dynamics and community genetics has demonstrated that variation within a species can have strong impacts on associated communities and ecosystem processes. Yet, these studies have centred around individual focal species and at single trophic levels, ignoring the role of phenotypic variation in multiple taxa within an ecosystem. Given the ubiquitous nature of local adaptation, and thus intraspecific variation, we sought to understand how combinations of intraspecific variation in multiple species within an ecosystem impacts its ecology. Using two species that co-occur and demonstrate adaptation to their natal environments, black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) and three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), we investigated the effects of intraspecific phenotypic variation on both top-down and bottom-up forces using a large-scale aquatic mesocosm experiment. Black cottonwood genotypes exhibit genetic variation in their productivity and consequently their leaf litter subsidies to the aquatic system, which mediates the strength of top-down effects from stickleback on prey abundances. Abundances of four common invertebrate prey species and available phosphorous, the most critically limiting nutrient in freshwater systems, are dictated by the interaction between genetic variation in cottonwood productivity and stickleback morphology. These interactive effects fit with ecological theory on the relationship between productivity and top-down control and are comparable in strength to the effects of predator addition. Our results illustrate that intraspecific variation, which can evolve rapidly, is an under-appreciated driver of community structure and ecosystem function, demonstrating that a multi-trophic perspective is essential to understanding the role of evolution in structuring ecological patterns.

  18. Light-stress avoidance mechanisms in a Sphagnum-dominated wet coastal Arctic tundra ecosystem in Alaska.

    PubMed

    Zona, D; Oechel, Walter C; Richards, James H; Hastings, Steven; Kopetz, Irene; Ikawa, Hiroki; Oberbauer, Steven

    2011-03-01

    The Arctic experiences a high-radiation environment in the summer with 24-hour daylight for more than two months. Damage to plants and ecosystem metabolism can be muted by overcast conditions common in much of the Arctic. However, with climate change, extreme dry years and clearer skies could lead to the risk of increased photoxidation and photoinhibition in Arctic primary producers. Mosses, which often exceed the NPP of vascular plants in Arctic areas, are often understudied. As a result, the effect of specific environmental factors, including light, on these growth forms is poorly understood. Here, we investigated net ecosystem exchange (NEE) at the ecosystem scale, net Sphagnum CO2 exchange (NSE), and photoinhibition to better understand the impact of light on carbon exchange from a moss-dominated coastal tundra ecosystem during the summer season 2006. Sphagnum photosynthesis showed photoinhibition early in the season coupled with low ecosystem NEE. However, later in the season, Sphagnum maintained a significant CO2 uptake, probably for the development of subsurface moss layers protected from strong radiation. We suggest that the compact canopy structure of Sphagnum reduces light penetration to the subsurface layers of the moss mat and thereby protects the active photosynthetic tissues from damage. This stress avoidance mechanism allowed Sphagnum to constitute a significant percentage (up to 60%) of the ecosystem net daytime CO2 uptake at the end of the growing season despite the high levels of radiation experienced.

  19. A New Perspective on Changing Arctic Marine Ecosystems: Panarchy Adaptive Cycles in Pan-Arctic Spatial and Temporal Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiese, F. K.; Huntington, H. P.; Carmack, E.; Wassmann, P. F. J.; Leu, E. S.; Gradinger, R.

    2016-02-01

    Changes in the physical/biological interactions in the Arctic are occurring across a variety of spatial and temporal scales and may be mitigated or strengthened based on varying rates of evolutionary adaptation. A novel way to view these interactions and their social relevance is through the systems theory perspective of "Panarchy" proposed by Gunderson and Holling. Panarchy is an interdisciplinary approach in which structures, scales and linkages of complex-adaptive systems, including those of nature (e.g. ocean), humans (e.g. economics), and combined social-ecological systems (e.g. institutions that govern natural resource use), are mapped across multiple space and time scales in continual and interactive adaptive cycles of growth, accumulation, restructuring and renewal. In complex-adaptive systems the dynamics at a given scale are generally dominated by a small number of key internal variables that are forced by one or more external variables. The stability of such a system is characterized by its resilience, i.e. its capacity to absorb disturbance and re-organize while undergoing change, so as to retain essentially similar function, structure, identity and feedbacks. It is in the capacity of a system to cope with pressures and adversities such as exploitation, warming, governance restrictions, competition, etc. that resilience embraces human and natural systems as complex entities continually adapting through cycles of change. In this paper we explore processes at four linked spatial domains in the Arctic Ocean and link it to ecosystem resilience and re-organization characteristics. From this we derive a series of hypotheses concerning the biological responses to future physical changes and suggest ways how Panarchy theory can be applied to observational strategies to help detect early signs of environmental shifts affecting marine system services and functions. We close by discussing possible implications of the Panarchy framework for policy and governance.

  20. Molecular and stable isotope methods to detect and measure anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Song, Bongkeun; Tobias, Craig R

    2011-01-01

    Numerous microbial processes transform nitrogen (N) but three anaerobic respiratory pathways remove fixed N from the environment: denitrification (nitrate conversion to N(2)), anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox; ammonium plus nitrite conversion to N(2)), and nitrite dependent methane oxidation (nitrite conversion to N(2)). Nitrification becomes a part of N removal processes as a supplier of nitrite (NO(2)(-)) and nitrate (NO(3)(-)) to anammox and denitrifying bacteria in anoxic water and sediments. It is important to detect and measure anammox and denitrification to understand biogeochemical N cycle and to estimate N removal potential in aquatic ecosystems. Denitrification has been extensively studied in many ecosystems to examine diversity and spatial and temporal dynamics of denitrifying communities as well as to understand its importance in regional and global N cycles. Nitrite dependent methane oxidation was recently discovered as a new pathway of removing fixed N and just started to examine its importance in different ecosystems. Anammox has undergone limited examination, although the number of studies is continuously increasing. There are many questions remaining in order to understand the factors controlling activities and community structures of anammox bacteria in different ecosystems. This chapter reviews both molecular and stable isotope methods to detect and measure anammox in anoxic sediments and water. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Interaction between resource identity and bacterial community composition regulates bacterial respiration in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Pires, A P F; Caliman, A; Laque, T; Esteves, F A; Farjalla, V F

    2015-11-01

    Resource identity and composition structure bacterial community, which in turn determines the magnitude of bacterial processes and ecological services. However, the complex interaction between resource identity and bacterial community composition (BCC) has been poorly understood so far. Using aquatic microcosms, we tested whether and how resource identity interacts with BCC in regulating bacterial respiration and bacterial functional diversity. Different aquatic macrophyte leachates were used as different carbon resources while BCC was manipulated through successional changes of bacterial populations in batch cultures. We observed that the same BCC treatment respired differently on each carbon resource; these resources also supported different amounts of bacterial functional diversity. There was no clear linear pattern of bacterial respiration in relation to time succession of bacterial communities in all leachates, i.e. differences on bacterial respiration between different BCC were rather idiosyncratic. Resource identity regulated the magnitude of respiration of each BCC, e.g. Ultricularia foliosa leachate sustained the greatest bacterial functional diversity and lowest rates of bacterial respiration in all BCC. We conclude that both resource identity and the BCC interact affecting the pattern and the magnitude of bacterial respiration in aquatic ecosystems.

  2. Presence of the neurotoxin BMAA in aquatic ecosystems: what do we really know?

    PubMed

    Faassen, Elisabeth J

    2014-03-21

    The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is suspected to play a role in the neurological diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. BMAA production by cyanobacteria has been reported and contact with cyanobacteria infested waters or consumption of aquatic organisms are possible pathways to human exposure. However, there is little consensus regarding whether BMAA is present in cyanobacteria or not, and if so, at what concentrations. The aim of this review is to indicate the current state of knowledge on the presence of BMAA in aquatic ecosystems. Some studies have convincingly shown that BMAA can be present in aquatic samples at the µg/g dry weight level, which is around the detection limit of some equally credible studies in which no BMAA was detected. However, for the majority of the reviewed articles, it was unclear whether BMAA was correctly identified, either because inadequate analytical methods were used, or because poor reporting of analyses made it impossible to verify the results. Poor analysis, reporting and prolific errors have shaken the foundations of BMAA research. First steps towards estimation of human BMAA exposure are to develop and use selective, inter-laboratory validated methods and to correctly report the analytical work.

  3. Presence of the Neurotoxin BMAA in Aquatic Ecosystems: What Do We Really Know?

    PubMed Central

    Faassen, Elisabeth J.

    2014-01-01

    The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) is suspected to play a role in the neurological diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. BMAA production by cyanobacteria has been reported and contact with cyanobacteria infested waters or consumption of aquatic organisms are possible pathways to human exposure. However, there is little consensus regarding whether BMAA is present in cyanobacteria or not, and if so, at what concentrations. The aim of this review is to indicate the current state of knowledge on the presence of BMAA in aquatic ecosystems. Some studies have convincingly shown that BMAA can be present in aquatic samples at the µg/g dry weight level, which is around the detection limit of some equally credible studies in which no BMAA was detected. However, for the majority of the reviewed articles, it was unclear whether BMAA was correctly identified, either because inadequate analytical methods were used, or because poor reporting of analyses made it impossible to verify the results. Poor analysis, reporting and prolific errors have shaken the foundations of BMAA research. First steps towards estimation of human BMAA exposure are to develop and use selective, inter-laboratory validated methods and to correctly report the analytical work. PMID:24662480

  4. Export of aquatic productivity, including highly unsaturated fatty acids, to terrestrial ecosystems via Odonata.

    PubMed

    Popova, Olga N; Haritonov, Anatoly Y; Sushchik, Nadezhda N; Makhutova, Olesia N; Kalachova, Galina S; Kolmakova, Anzhelika A; Gladyshev, Michail I

    2017-03-01

    Based on 31-year field study of the abundance and biomass of 18 species of odonates in the Barabinsk Forest-Steppe (Western Siberia, Russia), we quantified the contribution of odonates to the export of aquatic productivity to surrounding terrestrial landscape. Emergence varied from 0.8 to 4.9g of wet biomass per m(2) of land area per year. Average export of organic carbon was estimated to be 0.30g·m(-2)·year(-1), which is comparable with the average production of herbivorous terrestrial insects in temperate grasslands. Moreover, in contrast to terrestrial insects, emerging odonates contained high quantities of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA), namely eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3, EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3, DHA), which are known to be essential for many terrestrial animals, especially for birds. The export of EPA+DHA by odonates was found to be 1.92-11.76mg·m(-2)·year(-1), which is equal to an average general estimation of the export of HUFA by emerging aquatic insects. Therefore, odonates appeared to be a quantitatively and qualitatively important conduit of aquatic productivity to forest-steppe ecosystem.

  5. Peak season carbon exchange shifts from a sink to a source following 50+ years of herbivore exclusion in an Arctic tundra ecosystem

    DOE PAGES

    Lara, Mark J.; Johnson, David R.; Andresen, Christian; ...

    2016-08-27

    To date, the majority of our knowledge regarding the impacts of herbivory on arctic ecosystem function has been restricted to short-term (<5 years) exclusion or manipulation experiments. Here, our understanding of long-term responses of sustained herbivory and/or herbivore exclusion on arctic tundra ecosystem function is severely limited.

  6. The basis for ecotoxicological concern in aquatic ecosystems contaminated by historical mercury mining.

    PubMed

    Wiener, James G; Suchanek, Thomas H

    2008-12-01

    The Coast Range of California is one of five global regions that dominated historical production of mercury (Hg) until declining demand led to the economic collapse of the Hg-mining industry in the United States. Calcines, waste rock, and contaminated alluvium from inactive mine sites can release Hg (including methylmercury, MeHg) to the environment for decades to centuries after mining has ceased. Soils, water, and sediment near mines often contain high concentrations of total Hg (TotHg), and an understanding of the biogeochemical transformations, transport, and bioaccumulation of this toxic metal is needed to assess effects of these contaminated environments on humans and wildlife. We briefly review the environmental behavior and effects of Hg, providing a prelude to the subsequent papers in this Special Issue. Clear Lake is a northern California lake contaminated by wastes from the abandoned Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Site. The primary toxicological problem with Hg in aquatic ecosystems is biotic exposure to MeHg, a highly toxic compound that readily bioaccumulates. Processes that affect the abundance of MeHg (including methylation and demethylation) strongly affect its concentration in all trophic levels of aquatic food webs. MeHg can biomagnify to high concentrations in aquatic food webs, and consumption of fish is the primary pathway for human exposure. Fish consumption advisories have been issued for many North American waters, including Clear Lake and other mine-impacted waters in California, as a means of decreasing MeHg exposure. Concerns about MeHg exposure in humans focus largely on developmental neurotoxicity to the fetus and children. Aquatic food webs are also an important pathway for MeHg exposure of wildlife, which can accumulate high, sometimes harmful, concentrations. In birds, wild mammals, and humans, MeHg readily passes to the developing egg, embryo, or fetus, life stages that are much more

  7. Occurrence, fate and effects of azoxystrobin in aquatic ecosystems: a review.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Elsa Teresa; Lopes, Isabel; Pardal, Miguel Ângelo

    2013-03-01

    The use of pesticides for crop protection may result in the presence of toxic residues in environmental matrices. In the aquatic environment, pesticides might freely dissolve in the water or bind to suspended matter and to the sediments, and might be transferred to the organisms' tissues during bioaccumulation processes, resulting in adverse consequences to non-target species. One such group of synthetic organic pesticides widely used worldwide to combat pathogenic fungi affecting plants is the strobilurin chemical group. Whereas they are designed to control fungal pathogens, their general modes of action are not specific to fungi. Consequently, they can be potentially toxic to a wide range of non-target organisms. The present work had the intent to conduct an extensive literature review to find relevant research on the occurrence, fate and effects of azoxystrobin, the first patent of the strobilurin compounds, in aquatic ecosystems in order to identify strengths and gaps in the scientific database. Analytical procedures and existing legislation and regulations were also assessed. Data gathered in the present review revealed that analytical reference standards for the most relevant environmental metabolites of azoxystrobin are needed. Validated confirmatory methods for complex matrices, like sediment and aquatic organisms' tissues, are very limited. Important knowledge of base-line values of azoxystrobin and its metabolites in natural tropical and estuarine/marine ecosystems is lacking. Moreover, some environmental concentrations of azoxystrobin found in the present review are above the Regulatory Acceptable Concentration (RAC) in what concerns risk to aquatic invertebrates and the No Observed Ecologically Adverse Effect Concentration (NOEAEC) reported for freshwater communities. The present review also showed that there are very few data on azoxystrobin toxicity to different aquatic organisms, especially in what concerns estuarine/marine organisms. Besides

  8. Black spots for aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems: impact of a perennial cormorant colony on the environment.

    PubMed

    Klimaszyk, Piotr; Brzeg, Andrzej; Rzymski, Piotr; Piotrowicz, Ryszard

    2015-06-01

    The global growth of populations of different cormorant species has raised concern on the consequences of their presence in the environment. This study examined the impact of a perennial colony (160 breeding pairs) of great cormorants on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The deposition of bird-originating nutrients within the area of colony, their accumulation in soils and the fluxed of chemical substances to a nearby lake were investigated. The impact of cormorants on terrestrial vegetation and microbial pollution of the lake were also studied. The soils beneath the colony were found to contain extremely high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus. The overgrowing vegetation was largely limited with nitrophilous and invasive species being more abundant. Increased loads of organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus were also found in groundwater and particularly, surface runoff. The colony area delivered significant amounts of nutrients to the lake also when the birds were absent. The lake water near colony was also characterized by increased nutrient content and additionally higher number of faecal bacteria. The present results demonstrate the complexity through which the effect of cormorant colonies can be manifested simultaneously in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem.

