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Sample records for arctic ecosystem final

  1. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic ecosystem. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1994-06-01

    The dynamics of carbon fixation and storage in tundra soils has received considerable attention with respect to global carbon cycling. Recent findings by investigators using chamber measurements of fixation/respiration rates in arctic tundra have led to the conclusion that tundra is no longer storing carbon but is instead a source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The author has sought to test these conclusions and to determine methods by which the long-term accumulation or loss of carbon in tundra can be determined. Little is known, however, of the processes that control storage and the current rates of carbon fixation and peat formation in arctic Alaska. This project focused on several aspects of carbon dynamics and the roles of decomposition and herbivory at the DOE research site at Imnavait Creek, Alaska. Through the use of natural abundance stable and radioisotope techniques, several conclusions emerged. Peat carbon continues to accumulate in wetter areas of foothill valleys and on the coastal plain of arctic Alaska. Radiocarbon profiles of bomb {sup 14}C were used to date layers of vegetation and litter to obtain decomposition rates and to extrapolate these values to intersection with the permafrost horizon where further decomposition is assumed to cease. Carbon storage in riparian moss at Imnavait Creek was estimated at 3 g C/m{sup 2}-yr. Profiles of {sup 137}Cs closely matched those of {sup 14}C and may provide a more expeditious means of assessing recent carbon accumulation rates in tundra. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios in tundra vegetation vary markedly over hydrologic gradients in apparent response to changing growth rates and sources of nitrogenous nutrients. Within a taxon, {delta}{sup 15}N values varied by several {per_thousand} over a tens of meters distance.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Crossing the final ecological threshold in high Arctic ponds.

    PubMed

    Smol, John P; Douglas, Marianne S V

    2007-07-24

    A characteristic feature of most Arctic regions is the many shallow ponds that dot the landscape. These surface waters are often hotspots of biodiversity and production for microorganisms, plants, and animals in this otherwise extreme terrestrial environment. However, shallow ponds are also especially susceptible to the effects of climatic changes because of their relatively low water volumes and high surface area to depth ratios. Here, we describe our findings that some high Arctic ponds, which paleolimnological data indicate have been permanent water bodies for millennia, are now completely drying during the polar summer. By comparing recent pond water specific conductance values to similar measurements made in the 1980s, we link the disappearance of the ponds to increased evaporation/precipitation ratios, probably associated with climatic warming. The final ecological threshold for these aquatic ecosystems has now been crossed: complete desiccation. PMID:17606917

  8. 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/

  9. 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/

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services for public policy

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Christina P; Jiang, Bo; Kinzig, Ann P; Lee, Kai N; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2015-01-01

    Governments worldwide are recognising ecosystem services as an approach to address sustainability challenges. Decision-makers need credible and legitimate measurements of ecosystem services to evaluate decisions for trade-offs to make wise choices. Managers lack these measurements because of a data gap linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services. The dominant method to address the data gap is benefit transfer using ecological data from one location to estimate ecosystem services at other locations with similar land cover. However, benefit transfer is only valid once the data gap is adequately resolved. Disciplinary frames separating ecology from economics and policy have resulted in confusion on concepts and methods preventing progress on the data gap. In this study, we present a 10-step approach to unify concepts, methods and data from the disparate disciplines to offer guidance on overcoming the data gap. We suggest: (1) estimate ecosystem characteristics using biophysical models, (2) identify final ecosystem services using endpoints and (3) connect them using ecological production functions to quantify biophysical trade-offs. The guidance is strategic for public policy because analysts need to be: (1) realistic when setting priorities, (2) attentive to timelines to acquire relevant data, given resources and (3) responsive to the needs of decision-makers. PMID:25394857

  10. Linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services for public policy.

    PubMed

    Wong, Christina P; Jiang, Bo; Kinzig, Ann P; Lee, Kai N; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2015-01-01

    Governments worldwide are recognising ecosystem services as an approach to address sustainability challenges. Decision-makers need credible and legitimate measurements of ecosystem services to evaluate decisions for trade-offs to make wise choices. Managers lack these measurements because of a data gap linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services. The dominant method to address the data gap is benefit transfer using ecological data from one location to estimate ecosystem services at other locations with similar land cover. However, benefit transfer is only valid once the data gap is adequately resolved. Disciplinary frames separating ecology from economics and policy have resulted in confusion on concepts and methods preventing progress on the data gap. In this study, we present a 10-step approach to unify concepts, methods and data from the disparate disciplines to offer guidance on overcoming the data gap. We suggest: (1) estimate ecosystem characteristics using biophysical models, (2) identify final ecosystem services using endpoints and (3) connect them using ecological production functions to quantify biophysical trade-offs. The guidance is strategic for public policy because analysts need to be: (1) realistic when setting priorities, (2) attentive to timelines to acquire relevant data, given resources and (3) responsive to the needs of decision-makers.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    potential for these industrial wastes to impact sensitive Arctic ecosystems. PMID:24223170

  17. 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

    potential for these industrial wastes to impact sensitive Arctic ecosystems.

  18. 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

    potential for these industrial wastes to impact sensitive Arctic ecosystems. PMID:24223170

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Active layer dynamics and arctic hydrology and meteorology. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-10-01

    Man`s impact on the environment is increasing with time. To be able to evaluate anthropogenic impacts on an ecosystems, it is necessary first to understand all facets of how the ecosystems works: what the main processes (physical, biological, chemical) are, at what rates they proceed, and how they can be manipulated. Arctic ecosystems are dominated by physical processes of energy exchange. This project has concentrated on a strong program of hydrologic and meteorologic data collection, to better understand dominant physical processes. Field research focused on determining the natural annual and diurnal variability of meteorologic and hydrologic variables, especially those which may indicate trends in climatic change. Comprehensive compute models are being developed to simulate physical processes occurring under the present conditions and to simulate processes under the influence of climatic change.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species-rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox - perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013) we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey - altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period - a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers. PMID:25692786

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Samiran

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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. ESRP approach to using final ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed the ecosystem Services Research Program (ESRP) as one of its major research efforts. The goal of this program is to create “A comprehensive theory and practice for quantifying ecosystem services so that their value and their...

  16. 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

  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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  9. Effects of disturbance on ecosystem dynamics of tundra and riparian vegetation: A project in the R4D program. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1995-12-31

    Models were proposed as research tools to test the basic understanding of the structure and function of arctic ecosystems, as a means for providing initial management assessments of potential response to energy-related development, and as a vehicle for extrapolation of research results to other arctic sites and landscapes. This final summary report reviews progress made on models at a variety of scales from nutrient uptake by individual roots to nutrient availability within arctic landscapes, and examines potentials and critical limitations of these models for providing insight on patch and landscape level function in tundra regions.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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.

  13. 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

  14. Controls over nutrient flow through plants and microbes in Arctic tundra. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Schimel, J.

    1994-02-01

    Ecosystem productivity in the Arctic is strongly controlled by N availability to plants. Thus, disturbances to the Arctic system are likely to have their greatest impacts by altering the supply of nutrients to plants. Thus, to understand the dynamics of Arctic tundra, a complete understanding of the controls on N cycling in tundra soils is necessary. This project focused on understanding nutrient dynamics in arctic tussock tundra, specifically evaluating the role of microbial uptake and competition for nutrients as a control on plant N-uptake. The project consisted of several major components: Short- and long-term partitioning of NH{sub 4}{sup +} in tussock tundra (1990--1991); Measurement of NH{sub 4}{sup +} uptake rates by Eriophorum vaginatum and by soil microbes; Determination of microbial NH{sub 4}{sup +} and NO{sub 3}{minus} uptake kinetics; and Determination of the partitioning of NH{sub 4}{sup +} and amino acids between E. vaginatum and soil microbes.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Turetsky, Merritt; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin; Euskirchen, Eugenie S.; Talbot, Julie; Frolking, Steve; McGuire, A. David; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina

    2012-08-24

    Mosses in boreal and arctic ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, represent an important component of plant diversity, and strongly influence the cycling of water, nutrients, energy and carbon. Here we use a literature review and synthesis as well as model simulations to explore the role of moss in ecological stability and resilience. Our literature review of moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories in boreal and arctic regions. Our modeling simulations suggest that loss of moss within northern plant communities will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. While two models (HPM and STM-TEM) showed a significant effect of moss removal, results from the Biome-BGC and DVM-TEM models suggest that northern, moss-rich ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. We highlight a number of issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, phenotypical plasticity in traits, and whether the effects of moss on ecosystem processes scale with local abundance. We also suggest that as more models explore issues related to ecological resilience, issues related to both parameter and conceptual uncertainty should be addressed: are the models more limited by uncertainty in the parameterization of the processes included or by what is not represented in the model at all? It seems clear from our review that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species.

