Science.gov

Sample records for arctic aquatic ecosystem

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:27230921

  14. 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.

  15. An aquatic ecosystem in space.

    PubMed

    Voeste, D; Andriske, M; Paris, F; Levine, H G; Blum, V

    1999-07-01

    The Closed Equilibrated Biological Aquatic System (CEBAS) Mini-Module experiment was designed to study aquatic ecosystem performance within a middeck locker on the Space Shuttle. CEBAS was flown aboard STS-89 in January 1998 with a population of four pregnant Xiphophorus helleri female fish and eleven adult Biomphalaria glabrata snails in the first compartment and 200 juvenile X. helleri and 48 adult and juvenile B. glabrata in the second compartment. A plant compartment contained eleven snails and 53 g of the aquatic angiosperm Ceratophyllum demersum. During the flight, Ceratophyllum fresh weight increased from 53 g to 117 g. All adult fish and 65 juveniles survived the flight experiment and 37 adult snails and 40 newly laid snail spawn packs were recovered after the flight. Oxygen production and pH were as expected.

  16. 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…

  17. 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 (

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Delineating resource sheds in aquatic ecosystems (presentation)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Analysis of spatially-explicit ecological phenomena in aquatic ecosystems is impeded by a lack of knowledge of, and tools to delimit, spatial patterns of material supply to point locations. Here we apply the concept of "resource sheds" to coasts and watersheds. Resource sheds ar...

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. [Virus and prophages in aquatic ecosystems].

    PubMed

    Sime-Ngando, Télesphore; Colombet, Jonathan

    2009-02-01

    In this review, available data on the structure (diversity, abundance, biomass) and functional imprints (bacteriolysis, lysogeny, gene transfers, regulation of prokaryotic diversity) of natural viruses in the context of food webs in aquatic microbial ecology, and the related biogeochemical cycles, are summarized. Viruses are the most abundant, and probably the most diverse, biological entities in aquatic ecosystems and in the biosphere (i.e., viriosphere). Aquatic viruses typically exceed 107 particles/mL in mesotrophic conditions, the majority being represented by phages without tails and by tailed-phages such as members of the family Siphoviridae. Both types of phages have a small capsid and a small genome size, which is considered an evolutionary adaptation to planktonic life. Their contribution to microbial mortality is significant. There is strong evidence that phages exert a significant pressure on the community structure and diversity and on the diversification of potential hosts, mainly through two major pathways: biogeochemical catalysis from lysis products and horizontal gene transfers. In turn, phages are sensitive to environmental factors, both in terms of integrity and of infectivity. Some phages contain typical viral genes that code for biological functions of interest, such as photosynthesis. In general, development in viral ecology is a source of new knowledge for the scientific community in the domain of environmental sciences, but also in the context of evolutionary biology of living cellular organisms, the obligatory hosts for viruses. For example, the recent discovery of a giant virus that becomes ill through infection by another virus (i.e., a viriophage) is fuelling debate about whether viruses are alive. Finally, future research directions are identified in the context of general aquatic ecology, including ecological researches on cyanophages and other phytoplanktonic phages as a priority, primarily in freshwater lakes. PMID:19295641

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Biocomplexity of Arctic Patterned-Ground Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, D. A.; Daanen, R.; Epstein, H.; Gould, W.; Gonzalez, G.; Kade, A.; Kelley, A.; Krantz, W.; Kuss, P.; Michaelson, G.; Munger, C.; Nickolsky, D.; Peterson, R.; Ping, C.; Raynolds, M.; Romanovsky, V.; Tarnocai, C.; Vonlanthan, C.

    2006-12-01

    ecosystems. Using a model (WIT3D/ArcVeg) that includes interactions between geophysical and biological processes, we were able to replicate common patterned ground forms involving differential frost heave. So far, the models have replicated the patterns in the Low Arctic where differential frost heave is the dominant process. Contraction cracking is the dominant process in the High Arctic and new models will be needed to elucidate this process. The presence of non- sorted circles affects active-layer depths, carbon storage and flux rates, and is likely to affect the rate at which Arctic systems will adjust to climate change. Analysis of a 14-yr record of greening near Toolik Lake, Alaska indicate that areas with abundant non-sorted circles experience more rapid change than stable areas without circles, suggesting that landscapes with a significant amount of disturbance, whether caused by natural or anthropogenic forces, will change most rapidly under a warming climate.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:11485216

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:22645817

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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…

  11. 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/

  12. 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/

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Cyanobacteria blooms: effects on aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Havens, Karl E

    2008-01-01

    Cyanobacteria become increasingly dominant as concentrations of TP and TN increase during eutrophication of lakes, rivers and estuaries. Temporal dynamics of cyanobacteria blooms are variable--in some systems persistent blooms occur in summer to fall, whereas in other systems blooms are more sporadic. Cyanobacteria blooms have a wide range of possible biological impacts including potential toxic effects on other algae, invertebrates and fish, impacts to plants and benthic algae due to shading, and impacts to food web function as large inedible algae produce a bottleneck to C and energy flow in the plankton food web. In lakes with dense blooms of cyanobacteria, accumulation of organic material in lake sediments and increased bacterial activity also may lead to anoxic conditions that alter the structure of benthic macro-invertebrates. Diffusive internal P loading may increase, and hypolimnetic anoxia may lead to a loss of piscivorous fish that require a summer cold water refuge in temperate lakes. Ecosystem changes associated with frequent blooms may result in delayed response of lakes, rivers and estuaries to external nutrient load reduction. Despite numerous case studies and a vast literature on species-specific responses, community level effects of cyanobacterial blooms are not well understood--in particular the realized impacts of toxins and changes in food web structure/function. These areas require additional research given the prevalence of toxic blooms in the nation's lakes, rivers and coastal waters--systems that provide a wide range of valued ecosystem services. PMID:18461790

  17. 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

  18. Aquatic invasive species harming U.S. ecosystems, fisheries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    Biological invasions are fundamentally changing the structure and function of many ecosystems around the world, Gregory Ruiz, senior scientist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland, told a 20 June U.S. Congressional hearing on aquatic invasive species."Not only have many [nuisance aquatic species] become established, but many communities are now dominated by [them] in terms of number or organisms, biomass, and ecological processes," Ruiz said. "In some cases, it is clear that invasions have caused dramatic shifts in food webs, chemical cycling, disease outbreaks, and commercial fisheries."

  19. Aquatic invasive species harming U.S. ecosystems, fisheries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    Biological invasions are fundamentally changing the structure and function of many ecosystems around the world, Gregory Ruiz, senior scientist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland, told a 20 June U.S. Congressional hearing on aquatic invasive species.“Not only have many [nuisance aquatic species] become established, but many communities are now dominated by [them] in terms of number or organisms, biomass, and ecological processes,” Ruiz said. “In some cases, it is clear that invasions have caused dramatic shifts in food webs, chemical cycling, disease outbreaks, and commercial fisheries.”

  20. Algal biosensors for aquatic ecosystems monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durrieu, C.; Tran-Minh, C.; Chovelon, J. M.; Barthet, L.; Chouteau, C.; Védrine, C.

    2006-11-01

    The harmful effect of toxic chemicals on natural ecosystems has led to an increasing demand for early-warning systems to detect those toxicants at very low concentrations levels. Whole-cell biosensors based either on chlorophyll fluorescence or enzyme (phosphatase and esterase) inhibition are constructed for real-time detection and on-line monitoring. Results show that these devices are sensitive to heavy metals and pesticides. The system allows the cells to operate in their natural environment which favours long term stability and reflects the toxic action mechanism providing therefore an ecological interest. This paper has been presented at “3e colloque interdisciplinaire en instrumentation (C2I 2004)”, École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, 29 30 janvier 2004.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:27072403

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:26212892

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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, James R.; 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.

  9. 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

  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. PMID:14758696

  11. 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

  12. Toxic effects of acid rain on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Rutherford, G K

    1984-08-01

    The historical perspective as well as the nature and causes of acid precipitation are presented. The toxicological effects of acid precipitation on lakes, other water bodies, fish, and invertebrate fauna are reviewed. In addition, the effects of this phenomenon on soil productivity and forest growth are examined. It appears that grave toxic effects have been and are being experienced by aquatic systems, but there is little reliable evidence of economic damage to crops, natural vegetation, and soil and biological processes. There may be insidious long-term effects on terrestrial ecosystems, particularly in the more susceptible areas.

  13. Arctic epishelf lakes as sentinel ecosystems: Past, present and future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veillette, Julie; Mueller, Derek R.; Antoniades, Dermot; Vincent, Warwick F.

    2008-12-01

    Ice shelves are a prominent but diminishing feature of the northern coastline of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic (latitude 82-83°N). By blocking embayments and fiords, this thick coastal ice can create epishelf lakes, which are characterized by a perennially ice-capped water column of freshwater overlying seawater. The goal of this study was to synthesize new, archived, and published data on Arctic epishelf lakes in the context of climate change. Long-term changes along this coastline were evaluated using historical reports, cartographic analysis, RADARSAT imagery, and field measurements. These data, including salinity-temperature profiling records from Disraeli Fiord spanning 54 years, show the rapid decline and near disappearance of this lake type in the Arctic. Salinity-temperature profiling of Milne Fiord, currently blocked by the Milne Ice Shelf, confirmed that it contained an epishelf lake composed of a 16-m thick freshwater layer overlying seawater. A profiling survey along the coast showed that there was a continuum of ice-dammed lakes from shallow systems dammed by multiyear landfast sea ice to deep epishelf lakes behind ice shelves. The climate warming recently observed in this region likely contributed to the decline of epishelf lakes over the last century, and the air temperature trend predicted for the Arctic over the next several decades implies the imminent loss of this ecosystem type. Our results underscore the distinctive properties of coastal ice-dammed lakes and their value as sentinel ecosystems for the monitoring of regional and global climate change.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. International conference on physiological process studies in the Arctic: (Implications for ecosystems response to climate change)

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F.S. II.

    1991-01-01

    The conference on physiological process studies in the Arctic was held in Toronto, Canada, to summarize the current understanding of plant physiological processes in the Arctic. Participants reviewed the current understanding of arctic ecophysiology and discussed the role of physiology in controlling ecosystem processes such as productivity and nutrient cycling. Emphasis was placed on ways in which ecophysiological studies might provide insight into possible responses of arctic ecosystems to global climatic change. The major conclusions of the workshop were that, although we know a great deal about the adaptations of arctic plants to their physical environment, the biotic interactions among plants and between plants and other organisms are more important in governing the distribution of plants in the Arctic. Future research in arctic physiological ecology should emphasize biotic interactions, feedbacks and time lags that modify plant response to environment, and the roles that plants play as regulators of ecosystem processes.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:27534952

  20. 75 FR 18499 - The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-12

    ... AGENCY The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian... Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields'' (EPA/600/R-09/138A) and (2... Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields'' and ``A Field-based Aquatic...

  1. Trace elements in freshwater ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borg, H.

    2003-05-01

    The expedition Tundra North West 99 visited 17 sites across the Canadian Arctic in order to sample freshwater, sediments, soil and biotic compartments of the ecosystems. Trace metal concentrations were determined using ICP-MS. Dating of sediment profiles using ^137Cs showed a very low sedimentation rate in these lakes (<1 mm/yr). The lake waters were mostly well buffered with high pH and hardness, with the exception of lakes on Ellef Ringnes Island and Baffin Island. Trace metal concentrations in lake waters were generally low, but with some locally elevated concentrations. Trace metal profiles in sediments showed influence of catchment geology, indicated by elevated concentrations at some sites, e.g. NW Yukon. Increased concentrations of Cd, Hg, Zn, Pb, Tl and some other elements, found in recent sediment layers may indicate long-range airbome pollution. The elevated concentrations of e.g. Cd and Cu in the sediments and water at the Yukon site were also reflected in fish. Cd-concentrations in Arctic char liver were about 10 times higher than in other areas in the Arctic and in northern Sweden. Cd-concentrations in char liver were otherwise low with slightly elevated values in the more soft water lake at Baffin Island. Mercury concentrations in sediment at the Yukon site were 20 40 times higher than in the other lakes, whereas the concentration in fish muscle were still not elevated, which may be explained by the also elevated Se concentrations in the lake. The variations in Hgconcentrations in Arctic char were otherwise small, with the highest values at Ungava Peninsula and Ellesmere Island.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    2012-08-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Guided Inquiry Learning Unit on Aquatic Ecosystems for Seventh Grade Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    To-im, Jongdee; Ruenwongsa, Pintip

    2009-01-01

    Using mini-aquaria experiments, a learning unit on the effects of light period on aquatic ecosystems was developed for 7th grade students. This guided inquiry unit was aimed at helping students understand basic ecological principles involved in relationships among physical, chemical, and biological components in aquatic ecosystems. It involved…

  11. 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.

  12. Developing Meaningful Measures and Guidelines for Particulates in Aquatic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilotta, G. S.; Harrison, C.; Joyce, C.; Peacock, C.

    2010-12-01

    Managing global water resources is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st Century. It is a resource that is under growing pressure as global populations rise and the natural supply, in the form of precipitation, is becoming increasingly variable and uncertain with climate change. It is therefore essential that water resources (surface and groundwaters) are managed sustainably in terms of both their quantity and quality. One of the most common causes for the impairment of water quality in surface waters and groundwaters is the presence of particulate matter. Particulate matter, from nano-scale particles and colloids to silt-sized sediments, can have a range of detrimental effects on water resources, from aesthetic issues and higher costs of water treatment, to a decline in the fisheries resource and serious ecological degradation. However at present, there is a poor understanding of the particulate conditions that water quality managers should aim to achieve in order to support good ecological status in different environments. There is also currently a general lack of rigour and standardisation in measurements of particulate matter in aquatic ecosystems, which in turn limits our understanding of the effects of these particles, and importantly, limits our ability to guide effective remediation. This poster describes a research approach that is currently being developed in the UK to address these issues; supporting (1) the development of ecosystem-specific water quality guidelines for particulate matter, and (2) the innovation of more advanced monitoring technologies for particulate matter in aquatic environments. The research project will utilise an established network of 13 reference condition sites (i.e. sites that have minimal anthropogenic disturbance) that contain distinct aquatic communities and are located in contrasting environment types. Hydrological and biological monitoring will be carried-out concurrently with analysis of the physical and geochemical

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-08-14

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Recent trends in the development of ecological models applied on aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Jørgensen, S E

    2002-02-12

    This paper presents an overview of the application of models on aquatic ecosystems. More than 17% of the models published in the focal journal in the field, Ecological Modelling, are aquatic ecosystem models. An increasing number of papers are dealing with the theoretical aspects of modeling--new modeling approaches and techniques, how models can be used to reveal ecosystem properties, and how models can better reflect the properties of ecosystems. This development implies that today we have more types of models. The characteristics, the advantages, and the disadvantages of these model types are presented briefly. The selection criteria for the presented model types are discussed, and the application of these types to models for aquatic ecosystems is reviewed. A recent improvement in model calibration of particular interest for aquatic ecosystems is presented, and the perspectives resulting from this new calibration procedure and from possible hybrids of the presented model types are discussed. PMID:12806024

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. [Research progress on using index of biological integrity to assess aquatic ecosystem health].

    PubMed

    Liao, Jing-Qiu; Huang, Yi

    2013-01-01

    Index of biological integrity (IBI) is one of the most important and popular tools in assessing aquatic ecosystem health. This paper reviewed the selection of indicator species for IBI, its construction process, and its applications in assessing aquatic ecosystem health, summarized the commonly used candidate biological parameter indices of fish-index of biological integrity (F-IBI), benthos-index of biological integrity (B-IBI), and periphyton-index of biological integrity (P-IBI), and pointed out the feasibility and necessity of using microbe-index of biological integrity (M-IBI) to assess the health of aquatic ecosystem.

  2. 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.

  3. Performance of a simple closed aquatic ecosystem (CAES) in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. Scaling for Robust Assessment and Predictions of Aquatic Ecosystem Health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdul-Aziz, O.; Ishtiaq, K. S.

    2012-12-01

    This presentation demonstrates the development and applications of a unique scaling technique for robust assessment and predictions of aquatic ecosystem health. We developed scaling-based, robust empirical and semi-empirical models for standardizing grab samples of stream dissolved oxygen (DO) and for predicting (hindcasting and forecasting) stream DO time-series. A reference clock-time, single observation from the diurnal cycle is used as the scaling parameter to collapse hourly DO time-series of different days into a single diurnal curve, which is parameterized by developing an extended stochastic harmonic analysis (ESHA). The scaling technique was previously applied to develop an algorithm for converting grab samples of stream DO collected at any time of the day to a reference clock time. The research is extended to develop an algorithm for simulating the diurnal DO cycles at different stream sites from their corresponding single reference observations of the day. The scaling concept was tested for spatio-temporal robustness with hourly DO data for eight streams representing five distinct Level III Ecoregions of Minnesota. Estimated model parameters demonstrated notable robustness in time and space. Scaling is often used to develop robust modeling and application tools in many physical engineering disciplines. Presented research exemplifies utilization of the scaling concept in Ecological Engineering applications.

  5. Microtopographic controls on ecosystem functioning in the Arctic Coastal Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zona, D.; Lipson, D. A.; Zulueta, R. C.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Oechel, W. C.

    2011-12-01

    The investigation of the microtopographic controls on thermal and hydrologic conditions of the soil and consequently the carbon dynamics from Arctic regions is of major importance. Ecosystem respiration (ER) between microsites of the same tundra type could differ more than ER in different tundra types even at different latitudes. In this study we investigated the microtopographic effect on soil temperature, thaw depth, pH, oxidation reduction potential (ORP), electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved CO2, vegetation types, and ER rates from different features forming the low-center polygon structure. Most of these environmental variables significantly differ particularly between areas with higher elevation (polygon rims) and with lower elevation (low-center polygons). Polygon rims presented the lowest water table and showed the lowest thaw depth and the highest ER (a seasonal average of 1 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1), almost double than the ER in the low-center polygons (a seasonal average of 0.6 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1). The microtopographic gradient from polygon rims to low-centers led to a very consistent pattern in pH, EC, ORP and dissolved CO2, with low-centers presenting the highest pH, the highest EC, the highest dissolved CO2, and the lowest ORP. Based on vegetation measurements, we also showed that microtopography controls the lateral flow of organic matter, and that vascular plant material accumulates as litter in the lower elevation areas, possibly contributing to the higher dissolved CO2 in the low-center polygons. Microtopography, and the ramifications discussed here, should be considered when evaluating landscape scale environmental controls on carbon dynamics in the Arctic.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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 (...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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.…

  18. Lowering the Barriers to Integrative Aquatic Ecosystem Science: Semantic Provenance, Open Linked Data, and Workflows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, T.; Hofmann, A. F.; Utz, R.; Deelman, E.; Hanson, P. C.; Szekely, P.; Villamizar, S. R.; Knoblock, C.; Guo, Q.; Crichton, D. J.; McCann, M. P.; Gil, Y.

    2011-12-01

    Environmental cyber-observatory (ECO) planning and implementation has been ongoing for more than a decade now, and several major efforts have recently come online or will soon. Some investigators in the relevant research communities will use ECO data, traditionally by developing their own client-side services to acquire data and then manually create custom tools to integrate and analyze it. However, a significant portion of the aquatic ecosystem science community will need more custom services to manage locally collected data. The latter group represents enormous intellectual capacity when one envisions thousands of ecosystems scientists supplementing ECO baseline data by sharing their own locally intensive observational efforts. This poster summarizes the outcomes of the June 2011 Workshop for Aquatic Ecosystem Sustainability (WAES) which focused on the needs of aquatic ecosystem research on inland waters and oceans. Here we advocate new approaches to support scientists to model, integrate, and analyze data based on: 1) a new breed of software tools in which semantic provenance is automatically created and used by the system, 2) the use of open standards based on RDF and Linked Data Principles to facilitate sharing of data and provenance annotations, 3) the use of workflows to represent explicitly all data preparation, integration, and processing steps in a way that is automatically repeatable. Aquatic ecosystems workflow exemplars are provided and discussed in terms of their potential broaden data sharing, analysis and synthesis thereby increasing the impact of aquatic ecosystem research.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:23466146

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:25692786

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. [Health assessment on aquatic ecosystem in Liaohe River of Liaoning Province].

    PubMed

    Hui, Xiu-Juan; Yang, Tao; Li, Fa-Yun; Hu, Cheng; Wang, Tong; Xu, Cheng-Bin; Hou, Wei; Ma, Fang

    2011-01-01

    Based on the investigation of the hydrology, water quality, periphytic algae, and habitat conditions of 20 hydrologic sections in the Tieling, Shenyang, and Panjin reaches of Liaohe River from June to August 2009, the indicators and their weights for the health assessment of aquatic ecosystem in the River were screened and determined by the method of principal component analysis, and the River's health assessment indicator system and health assessment standard system were constructed. The modified gray correlative degree method was also used to evaluate the aquatic ecosystem health condition at six sections of the River. Among the sections evaluated, three of them had a fair health level, two were worse or worst, and only one reached sub-health degree, suggesting that the aquatic ecosystem in the River was seriously degraded. Special attention should be paid to the ecological recovery of the river system, and comprehensive measures should be taken to control the River' s water pollution.

  14. Seabirds as indicators of aquatic ecosystem conditions: a case for gathering multiple proxies of seabird health.

    PubMed

    Mallory, Mark L; Robinson, Stacey A; Hebert, Craig E; Forbes, Mark R

    2010-01-01

    The use of seabirds as sentinels of the condition of aquatic ecosystems has been well-established. Large environmental perturbations to aquatic food webs (e.g., chemical contamination, overfishing, particulate pollution) have all been detected or monitored by tracking seabirds at colonies. However, seabirds may elicit more subtle, sublethal responses that can also be used to track ecosystem health, or the health of seabird populations. In this article, we advocate for field researchers to plan a priori to collect a broader suite of samples when handling seabirds, and to reach out for collaboration with specialists (e.g., parasitologists, wildlife veterinarians). Collectively, such efforts will greatly improve our ability to establish baseline physiological and chemical levels for seabirds, against which we can detect future changes in aquatic ecosystems.

  15. Delayed responses of an Arctic ecosystem to an extremely dry summer: impacts on net ecosystem exchange and vegetation functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zona, D.; Lipson, D. A.; Richards, J. H.; Phoenix, G. K.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Ueyama, M.; Sturtevant, C. S.; Oechel, W. C.

    2013-12-01

    The importance and mode of action of extreme events on the global carbon budget are inadequately understood. This includes the differential impact of extreme events on various ecosystem components, lag effects, recovery times, and compensatory processes. Summer 2007 in Barrow, Arctic Alaska, experienced unusually high air temperatures (fifth warmest over a 65 yr period) and record low precipitation (lowest over a 65 yr period). These abnormal conditions resulted in strongly reduced net Sphagnum CO2 uptake, but no effect neither on vascular plant development nor on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from this arctic tundra ecosystem. Gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were both generally greater during most of this extreme summer. Cumulative ecosystem C uptake in 2007 was similar to the previous summers, showing the capacity of the ecosystem to compensate in its net ecosystem exchange (NEE) despite the impact on other functions and structure such as substantial necrosis of the Sphagnum layer. Surprisingly, the lowest ecosystem C uptake (2005-2009) was observed during the 2008 summer, i.e the year directly following the extremely summer. In 2008, cumulative C uptake was ∼70% lower than prior years. This reduction cannot solely be attributed to mosses, which typically contribute with ∼40% - of the entire ecosystem C uptake. The minimum summer cumulative C uptake in 2008 suggests that the entire ecosystem experienced difficulty readjusting to more typical weather after experiencing exceptionally warm and dry conditions. Importantly, the return to a substantial cumulative C uptake occurred two summers after the extreme event, which suggest a high resilience of this tundra ecosystem. Overall, these results show a highly complex response of the C uptake and its sub-components to atypically dry conditions. The impact of multiple extreme events still awaits further investigation.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:23500063

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23836790

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Mercury in Arctic marine ecosystems: sources, pathways and exposure.

    PubMed

    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

    2012-11-01

    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 have many nutritional, social, cultural and physical health benefits which must be considered in risk management and communication. PMID:23102902

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. General Model of Microbial Growth and Decomposition in Aquatic Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Clesceri, L. S.; Park, R. A.; Bloomfield, J. A.

    1977-01-01

    A model capable of simulating freely suspended and attached decomposers, particulate organic matter, labile and refractory dissolved organic matter, inorganic nitrogen, and phosphate in the open-water portion of lakes is presented. Examples are given showing the utility of the model when coupled to the whole-ecosystem model CLEANER. PMID:16345242

  13. 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...

  14. 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. PMID:19396145

  15. Challenges of deriving a complete biosphere greenhouse gas balance through integration of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peichl, Matthias

    2013-04-01

    Past research efforts have mostly focused on separately investigating the exchange of greenhouse gases (GHGs) within the limits of different terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem types. More recently however, it has been recognized that GHG exchanges and budgets are not limited to boundaries of the terrestrial or aquatic biosphere components and instead are often tightly linked amongst the different ecosystem types. Primarily the aquatic production and export of GHGs due to substrate supply or discharge from surrounding terrestrial ecosystems play a major role in regional GHG budgets. Understanding the mechanisms and drivers of this connectivity between different terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem GHG exchanges is therefore necessary to develop landscape-level GHG budgets and to understand their sensitivity to disturbances of the biosphere. Moreover, the exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) as the most important GHG species has been the primary research objective with regards to obtaining better estimates of the carbon sequestration potential of the biosphere. However, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions may offset CO2 sinks and considerably affect the complete GHG balance in both terrestrial and aquatic systems. Including their contribution and improved knowledge on the dynamics of these two gas species is therefore essential for complete GHG budget estimates. At present, the integration of terrestrial and aquatic GHG exchanges toward landscape GHG budgets poses numerous challenges. These include the need for a better knowledge of i) the contribution of CH4 and N2O to the GHG budgets within contrasting terrestrial (forests, peatlands, grasslands, croplands) and aquatic (lake, streams) ecosystems when integrated over a full year, ii) the effect of ecosystem properties (e.g. age and/or development stage, size of water body) on the GHG balance, iii) the impact of management effects (e.g. nitrogen fertilizer application), iv) differences among climate regions and v

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Global warming benefits the small in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Daufresne, Martin; Lengfellner, Kathrin; Sommer, Ulrich

    2009-08-01

    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.

  1. 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. PMID:25297861

  2. 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. PMID:27107586

  3. Fuzzy model for risk assessment of persistent organic pollutants in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Seguí, X; Pujolasus, E; Betrò, S; Agueda, A; Casal, J; Ocampo-Duque, W; Rudolph, I; Barra, R; Páez, M; Barón, E; Eljarrat, E; Barceló, D; Darbra, R M

    2013-07-01

    We developed a model for evaluating the environmental risk of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to aquatic organisms. The model is based on fuzzy theory and uses information provided by international experts through a questionnaire. It has been tested in two case studies for a particular type of POPs: brominated flame retardants (BFRs). The first case study is related to the EU-funded AQUATERRA project, with sampling campaigns carried out in two Ebro tributaries in Spain (the Cinca and Vero Rivers). The second one, named the BROMACUA project, assessed different aquatic ecosystems in Chile (San Vicente Bay) and Colombia (Santa Marta Marsh). In both projects, the BFRs under study were polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). However, the model can be extrapolated to other POPs and to different aquatic ecosystems to provide useful results for decision-makers. PMID:23524177

  4. 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

  5. Comparative studies of land-atmosphere energy exchange in high and low Arctic tundra ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stiegler, Christian; Lindroth, Anders; Lund, Magnus; Tamstorf, Mikkel P.