  9. Characteristics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of two locations in Deaf Smith and Swisher Counties, Texas

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-11-01

    According to the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-425), a potential nuclear waste repository site must be chosen with consideration of potential impacts on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This report is a preliminary environmental characterization of two locations in the Texas Panhandle, one in Deaf Smith County and the other in Swisher County, that have been recommended for further study. A description of important natural areas is offered as a basis for comparative studies of the two locations and for the identification and screening of potential repository sites. Information on current land uses, potential habitats, and expected plant and wildlife species is provided to assist field investigators in the collection of baseline data in support of further siting activities. The results of limited field surveys are also included. The report is in two parts. Part I contains a characterization of terrestrial ecological resources based upon limited field surveys aimed at verifying the presence of plant communities and wildlife habitats. It also presents inventories of species with special status, species with recreational and economic importance, and species of ecological value to important or special-status species. Part II presents information on aquatic ecosystems and resources derived primarily from a review of the literature, interviews, and limited field surveys. 21 figures, 18 tables.

  10. Human effects on ecological connectivity in aquatic ecosystems: Integrating scientific approaches to support management and mitigation.

    PubMed

    Crook, David A; Lowe, Winsor H; Allendorf, Frederick W; Erős, Tibor; Finn, Debra S; Gillanders, Bronwyn M; Hadwen, Wade L; Harrod, Chris; Hermoso, Virgilio; Jennings, Simon; Kilada, Raouf W; Nagelkerken, Ivan; Hansen, Michael M; Page, Timothy J; Riginos, Cynthia; Fry, Brian; Hughes, Jane M

    2015-11-15

    Understanding the drivers and implications of anthropogenic disturbance of ecological connectivity is a key concern for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem processes. Here, we review human activities that affect the movements and dispersal of aquatic organisms, including damming of rivers, river regulation, habitat loss and alteration, human-assisted dispersal of organisms and climate change. Using a series of case studies, we show that the insight needed to understand the nature and implications of connectivity, and to underpin conservation and management, is best achieved via data synthesis from multiple analytical approaches. We identify four key knowledge requirements for progressing our understanding of the effects of anthropogenic impacts on ecological connectivity: autecology; population structure; movement characteristics; and environmental tolerance/phenotypic plasticity. Structuring empirical research around these four broad data requirements, and using this information to parameterise appropriate models and develop management approaches, will allow for mitigation of the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on ecological connectivity in aquatic ecosystems. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Sunlight Mediated Biogeochemodynamics of Mercury in the Everglades Aquatic Ecosystem: A Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, H.; Lindberg, S.; Southworth, G.; Kuiken, T.

    2003-12-01

    Competition of photochemical reduction of Hg(II) with methylation process may reduce local Hg toxicity in aquatic ecosystems as the produced dissolved gaseous mercury (DGM) can be emitted back to the atmosphere. Diel changes of DGM levels in natural freshwaters driven by sunlight have been observed widely, especially in the large northern lakes. The Florida Everglades aquatic ecosystem is a special wetland ecosystem, which receives rich solar radiation and strong influence of aquatic plants (e.g., cattails and sawgrass) but generally has still water with enriched organic matter. Biogeochemical cycling of Hg in this system has been of special interest because of involvement of both photochemical redox of Hg and solar-driven transport of DGM by the aquatic vegetation. We here report a study of sunlight-mediated biogeochemodynamics of aquatic Hg in a natural area of the Everglades in a cool season (late February and early March) and a warm season (early June). The DGM levels were found to be very low both in the cool season (4.1 +/- 2.2 (1.1-8.6) pg/L, n = 17, T = 20 +/- 2.5 deg C) and in the warm season (3.9 +/- 1.5 (1.4-8.0) pg/L, n = 19, T = 25 +/- 1.8 deg C), exhibiting little seasonal change over the time studied. These values were all much lower than those found in summer season in the northern lakes (20-72 pg/L), in a southern small lake in Cookeville, TN (e.g., 39 pg/L in early Aug.), and in the Everglades ENR (4-33 pg/L). Only moderate to very weak diel trends were observed (e.g., highest daily difference between max and min DGM = 3.7 pg/L). In situ incubations of freshwater samples in sunlight led to moderate increases in DGM production (e.g, from 4.4 to 18 pg/L in 3.4 h), but dark incubations of initially solar-exposed water samples showed significant decreases in DGM (e.g., from 9.8 to 1.2 pg/L in 5 h). Spike of 1000 pg/L Hg(II) led to only moderate increases of DGM (e.g., from 6.7 to 32 in 10 min and to 54 pg/L in 54 min), while little enhancing effect of

  12. Life cycle impacts of topsoil erosion on aquatic ecosystems: case study on Eucalyptus globulus forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinteiro, Paula; Van de Broek, Marijn; Cláudia Dias, Ana; Ridoutt, Bradley; Arroja, Luís

    2016-04-01

    High concentrations of suspended solids (SS), particularly in the clay and silt size fractions, reaching lotic environments and remaining in suspension can be a significant stressors to the biodiversity of these aquatic systems, degrading the water quality and directly affecting the aquatic biota, namely macroinvertebrates, algae and macrophytes. This damage is presently not considered in Life Cycle Assessment studies. This study is devoted to the effects of SS into freshwater systems due to topsoil erosion by water (environmental mechanism), translated into damage to aquatic ecosystem diversity (endpoint impact category), namely to macroinvertebrates, algae and macrophytes. For this, we have developed a framework to conduct an erosion inventory using the WaTEM/SEDEM model and linked this with, a method to derive regional characterisation for endpoint damage on aquatic ecosystem diversity. A case study was performed for Eucalyptus globulus stands in Portugal, with a functional unit of one hectare of land under production forestry management. To demonstrate how this newly SS ecosystem method can help to improve the environmental assessment in forestry, results were compared with the earlier commonly used impact categories from ReCiPe method. The relevance of the impact from SS delivery to freshwater streams is shown, providing a more comprehensive assessment of the SS impact from land use systems on aquatic environments. The SS impacts ranged from 15.5 to 1234.9 PDF.m3.yr.ha-1.revolution-1 for macroinvertebrates, and from 5.2 to 411.9 PDF.m3.yr.ha-1.revolution-1 for algae and macrophytes. For some stands, SS potential impacts on macroinvertebrates have the same order of magnitude than freshwater eutrophication, freshwater ecotoxicity, terrestrial ecotoxicity and terrestrial acidification impacts. For algae and macrophytes, most of the stands present SS impacts of the same order of magnitude as terrestrial ecotoxicity, one order of magnitude higher than freshwater

  13. Modern to millennium-old greenhouse gases emitted from freshwater ecosystems of the eastern Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouchard, F.; Laurion, I.; Preskienis, V.; Fortier, D.; Xu, X.; Whiticar, M. J.

    2015-07-01

    Ponds and lakes are widespread across the rapidly changing permafrost environments. Aquatic systems play an important role in global biogeochemical cycles, especially in greenhouse gas (GHG) exchanges between terrestrial systems and the atmosphere. The source, speciation and emission of carbon released from permafrost landscapes are strongly influenced by local specific conditions rather than general environmental setting. This study reports on GHG ages and emission rates from aquatic systems on Bylot Island in the eastern Canadian Arctic. Dissolved and ebullition gas samples were collected during the summer season from different types of water bodies located in a highly dynamic periglacial valley: polygonal ponds, collapsed ice-wedge trough ponds, and larger lakes overlying unfrozen soils (talik). The results showed strikingly different ages and fluxes depending on aquatic system types. Polygonal ponds were net sinks of dissolved CO2, but variable sources of dissolved CH4. They presented the highest ebullition fluxes, one or two orders of magnitude higher than from other ponds and lakes. Trough ponds appeared as substantial GHG sources, especially when their edges were actively eroding. Both types of ponds produced modern to hundreds of years old (<550 yr BP) GHG, even if trough ponds could contain much older carbon (>2000 yr BP) derived from freshly eroded peat. Lakes had small dissolved and ebullition fluxes, however they released much older GHG, including millennium-old CH4 (up to 3500 yr BP) sampled from lake central areas. Acetoclastic methanogenesis dominated at all study sites and there was minimal, if any, methane oxidation in gas emitted through ebullition. These findings provide new insights on the variable role of permafrost aquatic systems as a positive feedback mechanism on climate.

  14. Ciliate biogeography in Antarctic and Arctic freshwater ecosystems: endemism or global distribution of species?

    PubMed

    Petz, Wolfgang; Valbonesi, Alessandro; Schiftner, Uwe; Quesada, Antonio; Cynan Ellis-Evans, J

    2007-02-01

    Ciliate diversity was investigated in situ in freshwater ecosystems of the maritime (South Shetland Islands, mainly Livingston Island, 63 degrees S) and continental Antarctic (Victoria Land, 75 degrees S), and the High Arctic (Svalbard, 79 degrees N). In total, 334 species from 117 genera were identified in both polar regions, i.e. 210 spp. (98 genera) in the Arctic, 120 spp. (73 genera) in the maritime and 59 spp. (41 genera) in the continental Antarctic. Forty-four species (13% of all species) were common to both Arctic and Antarctic freshwater bodies and 19 spp. to both Antarctic areas (12% of all species). Many taxa are cosmopolitans but some, e.g. Stentor and Metopus spp., are not, and over 20% of the taxa found in any one of the three areas are new to science. Cluster analysis revealed that species similarity between different biotopes (soil, moss) within a study area was higher than between similar biotopes in different regions. Distinct differences in the species composition of freshwater and terrestrial communities indicate that most limnetic ciliates are not ubiquitously distributed. These observations and the low congruence in species composition between both polar areas, within Antarctica and between high- and temperate-latitude water bodies, respectively, suggest that long-distance dispersal of limnetic ciliates is restricted and that some species have a limited geographical distribution.

  15. Direct and indirect effects of temperature on the population dynamics and ecosystem functioning of aquatic microbial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Beveridge, Oliver S; Petchey, Owen L; Humphries, Stuart

    2010-11-01

    1. While much is known about the direct effect that temperature can have on aquatic communities, less is known about its indirect effect via the temperature dependence of viscosity and temperature-dependent trophic interactions. 2. We manipulated the temperature (5-20 °C) and the viscosity (equivalent to 5-20 °C) of water in laboratory-based bacteria-protist communities. Communities contained food chains with one, two or three trophic levels. Responses measured were population dynamics (consumer carrying capacity and growth rate, average species population density, and the coefficient of variation of population density through time) and ecosystem function (decomposition). 3. Temperature, viscosity and food chain length produced significant responses in population dynamics. Temperature-dependent viscosity had a significant effect on the carrying capacity and growth rates of consumers, as well as the average density of the top predator. Overall, indirect effects of temperature via changes in viscosity were subtle in comparison to the indirect effect of temperature via trophic interactions. 4. Our results highlight the importance of direct and indirect effects of temperature, mediated through trophic interactions and physical changes in the environment, both for population dynamics and ecosystem processes. Future mechanistic modelling of effects of environmental change on species will benefit from distinguishing the different mechanisms of the overall effect of temperature.

  16. Cascading effects of induced terrestrial plant defences on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem function

    PubMed Central

    Jackrel, Sara L.; Wootton, J. Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Herbivores induce plants to undergo diverse processes that minimize costs to the plant, such as producing defences to deter herbivory or reallocating limited resources to inaccessible portions of the plant. Yet most plant tissue is consumed by decomposers, not herbivores, and these defensive processes aimed to deter herbivores may alter plant tissue even after detachment from the plant. All consumers value nutrients, but plants also require these nutrients for primary functions and defensive processes. We experimentally simulated herbivory with and without nutrient additions on red alder (Alnus rubra), which supplies the majority of leaf litter for many rivers in western North America. Simulated herbivory induced a defence response with cascading effects: terrestrial herbivores and aquatic decomposers fed less on leaves from stressed trees. This effect was context dependent: leaves from fertilized-only trees decomposed most rapidly while leaves from fertilized trees receiving the herbivory treatment decomposed least, suggesting plants funnelled a nutritionally valuable resource into enhanced defence. One component of the defence response was a decrease in leaf nitrogen leading to elevated carbon : nitrogen. Aquatic decomposers prefer leaves naturally low in C : N and this altered nutrient profile largely explains the lower rate of aquatic decomposition. Furthermore, terrestrial soil decomposers were unaffected by either treatment but did show a preference for local and nitrogen-rich leaves. Our study illustrates the ecological implications of terrestrial herbivory and these findings demonstrate that the effects of selection caused by terrestrial herbivory in one ecosystem can indirectly shape the structure of other ecosystems through ecological fluxes across boundaries. PMID:25788602

  17. Toxicity of methanol to fish, crustacean, oligochaete worm, and aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Kaviraj, A; Bhunia, F; Saha, N C

    2004-01-01

    Static renewal bioassays were conducted in the laboratory and in outdoor artificial enclosures to evaluate toxic effects of methanol to one teleost fish and two aquatic invertebrates and to limnological variables of aquatic ecosystem. Ninety-six-hour acute toxicity tests revealed cladoceran crustacea Moina micrura as the most sensitive to methanol (LC50, 4.82 g/L), followed by freshwater teleost Oreochromis mossambicus (LC50, 15.32 g/L) and oligochaete worm Branchiura sowerbyi (LC50, 54.89 g/L). The fish, when exposed to lethal concentrations of methanol, showed difficulties in respiration and swimming. The oligochaete body wrinkled and fragmented under lethal exposure of methanol. Effects of five sublethal concentrations of methanol (0, 23.75, 47.49, 736.10, and 1527.60 mg/L) on the feeding rate of the fish and on its growth and reproduction were evaluated by separate bioassays. Ninety-six-hour bioassays in the laboratory showed significant reduction in the appetite of fish when exposed to 736.10 mg/L or higher concentrations of methanol. Chronic toxicity bioassays (90 days) in outdoor enclosures showed a reduction in growth, maturity index and fecundity of fish at 47.49 mg/L or higher concentrations of methanol. Primary productivity, phytoplankton population, and alkalinity of water were also reduced at these concentrations. Chronic exposure to 1527.60 mg/L methanol resulted in damages of the epithelium of primary and secondary gill lamellae of the fish. The results revealed 23.75 mg/L as the no-observed-effect concentration (NOEC) of methanol to freshwater aquatic ecosystem.

  18. After the Storm: Assessing the carbon and nitrogen leaching potential from sediments deposited in aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, E. R.; Krieg, C.; Canning, C.; Inamdar, S. P.; Rowland, R. D.

    2015-12-01

    The erosive energy of large storms can mobilize, and subsequently deposit large amounts of sediment in receiving aquatic ecosystems. Depending on the character of the sediments there is potential for leaching or sequestration of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) from the sediments. This could have significant implications for water quality, aquatic metabolism, and global cycling of C and N. This study examines the fate of these sediments by: (1) determining the amount and quality of organic matter that can be leached into the surrounding water from coarse, medium and fine particle classes (2) assessing the C and N contents of various particles classes and the sources of the sediment through isotopic composition. Bed sediment samples were collected along a 1-2nd order stream (eight locations) in a forested catchment in the Piedmont region of Maryland following a large storm event. Samples were sieved into three particle classes - coarse (2mm-1mm), medium (1mm-250µm) and fine (<250µm). Extractions were performed for each of three particle class sizes by leaching with DI water. Organic matter composition for the extracts was characterized using fluorescence. Stable isotopes of 13C and 15N were determined for bed sediment classes and upland source sediments to identify the origins of the eroded sediments. Extracts with low C:N ratios that also exhibit a higher percent protein and lower percent humic carbon content are considered most labile. Within the bed sediment deposits, differences were found in the distribution of labile compounds between each particle class size. Generally, course particle size exhibited the most labile characteristics, closely followed by medium particle size. Fine particle size exhibited the most refractory characteristics in all locations. These results are critical since climate-change predictions reveal more intense and large storms for the northeast US, with potentially greater impacts on aquatic ecosystems from eroded upland sediments.