  1. Ecosystem 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. FINAL ECOSYSTEM GOODS AND SERVICES CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM (FEGS-CS)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document defines and classifies 338 Final Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS), each defined and uniquely numbered by a combination of environmental class or sub-class and a beneficiary category or sub-category. The introductory section provides the rationale and conceptual ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    The Arctic is a water-rich region, with freshwater systems covering 16 % of the northern permafrost landscape. The thawing of this permafrost creates new freshwater ecosystems, while at the same time modifying the existing lakes, streams, and rivers that are impacted by thaw. Here, we describe the current state of knowledge regarding how permafrost thaw affects lentic and lotic systems, exploring the effects of both thermokarst (thawing and collapse of ice-rich permafrost) and deepening of the active layer (the surface soil layer that thaws and refreezes each year). Within thermokarst, we further differentiate between the effects of thermokarst in lowland areas, vs. that on hillslopes. For almost all of the processes that we explore, the effects of thaw vary regionally, and between lake and stream systems. Much of this regional variation is caused by differences in ground ice content, topography, soil type, and permafrost coverage. Together, these modifying variables determine the degree to which permafrost thaw manifests as thermokarst, whether thermokarst leads to slumping or the formation of thermokarst lakes, and the manner in which constituent delivery to freshwater systems is altered by thaw. Differences in thaw-enabled constituent delivery can be considerable, with these modifying variables determining, for example, the balance between delivery of particulate vs. dissolved constituents, and inorganic vs. organic materials. Changes in the composition of thaw-impacted waters, coupled with changes in lake morphology, can strongly affect the physical and optical properties of thermokarst lakes. The ecology of thaw-impacted systems is also likely to change, with thaw-impacted lakes and streams having unique microbiological communities, and showing differences in respiration, primary production, and food web structure that are largely driven by differences in sediment, dissolved organic matter and nutrient delivery. The degree to which thaw enables the delivery of

  19. 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

    The Arctic is a water-rich region, with freshwater systems covering about 16 % of the northern permafrost landscape. Permafrost thaw creates new freshwater ecosystems, while at the same time modifying the existing lakes, streams, and rivers that are impacted by thaw. Here, we describe the current state of knowledge regarding how permafrost thaw affects lentic (still) and lotic (moving) systems, exploring the effects of both thermokarst (thawing and collapse of ice-rich permafrost) and deepening of the active layer (the surface soil layer that thaws and refreezes each year). Within thermokarst, we further differentiate between the effects of thermokarst in lowland areas vs. that on hillslopes. For almost all of the processes that we explore, the effects of thaw vary regionally, and between lake and stream systems. Much of this regional variation is caused by differences in ground ice content, topography, soil type, and permafrost coverage. Together, these modifying factors determine (i) the degree to which permafrost thaw manifests as thermokarst, (ii) whether thermokarst leads to slumping or the formation of thermokarst lakes, and (iii) the manner in which constituent delivery to freshwater systems is altered by thaw. Differences in thaw-enabled constituent delivery can be considerable, with these modifying factors determining, for example, the balance between delivery of particulate vs. dissolved constituents, and inorganic vs. organic materials. Changes in the composition of thaw-impacted waters, coupled with changes in lake morphology, can strongly affect the physical and optical properties of thermokarst lakes. The ecology of thaw-impacted lakes and streams is also likely to change; these systems have unique microbiological communities, and show differences in respiration, primary production, and food web structure that are largely driven by differences in sediment, dissolved organic matter, and nutrient delivery. The degree to which thaw enables the delivery

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1996-11-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  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.

  2. 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Final Technical Report for Project "Improving the Simulation of Arctic Clouds in CCSM3"

    SciTech Connect

    Stephen J. Vavrus

    2008-11-15

    the CCSM3 climate model. J. Climate, 21, 5673-5687.). The article also provides a novel synthesis of surface- and satellite-based Arctic cloud observations that show how much the new freezedry parameterization improves the simulated cloud amount in high latitudes (Fig. 3). Freezedry has been incorporated into the CCSM3.5 version, in which it successfully limits the excessive polar clouds, and may be used in CCSM4. Material from this work is also appearing in a synthesis article on future Arctic cloud changes (Vavrus, D. Waliser, J. Francis, and A. Schweiger, 'Simulations of 20th and 21st century Arctic cloud amount in the global climate models assessed in the IPCC AR4', accepted in Climate Dynamics) and was used in a collaborative paper on Arctic cloud-sea ice coupling (Schweiger, A., R. Lindsay, S. Vavrus, and J. Francis, 2008: Relationships between Arctic sea ice and clouds during autumn. J. Climate, 21, 4799-4810.). This research was presented at the 2007 CCSM Annual Workshop, as well as the CCSM's 2007 Atmospheric Model Working Group and Polar Working Group Meetings. The findings were also shown at the 2007 Climate Change Prediction Program's Science Team Meeting. In addition, I served as an instructor at the International Arctic Research Center's (IARC) Summer School on Arctic Climate Modeling in Fairbanks this summer, where I presented on the challenges and techniques used in simulating polar clouds. I also contributed to the development of a new Arctic System Model by attending a workshop in Colorado this summer on this fledgling project. Finally, an outreach activity for the general public has been the development of an interactive web site () that displays Arctic cloud amount in the CMIP3 climate model archive under present and future scenarios. This site allows users to make polar and global maps of a variety of climate variables to investigate the individual and ensemble-mean GCM response to greenhouse

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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. PMID:24993511

  16. Omics in the Arctic: Genome-enabled Contributions to Carbon Cycle Research in High-Latitude Ecosystems (JGI Seventh Annual User Meeting 2012: Genomics of Energy and Environment)

    SciTech Connect

    Wullschleger, Stan

    2012-03-22

    Stan Wullschleger of Oak Ridge National Laboratory on "Omics in the Arctic: Genome-enabled Contributions to Carbon Cycle Research in High-Latitude Ecosystems" on March 22, 2012 at the 7th Annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting in Walnut Creek, California.

  17. Omics in the Arctic: Genome-enabled Contributions to Carbon Cycle Research in High-Latitude Ecosystems (JGI Seventh Annual User Meeting 2012: Genomics of Energy and Environment)

    ScienceCinema

    Wullschleger, Stan [ORNL

    2016-07-12

    Stan Wullschleger of Oak Ridge National Laboratory on "Omics in the Arctic: Genome-enabled Contributions to Carbon Cycle Research in High-Latitude Ecosystems" on March 22, 2012 at the 7th Annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting in Walnut Creek, California.

  18. USING LAKE SEDIMENT MERCURY FLUX RATIOS TO EVALUATE THE REGIONAL AND CONTINENTAL DIMENSIONS OF MERCURY DEPOSITION IN ARCTIC AND BOREAL ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Anthropogenically elevated Hg deposition in arctic and subarctic ecosystems is potentially a serious environmental problem, particularly in northern Europe and North America. To determine the magnitude of this concern, it is necessary to make an evaluation over a broad spatial sc...

  19. Study on regional responses of pan-Arctic terrestrial ecosystems to recent climate variability using satellite remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ke

    I applied a satellite remote sensing based production efficiency model (PEM) using an integrated AVHRR and MODIS FPAR/LAI time series with a regionally corrected NCEP/NCAR reanalysis surface meteorology and NASA/GEWEX shortwave solar radiation inputs to assess annual terrestrial net primary productivity (NPP) for the pan-Arctic basin and Alaska from 1983 to 2005. I developed a satellite remote sensing based evapotranspiration (ET) algorithm using GIMMS NDVI with the above meteorology inputs to assess spatial patterns and temporal trends in ET over the pan-Arctic region. I then analyzed associated changes in the regional water balance defined as the difference between precipitation (P) and ET. I finally analyzed the effects of regional climate oscillations on vegetation productivity and the regional water balance. The results show that low temperature constraints on Boreal-Arctic NPP are decreasing by 0.43% per year (P < 0.001), whereas a positive trend in vegetation moisture constraints of 0.49% per year ( P = 0.04) are offsetting the potential benefits of longer growing seasons and contributing to recent drought related disturbances in NPP. The PEM simulations of NPP seasonality, annual anomalies and trends are similar to stand inventory network measurements of boreal aspen stem growth ( r = 0.56; P = 0.007) and atmospheric CO2 measurement based estimates of the timing of growing season onset ( r = 0.78; P < 0.001). The simulated monthly ET results agree well (RMSE=8.3 mm month-1; R2=0.89) with tower measurements for regionally dominant land cover types. Generally positive trends in ET, precipitation and available river discharge measurements imply that the pan-Arctic terrestrial water cycle is intensifying. Increasing water deficits occurred in some boreal and temperate grassland regions, which agree with regional drought records and recent satellite observations of vegetation browning and productivity decreases. Climate oscillations including Arctic Oscillation

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Remote Sensing of Arctic-Boreal Terrestrial and Freshwater Ecosystems - Recent Progress and Current and Future Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasischke, E. S.; Goetz, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    NASA is in the process of starting its next major terrestrial field campaign, the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), with field-based research beginning in 2016 at sites in high northern latitude regions of western North America. In this presentation, we will review the research that is being planned for ABoVE that involves the use of remotely-sensed data, including the development of information products required by end users to assess the societal impacts of environmental change. These plans included taking advantage of recent advances in mapping of key surface and atmospheric characteristics using both airborne and spaceborne remote sensing data. We will also identify current and future challenges for the collection and analysis of additional data needed to assess key ecosystem changes, including the need for use of medium resolution optical and SAR data, and fine resolution optical data.

  2. Historical and contemporary imagery to assess ecosystem change on the Arctic coastal plain of northern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tape, Ken D.; Pearce, John M.; Walworth, Dennis; Meixell, Brandt W.; Fondell, Tom F.; Gustine, David D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Ward, David H.