    2013-04-01

    The energy balance of arctic terrestrial ecosystems is of crucial importance to understand future climate change in high northern latitudes. Despite a growing interest in the Arctic local measurements and observations of climate characteristics are still scarce. Therefore, we present first results of comparative short- and long-term eddy covariance and energy balance measurements of high and low Arctic terrestrial ecosystems in Greenland. The study area covers high Arctic tundra heath and fen ecosystems in Zackenberg (Northeast Greenland National Park, 74°30'N, 21°00'W) and low Arctic terrestrial ecosystems in the Kobbefjord area close to the city of Nuuk (West Greenland, 64°07'N, 51°21'W). By using a mobile eddy covariance and energy balance tower we collected data during late winter (April 2012), early summer (June/July 2012) and late summer (August 2012). Mobile eddy covariance and energy balance measurements during late winter in Zackenberg focus on the energy balance of undisturbed snow covered surfaces with variable snow depth and snow layer structure. Data collection on thin snow layers with disturbed surfaces and exposed vegetation also show the impact of Muskox cratering on the surface energy balance. Measurements during early summer in the Kobbefjord area were conducted on characteristic bare soils with scattered cushion plants, on grasslands with sedge vegetation and on shrub vegetation up to 100 cm in height. Late summer measurements of energy balance and eddy covariance in the Zackenberg valley focus on transect measurements of energy balance components and active layer thickness of adjacent high arctic fen and heath ecosystems. In addition to the short-term mobile measurements we use and analyse data sets from permanent stations monitoring eddy covariance and energy balance on heath and fen sites in both high and low Arctic environments. Long-term measurements provide continuous data since early April 2012 and in this study we compare our mobile

  6. Relating Multi-Scale Phenology to Arctic Ecosystem Parameters Using Various High Spatial and Spectral Resolution Remote Sensing Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    The need to improve the spatial and temporal scaling and extrapolation of plot level ecosystem properties and processes to the landscape level remains a persistent research challenge in the Arctic. Plant and landscape phenology is sensitive to a number of variable environmental factors such as soil moisture, temperature, and radiation. Seasonal and inter-annual environmental differences in these factors and phenology can affect surface energy and carbon balance and reflectance. Therefore improved scaling and extrapolation of phenological dynamics from the plot level to the landscape level is key to further understanding the impact of climate and other environmental change in arctic terrestrial ecosystems. This study contributes to the US Arctic Observing Network and focuses on a range of remotely sensed spectral indices derived from ground-based hyperspectral reflectance, time-lapse photography, kite aerial photography (KAP), and satellite imagery during the 2010-2012 snow free periods for the Networked Info-Mechanical Systems (NIMS) grids (2 x 50 meters) located in Barrow and Atqasuk, Alaska. Range of greenness indices have been calculated for different vegetation types (i.e. dry, moist, wet, aquatic) within each site. Preliminary results show that NDVI values acquired from ground based hyperspectral reflectance show similar seasonal and interannual trends as the 2G-RB index values derived for both the KAP and time-lapse time series photography for both study locations. An increase in peak season NDVI and 2G-RB values for dry, moist, and wet vegetation types were seen between the years of 2011 and 2012 for ground reflectance and KAP platforms in Barrow. While peak season 2G-RB values for dry, moist, and wet vegetation types increased using the time-lapse images between the years of 2011 and 2012 in Atqasuk. Intercomparison with high spatial resolution satellite imagery is on going. Plot level measurements have provided detailed insight into a range of ecosystem

  7. Delayed responses of an Arctic ecosystem to an extreme summer: impacts on net ecosystem exchange and vegetation functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zona, D.; Lipson, D. A.; Richards, J. H.; Phoenix, G. K.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Ueyama, M.; Sturtevant, C. S.; Oechel, W. C.

    2014-10-01

    The importance and consequences of extreme events on the global carbon budget are inadequately understood. This includes the differential impact of extreme events on various ecosystem components, lag effects, recovery times, and compensatory processes. In the summer of 2007 in Barrow, Arctic Alaska, there were unusually high air temperatures (the fifth warmest summer over a 65-year period) and record low precipitation (the lowest over a 65-year period). These abnormal conditions were associated with substantial desiccation of the Sphagnum layer and a reduced net Sphagnum CO2 sink but did not affect net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from this wet-sedge arctic tundra ecosystem. Microbial biomass, NH4+ availability, gross primary production (GPP), and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were generally greater during this extreme summer. The cumulative ecosystem CO2 sink in 2007 was similar to the previous summers, suggesting that vascular plants were able to compensate for Sphagnum CO2 uptake, despite the impact on other functions and structure such as desiccation of the Sphagnum layer. Surprisingly, the lowest ecosystem CO2 sink over a five summer record (2005-2009) was observed during the 2008 summer (~70% lower), directly following the unusually warm and dry summer, rather than during the extreme summer. This sink reduction cannot solely be attributed to the potential damage to mosses, which typically contribute ~40% of the entire ecosystem CO2 sink. Importantly, the return to a substantial cumulative CO2 sink occurred two summers after the extreme event, which suggests a substantial resilience of this tundra ecosystem to at least an isolated extreme event. Overall, these results show a complex response of the CO2 sink and its sub-components to atypically warm and dry conditions. The impact of multiple extreme events requires further investigation.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:24056713

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Does earlier snowmelt lead to greater CO2 sequestration in two low Arctic tundra ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphreys, Elyn R.; Lafleur, Peter M.

    2011-05-01

    Some studies have reported that spring warming and earlier snowmelt leads to increased CO2 sequestration in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. We measured tundra-atmosphere CO2 exchange via eddy covariance at two low Arctic sites (mixed upland tundra and sedge fen) in central Canada over multiple snow-free periods to assess this hypothesis. Both sites were net sinks for atmospheric CO2 in all years (2004-2010), but with high interannual variability. Despite a large range in snowmelt date (30 days), we did not find a statistically significant correlation between seasonal accumulated net ecosystem production (NEP) and snowmelt for either site. Although many factors can influence seasonal total NEP, our analysis shows that annual variations in photosynthetic capacity, likely driven by changes in leaf area, is a dominating control at these Arctic sites. At the upland tundra site, protection of overwintering buds by a longer duration of deep snow appears to be linked to greater photosynthetic capacity and NEP. Whereas at the fen site, sedge growth benefits from earlier snowmelt resulting in a strong correlation with early season NEP and an increase in total study period NEP with increasing growing degree days. These results highlight the complexity of interannual variation in ecosystem CO2 exchange in Arctic tundra and suggest that snowmelt date alone cannot predict seasonal, or annual, NEP.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Häder, D-P; Helbling, E W; Williamson, C E; Worrest, R C

    2011-02-01

    The health of freshwater and marine ecosystems is critical to life on Earth. The impact of solar UV-B radiation is one potential stress factor that can have a negative impact on the health of certain species within these ecosystems. Although there is a paucity of data and information regarding the effect of UV-B radiation on total ecosystem structure and function, several recent studies have addressed the effects on various species within each trophic level. Climate change, acid deposition, and changes in other anthropogenic stressors such as pollutants alter UV exposure levels in inland and coastal marine waters. These factors potentially have important consequences for a variety of aquatic organisms including waterborne human pathogens. Recent results have demonstrated the negative impacts of exposure to UV-B radiation on primary producers, including effects on cyanobacteria, phytoplankton, macroalgae and aquatic plants. UV-B radiation is an environmental stressor for many aquatic consumers, including zooplankton, crustaceans, amphibians, fish, and corals. Many aquatic producers and consumers rely on avoidance strategies, repair mechanisms and the synthesis of UV-absorbing substances for protection. However, there has been relatively little information generated regarding the impact of solar UV-B radiation on species composition within natural ecosystems or on the interaction of organisms between trophic levels within those ecosystems. There remains the question as to whether a decrease in population size of the more sensitive primary producers would be compensated for by an increase in the population size of more tolerant species, and therefore whether there would be a net negative impact on the absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide by these ecosystems. Another question is whether there would be a significant impact on the quantity and quality of nutrients cycling through the food web, including the generation of food proteins for humans. Interactive effects

  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. 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. PMID:21298708

  19. 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. PMID:17344962

  20. 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

  1. Hazard assessment of commonly used agricultural antibiotics on aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Park, Sujung; Choi, Kyungho

    2008-08-01

    In this study, eleven commonly used antibiotics including sulfonamides, tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, and beta-lactams were evaluated for their acute and chronic aquatic toxicities using standard test organisms e.g., Vibrio fischeri, Daphnia magna, Moina macrocopa, and Oryzias latipes. Among the antibiotics tested for acute toxicity, neomycin was most toxic followed by trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole and enrofloxacin. Sulfamethazine, oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline, sulfadimethoxine and sulfathiazole were of intermediate toxicity, while ampicillin and amoxicillin were least toxic to the test organisms. There were no trends in sensitivity among test organisms or among different classes of the antibiotics. Only the beta-lactam class was the least toxic. In chronic toxicity test, neomycin affected reproduction and adult survival of D. magna and M. macrocopa with low mg/l levels exposure. Predicted no effect concentrations (PNECs) were derived from the acute and chronic toxicity information gleaned from this study and from literature. When the PNECs were compared with measured environmental concentrations (MECs) reported elsewhere for the test compounds, hazard quotients for sulfamethoxazole, sulfathiazole, chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, and amoxicillin exceeded unity, which suggests potential ecological implication. Therefore, further studies including monitoring and detailed toxicological studies are required to assess potential ecological risk of these frequently used veterinary antibiotics. PMID:18449638

  2. 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. PMID:27411256

  3. 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. PMID:20012097

  4. Using digital photos and models to analyze episodic winter snowmelt events in low-Arctic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, S. H.; Tamstorf, M. P.; Westergaard-Nielsen, A.; Liston, G. E.; Schmidt, N. M.

    2013-12-01

    Terrestrial snow cover is a key parameter controlling both abiotic and biotic ecosystem processes in the Arctic. Yet knowledge and observations of snow cover in Greenland are limited. However, one exception is Kobbefjord (64°07'N, 51°21'W) in West Greenland. Since 2007, Nuuk Ecological Research Operations (NERO), led by Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring, have run an ecosystem baseline monitoring program responsible for collecting extensive snow observation datasets using manual, automated, and remotely-sensed methods. The available snow datasets provide a unique opportunity to describe and analyze the spatial and temporal distribution of snow-cover features and interactions in a low-Arctic setting where snow-dependent ecosystem components and processes are also observed. The aim of this study is to understand the temporal and spatial snow evolution in a low-Arctic ecosystem where a range of validation data is available, with a particular emphasis on infrequent winter snowmelt events. Extreme winter melt events associated with air temperatures rising abruptly to above 0.0 °C and with wind speeds greater than 20 m/s have been observed. We identified these melt events and quantified their effect on the snowpack and water balance to address possible consequences for a range of biological parameters. Finally, we compared the inter-annual air temperature variation during the last five years (2007-2013) with a 119-year climate record to place these recent variations within a long-term climate perspective. We implemented a spatially distributed snow-evolution modeling system (SnowModel) to provide temporal and spatial descriptions of snow within the study area from 2007 through 2013. SnowModel was driven by climate data collected by NERO. The available snow observations enabled validation of the modeled snow depth through 1) independent manual and automated snow depth measurements, and 2) a spatial validation of the modeled snow cover depletion through snow classification

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Ecosystem-Vegetation Dynamics in sub-arctic Stordalen Mire, Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugnani, M. P.; Varner, R. K.; Steele, K.; Frey, S. D.; Crill, P. M.

    2012-12-01

    Increased global temperatures have contributed to the thaw of permafrost and a subsequent atmospheric release of stored methane (CH4) from sub-arctic ecosystems. Palsas, small frost uplifted mounds that support specialized dry-tolerant vegetation species, degrade when permafrost thaws, allowing other species such a Sphagnum and Eriophorum to encroach on the microhabitats and outcompete other species, altering the carbon feedback into the thin arctic soil. Other climate change-related events including increased precipitation, seasonal temperature abnormalities and changes in humidity and nutrient availability may alter vegetation dynamics in terms of diversity and abundance in sub-arctic regions. During July 2012, measurements of vegetation composition and species abundance estimates were made in Stordalen Mire (68° 21' N, 19° 03' E), Abisko Sweden, two hundred kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. The mire is an area of discontinuous permafrost populated by micro-ecosystems that vary in vegetation species and abundance depending on growth conditions. All ecosystems provide beneficial services to support a range of life forms including rodents, birds, insects and reindeer. Five representative ecosystems of the mire were chosen to conduct studies on vegetation diversity and percent cover-based abundance: palsa, Eriophorum-dominated fen, Sphagnum-dominated peatland, lakeshore edge and lakeside heath. In each ecosystem vegetation species were recorded in six transects with quadrats along with a corresponding percent cover estimation and scale number based on the Braun-Blanquet percent cover method. To determine nutrient dynamics between ecosystems, soil peat samples were also taken at random from all ecosystem transects. These were analyzed for carbon and inorganic nitrogen as well as ammonium and nitrate. In the vegetation data analysis, the Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index showed that the lakeside heath ecosystem was the most diverse and even in species distribution

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:27458440

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:26378317

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:25917446

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:21509461

  2. 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.

  3. Seasonal variations of net CO2 exchange in European Arctic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurila, T.; Soegaard, H.; Lloyd, C. R.; Aurela, M.; Tuovinen, J.-P.; Nordstroem, C.

    The carbon dioxide exchange in arctic and subarctic terrestrial ecosystems has been measured using the eddy-covariance method at sites representing the latitudinal and longitudinal extremes of the European Arctic sea areas as part of the Land Arctic Physical Processes (LAPP) project. The sites include two fen (Kaamanen and Kevo) and one mountain birch ecosystems in subarctic northern Finland (69°N) fen, heathland, and snowbed willow ecosystems in northeastern Greenland (74°N) and a polar semidesert site in Svalbard (79°N). The measurement results, which are given as weekly average diurnal cycles, show the striking seasonal development of the net CO2 fluxes. The seasonal periods important for the net CO2 fluxes, i.e. winter, thaw, pre-leaf, summer, and autumn can be identified from measurements of the physical environment, such as temperature, albedo, and greenness. During the late winter period continuous efflux is observed at the permafrost-free Kaamanen site. At the permafrost sites, efflux begins during the thaw period, which lasts about 3-5 weeks, in contrast to the Kaamanen site where efflux continues at the same rate as during the winter. Seasonal efflux maximum is during the pre-leaf period, which lasts about 2-5 weeks. The summer period lasts 6 weeks in NE Greenland but 10-14 weeks in northern Finland. During a high summer week, the mountain birch ecosystem had the highest gross photosynthetic capacity, GPmax, followed by the fen ecosystems. The polar semidesert ecosystem had the lowest GPmax. By the middle of August, noon uptake fluxes start to decrease as the solar elevation angle decreases and senescence begins within the vascular plants. At the end of the autumn period, which lasts 2-5 weeks, topsoil begins to freeze at the end of August in Svalbard; at the end of September at sites in eastern Greenland; and one month later at sites in northern Finland.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:23621086

  6. Status and trends of Ontario's Sydenham River ecosystem in relation to aquatic species at risk.

    PubMed

    Staton, Shawn K; Dextrase, A; Metcalfe-Smith, J L; Di Maio, J; Nelson, M; Parish, J; Kilgour, B; Holm, E

    2003-01-01

    The Sydenham River in southwestern Ontario is located in the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone, which supports the greatest diversity of flora and fauna in Canada. The river historically supported a rich aquatic community that included 80 fishes and 34 species of freshwater mussels. Fourteen aquatic species native to the river (8 fishes, 5 mussels and 1 turtle) have been designated as endangered, threatened, or of special concern by the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Canada (COSEWIC). A multi-agency Recovery Team was formed in 1999 to ensure the continued survival of these and other rare species in the river. The Sydenham River Recovery Team is the first in Canada to adopt an ecosystem approach to recovery planning for aquatic species. Information on land use patterns, water quality trends, the physical condition of the river, and the distributions of aquatic species at risk was synthesized to gain an understanding of the overall health of the river and its major anthropogenic stresses. Seven of the species at risk have declined in distribution or abundance, and three may be extirpated. The main threat to fishes and mussels is heavy loadings of sediment, nutrients, and possibly pesticides to the river via tile drainage and overland runoff from agricultural lands. A strategy that incorporates four overall approaches (management, stewardship, research and monitoring, and awareness and outreach) was developed to recover and protect this globally significant freshwater ecosystem. PMID:14570419

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  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. 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).

  18. Wildfire, thermokarst and vegetation change: integrating diverse controls over carbon cycling in arctic and boreal ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mack, M. C.; Alexander, H. D.; DeMarco, J.; Melvin, A.

    2012-12-01

    Climate is warming more rapidly in the tundra and forests of high northern latitudes than any other place on earth. Large, globally-important stocks of carbon (C) reside in these ecosystems. Characterized by cold, moist climate and frozen soils, these ecosystems have historically acted as a net sink for atmospheric C: they remove more C from the atmosphere on an annual basis than they release, resulting in the accumulation of large stocks in soils and plants. With warming climate comes the potential for fundamental changes in ecological controls over C cycling. Plant growth is limited by both low temperature and the slow regeneration of nutrients such as nitrogen (N). If warming stimulates plant growth by alleviating these limitations, than C uptake may increase. Indeed, satellite indices of greening as well as observations of shrub expansion and northern migration of the arctic treeline point towards increased plant productivity concurrent with climate warming. But as soils warm, microbial decomposition and release of C to the atmosphere, as well as disturbances such as wildfire or thermal erosion (thermokarst), are likely to increase, and it is unclear whether increased C loss may balance or even outweigh increased production, at least on the time-scale of decades to centuries. Understanding the net outcome of these two processes is important because it determines the sign of the feedback between the arctic/boreal C cycle and climate. A positive feedback, where warming increases C losses more than uptake, would amplify anthropogenic changes in climate, accelerating warming and destabilizing feedbacks between ecosystems and the atmosphere. A negative feedback, by contrast, where warming increases C uptake more than losses, would dampen the anthropogenic signal and stabilize climate. This presentation will focus on three general areas of ecological control over net ecosystem C balance in arctic and boreal ecosystems: nutrient availability, changing disturbance

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Net Ecosystem Production of Polar Desert and Wetland Landscapes in the Rapidly Changing Canadian High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emmerton, C. A.; St Louis, V. L.; Humphreys, E.; Barker, J. D.; Gamon, J. A.; Pastorello, G.

    2014-12-01

    A rapidly warming and wetting Arctic climate is changing the net ecosystem production (NEP) of northern landscapes and subsequent exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) with the atmosphere. Assessments of northern terrestrial NEP have focused mostly on the rich peatland landscapes of the low Arctic, with far fewer studies from expansive, but sparse, high Arctic polar landscapes. Consequently, how these ecosystems may respond to a warming and wetting climate is still a key gap in our understanding of global carbon feedbacks. We used multi-season eddy covariance measurements to quantify growing season (June to September) NEP on contrasting polar desert and meadow wetland landscapes near Lake Hazen on northern Ellesmere Island (81ºN), in Canada's high Arctic. We also used variation in contemporary NEP and weather to improve our understanding of potential future carbon cycling in a warmer and wetter high Arctic climate. During a typical growing season, we found that a dry polar desert landscape accumulated only 6.6±1.2 g C m-2 similar to other high Arctic sites and consistent with cold, barren soils with weak plant growth. Desert NEP coincided strongest with landscape moisture, rather than heating, with increased NEP occurring during drier conditions when soil heterotrophic rates were lowest. With a nearly constant but varying supply of water, the productive meadow wetland accumulated 13 times more carbon (86.1±16.9 g C m-2) than the desert during the growing season. NEP at the wetland was similar to comparable landscapes much further south, owing to continuous 24-hour daylight and typically clear-skies surrounding Lake Hazen. Wetland soils showed a consistent strong burst of CO2 to the atmosphere each spring (min. NEP: -2.5 µmol CO2 s-1 m-2) and a well-defined peak in July productivity (3.9-4.4 µmol CO2 s-1 m-2). Wetland NEP associated positively and strongly with both landscape heating and moisture, suggesting that autotrophic limitations other than water or heat

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Girard, Catherine; Leclerc, Maxime; Amyot, Marc

    2016-04-01

    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. PMID:26938195

  13. The role of biomarkers in the assessment of aquatic ecosystem health.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    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 nonchemical 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. Although the use of biomarkers is not a new paradigm, such approaches have been underused 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:23891536

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Mediterranean coastal lagoons in an ecosystem and aquatic resources management context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Ruzafa, A.; Marcos, C.; Pérez-Ruzafa, I. M.

    Aquatic ecosystems, water resources and their management are some of the main problems facing humanity. These problems vary from water scarcity and deteriorating quality for human consumption and use, to floods in areas with torrential rainfall, rising sea levels in coastal zones, the overexploitation of living resources and the loss of ecological quality and biodiversity. Proper water management needs to follow a hierarchical perspective, ranging from the whole planet to individual water bodies. Spatio-temporal scales change at each level, as do driving forces, impacts, and the processes and responses involved. Recently, the European Union adopted the Water Framework Directive (WFD) to establish the basic principles of sustainable water policy in member states, one of the main concerns being the need to consider the vulnerability of coastal aquatic ecosystems and to establish their ecological status. However, from a Mediterranean point of view, the actions of European countries (under the WFD regulations) and non-EU countries need to be coordinated. There are more than 100 coastal lagoons in the Mediterranean. They are habitats with an important ecological role, but also provide essentials goods and services for humans. In the present work, we look at the problems involved in understanding their definition and management. At water body management level, we emphasise that scientific cooperation is necessary to deal with the conceptual and ecological difficulties derived from inter and intra-lagoon variability in hydrology and biological assemblages, inherent factors in the functioning of these complex ecosystems.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:26956177

  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.

  14. Contributions of biological domains to nitrogen biogeochemical cycling in a High Arctic glacial ecosystem during summer melt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, A. H.; Hodson, A.; Heaton, T. H.; Marca-Bell, A.

    2010-12-01

    In this study coupled investigations of solute chemistry and isotopic tracers (δ15N, δ18O-NO3 and δ18O-H2O) of snow and streams are used to reveal the competitive and diverse nature of biological process within a High Arctic glacial ecosystem (Midtre Lovénbreen, Svalbard). This includes potential mineralisation and nitrification of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and ammonia within subglacial flow paths and denitrification in hyporheic zone of proglacial streams. During the initial melt phase (up to mid July), most of nitrate in the proglacial streams was directly derived from snow. But as the hyporheic zone gradually became more active after mid July and its relative contribution of nitrate to the proglacial streams water increased downstream. This was evident with a considerable downstream loss of nitrate and an increase in δ15N-NO3 (-7.82 to 14.91‰) values in the proglacial meltwater streams. At the same time non-snowpack nitrate was detected in subglacial runoff indicating as significant presence of metabolically active heterotrophic microbial consortia beneath the glacier. The observed snow packs δ18O-NO3 values (76 to 80‰) were strongly diagnostic of an atmospheric origin. However with the initiation of melt, this provided subglacial and proglacial aquatic ecosystems with a major primary source of nitrogen. Therefore nitrogen leaving this glacial watershed in runoff (δ18O-NO3 values 64.44 to 3.78‰) had a markedly different composition.

  15. 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.

  16. Detritus-based assemblage responses under salinity stress conditions in a disused aquatic artificial ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Despite the plethora of approaches, the sensitivity of the methods to measure the relationship between the abundance and biomass curves in stressed detritus-based ecosystems still remain to be refined. In this work, we report the comparison between biomass and abundance in a set of detritus-based macrozoobenthic assemblages located in six sampling pools with different salinity in an artificial aquatic ecosystem (disused Tarquinia Saltworks), using two diversity/dominance approaches (Abundance/Biomass Comparisons, or ABC, and Whittaker plots). We also evaluated the contribution of abundances and biomasses diversity (Simpson index) and nestedness, which measures the order by which macroinvertebrates colonized the detrital resource. Results The outputs obtained by both ABC curves and Whittaker plots highlight two different thresholds in assemblage structure: between about 44 and 50 practical salinity unit (psu) and between 50 and 87 psu, respectively. The first threshold was due to a turnover in taxon composition between assemblages, the second threshold (evidenced by Whittaker plots) was due to a change in taxon richness (lower in pools with higher salinity: i.e. > 50 psu). Moreover, a normal-shaped pattern in diversity (Simpson index) emerged, suggestive of an intermediate disturbance effect. The nested pattern did not show significant differences when considering the density and biomass of the sampled taxa, providing similar threshold of salinity in the relative contribution of macrozoobenthos on nestedness. Conclusions The use of detailed (ABC and Whittaker plots) and macroscopic (Simpson index and nestedness) approaches is proposed to identify thresholds in the structuring and functioning of detritus-based community of disused aquatic ecosystems: in particular, the inclusion of the parameter of biomass (scarcely utilized in community-based research) appears crucial. The responses of macrozoobenthic assemblages to the salinity stress conditions, in term

  17. Adaptive genetic variation mediates bottom-up and top-down control in an aquatic ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Rudman, Seth M.; Rodriguez-Cabal, Mariano A.; Stier, Adrian; Sato, Takuya; Heavyside, Julian; El-Sabaawi, Rana W.; Crutsinger, Gregory M.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26203004

  18. 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

    2015-08-01

    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. PMID:26203004

  19. 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. PMID:17313584

  20. Evaluation of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) as biomonitors of mercury contamination in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Blackwell, Bradley D; Driscoll, Charles T; Spada, Michael E; Todorova, Svetoslava G; Montesdeoca, Mario R

    2013-03-01

    Zebra mussels have invaded many lakes in the United States and could be a useful tool for monitoring responses of aquatic biota to changes in mercury loading. The goal of the present study was to evaluate zebra mussels for use as a biomonitor of mercury contamination by comparing zebra mussel mercury concentrations between a lake with only indirect atmospheric mercury contamination (Otisco Lake, NY, USA) and a lake that was directly contaminated by mercury discharges (Onondaga Lake, NY, USA). Zebra mussels were sampled in both the spring and fall of 2004 and 2005. Total mercury (THg) concentrations in zebra mussels were approximately seven times greater in Onondaga Lake than in Otisco Lake, and water column mercury concentrations differed by an order of magnitude between the two lakes. Seasonal differences resulted in significantly higher zebra mussel THg concentrations during the fall for both lakes. There was also significant variation among different sampling sites in Onondaga Lake. Mussel methylmercury concentrations averaged 53% of THg concentrations but were highly variable. Strong relationships between water column THg and zebra mussel THg suggest that zebra mussels are a good indicator of aquatic mercury concentrations and could be used as an effective biomonitor of mercury contamination in aquatic ecosystems. PMID:23280672

  1. 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

  2. Evaluation of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) as biomonitors of mercury contamination in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Blackwell, Bradley D; Driscoll, Charles T; Spada, Michael E; Todorova, Svetoslava G; Montesdeoca, Mario R

    2013-03-01

    Zebra mussels have invaded many lakes in the United States and could be a useful tool for monitoring responses of aquatic biota to changes in mercury loading. The goal of the present study was to evaluate zebra mussels for use as a biomonitor of mercury contamination by comparing zebra mussel mercury concentrations between a lake with only indirect atmospheric mercury contamination (Otisco Lake, NY, USA) and a lake that was directly contaminated by mercury discharges (Onondaga Lake, NY, USA). Zebra mussels were sampled in both the spring and fall of 2004 and 2005. Total mercury (THg) concentrations in zebra mussels were approximately seven times greater in Onondaga Lake than in Otisco Lake, and water column mercury concentrations differed by an order of magnitude between the two lakes. Seasonal differences resulted in significantly higher zebra mussel THg concentrations during the fall for both lakes. There was also significant variation among different sampling sites in Onondaga Lake. Mussel methylmercury concentrations averaged 53% of THg concentrations but were highly variable. Strong relationships between water column THg and zebra mussel THg suggest that zebra mussels are a good indicator of aquatic mercury concentrations and could be used as an effective biomonitor of mercury contamination in aquatic ecosystems.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:25732798

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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

  14. Dynamic exchanges between DOM and POM pools in coastal and inland aquatic ecosystems: A review.

    PubMed

    He, Wei; Chen, Meilian; Schlautman, Mark A; Hur, Jin

    2016-05-01

    Dynamic exchanges between dissolved organic matter (DOM) and particulate organic matter (POM) plays a critical role in organic carbon cycling in coastal and inland aquatic ecosystems, interactions with aquatic organisms, mobility and bioavailability of pollutants, among many other ecological and geochemical phenomena. Although DOM-POM exchange processes have been widely studied from different aspects, little to no effort has been made to date to provide a comprehensive, mechanistic, and micro-spatial schema for understanding various exchange processes occurring in different aquatic ecosystems in a unified way. The phenomena occurring between DOM and POM were explained here with the homogeneous and heterogeneous mechanisms. In the homogeneous mechanism, the participating components are only organic matter (OM) constituents themselves with aggregation and dissolution involved, whereas OM is associated with other components such as minerals and particulate colloids in the heterogeneous counterpart. Besides the generally concerned processes of aggregation/dissolution and adsorption/desorption, other ecological factors such as sunlight and organisms can also participate in DOM-POM exchanges through altering the chemical nature of OM. Despite the limitation of current analytical technologies, many unknown and/or unquantified processes need to be identified to unravel the complicated exchanges of OM between its dissolved and particulate states. Based on the review of several previous mathematical models, we proposed a unified conceptual model to describe all major dynamic exchange mechanisms on the basis of exergy theory. More knowledge of dynamic DOM-POM exchanges is warranted to overcome the potential problems arising from a simple division of OM into dissolved versus particulate states and to further develop more sophisticated mathematic models.