  19. Spatial and temporal trends of contaminants in Canadian Arctic freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems: a review.

    PubMed

    Braune, B; Muir, D; DeMarch, B; Gamberg, M; Poole, K; Currie, R; Dodd, M; Duschenko, W; Eamer, J; Elkin, B; Evans, M; Grundy, S; Hebert, C; Johnstone, R; Kidd, K; Koenig, B; Lockhart, L; Marshall, H; Reimer, K; Sanderson, J; Shutt, L

    1999-06-01

    The state of knowledge of contaminants in Canadian Arctic biota of the freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems has advanced enormously since the publication of the first major reviews by Lockhart et al. and Thomas et al. in The Science of the Total Environment in 1992. The most significant gains are new knowledge of spatial trends of organochlorines and heavy metal contaminants in terrestrial animals, such as caribou and mink, and in waterfowl, where no information was previously available. Spatial trends in freshwater fish have been broadened, especially in the Yukon, where contaminant measurements of, for example, organochlorines were previously non-existent. A review of contaminants data for fish from the Northwest Territories, Yukon and northern Quebec showed mercury as the one contaminant which consistently exceeds guideline limits for subsistence consumption or commercial sale. Lake trout and northern pike in the Canadian Shield lakes of the Northwest Territories and northern Quebec generally had the most elevated levels. Levels of other heavy metals were generally not elevated in fish. Toxaphene was the major organochlorine contaminant in all fish analyzed. The concentrations of organochlorine contaminants in fish appear to be a function not only of trophic level but of other aspects of the lake ecosystem. Among Arctic terrestrial mammals, PCBs and cadmium were the most prominent contaminants in the species analyzed. Relatively high levels (10-60 micrograms g-1) of cadmium were observed in kidney and liver of caribou from the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and northern Quebec, with concentrations in western herds being higher than in those from the east. For the organochlorine contaminants, a west to east increase in zigma PCBs, HCB and zigma HCH was found in caribou, probably as a result of the predominant west to east/north-east atmospheric circulation pattern which delivers these contaminants from industrialized regions of central and eastern North

  20. Effects of Conversion from Boreal Forest to Arctic Steppe on Soil Communities and Ecosystem Carbon Pools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, P. D.; Natali, S.; Schade, J. D.; Zimov, N.; Zimov, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    The end of the Pleistocene marked the extinction of a great variety of arctic megafauna, which, in part, led to the conversion of arctic grasslands to modern Siberian larch forest. This shift may have increased the vulnerability of permafrost to thawing because of changes driven by the vegetation shift; the higher albedo of grassland and low insulation of snow trampled by animals may have decreased soil temperatures and reduced ground thaw in the grassland ecosystem, resulting in protection of organic carbon in thawed soil and permafrost. To test these hypothesized impacts of arctic megafauna, we examined an experimental reintroduction of large mammals in northeast Siberia, initiated in 1988. Pleistocene Park now contains 23 horses, three musk ox, one bison, and several moose in addition to the native fauna. The park is 16 square km with a smaller enclosure (< 1 km) where animals spend most of their time and our study was focused. We measured carbon-pools in forested sites (where scat surveys showed low animal use), and grassy sites (which showed higher use), within the park boundaries. We also measured thaw depth and documented the soil invertebrate communities in each ecosystem. There was a substantial difference in number of invertebrates per kg of organic soil between the forest (600 ± 250) and grassland (300 ± 250), though these differences were not statistically significant they suggest faster nutrient turnover in the forest or a greater proportion of decomposition by invertebrates than other decomposers. While thaw depth was deeper in the grassland (60 ± 4 cm) than in the forest (40 ± 6 cm), we did not detect differences in organic layer depth or percent organic matter between grassland and forest. However, soil in the grassland had higher bulk density, and higher carbon stocks in the organic and mineral soil layers. Although deeper thaw depth in the grassland suggests that more carbon is available to microbial decomposers, ongoing temperature monitoring

  1. Effects of UV radiation on aquatic ecosystems and interactions with other environmental factors.

    PubMed

    Häder, Donat-P; Williamson, Craig E; Wängberg, Sten-Åke; Rautio, Milla; Rose, Kevin C; Gao, Kunshan; Helbling, E Walter; Sinha, Rajeshwar P; Worrest, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Interactions between climate change and UV radiation are having strong effects on aquatic ecosystems due to feedback between temperature, UV radiation, and greenhouse gas concentration. Higher air temperatures and incoming solar radiation are increasing the surface water temperatures of lakes and oceans, with many large lakes warming at twice the rate of regional air temperatures. Warmer oceans are changing habitats and the species composition of many marine ecosystems. For some, such as corals, the temperatures may become too high. Temperature differences between surface and deep waters are becoming greater. This increase in thermal stratification makes the surface layers shallower and leads to stronger barriers to upward mixing of nutrients necessary for photosynthesis. This also results in exposure to higher levels of UV radiation of surface-dwelling organisms. In polar and alpine regions decreases in the duration and amount of snow and ice cover on lakes and oceans are also increasing exposure to UV radiation. In contrast, in lakes and coastal oceans the concentration and colour of UV-absorbing dissolved organic matter (DOM) from terrestrial ecosystems is increasing with greater runoff from higher precipitation and more frequent extreme storms. DOM thus creates a refuge from UV radiation that can enable UV-sensitive species to become established. At the same time, decreased UV radiation in such surface waters reduces the capacity of solar UV radiation to inactivate viruses and other pathogens and parasites, and increases the difficulty and price of purifying drinking water for municipal supplies. Solar UV radiation breaks down the DOM, making it more available for microbial processing, resulting in the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In addition to screening solar irradiance, DOM, when sunlit in surface water, can lead to the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Increases in carbon dioxide are in turn acidifying the oceans and inhibiting

  2. Aquatic bird disease and mortality as an indicator of changing ecosystem health

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newman, S.H.; Chmura, A.; Converse, K.; Kilpatrick, A.M.; Patel, N.; Lammers, E.; Daszak, P.

    2007-01-01

    We analyzed data from pathologic investigations in the United States, collected by the USGS National Wildlife Health Center between 1971 and 2005, into aquatic bird mortality events. A total of 3619 mortality events was documented for aquatic birds, involving at least 633 708 dead birds from 158 species belonging to 23 families. Environmental causes accounted for the largest proportion of mortality events (1737 or 48%) and dead birds (437 258 or 69%); these numbers increased between 1971 and 2000, with biotoxin mortalities due to botulinum intoxication (Types C and E) being the leading cause of death. Infectious diseases were the second leading cause of mortality events (20%) and dead birds (20 %), with both viral diseases, including duck plague (Herpes virus), paramyxovirus of cormorants (Paramyxovirus PMV1) and West Nile virus (Flavivirus), and bacterial diseases, including avian cholera (Pasteurella multocida), chlamydiosis (Chalmydia psittici), and salmonellosis (Salmonella sp.), contributing. Pelagic, coastal marine birds and species that use marine and freshwater habitats were impacted most frequently by environmental causes of death, with biotoxin exposure, primarily botulinum toxin, resulting in mortalities of both coastal and freshwater species. Pelagic birds were impacted most severely by emaciation and starvation, which may reflect increased anthropogenic pressure on the marine habitat from over-fishing, pollution, and other factors. Our study provides important information on broad trends in aquatic bird mortality and highlights how long-term wildlife disease studies can be used to identify anthropogenic threats to wildlife conservation and ecosystem health. In particular, mortality data for the past 30 yr suggest that biotoxins, viral, and bacterial diseases could have impacted >5 million aquatic birds. ?? Inter-Research 2007.

  3. Aquatic bird disease and mortality as an indicator of changing ecosystem health

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newman, Scott H.; Chmura, Aleksei; Converse, Kathy; Kilpatrick, A. Marm; Patel, Nikkita; Lammers, Emily; Daszak, Peter

    2007-01-01

    We analyzed data from pathologic investigations in the United States, collected by the USGS National Wildlife Health Center between 1971 and 2005, into aquatic bird mortality events. A total of 3619 mortality events was documented for aquatic birds, involving at least 633 708 dead birds from 158 species belonging to 23 families. Environmental causes accounted for the largest proportion of mortality events (1737 or 48%) and dead birds (437 258 or 69%); these numbers increased between 1971 and 2000, with biotoxin mortalities due to botulinum intoxication (Types C and E) being the leading cause of death. Infectious diseases were the second leading cause of mortality events (20%) and dead birds (20%), with both viral diseases, including duck plague (Herpes virus), paramyxovirus of cormorants (Paramyxovirus PMV1) and West Nile virus (Flavivirus), and bacterial diseases, including avian cholera (Pasteurella multocida), chlamydiosis (Chalmydia psittici), and salmonellosis (Salmonella sp.), contributing. Pelagic, coastal marine birds and species that use marine and freshwater habitats were impacted most frequently by environmental causes of death, with biotoxin exposure, primarily botulinum toxin, resulting in mortalities of both coastal and freshwater species. Pelagic birds were impacted most severely by emaciation and starvation, which may reflect increased anthropogenic pressure on the marine habitat from over-fishing, pollution, and other factors. Our study provides important information on broad trends in aquatic bird mortality and highlights how long-term wildlife disease studies can be used to identify anthropogenic threats to wildlife conservation and ecosystem health. In particular, mortality data for the past 30 yr suggest that biotoxins, viral, and bacterial diseases could have impacted >5 million aquatic birds.

  4. How well does your model capture the terrestrial ecosystem dynamics of the Arctic-Boreal Region?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stofferahn, E.; Fisher, J. B.; Hayes, D. J.; Huntzinger, D. N.; Schwalm, C.

    2016-12-01

    The Arctic-Boreal Region (ABR) is a major source of uncertainties for terrestrial biosphere model (TBM) simulations. These uncertainties are precipitated by a lack of observational data from the region, affecting the parameterizations of cold environment processes in the models. Addressing these uncertainties requires a coordinated effort of data collection and integration of the following key indicators of the ABR ecosystem: disturbance, flora / fauna and related ecosystem function, carbon pools and biogeochemistry, permafrost, and hydrology. We are developing a model-data integration framework for NASA's Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), wherein data collection for the key ABoVE indicators is driven by matching observations and model outputs to the ABoVE indicators. The data are used as reference datasets for a benchmarking system which evaluates TBM performance with respect to ABR processes. The benchmarking system utilizes performance metrics to identify intra-model and inter-model strengths and weaknesses, which in turn provides guidance to model development teams for reducing uncertainties in TBM simulations of the ABR. The system is directly connected to the International Land Model Benchmarking (ILaMB) system, as an ABR-focused application.

  5. Conceptual data modeling of wildlife response indicators to ecosystem change in the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walworth, Dennis; Pearce, John M.

    2015-08-06

    Large research studies are often challenged to effectively expose and document the types of information being collected and the reasons for data collection across what are often a diverse cadre of investigators of differing disciplines. We applied concepts from the field of information or data modeling to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative to prototype an application of information modeling. The USGS CAE initiative is collecting information from marine and terrestrial environments in Alaska to identify and understand the links between rapid physical changes in the Arctic and response of wildlife populations to these ecosystem changes. An associated need is to understand how data collection strategies are informing the overall science initiative and facilitating communication of those strategies to a wide audience. We explored the use of conceptual data modeling to provide a method by which to document, describe, and visually communicate both enterprise and study level data; provide a simple means to analyze commonalities and differences in data acquisition strategies between studies; and provide a tool for discussing those strategies among researchers and managers.

  6. Fire and ecosystem change in the Arctic across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denis, Elizabeth H.; Pedentchouk, Nikolai; Schouten, Stefan; Pagani, Mark; Freeman, Katherine H.

    2017-06-01

    Fire has been an important component of ecosystems on a range of spatial and temporal scales. Fire can affect vegetation distribution, the carbon cycle, and climate. The relationship between climate and fire is complex, in large part because of a key role of vegetation type. Here, we evaluate regional scale fire-climate relationships during a past global warming event, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), in order to understand how vegetation influenced the links between climate and fire occurrence in the Arctic region. To document concurrent changes in climate, vegetation, and fire occurrence, we evaluated biomarkers, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), terpenoids, and alkanes, from the PETM interval at a marine depositional site (IODP site 302, the Lomonosov Ridge) in the Arctic Ocean. Biomarker, fossil, and isotope evidence from site 302 indicates that terrestrial vegetation changed during the PETM. The abundance of the C29n-alkanes, pollen, and the ratio of leaf-wax n-alkanes relative to diterpenoids all indicate that proportional contributions from angiosperm vegetation increased relative to that from gymnosperms. These changes accompanied increased moisture transport to the Arctic and higher temperatures, as recorded by previously published proxy records. We find that PAH abundances were elevated relative to total plant biomarkers throughout the PETM, and suggest that fire occurrence increased relative to plant productivity. The fact that fire frequency or prevalence may have increased during wetter Arctic conditions suggests that changes in fire occurrence were not a simple function of aridity, as is commonly conceived. Instead, we suggest that the climate-driven ecological shift to angiosperm-dominated vegetation was what led to increased fire occurrence. Potential increases in terrestrial plant biomass that arose from warm, wet, and high CO2 conditions were possibly attenuated by biomass burning associated with compositional changes

  7. The relation between productivity and species diversity in temperate-Arctic marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Witman, Jon D; Cusson, Mathieu; Archambault, Philippe; Pershing, Andrew J; Mieszkowska, Nova

    2008-11-01

    Energy variables, such as evapotranspiration, temperature, and productivity explain significant variation in the diversity of many groups of terrestrial plants and animals at local to global scales. Although the ocean represents the largest continuous habitat on earth with a vast spectrum of primary productivity and species richness, little is known about how productivity influences species diversity in marine systems. To search for general relationships between productivity and species richness in the ocean, we analyzed data from three different benthic marine ecosystems (epifaunal communities on subtidal rock walls, on navigation buoys in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Canadian Arctic macrobenthos) across local to continental spatial scales (<20 to >1000 km) using a standardized proxy for productivity, satellite-derived chlorophyll a. Theoretically, the form of the function between productivity and species richness is either monotonically increasing or decreasing, or curvilinear (hump- or U-shaped). We found three negative linear and three hump-shaped relationships between chlorophyll a and species richness out of 10 independent comparisons. Scale dependence was suggested by more prevalent diversity-productivity relationships at smaller (local, landscape) than larger (regional, continental) spatial scales. Differences in the form of the functions were more closely allied with community type than with scale, as negative linear functions were restricted to sessile epifauna while hump-shaped functions occurred in Arctic macrobenthos (mixed epifauna, infauna). In two of the data sets, (St. Lawrence epifauna and Arctic macrobenthos) significant effects of chlorophyll a co-varied with the effects of salinity, suggesting that environmental stress as well as productivity influences diversity in these marine systems. The co-varying effect of salinity may commonly arise in broad-scale studies of productivity and diversity in marine ecosystems when attempting to sample the

  8. A synthesis of the effects of pesticides on microbial persistence in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Staley, Zachery R; Harwood, Valerie J; Rohr, Jason R

    2015-01-01

    Pesticides have a pervasive presence in aquatic ecosystems throughout the world. While pesticides are intended to control fungi, insects, and other pests, their mechanisms of action are often not specific enough to prevent unintended effects, such as on non-target microbial populations. Microorganisms, including algae and cyanobacteria, protozoa, aquatic fungi, and bacteria, form the basis of many food webs and are responsible for crucial aspects of biogeochemical cycling; therefore, the potential for pesticides to alter microbial community structures must be understood to preserve ecosystem services. This review examines studies that focused on direct population-level effects and indirect community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms. Generally, insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides were found to have adverse direct effects on algal and fungal species. Insecticides and fungicides also had deleterious direct effects in the majority of studies examining protozoa species, although herbicides were found to have inconsistent direct effects on protozoans. Our synthesis revealed mixed or no direct effects on bacterial species among all pesticide categories, with results highly dependent on the target species, chemical, and concentration used in the study. Examination of community-level, indirect effects revealed that all pesticide categories had a tendency to reduce higher trophic levels, thereby diminishing top-down pressures and favoring lower trophic levels. Often, indirect effects exerted greater influence than direct effects. However, few studies have been conducted to specifically address community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms, and further research is necessary to better understand and predict the net effects of pesticides on ecosystem health.