    2014-01-01

    In this report, we describe and make available a set of 61 georectified aerial images of the Arctic Coastal Plain (taken from 1948 to 2010) that were obtained by the USGS to inform research objectives of the USGS CAE Initiative. Here, we describe the origins, metadata, and public availability of these images that were obtained within four main study areas on the Arctic Coastal Plain: Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, Chipp River, the Colville River Delta, and locations along the Dalton Highway Corridor between the Brooks Range and Deadhorse. We also provide general descriptions of observable changes to the geomorphology of landscapes that are apparent by comparing historical and contemporary images. These landscape changes include altered river corridors, lake drying, coastal erosion, and new vegetation communities. All original and georectified images and metadata are available through the USGS Alaska Science Center Portal (search under ‘Project Name’ using title of this report) or by contacting ascweb@usgs.gov.

  3. Effects of increased snow cover on the rates and sources of ecosystem respiration from high arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lupascu, M.; Welker, J. M.; Cooper, E.; Xu, X.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2013-12-01

    A key driver of carbon (C) cycling in arctic ecosystems is the amount, onset and duration of snow cover. Arctic tundra is covered in snow for 8-10 months of the year, although spatial and internannual variability of snow cover is high. Anticipated changes in the amount and timing of snow cover as a consequence of climate warming and their implications for regional C budget and biogeochemistry are highly uncertain. Here, we investigated the effects of increased winter snow depth on the rates and sources of ecosystem respiration (Reco) of a polar semi-desert and mesic meadow at two long-term snowpack manipulation experiments in NW Greenland and Svalbard, Norway. We monitored Reco, the concentrations of CO2 in the soil pore space and their radiocarbon (14C) contents (as an age proxy) over the course of three summers in Greenland and one winter in Svalbard. Preliminary results show that wintertime Reco fluxes were 45% higher in areas of deep as compared to ambient snow. Summertime Reco fluxes were positively correlated to total water-year precipitation (summer rain plus winter snow). However, due to the shorter, snow-free vegetation period, cumulative summertime Reco fluxes under increased snow cover were reduced by up to -34.1×5.4% compared to the control. The mean age of soil CO2 was always older during both the winter- and summertime under increased snow cover. Similarly, the mean age of Reco was older under increased snowpack during the wintertime. However, summertime Reco was dominated by decomposition of younger C and plant respiration, and we found no effect of snow cover. Our results demonstrate the vulnerability of permafrost C to increasing snow cover and the strong potential to serve as a positive feedback to global climate change.

  4. A comparison of organic contaminants in two high Arctic lake ecosystems, Bjørnøya (Bear Island), Norway.

    PubMed

    Evenset, Anita; Christensen, Guttorm N; Skotvold, Trond; Fjeld, Eirik; Schlabach, Martin; Wartena, Elleke; Gregor, Dennis

    2004-01-01

    Lake Ellasjøen and Lake Øyangen are two high Arctic lake ecosystem located on the island Bjørnøya (74 degrees 30' N, 19 degrees 00' E) in the Barents Sea. High levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), especially PCB and p,p'-DDE, were found in sediment and biota from Lake Ellasjøen while levels were several times lower in Lake Øyangen. Stable isotope signatures (delta15N) in comparable organisms (e.g. zooplankton, Arctic char) collected from both the lakes were also significantly different. The values of delta15N were 6-10 per thousand higher in the organisms from Ellasjøen than from Øyangen. In both Ellasjøen and Øyangen, a statistically significant correlation (P<0.05) was found between the levels of PCB and DDT, and delta15N values in organisms indicating enhanced bioaccumulation for higher trophical level lake organisms. As the lakes on Bjørnøya are remote, more than 500 km from any known point source, the presence of POPs is most likely the result of long-range transport of contaminants to the area. The observed higher contaminant concentrations associated with the Ellasjøen ecosystem is attributed to two factors. Ellasjøen is located in the southern, mountainous part of Bjørnøya and it is likely that this area receives more precipitation, and thereby more airborne contaminants, than the flatter areas further north on the island (i.e. the area around Øyangen). In addition, higher delta15N-levels in organisms from Ellasjøen as compared to Øyangen indicate the input of guano from seabirds using the lake as a resting area as an additional source of POPs to Ellasjøen. PMID:14654280

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  6. Potential indicators of final ecosystem services in wetlands

    EPA Science Inventory

    Numerous and inconsistent lists of wetland ecosystem services exist because services are identified using ambiguous definitions or categorization schemes based around divergent or ambiguous objectives. A consistent and scientific approach would provide clarity and provide greater...

  7. Impact of active layer detachments on carbon exchange in a high-Arctic ecosystem, Cape Bounty, Nunavut, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, N. A.; Beamish, A.; Neil, A.; Wagner, I.

    2011-12-01

    High Arctic ecosystems are experiencing some of the earliest and most extreme changes in climate, including increases in both temperature and precipitation leading to a deepening and destabilization of the active layer. This destabilization of shallow slopes can lead to disturbances such as active layer detachments (ALD), which could further alter soil temperature and moisture regimes, potentially releasing carbon (C) and nutrients previously unavailable to soil microbes. We explored the impact of ALD's on carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange at the Cape Bounty Arctic Watershed Observatory on Melville Island, Canada over two growing seasons. CO2 exchange under light and dark conditions was measured approximately every five to nine days across both growing seasons for a total of five sampling day in 2009 and nine sampling days in 2010. Sampling was stratified to include highly disturbed, moderately disturbed, and undisturbed areas. Transparent static chambers were equipped with a Vaisala GMP343 CO2 sensor to measure changes in CO2 concentration over time. Based on static chamber C flux measurements during the growing seasons of 2009 and 2010, we found that the moderately disturbed sites were net sinks of CO2 (-6.44gC m-2 season-1, -8.21gC m-2 season-1, respectively). The highly disturbed sites however were net sources of CO2 in both seasons (3.01gC m-2 season-1, 30.01gC m-2 season-1, respectively). Control sites in 2009 were a net C sink (-6.48gC m-2 season-1) while in 2010 they represented a net C source (16.75gC m-2 season-1). Overall, the formation of ALD's led to highly disturbed areas (roughly 40% of the area of an ALD) becoming C sources, but appeared to enhance C uptake in moderately disturbed areas. Active layer depth explained little of the variation in any of the C fluxes, while combinations of soil moisture, temperature, and air temperature explained up to roughly 40% of the variation in C fluxes. These findings have important implications if temperature and

  8. Using paleolimnology to track the impacts of early Arctic peoples on freshwater ecosystems from southern Baffin Island, Nunavut

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michelutti, Neal; McCleary, Kathryn M.; Antoniades, Dermot; Sutherland, Patricia; Blais, Jules M.; Douglas, Marianne S. V.; Smol, John P.

    2013-09-01

    Paleolimnological approaches can be used to determine the ways in which past Arctic peoples have affected the ecosystems in which they live, and simultaneously to reconstruct the climate and other aspects of the environment that may have influenced local populations. Here we analyze sediment cores from seven ponds on the south-western coast of Baffin Island, Nunavut, in order to assess the impacts of early Arctic peoples on freshwater ecosystems. Prior to the historic Inuit occupation, the study area was extensively inhabited by Thule culture Inuit (ca 1200-1600 AD) and by an earlier Arctic group, the Dorset culture Palaeo-Eskimos (ca 500 BC-1500 AD) and their predecessors from as early as 2500 BC. The study ponds were selected to cover a gradient of the intensity of human activity in their catchments. The ecological impacts of early hunting societies can be detected using paleolimnology because the butchering of marine mammals released nutrients that eutrophied nearby ponds and left distinct geochemical signals in the sediments. The degree of eutrophication in the small freshwater ponds depended on the length of the occupation, as well as the amount and type of marine mammals taken as primary prey items (eg, whales, walrus, or seals). All sediment cores were AMS 14C dated to establish their chronologies, and analyzed for diatoms and stable isotopes of nitrogen (δ15N). Both diatoms and sedimentary δ15N have been previously demonstrated to respond sensitively to nutrient enrichment from Inuit whalers. Our δ15N and diatom data record nutrient enrichment in lakes surrounded by either long-term Thule or Dorset settlements. The Dorset sites that were the locations of periodic seasonal gatherings did not register any evidence of eutrophication in the nearby ponds, reflecting the shorter, less intensive nature of these occupations. Similarly, nearby control ponds with no evidence of significant human activity in their catchments showed little-to-no changes in δ15N

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  11. Effect of radioactive pollution on the biodiversity of marine benthic ecosystems of the Russian Arctic shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexeev, Denis K.; Galtsova, Valentina V.

    2012-07-01

    This study is the result of many years of research on the ecology of the marine benthos of Russian Arctic seas. We used samples collected at various locations from the Russian continental shelf during 1993-2009 as the basis of our study. Our main aim was to analyze the spatial distribution of taxonomic and quantitative characteristics of the meiobenthos (small bottom-dwelling animals, 0.1-3.0 mm in size). Statistical analysis of the data revealed that the factors determining the spatial distribution of meiobenthic organisms under natural conditions, and conditions impacted upon by human activity, were salinity, water depth, hydrocarbons, heavy metals and radiocaesium volumetric activity. The possible use of the meiobenthos as a tool for environmental impact assessment is proposed and discussed on the level of higher taxa.