  15. 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.

  16. Cascading effects of induced terrestrial plant defences on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Jackrel, Sara L; Wootton, J Timothy

    2015-04-22

    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. Sources of inorganic and monomethyl mercury to high and sub Arctic marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirk, Jane Liza

    Monomethyl mercury (MMHg), a toxic and bioaccumulative form of Hg, is present in some Canadian high and sub Arctic marine mammals at concentrations high enough to pose health risks to Northern peoples using these animals as food. To quantify potentially large sources of Hg to Arctic marine ecosystems, we examined several aspects of Hg cycling in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) and Hudson Bay. Firstly, we quantified net Hg inputs to Hudson Bay from atmospheric Hg depletion events (AMDEs). During AMDEs, gaseous elemental Hg(0) (GEM), which is present in the Arctic atmosphere at global background concentrations, is oxidized to inorganic Hg(II) species that deposit to snowpacks. By simultaneously monitoring Hg in the atmosphere and in snowpacks of western Hudson Bay, we demonstrated that most of the Hg(II) deposited during AMDEs is rapidly (photo)reduced and emitted to the atmosphere. Secondly, we examined Hg speciation in marine waters of the CAA and Hudson Bay. We found high concentrations of MMHg and dimethyl Hg (DMHg; a toxic, gaseous form of Hg) in deep marine waters, where they are likely produced from Hg(II). Arctic marine waters were also found to be a substantial source of DMHg and GEM to the atmosphere. Thirdly, we quantified Hg exports to Hudson Bay from two major rivers, the Nelson and the Churchill, which have been altered for hydroelectric power production. When landscapes are inundated during river diversion or reservoir creation, microbial production of MMHg is stimulated in flooded soils. Newly produced MMHg can then be exported to downstream waterbodies. We found that annual inputs of total Hg (THg; includes both Hg(II) and MMHg) to Hudson Bay from combined Nelson and Churchill River discharge were comparable to inputs from AMDEs. MMHg inputs from river discharge are, however, ˜13 times greater than those from annual snowmelt of Hudson Bay snowpacks. Finally, although combined river and AMDE Hg inputs may account for a large portion of the THg

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Seabird guano is an efficient conveyer of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to Arctic lake ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Evenset, A; Carroll, J; Christensen, G N; Kallenborn, R; Gregor, D; Gabrielsen, G W

    2007-02-15

    Migratory seabirds have been linked to localized "hotspots" of contamination in remote Arctic lakes. One of these lakes is Lake Ellasjøen on Bjørnøya in the Barents Sea. Here we provide quantitative evidence demonstrating that even relatively small populations of certain seabird species can lead to major impacts for ecosystems. In the present example, seabird guano accounts for approximately 14% of the contaminant inventory of the Lake Ellasjøen catchment area, approximately 80% of the contaminant inventory of the lake itself, and is approximately thirty times more efficient as a contaminant transport pathway compared to atmospheric long-range transport. We have further shown that this biological transport mechanism is an important contaminant exposure route for ecosystems, responsible for POPs levels in freshwater fish that are an order of magnitude higher than those in Arctic top predators. Given the worldwide presence of seabird colonies in coastal marine areas where resources are also harvested by humans, this biological transport pathway may be a greater source of dietary contamination than is currently recognized with consequent risks for human health. PMID:17593715

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Modeling the ecological impact of heavy metals on aquatic ecosystems: a framework for the development of an ecological model.

    PubMed

    He, M; Wang, Z; Tang, H

    2001-02-01

    In this paper, an ecological model is proposed to predict the effects of heavy metals on aquatic ecosystems. The bioavailable concentration of metals and a concept of toxicity strength (TS) are combined. The integrated ecological model relates the transport, distribution and speciation of heavy metals and their toxicity, and the effect of environmental variability on metal toxicity. It also emphasizes the link between physical and chemical processes of heavy metals in rivers and ecological effects. Based on the data obtained from research in the CERP project (Co-operative Ecological Research Project), the ecological impact of heavy metals on the aquatic ecosystem of the Le An River (polluted by heavy metals from a copper mine) was predicted. The results show that the estimated values of toxicity strength for surface water are in agreement with the percentage inhibition for the test organism (P. phosphoreum) and that the predicted ecological effect of polluted sediment is consistent with natural variability in aquatic ecosystems. PMID:11258829

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:26565685

  7. Spatial and temporal effects of olive mill wastewaters to stream macroinvertebrates and aquatic ecosystems status.

    PubMed

    Karaouzas, Ioannis; Skoulikidis, Nikolaos T; Giannakou, Urania; Albanis, Triantafyllos A

    2011-12-01

    Olive mill wastewater (OMW) is one of the major and most challenging organic pollutants in olive oil production countries. However, the knowledge about the in-situ effects of olive mill wastewaters to lotic ecosystems and their benthic organisms is very limited. To resolve this, eight sampling sites were selected upstream and downstream the outflow of several olive mills to assess the spatial and temporal effects of OMW to stream macroinvertebrates and to ecological status of stream ecosystems. Biotic (macroinvertebrates) and abiotic (physicochemical, hydromorphological) data were monitored for two years thus following the biennial cycle of olive growth and production and hydrological variation (drought-wet years). The results of this study revealed the spatial and temporal structural deterioration of the aquatic community due to OMW pollution with consequent reduction of the river capacity for reducing the effects of polluting substances through internal mechanisms of self-purification. OMW, even highly diluted, had dramatic impacts on the aquatic fauna and to the ecological status of the receiving stream ecosystems. The organic load of the wastewater expressed as BOD(5), COD and TSS, substrate contamination (sewage bacteria) and distance from the mill outlet, were the most important factors affecting macroinvertebrate assemblages while the typology (i.e. slope, altitude) and hydrology of the stream site (i.e. mountainous-lowland) and the intensity and volume of the wastewater were the most important determinants of self-purification processes. As OMW are usually being discharged in small size streams that are not considered in the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC, there is a need for including such systems into monitoring and assessment schemes as they may significantly contribute to the pollution load of the river basin. Furthermore, guidelines to manage these wastes through technologies that minimise their environmental impact and lead to a sustainable use

  8. 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

  9. Biological filtering and ecological machinery for self-purification and bioremediation in aquatic ecosystems: towards a holistic view.

    PubMed

    Ostroumov, S A

    1998-01-01

    According to one of the approaches to the definition of criteria for the phenomenon of life, the key attribute is the ability of the system for some self-regulating and self-supporting. Part of such holistic functions of aquatic ecosystems as self-regulating and self-supporting is their cleaning the water via a multitude of various mechanisms. The goal of this paper is to present some fundamental elements of the theory of ecosystem self-purification which emphasizes the importance of the four functional biological filters that are instrumental in purification and upgrading the quality of water in aquatic ecosystems. These functional filters are: (1) direct water filtering by aquatic organisms that are filter-feeders; (2) the filter (represented mainly by communities of aquatic plants/periphyton) which prevents input of pollutants and biogenic elements (N, P) from land into water bodies; (3) the filter (represented by benthic organisms) which prevents re-entry of pollutants and biogenic elements from the bottom sediments into the water; (4) the filter (represented by microorganisms attached to particles which are suspended in the water) that provides microbiological treatment of water column. New experimental data by the author reveal the role of man-made effects on the ecological machinery which purifies water. The analysis and discussion lead to the holistic theory of the natural process of bioremediation of aquatic ecosystems. PMID:9857844

  10. 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

  11. [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. PMID:16080326

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Ecosystem dynamics of the Pacific-influenced Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas in the Amerasian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Cooper, Lee W.; Feder, Howard M.; Sirenko, Boris I.

    2006-10-01

    The shallow continental shelves and slope of the Amerasian Arctic are strongly influenced by nutrient-rich Pacific waters advected over the shelves from the northern Bering Sea into the Arctic Ocean. These high-latitude shelf systems are highly productive both as the ice melts and during the open-water period. The duration and extent of seasonal sea ice, seawater temperature and water mass structure are critical controls on water column production, organic carbon cycling and pelagic-benthic coupling. Short food chains and shallow depths are characteristic of high productivity areas in this region, so changes in lower trophic levels can impact higher trophic organisms rapidly, including pelagic- and benthic-feeding marine mammals and seabirds. Subsistence harvesting of many of these animals is locally important for human consumption. The vulnerability of the ecosystem to environmental change is thought to be high, particularly as sea ice extent declines and seawater warms. In this review, we focus on ecosystem dynamics in the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas, with a more limited discussion of the adjoining Pacific-influenced eastern section of the East Siberian Sea and the western section of the Beaufort Sea. Both primary and secondary production are enhanced in specific regions that we discuss here, with the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas sustaining some of the highest water column production and benthic faunal soft-bottom biomass in the world ocean. In addition, these organic carbon-rich Pacific waters are periodically advected into low productivity regions of the nearshore northern Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska and sometimes into the East Siberian Sea, all of which have lower productivity on an annual basis. Thus, these near shore areas are intimately tied to nutrients and advected particulate organic carbon from the Pacific influenced Bering Shelf-Anadyr water. Given the short food chains and dependence of many apex predators on sea ice, recent

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:22322127

  20. 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. PMID:27459778

  1. 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.

  2. Progestins as endocrine disrupters in aquatic ecosystems: Concentrations, effects and risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Fent, Karl

    2015-11-01

    In aquatic ecosystems, progesterone (P4) and synthetic progestins (gestagens) originate from excretion by humans and livestock. Synthetic progestins are used for contraception and as P4 for medical treatments as well. Despite significant use, their ecotoxicological implications are poorly understood. Only about 50% of the progestins in use have been analyzed for their environmental occurrence and effects in aquatic organisms. Here we critically summarize concentrations and effects of progestins in aquatic systems. P4 and progestins were mostly detected when analyzed for, and they occurred in the low ng/L range in wastewater and surface water. In animal farm waste and runoff, they reached up to several μg/L. P4 and synthetic progestins act through progesterone receptors but they also interact with other steroid hormone receptors. They act on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis, lead to oocyte maturation in female and sperm motility in male fish. Additionally, other pathways are affected as well, including the circadian rhythm. Effects of P4, mifepristone and eleven synthetic progestins have been studied in fish and a few compounds in frogs and mussels. Environmental risks may be associated with P4, dydrogesterone and medroxyprogesterone acetate, where transcriptional effects were found at highest environmental levels. Reproductive effects occurred at higher levels. However, norethindrone, levonorgestrel and norgestrel compromised reproduction at environmental (ng/L) concentrations. Thus, some of the progestins are very active endocrine disrupters. This review summarizes the current state of the art and highlights risks for fish. Further research is needed into environmental concentrations and effects of non-investigated progestins, unexplored modes of action, and the activity of mixtures of progestins and other steroids to fully assess their environmental risks. PMID:26276056

  3. PCB Food Web Dynamics Quantify Nutrient and Energy Flow in Aquatic Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    McLeod, Anne M; Paterson, Gordon; Drouillard, Ken G; Haffner, G Douglas

    2015-11-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Scaling hyporheic exchange and its influence on biogeochemical reactions in aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connor, Ben L.; Harvey, Judson W.

    2008-12-01

    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.

  8. 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. PMID:15356219

  9. 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.

  10. Non-native earthworms in riparian soils increase nitrogen flux into adjacent aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Costello, David M; Lamberti, Gary A

    2008-12-01

    Riparian zones are an important transition between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and they function in nutrient cycling and removal. Non-native earthworms invading earthworm-free areas of North America can affect nutrient cycling in upland soils and have the potential to affect it in riparian soils. We examined how the presence of earthworms can affect riparian nutrient cycling and nutrient delivery to streams. Two mesocosm experiments were conducted to determine how (1) the biomass of earthworms and (2) earthworm species can affect nutrient flux from riparian zones to nearby streams and how this flux can affect streamwater nutrients and periphyton growth. In separate experiments, riparian soil cores were amended with one of four mixed earthworm biomasses (0, 4, 10, or 23 g m(-2) ash-free dry mass) or with one of three earthworm species (Aporrectodea caliginosa, Lumbricus terrestris, L. rubellus) or no earthworm species. Riparian soil cores were coupled to artificial streams, and over a 36-day period, we measured nutrient leaching rates, in-stream nutrient concentrations, and periphyton growth. Ammonium leaching increased with increasing biomass and was greatest from the A. caliginosa treatments. Nitrate leaching increased through time and increased at a greater rate with higher biomass and from cores containing A. caliginosa. We suggest that the overall response of increased nitrate leaching [90% of total nitrogen (N)] was due to a combination of ammonium excretion and burrowing by earthworms, which increased nitrification rates. During both experiments, periphyton biomass increased through time but did not differ across treatments despite high in-stream inorganic N. Through time, in-stream phosphorus (P) concentration declined to <5 microg l(-1), and periphyton growth was likely P-limited. We conclude that activities of non-native earthworms (particularly A. caliginosa) can alter biogeochemical cycling in riparian zones, potentially reducing the N

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:25967156

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:25331641

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The response of aboveground plant productivity to earlier snowmelt and summer warming in an Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Plant communities in the Arctic are undergoing changes in structure and function due to shifts in seasonality from changing winters and summer warming. These changes will impact biogeochemical cycling, surface energy balance, and functioning of vertebrate and invertebrate communities. To examine seasonal controls on aboveground net primary production (ANPP) in a moist acidic tundra ecosystem in northern Alaska, we shifted the growing season by accelerating snowmelt (using radiation absorbing shadecloth) and warming air and soil temperature (using 1 m2 open-top chambers), individually and in combination. After three years, we measured ANPP by harvesting up to 16 individual ramets, tillers and rhizomes for each of 7 plant species, including two deciduous shrubs, two graminoids, two evergreen shrubs and one forb during peak season. Our results show that ANPP per stem summed across the 7 species increased when snow melt occurred earlier. However, standing biomass, excluding current year growth, was also greater. The ratio of ANPP/standing biomass decreased in all treatments compared to the control. ANPP per unit standing biomass summed for the four shrub species decreases due to summer warming alone or in combination with early snowmelt; however early snowmelt alone did not lead to lower ANPP for the shrubs. ANPP per tiller or rhizome summed for the three herbaceous species increased in response to summer warming. Understanding the differential response of plants to changing seasonality will inform predictions of future Arctic plant community structure and function.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. Climate change and Arctic ecosystems: 2. Modeling, paleodata-model comparisons, and future projections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2003-10-01

    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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Isolating the effects of storm events on arctic aquatic bacteria: temperature, nutrients, and community composition as controls on bacterial productivity

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Heather E.; Crump, Byron C.; Kling, George W.

    2015-01-01

    Storm events can pulse nutrients and carbon from soils and provide an important subsidy to food webs in oligotrophic streams and lakes. Bacterial nutrient limitation and the potential response of stream aquatic bacteria to storm events was investigated in arctic tundra environments by manipulating both water temperature and inorganic nutrient concentrations in short (up to 4 days) and long duration (up to 2 weeks) laboratory mesocosm experiments. Inorganic N and P additions increased bacterial production (14C-labeled leucine uptake) up to seven times over controls, and warmer incubation temperatures increased the speed of this response to added nutrients. Bacterial cell numbers also increased in response to temperature and nutrient additions with cell-specific carbon uptake initially increasing and then declining after 2 days. Bacterial community composition (BCC; determined by means of 16S denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprinting) shifted rapidly in response to changes in incubation temperature and the addition of nutrients, within 2 days in some cases. While the bacteria in these habitats responded to nutrient additions with rapid changes in productivity and community composition, water temperature controlled the speed of the metabolic response and affected the resultant change in bacterial community structure, constraining the potential responses to pulsed nutrient subsidies associated with storm events. In all cases, at higher nutrient levels and temperatures the effect of initial BCC on bacterial activity was muted, suggesting a consistent, robust interaction of temperature, and nutrients controlling activity in these aquatic systems. PMID:25873916

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Challenges in Modeling Disturbance Regimes and Their Impacts in Arctic and Boreal Ecosystems (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuire, A. D.; Rupp, T. S.; Kurz, W.

    2013-12-01

    Disturbances in arctic and boreal terrestrial ecosystems influence services provided by these ecosystems to society. In particular, changes in disturbance regimes in northern latitudes have uncertain consequences for the climate system. A major challenge for the scientific community is to develop the capability to predict how the frequency, severity and resultant impacts of disturbance regimes will change in response to future changes in climate projected for northern high latitudes. Here we compare what is known about drivers and impacts of wildfire, phytophagous insect pests, and thermokarst disturbance to illustrate the complexities in predicting future changes in disturbance regimes and their impacts in arctic and boreal regions. Much of the research on predicting fire has relied on the use of drivers related to fire weather. However, changes in vegetation, such as increases in broadleaf species, associated with intensified fire regimes have the potential to influence future fire regimes through negative feedbacks associated with reduced flammability. Phytophagous insect outbreaks have affected substantial portions of the boreal region in the past, but frequently the range of the tree host is larger than the range of the insect. There is evidence that a number of insect species are expanding their range in response to climate change. Major challenges to predicting outbreaks of phytophagous insects include modeling the effects of climate change on insect growth and maturation, winter mortality, plant host health, the synchrony of insect life stages and plant host phenology, and changes in the ranges of insect pests. Moreover, Earth System Models often simplify the representation of vegetation characteristics, e.g. the use of plant functional types, providing insufficient detail to link to insect population models. Thermokarst disturbance occurs when the thawing of ice-rich permafrost results in substantial ground subsidence. In the boreal forest, thermokarst can

  16. Inuit exposure to organochlorines through the aquatic food chain in arctic Quebec

    SciTech Connect

    Dewailly, E.; Ayotte, P.; Laliberte, C. ); Bruneau, S. ); Muir, D.C.G. ); Norstrom, R.J. )

    1993-12-01

    Inuit people (Eskimos) are likely exposed to persistent organochlorine compounds because their traditional diet includes fatty tissues of the arctic marine biota. Here we present the results of organochlorine compound analysis in milk fat samples from artic Quebec Inuit women and in fat tissues from various animal species inhabiting that region. The total concentration of polychlorinated biphenyl congeners in Inuit milk fat was similar to that of the beluga, while the profile of the 10 congeners resembled that of the polar bear. Mean concentrations of various organochlorines in milk-fat samples from Inuit women were between 2 and 10 times greater than those found in samples previously collected from southern Quebec women. The Inuit mothers exhibit the greatest body burden known to occur from exposure to organochlorine residues present in the environment by virtue of their location at the highest trophic level of the arctic food web. 18 refs., 2 tabs.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. An assessment of aquatic ecosystem health in a temperate watershed using the index of biological integrity.

    PubMed

    An, Kwang-Guk; Choi, Shin-Sok

    2003-06-01

    The health effect of an aquatic ecosystem on habitat modifications were evaluated in the Keum river watershed, Korea during 1977-1996 using the Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) based on fish assemblages. Values of IBI, based on overall sites, averaged 35 (range: 26-45, n = 38) before dam construction, indicating a "fair health condition" based on the modified criteria of Karr and Chu (Karr, J.R.; Chu, E.W. Restoring Life in Running Waters: Better Biological Monitoring; Inland Press: Washington, DC, 1999; 206 pp.), while the values averaged 33 (range: 18-48, n = 15) after dam construction, indicating a similar ecosystem health condition in the IBI between the two periods. Marked modifications in the IBI, however, were partially observed along the longitudinal gradients from the headwaters to downstream along with variations of trophic compositions and habitat guilds. Annual mean of IBI showed significant decreases (p < 0.001, t = 10.03) in the mid-reach of 100-240 km location after the construction along with >20% decreases of insectivores and >25% increases of omnivores. Comparisons of habitat guilds indicated that the proportion of riffle benthic species declined linearly from 1977 to 1996 and had inverse relations (r = -0.78, p < 0.01) with that of water column species. Such variations were explained by serial discontinuity concept that was developed by Ward and Stanford (Ward, J.V.; Stanford, J.A. The serial discontinuity concept of lotic ecosystems. In Dynamics of Lotic Ecosystems; Fontaine, J.V., Bartell, S.M., Eds.; Ann Arbor Science: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, 1983; 29-42). Chemical data of long-term BOD5 and COD5 indicated that chemical impacts after the dam construction were minor compared to the condition before the construction. Overall variation of IBI was highly accounted (p < 0.001, R2 = 0.91, n = 38) by the Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI), suggesting that the ecosystem health was mainly affected by the habitat modifications.

  20. A multi-stable isotope framework to understand eutrophication in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Gooddy, Daren C; Lapworth, Dan J; Bennett, Sarah A; Heaton, Tim H E; Williams, Peter J; Surridge, Ben W J

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication is a globally significant challenge facing aquatic ecosystems, associated with human induced enrichment of these ecosystems with nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). However, the limited availability of inherent labels for P and N has constrained understanding of the triggers for eutrophication in natural ecosystems and appropriate targeting of management responses. This paper proposes and evaluates a new multi-stable isotope framework that offers inherent labels to track biogeochemical reactions governing both P and N in natural ecosystems. The framework couples highly novel analysis of the oxygen isotope composition of phosphate (δ(18)OPO4) with dual isotope analysis of oxygen and N within nitrate (δ(15)NNO3, δ(18)ONO3) and with stable N isotope analysis in ammonium (δ(15)NNH4). The River Beult in England is used as an exemplar system for initial evaluation of this framework. Our data demonstrate the potential to use stable isotope labels to track the input and downstream fate of nutrients from point sources, on the basis of isotopic differentiation for both P and N between river water and waste water treatment work effluent (mean difference = +1.7‰ for δ(18)OPO4; +15.5‰ for δ(15)NNH4 (under high flow); +7.3‰ for δ(18)ONO3 and +4.4‰ for δ(15)NNO3). Stable isotope data reveal nutrient inputs to the river upstream of the waste water treatment works that are consistent with partially denitrified sewage or livestock sources of nitrate (δ(15)NNO3 range = +11.5 to +13.1‰) and with agricultural sources of phosphate (δ(18)OPO4 range = +16.6 to +19.0‰). The importance of abiotic and metabolic processes for the in-river fate of N and P are also explored through the stable isotope framework. Microbial uptake of ammonium to meet metabolic demand for N is suggested by substantial enrichment of δ(15)NNH4 (by 10.2‰ over a 100 m reach) under summer low flow conditions. Whilst the concentration of both nitrate and phosphate

  1. A multi-stable isotope framework to understand eutrophication in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Gooddy, Daren C; Lapworth, Dan J; Bennett, Sarah A; Heaton, Tim H E; Williams, Peter J; Surridge, Ben W J

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication is a globally significant challenge facing aquatic ecosystems, associated with human induced enrichment of these ecosystems with nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). However, the limited availability of inherent labels for P and N has constrained understanding of the triggers for eutrophication in natural ecosystems and appropriate targeting of management responses. This paper proposes and evaluates a new multi-stable isotope framework that offers inherent labels to track biogeochemical reactions governing both P and N in natural ecosystems. The framework couples highly novel analysis of the oxygen isotope composition of phosphate (δ(18)OPO4) with dual isotope analysis of oxygen and N within nitrate (δ(15)NNO3, δ(18)ONO3) and with stable N isotope analysis in ammonium (δ(15)NNH4). The River Beult in England is used as an exemplar system for initial evaluation of this framework. Our data demonstrate the potential to use stable isotope labels to track the input and downstream fate of nutrients from point sources, on the basis of isotopic differentiation for both P and N between river water and waste water treatment work effluent (mean difference = +1.7‰ for δ(18)OPO4; +15.5‰ for δ(15)NNH4 (under high flow); +7.3‰ for δ(18)ONO3 and +4.4‰ for δ(15)NNO3). Stable isotope data reveal nutrient inputs to the river upstream of the waste water treatment works that are consistent with partially denitrified sewage or livestock sources of nitrate (δ(15)NNO3 range = +11.5 to +13.1‰) and with agricultural sources of phosphate (δ(18)OPO4 range = +16.6 to +19.0‰). The importance of abiotic and metabolic processes for the in-river fate of N and P are also explored through the stable isotope framework. Microbial uptake of ammonium to meet metabolic demand for N is suggested by substantial enrichment of δ(15)NNH4 (by 10.2‰ over a 100 m reach) under summer low flow conditions. Whilst the concentration of both nitrate and phosphate

  2. Ice Shelf Microbial Ecosystems in the High Arctic and Implications for Life on Snowball Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, W. F.; Gibson, J. A. E.; Pienitz, R.; Villeneuve, V.; Broady, P. A.; Hamilton, P. B.; Howard-Williams, C.

    The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (83°N, 74°W) is the largest remaining section of thick (>10m) landfast sea ice along the northern coastline of Ellesmere Island, Canada. Extensive meltwater lakes and streams occur on the surface of the ice and are colonized by photosynthetic microbial mat communities. This High Arctic cryo-ecosystem is similar in several of its physical, biological and geochemical features to the McMurdo Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The ice-mats in both polar regions are dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria but also contain diatoms, chlorophytes, flagellates, ciliates, nematodes, tardigrades and rotifers. The luxuriant Ward Hunt consortia also contain high concentrations (107-108cm-2) of viruses and heterotrophic bacteria. During periods of extensive ice cover, such as glaciations during the Proterozoic, cryotolerant mats of the type now found in these polar ice shelf ecosystems would have provided refugia for the survival, growth and evolution of a variety of organisms, including multicellular eukaryotes.

  3. Assessing Sources of Stress to Aquatic Ecosystems: Using Biomarkers and Bioindicators to Characterize Exodure-Response Profiles of Anthropogenic Activities

    SciTech Connect

    Adams, S.M.