  9. A Synthesis of the Effects of Pesticides on Microbial Persistence in Aquatic Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Staley, Zachery R.; Harwood, Valerie J.; Rohr, Jason R.

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are a pervasive presence in aquatic ecosystems throughout the world. While pesticides are intended to control fungi, insects, and other pests, their mechanisms of action are often not specific enough to prevent unintended effects, such as on non-target microbial populations. Microorganisms, including algae and cyanobacteria, protozoa, aquatic fungi, and bacteria, form the basis of many food webs and are responsible for crucial aspects of biogeochemical cycling; therefore, the potential for pesticides to alter microbial community structures must be understood to preserve ecosystem services. This review examines studies that focused on direct population-level effects and indirect community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms. Generally, insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides were found to have adverse direct effects on algal and fungal species. Insecticides and fungicides also had deleterious direct effects in the majority of studies examining protozoa species, although herbicides were found to have inconsistent direct effects on protozoans. Our synthesis revealed mixed or no direct effects on bacterial species among all pesticide categories, with results highly dependent on the target species, chemical, and concentration used in the study. Examination of community-level, indirect effects revealed that all pesticide categories had a tendency to reduce higher trophic levels, thereby diminishing top-down pressures and favoring lower trophic levels. Often, indirect effects exerted greater influence than direct effects. However, few studies have been conducted to specifically address community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms and further research is necessary to better understand and predict the net effects of pesticides on ecosystem health. PMID:26565685

  10. Diets of aquatic birds reflect changes in the Lake Huron ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hebert, Craig E.; Weseloh, D.V. Chip; Idrissi, Abode; Arts, Michael T.; Roseman, Edward F.

    2009-01-01

    Human activities have affected the Lake Huron ecosystem, in part, through alterations in the structure and function of its food webs. Insights into the nature of food web change and its ecological ramifications can be obtained through the monitoring of high trophic level predators such as aquatic birds. Often, food web change involves alterations in the relative abundance of constituent species and/or the introduction of new species (exotic invaders). Diet composition of aquatic birds is influenced, in part, by relative prey availability and therefore is a sensitive measure of food web structure. Using bird diet data to make inferences regarding food web change requires consistent measures of diet composition through time. This can be accomplished by measuring stable chemical and/or biochemical “ecological tracers” in archived avian samples. Such tracers provide insights into pathways of energy and nutrient transfer. In this study, we examine the utility of two groups of naturally-occurring intrinsic tracers (stable isotopes and fatty acids) to provide such information in a predatory seabird, the herring gull (Larus argentatus). Retrospective stable nitrogen and carbon isotope analysis of archived herring gull eggs identified declines in gull trophic position and shifts in food sources in Lake Huron over the last 25 years and changes in gull diet composition were inferred from egg fatty acid patterns. These independent groups of ecological tracers provided corroborating evidence of dietary change in this high trophic level predator. Gull dietary shifts were related to declines in prey fish abundance which suggests large-scale alterations to the Lake Huron ecosystem. Dietary shifts in herring gulls may be contributing to reductions in resources available for egg formation. Further research is required to evaluate how changes in resource availability may affect population sustainability in herring gulls and other waterbird species. Long-term biological monitoring

  11. Spatial and temporal trends and effects of contaminants in the Canadian Arctic marine ecosystem: a review.

    PubMed

    Muir, D; Braune, B; DeMarch, B; Norstrom, R; Wagemann, R; Lockhart, L; Hargrave, B; Bright, D; Addison, R; Payne, J; Reimer, K

    1999-06-01

    Recent studies have added substantially to our knowledge of spatial and temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals in the Canadian Arctic marine ecosystem. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge of contaminants in marine biota in the Canadian Arctic and where possible, discusses biological effects. The geographic coverage of information on contaminants such as persistent organochlorines (OCs) (PCBs, DDT- and chlordane-related compounds, hexachlorocyclohexanes, toxaphene) and heavy metals (mercury, selenium, cadmium, lead) in tissues of marine mammal and sea birds is relatively complete. All major beluga, ringed seal and polar bear stocks along with several major sea bird colonies have been sampled and analysed for OC and heavy metal contaminants. Studies on contaminants in walrus are limited to Foxe Basin and northern Québec stocks, while migratory harp seals have only been studied recently at one location. Contaminant measurements in bearded seal, harbour seal, bowhead whale and killer whale tissues from the Canadian Arctic are very limited or non-existent. Many of the temporal trend data for contaminants in Canadian Arctic biota are confounded by changes in analytical methodology, as well as by variability due to age/size, or to dietary and population shifts. Despite this, studies of OCs in ringed seal blubber at Holman Island and in sea birds at Prince Leopold Island in Lancaster Sound show declining concentrations of PCBs and DDT-related compounds from the 1970s to 1980s then a levelling off during the 1980s and early 1990s. For other OCs, such as chlordane, HCH and toxaphene, limited data for the 1980s to early 1990s suggests few significant declines in concentrations in marine mammals or sea birds. Temporal trend studies of heavy metals in ringed seals and beluga found higher mean concentrations of mercury in more recent (1993/1994) samples than in earlier collections (1981-1984 in eastern Arctic, 1972-1973 in western Arctic

  12. Ecosystem Metabolism and Air-Water Fluxes of Greenhouse Gases in High Arctic Wetland Ponds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehnherr, I.; Venkiteswaran, J.; St. Louis, V. L.; Emmerton, C.; Schiff, S. L.

    2012-12-01

    Freshwater lakes and wetlands can be very productive systems on the Arctic landscape compared to terrestrial tundra ecosystems and provide valuable resources to many organisms, including waterfowl, fish and humans. Rates of ecosystem productivity dictate how much energy flows through food webs, impacting the abundance of higher-level organisms (e.g., fish), as well as the net carbon balance, which determines whether a particular ecosystem is a source or sink of carbon. Climate change is predicted to result in warmer temperatures, increased precipitation and permafrost melting in the Arctic and is already altering northern ecosystems at unprecedented rates; however, it is not known how freshwater systems are responding to these changes. To predict how freshwater systems will respond to complex environmental changes, it is necessary to understand the key processes, such as primary production and ecosystem respiration, that are driving these systems. We sampled wetland ponds (n=8) and lakes (n=2) on northern Ellesmere Island (81° N, Nunavut, Canada) during the open water season for a suite of biogeochemical parameters, including concentrations of dissolved gases (O2, CO2, CH4, N2O) as well as stable-isotope ratios of dissolved inorganic carbon (δ13C-DIC), dissolved oxygen (δ18O-DO), and water (δ18O-H2O). We will present rates of primary production and ecosystem respiration, modeled from the concentration and stable isotope ratios of DIC and DO, as well as air-water gas exchange of greenhouse gases in these high Arctic ponds and lakes. Preliminary results demonstrate that ecosystem metabolism in these ponds was high enough to result in significant deviations in the isotope ratios of DIC and DO from atmospheric equilibrium conditions. In other words ecosystem rates of primary production and respiration were faster than gas exchange even in these small, shallow, well-mixed ponds. Furthermore, primary production was elevated enough at all sites except Lake Hazen, a

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  14. Cross-ecosystem fluxes: Export of polyunsaturated fatty acids from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems via emerging insects.

    PubMed

    Martin-Creuzburg, Dominik; Kowarik, Carmen; Straile, Dietmar

    2017-01-15

    Cross-ecosystem fluxes can crucially influence the productivity of adjacent habitats. Emerging aquatic insects represent one important pathway through which freshwater-derived organic matter can enter terrestrial food webs. Aquatic insects may be of superior food quality for terrestrial consumers because they contain high concentrations of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). We quantified the export of PUFA via emerging insects from a midsize, mesotrophic lake. Insects were collected using emergence traps installed above different water depths and subjected to fatty acid analyses. Insect emergence from different depth zones and seasonal mean fatty acid concentrations in different insect groups were used to estimate PUFA fluxes. In total, 80.5mg PUFA m(-2)yr(-1) were exported, of which 32.8mgm(-2)yr(-1) were eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 7.8mgm(-2)yr(-1) were arachidonic acid (ARA), and 2.6mgm(-2)yr(-1) were docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While Chironomidae contributed most to insect biomass and total PUFA export, Chaoborus flavicans contributed most to the export of EPA, ARA, and especially DHA. The export of total insect biomass from one square meter declined with depth and the timing at which 50% of total insect biomass emerged was correlated with the water depths over which the traps were installed, suggesting that insect-mediated PUFA fluxes are strongly affected by lake morphometry. Applying a conceptual model developed to assess insect deposition rates on land to our insect-mediated PUFA export data revealed an average total PUFA deposition rate of 150mgm(-2)yr(-1) within 100m inland from the shore. We propose that PUFA export can be reliably estimated using taxon-specific information on emergent insect biomass and seasonal mean body PUFA concentrations of adult insects provided here. Our data indicate that insect-mediated PUFA fluxes from lakes are substantial, implying that freshwater-derived PUFA can crucially influence food web processes in adjacent

  15. Invisible invaders: non-pathogenic invasive microbes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Litchman, Elena

    2010-12-01

    Although the number of studies on invasive plants and animals has risen exponentially, little is known about invasive microbes, especially non-pathogenic ones. Microbial invasions by viruses, bacteria, fungi and protists occur worldwide but are much harder to detect than invasions by macroorganisms. Invasive microbes have the potential to significantly alter community structure and ecosystem functioning in diverse terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Consequently, increased attention is needed on non-pathogenic invasive microbes, both free-living and symbiotic, and their impacts on communities and ecosystems. Major unknowns include the characteristics that make microbes invasive and properties of the resident communities and the environment that facilitate invasions. A comparison of microbial invasions with invasions of macroorganisms should provide valuable insights into general principles that apply to invasions across all domains of life and to taxon-specific invasion patterns. Invasive microbes appear to possess traits thought to be common in many invasive macroorganisms: high growth rate and resource utilization efficiency, and superior competitive abilities. Invading microorganisms are often similar to native species, but with enhanced performance traits, and tend to spread in lower diversity communities. Global change can exacerbate microbial invasions; therefore, they will likely increase in the future.

  16. [Aquatic ecosystem modelling approach: temperature and water quality models applied to Oualidia and Nador lagoons].

    PubMed

    Idrissi, J Lakhdar; Orbi, A; Hilmi, K; Zidane, F; Moncef, M

    2005-07-01

    The objective of this work is to develop an aquatic ecosystem and apply it on Moroccan lagoon systems. This model will keep us abreast of the yearly development of the main parameters that characterize these ecosystems while integrating all the data that have so far been acquired. Within this framework, a simulation model of the thermal system and a model of the water quality have been elaborated. These models, which have been simulated on the lagoon of Oualidia (North of Morocco) and validated on the lagoon of Nador (North West Mediterranean), permit to foresee the cycles of temperature of the surface and the parameters of the water quality (dissolved oxygen and biomass phytoplankton) by using meteorological information, specific features and in situ measurements in the studied sites. The elaborated model, called Zero-Dimensional, simulates the average conduct of the site during the time of variable states that are representatives of the studied ecosystem. This model will provide answers for the studied phenomena and is a work tool adequate for numerical simplicity.

  17. Soil Carbon Inputs and Ecosystem Respiration: a Field Priming Experiment in Arctic Coastal Tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughn, L. S.; Zhu, B.; Bimueller, C.; Curtis, J. B.; Chafe, O.; Bill, M.; Abramoff, R. Z.; Torn, M. S.

    2016-12-01

    In Arctic ecosystems, climate change is expected to influence soil carbon stocks through changes in both plant carbon inputs and organic matter decomposition. This study addresses the potential for a priming effect, an interaction between these changes in which root-derived carbon inputs alter SOM decomposition rates via microbial biomass increases, co-metabolism of substrates, induced nitrogen limitation, or other possible mechanisms. The priming effect has been observed in numerous laboratory and greenhouse experiments, and is increasingly included in ecosystem models. Few studies, however, have evaluated the priming effect with in situ field manipulations. In a two-year field experiment in Barrow, Alaska, we tested for a priming effect under natural environmental variability. In September 2014 and August 2015, we added 6.1g of 13C-labeled glucose to 25cm diameter mesocosms, 15cm below the soil surface in the mineral soil layer. Over the following month, we quantified effects on the rate and temperature sensitivity of native (non-glucose) ecosystem respiration and GPP. Following the 2014 treatment, soil samples were collected at 1 and 3 weeks for microbial biomass carbon and 13C/12C analysis, and ion exchange membranes were buried for one week to assess nitrate and ammonium availability. In contrast with many laboratory incubation studies using soils from a broad range of ecosystems, we observed no significant priming effect. In spite of a clear signal of 13C-glucose decomposition in respired CO2 and microbial biomass, we detected no treatment effect on background ecosystem respiration or total microbial biomass carbon. Our findings suggest that glucose taken up by microbes was not used for production of additional SOM-decomposing enzymes, possibly due to stoichiometric limitations on enzyme production. To best inform models representing complex and dynamic ecosystems, this study calls for further research relating theory, laboratory findings, and field

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowden, W. B.

    2014-12-01

    permafrost in the arctic region approaches the 0ºC tipping point, the combination of presses and pulses may radically and rapidly alter upland tundra terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. These changes will almost certainly occur more rapidly than would be the case if the region were influenced by the press of warming temperature alone.

  19. Advanced Ecosystem Mapping Techniques for Large Arctic Study Domains Using Calibrated High-Resolution Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macander, M. J.; Frost, G. V., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Regional-scale mapping of vegetation and other ecosystem properties has traditionally relied on medium-resolution remote sensing such as Landsat (30 m) and MODIS (250 m). Yet, the burgeoning availability of high-resolution (<=2 m) imagery and ongoing advances in computing power and analysis tools raises the prospect of performing ecosystem mapping at fine spatial scales over large study domains. Here we demonstrate cutting-edge mapping approaches over a ~35,000 km² study area on Alaska's North Slope using calibrated and atmospherically-corrected mosaics of high-resolution WorldView-2 and GeoEye-1 imagery: (1) an a priori spectral approach incorporating the Satellite Imagery Automatic Mapper (SIAM) algorithms; (2) image segmentation techniques; and (3) texture metrics. The SIAM spectral approach classifies radiometrically-calibrated imagery to general vegetation density categories and non-vegetated classes. The SIAM classes were developed globally and their applicability in arctic tundra environments has not been previously evaluated. Image segmentation, or object-based image analysis, automatically partitions high-resolution imagery into homogeneous image regions that can then be analyzed based on spectral, textural, and contextual information. We applied eCognition software to delineate waterbodies and vegetation classes, in combination with other techniques. Texture metrics were evaluated to determine the feasibility of using high-resolution imagery to algorithmically characterize periglacial surface forms (e.g., ice-wedge polygons), which are an important physical characteristic of permafrost-dominated regions but which cannot be distinguished by medium-resolution remote sensing. These advanced mapping techniques provide products which can provide essential information supporting a broad range of ecosystem science and land-use planning applications in northern Alaska and elsewhere in the circumpolar Arctic.