  12. Present and Future Carbon Balance of Russia's Northern Ecosystems. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F. Stuart III; Zimov, Sergei A.

    2000-08-28

    Recent increases in the seasonal amplitude of atmospheric CO{sub 2} at high latitudes suggest a widespread biospheric response to high-latitude warming. We have shown that the seasonal amplitude of net ecosystem carbon exchange by northern Siberian ecosystems is greater in disturbed than undisturbed sites, due to increased summer influx and increased winter efflux. Net carbon gain in summer and respiration in winter were greater in a cool than in a warm year, especially in disturbed sites and did not differ between high-arctic and treeline sites, suggesting that high-latitude warming, if it occurred, would have little effect or would reduce seasonal amplitude of carbon exchange. We suggest that increased disturbance contributes significantly to the amplified seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO{sub 2} at high latitudes.

  13. [A data collection program focused on hydrologic and meteorologic parameters in an Arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, D.

    1992-01-01

    The hydrologic cycle of an arctic watershed is dominated by such physical elements as snow, ice, permafrost, seasonally frozen soils, wide fluctuations in surface energy balance and phase change of snow and ice to water. At Imnavait basin, snow accumulation begins in September or early October and maximum snowpack water equivalent is reached just prior to the onset of ablation in mid May. No significant mid winter melt occurs in this basin. Considerable snowfall redistribution by wind to depressions and valley bottom is evident. Spring snowmelt on the North Slope of Alaska is the dominant hydrologic event of the year.This event provides most of the moisture for use by vegetation in the spring and early summer period. The mechanisms and timing of snowmelt are important factors in predicting runoff, the migrations of birds and large mammals and the diversity of plant communities. It is important globally due to the radical and abrupt change in the surface energy balance over vast areas. We were able to explore the trends and differences in the snowmelt process along a transect from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Coastal plain. Snowpack ablation was monitored at three sites. These data were analyzed along with meteorologic data at each site. The initiation of ablation was site specific being largely controlled by the complementary addition of energy from radiation and sensible heat flux. Although the research sites were only 115 km apart, the rates and mechanisms of snowmelt varied greatly. Usually, snowmelt begins at the mid-elevations in the foothills and progresses northerly toward the coast and southerly to the mountains. In the more southerly areas snowmelt progressed much faster and was more influenced by sensible heat advected from areas south of the Brooks Range. In contrast snowmelt in the more northerly areas was slower and the controlled by net radiation.

  14. [A data collection program focused on hydrologic and meteorologic parameters in an Arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, D.

    1992-12-31

    The hydrologic cycle of an arctic watershed is dominated by such physical elements as snow, ice, permafrost, seasonally frozen soils, wide fluctuations in surface energy balance and phase change of snow and ice to water. At Imnavait basin, snow accumulation begins in September or early October and maximum snowpack water equivalent is reached just prior to the onset of ablation in mid May. No significant mid winter melt occurs in this basin. Considerable snowfall redistribution by wind to depressions and valley bottom is evident. Spring snowmelt on the North Slope of Alaska is the dominant hydrologic event of the year.This event provides most of the moisture for use by vegetation in the spring and early summer period. The mechanisms and timing of snowmelt are important factors in predicting runoff, the migrations of birds and large mammals and the diversity of plant communities. It is important globally due to the radical and abrupt change in the surface energy balance over vast areas. We were able to explore the trends and differences in the snowmelt process along a transect from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Coastal plain. Snowpack ablation was monitored at three sites. These data were analyzed along with meteorologic data at each site. The initiation of ablation was site specific being largely controlled by the complementary addition of energy from radiation and sensible heat flux. Although the research sites were only 115 km apart, the rates and mechanisms of snowmelt varied greatly. Usually, snowmelt begins at the mid-elevations in the foothills and progresses northerly toward the coast and southerly to the mountains. In the more southerly areas snowmelt progressed much faster and was more influenced by sensible heat advected from areas south of the Brooks Range. In contrast snowmelt in the more northerly areas was slower and the controlled by net radiation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, A. E.; Christen, A.; Henry, G. H. R.

    2015-12-01

    Soil carbon stored in high-latitude permafrost landscapes is threatened by warming, and could contribute significant amounts of carbon to the atmosphere and hydrosphere as permafrost thaws. Permafrost disturbances, especially active layer detachments and retrogressive thaw slumps, have increased in frequency and magnitude across the Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, Canada. To determine the effects of retrogressive thaw slumps on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 in high Arctic tundra, we used two eddy covariance (EC) tower systems to simultaneously and continuously measure CO2 fluxes from a disturbed site and the surrounding undisturbed tundra. During the 32-day measurement period in the 2014 growing season the undisturbed tundra was a small net sink (NEE = -0.12 g C m-2 d-1); however, the disturbed terrain of the retrogressive thaw slump was a net source (NEE = +0.39 g C m-2 d-1). Over the measurement period, the undisturbed tundra sequestered 3.84 g C m-2, while the disturbed tundra released 12.48 g C m-2. Before full leaf out in early July, the undisturbed tundra was a small source of CO2, but shifted to a sink for the remainder of the sampling season (July), whereas the disturbed tundra remained a source of CO2 throughout the season. A static chamber system was also used to measure fluxes in the footprints of the two towers, in both disturbed and undisturbed tundra, and fluxes were partitioned into ecosystem respiration (Re) and gross primary production (GPP). Average GPP and Re found in disturbed tundra were smaller (+0.41 μmol m-2 s-1 and +0.50 μmol m-2 s-1, respectively) than those found in undisturbed tundra (+1.21 μmol m-2 s-1 and +1.00 μmol m-2 s-1, respectively). Our measurements indicated clearly that the permafrost disturbance changed the high Arctic tundra system from a sink to a source for CO2 during the growing season.

  17. Chemosynthetic ecosystems study. Final report. Volume 1. Executive summary

    SciTech Connect

    MacDonald, I.R.; Sager, W.W.; Lee, C.; Schroeder, W.W.; Kennicutt, M.C.

    1995-06-01

    Volume I presents a brief summary of the findings of a three year investigation of the geology, chemistry, and biology of chemosynthetic ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. These dense assemblages of tube worms, mussels and/or clams are primarily dependent upon chemical conditions generated by natural oils and gas seeps. Hydrocarbon seeps produce a variety of distinctive geological features including carbonate rock, mud volcanoes, and hydrate mounds, which tend to be localized to areas less than 1 km. The interaction of the sediment bacteria with the hydrocarbons in the seafloor yields a highly specialized chemical environment featuring high levels of hydrogen sulfide and degraded oils.

  18. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Turetsky, M.; Bond-Lamberty, B.; Euskirchen, E.S.; Talbot, J. J.; Frolking, S.; McGuire, A.D.; Tuittila, E.S.

    2012-01-01

    Mosses in northern ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, and strongly influence nutrient, carbon and water cycling. We use literature review, synthesis and model simulations to explore the role of mosses in ecological stability and resilience. Moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories. Simulations from two process-based models suggest that northern ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. But simulations with two other models suggest that loss of moss will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. It seems clear 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. We highlight several issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, and parameter vs conceptual uncertainty in models. Mosses play an important role in several ecosystem processes that play out over centuries – permafrost formation and thaw, peat accumulation, development of microtopography – and there is a need for studies that increase our understanding of slow, long-term dynamical processes.

  19. Beyond arctic and alpine: the influence of winter climate on temperate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Ladwig, Laura M; Ratajczak, Zak R; Ocheltree, Troy W; Hafich, Katya A; Churchill, Amber C; Frey, Sarah J K; Fuss, Colin B; Kazanski, Clare E; Muñoz, Juan D; Petrie, Matthew D; Reinmann, Andrew B; Smith, Jane G

    2016-02-01

    Winter climate is expected to change under future climate scenarios, yet the majority of winter ecology research is focused in cold-climate ecosystems. In many temperate systems, it is unclear how winter climate relates to biotic responses during the growing season. The objective of this study was to examine how winter weather relates to plant and animal communities in a variety of terrestrial ecosystems ranging from warm deserts to alpine tundra. Specifically, we examined the association between winter weather and plant phenology, plant species richness, consumer abundance, and consumer richness in 11 terrestrial ecosystems associated with the U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network. To varying degrees, winter precipitation and temperature were correlated with all biotic response variables. Bud break was tightly aligned with end of winter temperatures. For half the sites, winter weather was a better predictor of plant species richness than growing season weather. Warmer winters were correlated with lower consumer abundances in both temperate and alpine systems. Our findings suggest winter weather may have a strong influence on biotic activity during the growing season and should be considered in future studies investigating the effects of climate change on both alpine and temperate systems.