    1999-03-29

    Establishing causal relationships between sources of environmental stressors and aquatic ecosystem health if difficult because of the many biotic and abiotic factors which can influence or modify responses of biological systems to stress, the orders of magnitude involved in extrapolation over both spatial and temporal scales, and compensatory mechanisms such as density-dependent responses that operate in populations. To address the problem of establishing causality between stressors and effects on aquatic systems, a diagnostic approach, based on exposure-response profiles for various anthropogenic activities, was developed to help identify sources of stress responsible for effects on aquatic systems at ecological significant levels of biological organization (individual, population, community). To generate these exposure-effects profiles, biomarkers of exposure were plotted against bioindicators of corresponding effects for several major anthropogenic activities including petrochemical , pulp and paper, domestic sewage, mining operations, land-development activities, and agricultural activities. Biomarkers of exposure to environmental stressors varied depending on the type of anthropogenic activity involved. Bioindicator effects, however, including histopathological lesions, bioenergetic status, individual growth, reproductive impairment, and community-level responses were similar among many of the major anthropogenic activities. This approach is valuable to help identify and diagnose sources of stressors in environments impacted by multiple stressors. By identifying the types and sources of environmental stressors, aquatic ecosystems can be more effectively protected and managed to maintain acceptable levels of environmental quality and ecosystem fitness.

  4. Bottom-up nutrient and top-down fish impacts on insect-mediated mercury flux from aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Jones, Taylor A; Chumchal, Matthew M; Drenner, Ray W; Timmins, Gabrielle N; Nowlin, Weston H

    2013-03-01

    Methyl mercury (MeHg) is one of the most hazardous contaminants in the environment, adversely affecting the health of wildlife and humans. Recent studies have demonstrated that aquatic insects biotransport MeHg and other contaminants to terrestrial consumers, but the factors that regulate the flux of MeHg out of aquatic ecosystems via emergent insects have not been studied. The authors used experimental mesocosms to test the hypothesis that insect emergence and the associated flux of MeHg from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems is affected by both bottom-up nutrient effects and top-down fish consumer effects. In the present study, nutrient addition led to an increase in MeHg flux primarily by enhancing the biomass of emerging insects whose tissues were contaminated with MeHg, whereas fish decreased MeHg flux primarily by reducing the biomass of emerging insects. Furthermore, the authors found that these factors are interdependent such that the effects of nutrients are more pronounced when fish are absent, and the effects of fish are more pronounced when nutrient concentrations are high. The present study is the first to demonstrate that the flux of MeHg from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems is strongly enhanced by bottom-up nutrient effects and diminished by top-down consumer effects. PMID:23180684

  5. Development of an advanced regional climate-ecosystem model for Arctic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaudhary, Nitin; Smith, Benjamin; Miller, Paul

    2013-04-01

    Cryospheric processes together with their feedbacks play a crucial role in determining rates and patterns of future warming over high-latitude regions. Cryospheric processes including permafrost as well as peatland and associated vegetation, hydrological and biogeochemical dynamics are not well represented in land surface schemes (LSS) of most climate models. As a step in this direction, we describe a scheme to include the coupled dynamics of vegetation, hydrology and peat accumulation under climate forcing within a detailed vegetation dynamics-biogeochemistry model, LPJ GUESS (Smith et al. 2001; Miller et al., in preparation). In the first step, a one-dimensional (1D) landscape scale peat accumulation and two dimensional (2D) micro-topographical models have been developed. For the parameterisation and validation of these models, good quality datasets are being used which are collected at various locations around the Arctic. Building on these, a three-dimensional (3D) scheme will be incorporated in a version of LPJ-GUESS that already includes patch-scale vegetation dynamics and soil carbon cycling, as well as a one-dimensional hydrology scheme. The patches in the 3D model will be treated as adjacent micro-patches in a grid and depending on underlying micro-topography water will flow from higher to lower patches. The 2D and 3D models will help in simulating hummock and hollow structure which is typical for Northern peatlands based on the cyclic regeneration theory (von Post and Sernander, 1910). The resulting models will be incorporated within the biospheric component of a regional climate-ecosystem model, RCA-GUESS (Smith et al., 2010) and used to investigate feedbacks related to the dynamics of peatlands, permafrost and emissions of the greenhouse gases, mainly CO2 and CH4 across the Arctic region. References- Smith B, Prentice IC, and Skyes MT. 2001. Representation of vegetation dynamics in modelling of European ecosystems: comparison of two contrasting

  6. A case study of high Arctic anthropogenic disturbance to polar desert permafrost and ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, M. S.; Pollard, W. H.

    2013-12-01

    One of the indirect impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems is the expected increase of industrial development in high latitudes. The scale of terrestrial impacts cannot be known ahead of time, particularly due to a lack of long-term impact studies in this region. With one of the slowest community recovery rates of any ecosystem, the high Artic biome will be under a considerable threat that is exacerbated by a high susceptibility to change in the permafrost thermal balance. One such area that provides a suitable location for study is an old airstrip near Eureka, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut (80.0175°N, 85.7340°W). While primarily used as an ice-runway for winter transport, the airstrip endured a yearly summer removal of vegetation that continued from 1947 until its abandonment in 1951. Since then, significant vegetative and geomorphic differences between disturbed and undisturbed areas have been noted in the literature throughout the decades (Bruggemann, 1953; Beschel, 1963; Couture and Pollard, 2007), but no system wide assessment of both the ecosystem and near-surface permafrost has been conducted. Key to our study is that the greatest apparent geomorphic and vegetative changes have occurred and persisted in areas where underlying ice-wedges have been disturbed. This suggests that the colonizing communities rapidly filled new available thermokarst niches and have produced an alternative ice-wedge stable state than the surrounding polar desert. We hypothesize that disturbed areas will currently have greater depths of thaw (deeper active layers) and degraded ice-wedges, with decreased vegetation diversity but higher abundance due to a changed hydrological balance. To test this a comprehensive set of near-surface active layer and ecosystem measurements were conducted. Permafrost dynamics were characterized using probing and high-frequency Ground Penetrating Radar (500 MHz) to map the near-surface details of ice-wedges and active layer. Vegetation was measured

  7. Relationships between ecosystem metabolism, benthic macroinvertebrate densities, and environmental variables in a sub-arctic Alaskan river

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benson, Emily R.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Clapcott, Joanne E.; Hughes, Nicholas F.

    2013-01-01

    Relationships between environmental variables, ecosystem metabolism, and benthos are not well understood in sub-arctic ecosystems. The goal of this study was to investigate environmental drivers of river ecosystem metabolism and macroinvertebrate density in a sub-arctic river. We estimated primary production and respiration rates, sampled benthic macroinvertebrates, and monitored light intensity, discharge rate, and nutrient concentrations in the Chena River, interior Alaska, over two summers. We employed Random Forests models to identify predictor variables for metabolism rates and benthic macroinvertebrate density and biomass, and calculated Spearman correlations between in-stream nutrient levels and metabolism rates. Models indicated that discharge and length of time between high water events were the most important factors measured for predicting metabolism rates. Discharge was the most important variable for predicting benthic macroinvertebrate density and biomass. Primary production rate peaked at intermediate discharge, respiration rate was lowest at the greatest time since last high water event, and benthic macroinvertebrate density was lowest at high discharge rates. The ratio of dissolved inorganic nitrogen to soluble reactive phosphorus ranged from 27:1 to 172:1. We found that discharge plays a key role in regulating stream ecosystem metabolism, but that low phosphorous levels also likely limit primary production in this sub-arctic stream.

  8. Spatial variation in vegetation productivity trends, fire disturbance, and soil carbon across arctic-boreal permafrost ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loranty, Michael M.; Liberman-Cribbin, Wil; Berner, Logan T.; Natali, Susan M.; Goetz, Scott J.; Alexander, Heather D.; Kholodov, Alexander L.

    2016-09-01

    In arctic tundra and boreal forest ecosystems vegetation structural and functional influences on the surface energy balance can strongly influence permafrost soil temperatures. As such, vegetation changes will likely play an important role in permafrost soil carbon dynamics and associated climate feedbacks. Processes that lead to changes in vegetation, such as wildfire or ecosystem responses to rising temperatures, are of critical importance to understanding the impacts of arctic and boreal ecosystems on future climate. Yet these processes vary within and between ecosystems and this variability has not been systematically characterized across the arctic-boreal region. Here we quantify the distribution of vegetation productivity trends, wildfire, and near-surface soil carbon, by vegetation type, across the zones of continuous and discontinuous permafrost. Siberian larch forests contain more than one quarter of permafrost soil carbon in areas of continuous permafrost. We observe pervasive positive trends in vegetation productivity in areas of continuous permafrost, whereas areas underlain by discontinuous permafrost have proportionally less positive productivity trends and an increase in areas exhibiting negative productivity trends. Fire affects a much smaller proportion of the total area and thus a smaller amount of permafrost soil carbon, with the vast majority occurring in deciduous needleleaf forests. Our results indicate that vegetation productivity trends may be linked to permafrost distribution, fire affects a relatively small proportion of permafrost soil carbon, and Siberian larch forests will play a crucial role in the strength of the permafrost carbon climate feedback.

  9. Initial Impacts of the Mount Polley Tailings Pond Breach on Adjacent Aquatic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petticrew, Ellen; Gantner, Nikolaus; Albers, Sam; Owens, Philip

    2015-04-01

    On August 4th 2014, the Mount Polley Tailings pond breach near Likely, B.C., released approximately 24 million cubic metres of tailings material into Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake. The discharge scoured and eroded a swath of soil and sediment delivering an unknown amount of metals and sediment into this tributary ecosystem of the Fraser River. Subsequent efforts by the mine operator to remediate by pumping tailings water from Polley Lake into Hazeltine Creek, which flows into Quesnel Lake, resulted in additional and continuous release of unknown volumes of contaminated water and sediments into the watershed. Heavy metals (e.g., selenium, copper, or mercury) reported as stored in the tailings pond entered the downstream aquatic environment and have been monitored in the water column of Quesnel Lake since August. These contaminants are likely particle-bound and thus subject to transport over long distances without appreciable degradation, resulting in the potential for chronic exposures and associated toxicological effects in exposed biota. While significant dilution is expected during aquatic transport, and the resulting concentrations in the water will likely be low, concentrations in exposed biota may become of concern over time. Metals such as mercury and selenium undergo bioaccumulation and biomagnification, once incorporated into the food chain/web. Thus, even small concentrations of such contaminants in water can lead to greater concentrations (~100 fold) in top predators. Over time, our predictions are that food web transfer will lead to an increase in concentrations from water (1-2 years)->invertebrates (1-2 yrs) ->fishes (2-5 yrs). Pacific salmon travel great distances in this watershed and may be exposed to contaminated water during their migrations. Resident species will be exposed to the contaminated waters and sediments in the study lakes year round. Little or no background/baseline data for metals in biota from Quesnel Lake exists

  10. Arctic and boreal ecosystems of western North America as components of the climate system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chapin, F. S.; McGuire, A.D.; Randerson, J.; Pielke, R.; Baldocchi, D.; Hobbie, S.E.; Roulet, Nigel; Eugster, W.; Kasischke, E.; Rastetter, E.B.; Zimov, S.A.; Running, S.W.

    2000-01-01

    Synthesis of results from several Arctic and boreal research programmes provides evidence for the strong role of high-latitude ecosystems in the climate system. Average surface air temperature has increased 0.3??C per decade during the twentieth century in the western North American Arctic and boreal forest zones. Precipitation has also increased, but changes in soil moisture are uncertain. Disturbance rates have increased in the boreal forest; for example, there has been a doubling of the area burned in North America in the past 20 years. The disturbance regime in tundra may not have changed. Tundra has a 3-6-fold higher winter albedo than boreal forest, but summer albedo and energy partitioning differ more strongly among ecosystems within either tundra or boreal forest than between these two biomes. This indicates a need to improve our understanding of vegetation dynamics within, as well as between, biomes. If regional surface warming were to continue, changes in albedo and energy absorption would likely act as a positive feedback to regional warming due to earlier melting of snow and, over the long term, the northward movement of treeline. Surface drying and a change in dominance from mosses to vascular plants would also enhance sensible heat flux and regional warming in tundra. In the boreal forest of western North America, deciduous forests have twice the albedo of conifer forests in both winter and summer, 50-80% higher evapotranspiration, and therefore only 30-50% of the sensible heat flux of conifers in summer. Therefore, a warming-induced increase in fire frequency that increased the proportion of deciduous forests in the landscape, would act as a negative feedback to regional warming. Changes in thermokarst and the aerial extent of wetlands, lakes, and ponds would alter high-latitude methane flux. There is currently a wide discrepancy among estimates of the size and direction of CO2 flux between high-latitude ecosystems and the atmosphere. These

  11. Land use Controls on Water Quality and Aquatic Ecosystems in the Andean Amazon, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waggoner, L. A.; McClain, M. E.

    2007-05-01

    Agro-pastoral systems are replacing many of the tropical forests in the world, and much of this deforestation occurs in watersheds where people's livelihoods rely directly on water and aquatic resources in local streams and rivers. We examined relationships between land use and aquatic ecosystems in 34 catchments exhibiting a gradient of land use disturbance and human settlement in the Andean Amazon of Peru. Our research objectives were to 1) classify and characterize watershed land use and physical properties using remotely sensed data, 2) characterize the physical, biological and chemical conditions of streams 3) examine relationships between land use and water quality parameters at 3 scales: watershed, riparian and reach habitat and 4) translate research findings into management strategies that minimize disturbance and maximize ecosystem services. Primary forest was the dominant cover (68%) across the catchments, and the remaining study area was composed of: mixed forest (11.5%), grassland (10.75%) cropland (9.17%) and bare rock (0.02%). Among watersheds, forest cover ranged from 14% to 100%, mixed forest ranged from 0% to 26%, grassland ranged from 0% to 45% and cropland ranged from 0% to 26%. Physical habitat index scores ranged from 12.80 (very impaired) to 29.50 (reference conditions). Although nitrogen, phosphorous, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), pH, electric conductivity, and dissolved oxygen (DO), varied across sites, total concentrations remained within acceptable levels. Simpson's diversity and Family Biotic Index (FBI) were calculated for macroinvertebrates collected at each site; Simpson's diversity ranged from 0.24 to 0.95 and FBI ranged from 1.97 (excellent) to 7.49 (fairly poor). Forest cover at the watershed scale was the best explanatory variable and was positively correlated with inorganic phosphate (0.50), DO (0.90) and Simpson's diversity (0.46) and negatively correlated with organic phosphate (- 0.64), DOC (-0.75), water temperature (-0

  12. Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 with rapidly changing high Arctic landscapes.

    PubMed

    Emmerton, Craig A; St Louis, Vincent L; Humphreys, Elyn R; Gamon, John A; Barker, Joel D; Pastorello, Gilberto Z

    2016-03-01

    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 300 times 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 southerly 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 enough to offset poor soil moisture retention, climate-related changes to productivity on polar semideserts may be restricted.

  13. Transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Rice Is Safer to Aquatic Ecosystems than Its Non-Transgenic Counterpart

    PubMed Central

    Li, Guangsheng; Wang, Yongmo; Liu, Biao; Zhang, Guoan

    2014-01-01

    Rice lines genetically modified with the crystal toxin genes from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have experienced rapid development, with biosafety certificates for two Bt rice lines issued in 2009. There has still been no commercial release of these lines yet due to public concerns about human health and environmental risks. Some studies confirmed that Bt rice was as safe as conventional rice to non-target organisms when pesticides were not applied, however, pesticides are still required in Bt rice to control non-lepidopteran pests. In this study, we assessed the environmental effects of two Bt rice lines expressing either the cry1Ab/1Ac or cry2A genes, respectively, by using zooplanktons as indicator species under normal field management practices using pesticides when required. In the whole rice growing season, non-Bt rice was sprayed 5 times while Bt rice was sprayed 2 times, which ensured both rice achieved a normal yield. Field investigations showed that rice type (Bt and non-Bt) significantly influenced zooplankton abundance and diversity, which were up to 95% and 80% lower in non-Bt rice fields than Bt rice fields. Laboratory rearing showed that water from non-Bt rice fields was significantly less suitable for the survival and reproduction of Daphnia magna and Paramecium caudatum in comparison with water from Bt rice fields. Higher pesticide residues were detected in the water from non-Bt than Bt rice fields, accounting for the bad performance of zooplankton in non-Bt field water. Our results demonstrate that Bt rice is safer to aquatic ecosystems than non-Bt rice, and its commercialization will be beneficial for biodiversity restoration in rice-based ecosystems. PMID:25105299

  14. Transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) rice is safer to aquatic ecosystems than its non-transgenic counterpart.

    PubMed

    Li, Guangsheng; Wang, Yongmo; Liu, Biao; Zhang, Guoan

    2014-01-01

    Rice lines genetically modified with the crystal toxin genes from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have experienced rapid development, with biosafety certificates for two Bt rice lines issued in 2009. There has still been no commercial release of these lines yet due to public concerns about human health and environmental risks. Some studies confirmed that Bt rice was as safe as conventional rice to non-target organisms when pesticides were not applied, however, pesticides are still required in Bt rice to control non-lepidopteran pests. In this study, we assessed the environmental effects of two Bt rice lines expressing either the cry1Ab/1Ac or cry2A genes, respectively, by using zooplanktons as indicator species under normal field management practices using pesticides when required. In the whole rice growing season, non-Bt rice was sprayed 5 times while Bt rice was sprayed 2 times, which ensured both rice achieved a normal yield. Field investigations showed that rice type (Bt and non-Bt) significantly influenced zooplankton abundance and diversity, which were up to 95% and 80% lower in non-Bt rice fields than Bt rice fields. Laboratory rearing showed that water from non-Bt rice fields was significantly less suitable for the survival and reproduction of Daphnia magna and Paramecium caudatum in comparison with water from Bt rice fields. Higher pesticide residues were detected in the water from non-Bt than Bt rice fields, accounting for the bad performance of zooplankton in non-Bt field water. Our results demonstrate that Bt rice is safer to aquatic ecosystems than non-Bt rice, and its commercialization will be beneficial for biodiversity restoration in rice-based ecosystems.

  15. Transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) rice is safer to aquatic ecosystems than its non-transgenic counterpart.

    PubMed

    Li, Guangsheng; Wang, Yongmo; Liu, Biao; Zhang, Guoan

    2014-01-01

    Rice lines genetically modified with the crystal toxin genes from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) have experienced rapid development, with biosafety certificates for two Bt rice lines issued in 2009. There has still been no commercial release of these lines yet due to public concerns about human health and environmental risks. Some studies confirmed that Bt rice was as safe as conventional rice to non-target organisms when pesticides were not applied, however, pesticides are still required in Bt rice to control non-lepidopteran pests. In this study, we assessed the environmental effects of two Bt rice lines expressing either the cry1Ab/1Ac or cry2A genes, respectively, by using zooplanktons as indicator species under normal field management practices using pesticides when required. In the whole rice growing season, non-Bt rice was sprayed 5 times while Bt rice was sprayed 2 times, which ensured both rice achieved a normal yield. Field investigations showed that rice type (Bt and non-Bt) significantly influenced zooplankton abundance and diversity, which were up to 95% and 80% lower in non-Bt rice fields than Bt rice fields. Laboratory rearing showed that water from non-Bt rice fields was significantly less suitable for the survival and reproduction of Daphnia magna and Paramecium caudatum in comparison with water from Bt rice fields. Higher pesticide residues were detected in the water from non-Bt than Bt rice fields, accounting for the bad performance of zooplankton in non-Bt field water. Our results demonstrate that Bt rice is safer to aquatic ecosystems than non-Bt rice, and its commercialization will be beneficial for biodiversity restoration in rice-based ecosystems. PMID:25105299

  16. Modeling the impacts of warming on the long-term trends in ecosystem productivity in arctic regions of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mekonnen, Zelalem; Grant, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Rises in average air temperatures for the Arctic region in particular have been twice as rapid as the global average during the last century. Despite a general warming in most arctic regions, there is large spatial and temporal variation in this warming that affects the productivity of different ecosystems. In this study, we investigated long-term (1979 - 2010) spatial and temporal trends of air temperature change in northern higher latitudes of North America using climate data from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) with 3-hourly time step at spatial resolution of 0.25 degrees. The NARR climate data were used to drive a comprehensive mathematical ecosystem model ecosys which simulated land-atmosphere energy and carbon exchange. Trend analysis of temperatures in different regions of the arctic shows a contrasting pattern along latitudinal and longitudinal gradients. The highest warming trend was observed in the northeast arctic with a trend of +0.72 0C decade-1, demonstrating amplified warming in the Arctic in the recent decades. Gross primary productivity (GPP), net primary productivity (NPP) and leaf area index (LAI) increased in most parts of the northern ecosystems supporting the hypothesis that higher latitudes and cooler regions tend to have greater gains in carbon attributed to warming over the last three decades. However, negative feedback was also observed in parts of Alaska. In annual scale net carbon uptake was increasing by spatial average of 0.22 gCm-2yr-1. Spatial average active layer depth (ALD) has shown an increase in most part of the region, with an average of 2.3cm decade-1. Further warming could increase the deepening of the ALD that could expose the huge volume of carbon beneath the permafrost and accelerate the rate of carbon losses.

  17. Water table height and microtopography control biogeochemical cycling in an Arctic coastal tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipson, D. A.; Zona, D.; Raab, T. K.; Bozzolo, F.; Mauritz, M.; Oechel, W. C.

    2011-07-01

    Drained thaw lake basins (DTLB) are the dominant land form of the Arctic coastal plain in northern Alaska. The presence of continuous permafrost prevents drainage and so water tables generally remain close to the soil surface, creating saturated, suboxic soil conditions. However, ice wedge polygons produce microtopographic variation in these landscapes, with raised areas such as polygon rims creating more oxic microenvironments. The peat soils in this ecosystem store large amounts of organic carbon which is vulnerable to loss as arctic regions continue to rapidly warm, and so there is great motivation to understand the controls over microbial activity in these complex landscapes. Here we report the effects of experimental flooding, along with seasonal and spatial variation in soil chemistry and microbial activity in a DTLB. The flooding treatment generally mirrored the effects of natural landscape variation in water table height due to microtopography. Areas in the flooded areas had lower dissolved oxygen, lower oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) and higher pH, as did lower elevation areas of the landscape. Similarly, soil pore water concentrations of dissolved ferric iron (Fe III), organic carbon, and aromatic compounds were higher in flooded and low elevation areas. Dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) concentrations were higher in low elevation areas. In anaerobic laboratory incubations, more CH4 was produced by soils from low and flooded areas, whereas anaerobic CO2 production only responded to flooding in high elevation areas. Seasonal changes in the oxidation state of solid phase Fe minerals showed that significant dissimilatory Fe reduction occurred, especially in topographically low areas. This suite of results can all be attributed to the effect of water table on oxygen availability: flooded conditions promote anoxia, stimulating anaerobic processes, methanogenesis and Fe(III) reduction. Flooding also increased soil temperature, which might

  18. Spatial Variation of Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition and Estimated Critical Loads for Aquatic Ecosystems in the Greater Yellowstone Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nanus, L.; McMurray, J. A.; Clow, D. W.; Saros, J. E.; Blett, T.

    2015-12-01

    Aquatic ecosystems at high-elevations in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) are sensitive to the effects of atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition. Current and historic N deposition has impacted aquatic ecosystems in the GYA and N deposition is increasing in many areas. Anticipated changes in atmospheric emissions may further affect these sensitive ecosystems. Understanding the spatial variation in atmospheric N deposition is needed to develop estimates of air pollution critical loads for aquatic ecosystems in complex terrain. For the GYA, high resolution (400 meter) maps were developed for 1993-2014 to identify areas of high loading of mean annual Total N deposition (wet + dry) and wet deposition of inorganic N (nitrate and ammonium). Total N deposition estimates in the GYA range from ≤ 1.4 to 7.5 kg N ha-1 yr-1 and show greater variability than inorganic N deposition. Spatially explicit estimates of critical loads of N deposition (CLNdep) for nutrient enrichment in aquatic ecosystems were developed using a geostatistical approach. CLNdep in the GYA ranges from less than 1.5 kg N ha-1 yr-1 to over 10 kg N ha-1 yr-1 and variability is controlled by differences in basin characteristics. The lowest CLNdep estimates occurred in high-elevation basins with steep slopes, sparse vegetation, and exposed bedrock, including areas within GYA Wilderness boundaries. These areas often have high inorganic N deposition (>3 kg N ha-1 yr-1), resulting in CLNdep exceedances greater than 1.5 kg N ha-1 yr-1. The N deposition maps were used to identify CLNdep exceedances for aquatic ecosystems, and to explore scale dependence and boundary issues related to estimating CLNdep. Based on a NO3- threshold of 1.0 μmol L-1, inorganic N deposition exceeds CLNdep in 12% of the GYA, and Total N deposition is in exceedance for 23% of the GYA. These maps can be used to help identify and protect sensitive ecosystems that may be impacted by excess N deposition in the GYA.

  19. Mycological monitoring of selected aquatic ecosystems in the context of epidemiological hazards. Drinking water.

    PubMed

    Biedunkiewicz, Anna; Kowalska, Katarzyna; Schulz, Lukasz; Stojek, Kamila; Dynowska, Maria; Ejdys, Elżbieta; Sucharzewska, Ewa; Kubiak, Dariusz

    2014-01-01

    Many species of microfungi are reported in aquatic ecosystems with different frequency. Their number constantly fluctuates depending on the concentration of environmental and anthropogenic factors. Drinking water, tap and bottled, is essential for the proper functioning of the human body. It is also the main component of food and hence it should be safe for human health and free of contaminants. The mycological purity of tap water in two large cities in the region (Olsztyn and Ostrołęka) and a small village (Gągławki) as well as bottled, medium-mineralized and curative water stored under different conditions were tested. The laboratory investigations followed a pathway applied in diagnostic mycological laboratories. The conducted tests demonstrated that microfungi were found in tap water originating from the cities and in bottled water. The rural water supply system was free from contaminations. Eighteen species of microfungi were identified in tap water from Olsztyn and 9 species in tap water from Ostrołęka. In bottled water, 13 fungal species were detected. Exophiala spinifera and Debaryomyces hansenii were recorded in the water supply systems of both cities, while one common species, i.e. Aspergillus fumigatus, was identified in tap water fromOstrołęka and in bottled water. The conducted studies have significant practical implications, for instance in sanitary and epidemiological water evaluation and in medicine in the context of analysing the quality of drinking water in reference to health resorts and nosocomial infections.

  20. Mapping critical loads of nitrogen deposition for aquatic ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains, USA.

    PubMed

    Nanus, Leora; Clow, David W; Saros, Jasmine E; Stephens, Verlin C; Campbell, Donald H

    2012-07-01

    Spatially explicit estimates of critical loads of nitrogen (N) deposition (CL(Ndep)) for nutrient enrichment in aquatic ecosystems were developed for the Rocky Mountains, USA, using a geostatistical approach. The lowest CL(Ndep) estimates (<1.5 ± 1 kg N ha(-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 CL(Ndep) exceedances ≥ 1.5 ± 1 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1). CL(Ndep) and CL(Ndep) exceedances exhibit substantial spatial variability related to basin characteristics and are highly sensitive to the NO(3)(-) threshold at which ecological effects are thought to occur. Based on an NO(3)(-) threshold of 0.5 μmol L(-1), N deposition exceeds CL(Ndep) 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. PMID:22504426

  1. A methodology for assessing the impact of mutagens on aquatic ecosystems. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Knezovich, J.P.; Martinelli, R.E.