  20. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Turetsky, Merritt; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin; Euskirchen, Eugenie S.; Talbot, Julie; Frolking, Steve; McGuire, A. David; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina

    2012-08-24

    Mosses in boreal and arctic ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, represent an important component of plant diversity, and strongly influence the cycling of water, nutrients, energy and carbon. Here we use a literature review and synthesis as well as model simulations to explore the role of moss in ecological stability and resilience. Our literature review of moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories in boreal and arctic regions. Our modeling simulations suggest that loss of moss within northern plant communities will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. While two models (HPM and STM-TEM) showed a significant effect of moss removal, results from the Biome-BGC and DVM-TEM models suggest that northern, moss-rich ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. We highlight a number of issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, phenotypical plasticity in traits, and whether the effects of moss on ecosystem processes scale with local abundance. We also suggest that as more models explore issues related to ecological resilience, issues related to both parameter and conceptual uncertainty should be addressed: are the models more limited by uncertainty in the parameterization of the processes included or by what is not represented in the model at all? It seems clear from our review that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species.

  1. Ecosystem development and carbon cycle on a glacier foreland in the high Arctic, Ny-Alesund, Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Nakatsubo, Takayuki; Bekku, Yukiko Sakata; Uchida, Masaki; Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Kume, Atsushi; Ohtsuka, Toshiyuki; Masuzawa, Takehiro; Kanda, Hiroshi; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2005-06-01

    The Arctic terrestrial ecosystem is thought to be extremely susceptible to climate change. However, because of the diverse responses of ecosystem components to change, an overall response of the ecosystem carbon cycle to climate change is still hard to predict. In this review, we focus on several recent studies conducted to clarify the pattern of the carbon cycle on the deglaciated area of Ny-Alesund, Svalbard in the high Arctic. Vegetation cover and soil carbon pools tended to increase with the progress of succession. However, even in the latter stages of succession, the size of the soil carbon pool was much smaller than those reported for the low Arctic tundra. Cryptogams contributed the major proportion of phytomass in the later stages. However, because of water limitation, their net primary production was smaller than that of the vascular plants. The compartment model that incorporated major carbon pools and flows suggested that the ecosystem of the later stages is likely to be a net sink of carbon at least for the summer season. Based on the eco-physiological characteristics of the major ecosystem components, we suggest several possible scenarios of future changes in the ecosystem carbon cycle.

  2. Review: Potential catastrophic reduction of sea ice in the western Arctic Ocean: Its impact on biogeochemical cycles and marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, Naomi

    2016-01-01

    The reduction of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, which has progressed more rapidly than previously predicted, has the potential to cause multiple environmental stresses, including warming, acidification, and strengthened stratification of the ocean. Observational studies have been undertaken to detect the impacts on biogeochemical cycles and marine ecosystems of these environmental stresses in the Arctic Ocean. Satellite analyses show that the reduction of sea ice has been especially great in the western Arctic Ocean. Observations and model simulations have both helped to clarify the impact of sea-ice reductions on the dynamics of ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycles. In this review, I focus on the western Arctic Ocean, which has experienced the most rapid retreat of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and, very importantly, has a higher rate of primary production than any other area of the Arctic Ocean owing to the supply of nutrient-rich Pacific water. I report the impact of the current reduction of sea ice on marine biogeochemical cycles in the western Arctic Ocean, including lower-trophic-level organisms, and identify the key mechanism of changes in the biogeochemical cycles, based on published observations and model simulations. The retreat of sea ice has enhanced primary production and has increased the frequency of appearance of mesoscale anticyclonic eddies. These eddies enhance the light environment and replenish nutrients, and they also represent a mechanism that can increase the rate of the biological pump in the Arctic Ocean. Various unresolved issues that require further investigation, such as biological responses to environmental stressors such as ocean acidification, are also discussed.

  3. A mathematical model of algae growth in a pelagic-benthic coupled shallow aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jimin; Shi, Junping; Chang, Xiaoyuan

    2017-08-01

    A coupled system of ordinary differential equations and partial differential equations is proposed to describe the interaction of pelagic algae, benthic algae and one essential nutrient in an oligotrophic shallow aquatic ecosystem with ample supply of light. The existence and uniqueness of non-negative steady states are completely determined for all possible parameter range, and these results characterize sharp threshold conditions for the regime shift from extinction to coexistence of pelagic and benthic algae. The influence of environmental parameters on algal biomass density is also considered, which is an important indicator of algal blooms. Our studies suggest that the nutrient recycling from loss of algal biomass may be an important factor in the algal blooms process; and the presence of benthic algae may limit the pelagic algal biomass density as they consume common resources even if the sediment nutrient level is high.

  4. Introduction to the effects of wildland fire on aquatic ecosystems in the Western USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rieman, B.; Gresswell, Robert E.; Young, M.; Luce, C.

    2003-01-01

    The management of wildfire has long been controversial. The role of fire and fire-related management in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems has become an important focus in recent years, but the general debate is not new. In his recent book, Stephen Pyne (2001)describes the political and scientific debate surrounding the creation of the U.S. Forest Service and the emergence of fire suppression as a central tenet of wildland management. Essentially, views in the first decade of the 20th century focused on fire as good or evil: a tool that might benefit other resources or interests (e.g. Indian burning) and mitigate larger more destructive fires, or a threat to the recruitment and productivity of newly designated forest reserves. The “great fires” in the Western USA in 1910 and the associated loss of human life and property largely forged the public and political will to suppress fire on a massive scale.

  5. Mapping critical loads of nitrogen deposition for aquatic ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nanus, Leora; Clow, David W.; Saros, Jasmine E.; Stephens, Verlin C.; Campbell, Donald H.

    2012-01-01

    Spatially explicit estimates of critical loads of nitrogen (N) deposition (CLNdep) for nutrient enrichment in aquatic ecosystems were developed for the Rocky Mountains, USA, using a geostatistical approach. The lowest CLNdep estimates (-1 yr-1) occurred in high-elevation basins with steep slopes, sparse vegetation, and abundance of exposed bedrock and talus. These areas often correspond with areas of high N deposition (>3 kg N ha-1 yr-1), resulting in CLNdep exceedances ≥1.5 ± 1 kg N ha-1 yr-1. CLNdep and CLNdep exceedances exhibit substantial spatial variability related to basin characteristics and are highly sensitive to the NO3- threshold at which ecological effects are thought to occur. Based on an NO3- threshold of 0.5 μmol L-1, N deposition exceeds CLNdep in 21 ± 8% of the study area; thus, broad areas of the Rocky Mountains may be impacted by excess N deposition, with greatest impacts at high elevations.

  6. Effects of wildfire on source-water quality and aquatic ecosystems, Colorado Front Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Writer, Jeffrey H.; McClelskey, R. Blaine; Murphy, Sheila F.

    2012-01-01

    Watershed erosion can dramatically increase after wildfire, but limited research has evaluated the corresponding influence on source-water quality. This study evaluated the effects of the Fourmile Canyon wildfire (Colorado Front Range, USA) on source-water quality and aquatic ecosystems using high-frequency sampling. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nutrient loads in stream water were evaluated for a one-year period during different types of runoff events, including spring snowmelt, and both frontal and summer convective storms. DOC export from the burned watershed did not increase relative to the unburned watershed during spring snowmelt, but substantial increases in DOC export were observed during summer convective storms. Elevated nutrient export from the burned watershed was observed during spring snowmelt and summer convective storms, which increased the primary productivity of stream biofilms. Wildfire effects on source-water quality were shown to be substantial following high-intensity storms, with the potential to affect drinking-water treatment processes.

  7. Microsatellite markers for Nuphar japonica (Nymphaeaceae), an aquatic plant in the agricultural ecosystem of Japan1

    PubMed Central

    Kondo, Toshiaki; Watanabe, Sonoko; Shiga, Takashi; Isagi, Yuji

    2016-01-01

    Premise of the study: Nuphar species (Nymphaeaceae) are representative aquatic plants in irrigation ponds in Japanese agricultural ecosystems. We developed 15 polymorphic microsatellite markers for N. japonica and confirmed their utility for its close relatives N. oguraensis var. akiensis and N. ×saijoensis, which originated from natural hybridization between N. japonica and N. oguraensis. Methods and Results: Genetic variation was characterized in 15 polymorphic loci in three populations of N. japonica. The average number of alleles per locus was 3.47 (range = 2−9; n = 32), and the average expected heterozygosity per locus was 0.84 (range = 0.5–1.0); 11 loci were amplified in N. oguraensis var. akiensis and 15 in N. ×saijoensis. Conclusions: The polymorphic microsatellite markers developed in this study will be useful for investigating the levels of genetic diversity within remnant populations of Nuphar taxa and could provide a valuable tool for conservation genetics of these taxa. PMID:28101435

  8. Microsatellite markers for Nuphar japonica (Nymphaeaceae), an aquatic plant in the agricultural ecosystem of Japan.

    PubMed

    Kondo, Toshiaki; Watanabe, Sonoko; Shiga, Takashi; Isagi, Yuji

    2016-12-01

    Nuphar species (Nymphaeaceae) are representative aquatic plants in irrigation ponds in Japanese agricultural ecosystems. We developed 15 polymorphic microsatellite markers for N. japonica and confirmed their utility for its close relatives N. oguraensis var. akiensis and N. ×saijoensis, which originated from natural hybridization between N. japonica and N. oguraensis. Genetic variation was characterized in 15 polymorphic loci in three populations of N. japonica. The average number of alleles per locus was 3.47 (range = 2-9; n = 32), and the average expected heterozygosity per locus was 0.84 (range = 0.5-1.0); 11 loci were amplified in N. oguraensis var. akiensis and 15 in N. ×saijoensis. The polymorphic microsatellite markers developed in this study will be useful for investigating the levels of genetic diversity within remnant populations of Nuphar taxa and could provide a valuable tool for conservation genetics of these taxa.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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).

  10. Trophic interactions determine the effects of drought on an aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Amundrud, Sarah L; Srivastava, Diane S

    2016-06-01

    Species interactions can be important mediators of community and ecosystem responses to environmental stressors. However, we still lack a mechanistic understanding of the indirect ecological effects of stress that arise via altered species interactions. To understand how species interactions will be altered by environmental stressors, we need to know if the species that are vulnerable to such stressors also have large impacts on the ecosystem. As predators often exhibit certain traits that are linked to a high vulnerability to stress (e.g., large body size, long generation time), as well as having large effects on communities (e.g., top-down trophic effects), predators may be particularly likely to mediate ecological effects of environmental stress. Other functional groups, like facilitators, are known to have large impacts on communities, but their vulnerability to perturbations remains undocumented. Here, we use aquatic insect communities in bromeliads to examine the indirect effects of an important stressor (drought) on community and ecosystem responses. In a microcosm experiment, we manipulated predatory and facilitative taxa under a range of experimental droughts, and quantified effects on community structure and ecosystem function. Drought, by adversely affecting the top predator, had indirect cascading effects on the entire food web, altering community composition and decomposition. We identified the likely pathway of how drought cascaded through the food web from the top-down as drought -->predator --> shredder --> decomposition. This stress-induced cascade depended on predators exhibiting both a strong vulnerability to drought and large impacts on prey (especially shredders), as well as shredders exhibiting high functional importance as decomposers.

  11. Managing wastewater effluent to enhance aquatic receiving ecosystem productivity: a coastal lagoon in Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Machado, Daniel A; Imberger, Jörg

    2012-05-30

    Large amounts of waste are generated in urban centers that if properly managed could promote ecological services. In order to promote nutrient cycling and productivity without endangering aquatic ecosystems, management of wastewater treatment and effluent discharges to receiving waters must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. We applied this premise to examine a municipal wastewater treated effluent discharge in a shallow oligotrophic coastal lagoon in Western Australia. Three-dimensional hydrodynamic-ecological modeling (ELCOM-CAEDYM) was used to assess the reaction of ecosystem for effluent quality. Two scenarios were evaluated for the summer 2000-2001 period, the actual or "current" (conventional secondary treatment) and an "alternative" (involving substitution of biological nutrient removal by advanced treatment). The residence time of the simulated numerical domain averaged 8.4 ± 1.3 days. For the current scenario the model successfully estimated phytoplankton biomass, as chlorophyll-a concentration (Chl-a), that is within field-measured ranges and previously recorded levels. The model was able to reproduce nitrogen as the main limiting nutrient for primary production in the coastal ecosystem. Simulated surface Chl-a means were 0.26 (range 0.19-0.38) μg Chl-a/L for the current scenario and 0.37 (range 0.19-0.67) μg Chl-a/L for the alternative one. Comparison of the alternative scenario with field-measured Chl-a levels suggests moderate primary production increase (16-42%), within local historical variability. These results, suggest that such a scenario could be used, as part of a comprehensive wastewater management optimization strategy, to foster receiving ecosystem's productivity and related ecological services maintaining its oligotrophic state.

  12. Effects on the structure of Arctic ecosystems in the short- and long-term perspectives.

    PubMed

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus; Henttonen, Heikki

    2004-11-01

    Species individualistic responses to warming and increased UV-B radiation are moderated by the responses of neighbors within communities, and trophic interactions within ecosystems. All of these responses lead to changes in ecosystem structure. Experimental manipulation of environmental factors expected to change at high latitudes showed that summer warming of tundra vegetation has generally led to smaller changes than fertilizer addition. Some of the factors manipulated have strong effects on the structure of Arctic ecosystems but the effects vary regionally, with the greatest response of plant and invertebrate communities being observed at the coldest locations. Arctic invertebrate communities are very likely to respond rapidly to warming whereas microbial biomass and nutrient stocks are more stable. Experimentally enhanced UV-B radiation altered the community composition of gram-negative bacteria and fungi, but not that of plants. Increased plant productivity due to warmer summers may dominate food-web dynamics. Trophic interactions of tundra and sub-Arctic forest plant-based food webs are centered on a few dominant animal species which often have cyclic population fluctuations that lead to extremely high peak abundances in some years. Population cycles of small rodents and insect defoliators such as the autumn moth affect the structure and diversity of tundra and forest-tundra vegetation and the viability of a number of specialist predators and parasites. Ice crusting in warmer winters is likely to reduce the accessibility of plant food to lemmings, while deep snow may protect them from snow-surface predators. In Fennoscandia, there is evidence already for a pronounced shift in small rodent community structure and dynamics that have resulted in a decline of predators that specialize in feeding on small rodents. Climate is also likely to alter the role of insect pests in the birch forest system: warmer winters may increase survival of eggs and expand the range

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

    PubMed

    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. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Ecotoxic heavy metals transformation by bacteria and fungi in aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Chaturvedi, Amiy Dutt; Pal, Dharm; Penta, Santhosh; Kumar, Awanish

    2015-10-01

    Water is the most important and vital molecule of our planet and covers 75% of earth surface. But it is getting polluted due to high industrial growth. The heavy metals produced by industrial activities are recurrently added to it and considered as dangerous pollutants. Increasing concentration of toxic heavy metals (Pb(2+), Cd(2+), Hg(2+), Ni(2+)) in water is a severe threat for human. Heavy metal contaminated water is highly carcinogenic and poisonous at even relatively low concentrations. When they discharged in water bodies, they dissolve in the water and are distributed in the food chain. Bacteria and fungi are efficient microbes that frequently transform heavy metals and remove toxicity. The application of bacteria and fungi may offer cost benefit in water treatment plants for heavy metal transformation and directly related to public health and environmental safety issues. The heavy metals transformation rate in water is also dependent on the enzymatic capability of microorganisms. By transforming toxic heavy metals microbes sustain aquatic and terrestrial life. Therefore the application of microbiological biomass for heavy metal transformation and removal from aquatic ecosystem is highly significant and striking. This paper reviews the microbial transformation of heavy metal, microbe metal interaction and different approaches for microbial heavy metal remediation from water bodies.