  20. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Turetsky, M R; Bond-Lamberty, B; Euskirchen, E; Talbot, J; Frolking, S; McGuire, A D; Tuittila, E-S

    2012-10-01

    Mosses in northern ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, and strongly influence nutrient, carbon and water cycling. We use literature review, synthesis and model simulations to explore the role of mosses in ecological stability and resilience. Moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories. Simulations from two process-based models suggest that northern ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. But simulations with two other models suggest that loss of moss will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. It seems clear 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. We highlight several issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, and parameter vs conceptual uncertainty in models. Mosses play an important role in several ecosystem processes that play out over centuries - permafrost formation and thaw, peat accumulation, development of microtopography - and there is a need for studies that increase our understanding of slow, long-term dynamical processes. PMID:22924403

  1. Beyond arctic and alpine: the influence of winter climate on temperate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Ladwig, Laura M; Ratajczak, Zak R; Ocheltree, Troy W; Hafich, Katya A; Churchill, Amber C; Frey, Sarah J K; Fuss, Colin B; Kazanski, Clare E; Muñoz, Juan D; Petrie, Matthew D; Reinmann, Andrew B; Smith, Jane G

    2016-02-01

    Winter climate is expected to change under future climate scenarios, yet the majority of winter ecology research is focused in cold-climate ecosystems. In many temperate systems, it is unclear how winter climate relates to biotic responses during the growing season. The objective of this study was to examine how winter weather relates to plant and animal communities in a variety of terrestrial ecosystems ranging from warm deserts to alpine tundra. Specifically, we examined the association between winter weather and plant phenology, plant species richness, consumer abundance, and consumer richness in 11 terrestrial ecosystems associated with the U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network. To varying degrees, winter precipitation and temperature were correlated with all biotic response variables. Bud break was tightly aligned with end of winter temperatures. For half the sites, winter weather was a better predictor of plant species richness than growing season weather. Warmer winters were correlated with lower consumer abundances in both temperate and alpine systems. Our findings suggest winter weather may have a strong influence on biotic activity during the growing season and should be considered in future studies investigating the effects of climate change on both alpine and temperate systems. PMID:27145612

  2. 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.

  3. Hyperspectral Study of the Arctic Tundra Ecosystem Using an Automated Robotic Cart System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, S.; Gamon, J. A.; Houser, P.; Matharasi, K.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2007-12-01

    Our study in the NSF Biocomplexity project is carried on by collecting spectral data with the help of an automated robotic tram system over the drying arctic lake bed. The robotic cart samples three 300 meter long transects spread across the lake basin automatically, taking reflectance measurements at each meter using a dual detector spectrometer designed to correct for changing sky conditions. Surface reflectance data were collected for three consecutive years for 2005, 2006 and 2007 as part of the project, which provides a baseline dataset of surface conditions. Three spectral indices, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a measure of vegetation 'greenness', the Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI), a measure of carotenoid pigment levels, and the Water Band Index (WBI), a measure of vegetation moisture content, are calculated from the optical data collected to study the surface conditions of the lakebed. Comparison of three years NDVI data showed different greenness conditions of the surface. Peak season NDVI values were the lowest in 2005 compared to 2006 and 2007. WBI values for the two dry years 2005 and 2007 were similar for all the tramlines except for the beginning of the season. PRI values for the two dry years 2005 and 2007 had similar trends for all the tramlines except for the beginning of the season. This tram system along with the cyberinfrastucture tools that we are developing gives us the opportunity for developing a technology to the next level to facilitate the research in the field of environmental science and terrestrial ecology.

  4. Transitions in High-Arctic Vegetation Growth Patterns and Ecosystem Productivity from 2000-2013 Tracked with Cameras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westergaard-Nielsen, A.; Hansen, B. U.; Klosterman, S.; Pedersen, S. H.; Schmidt, N. M.; Abermann, J.; Lund, M.

    2015-12-01

    The changes in vegetation seasonality in high northern latitudes resulting from changes atmospheric temperatures and precipitation are still not well understood. Continued monitoring and research is therefore needed. In this study we use 13 years of time lapse camera data and climate data from high-Arctic Northeast Greenland to assess the seasonal response of a dwarf shrub heath, grassland, and fens to snow cover, soil moisture, and atmospheric and soil temperatures. Based on the camera data, we computed a greenness index which was subsequently used to analyze transition dates in vegetation seasonality. We show that snow cover and subsequent water from the melting snow pack is highly important for the seasonality. We found a significant advancement in start of growing season of 12 days but not a significant increase in growing season length. Both the timing and greenness index value of peak of growing season was significantly correlated to the available water in the pre-melt snow pack, mostly pronounced in vegetation with limited soil water. The end of growing season was likewise significantly correlated to the water equivalents in the pre-melt snowpack. Moreover, the vegetation greenness was highly correlated to GPP, and shifts in seasonality as tracked by the greenness index are thus expected to have direct influence on ecosystem productivity.

  5. Modelling carbon responses of tundra ecosystems to historical and projected climate: Sensitivity of pan-Arctic carbon storage to temporal and spatial variation in climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGuire, A.D.; Clein, J.S.; Melillo, J.M.; Kicklighter, D.W.; Meier, R.A.; Vorosmarty, C.J.; Serreze, M.C.

    2000-01-01

    Historical and projected climate trends for high latitudes show substantial temporal and spatial variability. To identify uncertainties in simulating carbon (C) dynamics for pan-Arctic tundra, we compare the historical and projected responses of tundra C storage from 1921 to 2100 between simulations by the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) for the pan-Arctic and the Kuparuk River Basin, which was the focus of an integrated study of C dynamics from 1994 to 1996. In the historical period from 1921 to 1994, the responses of net primary production (NPP) and heterotrophic respiration (RH) simulated for the Kuparuk River Basin and the pan-Arctic are correlated with the same factors; NPP is positively correlated with net nitrogen mineralization (NMIN) and RH is negatively correlated with mean annual soil moisture. In comparison to the historical period, the spatially aggregated responses of NPP and RH for the Kuparuk River Basin and the pan-Arctic in our simulations for the projected period have different sensitivities to temperature, soil moisture and NMIN. In addition to being sensitive to soil moisture during the projected period, RH is also sensitive to temperature and there is a significant correlation between RH and NMIN. We interpret the increases in NPP during the projected period as being driven primarily by increases in NMIN, and that the correlation between NPP and temperature in the projected period is a result primarily of the causal linkage between temperature, RH, and NMIN. Although similar factors appear to be controlling simulated regional-and biome-scale C dynamics, simulated C dynamics at the two scales differ in magnitude with higher increases in C storage simulated for the Kuparuk River Basin than for the pan-Arctic at the end of the historical period and throughout the projected period. Also, the results of the simulations indicate that responses of C storage show different climate sensitivities at regional and pan-Arctic spatial scales and that

  6. Experiences in multiyear combined state-parameter estimation with an ecosystem model of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans using the Ensemble Kalman Filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, Ehouarn; Samuelsen, Annette; Bertino, Laurent; Mouysset, Sandrine

    2015-12-01

    A sequence of one-year combined state-parameter estimation experiments has been conducted in a North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean configuration of the coupled physical-biogeochemical model HYCOM-NORWECOM over the period 2007-2010. The aim is to evaluate the ability of an ensemble-based data assimilation method to calibrate ecosystem model parameters in a pre-operational setting, namely the production of the MyOcean pilot reanalysis of the Arctic biology. For that purpose, four biological parameters (two phyto- and two zooplankton mortality rates) are estimated by assimilating weekly data such as, satellite-derived Sea Surface Temperature, along-track Sea Level Anomalies, ice concentrations and chlorophyll-a concentrations with an Ensemble Kalman Filter. The set of optimized parameters locally exhibits seasonal variations suggesting that time-dependent parameters should be used in ocean ecosystem models. A clustering analysis of the optimized parameters is performed in order to identify consistent ecosystem regions. In the north part of the domain, where the ecosystem model is the most reliable, most of them can be associated with Longhurst provinces and new provinces emerge in the Arctic Ocean. However, the clusters do not coincide anymore with the Longhurst provinces in the Tropics due to large model errors. Regarding the ecosystem state variables, the assimilation of satellite-derived chlorophyll concentration leads to significant reduction of the RMS errors in the observed variables during the first year, i.e. 2008, compared to a free run simulation. However, local filter divergences of the parameter component occur in 2009 and result in an increase in the RMS error at the time of the spring bloom.