    1995-03-01

    Assessments of impacts of hazardous agents (i.e., chemical and physical mutagens) on human health have focused on defining the effects of chronic exposure on individuals, with cancer being the main effect of concern. In contrast, impacts on ecosystems have traditionally been gauged by the assessment of near-term organism mortality, which is clearly not a useful endpoint for assessing the long-term effects of chronic exposures. Impacts on individual organisms that affect the long-term survival of populations are much more important but are also more difficult to define. Therefore, methods that provide accurate measures of sub-lethal effects that are linked to population survival are required so that accurate assessments of environmental damage can be made and remediation efforts, if required, can be initiated. Radioactive substances have entered aquatic environments as a result of research and production activities, intentional disposal, and accidental discharges. At several DOE sites, surface waters and sediments are contaminated with radioactive and mutagenic materials. The accident at the Chernobyl power station in the former Soviet Union (FSU) has resulted in the contamination of biota present in the Kiev Reservoir. This documents presents a methodology which addresses the effects of a direct-acting mutagen (radiation) on aquantic organisms by applying sensitive techniques for assessing damage to genetic material.

  2. The combination of different carbon sources enhances bacterial growth efficiency in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Fonte, Ellen S; Amado, André M; Meirelles-Pereira, Frederico; Esteves, Francisco A; Rosado, Alexandre S; Farjalla, Vinicius F

    2013-11-01

    The dissolved organic carbon (DOC) pool is composed of several organic carbon compounds from different carbon sources. Each of these sources may support different bacterial growth rates, but few studies have specifically analyzed the effects of the combination of different carbon sources on bacterial metabolism. In this study, we evaluated the response of several metabolic parameters, including bacterial biomass production (BP), bacterial respiration (BR), bacterial growth efficiency (BGE), and bacterial community structure, on the presence of three DOC sources alone and in combination. We hypothesized that the mixture of different DOC sources would increase the efficiency of carbon use by bacteria (BGE). We established a full-factorial substitutive design (seven treatments) in which the effects of the number and identity of DOC sources on bacterial metabolism were evaluated. We calculated the expected metabolic rates of the combined DOC treatments based on the single-DOC treatments and observed a positive interaction on BP, a negative interaction on BR, and, consequently, a positive interaction on BGE for the combinations. The bacterial community composition appeared to have a minor impact on differences in bacterial metabolism among the treatments. Our data indicate that mixtures of DOC sources result in a more efficient biological use of carbon. This study provides strong evidence that the mixture of different DOC sources is a key factor affecting the role of bacteria in the carbon flux of aquatic ecosystems. PMID:23963223

  3. 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.

  4. Mycological monitoring of selected aquatic ecosystems in the context of epidemiological hazards. Drinking water.

    PubMed

    Biedunkiewicz, Anna; Kowalska, Katarzyna; Schulz, Lukasz; Stojek, Kamila; Dynowska, Maria; Ejdys, Elżbieta; Sucharzewska, Ewa; Kubiak, Dariusz

    2014-01-01

    Many species of microfungi are reported in aquatic ecosystems with different frequency. Their number constantly fluctuates depending on the concentration of environmental and anthropogenic factors. Drinking water, tap and bottled, is essential for the proper functioning of the human body. It is also the main component of food and hence it should be safe for human health and free of contaminants. The mycological purity of tap water in two large cities in the region (Olsztyn and Ostrołęka) and a small village (Gągławki) as well as bottled, medium-mineralized and curative water stored under different conditions were tested. The laboratory investigations followed a pathway applied in diagnostic mycological laboratories. The conducted tests demonstrated that microfungi were found in tap water originating from the cities and in bottled water. The rural water supply system was free from contaminations. Eighteen species of microfungi were identified in tap water from Olsztyn and 9 species in tap water from Ostrołęka. In bottled water, 13 fungal species were detected. Exophiala spinifera and Debaryomyces hansenii were recorded in the water supply systems of both cities, while one common species, i.e. Aspergillus fumigatus, was identified in tap water fromOstrołęka and in bottled water. The conducted studies have significant practical implications, for instance in sanitary and epidemiological water evaluation and in medicine in the context of analysing the quality of drinking water in reference to health resorts and nosocomial infections. PMID:25281816

  5. Ecological risk assessment of zinc from stormwater runoff to an aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Brix, Kevin V; Keithly, James; Santore, Robert C; DeForest, David K; Tobiason, Scott

    2010-03-15

    Zinc (Zn) risks from stormwater runoff to an aquatic ecosystem were studied. Monitoring data on waterborne, porewater, and sediment Zn concentrations collected at 20 stations throughout a stormwater collection/detention facility consisting of forested wetlands, a retention pond and first order stream were used to conduct the assessment. Bioavailability in the water column was estimated using biotic ligand models for invertebrates and fish while bioavailability in the sediment was assessed using acid volatile sulfide-simultaneously extracted metal (AVS-SEM). The screening level assessment indicated no significant risks were posed to benthic organisms from Zn concentrations in sediments and pore water. As would be expected for stormwater, Zn concentrations were temporally quite variable within a storm event, varying by factors of 2 to 4. Overall, probabilistic assessment indicated low (5-10% of species affected) to negligible risks in the system, especially at the discharge to the first order stream. Moderate to high risks (10-50% of species affected) were identified at sampling locations most upgradient in the collection system. The largest uncertainty with the assessment is associated with how best to estimate chronic exposure/risks from time-varying exposure concentrations. Further research on pulse exposure metal toxicity is clearly needed to assess stormwater impacts on the environment.

  6. A methodological approach to characterize the resilience of aquatic ecosystems with application to Lake Annecy, France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinault, J.-L.; Berthier, F.

    2007-01-01

    We propose a methodological approach to characterize the resilience of aquatic ecosystems with respect to the evolution of environmental parameters as well as their aptitude to adapt to forcings. This method that is applied to Lake Annecy, France, proceeds in three stages. First, according to the depth, variations of physicochemical parameters versus time are separated into three components related to (1) energy transfer through the surface of the lake, (2) the flow of rivers and springs that feed the lake, and (3) long-term evolution of the benthic zone as a consequence of mineral and organic matter loads. Second, dynamics of the lake are deduced by analyzing the physicochemical parameter components related to the three boundary conditions. Third, a stochastic process associated with the transfer models aims to characterize the resilience of the lakes according to forcings. For Lake Annecy, whose dynamics are representative of oligotrophic stratified lakes controlled by decarbonation processes where turnover and mixing occurring once a year in winter, the major consequence is the impoverishment of dissolved oxygen in deep water in autumn due to a temperature increase of the surface water in summer. The simulation raises relevant questions about whether a connection exists between physicochemical parameters and global warming, which should not induce harmful consequences on water quality and biodiversity in deep water. This methodological approach is general since it does not use any physical conceptual model to predict the hydrosystem behavior but uses directly observed data.

  7. Aquatic ecotoxicology: from the ecosystem to the cellular and molecular levels.

    PubMed Central

    Boudou, A; Ribeyre, F

    1997-01-01

    This review of aquatic ecotoxicology is presented in three parts. First, we discuss the fundamental concepts and stress the importance of its ecological basis and the complexity and diversity of the field of investigation, which result from actions and interactions between the physicochemical characteristics of the biotopes, the structural and functional properties of the living organisms, and the contamination modalities. Ecotoxicological mechanisms, regardless of the level of biological complexity, primarily depend on the bioavailability of the toxic products. Numerous processes control the chemical fate of contaminants in the water column and/or sediment compartments; accessibility to the biological barriers that separate the organisms from their surrounding medium depends directly on bioavailability. Second, we review the principal methodologies of the field, from in situ studies at the ecosystem/ecocomplex level to bioassays or single species tests. Third, we focus on mercury, selected as a reference contaminant, in order to illustrate the main ecotoxicological concepts, the complementarity between field and laboratory studies, and the indispensable multidisciplinarity of the approaches. PMID:9114275

  8. Extraordinary stability of copper(I)-tetrathiomolybdate complexes: possible implications for aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Helz, George R; Erickson, Britt E

    2011-01-01

    An extraordinary affinity of MoS₄²⁻ for Cu accounts for Mo-induced Cu deficiency in ruminants (molybdenosis) and offers an approach to treating Wilson's disease in humans. Evidence of thiomolybdates in sulfidic natural waters, and possibly even as metastable traces in oxic natural waters, raises the question of how Cu-Mo affinity might affect Cu availability or toxicity in aquatic ecosystems. Stabilities of inorganic Cu-MoS₄²⁻ complexes are characterized and quantified here for the first time. Two remarkably stable Cu(I) dissolved complexes are identified (T = 23°C ± 2°C): Cu₂(HS)₂MoS₄²⁻ and Cu₂S₂MoS₄⁴⁻. In addition, the solubility constant for a precipitate (NH₄CuMoS₄) was measured. Under the extremely reducing conditions in rumen fluids, these complexes will greatly suppress Cu(+) activity, supporting prior conclusions about the mechanism of molybdenosis. In sulfidic natural waters, they help to prevent complete Cu impoverishment, as might otherwise occur by sulfide mineral precipitation. On the other hand, the complexes discovered here are HS⁻-dependent and could not be important in oxic natural waters (with HS⁻ concentrations < 10⁻⁹ M) even if metastable, biogenic MoS₄²⁻ indeed were present as previously conjectured.

  9. Microbial interactions affecting the natural transformation of Bacillus subtilis in a model aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Kazuaki; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Kawabata, Zen'ichiro

    2003-08-01

    The involvement of microbial interactions in natural transformation of bacteria was evaluated using an aquatic model system. For this purpose, the naturally transformable Bacillus subtilis was used as the model bacterium which was co-cultivated with the protist Tetrahymena thermophila (a consumer) and/or the photosynthetic alga Euglena gracilis (a producer). Co-cultivation with as few as 10(2) individuals ml(-1) of T. thermophila lowered the number of transformants to less than the detectable level (<1x10(0) ml(-1)), while co-cultivation with E. gracilis did not. Metabolites from co-cultures of T. thermophila and B. subtilis also decreased the number of transformants to less than the detectable level, while metabolites from co-culture of T. thermophila and B. subtilis with E. gracilis did not. Thus, the introduction of transformation inhibitory factor(s) by the grazing of T. thermophila and the attenuation of this inhibitory factor(s) by E. gracilis is indicated. These observations suggest that biological components do affect the natural transformation of B. subtilis. The study described is the first to suggest that ecological interactions are responsible not only for the carbon and energy cycles, but also for the processes governing horizontal transfer of genes, in microbial ecosystems.

  10. Scaling relationships among drivers of aquatic respiration from the smallest to the largest freshwater ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, Ed K; Schoolmaster, Donald; Amado, A.M; Stets, Edward G.; Lennon, J.T.; Domaine, L.; Cotner, J.B.

    2016-01-01

    To address how various environmental parameters control or constrain planktonic respiration (PR), we used geometric scaling relationships and established biological scaling laws to derive quantitative predictions for the relationships among key drivers of PR. We then used empirical measurements of PR and environmental (soluble reactive phosphate [SRP], carbon [DOC], chlorophyll a [Chl-a)], and temperature) and landscape parameters (lake area [LA] and watershed area [WA]) from a set of 44 lakes that varied in size and trophic status to test our hypotheses. We found that landscape-level processes affected PR through direct effects on DOC and temperature and indirectly via SRP. In accordance with predictions made from known relationships and scaling laws, scale coefficients (the parameter that describes the shape of a relationship between 2 variables) were found to be negative and have an absolute value 1, others <1). We also found evidence of a significant relationship between temperature and SRP. Because our dataset included measurements of respiration from small pond catchments to the largest body of freshwater on the planet, Lake Superior, these findings should be applicable to controls of PR for the great majority of temperate aquatic ecosystems.

  11. Structural and functional effects of herbicides on non-target organisms in aquatic ecosystems with an emphasis on atrazine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fairchild, James; Kortekamp, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Agricultural production accounts for approximately 90% of herbicide use in the U.S. (Kiely et al., 2004). Gianessi and Reigner (2007) indicated that herbicides are routinely used on more than 90% of the area designated for large commercial crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, sugar beets, peanuts, and rice. Increased farm mechanization, technological advancements in production of inexpensive sources of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer (e.g., anhydrous ammonia), and conversion of forest, grassland, and wetland habitats to cropland has led to a tremendous increase in global food production over the past half-century. Herbicides have augmented advances in large-scale agricultural systems and have largely replaced mechanical and hand-weeding control mechanisms (Gianessi and Reigner, 2007). The wide-spread use of herbicides in agriculture has resulted in frequent chemical detections in surface and groundwaters (Gilliom, 2007). The majority of herbicides used are highly water soluble and are therefore prone to runoff from terrestrial environments. In additon, spray drift and atmospheric deposition can contribute to herbicide contamination of aquatic environments. Lastly, selected herbicides are deliberately applied to aquatic environments for controlling nuisance aquatic vegetation. Although aquatic herbicide exposure has been widely documented, these exposures are not necessarily related to adverse non-target ecological effects on natural communities in aquatic environments. This chapter evaluates the potential for effects of herbicides on the structure and function of aquatic envrionments at the population, community, and ecosystem levels of biological organization. In this manuscript I examine several critical aspects of the subject matter area: primary herbicides in use and chemical modes of action; the regulatory process used for registration and risk assessment of herbicides; data regarding non-target risks and the relative sensitivity of aquatic plants

  12. Tracking Biological and Ecosystem Responses to Changing Environmental Conditions in the Pacific Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebmeier, J. M.; Cooper, L. W.; Frey, K. E.; Moore, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    Changing seasonal sea ice conditions and seawater temperatures strongly influence biological processes and marine ecosystems at high latitudes. In the Pacific Arctic, persistent regions termed "hotspots", are localized areas with high benthic macroinfaunal biomass that have been documented over four decades (see Figure). These regions are now being more formally tracked to relate physical forcing and ecosystem response as an Arctic Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) supported by the US National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan and international partners. These hotspots are important foraging areas for upper trophic level benthic feeders, such as marine mammals and seabirds. South of St. Lawrence Island (SLI) in the northern Bering Sea, benthic feeding spectacled eiders, bearded seals and walruses are important winter consumers of infauna, such as bivalves and polychaetes. Gray whales have historically been a major summer consumer of benthic amphipods in the Chirikov Basin to the north of SLI, although summertime sightings of gray whales declined in the Chirikov from the 1980s up until at least 2002. The SE Chukchi Sea hotspot, as are the other hotspots, is maintained by export of high chlorophyll a that is produced locally as well as advected by water masses transiting northward through the system. Both walrus and gray whales are known to forage in this hotspot seasonally on high biomass levels of benthic prey. Notably the center of the highest benthic biomass regions has shifted northward in three of the DBO hotspots in recent years. This has coincided with changing sediment grain size, an indicator of current speed, and is also likely a response to changes in primary production in the region. Studies of these broad biological responses to changing physical drivers have been facilitated through development of the DBO cooperative effort by both US and international scientists. The DBO includes a series of coordinated, multi-trophic level observations that

  13. Springs as Model Systems for Aquatic Ecosystems Ecology: Stoichiometry, Metabolism and Nutrient Limitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, M. J.; Nifong, R. L.; Kurz, M. J.; Martin, J. B.; Cropper, W. P.; Korhnak, L. V.

    2013-12-01

    Springs have been called nature's chemostats, where low variation in discharge, temperature and chemistry creates a natural laboratory in which to address basic questions about aquatic ecosystems. Ecological stoichiometry posits that patterns of metabolism, trophic energy transfer and community structure arise in response to coupled elemental cycles. In this work we synthesize several recent studies in Florida's iconic springs to explore the overarching hypothesis that stoichiometry can be used to indicate the nutrient limitation status of autotrophs and ecosystem metabolism. Of foremost importance is that the chemically stable conditions observed in springs ensures that autotroph tissue elemental composition, which is thought to vary with environmental supply, is near steady state. Moreover, the elemental ratios of discharging water vary dramatically across our study springs (for example, molar N:P ranges from 0.4:1 to 400:1), subjecting the communities of autotrophs, which are largely conserved across systems, to dramatically different nutrient supply. At the scale of whole ecosystem metabolism, we show that C:N:P ratios are strongly conserved across a wide gradient of environmental supplies, counter to the prediction of stoichiometric plasticity. Moreover, the absence of a relationship between gross primary production and nutrient concentrations or stoichiometry suggests that metabolic homeostasis may be a diagnostic symptom of nutrient saturation. At the scale of individual autotrophs, both submerged vascular plants and filamentous algae, this finding is strongly reinforced, with remarkable within-species tissue C:N:P homeostasis over large gradients, and no statistically significant evidence that gradients in nutrient supply affect autotroph composition. Expanding the suite of elements for which contemporaneous environment and tissue measurements are available to include 19 metals and micronutrients revealed that, while plants were homeostatic across large N

  14. Floods, fish, and people: Connecting biogeochemical fluxes to aquatic ecosystem functions and people (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holtgrieve, G. W.; Arias, M. E.; Chheng, P.

    2013-12-01

    The Lower Mekong River basin, including Tonle Sap Lake (TSL), is the largest inland fishery in the world and a dominant source of protein and income for much of Southeast Asia. Maintaining ecosystem productivity in the face of large-scale environmental change from hydroelectric dams and climate change is critical for economic and social well-being in the region. Yet, we currently lack the most basic understanding of how hydrologic variation relates to fisheries production, nutritional quality, and ultimately livelihoods of people. We will describe past, present, and future research to establish mechanistic connections between the hydrology, ecology, and sustainability of the Mekong ecosystem. Past research includes application of a state-space oxygen mass balance model and continuous dissolved oxygen measurements from four locations to provide the first estimates of gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) for the Tonle Sap. GPP averaged 4.1 × 2.3 g O2 m-3 d-1 with minimal differences among sites, while ER averaged 24.9 × 20.0 g O2 m-3 d-1, but had greater than six-fold variation among sites. Using our measurements of GPP, we calibrated a hydrodynamic-productivity model and predicted aquatic net primary production of 2.0 × 0.2 g C m-2 d-1 (2.4 × 0.2 million tonnes C y-1). Present research is using stable isotope and fatty acid methyl ester biomarkers to investigate basal carbon sources to the fishery, focusing specifically on the role of biogenic methane oxidation in supporting the food web. Individuals a wide variety of taxa had tissue carbon isotope values (δ13C) ranging from -36 to -57 per mil. These extremely depleted values are best explained by utilization of biogenic methane by methane oxidizing bacteria (MOB) and subsequent grazing of these bacterial by benthic insects and ultimately fishes. The presence of MOB in the food web was confirmed by identifying 16:1ω8 and 18:1ω8 FAME biomarkers specific to these bacteria in fish

  15. Old river beds under urbanization pressure. Can we protect valuable aquatic ecosystems within the cities?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sikorska, Daria; Sikorski, Piotr

    2016-04-01

    Old river channels are valuable ecosystems in the scale of whole Europe. Protected as Natura 2000 habitats they are characterized by high biodiversity and provide various ecosystem services. River regulation, eutrophication or lack of annual flooding result in an impoverishment and disappearance of these habitats. Moreover they are subjected to severe pressure from uncontrolled expansion of the cities. The aim of this study was to determine factors associated with urbanization mostly contributing to impoverishment of the vegetation associated with the old channels and to identify landscape characteristics favouring high diversity and naturalness. We were seeking for indices that could be implemented in spatial management for preservation of these ecosystems. Vegetation inventory of 28 lakes, being former river Vistula beds near Warsaw was held. The lakes were located in an urban-rural gradient from the city centre, suburban zone to rural areas. Mapping of vegetation was performed for aquatic vegetation, rushes and vegetation of the shores (321 relevés). Human pressure was assessed on the basis of landscape composition of the lakes neighbourhood, characteristic features of the reservoir and water physio-chemical properties. High diversity and naturalness of the vegetation associated with former Vistula River beds was proved. Effects of the human pressure in the vegetation composition were recognized in high share of alien species and impoverishment of native plants. Composition was dependant on the intensity of human pressure in the neighbourhood and was mostly related to percentage of built-up areas and road density. Selected measures allowed to explain not more than 30% of plants composition variation which implies strong effect of local factors. Vegetation composition of former river beds changed significantly along urban-rural gradient, though the trend could be noted only to the city border. Several protection activities were proposed favouring high

  16. Large Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Monitoring for Decision Makers: Monitoring to Target and Evaluate Success of Ecosystem Restoration

    EPA Science Inventory

    Monitoring ecosystem restoration at various scales in LAEs can be challenging, frustrating and rewarding. Some of the major ecosystem restoration monitoring occurring in LAEs include: seagrass expansion/contraction; dead zone sizes; oyster reefs; sea turtle nesting; toxic and nu...

  17. Marine ecosystem synthesis: From physics to whales in the Pacific Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheffield Guy, Lisa; Moore, Sue E.; Stabeno, Phyllis

    2012-11-01

    Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) Workshop; Anchorage, Alaska, 14-16 March 2012 The Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) program brings together a multidisciplinary group of Arctic scientists and Alaskan coastal community residents to explore and integrate marine research information in the Pacific Arctic region. The goal of SOAR is to increase scientific understanding of the relationships among oceanographic conditions (physics, chemistry, sea ice), benthic organisms, lower trophic pelagic species (forage fish and zooplankton), and higher trophic species (i.e., seabirds, walrus, whales) in the Pacific Arctic, with particular emphasis on the Chukchi Sea oil and gas lease sale areas.

  18. The interactive effects of excess reactive nitrogen and climate change on aquatic ecosystems and water resources of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, J.S.; Hall, E.K.; Nolan, B.T.; Finlay, J.C.; Bernhardt, E.S.; Harrison, J.A.; Chan, F.; Boyer, E.W.

    2012-01-01

    Nearly all freshwaters and coastal zones of the US are degraded from inputs of excess reactive nitrogen (Nr), sources of which are runoff, atmospheric N deposition, and imported food and feed. Some major adverse effects include harmful algal blooms, hypoxia of fresh and coastal waters, ocean acidification, long-term harm to human health, and increased emissions of greenhouse gases. Nitrogen fluxes to coastal areas and emissions of nitrous oxide from waters have increased in response to N inputs. Denitrification and sedimentation of organic N to sediments are important processes that divert N from downstream transport. Aquatic ecosystems are particularly important denitrification hotspots. Carbon storage in sediments is enhanced by Nr, but whether carbon is permanently buried is unknown. The effect of climate change on N transport and processing in fresh and coastal waters will be felt most strongly through changes to the hydrologic cycle, whereas N loading is mostly climate-independent. Alterations in precipitation amount and dynamics will alter runoff, thereby influencing both rates of Nr inputs to aquatic ecosystems and groundwater and the water residence times that affect Nr removal within aquatic systems. Both infrastructure and climate change alter the landscape connectivity and hydrologic residence time that are essential to denitrification. While Nr inputs to and removal rates from aquatic systems are influenced by climate and management, reduction of N inputs from their source will be the most effective means to prevent or to minimize environmental and economic impacts of excess Nr to the nation’s water resources.

  19. The impact of photodestruction of metal-organic complexes on transport of metals from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biryukov, Mikhail; Vladimir, Demin; Yuliya, Zavgorodnyaya; Sergey, Lapitskiy

    2014-05-01

    Biological cycles of terrestrial ecosystems involve large amounts of different metal ions from minerals composing soil and from the pools of anthropogenic origin. They are an inherent part of different energetic pathways, and constitute reactive centers of different enzymes complexes. In different cases they can play role of toxins and inhibitors and perform danger while distributing across the trophic networks. The high activity of metal ion turnover devoted to plant litter, where the autotrophic biomass is extensively decomposed by microbes. Diverse rearrangements lead to the saturated flux of intact biomolecules and complexes of metals with organic ligands (e.g. humic substances) from the plant litter to the surface waters, streams, bogs and result in their deposition and distribution in the aquatic area. In the aquatic ecosystems metal-organic complexes are involved in a new broad spectrum of biotic and abiotic pathways and interactions. Our preliminary studies have shown remarkable variation in the ferrum isotopes composition in the size fractions obtained with cascade filtration, which testifies about intensive turnover of this substances. Our study aims to study the processes occurring in the euphotic zone of the aquatic systems, predominantly the processes of photodestruction and rearrangements of metal-organic complexes under the impact of solar radiation. According to our working hypothesis, in the cascade of sequential reactions of complexe rearrangements and organic molecules degradation the metal distributes between different pools: free ions, which are available for the autotrophic and heterotrophic biota metabolism (they are highly significant for regulating the biogeochemical activity and bioproductivity of aquatic ecosystems); thermodynamically stable metal-organic complexes; precipitation and sedimentation from the solution in form of indissoluble newborn fractions. The research design is based on the laboratory-scale studies of photodestruction

  20. Shifts in the distribution of molting Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) indicate ecosystem change in the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sexson, Matthew; Petersen, Margaret; Greg A. Breed,; Powell, Abby N.

    2016-01-01

    Shifts in the distribution of benthivorous predators provide an indication of underlying environmental changes in benthic-mediated ecosystems. Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) are benthivorous sea ducks that spend the nonbreeding portion of their annual cycle in the Bering, Chukchi, Beaufort, and East Siberian seas. Sea ducks generally molt in biologically productive areas with abundant prey. If the distribution of eiders at molting areas matches prey abundance, spatial shifts may indicate changes in environmental conditions in the Arctic. We used a randomization procedure to test for shifts in the distribution of satellite telemetry locations received from Spectacled Eiders in the 1990s and 2008–2011 within 4 late-summer, ice-free molting areas: Indigirka–Kolyma, northern Russia; Ledyard Bay, eastern Chukchi Sea; Norton Sound, northeastern Bering Sea; and Mechigmenskiy Gulf, northwestern Bering Sea. We also tested for interannual and interdecadal changes in dive depth required to reach prey, which might affect the energetic costs of foraging during the molting period. Transmitter-marked birds used each molting area in each year, although the distribution of Spectacled Eiders shifted within each area. Interdecadal shifts in Ledyard Bay and Norton Sound decreased dive depth in recent years, although minor differences in depth were biologically negligible in relation to the energetic expense of feather growth. Shifts in Mechigmenskiy Gulf and Indigirka–Kolyma did not occur consistently within or among decades, which suggests greater interannual variability among environmental factors that influence distribution in these areas. Shifts in each molting area suggest dynamic ecosystem processes, with implications for Spectacled Eiders if changes result in novel competition or predation, or in shifting prey regimes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  2. Counterintuitive carbon-to-nutrient coupling in an Arctic pelagic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Thingstad, T F; Bellerby, R G J; Bratbak, G; Børsheim, K Y; Egge, J K; Heldal, M; Larsen, A; Neill, C; Nejstgaard, J; Norland, S; Sandaa, R-A; Skjoldal, E F; Tanaka, T; Thyrhaug, R; Töpper, B

    2008-09-18

    Predicting the ocean's role in the global carbon cycle requires an understanding of the stoichiometric coupling between carbon and growth-limiting elements in biogeochemical processes. A recent addition to such knowledge is that the carbon/nitrogen ratio of inorganic consumption and release of dissolved organic matter may increase in a high-CO(2) world. This will, however, yield a negative feedback on atmospheric CO(2) only if the extra organic material escapes mineralization within the photic zone. Here we show, in the context of an Arctic pelagic ecosystem, how the fate and effects of added degradable organic carbon depend critically on the state of the microbial food web. When bacterial growth rate was limited by mineral nutrients, extra organic carbon accumulated in the system. When bacteria were limited by organic carbon, however, addition of labile dissolved organic carbon reduced phytoplankton biomass and activity and also the rate at which total organic carbon accumulated, explained as the result of stimulated bacterial competition for mineral nutrients. This counterintuitive 'more organic carbon gives less organic carbon' effect was particularly pronounced in diatom-dominated systems where the carbon/mineral nutrient ratio in phytoplankton production was high. Our results highlight how descriptions of present and future states of the oceanic carbon cycle require detailed understanding of the stoichiometric coupling between carbon and growth-limiting mineral nutrients in both autotrophic and heterotrophic processes.