  15. Characterizing the oxygen isotopic composition of phosphate sources to aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Young, Megan B; McLaughlin, Karen; Kendall, Carol; Stringfellow, William; Rollog, Mark; Elsbury, Katy; Donald, Elizabeth; Paytan, Adina

    2009-07-15

    The oxygen isotopic composition of dissolved inorganic phosphate (delta18Op) in many aquatic ecosystems is not in isotopic equilibrium with ambient water and, therefore, may reflect the source delta18Op. Identification of phosphate sources to water bodies is critical for designing best management practices for phosphate load reduction to control eutrophication. In order for delta18Op to be a useful tool for source tracking, the delta18Op of phosphate sources must be distinguishable from one another; however, the delta18Op of potential sources has not been well characterized. We measured the delta18Op of a variety of known phosphate sources, including fertilizers, semiprocessed phosphorite ore, particulate aerosols, detergents, leachates of vegetation, soil, animal feces, and wastewater treatment plant effluent. We found a considerable range of delta18Op, values (from +8.4 to +24.9 per thousand) for the various sources, and statistically significant differences were found between several of the source types. delta18Op measured in three different fresh water systems was generally not in equilibrium with ambient water. Although there is overlap in delta18Op values among the groups of samples, our results indicate that some sources are isotopically distinct and delta18Op can be used for identifying phosphate sources to aquatic systems.

  16. Toward relaxed eddy accumulation measurements of sediment-water exchange in aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemaire, Bruno J.; Noss, Christian; Lorke, Andreas

    2017-09-01

    Solute transport across the sediment-water interface has major implications for water quality and biogeochemical cycling in aquatic ecosystems. Existing measurement techniques, however, are not capable of resolving sediment-water fluxes of most constituents under in situ flow conditions. We investigated whether relaxed eddy accumulation (REA), a micrometeorological technique with conditional sampling of turbulent updrafts and downdrafts, can be adapted to the aquatic environment. We simulated REA fluxes by reanalyzing eddy covariance measurements from a riverine lake. We found that the empirical coefficient that relates mass fluxes to the concentration difference between both REA samples is invariant with scalar and flow and responds as predicted by a joint Gaussian distribution of linearly correlated variables. Simulated REA fluxes differed on average by around 30% from eddy covariance fluxes (mean absolute error). Assessment of the lower quantification limit suggests that REA can potentially be applied for measuring benthic fluxes of a new range of constituents that cannot be assessed by standard eddy covariance methods.

  17. PCB Food Web Dynamics Quantify Nutrient and Energy Flow in Aquatic Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    McLeod, Anne M; Paterson, Gordon; Drouillard, Ken G; Haffner, G Douglas

    2015-11-03

    Measuring in situ nutrient and energy flows in spatially and temporally complex aquatic ecosystems represents a major ecological challenge. Food web structure, energy and nutrient budgets are difficult to measure, and it is becoming more important to quantify both energy and nutrient flow to determine how food web processes and structure are being modified by multiple stressors. We propose that polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners represent an ideal tracer to quantify in situ energy and nutrient flow between trophic levels. Here, we demonstrate how an understanding of PCB congener bioaccumulation dynamics provides multiple direct measurements of energy and nutrient flow in aquatic food webs. To demonstrate this novel approach, we quantified nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and caloric turnover rates for Lake Huron lake trout, and reveal how these processes are regulated by both growth rate and fish life history. Although minimal nutrient recycling was observed in young growing fish, slow growing, older lake trout (>5 yr) recycled an average of 482 Tonnes·yr(-1) of N, 45 Tonnes·yr(-1) of P and assimilated 22 TJ yr(-1) of energy. Compared to total P loading rates of 590 Tonnes·yr(-1), the recycling of primarily bioavailable nutrients by fish plays an important role regulating the nutrient states of oligotrophic lakes.

  18. Comparative floc-bed sediment trace element partitioning across variably contaminated aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Amy V C; Plach, Janina M; Droppo, Ian G; Warren, Lesley A

    2012-01-03

    Significantly higher concentrations of Ag, As, Cu, Ni and Co are found in floc compared to bed sediments across six variably impacted aquatic ecosystems. In contrast to the observed element and site-specific bed sediment trace element (TE) partitioning patterns, floc TE sequestration is consistently dominated by amorphous oxyhydroxides (FeOOH), which account for 30-79% of floc total TE concentrations, irrespective of system physico-chemistry or elements involved. FeOOH consistently occur in significantly higher concentrations in floc than within bed sediments. Further, comparative concentration factors indicate significantly higher TE reactivity of floc-FeOOH relative to sediment-FeOOH in all systems investigated, indicating that both the greater abundance and higher reactivity of floc-FeOOH contribute to enhanced floc TE uptake. Results indicate that floc-organics (live cells and exopolymeric substances, EPS) directly predict floc-FeOOH concentrations, suggesting an organic structural role in the collection/templating of FeOOH. This, in turn, facilitates the sequestration of TEs associated with floc-FeOOH formation, imparting the conserved FeOOH "signature" on floc TE geochemistry across sites. Results demonstrate that the organic rich nature of floc exerts an important control over TE geochemistry in aquatic environments, ultimately creating a distinct solid with differing controls over TE behavior than bed sediments in close proximity (<0.5 m).

  19. Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in Mbaa River and the impact on aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ajima, M N O; Nnodi, P C; Ogo, O A; Adaka, G S; Osuigwe, D I; Njoku, D C

    2015-12-01

    The bioaccumulation and toxic effects of heavy metals have caused ecological damage to aquatic ecosystem. In this study, concentration of heavy metals including zinc, lead, cadmium, iron, and copper were determined in the sediment and water as well as in the muscle, gill, and intestine of two fish species (Pelmatochromis guentheri and Pelmatochromis pulcher) of Mbaa River in Southeastern Nigeria. Samples were collected at three different spots from the river, and the level of heavy metals specified above were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) after a modified wet digestion process. The results indicated that sediment had the highest concentration of the heavy metals investigated while water had the lowest concentration. Fish tissues showed appreciable bioaccumulation of these metals as evidenced by a higher concentration profile when compared with that of water. Furthermore, the concentration of these heavy metals in water and their bioconcentration factor in the fish were above the recommended limit by WHO and FEPA, indicating that Mbaa River along Inyishi may not be suitable for drinking nor the fish safe for human consumption. The study also reveals the use of fish as bioindicator of aquatic environment.

  20. Characterizing the oxygen isotopic composition of phosphate sources to aquatic ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Young, M.B.; McLaughlin, K.; Kendall, C.; Stringfellow, W.; Rollog, M.; Elsbury, K.; Donald, E.; Paytan, A.

    2009-01-01

    The oxygen isotopic composition of dissolved inorganic phosphate (δ18Op) in many aquatic ecosystems is not in isotopic equilibrium with ambient water and, therefore, may reflect the source δ18Op. Identification of phosphate sources to water bodies is critical for designing best management practices for phosphate load reduction to control eutrophication. In order for δ18O p to be a useful tool for source tracking, the δ18Op of phosphate sources must be distinguishable from one another; however, the δ18Op of potential sources has not been well characterized. We measured the δ18O p of a variety of known phosphate sources, including fertilizers, semiprocessed phosphorite ore, particulate aerosols, detergents, leachates of vegetation, soil, animal feces, and wastewater treatment plant effluent. We found a considerable range of δ18Op values (from +8.4 to +24.9‰) for the various sources, and statistically significant differences were found between several of the source types. δ18Op measured in three different fresh water systems was generally not in equilibrium with ambient water. Although there is overlap in δ18Op values among the groups of samples, our results indicate that some sources are isotopically distinct and δ18Op can be used for identifying phosphate sources to aquatic systems.

  1. Biological effects of wood ash application to forest and aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Aronsson, K Andreas; Ekelund, Nils G A

    2004-01-01

    The present review aims to summarize current knowledge in the topic of wood ash application to boreal forest and aquatic ecosystems, and the different effects derived from these actions. Much research has been conducted regarding the effects of wood ash application on forest growth. Present studies show that, generally speaking, forest growth can be increased on wood ash-ameliorated peatland rich in nitrogen. On mineral soils, however, no change or even decreased growth have been reported. The effects on ground vegetation are not very clear, as well as the effects on fungi, soil microbes, and soil-decomposing animals. The discrepancies between different studies are for the most part explained by abiotic factors such as variation in fertility among sites, different degrees of stabilization, and wood ash dosage used, and different time scales among different studies. The lack of knowledge in the field of aquatic ecosystems and their response to ash application is an important issue for future research. The few studies conducted have mainly considered changes in water chemistry. The biotoxic effects of ash application can roughly be divided into two categories: primary and secondary. Among the primary effects is toxicity deriving from compounds in the wood ash and cadmium is probably the worst among these. The secondary effects of wood ash are generally due to its alkaline capacity and a release of ions into the soil and soil water, and finally, watercourses and lakes. Given current knowledge, we would recommend site- and wood ash-specific application practices, rather than broad and general guidelines for wood ash application to forests.

  2. Scaling hyporheic exchange and its influence on biogeochemical reactions in aquatic ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Connor, B.L.; Harvey, J.W.

    2008-01-01

    Hyporheic exchange and biogeochemical reactions are difficult to quantify because of the range in fluid-flow and sediment conditions inherent to streams, wetlands, and nearshore marine ecosystems. Field measurements of biogeochemical reactions in aquatic systems are impeded by the difficulty of measuring hyporheic flow simultaneously with chemical gradients in sediments. Simplified models of hyporheic exchange have been developed using Darcy's law generated by flow and bed topography at the sediment-water interface. However, many modes of transport are potentially involved (molecular diffusion, bioturbation, advection, shear, bed mobility, and turbulence) with even simple models being difficult to apply in complex natural systems characterized by variable sediment sizes and irregular bed geometries. In this study, we synthesize information from published hyporheic exchange investigations to develop a scaling relationship for estimating mass transfer in near-surface sediments across a range in fluid-flow and sediment conditions. Net hyporheic exchange was quantified using an effective diffusion coefficient (De) that integrates all of the various transport processes that occur simultaneously in sediments, and dimensional analysis was used to scale De to shear stress velocity, roughness height, and permeability that describe fluid-flow and sediment characteristics. We demonstrated the value of the derived scaling relationship by using it to quantify dissolved oxygen (DO) uptake rates on the basis of DO profiles in sediments and compared them to independent flux measurements. The results support a broad application of the De scaling relationship for quantifying coupled hyporheic exchange and biogeochemical reaction rates in streams and other aquatic ecosystems characterized by complex fluid-flow and sediment conditions.

  3. Solar energy development and aquatic ecosystems in the southwestern United States: potential impacts, mitigation, and research needs.

    PubMed

    Grippo, Mark; Hayse, John W; O'Connor, Ben L

    2015-01-01

    The cumulative impacts of utility-scale solar energy facilities on aquatic ecosystems in the Southwestern United States are of concern, considering the many existing regional anthropogenic stressors. We review the potential impacts of solar energy development on aquatic habitat and biota. The greatest potential for impacts is related to the loss, fragmentation, or prolonged drying of ephemeral water bodies and drainage networks resulting from the loss of desert washes within the construction footprint of the facility. Groundwater-dependent aquatic habitat may also be affected by operational groundwater withdrawal in the case of water-intensive solar technologies. Solar panels have also been found to attract aquatic insects and waterbirds, potentially resulting in mortality. Avoiding construction activity near perennial and intermittent surface waters is the primary means of reducing impacts on aquatic habitats, followed by measures to minimize erosion, sedimentation, and contaminant inputs into waterways. Currently, significant data gaps make solar facility impact assessment and mitigation more difficult. Examples include the need for more regional and site-specific studies of surface-groundwater connectivity, more detailed maps of regional stream networks and riparian vegetation corridors, as well as surveys of the aquatic communities inhabiting ephemeral streams. In addition, because they often lack regulatory protection, there is also a need to develop valuation criteria for ephemeral waters based on their ecological and hydrologic function within the landscape. By addressing these research needs, we can achieve the goal of greater reliance on solar energy, while at the same time minimizing impacts on desert ecosystems.

  4. Solar Energy Development and Aquatic Ecosystems in the Southwestern United States: Potential Impacts, Mitigation, and Research Needs

    SciTech Connect

    Grippo, Mark A.; Hayse, John; O'Connor, Ben L.

    2015-01-01

    The cumulative impacts of utility-scale solar energy facilities on aquatic ecosystems in the Southwestern United States are of concern, considering the many existing regional anthropogenic stressors. We review the potential impacts of solar energy development on aquatic habitat and biota. The greatest potential for impacts is related to the loss, fragmentation, or prolonged drying of ephemeral water bodies and drainage networks resulting from the loss of desert washes within the construction footprint of the facility. Groundwater-dependent aquatic habitat may also be affected by operational groundwater withdrawal in the case of water-intensive solar technologies. Solar panels have also been found to attract aquatic insects and waterbirds, potentially resulting in mortality. Avoiding construction activity near perennial and intermittent surface waters is the primary means of reducing impacts on aquatic habitats, followed by measures to minimize erosion, sedimentation, and contaminant inputs into waterways. Currently, significant data gaps make solar facility impact assessment and mitigation more difficult. Examples include the need for more regional and site-specific studies of surface–groundwater connectivity, more detailed maps of regional stream networks and riparian vegetation corridors, as well as surveys of the aquatic communities inhabiting ephemeral streams. In addition, because they often lack regulatory protection, there is also a need to develop valuation criteria for ephemeral waters based on their ecological and hydrologic function within the landscape. By addressing these research needs, we can achieve the goal of greater reliance on solar energy, while at the same time minimizing impacts on desert ecosystems.

  5. Solar Energy Development and Aquatic Ecosystems in the Southwestern United States: Potential Impacts, Mitigation, and Research Needs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grippo, Mark; Hayse, John W.; O'Connor, Ben L.