  7. Predicting ecosystem carbon balance in a warming Arctic: the importance of long-term thermal acclimation potential and inhibitory effects of light on respiration.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Blair C; Xu, Cheng-Yuan; Rastetter, Edward B; Griffin, Kevin L

    2014-06-01

    The carbon balance of Arctic ecosystems is particularly sensitive to global environmental change. Leaf respiration (R), a temperature-dependent key process in determining the carbon balance, is not well-understood in Arctic plants. The potential for plants to acclimate to warmer conditions could strongly impact future global carbon balance. Two key unanswered questions are (1) whether short-term temperature responses can predict long-term respiratory responses to growth in elevated temperatures and (2) to what extent the constant daylight conditions of the Arctic growing season inhibit leaf respiration. In two dominant Arctic species Eriophorum vaginatum (tussock grass) and Betula nana (woody shrub), we assessed the extent of respiratory inhibition in the light (RL/RD), respiratory response to short-term temperature change, and respiratory acclimation to long-term warming treatments. We found that R of both species is strongly inhibited by light (averaging 35% across all measurement temperatures). In E. vaginatum both RL and RD acclimated to the long-term warming treatment, reducing the magnitude of respiratory response relative to the short-term response to temperature increase. In B. nana, both RL and RD responded to short-term temperature increase but showed no acclimation to the long-term warming. The ability to predict plant respiratory response to global warming with short-term temperature responses will depend on species-specific acclimation potential and the differential response of RL and RD to temperature. With projected woody shrub encroachment in Arctic tundra and continued warming, changing species dominance between these two functional groups, may impact ecosystem respiratory response and carbon balance. PMID:24677488

  8. Predicting ecosystem carbon balance in a warming Arctic: the importance of long-term thermal acclimation potential and inhibitory effects of light on respiration.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Blair C; Xu, Cheng-Yuan; Rastetter, Edward B; Griffin, Kevin L

    2014-06-01

    The carbon balance of Arctic ecosystems is particularly sensitive to global environmental change. Leaf respiration (R), a temperature-dependent key process in determining the carbon balance, is not well-understood in Arctic plants. The potential for plants to acclimate to warmer conditions could strongly impact future global carbon balance. Two key unanswered questions are (1) whether short-term temperature responses can predict long-term respiratory responses to growth in elevated temperatures and (2) to what extent the constant daylight conditions of the Arctic growing season inhibit leaf respiration. In two dominant Arctic species Eriophorum vaginatum (tussock grass) and Betula nana (woody shrub), we assessed the extent of respiratory inhibition in the light (RL/RD), respiratory response to short-term temperature change, and respiratory acclimation to long-term warming treatments. We found that R of both species is strongly inhibited by light (averaging 35% across all measurement temperatures). In E. vaginatum both RL and RD acclimated to the long-term warming treatment, reducing the magnitude of respiratory response relative to the short-term response to temperature increase. In B. nana, both RL and RD responded to short-term temperature increase but showed no acclimation to the long-term warming. The ability to predict plant respiratory response to global warming with short-term temperature responses will depend on species-specific acclimation potential and the differential response of RL and RD to temperature. With projected woody shrub encroachment in Arctic tundra and continued warming, changing species dominance between these two functional groups, may impact ecosystem respiratory response and carbon balance.

  9. Chemosynthetic ecosystems study. Final report. Volume 3. Appendices

    SciTech Connect

    MacDonald, I.R.; Sager, W.W.; Lee, C.; Schroeder, W.W.; Kennicutt, M.C.

    1995-06-01

    Volume III presents ancillary materials from the findings of a three year investigation of the geology, chemistry and biology of chemosynthetic ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. These dense assemblages of tube worms, mussels and/or clams are primarily dependent upon chemical conditions generated by natural oil and gas seeps. Hydrocarbon seeps produce a variety of distinctive geological features including carbonate rock, mud volcanoes and hydrate mounds, which tend to be localized to areas less than 1 km. The interaction of the sediment bacteria with the hydrocarbons in the seafloor yields a highly specialized chemical environment featuring high levels of hydrogen sulfide and degraded oils. The biological community is supported by chemoautotrophic bacteria that live symbiotically with tube worms, mussels and clams.

  10. Chemosynthetic ecosystems study. Final report. Volume 2. Technical report

    SciTech Connect

    MacDonald, I.R.; Sager, W.W.; Lee, C.; Schroeder, W.W.; Kennicutt, M.C.

    1995-06-01

    Volume II presents detailed findings of a three year investigation of the geology, chemistry and biology of chemosynthetic ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. These dense assemblages of tube worms, mussels and/or clams are primarly dependent upon chemical conditions generated by natural oil and gas seeps. Hydrocarbon seeps produce a variety of distinctive geological features including carbonate rock, mud volcanoes and hydrate mounds, which tend to be localized to areas less than 1 km. The interaction of the sediment bacteria with the hydrocarbons in the seafloor yields a highly specialized chemical environment featuring high levels of hydrogen sulfide and degraded oils. The biological community is supported by chemoautotrophic bacteria that live symbiotically with tube worms, mussels and clams. The bacteria derive energy for fixing new carbon by oxidizing sulfides or methane.

  11. 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.

  12. Ecosystem characteristics and processes facilitating persistent macrobenthic biomass hotspots and associated benthivory in the Pacific Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Bluhm, Bodil A.; Cooper, Lee W.; Danielson, Seth L.; Arrigo, Kevin R.; Blanchard, Arny L.; Clarke, Janet T.; Day, Robert H.; Frey, Karen E.; Gradinger, Rolf R.; Kędra, Monika; Konar, Brenda; Kuletz, Kathy J.; Lee, Sang H.; Lovvorn, James R.; Norcross, Brenda L.; Okkonen, Stephen R.

    2015-08-01

    The northern Bering and Chukchi Seas are areas in the Pacific Arctic characterized by high northward advection of Pacific Ocean water, with seasonal variability in sea ice cover, water mass characteristics, and benthic processes. In this review, we evaluate the biological and environmental factors that support communities of benthic prey on the continental shelves, with a focus on four macrofaunal biomass "hotspots." For the purpose of this study, we define hotspots as macrofaunal benthic communities with high biomass that support a corresponding ecological guild of benthivorous seabird and marine mammal populations. These four benthic hotspots are regions within the influence of the St. Lawrence Island Polynya (SLIP), the Chirikov Basin between St. Lawrence Island and Bering Strait (Chirikov), north of Bering Strait in the southeast Chukchi Sea (SECS), and in the northeast Chukchi Sea (NECS). Detailed benthic macrofaunal sampling indicates that these hotspot regions have been persistent over four decades of sampling due to annual reoccurrence of seasonally consistent, moderate-to-high water column production with significant export of carbon to the underlying sediments. We also evaluate the usage of the four benthic hotspot regions by benthic prey consumers to illuminate predator-prey connectivity. In the SLIP hotspot, spectacled eiders and walruses are important winter consumers of infaunal bivalves and polychaetes, along with epibenthic gastropods and crabs. In the Chirikov hotspot, gray whales have historically been the largest summer consumers of benthic macrofauna, primarily feeding on ampeliscid amphipods in the summer, but they are also foraging further northward in the SECS and NECS hotspots. Areas of concentrated walrus foraging occur in the SLIP hotspot in winter and early spring, the NECS hotspot in summer, and the SECS hotspot in fall. Bottom up forcing by hydrography and food supply to the benthos influences persistence and composition of benthic prey

  13. Modeled change in carbon balance between 1970-2100 of a polygonal arctic tundra ecosystem near Barrow, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lara, M. J.; McGuire, A. D.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Sloan, V. L.; Iversen, C. M.; Norby, R. J.; Genet, H.; Zhang, Y.; Yuan, F.

    2013-12-01

    Northern permafrost regions are estimated to cover 16% of the global soil area and account for approximately 50% of the global belowground organic carbon pool. However, there are considerable uncertainties regarding the fate of this soil carbon pool with projected climate warming over the next century. In northern Alaska, nearly 65% of the terrestrial surface is composed of polygonal tundra, where microtopographic position (i.e. high center, low center, trough) varies surface hydrology, plant community composition, and biogeochemical cycling, over small (<5m) spatial scales. Due to large spatial heterogeneity and other non-linear responses of soil carbon to altered thermal regime, it is difficult to accurately estimate the fate of terrestrial carbon balance over decadal time-scales without explicitly considering the dynamically coupled processes driving permafrost dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem function. We use a new version of the terrestrial ecosystem model (TEM), which couples a dynamic vegetation and dynamic organic soil model (DVM-DOS-TEM). This large-scale ecosystem model is designed to study interactions among carbon and nitrogen cycling, vegetation composition, and soil physical properties, including permafrost and active layer dynamics. The model is parameterized and calibrated using data specific to the local climate, vegetation, and soils within various polygon land cover types (i.e. high center & rim, low center, trough) collected from sites (71.28°N 156.60° W) on the arctic coastal plain near Barrow, Alaska to estimate the likely change in carbon balance between 1970 and 2100 in this landscape. Model outputs are scaled across the Barrow Peninsula using the distribution of polygonal tundra land cover types, described by a land cover classification of 26.9 km2, using a 2008 multi-spectral QuickBird satellite image. The polygonal tundra land cover classification found high center & rims to represent 37.5% of the study area, low centers 19

  14. 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.

  15. Mississippi/Alabama Pinnacle Trend Ecosystem Monitoring Final Synthesis Report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,; Texas A&M University, Geochemical and Environmental Research Group

    2001-01-01

    This Final Synthesis Report summarizes a four-year program to characterize and monitor carbonate mounds on the Mississippi/Alabama outer continental shelf (OCS). The study area is shown in Fig.ES.1. The study was conducted by Continental Shelf Associates, Inc. and the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG) of Texas A&M University (TAMU), for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Biological Resources Division.

  16. The Role of Disturbance in Arctic Ecosystem Response to a Changing Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinzman, L. D.