  3. Foliar Expression of Parent Lithologic Composition in the Sub-Arctic: Examples from Heath Ecosystems of Abisko, Sweden.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heim, E. W.; Tomczyk, N.; Remiszewski, K.; Bryce, J. G.; Frey, S. D.; Prado, M. F.; Varner, R. K.

    2014-12-01

    Climatic evolution and its effect on ecosystem stability through macronutrient acquisition is of particular interest in the fringe ecosystems of the Arctic and Sub-Arctic, regions predicted to face the most extreme temperature increases in Earth's changing climate. Accordingly enhanced understanding of climate change impacts on nutrient mobilization in recently glaciated terrains will factor importantly into accurate predictive models for future ecosystem health. Lithologic variation can lead to differences in geomorphic processes and thus influence landscape evolution [1]. Heath ecosystems in the region are developed on thin soils which place them close to parent material bedrock. Given the abundance of thin soils mantling bedrock, we assessed how bedrock geochemical content links with foliar composition of key macronutrients. We focused our studies on four sites near Abisko, Sweden (68°21'N 19°02'E) in metamorphosed sedimentary bedrock. In our sites the average annual air temperature has crossed the 0o threshold and has been linked to many cryospheric and ecological impacts [2]. Sites were chosen at the same elevation (700 m absl) and shared similar vegetation coverage. Three dominant species across our sampling sites include Betula nana, Empetrum nigrum, and Salix lapponum. E. Nigrum had consistent concentrations of foliar magnesium (Mg) and phosphorus (P) across the bedrock compositional gradients. B. nana and S. lapponum had consistently higher foliar Mg and P concentrations than E. nigrum across the gradients. Across a soil calcium (Ca) gradient, dominant species had a weak correlation between soil Ca and foliar Ca contents, R2 = 0.106. Soil Mg and P gradients were similarly poorly correlated with foliar abundances, R2 = -0.0228, and R2= -0.034 respectively. Expansion of our work into other lithologies will contribute towards improved predictive biogeochemical models of macronutrient acquisition and ecological evolution across changing Arctic ecosystems.

  4. Hematology of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears (2005-2007): Biomarker for an arctic ecosystem health sentinel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirk, Cassandra M.; Amstrup, S.; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, T. M.

    2010-01-01

    Declines in sea-ice habitats have resulted in declining stature, productivity, and survival of polar bears in some regions. With continuing sea-ice declines, negative population effects are projected to expand throughout the polar bear's range. Precise causes of diminished polar bear life history performance are unknown, however, climate and sea-ice condition change are expected to adversely impact polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health and population dynamics. As apex predators in the Arctic, polar bears integrate the status of lower trophic levels and are therefore sentinels of ecosystem health. Arctic residents feed at the apex of the ecosystem, thus polar bears can serve as indicators of human health in the Arctic. Despite their value as indicators of ecosystem welfare, population-level health data for U.S. polar bears are lacking. We present hematological reference ranges for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears. Hematological parameters in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears varied by age, geographic location, and reproductive status. Total leukocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and serum immunoglobulin G were significantly greater in males than females. These measures were greater in nonlactating females ages ???5, than lactating adult females ages ???5, suggesting that females encumbered by young may be less resilient to new immune system challenges that may accompany ongoing climate change. Hematological values established here provide a necessary baseline for anticipated changes in health as arctic temperatures warm and sea-ice declines accelerate. Data suggest that females with dependent young may be most vulnerable to these changes and should therefore be a targeted cohort for monitoring in this sentinel. ?? 2010 International Association for Ecology and Health.

  5. Hematology of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears (2005-2007): biomarker for an Arctic ecosystem health sentinel.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Cassandra M; Amstrup, Steven; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, Todd M

    2010-09-01

    Declines in sea-ice habitats have resulted in declining stature, productivity, and survival of polar bears in some regions. With continuing sea-ice declines, negative population effects are projected to expand throughout the polar bear's range. Precise causes of diminished polar bear life history performance are unknown, however, climate and sea-ice condition change are expected to adversely impact polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health and population dynamics. As apex predators in the Arctic, polar bears integrate the status of lower trophic levels and are therefore sentinels of ecosystem health. Arctic residents feed at the apex of the ecosystem, thus polar bears can serve as indicators of human health in the Arctic. Despite their value as indicators of ecosystem welfare, population-level health data for U.S. polar bears are lacking. We present hematological reference ranges for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears. Hematological parameters in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears varied by age, geographic location, and reproductive status. Total leukocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and serum immunoglobulin G were significantly greater in males than females. These measures were greater in nonlactating females ages ≥5, than lactating adult females ages ≥5, suggesting that females encumbered by young may be less resilient to new immune system challenges that may accompany ongoing climate change. Hematological values established here provide a necessary baseline for anticipated changes in health as arctic temperatures warm and sea-ice declines accelerate. Data suggest that females with dependent young may be most vulnerable to these changes and should therefore be a targeted cohort for monitoring in this sentinel.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  7. Effect of pesticides used in banana and pineapple plantations on aquatic ecosystems in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Diepens, Noël J; Pfennig, Sascha; Van den Brink, Paul J; Gunnarsson, Jonas S; Ruepert, Clemens; Castillo, Luisa E

    2014-01-01

    Current knowledge on fate and effect of agricultural pesticides comes is mainly from temperate ecosystems. More studies are needed in tropical systems in order to assess contamination risks to nontarget endemic tropical species from the extensive use of pesticides e.g. in banana and pineapple plantations. In this study, acute laboratory toxicity tests with organophosphate pesticides ethoprophos and chlorpyrifos were conducted on two Costa Rican species, cladoceran Daphnia ambigua and fish Parachromis dovii. Tests showed that chlorpyrifos was more toxic than ethoprophos to D. ambigua and P. dovii and that D. ambigua was also more sensitive than P. dovii to both pesticides. Additionally, bioassays were performed by exposing D. magna and P. dovii to contaminated water collected from the field. Chemical analyses of field water revealed that fungicides were generally the most frequent pesticide group found, followed by insecticides/nematicides and herbicides. The bioassays and values obtained from the literature confirmed that D. magna was more sensitive to pesticide contamination than P. dovii and that D. ambigua was more sensitive than D. magna, suggesting that the native cladoceran is a more suitable test species than its temperate counterpart. Species sensitivity distributions showed no significant difference in sensitivity between tropical and temperate fish and the arthropod species exposed to chlorpyrifos in this study. Choline esterase activity (ChE) was measured in P. dovii in laboratory tests in order to assess the applicability of this biomarker. ChE inhibition in P. dovii was observed in the laboratory at levels below the LC10 of both ethoprophos and chlorpyrifos, confirming that ChE is an efficient biomarker of exposure. Both indigenous Costa Rican species used in this study were found to be suitable standard tropical test species. Further studies are needed to investigate how protective the safe environmental concentrations, derived from LC50 of native

  8. Impacts of land disturbance on aquatic ecosystem health: quantifying the cascade of events.

    PubMed

    Sciera, Katherine L; Smink, John A; Morse, John C; Post, Christopher J; Pike, Jeremy W; English, William R; Karanfil, Tanju; Hayes, John C; Schlautman, Mark A; Klaine, Stephen J

    2008-10-01

    The impacts of land disturbance on streams have been studied extensively, but a quantitative mechanism of stream degradation is still lacking. Small changes in land use result in changes in physical and chemical characteristics in the stream, which significantly alter biotic integrity. The objective of this study was to quantify the mechanisms of aquatic ecosystem degradation in streams impacted by watershed urbanization. By quantifying the development level and the changes in the physical parameters of receiving streams, the effects of land use change can be illustrated in a conceptual model and evaluated using a traditional ecological risk assessment framework. Three 1st-order streams draining catchments undergoing varying stages of land development were examined in the upper Piedmont physiographic province of South Carolina, U.S.A. A disturbance index was developed to quantify the changes in land use on a monthly basis. This normalized disturbance index (NDI) was quantitatively linked to an increase in the percentage of impervious cover, stormwater runoff, storm-event total suspended solid (TSS) concentrations, and the North Carolina biotic index (NCBI). The NDI was inversely related to a decline in habitat, median bed-sediment particle size, and benthic index of biotic integrity (BIBI). Unlike the percentage of impervious cover, the NDI facilitated the development of strategies for multiple scales of regulation. Predictive multivariate regressions were developed for storm-event TSS concentrations, the BIBI, and the NCBI. These regressions can be used to develop improved regulations for the effects of development and can lead to better implementation of best management practices, improved monitoring of land use change, and more sustainable development.

  9. Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 with rapidly changing high Arctic landscapes.

    PubMed

    Emmerton, Craig A; St Louis, Vincent L; Humphreys, Elyn R; Gamon, John A; Barker, Joel D; Pastorello, Gilberto Z

    2016-03-01

    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 300 times 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 southerly 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 enough to offset poor soil moisture retention, climate-related changes to productivity on polar semideserts may be restricted. PMID:26279166

  10. Possible Cretaceous Arctic terrestrial ecosystem dynamics based on a rich dinosaur record from Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiorillo, A. R.; McCarthy, P. J.; Flaig, P. P.

    2010-12-01

    The widespread occurrence of large-bodied herbivores, specifically hadrosaurian and ceratopsian dinosaurs, in the Cretaceous of Alaska presents a proxy for understanding polar terrestrial ecosystem biological productivity in a warm Arctic world. These dinosaurs lived in Alaska at time when this region was at or near current latitudes. Thus these dinosaurs present a paradox. The warmer Cretaceous high-latitude climate, likely related to higher levels of CO2, may have increased plant productivity but the polar light regime fluctuations must have limited the available food during the winter months. The most detailed sedimentological data available regarding the paleoenvironments supporting these dinosaurs are from the Prince Creek Formation of northern Alaska and to a lesser extent the Cantwell Formation of the Alaska Range. The sediments of the Late Cretaceous Prince Creek Formation represent a continental succession deposited on a high-latitude, low-gradient, alluvial/coastal plain. The Prince Creek Formation records numerous paleosols that are consistent with seasonality and successional vegetative cover. Drab colors in fine-grained sediments, abundant carbonaceous plant material, and common siderite nodules and jarosite suggest widespread reducing conditions on poorly-drained floodplains influenced in more distal areas by marine waters. In addition, these rocks contain high levels of organic carbon and charcoal. Carbonaceous root-traces found ubiquitously within all distributary channels and most floodplain facies, along with common Fe-oxide mottles, indicate that the alluvial system likely experienced flashy, seasonal, or ephemeral flow and a fluctuating water table. The flashy nature of the alluvial system may have been driven by recurring episodes of vigorous seasonal snowmelt in the Brooks Range orogenic belt as a consequence of the high paleolatitude of northern Alaska in the Late Cretaceous. The presence of dinosaurian megaherbivores suggests that water was

  11. Late Pleistocene paleoecology of arctic ground squirrel ( Urocitellus parryii) caches and nests from Interior Alaska's mammoth steppe ecosystem, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Barnes, Brian M.; Zazula, Grant D.; Beaudoin, Alwynne B.; Wooller, Matthew J.

    2011-11-01

    Botanical analyses of fossil and modern arctic ground squirrel ( Urocitellus parryii) caches and nests have been used to reconstruct the past vegetation from some parts of Beringia, but such archives are understudied in Alaska. Five modern and four fossil samples from arctic ground squirrel caches and nests provide information on late Pleistocene vegetation in Eastern Beringia. Modern arctic ground squirrel caches from Alaska's arctic tundra were dominated by willow and grass leaves and grass seeds and bearberries, which were widespread in the local vegetation as confirmed by vegetation surveys. Late Pleistocene caches from Interior Alaska were primarily composed of steppe and dry tundra graminoid and herb seeds. Graminoid cuticle analysis of fossil leaves identified Calamagrostis canadensis, Koeleria sp. and Carex albonigra as being common in the fossil samples. Stable carbon isotopes analysis of these graminoid specimens indicated that plants using the C 3 photosynthetic pathways were present and functioning with medium to high water-use efficiency. Fossil plant taxa and environments from ground squirrel caches in Alaska are similar to other macrofossil assemblages from the Yukon Territory, which supports the existence of a widespread mammoth steppe ecosystem type in Eastern Beringia that persisted throughout much of the late Pleistocene.

  12. Water-table height and microtopography control biogeochemical cycling in an Arctic coastal tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipson, D. A.; Zona, D.; Raab, T. K.; Bozzolo, F.; Mauritz, M.; Oechel, W. C.

    2012-01-01

    Drained thaw lake basins (DTLB's) are the dominant land form of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska. The presence of continuous permafrost prevents drainage and so water tables generally remain close to the soil surface, creating saturated, suboxic soil conditions. However, ice wedge polygons produce microtopographic variation in these landscapes, with raised areas such as polygon rims creating more oxic microenvironments. The peat soils in this ecosystem store large amounts of organic carbon which is vulnerable to loss as arctic regions continue to rapidly warm, and so there is great motivation to understand the controls over microbial activity in these complex landscapes. Here we report the effects of experimental flooding, along with seasonal and spatial variation in soil chemistry and microbial activity in a DTLB. The flooding treatment generally mirrored the effects of natural landscape variation in water-table height due to microtopography. The flooded portion of the basin had lower dissolved oxygen, lower oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) and higher pH, as did lower elevation areas throughout the entire basin. Similarly, soil pore water concentrations of organic carbon and aromatic compounds were higher in flooded and low elevation areas. Dissolved ferric iron (Fe(III)) concentrations were higher in low elevation areas and responded to the flooding treatment in low areas, only. The high concentrations of soluble Fe(III) in soil pore water were explained by the presence of siderophores, which were much more concentrated in low elevation areas. All the aforementioned variables were correlated, showing that Fe(III) is solubilized in response to anoxic conditions. Dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) concentrations were higher in low elevation areas, but showed only subtle and/or seasonally dependent effects of flooding. In anaerobic laboratory incubations, more CH4 was produced by soils from low and flooded areas, whereas anaerobic CO2

  13. Think before you flush! A sustainable aquatic eco-system's relation to human health.

    PubMed

    McKeown, Elaine; Pawloski, Judith

    2012-12-18

    What we do every day at work and in our home lives can make a difference in the quality of our environment. Consider, for example, the flushing of pharmaceuticals into the sewer system can lead to water pollution resulting in a threat to aquatic and human life. In contrast, keeping aquatic life healthy may contribute to human health. Some aquatic-based medications are currently on the market. Others are in various stages of development. In this article the authors argue that, for the benefit of both human and marine life, it is time to implement safer disposal methods for unwanted medications. The authors begin by sharing nursing's guiding principles for environmental health; after which they review research related to pharmaceutical pollution of water resources; describe health care treatments derived from marine life; and discuss suggestions for promoting aquatic health. They conclude that by taking care to preserve aquatic life, we contribute to the quality of our own human lives.

  14. Trophic transfer of mercury and methylmercury in an aquatic ecosystem impacted by municipal sewage effluents in Beijing, China.

    PubMed

    Fu, Jianjie; Wang, Yawei; Zhou, Qunfang; Jiang, Guibin

    2010-01-01

    Gaobeidian Lake, located in Beijing, China, serves as a recipient lake for effluents from a large municipal sewage treatment plant (MSTP). In order to evaluate the effects of discharging MSTP effluent on the mercury contamination of the local aquatic ecosystem, sediment cores, water, plankton, fish, and turtle samples were collected from Gaobeidian Lake for mercury speciation analysis. High concentrations of total mercury (T-Hg) were detected in sediment cores (5.24-17.0 microg/g dry weight (dw), average: 10.1 microg/g). The ratio of methylmercury (MeHg) to T-Hg was less than 0.3% in sediments and ranged from 35% to 76% in biota samples. The highest level of T-Hg and MeHg were found in aquatic bryophyte and crucian carp (3673 and 437 ng/g dw, respectively). The relative contents of MeHg were significantly correlated with trophic levels (R2 = 0.5506, p < 0.001), which confirmed that MeHg can be bio-transferred and biomagnified via food chain in this aquatic ecosystem.

  15. Mycobacterium ulcerans dynamics in aquatic ecosystems are driven by a complex interplay of abiotic and biotic factors.

    PubMed

    Garchitorena, Andrés; Guégan, Jean-François; Léger, Lucas; Eyangoh, Sara; Marsollier, Laurent; Roche, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    Host-parasite interactions are often embedded within complex host communities and can be influenced by a variety of environmental factors, such as seasonal variations in climate or abiotic conditions in water and soil, which confounds our understanding of the main drivers of many multi-host pathogens. Here, we take advantage of a combination of large environmental data sets on Mycobacterium ulcerans (MU), an environmentally persistent microorganism associated to freshwater ecosystems and present in a large variety of aquatic hosts, to characterize abiotic and biotic factors driving the dynamics of this pathogen in two regions of Cameroon. We find that MU dynamics are largely driven by seasonal climatic factors and certain physico-chemical conditions in stagnant and slow-flowing ecosystems, with an important role of pH as limiting factor. Furthermore, water conditions can modify the effect of abundance and diversity of aquatic organisms on MU dynamics, which suggests a different contribution of two MU transmission routes for aquatic hosts (trophic vs environmental transmission) depending on local abiotic factors.

  16. Mycobacterium ulcerans dynamics in aquatic ecosystems are driven by a complex interplay of abiotic and biotic factors

    PubMed Central

    Garchitorena, Andrés; Guégan, Jean-François; Léger, Lucas; Eyangoh, Sara; Marsollier, Laurent; Roche, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    Host–parasite interactions are often embedded within complex host communities and can be influenced by a variety of environmental factors, such as seasonal variations in climate or abiotic conditions in water and soil, which confounds our understanding of the main drivers of many multi-host pathogens. Here, we take advantage of a combination of large environmental data sets on Mycobacterium ulcerans (MU), an environmentally persistent microorganism associated to freshwater ecosystems and present in a large variety of aquatic hosts, to characterize abiotic and biotic factors driving the dynamics of this pathogen in two regions of Cameroon. We find that MU dynamics are largely driven by seasonal climatic factors and certain physico-chemical conditions in stagnant and slow-flowing ecosystems, with an important role of pH as limiting factor. Furthermore, water conditions can modify the effect of abundance and diversity of aquatic organisms on MU dynamics, which suggests a different contribution of two MU transmission routes for aquatic hosts (trophic vs environmental transmission) depending on local abiotic factors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07616.001 PMID:26216042

  17. Effects of impervious cover on the surface water quality and aquatic ecosystem of the Kyeongan stream in South Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Bum-Yeon; Park, Shin-Jeong; Paule, Ma Cristina; Jun, Woosong; Lee, Chang-Hee

    2012-08-01

    The extent of impervious cover in a watershed has been linked to the quality of an urban aquatic environment. The Kyeongan watershed in South Korea was investigated to evaluate the relationship between the total impervious area (TIA) and the aquatic ecosystem of the watershed, including water quality and aquatic life using a relatively high-resolution (0.4 m) image. The TIA was found to be approximately 12% of the watershed, which indicates that the quality of its environment was being adversely affected by it. For water quality, Pearson correlation analyses showed that all water quality parameters studied were found to be positively correlated with TIA at p < 0.01, except for nitrate (NO3-). In addition, the zone with a higher TIA was found to have worse water quality. Some water quality parameters, such as nitrite (NO2-), total phosphorus, and phosphate (PO4(3-)) were highly affected by discharges from wastewater treatment plants. Water quality data suggest that TIA could be used to predict the water quality of streams. For ecological parameters, the diatom index for organic pollution and trophic diatom index were found to be highly correlated with TIA, whereas physical habitat and benthic macroinvertebrates were poorly correlated with TIA. However, the results indicate that the extent of impervious cover can be a useful indicator for predicting the status of specific ecosystem of streams.

  18. Trophic transfer of mercury and methylmercury in an aquatic ecosystem impacted by municipal sewage effluents in Beijing, China.

    PubMed

    Fu, Jianjie; Wang, Yawei; Zhou, Qunfang; Jiang, Guibin

    2010-01-01

    Gaobeidian Lake, located in Beijing, China, serves as a recipient lake for effluents from a large municipal sewage treatment plant (MSTP). In order to evaluate the effects of discharging MSTP effluent on the mercury contamination of the local aquatic ecosystem, sediment cores, water, plankton, fish, and turtle samples were collected from Gaobeidian Lake for mercury speciation analysis. High concentrations of total mercury (T-Hg) were detected in sediment cores (5.24-17.0 microg/g dry weight (dw), average: 10.1 microg/g). The ratio of methylmercury (MeHg) to T-Hg was less than 0.3% in sediments and ranged from 35% to 76% in biota samples. The highest level of T-Hg and MeHg were found in aquatic bryophyte and crucian carp (3673 and 437 ng/g dw, respectively). The relative contents of MeHg were significantly correlated with trophic levels (R2 = 0.5506, p < 0.001), which confirmed that MeHg can be bio-transferred and biomagnified via food chain in this aquatic ecosystem. PMID:21179957

  19. Canopy Spectral Imaging (NDVI) As A Proxy For Shrub Biomass And Ecosystem Carbon Fluxes Across Arctic Tundra Habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flower, C. E.; Welker, J. M.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    There is widespread consensus that climate change is contributing to rapid vegetation shifts in the ecologically sensitive Arctic tundra. These tussock grass dominated systems are shifting to tussock/woody shrub communities leading to likely alterations in carbon (C) sequestration and ecosystem productivity, which in turn can manifest in "greening" and changes in normalized difference vegetation index values (NDVI). While the expansion of woody vegetation is well established, our understanding of the ecosystem dynamics associated with this new habitat remain largely unknown. To untangle how the Arctic tundra may be impacted by these vegetation shifts we paired vegetation measurements (i.e. shrub biomass, leaf area, and shrub canopy area) and ecosystem C fluxes (e.g. net ecosystem exchange, NEE, and ecosystem respiration) with ground-level measurements of NDVI. Measurements were conducted at the Toolik Field Station in dry heath and moist acidic tundra habitats which are two primary habitat types on the North Slope of Alaska. We found strong positive relationships between shrub leaf area and biomass as well as shrub canopy area and biomass, relationships that were corroborated with NDVI measurements. This lends support for the use of NDVI as a proxy measurement of leaf area and shrub biomass. Additionally, NDVI was negatively correlated with ecosystem respiration across habitats, with respiratory fluxes consistently higher in the moist acidic relative to the dry heath tundra. Finally, we observed a significant positive nonlinear relationship between NEE and NDVI (R2~0.8; P<0.01). Shrub removal revealed that NEE was strongly controlled by woody shrubs. The positive relationship between NDVI and NEE highlights the potential shifts in the C balance of the Arctic tundra associated with woody encroachment. This increased plant productivity may offset greenhouse gas losses from permafrost degradation contributing some resilience to this system otherwise considered a

  20. Novel wildlife in the Arctic: the influence of changing riparian ecosystems and shrub habitat expansion on snowshoe hares.

    PubMed

    Tape, Ken D; Christie, Katie; Carroll, Geoff; O'Donnell, Jonathan A

    2016-01-01

    Warming during the 20th century has changed the arctic landscape, including aspects of the hydrology, vegetation, permafrost, and glaciers, but effects on wildlife have been difficult to detect. The primary aim of this study is to examine the physical and biological processes contributing to the expanded riparian habitat and range of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) in northern Alaska. We explore linkages between components of the riparian ecosystem in Arctic Alaska since the 1960s, including seasonality of stream flow, air temperature, floodplain shrub habitat, and snowshoe hare distributions. Our analyses show that the peak discharge during spring snowmelt has occurred on average 3.4 days per decade earlier over the last 30 years and has contributed to a longer growing season in floodplain ecosystems. We use empirical correlations between cumulative summer warmth and riparian shrub height to reconstruct annual changes in shrub height from the 1960s to the present. The effects of longer and warmer growing seasons are estimated to have stimulated a 78% increase in the height of riparian shrubs. Earlier spring discharge and the estimated increase in riparian shrub height are consistent with observed riparian shrub expansion in the region. Our browsing measurements show that snowshoe hares require a mean riparian shrub height of at least 1.24-1.36 m, a threshold which our hindcasting indicates was met between 1964 and 1989. This generally coincides with observational evidence we present suggesting that snowshoe hares became established in 1977 or 1978. Warming and expanded shrub habitat is the most plausible reason for recent snowshoe hare establishment in Arctic Alaska. The establishment of snowshoe hares and other shrub herbivores in the Arctic in response to increasing shrub habitat is a contrasting terrestrial counterpart to the decline in marine mammals reliant on decreasing sea ice.

  1. Novel wildlife in the Arctic: the influence of changing riparian ecosystems and shrub habitat expansion on snowshoe hares.

    PubMed

    Tape, Ken D; Christie, Katie; Carroll, Geoff; O'Donnell, Jonathan A

    2016-01-01

    Warming during the 20th century has changed the arctic landscape, including aspects of the hydrology, vegetation, permafrost, and glaciers, but effects on wildlife have been difficult to detect. The primary aim of this study is to examine the physical and biological processes contributing to the expanded riparian habitat and range of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) in northern Alaska. We explore linkages between components of the riparian ecosystem in Arctic Alaska since the 1960s, including seasonality of stream flow, air temperature, floodplain shrub habitat, and snowshoe hare distributions. Our analyses show that the peak discharge during spring snowmelt has occurred on average 3.4 days per decade earlier over the last 30 years and has contributed to a longer growing season in floodplain ecosystems. We use empirical correlations between cumulative summer warmth and riparian shrub height to reconstruct annual changes in shrub height from the 1960s to the present. The effects of longer and warmer growing seasons are estimated to have stimulated a 78% increase in the height of riparian shrubs. Earlier spring discharge and the estimated increase in riparian shrub height are consistent with observed riparian shrub expansion in the region. Our browsing measurements show that snowshoe hares require a mean riparian shrub height of at least 1.24-1.36 m, a threshold which our hindcasting indicates was met between 1964 and 1989. This generally coincides with observational evidence we present suggesting that snowshoe hares became established in 1977 or 1978. Warming and expanded shrub habitat is the most plausible reason for recent snowshoe hare establishment in Arctic Alaska. The establishment of snowshoe hares and other shrub herbivores in the Arctic in response to increasing shrub habitat is a contrasting terrestrial counterpart to the decline in marine mammals reliant on decreasing sea ice. PMID:26527375

  2. Interactions of carbon nanotubes with aqueous/aquatic media containing organic/inorganic contaminants and selected organisms of aquatic ecosystems--A review.