    2015-01-01

    The cumulative impacts of utility-scale solar energy facilities on aquatic ecosystems in the Southwestern United States are of concern, considering the many existing regional anthropogenic stressors. We review the potential impacts of solar energy development on aquatic habitat and biota. The greatest potential for impacts is related to the loss, fragmentation, or prolonged drying of ephemeral water bodies and drainage networks resulting from the loss of desert washes within the construction footprint of the facility. Groundwater-dependent aquatic habitat may also be affected by operational groundwater withdrawal in the case of water-intensive solar technologies. Solar panels have also been found to attract aquatic insects and waterbirds, potentially resulting in mortality. Avoiding construction activity near perennial and intermittent surface waters is the primary means of reducing impacts on aquatic habitats, followed by measures to minimize erosion, sedimentation, and contaminant inputs into waterways. Currently, significant data gaps make solar facility impact assessment and mitigation more difficult. Examples include the need for more regional and site-specific studies of surface-groundwater connectivity, more detailed maps of regional stream networks and riparian vegetation corridors, as well as surveys of the aquatic communities inhabiting ephemeral streams. In addition, because they often lack regulatory protection, there is also a need to develop valuation criteria for ephemeral waters based on their ecological and hydrologic function within the landscape. By addressing these research needs, we can achieve the goal of greater reliance on solar energy, while at the same time minimizing impacts on desert ecosystems.

  6. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate.

    PubMed

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Hoset, Katrine S; Olofsson, Johan

    2015-09-01

    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming.

  7. Ecological effects of the Hayman Fire - Part 3: Soil properties, erosion, and implications for rehabilitation and aquatic ecosystems

    Treesearch

    Jan E. Cipra; Eugene F. Kelly; Lee MacDonald; John Norman

    2003-01-01

    This team was asked to address three questions regarding soil properties, erosion and sedimentation, and how aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems have responded or could respond to various land management options. We have used soil survey maps, burn severity maps, and digital elevation model (DEM) maps as primary map data. We used our own field measurements and...

  8. The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields (2011 Final)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA announced the availability of the final report, The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields. This report assesses the state of the science on the environmental impacts of mountaintop mines and valley ...

  9. The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields (2011 Final)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA announced the availability of the final report, The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields. This report assesses the state of the science on the environmental impacts of mountaintop mines and valley ...

  10. Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-Stressor Vulnerability Assessments (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report investigates the issues and challenges associated with identifying, calculating, and mapping indicators of the relative vulnerability of water quality and aquatic ecosystems, across the United States, to the potential impacts of global change. Using a large set of en...

  11. Non-Redfield carbon and nitrogen cycling in the Arctic: Effects of ecosystem structure and dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daly, Kendra L.; Wallace, Douglas W. R.; Smith, Walker O.; Skoog, Annelie; Lara, RubéN.; Gosselin, Michel; Falck, Eva; Yager, Patricia L.

    1999-02-01

    The C:N ratio is a critical parameter used in both global ocean carbon models and field studies to understand carbon and nutrient cycling as well as to estimate exported carbon from the euphotic zone. The so-called Redfield ratio (C:N = 6.6 by atoms) [Redfield et al., 1963] is widely used for such calculations. Here we present data from the NE Greenland continental shelf that show that most of the C:N ratios for particulate (autotrophic and heterotrophic) and dissolved pools and rates of transformation among them exceed Redfield proportions from June to August, owing to species composition, size, and biological interactions. The ecosystem components that likely comprised sinking particles and had relatively high C:N ratios (geometric means) included (1) the particulate organic matter (C:N = 8.9) dominated by nutrient-deficient diatoms, resulting from low initial nitrate concentrations (approximately 4 μM) in Arctic surface waters; (2) the dominant zooplankton, herbivorous copepods (C:N = 9.6), having lipid storage typical of Arctic copepods; and (3) copepod fecal pellets (C:N = 33.2). Relatively high dissolved organic carbon concentrations (median 105 μM) were approximately 25 to 45 μM higher than reported for other systems and may be broadly characteristic of Arctic waters. A carbon-rich dissolved organic carbon pool also was generated during summer. Since the magnitude of carbon and nitrogen uncoupling in the surface mixed layer appeared to be greater than in other regions and occurred throughout the productive season, the C:N ratio of particulate organic matter may be a better conversion factor than the Redfield ratio to estimate carbon export for broad application in northern high-latitude systems.

  12. Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2 with Rapidly Changing High Arctic Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emmerton, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    High Arctic landscapes are expansive and changing rapidly. However our understanding of their functional responses and potential to mitigate or enhance anthropogenic climate change is limited by few measurements. We collected eddy covariance measurements to quantify the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 with polar semidesert and meadow wetland landscapes at the highest-latitude location measured to date (82°N). We coupled these rare data with ground and satellite vegetation production measurements (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) to evaluate the effectiveness of upscaling local to regional NEE. During the growing season, the dry polar semidesert landscape was a near zero sink of atmospheric CO2 (NEE: -0.3±13.5 g C m-2). A nearby meadow wetland accumulated over two magnitudes more carbon (NEE: -79.3±20.0 g C m-2) than the polar semidesert landscape, and was similar to meadow wetland NEE at much more southern latitudes. Polar semidesert NEE was most influenced by moisture, with wetter surface soils resulting in greater soil respiration and CO2 emissions. At the meadow wetland, soil heating enhanced plant growth, which in turn increased CO2 uptake. Our upscaling assessment found that polar semidesert NDVI measured on site was low (mean: 0.120-0.157) and similar to satellite measurements (mean: 0.155-0.163). However, weak plant growth resulted in poor satellite NDVI-NEE relationships and created challenges for remotely-detecting changes in the cycling of carbon on the polar semidesert landscape. The meadow wetland appeared more suitable to assess plant production and NEE via remote-sensing, however high Arctic wetland extent is constrained by topography to small areas that may be difficult to resolve with large satellite pixels. We predict that until summer precipitation and humidity increases substantially, climate-related changes of dry high Arctic landscapes may be restricted by poor soil moisture retention, and therefore have some inertia against

  13. Derivation of guideline values for gold (III) ion toxicity limits to protect aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Nam, Sun-Hwa; Lee, Woo-Mi; Shin, Yu-Jin; Yoon, Sung-Ji; Kim, Shin Woong; Kwak, Jin Il; An, Youn-Joo

    2014-01-01

    This study focused on estimating the toxicity values of various aquatic organisms exposed to gold (III) ion (Au(3+)), and to propose maximum guideline values for Au(3+) toxicity that protect the aquatic ecosystem. A comparative assessment of methods developed in Australia and New Zealand versus the European Community (EC) was conducted. The test species used in this study included two bacteria (Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis), one alga (Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata), one euglena (Euglena gracilis), three cladocerans (Daphnia magna, Moina macrocopa, and Simocephalus mixtus), and two fish (Danio rerio and Oryzias latipes). Au(3+) induced growth inhibition, mortality, immobilization, and/or developmental malformations in all test species, with responses being concentration-dependent. According to the moderate reliability method of Australia and New Zealand, 0.006 and 0.075 mg/L of guideline values for Au(3+) were obtained by dividing 0.33 and 4.46 mg/L of HC5 and HC50 species sensitivity distributions (SSD) with an FACR (Final Acute to Chronic Ratio) of 59.09. In contrast, the EC method uses an assessment factor (AF), with the 0.0006 mg/L guideline value for Au(3+) being divided with the 48-h EC50 value for 0.60 mg/L (the lowest toxicity value obtained from short term results) by an AF of 1000. The Au(3+) guideline value derived using an AF was more stringent than the SSD. We recommend that more toxicity data using various bioassays are required to develop more accurate ecological risk assessments. More chronic/long-term exposure studies on sensitive endpoints using additional fish species and invertebrates not included in the current dataset will be needed to use other derivation methods (e.g., US EPA and Canadian Type A) or the "High Reliability Method" from Australia/New Zealand. Such research would facilitate the establishment of guideline values for various pollutants that reflect the universal effects of various pollutants in aquatic ecosystems. To

  14. Hydrological and geochemical response and recovery in disturbed Arctic ecosystems. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-07-01

    This progress report is a funding, extension request to continue the database work for the Hydrological and Geochemical Response and Recovery in Disturbed Arctic Ecosystems Program. Throughout the period from 1985 to 1992 the Department of Energy supported research on the hydrology and geochemistry of the headwater basin of Imnavait Creek has focused on the quantification of the input from atmospheric sources of biologically significant and other related chemical variables; the transport of these variables in surface and subsurface flow and their efflux from the basin; and the development of geochemical budgets. The acquisition of multi-year data sets (the longest and most detailed sets in the Arctic) have made it possible to define seasonal ranges and amplitudes; determine spatial and temporal relationships within the different flow compartments; to begin to model the pathways and rates of movement through and across different landscape units. The length of record has also made it possible to examine the quantity and influence of local and extra-regional additions.

  15. Ecosystems on ice: the microbial ecology of Markham Ice Shelf in the high Arctic.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Warwick F; Mueller, Derek R; Bonilla, Sylvia

    2004-04-01

    Microbial communities occur throughout the cryosphere in a diverse range of ice-dominated habitats including snow, sea ice, glaciers, permafrost, and ice clouds. In each of these environments, organisms must be capable of surviving freeze-thaw cycles, persistent low temperatures for growth, extremes of solar radiation, and prolonged dormancy. These constraints may have been especially important during global cooling events in the past, including the Precambrian glaciations. One analogue of these early Earth conditions is the thick, landfast sea ice that occurs today at certain locations in the Arctic and Antarctic. These ice shelves contain liquid water for a brief period each summer, and support luxuriant microbial mat communities. Our recent studies of these mats on the Markham Ice Shelf (Canadian high Arctic) by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) showed that they contain high concentrations of chlorophylls a and b, and several carotenoids notably lutein, echinenone and beta-carotene. The largest peaks in the HPLC chromatograms were two UV-screening compounds known to be produced by cyanobacteria, scytonemin, and its decomposition product scytonemin-red. Microscopic analyses of the mats showed that they were dominated by the chlorophyte genera cf. Chlorosarcinopsis, Pleurastrum, Palmellopsis, and Bracteococcus, and cyanobacteria of the genera Nostoc, Phormidium, Leptolyngbya, and Gloeocapsa. From point transects and localized sampling we estimated a total standing stock on this ice shelf of up to 11,200 tonnes of organic matter. These observations underscore the ability of microbial communities to flourish despite the severe constraints imposed by the cryo-ecosystem environment.

  16. Remote sensing of vegetation and land-cover change in Arctic tundra ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Checkstow, 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.

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  18. Effects of anthropogenic nitrogen input on the aquatic food webs of river ecosystem in central Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohte, N.; Togashi, H.; Tokuchi, N.; Yoshimura, M.; Kato, Y.; Ishikawa, N. F.; Osaka, K.; Kondo, M.; Tayasu, I.

    2014-12-01

    To evaluate the impact of the anthropogenic nitrogen input to the river ecosystem, we conducted the monitoring on nutrient status of river waters and food web structures of aquatic organisms. Especially, changes of sources and concentration of nitrate (NO3-) in river water were focused to evaluate the impact of anthropogenic nitrogen loadings from agricultural and residential areas. Stable nitrogen isotope ratio (δ15N) of aquatic organisms has also intensively been monitored not only to describe their food web structure, but also to detect the influences of extraneous nitrogen inputs. Field samplings an observation campaigns were conducted in the Arida river watershed located in central part of Japan at four different seasons from September 2011 to October 2012. Five observation points were set from headwaters to the point just above the brackish waters starts. Water samples for chemical analysis were taken at the observation points for each campaign. Organisms including leaf litters, benthic algae, aquatic insects, crustacean, and fishes were sampled at each point quantitatively. Results of the riverine survey utilizing 5 regular sampling points showed that δ15N of nitrate (NO3-) increased from forested upstream (˜2 ‰) to the downstream (˜7 ‰) due to the sewage loads and fertilizer effluents from agricultural area. Correspondingly the δ15N of benthic algae and aquatic insects increased toward the downstream. This indicates that primary producers of each reach strongly relied on the local N sources and it was utilized effectively in their food web. Simulation using a GIS based mixing model considering the spatial distributions of human population density and fertilizer effluents revealed that strongest impacts of N inputs was originated from organic fertilizers applied to orchards in the middle to lower parts of catchment. Differences in δ15N between primary producers and predators were 6-7 ‰ similarly at all sampling points. Food web structural

  19. Climate regulates alpine lake ice cover phenology and aquatic ecosystem structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Preston, Daniel L.; Caine, Nel; McKnight, Diane M.; Williams, Mark W.; Hell, Katherina; Miller, Matthew P.; Hart, Sarah J.; Johnson, Pieter T.J.

    2016-01-01

    High-elevation aquatic ecosystems are highly vulnerable to climate change, yet relatively few records are available to characterize shifts in ecosystem structure or their underlying mechanisms. Using a long-term dataset on seven alpine lakes (3126 to 3620 m) in Colorado, USA, we show that ice-off dates have shifted seven days earlier over the past 33 years and that spring weather conditions – especially snowfall – drive yearly variation in ice-off timing. In the most well-studied lake, earlier ice-off associated with increases in water residence times, thermal stratification, ion concentrations, dissolved nitrogen, pH, and chlorophyll-a. Mechanistically, low spring snowfall and warm temperatures reduce summer stream flow (increasing lake residence times) but enhance melting of glacial and permafrost ice (increasing lake solute inputs). The observed links among hydrological, chemical, and biological responses to climate factors highlight the potential for major shifts in the functioning of alpine lakes due to forecasted climate change.

  20. Methods for establishing microcosms of aquatic littoral ecosystems for determining safe levels of toxicant exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Franco, P.J.; Giddings, J.M.

    1986-02-01

    This protocol describes procedures for establishing freshwater littoral communities in a laboratory, using materials collected from natural ponds. The methods were developed to assess the effects of chemical toxicants on aquatic communities; however, the systems may be adaptable to testing the potential impacts of microbial pesticides on freshwater ecosystems. Littoral ecosystems are established in 72-L glass aquaria using sediments, water, and biota from natural ponds. The microcosms are easily replicated and require little maintenance. These microcosms are static systems (no inflow or outflow) and retain a functional similarity to natural ponds for more than 6 months under artificial lighting. In testing for the effects of toxicants, at least five chemical concentrations, a no-treatment control, and a solvent control (if a carrier solvent is used) are recommended, with replication. Chemical (pH hardness, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen) and biological (e.g., zooplankton and bacterial densities, and chlorophyll concentrations) measurements are made periodically throughout the experimental period. No-observable-effect concentrations (NOEC) are determined using Dunnett's procedure.

  1. Stable isotope analysis of energy dynamics in aquatic ecosystems suggests trophic shifts following severe wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martens, A. M.; Silins, U.; Bladon, K. D.; Williams, C.; Wagner, M. J.; Luchkow, E.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfire alters landscapes and can have significant impacts on stream ecosystems. The 2003 Lost Creek wildfire was one of the most severe on Alberta's eastern rocky mountain slopes, resulting in elevated sediment production and nutrient (phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon) export in impacted streams. These resulted in increased algal productivity and macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity, and as a result, fish in watersheds draining wildfire affected catchments were larger than those in the same age class from reference (unburned) watersheds. In the present investigation, stable isotope analysis of C and N was utilized to evaluate ecosystem energy dynamics and describe trophic relationships in those watersheds. Aquatic invertebrates from burned catchments showed enrichment in δ13C and δ15N relative to algae suggesting a reliance on algae (autochthony) as a primary source of energy. Invertebrates from unburned systems were depleted in δ13C relative to algae indicating reliance on allochthonous or terrestrial primary energy sources. Preliminary analysis of δ15N in macroinvertebrates showed slight enrichment in burned catchments suggesting a trophic shift. More comprehensive macroinvertebrate sampling and identification has been conducted; isotopic analysis will provide greater resolution of how specific families within feeding guilds have been affected by wildfire. This will provide more robust insights into how wildfires may impact stream ecology in mountain environments.