    2014-12-01

    Wildfires in the tundra regions and the boreal forest project an immediate effect upon the surface energy and water budget by drastically altering the surface albedo, roughness, infiltration rates, and moisture absorption capacity in organic soils. Although fires create a sudden and drastic change to the landcover, it is only the beginning of a long process of recovery and perhaps a shift to a different successional pathway. In permafrost regions, these effects become part of a process of long-term (20-50 years) cumulative impacts. Burn severity may largely determine immediate impacts and long-term disturbance trajectories. As transpiration decreases or ceases, soil moisture increases markedly, remaining quite wet throughout the year. Because the insulating quality of the organic layer is removed during fires, permafrost begins to thaw near the surface and warm to greater depths. Within a few years, it may thaw to the point where it can no longer completely refreeze every winter, creating a permanently thawed layer in the soil called a talik. After formation of a talik, soils can drain internally throughout the year. At this point, soils may become quite dry, as the total precipitation received annually in the Arctic is quite low. The local ecological community must continuously adapt to the changing soil thermal and moisture regimes. The wet soils found over shallow permafrost favor black spruce forests. After a fire creates a deeper permafrost table (thicker active layer) the invading tree species tend to be birch or alder. The hydrologic and thermal regime of the soil is the primary factor controlling these vegetation trajectories and the subsequent changes in surface mass and energy fluxes. The complexities of a changing climate accentuate these processes of change and complicate predictions of the resulting vegetation trajectories. Understanding these shifts in vegetative communities and quantifying the consequences of thawing permafrost can only be

  17. Response of Rates and Sources of Ecosystem CO2 Efflux to Increasing Levels of Winter Snow Depth in the High Arctic of Northwest Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Arctic soils contain vast amounts of organic carbon (C) that range in age from modern to ancient. These soil C pools may be especially vulnerable to changes in conditions; especially increases in winter snowfall, as deeper snow will insulate soils in winter, and add moisture in summer. While, snowfall is increasing in many parts of the Arctic, how increases in winter precipitation affect C cycling in the High Arctic is largely unknown. In this project, we used a long-term snowpack manipulation to develop a better understanding of current and future soil C cycling under conditions of deep winter snow pack and the associated feedbacks to future atmospheric CO2 levels. We examined the effects of three levels of winter snowpack (ambient (0.25 m), ×2, ×4) on the timing, magnitude and sources of ecosystem CO2 efflux and soil microclimate in prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra on patterned ground in the High Arctic of NW Greenland. From June to August 2010 and 2011 we monitored ecosystem CO2 efflux and soil CO2 concentrations (LI-COR 800 & 840) together with soil temperature and moisture daily and the radiocarbon (14C) content of CO2 monthly. The 14C content of CO2 can be used to infer the dominant source of CO2 (plant vs. microbially-respired) as well as the age of microbially-respired CO2. Initial results indicate that during the 2010 sampling period (Jun 28 - Aug 16), daily CO2 emissions from vegetated areas were higher under ×4 ambient snowpack relative to ambient snowpack (84.9 vs. 53.1 mmol m-2 d-1), but lower under ×2 ambient snowpack (56.7 mmol m-2 d-1). CO2 emissions from bare areas increased with snowpack depth from ambient (8.6 mmol m-2 d-1) to ×2 ambient snowpack (16.5 mmol m-2 d-1) to x4 ambient snowpack (18.9 mmol m-2 d-1). Midsummer ecosystem CO2 emissions were dominated by modern C; additional 14C measurements are in progress. Our findings indicate that increases in snowpack may stimulate C loss from this high arctic ecosystem - probably facilitated by

  18. Extremotrophs, extremophiles and broadband pigmentation strategies in a high arctic ice shelf ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Derek R; Vincent, Warwick F; Bonilla, Sylvia; Laurion, Isabelle

    2005-06-01

    Remnant ice shelves along the northern coast of Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada ( approximately 83 degrees N) provide a habitat for cryo-tolerant microbial mat communities. Bioassays of bacterial and primary production were undertaken to quantify the short-term physiological response of the mats to changes in key variables that characterize this cryo-ecosystem (salinity, irradiance and temperature). The heterotrophic versus autotrophic community responses to these stressors differed markedly. The heterotrophic bacteria were extremophilic and specifically adapted to ambient conditions on the ice shelf, whereas the autotrophic community had broader tolerance ranges and optima outside the ambient range. This latter, extremotrophic response may be partly due to a diverse suite of pigments including oligosaccharide mycosporine-like amino acids, scytonemins, carotenoids, phycobiliproteins and chlorophylls that absorb from the near UV-B to red wavelengths. These pigments provide a comprehensive broadband strategy for coping with the multiple stressors of high irradiance, variable salinity and low temperatures in this extreme cryo-environment.

  19. Response of Sea Ice and Marine Ecosystems to the Observed Warming Trends in the Arctic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cota, Glenn F.; Comiso, Joey C.

    2004-01-01

    Our third (final) year activities have focused on two elements: 1) Creating and evaluating panarctic weekly climatologies of ocean color products for 1998 through 2002, 2) Interacting to assess image databases, submit and revise publications. Comiso and his programmer have principal responsibility for assembling and archiving the monthly and weekly image database at GSFC. There are now five year's (1998-2002) of climatologies. In addition to email correspondence, the PIs have met to prepare a series of publications ranging from panarctic physical-biological interactions to more focused regional studies.

  20. Deeper winter snow reduces ecosystem C losses but increases the global warming potential of Arctic tussock tundra over the growing season.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanc-Betes, E.; Welker, J. M.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic winter precipitation is projected to increase globally over the next decades, spatial variability encompassing areas with increases and decreases in winter snow. Changes in winter precipitation strongly affect C dynamics in Arctic systems and may lead to major positive climate forcing feedbacks. However, impacts of predicted changes in snowfall and accumulation on the rate and form of C fluxes (CO2 and CH4) and associated forcing feedbacks from Arctic tundra remain uncertain. We investigated how changes in winter precipitation affect net ecosystem CO2 and CH4 fluxes and budgets of moist acidic tundra in an 18-yrs snow fence experiment over a complete growing season at Toolik Lake, AK. Arctic tundra under ambient winter precipitation (CTL) was a net source of CO2 and CH4, yielding net C losses over the growing season. Reduced snow (-15-30% snow depth; RS) switched the system to a net CO2 sink mostly by limiting SOC decomposition within colder soils. Snow additions progressively reduced net ecosystem CO2 losses compared to CTL, switching the system into a weaker net CO2 source with medium additions (+20-45% snow depth; MS) and into a small net CO2 sink with high additions (+70-100% snow depth; HS). Increasingly wetter soils with snow additions constrained the temperature sensitivity of aerobic decomposition and favored the anaerobic metabolism, buffering ecosystem CO2 losses despite substantial soil warming. Accordingly, Arctic tundra switched from a sustained CH4 sink at RS site to an increasingly stronger CH4 source with snow additions. Accounting for both CO2 and CH4, the RS site became a net C sink over the growing season, overall reducing the global warming potential (CO2 equiv.; GWP) of the system relative to CTL. Snow additions progressively reduced net C losses at the MS site compared to CTL and the system transitioned into a net C sink at HS plots, partly due to the slower metabolism of anaerobic decomposition. However, given the greater radiative

  1. Approaches to determining Final Ecosystem Goods and Services: Benefits and Beneficiaries

    EPA Science Inventory

    By nature, the concept of ‘Final’ Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS) poses the question; to what or to whom are these goods and services final? We identify two main approaches theoreticians and practitioners are using to define and perceive FEGS (note: we recognize t...

  2. Seasonal snow of arctic Alaska R4D investigations. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Benson, C.S.

    1993-02-01

    Seasonal snow is present on the Arctic Slope of Alaska for nine months each year. Its presence or absence determines whether 80% of the solar radiation is reflected or absorbed, respectively. Although life on the Arctic Slope is adapted to, and in some cases dependent upon seasonal snow, little is known about it from a scientific point of view. Its quantity has been grossly underestimated, and knowledge of its distribution and the extent of wind transport and redistribution is very limited. This research project dealt with the amount, regional distribution and physical properties of wind blown snow and its biological role in the R4D area of the Arctic Slope. Physical processes which operate within the snow that were studied included the flux of heat and vapor and the fractionation of stable isotopes through it during fall and winter, and the complex heat and mass transfer within the snow and between snow, its substrate and the overlying atmosphere during the melt period.

  3. Relative contributions of rhizosphere and microbial respiration to belowground and total ecosystem respiration in arctic tussock tundra: results of a 13C pulse-chase experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Many arctic ecosystems that have historically been strong carbon (C) sinks are becoming sources of C to the atmosphere. Although ecosystem respiration is the largest C flux out of ecosystems, our ability to model respiration lags considerably behind our ability to model photosynthesis in the Arctic. Understanding the controls on respiration is especially important for an ecosystem which appears to be experiencing the greatest climate warming and also contains large stores of soil C. Partitioning respiration into its component fluxes and identifying factors controlling respiration of each component is a critical first step towards improving our ability to model changes in respiration. However, partitioning belowground constituents has proven to be challenging in most ecosystems. Therefore, to accurately estimate rhizosphere respiration and bulk soil microbial respiration in moist acidic tussock tundra, we selected an isotopic method that results in minimal disturbance of belowground processes. In mid July of 2011, we introduced a 13CO2 label into a clear ecosystem CO2 flux chamber, allowed the vegetation to incorporate the label through photosynthesis and returned 2 days and 4 days after labeling to follow the movement of the 13C signal. A smaller CO2 flux chamber was used to chase the label separately in tussock and inter-tussock areas. All above ground plant tissue was clipped immediately before the chase measurements and soil cores were taken immediately after chasing the label. Syringe samples (n=5 or 6) were collected from the small flux chamber at regular intervals as CO2 concentrations were allowed to build, and Keeling plots were used to estimate δ13C of belowground respiration. After completing the field measurements, the soil cores were sorted into live roots and root free soil. Samples of each were incubated in mason jars placed in a 10°C water bath. The jars were scrubbed free of CO2 and syringe samples were collected from each jar after CO2

  4. 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.