    PubMed

    Boncel, Sławomir; Kyzioł-Komosińska, Joanna; Krzyżewska, Iwona; Czupioł, Justyna

    2015-10-01

    Due to their unique molecular architecture translating into numerous every-day applications, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) will be ultimately an increasingly significant environmental contaminant. This work reviews qualitative/quantitative analyses of interactions of various types of CNTs and their chemically modified analogues with aqueous/aquatic media containing organic and inorganic contaminants and selected organisms of aquatic ecosystems. A special emphasis was placed on physicochemical interactions between CNTs as adsorbents of heavy metal cations and aromatic compounds (dyes) with its environmental consequences. The studies revealed CNTs as more powerful adsorbents of aromatic compounds (an order of magnitude higher adsorption capacity) than metal cations. Depending on the presence of natural organic matter (NOM) and/or co-contaminants, CNTs may act as Trojan horse while passing through biological membranes (in the absence of NOM coordinating metal ions). Nanotubes, depending on flow conditions and their morphology/surface chemistry, may travel with natural waters or sediment with immobilized PAHs or metals and/or increase cyto- and ecotoxicity of PAHs/metal ions by their release via competitive complexation, or cause synergic ecotoxicity while adsorbing nutrients. Additionally, toxicity of CNTs against exemplary aquatic microorganisms was reviewed. It was found for Daphnia magna that longer exposures to CNTs led to higher ecotoxicity with a prolonged CNTs excretion. SWCNTs were more toxic than MWCNTs, while hydrophilization of CNTs via oxidation or anchoring thereto polar/positively charged polymer chains enhanced stability of nanotubes dispersion in aqueous media. On the other hand, bioavailability of functionalized CNTs was improved leading to more complex both mechanisms of uptake and cytotoxic effects.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  4. Effects of experimental floods on riparian and aquatic ecosystems: Bill Williams River, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafroth, P. B.; Andersen, D. C.; Wilcox, A. C.; Kui, L.; Stella, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    Development of flow prescriptions for environmental purposes along rivers is relatively common, but implementation of these 'environmental flows' occurs infrequently. Implementation is critical for testing hypotheses relating flow regime to biotic response, which ultimately can inform adaptive flow management. We describe the development of flow prescriptions and evaluate responses of riparian vegetation, beaver dams, and associated aquatic habitat to experimental floods and intervening base flows associated with an environmental flow program on the Bill Williams River (BWR), in semiarid Arizona. First, we assessed effects of flow releases between 1993 and 2009 designed to favor the establishment and maintenance of native riparian trees (Populus and Salix) and disfavor an invasive, nonnative shrub (Tamarix spp.) downstream of Alamo Dam on the BWR. Our data are multi-scaled and include a several-decade assessment of changes to major vegetation types based on a time series of aerial photography, an assessment of species composition and abundance sampled in permanent vegetation quadrats, and targeted seedling surveys following experimental floods. Between 1993 and 2009, we observed significant increases in Populus and Salix forests and essentially no change in Tamarix. Experimental floods in 2006 and 2007 resulted in higher mortality of Tamarix seedlings than Salix. These results illustrate the potential for managing streamflow to influence riparian vegetation dynamics, including management of nonnative species. Second, we examined the role of beaver as ecosystem engineers in the BWR and linkages to flow releases between 2004 and 2013. Beaver convert lotic stream habitat to lentic through dam construction and maintenance during low flow periods, and the process is reversed when a flood or other event causes dam failure. We estimated the extent of lotic and beaver-created lentic (beaver pond) habitat along the BWR and related the likelihood of damage or destruction of

  5. The Life Cycle of Mercury Within the Clear Lake Aquatic Ecosystem: From Ore to Organism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suchanek, T. H.; Suchanek, T. H.; Nelson, D. C.; Nelson, D. C.; Zierenberg, R. A.; King, P.; King, P.; McElroy, K.; McElroy, K.

    2001-12-01

    Clear Lake (Lake County) is located in the geologically active Clear Lake volcanics mercury (Hg) bearing Franciscan formation within the Coast Range of California, which includes over 300 abandoned Hg mines and prospects. Intermittent mining at the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (from 1872-1957), now a USEPA SuperFund site, has resulted in approximately 100 metric tonnes of Hg being deposited into the aquatic ecosystem of Clear Lake, with sediment concentrations of total-Hg as high as 650 mg/kg (parts per million = ppm) near the mine, making Clear Lake one of the most Hg contaminated lakes in the world. As a result, largemouth bass and other top predatory fish species often exceed both the Federal USFDA recommended maximum recommended concentrations of 1.0 ppm and the State of California level of 0.5 ppm. Acid rock drainage leaches Hg and high concentrations of sulfate from the mine site through wasterock and subsurface conduits through subsediment advection and eventually upward diffusion into lake sediments and water. When mineral-laden pH 3 fluids from the mine mix with Clear Lake water (pH 8), an alumino-silicate precipitate (floc) is produced that promotes the localized production of toxic methyl Hg. Floc "hot spots" in sediments near the mine exhibit low pH, high sulfate, anoxia and high organic loading which create conditions that promote Hg methylation by microbial activity, especially in late summer and fall. Wind-driven currents transport methyl-Hg laden floc particles throughout Clear Lake, where they are consumed by plankton and benthic invertebrates and bioaccumulated throughout the food web. While Clear Lake biota have elevated concentrations of methyl-Hg, they are not as elevated as might be expected based on the total Hg loading into the lake. A science-based management approach, utilizing over 10 years of data collected on Hg cycling within the physical and biological compartments of Clear Lake, is necessary to affect a sensible remediation plan.

  6. A National Pilot Study of Mercury Contamination of Aquatic Ecosystems Along Multiple Gradients: Bioaccumulation in Fish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brumbaugh, William G.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Helsel, Dennis R.; Wiener, James G.; Echols, Kathy R.

    2001-01-01

    Water, sediment, and fish were sampled in the summer and fall of 1998 at 106 sites from 20 U.S. watershed basins to examine relations of mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in aquatic ecosystems. Bioaccumulation of Hg in fish from these basins was evaluated in relation to species, Hg and MeHg in surficial sediment and water, and watershed characteristics. Bioaccumulation was strongly (positively) correlated with MeHg in water (r = 0.63, p < 0.001) but only moderately with the MeHg in sediment (r = 0.33, p < 0.001) or total Hg in water (r = 0.28, p < 0.01). Of the other significantly measured parameters, pH, DOC, sulfate, sediment LOI, and the percent wetlands of each basin were also significantly correlated with Hg bioaccumulation in fish. The best model for predicting Hg bioaccumulation included Me Hg in water, PH of the water, % wetlands in the basin, and the AVS content of the sediment. These four variables accounted for 45% of the variability of the fish fillet Hg concentration normalized (divided) by total length; however, the majority was described by MeHg in water. A MeHg water concentration 0.12 ng/L was on average, associated with a fish fillet Hg concentration of 0.3 mg/kg wet weight for an age-3 fish when all species were considered. For age-3 largemouth bass, a MeHg water concentration of 0.058 ng/L was associated with the 0.3 mg/kg fillet concentration. Based on rankings for Hg in sediment, water, and fish, sampling sites from the following five study basins had the greatest Hg contamination: Nevada Basin and Range, South Florida Basin, Sacramento River Basin (California), Santee River Basin and Caostal Drainages (South Carolina), and the Long Island and New Jersey Coastal DRainags. A sampling and analysis strategy based on this pilot study is planned for all USGS/NAWQA study units over the next decade.

  7. The feasibility of automated online flow cytometry for in-situ monitoring of microbial dynamics in aquatic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Besmer, Michael D.; Weissbrodt, David G.; Kratochvil, Bradley E.; Sigrist, Jürg A.; Weyland, Mathias S.; Hammes, Frederik

    2014-01-01

    Fluorescent staining coupled with flow cytometry (FCM) is often used for the monitoring, quantification and characterization of bacteria in engineered and environmental aquatic ecosystems including seawater, freshwater, drinking water, wastewater, and industrial bioreactors. However, infrequent grab sampling hampers accurate characterization and subsequent understanding of microbial dynamics in all of these ecosystems. A logic technological progression is high throughput and full automation of the sampling, staining, measurement, and data analysis steps. Here we assess the feasibility and applicability of automated FCM by means of actual data sets produced with prototype instrumentation. As proof-of-concept we demonstrate examples of microbial dynamics in (i) flowing tap water from a municipal drinking water supply network and (ii) river water from a small creek subject to two rainfall events. In both cases, automated measurements were done at 15-min intervals during 12–14 consecutive days, yielding more than 1000 individual data points for each ecosystem. The extensive data sets derived from the automated measurements allowed for the establishment of baseline data for each ecosystem, as well as for the recognition of daily variations and specific events that would most likely be missed (or miss-characterized) by infrequent sampling. In addition, the online FCM data from the river water was combined and correlated with online measurements of abiotic parameters, showing considerable potential for a better understanding of cause-and-effect relationships in aquatic ecosystems. Although several challenges remain, the successful operation of an automated online FCM system and the basic interpretation of the resulting data sets represent a breakthrough toward the eventual establishment of fully automated online microbiological monitoring technologies. PMID:24917858

  8. The feasibility of automated online flow cytometry for in-situ monitoring of microbial dynamics in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Besmer, Michael D; Weissbrodt, David G; Kratochvil, Bradley E; Sigrist, Jürg A; Weyland, Mathias S; Hammes, Frederik

    2014-01-01

    Fluorescent staining coupled with flow cytometry (FCM) is often used for the monitoring, quantification and characterization of bacteria in engineered and environmental aquatic ecosystems including seawater, freshwater, drinking water, wastewater, and industrial bioreactors. However, infrequent grab sampling hampers accurate characterization and subsequent understanding of microbial dynamics in all of these ecosystems. A logic technological progression is high throughput and full automation of the sampling, staining, measurement, and data analysis steps. Here we assess the feasibility and applicability of automated FCM by means of actual data sets produced with prototype instrumentation. As proof-of-concept we demonstrate examples of microbial dynamics in (i) flowing tap water from a municipal drinking water supply network and (ii) river water from a small creek subject to two rainfall events. In both cases, automated measurements were done at 15-min intervals during 12-14 consecutive days, yielding more than 1000 individual data points for each ecosystem. The extensive data sets derived from the automated measurements allowed for the establishment of baseline data for each ecosystem, as well as for the recognition of daily variations and specific events that would most likely be missed (or miss-characterized) by infrequent sampling. In addition, the online FCM data from the river water was combined and correlated with online measurements of abiotic parameters, showing considerable potential for a better understanding of cause-and-effect relationships in aquatic ecosystems. Although several challenges remain, the successful operation of an automated online FCM system and the basic interpretation of the resulting data sets represent a breakthrough toward the eventual establishment of fully automated online microbiological monitoring technologies.

  9. Coupled cryoconite ecosystem structure-function relationships are revealed by comparing bacterial communities in alpine and Arctic glaciers.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Arwyn; Mur, Luis A J; Girdwood, Susan E; Anesio, Alexandre M; Stibal, Marek; Rassner, Sara M E; Hell, Katherina; Pachebat, Justin A; Post, Barbara; Bussell, Jennifer S; Cameron, Simon J S; Griffith, Gareth Wyn; Hodson, Andrew J; Sattler, Birgit

    2014-08-01

    Cryoconite holes are known as foci of microbial diversity and activity on polar glacier surfaces, but are virtually unexplored microbial habitats in alpine regions. In addition, whether cryoconite community structure reflects ecosystem functionality is poorly understood. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and Fourier transform infrared metabolite fingerprinting of cryoconite from glaciers in Austria, Greenland and Svalbard demonstrated cryoconite bacterial communities are closely correlated with cognate metabolite fingerprints. The influence of bacterial-associated fatty acids and polysaccharides was inferred, underlining the importance of bacterial community structure in the properties of cryoconite. Thus, combined application of T-RFLP and FT-IR metabolite fingerprinting promises high throughput, and hence, rapid assessment of community structure-function relationships. Pyrosequencing revealed Proteobacteria were particularly abundant, with Cyanobacteria likely acting as ecosystem engineers in both alpine and Arctic cryoconite communities. However, despite these generalities, significant differences in bacterial community structures, compositions and metabolomes are found between alpine and Arctic cryoconite habitats, reflecting the impact of local and regional conditions on the challenges of thriving in glacial ecosystems.

  10. Site-specific water quality criteria for aquatic ecosystems: A case study of pentachlorophenol for Tai Lake, China.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yi; Yu, Shuangying; Tang, Song; Li, Yabing; Liu, Hongling; Zhang, Xiaohui; Su, Guanyong; Li, Bing; Yu, Hongxia; Giesy, John P

    2016-01-15

    Given the widely varying types of aquatic ecosystems and bioavailability of chemicals, it is important to develop site-specific water quality criteria (WQC) to ensure criteria are neither over- nor under-protective. In the study, using pentachlorophenol (PCP) as an example, several approaches to derive site-specific WQC were investigated, including the conventional species sensitivity distribution (SSD), weighted SSD based on the proportion of each trophic level, and water effect ratio (WER) method. When corrected to a pH of 7.8, the conventional SSD approach resulted in criteria maximum concentration (CMC) and criteria continuous concentration (CCC) of 18.11 and 1.74 μg/L, respectively. If SSD was weighted according to the current species composition in Tai Lake, the CMC and CCC were 32.81 and 4.48 μg/L, respectively. However, available data suggest that many sensitive species inhabiting Tai Lake during 1980s were disappeared. Considering the species composition of the healthier ecosystem in 1980s, the CMC and CCC were 10.99 and 0.38 μg/L, respectively, which provide more protective water quality standards. Water effect ratio (WER) was further used to correct for co-occurrence of other toxicants and factors affecting bioavailability of PCP. A final WER of 4.72 was applied to adjust the criteria derived by using the weighted SSD for the 1980s aquatic community, and the final CMC and CCC obtained were 51.87 and 1.79 μg/L, respectively, at a pH of 7.8. Water quality criteria derived using the 1980s species composition and adjusted with WER were deemed the most appropriate WQC for water management and aquatic life protection. Merits of the various approaches for developing WQC for protection of aquatic species were discussed. PMID:26398452

  11. Aquatic ecosystem responses to Holocene climate change and biome development in boreal, central Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackay, Anson W.; Bezrukova, Elena V.; Leng, Melanie J.; Meaney, Miriam; Nunes, Ana; Piotrowska, Natalia; Self, Angela; Shchetnikov, Alexander; Shilland, Ewan; Tarasov, Pavel; Wang, Luo; White, Dustin

    2012-05-01

    were also significant, but considerably less important. The potential importance of climate and biome development (tundra, steppe, cold deciduous forest and taiga) on different trophic levels (i.e. chironomid and diatom communities) in lake ESM-1 was also assessed using RDA. Climate predictors had a more significant influence on Holocene chironomid assemblages, especially July insolation at 60 °N, estimates of regional precipitation and estimates of northern hemisphere temperature, while only the development of the taiga biome had a significant impact on these primary consumers. Diatom communities also had a small, but significant influence on Holocene chironomid populations, perhaps linked to variation in faunal feeding strategies. In contrast, climatic and biome predictors explained similar amounts of variation in the Holocene diatom assemblage (approximately 20% each), while chironomids themselves as predictors explained just under 7% of diatom variation. Lake acidity was inferred using a diatom inference model. Results suggest that after deglaciation, the lake did not undergo a process of gradual acidification, most likely due to the presence of continuous permafrost and low levels of precipitation, preventing base cations and dissolved organic carbon entering the lake (except for the period between 1.7 and 0.7 ka BP). We conclude that lakes in continental, boreal regions undergo different models of lake ontogeny than oceanic boreal regions. Unlike other regions discussed, climate is a more important driver of ecosystem change than catchment changes. We also demonstrate that the start of the period coincident with the onset of the Little Ice Age resulted in important thresholds crossed in catchment vegetation and aquatic communities.

  12. A METHODOLOGY FOR INFERRING THE CAUSES OF OBSERVED IMPAIRMENTS IN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biological surveys have become a common technique for determining whether aquatic communities have been injured. However, their results are not useful for identifying management options until the causes of apparent injuries have been identified. Techniques for determining causa...

  13. Burrowing mayflies (Hexagenia) as indicators of aquatic ecosystem health at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edsall, T.A.; Phillips, W.E.

    2004-01-01

    With concern running high for the ecological effects of nutrient introductions in waters near the park, researchers document baseline conditions of aquatic park resources, applying a method that can be fine-tuned for future trend monitoring.

  14. Conceptual development of a comprehensive measurement system for understanding the boreal and Arctic ecosystem-atmosphere relations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hari, Pertti; Petäjä, Tuukka; Bäck, Jaana; Vesala, Timo; Pumpanen, Jukka; Lappalinen, Hanna; Zilitinkevich, Sergej; Asmi, Eija; Laurila, Tuomas; Viisanen, Yrjö; Kulmala, Markku

    2014-05-01

    The climate change is expected to be large at high latitudes and the northern ecosystems in Eurasia will react strongly to this change. We need urgently information about the changes in the state and in the functioning of these ecosystems. The versatility of the ecosystems hampers greatly the combination of the information obtained at single measuring sites. We need a network of stations that are planned and constructed to provide coherent information over the huge area and that utilize the present rapid development of instrumentation. Although the northern ecosystems and the atmosphere are very different they, however, have many common features that enable construction of station network that provides coherent high quality data. We identify three different ecosystems; forest, peat land and aquatic. The layered structure is characteristic for them as well as for the atmosphere. Metabolic processes convert material and energy into other forms, for example, radiation energy is absorbed and emitted in the atmosphere and converted to chemical form in photosynthesis taking place in forests, peat lands, lakes and in the ocean. The processes generate differences in temperature, concentration and pressure that give rise to material and energy flows within the ecosystems and in the atmosphere, between the ecosystems and between the ecosystems and the atmosphere. These material and energy flows convey the interactions between the ecosystems and between the ecosystems and the atmosphere. To obtain coherent and high quality information on the present change in northern ecosystems and in the atmosphere we need network of long-term measuring stations that measure the material and energy fluxes within and between the ecosystems, between the ecosystems and the atmosphere, the processes generating the fluxes and the state of the ecosystems and of the atmosphere. These measuring stations should utilize cutting-edge measuring techniques and instrumentation. The intensive measurements

  15. The Barents and Chukchi Seas: Comparison of two Arctic shelf ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, George L.; Blanchard, Arny L.; Boveng, Peter; Dalpadado, Padmini; Drinkwater, Kenneth F.; Eisner, Lisa; Hopcroft, Russ R.; Kovacs, Kit M.; Norcross, Brenda L.; Renaud, Paul; Reigstad, Marit; Renner, Martin; Skjoldal, Hein Rune; Whitehouse, Andy; Woodgate, Rebecca A.

    2013-01-01

    This paper compares and contrasts the ecosystems of the Barents and Chukchi Seas. Despite their similarity in a number of features, the Barents Sea supports a vast biomass of commercially important fish, but the Chukchi does not. Here we examine a number of aspects of these two seas to ascertain how they are similar and how they differ. We then indentify processes and mechanisms that may be responsible for their similarities and differences. Both the Barents and Chukchi Seas are high latitude, seasonally ice covered, Arctic shelf-seas. Both have strongly advective regimes, and receive water from the south. Water entering the Barents comes from the deep, ice-free and "warm" Norwegian Sea, and contains not only heat, but also a rich supply of zooplankton that supports larval fish in spring. In contrast, Bering Sea water entering the Chukchi in spring and early summer is cold. In spring, this Bering Sea water is depleted of large, lipid-rich zooplankton, thus likely resulting in a relatively low availability of zooplankton for fish. Although primary production on average is similar in the two seas, fish biomass density is an order of magnitude greater in the Barents than in the Chukchi Sea. The Barents Sea supports immense fisheries, whereas the Chukchi Sea does not. The density of cetaceans in the Barents Sea is about double that in the Chukchi Sea, as is the density of nesting seabirds, whereas, the density of pinnipeds in the Chukchi is about double that in the Barents Sea. In the Chukchi Sea, export of carbon to the benthos and benthic biomass may be greater. We hypothesize that the difference in fish abundance in the two seas is driven by differences in the heat and plankton advected into them, and the amount of primary production consumed in the upper water column. However, we suggest that the critical difference between the Chukchi and Barents Seas is the pre-cooled water entering the Chukchi Sea from the south. This cold water, and the winter mixing of the

  16. Relevance of risk predictions derived from a chronic species sensitivity distribution with cadmium to aquatic populations and ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mebane, C.A.

    2010-01-01

    Criteria to protect aquatic life are intended to protect diverse ecosystems, but in practice are usually developed from compilations of single-species toxicity tests using standard test organisms that were tested in laboratory environments. Species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) developed from these compilations are extrapolated to set aquatic ecosystem criteria. The protectiveness of the approach was critically reviewed with a chronic SSD for cadmium comprising 27 species within 21 genera. Within the data set, one genus had lower cadmium effects concentrations than the SSD fifth percentile-based criterion, so in theory this genus, the amphipod Hyalella, could be lost or at least allowed some level of harm by this criteria approach. However, population matrix modeling projected only slightly increased extinction risks for a temperate Hyalella population under scenarios similar to the SSD fifth percentile criterion. The criterion value was further compared to cadmium effects concentrations in ecosystem experiments and field studies. Generally, few adverse effects were inferred from ecosystem experiments at concentrations less than the SSD fifth percentile criterion. Exceptions were behavioral impairments in simplified food web studies. No adverse effects were apparent in field studies under conditions that seldom exceeded the criterion. At concentrations greater than the SSD fifth percentile, the magnitudes of adverse effects in the field studies were roughly proportional to the laboratory-based fraction of species with adverse effects in the SSD. Overall, the modeling and field validation comparisons of the chronic criterion values generally supported the relevance and protectiveness of the SSD fifth percentile approach with cadmium. ?? 2009 Society for Risk Analysis.

  17. Changing Arctic ecosystems--measuring and forecasting the response of Alaska's terrestrial ecosystem to a warming climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearce, John; DeGange, Anthony R.; Flint, Paul; Fondell, Tom F.; Gustine, David; Holland-Bartels, Leslie; Hope, Andrew G.; Hupp, Jerry; Koch, Josh; Schmutz, Joel; Talbot, Sandra; Ward, David; Whalen, Mary

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska is a complex landscape of lakes, streams, and wetlands scattered across low relief tundra that is underlain by permafrost. This region of the Arctic has experienced a warming trend over the past three decades, leading to thawing of on-shore permafrost and the disappearance of sea ice at an unprecedented rate. The loss of sea ice has increased ocean wave action, leading to higher rates of erosion and salt water inundation of coastal habitats. Warming temperatures also have advanced the overall phenology of the region, including earlier snowmelt, lake ice thaw, and plant growth. As a result, many migratory species now arrive in the Arctic several days earlier in spring than in the 1970s. Predicted warming trends for the future will continue to alter plant growth, ice thaw, and other basic landscape processes. These changes will undoubtedly result in different responses by wildlife (fish, birds, and mammals) and the food they rely upon (plants, invertebrates, and fish). However, the type of response by different wildlife populations and their habitats-either positively or negatively-remains largely unknown.

  18. The Effect of Temperature and Increased Rainfall on Carbon Dioxide Exchange in a High Arctic Ecosystem: Improving Models and Testing Linearity of Response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steltzer, H.; Welker, J.; Sullivan, P.

    2006-12-01

    Ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange determines the terrestrial flux of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere through the two component processes of photosynthesis and respiration. Temperature and water availability are dominant factors that regulate carbon dioxide exchange and ecosystem productivity across the globe. Yet, in many ecosystems, the complex interaction of temperature and water availability and their individual and combined effects on photosynthesis and respiration make it difficult to predict how climate change will affect carbon dioxide exchange. For example, climate warming can increase carbon dioxide uptake in wetter Arctic ecosystems, but leads to the loss of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in drier Arctic ecosystems. Characterizing how temperature and water availability affect ecosystem carbon exchange in the Arctic is essential to determine whether the rate of climate warming could accelerate due to carbon dioxide losses from Arctic ecosystems. We conducted a multi-level warming experiment that included control plots and two- levels of warming in a widespread High Arctic ecosystem. Infrared lamps were used to warm the tundra during the growing season and rainfall was increased by 50 percent in control plots and the higher level warming treatment. Carbon dioxide exchange was measured using chamber techniques over several 24-hour periods during the growing season for three years and was resolved into the component fluxes. Climate and biophysical variables that affect carbon dioxide exchange rates were measured in coordination with these flux measurements. We chose to analyze the data from this experiment by fitting the data to light and temperature response functions for gross ecosystem photosynthesis and ecosystem respiration, respectively. Based on our sample size of 30 experimental plots (5 treatments x 6 replicates), we selected relatively simple models of carbon dioxide exchange to minimize overfitting, but considered linear and nonlinear models

  19. Evaluation of aquatic sediment microcosms and their use in assessing possible effects of introduced microorganisms on ecosystem parameters

    SciTech Connect

    Wagner-Doebler, I.; Pipke, R.; Timmis, K.N.; Dwyer, D.F. )

    1992-04-01

    In this paper the authors describe a sediment microcosm system consisting of 20 undisturbed, layered sediment cores with overlying site water which are incubated under identical conditions of temperature, light stirring rate of overlying water, and water exchange rate. Ecosystem parameters (nutrient level, photosynthetic potential, community structure of heterotrophic bacterium thymidine incorporation rate, and oxygen microgradients) of the laboratory microcosms and the source ecosystem were compared and shown to be indistinguishable for the first 2 weeks. The microcosm system described here would thus appear to be a valid model of aquatic sediments for up to 4 weeks; the actual period would depend on the sediment source and incubation temperature. The validated systems were used with Rhine river sediment to assess possible effects on ecosystem parameters of Pseudomonas sp. strain B13 FR1(pFRC20P), a genetically engineered microorganism (GEM) survived in the surface sediment at densities of 5 {times} 10{sup 4} to 5 {times} 10{sup 5}/g (dry weight) for 4 weeks and degraded added chloro- and methylaromatics. The GEM did not measurably influence ecosystem parameters such as photosynthesis, densities of selected heterotrophic bacteria, thymidine incorporation rate, and oxygen microgradients. Thus, the microcosm system described here would seem to be useful for the study of the ecology of biodegradation and the fate and effect of microorganisms introduced into the environment.

  20. Wetland-stream ecosystems of the western Kentucky coalfield: environmental disturbance and the shaping of aquatic community structure

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, P.L. Jr.

    1983-01-01

    The effects of surface mining effluents of the shaping of aquatic community structure in wetland-stream ecosystems of the western Kentucky coalfield were examined. Three variously impacted drainage systems were utilized for the investigation of cause-and-effect relationships. Clear Creek wetland-stream ecosystem had a uniformly low pH, high conductivity and high dissolved minerals load linked to the oozing of old, unreclaimed surface mine spoils. Cypress Creek wetland-stream ecosystem exhibited a slug-pulsing of mine drainage effluents tied to active surface mining limited to the headwaters region. Henderson Sloughs-Pond Creek wetland-stream ecosystem had no mining impact and was utilized as a comparison site. Macroinvertebrate taxa and diversity were considerably lowered in the systems receiving mine drainage. The Shannon-Weaver diversity index (H) was 0.61 for Clear Creek, 1.80 for Cypress Creek and 2.01 for Henderson Sloughs. Large numbers of chironomid larvae dominated the benthic community of Clear Creek while mayflies, caddisflies and crustaceans were the major components of the Cypress Creek community. Henderson Sloughs-Pond Creek had an even more diverse community of mayflies, caddisflies, crustaceans, molluscs and odonates. Fishes followed the same general trend, being almost absent in Clear Creek (H - 0.47), slightly depressed in Cypress Creek (H = 1.74) and generally diverse in Henderson Sloughs (H = 2.37).

  1. The Distribution and Abundance of Parasites in Aquatic Ecosystems in a Changing Climate: More than Just Temperature.

    PubMed

    Marcogliese, David J

    2016-10-01

    SynopsisEvaluation of the potential response of parasites of aquatic organisms to climate change illustrates the complexity of host-parasite relationships and the difficulty of making accurate predictions for these biological systems. In recent years, trematodes have proven to be a useful model to evaluate potential effects of climate change on host-parasite systems. In the first part of this article, I review and summarize results from the recent use of trematodes and specifically their early life cycle stages in testing effects of temperature and other climate-driven variables on life history traits and host-parasite interactions. However, metazoan parasites in aquatic systems respond directly to changes in temperature and also to changes in other climate-driven abiotic parameters that are mediated directly on the parasite or indirectly through changes in the distribution and abundance of their hosts. In addition, though most research to date has focused on the effects of temperature, it is imperative to explore effects of precipitation, eutrophication, acidification, water levels and flow rates, habitat loss and fragmentation, extreme weather, and other forms of anthropogenic interference on the distribution of both hosts and parasites, as these biotic and abiotic factors and stressors do not operate independently of climate. In the second part of this article, the effects of some of these factors derived from our own field studies, as well as other investigations both in the laboratory and the field, on the distribution, abundance, and community structure of parasites in aquatic ecosystems will be reviewed and discussed.