  2. Climate regulates alpine lake ice cover phenology and aquatic ecosystem structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preston, Daniel L.; Caine, Nel; McKnight, Diane M.; Williams, Mark W.; Hell, Katherina; Miller, Matthew P.; Hart, Sarah J.; Johnson, Pieter T. J.

    2016-05-01

    High-elevation aquatic ecosystems are highly vulnerable to climate change, yet relatively few records are available to characterize shifts in ecosystem structure or their underlying mechanisms. Using a long-term data set on seven alpine lakes (3126 to 3620 m) in Colorado, USA, we show that ice-off dates have shifted 7 days earlier over the past 33 years and that spring weather conditions—especially snowfall—drive yearly variation in ice-off timing. In the most well studied lake, earlier ice-off associated with increases in water residence times, thermal stratification, ion concentrations, dissolved nitrogen, pH, and chlorophyll a. Mechanistically, low spring snowfall and warm temperatures reduce summer stream flow (increasing lake residence times) but enhance melting of glacial and permafrost ice (increasing lake solute inputs). The observed links among hydrological, chemical, and biological responses to climate factors highlight the potential for major shifts in the functioning of alpine lakes due to forecasted climate change.

  3. Bioassessment of contaminant transport and distribution in aquatic ecosystems by chemical analysis of burrowing mayflies (Hexagenia)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steingraeber, M.T.; Wiener, J.G.

    1995-01-01

    Burrowing mayfly nymphs (Ephemeroptera) inhabit and ingest fine-grained sediments and detritus that may be enriched with metals and persistent organic compounds. The burrowing nymphs can externally adsorb and internally assimilate these contaminants, providing a link for the food chain transfer of potentially toxic substances from sediments to organisms in higher trophic levels. The emergent adults are short-lived and do not feed, thus their gut contents do not contribute greatly to their total contaminant burden. These characteristics make Hexagenia spp. And certain other burrowing mayflies useful for assessing ecosystem contamination. General protocols are presented for the collection, processing and analysis of emergent mayflies to assess the spatial distribution and bioaccumulation of sediment-associated contaminants in aquatic ecosystems. Two essential components of this bioassessment approach are a network of on-site volunteers with the materials and instructions needed to correctly collect and store samples and quality assurance procedures to estimate the accuracy of chemical analyses. The utility of this approach is demonstrated with an example of its application to the Upper Mississippi River (USA). Determination of cadmium, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyl congeners in emergent Hexagenia bilineata from a 1250 km reach of this river revealed (1) several source areas of contaminants and (2) distinct patterns in the bioaccumulation (and apparent sediment-associated transport) of each residue on both small and large spatial scales.

  4. Climate change and Arctic ecosystems: 2. Modeling, paleodata-model comparisons, and future projections

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kaplan, J.O.; Bigelow, N.H.; Prentice, I.C.; Harrison, S.P.; Bartlein, P.J.; Christensen, T.R.; Cramer, W.; Matveyeva, N.V.; McGuire, A.D.; Murray, D.F.; Razzhivin, V.Y.; Smith, B.; Walker, D.A.; Anderson, P.M.; Andreev, A.A.; Brubaker, L.B.; Edwards, M.E.; Lozhkin, A.V.

    2003-01-01

    Large variations in the composition, structure, and function of Arctic ecosystems are determined by climatic gradients, especially of growing-season warmth, soil moisture, and snow cover. A unified circumpolar classification recognizing five types of tundra was developed. The geographic distributions of vegetation types north of 55??N, including the position of the forest limit and the distributions of the tundra types, could be predicted from climatology using a small set of plant functional types embedded in the biogeochemistry-biogeography model BIOME4. Several palaeoclimate simulations for the last glacial maximum (LGM) and mid-Holocene were used to explore the possibility of simulating past vegetation patterns, which are independently known based on pollen data. The broad outlines of observed changes in vegetation were captured. LGM simulations showed the major reduction of forest, the great extension of graminoid and forb tundra, and the restriction of low- and high-shrub tundra (although not all models produced sufficiently dry conditions to mimic the full observed change). Mid-Holocene simulations reproduced the contrast between northward forest extension in western and central Siberia and stability of the forest limit in Beringia. Projection of the effect of a continued exponential increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, based on a transient ocean-atmosphere simulation including sulfate aerosol effects, suggests a potential for larger changes in Arctic ecosystems during the 21st century than have occurred between mid-Holocene and present. Simulated physiological effects of the CO2 increase (to > 700 ppm) at high latitudes were slight compared with the effects of the change in climate.

  5. Are Hotspots Always Hotspots? The Relationship between Diversity, Resource and Ecosystem Functions in the Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Link, Heike; Piepenburg, Dieter; Archambault, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    The diversity-ecosystem function relationship is an important topic in ecology but has not received much attention in Arctic environments, and has rarely been tested for its stability in time. We studied the temporal variability of benthic ecosystem functioning at hotspots (sites with high benthic boundary fluxes) and coldspots (sites with lower fluxes) across two years in the Canadian Arctic. Benthic remineralisation function was measured as fluxes of oxygen, silicic acid, phosphate, nitrate and nitrite at the sediment-water interface. In addition we determined sediment pigment concentration and taxonomic and functional macrobenthic diversity. To separate temporal from spatial variability, we sampled the same nine sites from the Mackenzie Shelf to Baffin Bay during the same season (summer or fall) in 2008 and 2009. We observed that temporal variability of benthic remineralisation function at hotspots is higher than at coldspots and that taxonomic and functional macrobenthic diversity did not change significantly between years. Temporal variability of food availability (i.e., sediment surface pigment concentration) seemed higher at coldspot than at hotspot areas. Sediment chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentration, taxonomic richness, total abundance, water depth and abundance of the largest gallery-burrowing polychaete Lumbrineristetraura together explained 42% of the total variation in fluxes. Food supply proxies (i.e., sediment Chl a and depth) split hot- from coldspot stations and explained variation on the axis of temporal variability, and macrofaunal community parameters explained variation mostly along the axis separating eastern from western sites with hot- or coldspot regimes. We conclude that variability in benthic remineralisation function, food supply and diversity will react to climate change on different time scales, and that their interactive effects may hide the detection of progressive change, particularly at hotspots. Time-series of benthic functions and

  6. Global change and ecosystem connectivity: How geese link fields of central Europe to eutrophication of Arctic freshwaters.

    PubMed

    Hessen, Dag O; Tombre, Ingunn M; van Geest, Gerben; Alfsnes, Kristian

    2017-02-01

    Migratory connectivity by birds may mutually affect different ecosystems over large distances. Populations of geese overwintering in southern areas while breeding in high-latitude ecosystems have increased strongly over the past decades. The increase is likely due to positive feedbacks caused by climate change at both wintering, stopover sites and breeding grounds, land-use practices at the overwintering grounds and protection from hunting. Here we show how increasing goose populations in temperate regions, and increased breeding success in the Arctic, entail a positive feedback with strong impacts on Arctic freshwater ecosystems in the form of eutrophication. This may again strongly affect community composition and productivity of the ponds, due to increased nutrient loadings or birds serving as vectors for new species.

  7. Estimating Pan Arctic Net Ecosystem Exchange using Functional Relationships with Air temperature, Leaf Area Index and Photosynthetic Active Radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mbufong, H.; Kusbach, A.; Lund, M.; Persson, A.; Christensen, T. R.; Tamstorf, M. P.; Connolly, J.

    2015-12-01

    The high variability in Arctic tundra net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon (C) is often attributed to the high spatial heterogeneity of Arctic tundra. Current models of carbon exchange thus handle the Arctic as either a single or few ecosystems, responding to environmental change in the same manner. In this study, we developed and tested a simple NEE model using the Misterlich light response curve (LRC) function with photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) as the main driving variable. Model calibration was carried out with eddy covariance carbon dioxide data from 12 Arctic tundra sites. The model input parameters (fcsat, Rd and α) were estimated as a function of air temperature and leaf area index (LAI) and represent specific characteristics of the NEE-PPFD relationship. They describe the saturation flux, dark respiration and initial light use efficiency, respectively. While remotely sensed LAI is readily available as a MODIS Terra product (MCD15A3), air temperature was estimated from a direct relationship with MODIS land surface temperature (MOD11A2, LST). Therefore, no specific knowledge of the vegetation type is required. Preliminary results show the model captures the spatial heterogeneity of the Arctic tundra but so far, overestimates NEE on all 17 test sites which include heaths, bogs, fens, and tussock tundra vegetation. The final updated results and error assessment will be presented at the conference in December.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  9. Disentangling trophic relationships in a High Arctic tundra ecosystem through food web modeling.

    PubMed

    Legagneux, P; Gauthier, G; Berteaux, D; Bêty, J; Cadieux, M C; Bilodeau, F; Bolduc, E; McKinnon, L; Tarroux, A; Therrien, J F; Morissette, L; Krebs, C J

    2012-07-01

    Determining the manner in which food webs will respond to environmental changes is difficult because the relative importance of top-down vs. bottom-up forces in controlling ecosystems is still debated. This is especially true in the Arctic tundra where, despite relatively simple food webs, it is still unclear which forces dominate in this ecosystem. Our primary goal was to assess the extent to which a tundra food web was dominated by plant-herbivore or predator-prey interactions. Based on a 17-year (1993-2009) study of terrestrial wildlife on Bylot Island, Nunavut, Canada, we developed trophic mass balance models to address this question. Snow Geese were the dominant herbivores in this ecosystem, followed by two sympatric lemming species (brown and collared lemmings). Arctic foxes, weasels, and several species of birds of prey were the dominant predators. Results of our trophic models encompassing 19 functional groups showed that <10% of the annual primary production was consumed by herbivores in most years despite the presence of a large Snow Goose colony, but that 20-100% of the annual herbivore production was consumed by predators. The impact of herbivores on vegetation has also weakened over time, probably due to an increase in primary production. The impact of predators was highest on lemmings, intermediate on passerines, and lowest on geese and shorebirds, but it varied with lemming abundance. Predation of collared lemmings exceeded production in most years and may explain why this species remained at low density. In contrast, the predation rate on brown lemmings varied with prey density and may have contributed to the high-amplitude, periodic fluctuations in the abundance of this species. Our analysis provided little evidence that herbivores are limited by primary production on Bylot Island. In contrast, we measured strong predator-prey interactions, which supports the hypothesis that this food web is primarily controlled by top-down forces. The presence of

  10. The Role of Remote Sensing in Modeling Landscape Change and Its Associated Carbon Cycle Impacts Across Terrestrial Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, D. J.; Goswami, S.; Jones, B. M.; Grosse, G.; Balser, A.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2014-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems across the circumpolar Arctic region are undergoing unprecedented changes in structure and function as a result of rapid climate warming. Such changes have substantially altered energy, water and biogeochemical cycling in these regions, which has important global-scale consequences for climate and society. Recognizing the vulnerability of these ecosystems to change, scientists and decision-makers have identified a critical need for research that employs existing and new remote sensing technologies and methodologies to observe, monitor and understand changes in Arctic ecosystems. The unique capabilities provided by remote sensing imagery and data products have allowed us novel views of ecosystems and their dynamics over multiple scales in time and space across all regions of the globe. Here we offer a synthetic discussion of the recent and emerging science focused on understanding the dynamic landscape processes in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems using a variety of remotely-sensed information collected from passive and active sensors on ground-, aircraft- and satellite- based platforms. To consider the evolution of these technologies, methods and applications over recent decades, we look at key examples from the scientific literature that range from the use of radar sensors for local-scale characterization of active layer dynamics to the circumpolar-scale assessment of changes in vegetation productivity using long-term records of optical satellite imagery. This discussion has a particular focus on the use of remotely sensed data and products to parameterize, drive, evaluate and benchmark the modeling of Arctic ecosystem processes. We use these examples to demonstrate the opportunities for model-data integration, as well as to highlight the challenges of remote sensing studies in northern high latitude regions.

  11. Effects of water scarcity and chemical pollution in aquatic ecosystems: State of the art.

    PubMed

    Arenas-Sánchez, Alba; Rico, Andreu; Vighi, Marco

    2016-12-01

    Water scarcity is an expanding climate and human related condition, which drives and interacts with other stressors in freshwater ecosystems such as chemical pollution. In this study we provide an overview of the existing knowledge regarding the chemical fate, biological dynamics and the ecological risks of chemicals under water scarcity conditions. We evaluated a total of 15 studies dealing with the combined effects of chemicals and water scarcity under laboratory conditions and in the field. The results of these studies have been elaborated in order to evaluate additive, synergistic or antagonistic responses of the studied endpoints. As a general rule, it can be concluded that, in situations of water scarcity, the impacts of extreme water fluctuations are much more relevant than those of an additional chemical stressor. Nevertheless, the presence of chemical pollution may result in exacerbated ecological risks in some particular cases. We conclude that further investigations on this topic would take advantage on the focus on some specific issues. Experimental (laboratory and model ecosystem) studies should be performed on different biota groups and life stages (diapausing eggs, immature stages), with particular attention to those including traits relevant for the adaptation to water scarcity. More knowledge on species adaptations and recovery capacity is essential to predict community responses to multiple stressors and to assess the community vulnerability. Field studies should be performed at different scales, particularly in lotic systems, in order to integrate different functional dynamics of the river ecosystem. Combining field monitoring and experimental studies would be the best option to reach more conclusive, causal relationships on the effects of co-occurring stressors. Contribution of these studies to develop ecological models and scenarios is also suggested as an improvement for the prospective aquatic risk assessment of chemicals in (semi-)arid areas.

  12. Managing aquatic ecosystems and water resources under multiple stress--an introduction to the MARS project.

    PubMed

    Hering, Daniel; Carvalho, Laurence; Argillier, Christine; Beklioglu, Meryem; Borja, Angel; Cardoso, Ana Cristina; Duel, Harm; Ferreira, Teresa; Globevnik, Lidija; Hanganu, Jenica; Hellsten, Seppo; Jeppesen, Erik; Kodeš, Vit; Solheim, Anne Lyche; Nõges, Tiina; Ormerod, Steve; Panagopoulos, Yiannis; Schmutz, Stefan; Venohr, Markus; Birk, Sebastian

    2015-01-15

    Water resources globally are affected by a complex mixture of stressors resulting from a range of drivers, including urban and agricultural land use, hydropower generation and climate change. Understanding how stressors interfere and impact upon ecological status and ecosystem services is essential for developing effective River Basin Management Plans and shaping future environmental policy. This paper details the nature of these problems for Europe's water resources and the need to find solutions at a range of spatial scales. In terms of the latter, we describe the aims and approaches of the EU-funded project MARS (Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water Resources under multiple Stress) and the conceptual and analytical framework that it is adopting to provide this knowledge, understanding and tools needed to address multiple stressors. MARS is operating at three scales: At the water body scale, the mechanistic understanding of stressor interactions and their impact upon water resources, ecological status and ecosystem services will be examined through multi-factorial experiments and the analysis of long time-series. At the river basin scale, modelling and empirical approaches will be adopted to characterise relationships between multiple stressors and ecological responses, functions, services and water resources. The effects of future land use and mitigation scenarios in 16 European river basins will be assessed. At the European scale, large-scale spatial analysis will be carried out to identify the relationships amongst stress intensity, ecological status and service provision, with a special focus on large transboundary rivers, lakes and fish. The project will support managers and policy makers in the practical implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), of related legislation and of the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources by advising the 3rd River Basin Management Planning cycle, the revision of the WFD and by developing new tools for