  2. Exploring new Routes for Identifying Phosphorus Species in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems with 31P NMR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vestergren, Johan; Persson, Per; Sundman, Annelie; Ilstedt, Ulrik; Giesler, Reiner; Schleucher, Jürgen; Gröbner, Gerhard

    2014-05-01

    Phosphorus (P) is the primary growth-limiting nutrient in some of the world's biomes. Rock phosphate is a non-renewable resource and the major source of agricultural fertilizers. Predictions of P consumption indicate that rock phosphate mining may peak within 35 years, with severe impacts on worldwide food production1. Organic P compounds constitute a major fraction of soil P, but little is known about the dynamics and bioavailability of organic P species. Our aim is to develop new liquid and solid state 31P-NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) techniques to identify P-species in water and soils; information required for correlating P speciation with plant and soil processes2, and eventually to improve P use. Soil organic P is frequently extracted using NaOH/EDTA, followed by characterization of the extract by solution 31P-NMR. However, the obtained NMR spectra usually have poor resolution due to line broadening caused by the presence of paramagnetic ions. Therefore, we successfully developed an approach to avoid paramagnetic line broadening by precipitation of metal sulfides. Sulfide precipitation dramatically reduces NMR line widths for soil extracts, without affecting P-composition. The resulting highly improved resolution allowed us to apply for the first time 2D 1H,31P-NMR methods to identify different P monoesters in spectral regions which are extremely crowded in 1D NMR spectra.3 By exploiting 2D 1H-31P NMR spectra of soil extracts we were able to unambiguously identify individual organic P species by combining 31P and 1H chemical shifts and coupling constants. This approach is even suitable for a structural characterization of unknown P-components and for tracing degradation pathways between diesters and monoesters3,4.Currently we apply our approach on boreal4 and tropical soils with focus on Burkina Faso. In addition we also monitor P-species in aqueos ecosystems. For this purpose stream water from the Krycklan catchment in northern Sweden5 has been used to

  3. The nearshore western Beaufort Sea ecosystem: Circulation and importance of terrestrial carbon in arctic coastal food webs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunton, Kenneth H.; Weingartner, Thomas; Carmack, Eddy C.

    2006-10-01

    . Calculations from isotopic mixing equations indicate cod from lagoons may derive 70% of their carbon from terrestrial sources. The δ15N values of lagoon fish were also 4‰ lower than coastal specimens, reflective of the lower δ15N values of terrestrially derived nitrogen (0-1.5‰ compared to 5-7‰ for phytoplankton). The role of terrestrial carbon in arctic estuarine food webs is especially important in view of the current warming trend in the arctic environment and the role of advective processes that transport carbon along the nearshore shelf. Biogeochemical studies of the arctic coastal estuarine environment may provide more insights into the function of these biologically complex ecosystems.

  4. Marcellus and mercury: Assessing potential impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction on aquatic ecosystems in northwestern Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Grant, Christopher J; Weimer, Alexander B; Marks, Nicole K; Perow, Elliott S; Oster, Jacob M; Brubaker, Kristen M; Trexler, Ryan V; Solomon, Caroline M; Lamendella, Regina

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a persistent element in the environment that has the ability to bioaccumulate and biomagnify up the food chain with potentially harmful effects on ecosystems and human health. Twenty-four streams remotely located in forested watersheds in northwestern PA containing naturally reproducing Salvelinus fontinalis (brook trout), were targeted to gain a better understanding of how Marcellus shale natural gas exploration may be impacting water quality, aquatic biodiversity, and Hg bioaccumulation in aquatic ecosystems. During the summer of 2012, stream water, stream bed sediments, aquatic mosses, macroinvertebrates, crayfish, brook trout, and microbial samples were collected. All streams either had experienced hydraulic fracturing (fracked, n = 14) or not yet experienced hydraulic fracturing (non-fracked, n = 10) within their watersheds at the time of sampling. Analysis of watershed characteristics (GIS) for fracked vs non-fracked sites showed no significant differences (P > 0.05), justifying comparisons between groups. Results showed significantly higher dissolved total mercury (FTHg) in stream water (P = 0.007), lower pH (P = 0.033), and higher dissolved organic matter (P = 0.001) at fracked sites. Total mercury (THg) concentrations in crayfish (P = 0.01), macroinvertebrates (P = 0.089), and predatory macroinvertebrates (P = 0.039) were observed to be higher for fracked sites. A number of positive correlations between amount of well pads within a watershed and THg in crayfish (r = 0.76, P < 0.001), THg in predatory macroinvertebrates (r = 0.71, P < 0.001), and THg in brook trout (r = 0.52, P < 0.01) were observed. Stream-water microbial communities within the Deltaproteobacteria also shared a positive correlation with FTHg and to the number of well pads, while stream pH (r = -0.71, P < 0.001), fish biodiversity (r = -0.60, P = 0.02), and macroinvertebrate taxa richness (r = -0.60, P = 0.01) were negatively correlated with the number of well pads within a

  5. Marcellus and mercury: Assessing potential impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction on aquatic ecosystems in northwestern Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Grant, Christopher J; Weimer, Alexander B; Marks, Nicole K; Perow, Elliott S; Oster, Jacob M; Brubaker, Kristen M; Trexler, Ryan V; Solomon, Caroline M; Lamendella, Regina

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a persistent element in the environment that has the ability to bioaccumulate and biomagnify up the food chain with potentially harmful effects on ecosystems and human health. Twenty-four streams remotely located in forested watersheds in northwestern PA containing naturally reproducing Salvelinus fontinalis (brook trout), were targeted to gain a better understanding of how Marcellus shale natural gas exploration may be impacting water quality, aquatic biodiversity, and Hg bioaccumulation in aquatic ecosystems. During the summer of 2012, stream water, stream bed sediments, aquatic mosses, macroinvertebrates, crayfish, brook trout, and microbial samples were collected. All streams either had experienced hydraulic fracturing (fracked, n = 14) or not yet experienced hydraulic fracturing (non-fracked, n = 10) within their watersheds at the time of sampling. Analysis of watershed characteristics (GIS) for fracked vs non-fracked sites showed no significant differences (P > 0.05), justifying comparisons between groups. Results showed significantly higher dissolved total mercury (FTHg) in stream water (P = 0.007), lower pH (P = 0.033), and higher dissolved organic matter (P = 0.001) at fracked sites. Total mercury (THg) concentrations in crayfish (P = 0.01), macroinvertebrates (P = 0.089), and predatory macroinvertebrates (P = 0.039) were observed to be higher for fracked sites. A number of positive correlations between amount of well pads within a watershed and THg in crayfish (r = 0.76, P < 0.001), THg in predatory macroinvertebrates (r = 0.71, P < 0.001), and THg in brook trout (r = 0.52, P < 0.01) were observed. Stream-water microbial communities within the Deltaproteobacteria also shared a positive correlation with FTHg and to the number of well pads, while stream pH (r = -0.71, P < 0.001), fish biodiversity (r = -0.60, P = 0.02), and macroinvertebrate taxa richness (r = -0.60, P = 0.01) were negatively correlated with the number of well pads within a

  6. Optical properties of natural dissolved organic matter (DOM) in aquatic ecosystems: Applications in ecosystem studies from headwater streams to the deep ocean. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaffe, R.

    2010-12-01

    The study of natural dissolved organic material (DOM) contributes to the better understanding of ecosystem function as the carbon flux between environmental compartments represents an important linkage between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Within freshwater and marine ecosystems, DOM typically represents the largest pool of detrital organic carbon and greatly exceeds the organic carbon present in living biomass. Thus, the sources and fate of DOM are important terms in carbon budgets. DOM can also influence ecosystem function by controlling microbial food webs, act as a means of nutrient transport, buffer pH and influence toxicity and bioavailability of pollutants, among others. DOM composition influences its ‘quality’ and thus its photo- and bio-reactivity, both of which exert a strong control of the diagenetic reworking of this carbon pool. However, the molecular composition of DOM is highly complex and diverse, and its characterization is a serious challenge to analytical chemists. In recent years, several novel analytical approaches to the characterization of DOM have evolved, including those that are highly structure specific and others that provide information on broader molecular characteristics. Whilst the former are usually expensive and time consuming, the latter, often based on optical properties measurements, feature high sample throughput at a reduced cost but at the expense of structural specificity. While both approaches are complementary under ideal conditions, the latter are best suited for studies involving large spatial and temporal scales. The analysis of DOM optical properties, in particular excitation emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence combined with parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC), has emerged as a practical tool for the broad characterization of DOM quality. This presentation will provide examples for the application of EEM-PARAFAC in assessing environmental dynamics of DOM on both spatial and temporal scales, and in both

  7. Spatial and temporal variation of an ice-adapted predator's feeding ecology in a changing Arctic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Yurkowski, David J; Ferguson, Steven H; Semeniuk, Christina A D; Brown, Tanya M; Muir, Derek C G; Fisk, Aaron T

    2016-03-01

    Spatial and temporal variation can confound interpretations of relationships within and between species in terms of diet composition, niche size, and trophic position (TP). The cause of dietary variation within species is commonly an ontogenetic niche shift, which is a key dynamic influencing community structure. We quantified spatial and temporal variations in ringed seal (Pusa hispida) diet, niche size, and TP during ontogeny across the Arctic-a rapidly changing ecosystem. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis was performed on 558 liver and 630 muscle samples from ringed seals and on likely prey species from five locations ranging from the High to the Low Arctic. A modest ontogenetic diet shift occurred, with adult ringed seals consuming more forage fish (approximately 80 versus 60 %) and having a higher TP than subadults, which generally decreased with latitude. However, the degree of shift varied spatially, with adults in the High Arctic presenting a more restricted niche size and consuming more Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) than subadults (87 versus 44 %) and adults at the lowest latitude (29 %). The TPs of adult and subadult ringed seals generally decreased with latitude (4.7-3.3), which was mainly driven by greater complexity in trophic structure within the zooplankton communities. Adult isotopic niche size increased over time, likely due to the recent circumpolar increases in subarctic forage fish distribution and abundance. Given the spatial and temporal variability in ringed seal foraging ecology, ringed seals exhibit dietary plasticity as a species, suggesting adaptability in terms of their diet to climate change. PMID:26210748

  8. Spatial and temporal variation of an ice-adapted predator's feeding ecology in a changing Arctic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Yurkowski, David J; Ferguson, Steven H; Semeniuk, Christina A D; Brown, Tanya M; Muir, Derek C G; Fisk, Aaron T

    2016-03-01

    Spatial and temporal variation can confound interpretations of relationships within and between species in terms of diet composition, niche size, and trophic position (TP). The cause of dietary variation within species is commonly an ontogenetic niche shift, which is a key dynamic influencing community structure. We quantified spatial and temporal variations in ringed seal (Pusa hispida) diet, niche size, and TP during ontogeny across the Arctic-a rapidly changing ecosystem. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis was performed on 558 liver and 630 muscle samples from ringed seals and on likely prey species from five locations ranging from the High to the Low Arctic. A modest ontogenetic diet shift occurred, with adult ringed seals consuming more forage fish (approximately 80 versus 60 %) and having a higher TP than subadults, which generally decreased with latitude. However, the degree of shift varied spatially, with adults in the High Arctic presenting a more restricted niche size and consuming more Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) than subadults (87 versus 44 %) and adults at the lowest latitude (29 %). The TPs of adult and subadult ringed seals generally decreased with latitude (4.7-3.3), which was mainly driven by greater complexity in trophic structure within the zooplankton communities. Adult isotopic niche size increased over time, likely due to the recent circumpolar increases in subarctic forage fish distribution and abundance. Given the spatial and temporal variability in ringed seal foraging ecology, ringed seals exhibit dietary plasticity as a species, suggesting adaptability in terms of their diet to climate change.

  9. Can thiol compounds be used as biomarkers of aquatic ecosystem contamination by cadmium?

    PubMed Central

    Kovářová, Jana; Svobodová, Zdeňka

    2009-01-01

    Due to anthropogenic activities, heavy metals still represent a threat for various trophic levels. If aquatic animals are exposed to heavy metals we can obviously observe considerable toxicity. It is well known that an organism affected by cadmium (Cd) synthesize low molecular mass thiol compounds rich in cysteine (Cys), such as metallothioneins (MT) and glutathione (GSH/GSSG). The aim of this study was to summarize the effect of Cd on level of thiol compounds in aquatic organisms, and evaluate that the concentrations of thiol compounds are effective indicators of Cd water pollution and explain their potential use in biomonitoring applications. PMID:21217850

  10. Design and Development of a Spectral Library for Different Vegetation and Landcover Types for Arctic, Antarctic and Chihuahua Desert Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matharasi, K.; Goswami, S.; Gamon, J.; Vargas, S.; Marin, R.; Lin, D.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2008-12-01

    All objects on the Earth's surface absorb and reflect portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Depending on the composition of the material, every material has its characteristic spectral profile. The characteristic spectral profile for vegetation is often used to study how vegetation patterns at large spatial scales affect ecosystem structure and function. Analysis of spectroscopic data from the laboratory, and from various other platforms like aircraft or spacecraft, requires a knowledge base that consists of different characteristic spectral profiles for known different materials. This study reports on establishment of an online and searchable spectral library for a range of plant species and landcover types in the Arctic, Anatarctic and Chihuahuan desert ecosystems. Field data were collected from Arctic Alaska, the Antarctic Peninsula and the Chihuahuan desert in the visible to near infrared (IR) range using a handheld portable spectrometer. The data have been archived in a database created using postgre sql with have been made publicly available on a plone web-interface. This poster describes the data collected in more detail and offers instruction to users who wish to make use of this free online resource.

  11. From a microcosm to the catchment scale: studying the fate of organic runoff pollutants in aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böttcher, T.; Schroll, R.

    2009-04-01

    Spray-drift, drainage, erosion and runoff events are the major causes responsible for deportation of agrochemicals as micropollutants to aquatic non-target sites. These processes can lead to the contamination of nearby freshwater ecosystems with considerably high concentrations of xenobiotics. Thus, it is important to unravel the fate of these pollutants and to evaluate their ecological effects. A novel approach to address this goal was established by the development of a microcosm with multiple sampling abilities enabling quantitative assessment of organic volatilisation, mineralization, metabolization and distribution within the aquatic ecosystem. This microcosm system was designed to support modelling approaches of the catchment scale and gain insights into the fate of pesticides simulating a large scale water body. The potential of this microcosm was exemplified for Isoproturon (IPU), a phenylurea derived systemic herbicide, which is frequently found as contaminant in water samples and with the free-floating macrophyte Lemna minor as non-target species, that is common to occur in rural water bodies. During 21 days exposure time, only a small amount of 14C labeled IPU was removed from the aquatic medium. The major portion (about 5%) was accumulated by Lemna minor resulting in a BCF of 15.8. IPU-volatilisation was very low with 0.13% of the initially applied herbicide. Only a minor amount of IPU was completely metabolized, presumably by rhizosphere microorganisms and released as 14CO2. The novel experimental system allowed to quantitatively investigate the fate of IPU and showed a high reproducibility with a mean average 14C-recovery rate of 97.1

  12. Development of a dynamic model for estimating the food web transfer of chemicals in small aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Nfon, Erick; Armitage, James M; Cousins, Ian T

    2011-11-15

    A dynamic combined fate and food web model was developed to estimate the food web transfer of chemicals in small aquatic ecosystems (i.e. ponds). A novel feature of the modeling approach is that aquatic macrophytes (submerged aquatic vegetation) were included in the fate model and were also a food item in the food web model. The paper aims to investigate whether macrophytes are effective at mitigating chemical exposure and to compare the modeling approach developed here with previous modeling approaches recommended in the European Union (EU) guideline for risk assessment of pesticides. The model was used to estimate bioaccumulation of three hypothetical chemicals of varying hydrophobicity in a pond food web comprising 11 species. Three different macrophyte biomass densities were simulated in the model experiments to determine the influence of macrophytes on fate and bioaccumulation. Macrophytes were shown to have a significant effect on the fate and food web transfer of highly hydrophobic compounds with log KOW>=5. Modeled peak concentrations in biota were highest for the scenarios with the lowest macrophyte biomass density. The distribution and food web transfer of the hypothetical compound with the lowest hydrophobicity (log KOW=3) was not affected by the inclusion of aquatic macrophytes in the pond environment. For the three different hypothetical chemicals and at all macrophyte biomass densities, the maximum predicted concentrations in the top predator in the food web model were at least one order of magnitude lower than the values estimated using methods suggested in EU guidelines. The EU guideline thus provides a highly conservative estimate of risk. In our opinion, and subject to further model evaluation, a realistic assessment of dynamic food web transfer and risk can be obtained using the model presented here. PMID:21962596

  13. Patterns of Life in the Water. Student Field Studies of Two of Franklin County's Aquatic Ecosystems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Toole, Kathleen P.

    Described in this manual are two field investigations which utilize the natural environment to teach ecological principles to high school students. In groups of five to ten, students study two aquatic environments and then prepare a booklet which summarizes their work. The manual is divided into four parts: (1) teacher's guide; (2) student's…

  14. Aquatic Ecosystem Services in the 21st Century Northeast Corridor: Assessment Using a Regional Earth System Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenzweig, B.; Miara, A.; Stewart, R. J.; Wollheim, W. M.; Vorosmarty, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    Aquatic ecosystems of the Northeast United States will be significantly impacted by both global climate change and the regional-scale strategic management decisions made in the next few years. We have developed a Regional Earth System Model for the Northeast Corridor (NE-RESM) that simulates the impacts of climate, land use, and development policy on the interacting cycles of energy, water, carbon and nutrients. The NE-RESM will provide a unique and critically needed tool for policymakers to understand how their current decisions will impact ecosystem services over the 21st Century. To test our modeling framework, we conducted a retrospective experiment focusing on the water-energy-economy nexus during the period 2000-2010. Component models were developed to 'translate' physical outputs from the NE-RESM - such as stream discharge and water temperature - into ecosystem services including water regulation for thermoelectric cooling and the ability for streams to serve as a refugia for wildlife. Simulations were performed both with and without Clean Water Act limits on thermal pollution. Through this work, we were able to obtain spatially distributed information on how these laws impact power generation by the thermoelectric sector but also enable Northeast streams to serve as habitat for temperature-sensitive aquatic species (Brook Trout, Atlantic Salmon, River Herring and the American Eel). Our ongoing research examines future climate and policy scenarios through 2100. We are considering the impact of changing land cover patterns (a return to agriculture vs. suburban sprawl) and various strategies to meet energy and municipal water needs under different Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) developed for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC AR5).

  15. Mercury in freshwater ecosystems of the Canadian Arctic: recent advances on its cycling and fate.

    PubMed

    Chételat, John; Amyot, Marc; Arp, Paul; Blais, Jules M; Depew, David; Emmerton, Craig A; Evans, Marlene; Gamberg, Mary; Gantner, Nikolaus; Girard, Catherine; Graydon, Jennifer; Kirk, Jane; Lean, David; Lehnherr, Igor; Muir, Derek; Nasr, Mina; Poulain, Alexandre J; Power, Michael; Roach, Pat; Stern, Gary; Swanson, Heidi; van der Velden, Shannon

    2015-03-15

    The Canadian Arctic has vast freshwater resources, and fish are important in the diet of many Northerners. Mercury is a contaminant of concern because of its potential toxicity and elevated bioaccumulation in some fish populations. Over the last decade, significant advances have been made in characterizing the cycling and fate of mercury in these freshwater environments. Large amounts of new data on concentrations, speciation and fluxes of Hg are provided and summarized for water and sediment, which were virtually absent for the Canadian Arctic a decade ago. The biogeochemical processes that control the speciation of mercury remain poorly resolved, including the sites and controls of methylmercury production. Food web studies have examined the roles of Hg uptake, trophic transfer, and diet for Hg bioaccumulation in fish, and, in particular, advances have been made in identifying determinants of mercury levels in lake-dwelling and sea-run forms of Arctic char. In a comparison of common freshwater fish species that were sampled across the Canadian Arctic between 2002 and 2009, no geographic patterns or regional hotspots were evident. Over the last two to four decades, Hg concentrations have increased in some monitored populations of fish in the Mackenzie River Basin while other populations from the Yukon and Nunavut showed no change or a slight decline. The different Hg trends indicate that the drivers of temporal change may be regional or habitat-specific. The Canadian Arctic is undergoing profound environmental change, and preliminary evidence suggests that it may be impacting the cycling and bioaccumulation of mercury. Further research is needed to investigate climate change impacts on the Hg cycle as well as biogeochemical controls of methylmercury production and the processes leading to increasing Hg levels in some fish populations in the Canadian Arctic.

  16. Mercury in freshwater ecosystems of the Canadian Arctic: recent advances on its cycling and fate.

    PubMed

    Chételat, John; Amyot, Marc; Arp, Paul; Blais, Jules M; Depew, David; Emmerton, Craig A; Evans, Marlene; Gamberg, Mary; Gantner, Nikolaus; Girard, Catherine; Graydon, Jennifer; Kirk, Jane; Lean, David; Lehnherr, Igor; Muir, Derek; Nasr, Mina; Poulain, Alexandre J; Power, Michael; Roach, Pat; Stern, Gary; Swanson, Heidi; van der Velden, Shannon

    2015-03-15

    The Canadian Arctic has vast freshwater resources, and fish are important in the diet of many Northerners. Mercury is a contaminant of concern because of its potential toxicity and elevated bioaccumulation in some fish populations. Over the last decade, significant advances have been made in characterizing the cycling and fate of mercury in these freshwater environments. Large amounts of new data on concentrations, speciation and fluxes of Hg are provided and summarized for water and sediment, which were virtually absent for the Canadian Arctic a decade ago. The biogeochemical processes that control the speciation of mercury remain poorly resolved, including the sites and controls of methylmercury production. Food web studies have examined the roles of Hg uptake, trophic transfer, and diet for Hg bioaccumulation in fish, and, in particular, advances have been made in identifying determinants of mercury levels in lake-dwelling and sea-run forms of Arctic char. In a comparison of common freshwater fish species that were sampled across the Canadian Arctic between 2002 and 2009, no geographic patterns or regional hotspots were evident. Over the last two to four decades, Hg concentrations have increased in some monitored populations of fish in the Mackenzie River Basin while other populations from the Yukon and Nunavut showed no change or a slight decline. The different Hg trends indicate that the drivers of temporal change may be regional or habitat-specific. The Canadian Arctic is undergoing profound environmental change, and preliminary evidence suggests that it may be impacting the cycling and bioaccumulation of mercury. Further research is needed to investigate climate change impacts on the Hg cycle as well as biogeochemical controls of methylmercury production and the processes leading to increasing Hg levels in some fish populations in the Canadian Arctic. PMID:24993511

  17. Project AProWa: a national view on managing trade-offs between agricultural production and conservation of aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietzel, Anne; Rahn, Eric; Stamm, Christian

    2014-05-01

    Swiss agriculture is legally committed to fulfill several, partially conflicting goals such as agricultural production on the one hand and the conservation of natural resources on the other hand. In the context of the research project AProWa ("Agricultural Production and Water"), the relationships between the production aspect and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems is analyzed with a holistic approach. Agricultural production and the protection of water resources have high potential for conflicts: Farmers use ground and surface water to irrigate their fields. On the other hand, drainage systems enable the production on otherwise unfavorably wet soils. These in turn often affect ground water recharge and divert precipitation directly into surface waters, which changes their hydrological regime. Typically, drainage systems also elevate the input of nutrients and pesticides into the water bodies. In general, applied fertilizers, plant protection products, veterinary drugs and phytohormones of cultivated plants are introduced into the ground and surface waters through different processes such as drift, leaching, runoff, preferential flow or erosion. They influence the nutrient cycles and ecological health of aquatic systems. The nutrient and pesticide loss processes themselves can be altered by tillage operations and other agricultural practices. Furthermore, the competition for space can lead to additional conflicts between agriculture and the protection of aquatic ecosystems. For example, channelized or otherwise morphologically changed rivers do not have a natural discharge pattern and are often not suitable for the local flora and fauna; but naturally meandering rivers need space that cannot be used for agriculture. In a highly industrialized and densely populated country like Switzerland, all these potential conflicts are of importance. Although it is typically seen as a water-rich country, local and seasonal overexploitation of rivers through water extraction

  18. Evaluation of aquatic sediment microcosms and their use in assessing possible effects of introduced microorganisms on ecosystem parameters.

    PubMed Central

    Wagner-Döbler, I; Pipke, R; Timmis, K N; Dwyer, D F

    1992-01-01

    In this paper we describe a sediment microcosm system consisting of 20 undisturbed, layered sediment cores with overlying site water which are incubated under identical conditions of temperature, light, stirring rate of overlying water, and water exchange rate. Ecosystem parameters (nutrient level, photosynthetic potential, community structure of heterotrophic bacteria, thymidine incorporation rate, and oxygen microgradients) of the laboratory microcosms and the source ecosystem were compared and shown to be indistinguishable for the first 2 weeks. In weeks 3 and 4, small differences were detectable in the nutrient level, community structure of heterotrophic bacteria, and thymidine incorporation rate. However, the photosynthetic potential, depth profiles of heterotrophic bacterial community structure, and oxygen microgradients were maintained throughout the incubation period and did not differ between laboratory microcosms and the source ecosystem. The microcosm system described here would thus appear to be a valid model of aquatic sediments for up to 4 weeks; the actual period would depend on the sediment source and incubation temperature. The validated systems were used with Rhine river sediment to assess possible effects on ecosystem parameters of Pseudomonas sp. strain B13 FR1(pFRC20P), a genetically engineered microorganism (GEM) that had been constructed to degrade mixtures of halo- and alkylbenzoates and -phenols. The GEM survived in the surface sediment at densities of 5 x 10(4) to 5 x 10(5)/g (dry weight) for 4 weeks and degraded added chloro- and methylaromatics. The GEM did not measurably influence ecosystem parameters such as photosynthesis, densities of selected heterotrophic bacteria, thymidine incorporation rate, and oxygen microgradients. Thus, the microcosm system described here would seem to be useful for the study of the ecology of biodegradation and the fate and effect of microorganisms introduced into the environment. PMID:1599244

  19. The remote sensing of aquatic macrophytes Part 1: Color-infrared aerial photography as a tool for identification and mapping of littoral vegetation. Part 2: Aerial photography as a quantitative tool for the investigation of aquatic ecosystems. [Lake Wingra, Wisconsin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gustafson, T. D.; Adams, M. S.

    1973-01-01

    Research was initiated to use aerial photography as an investigative tool in studies that are part of an intensive aquatic ecosystem research effort at Lake Wingra, Madison, Wisconsin. It is anticipated that photographic techniques would supply information about the growth and distribution of littoral macrophytes with efficiency and accuracy greater than conventional methods.

  20. ARE AIRBORNE CONTAMINANTS A RISK FACTOR TO AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS IN REMOTE WESTERN NATIONAL PARKS (USA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Western Airborne Contaminants Assessment Project (WACAP) was initiated in 2002 by the National Park Service to determine if airborne contaminants were having an impact on remote western ecosystems. Multiple sample media (snow, water, sediment, fish and terrestrial vegetation...