  5. Rates and radiocarbon content of summer ecosystem respiration in response to long-term deeper snow in the High Arctic of NW Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lupascu, M.; Welker, J. M.; Xu, X.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2014-06-01

    The amount and timing of snow cover control the cycling of carbon (C), water, and energy in arctic ecosystems. The implications of changing snow cover for regional C budgets, biogeochemistry, hydrology, and albedo due to climate change are rudimentary, especially for the High Arctic. In a polar semidesert of NW Greenland, we used a ~10 year old snow manipulation experiment to quantify how deeper snow affects magnitude, seasonality, and 14C content of summer C emissions. We monitored ecosystem respiration (Reco), soil CO2, and their 14C contents over three summers in vegetated and bare areas. Additional snowpack, elevated soil water content (SWC), and temperature throughout the growing season in vegetated, but not in bare, areas. Daily Reco was positively correlated to temperature, but negatively correlated to SWC; consequently, we found no effect of increased snow on daily flux. Cumulative summertime Reco was not related to annual snowfall, but to water year precipitation (winter snow plus summer rain). Experimentally increased snowpack shortened the growing season length and reduced summertime Reco up to 40%. Soil CO2 was older under increased snow. However, we found no effect of snow depth on the Reco age because older C emissions were masked by younger CO2 produced from the litter layer or plant respiration. In the High Arctic, anticipated changes in precipitation regime associated with warming are a key uncertainty for understanding future C cycling. In polar semideserts, water year precipitation is an important driver of summertime Reco. Permafrost C is vulnerable to changes in snowpack, with a deeper snowpack-promoting decomposition of older soil C.

  6. Soil-plant N processes in a High Arctic ecosystem, NW Greenland are altered by long-term experimental warming and higher rainfall.

    PubMed

    Schaeffer, Sean M; Sharp, Elizabeth; Schimel, Joshua P; Welker, Jeffery M

    2013-11-01

    Rapid temperature and precipitation changes in High Arctic tundra ecosystems are altering the biogeochemical cycles of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N), but in ways that are difficult to predict. The challenge grows from the uncertainty of N cycle responses and the extent to which shifts in soil N are coupled with the C cycle and productivity of tundra systems. We used a long-term (since 2003) experiment of summer warming and supplemental summer water additions to a High Arctic ecosystem in NW Greenland, and applied a combination of discrete sampling and in situ soil core incubations to measure C and N pools and seasonal microbial processes that might control plant-available N. We hypothesized that elevated temperature and increased precipitation would stimulate microbial activity and net inorganic N mineralization, thereby increasing plant N-availability through the growing season. While we did find increased N mineralization rates under both global change scenarios, water addition also significantly increased net nitrification rates, loss of NO3 (-) -N via leaching, and lowered rates of labile organic N production. We also expected the chronic warming and watering would lead to long-term changes in soil N-cycling that would be reflected in soil δ(15) N values. We found that soil δ(15) N decreased under the different climate change scenarios. Our results suggest that temperature accelerates biological processes and existing C and N transformations, but moisture increases soil hydraulic connectivity and so alters the pathways, and changes the fate of the products of C and N transformations. In addition, our findings indicate that warmer, wetter High Arctic tundra will be cycling N and C in ways that may transform these landscapes in part leading to greater C sequestration, but simultaneously, N losses from the upper soil profile that may be transported to depth dissolved in water and or transported off site in lateral flow.

  7. Rich and cold: diversity, distribution and drivers of fungal communities in patterned-ground ecosystems of the North American Arctic.

    PubMed

    Timling, I; Walker, D A; Nusbaum, C; Lennon, N J; Taylor, D L

    2014-07-01

    Fungi are abundant and functionally important in the Arctic, yet comprehensive studies of their diversity in relation to geography and environment are not available. We sampled soils in paired plots along the North American Arctic Transect (NAAT), which spans all five bioclimatic subzones of the Arctic. Each pair of plots contrasted relatively bare, cryoturbated patterned-ground features (PGFs) and adjacent vegetated between patterned-ground features (bPGFs). Fungal communities were analysed via sequencing of 7834 ITS-LSU clones. We recorded 1834 OTUs - nearly half the fungal richness previously reported for the entire Arctic. These OTUs spanned eight phyla, 24 classes, 75 orders and 120 families, but were dominated by Ascomycota, with one-fifth belonging to lichens. Species richness did not decline with increasing latitude, although there was a decline in mycorrhizal taxa that was offset by an increase in lichen taxa. The dominant OTUs were widespread even beyond the Arctic, demonstrating no dispersal limitation. Yet fungal communities were distinct in each subzone and were correlated with soil pH, climate and vegetation. Communities in subzone E were distinct from the other subzones, but similar to those of the boreal forest. Fungal communities on disturbed PGFs differed significantly from those of paired stable areas in bPGFs. Indicator species for PGFs included lichens and saprotrophic fungi, while bPGFs were characterized by ectomycorrhizal and pathogenic fungi. Our results suggest that the Arctic does not host a unique mycoflora, while Arctic fungi are highly sensitive to climate and vegetation, with potential to migrate rapidly as global change unfolds.

  8. NASA's Arctic Voyage 2010

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's first oceanographic research expedition left Alaska on June 15, 2010. The ICESCAPE mission will head into the Arctic to study sea ice and the changing ocean ecosystem. Listen to the scientis...

  9. Final deglaciation of the Barents Sea at 12.9 ka and potential trigger of the Arctic atmospheric dipole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hormes, Anne; Briner, Jason

    2016-04-01

    The specific configuration and history of the marine-based Barents Sea ice sheet has been under dispute for decades. Bjørnøya is situated between northern Fennoscandia and the Svalbard archipelago and therefore lies in a key position for understanding the maximum configuration and final retreat of the ice sheet. Bjørnøya also lies between two important trough systems that contributed to the ice sheet drainage: the Bjørnøya and Storfjorden palaeo-ice streams. We obtained 24 cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages from glacial erratics on southern Bjørnøya to 1) investigate the timing of initial deglaciation of the Barents Sea ice sheet, and 2) determine the timing of complete deglaciation of the island. The 10Be ages are from glacially transported sandstone and conglomerate boulders situated in the southern part of the island, calculated using the Arctic 10Be production rate, and presented with analytical uncertainty. 18 10Be ages exhibit a very strong mode from 11.9 to 14.5 ka, averaging 12.9 ± 0.6 ka, a much smaller mode from 24.6 to 26.2 ka (averaging 25.6 ± 1.2 ka), and three samples were excluded as outliers scattering at different times (3.6 ± 0.2 ka, 16.3 ± 0.7 ka and 19.6 ± 1.0 ka). Boulders between 17 and 293 m a.s.l. and the highest samples from Antarcticafjellet (340-351 m a.s.l.) indicate ages averaging 12.9 ± 0.6 ka. These boulders indicate the final deglaciation of restricted local remnants of ice covering the higher Antarctic and Alfred mountains and leaving well-preserved moraine sequences in the lowlands. We will discuss the ice-free Barents Sea as a potential precondition to build up low pressure in this region needed for a strong Arctic atmospheric dipole. In turn a strong Arctic atmospheric dipole causes increase in Meridional winds succeeding in transport of Arctic sea ice into the North Atlantic with the trans-polar drift.

  10. Linking Biological Responses of Terrestrial N Eutrophication to the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services Classification System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, M. D.; Clark, C.; Blett, T.

    2015-12-01

    The response of a biological indicator to N deposition can indicate that an ecosystem has surpassed a critical load and is at risk of significant change. The importance of this exceedance is often difficult to digest by policy makers and public audiences if the change is not linked to a familiar ecosystem endpoint. A workshop was held to bring together scientists, resource managers, and policy makers with expertise in ecosystem functioning, critical loads, and economics in an effort to identify the ecosystem services impacted by air pollution. This was completed within the framework of the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS) Classification System to produce a product that identified distinct interactions between society and the effects of nitrogen pollution. From each change in a biological indicator, we created multiple ecological production functions to identify the cascading effects of the change to a measureable ecosystem service that a user interacts with either by enjoying, consuming, or appreciating the good or service, or using it as an input in the human economy. This FEGS metric was then linked to a beneficiary group that interacts with the service. Chains detailing the links from the biological indicator to the beneficiary group were created for aquatic and terrestrial acidification and eutrophication at the workshop, and here we present a subset of the workshop results by highlighting for 9 different ecosystems affected by terrestrial eutrophication. A total of 213 chains that linked to 37 unique FEGS metrics and impacted 15 beneficiary groups were identified based on nitrogen deposition mediated changes to biological indicators. The chains within each ecosystem were combined in flow charts to show the complex, overlapping relationships among biological indicators, ecosystem services, and beneficiary groups. Strength of relationship values were calculated for each chain based on support for the link in the scientific literature. We produced the

  11. Life in a temperate Polar sea: a unique taphonomic window on the structure of a Late Cretaceous Arctic marine ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Chin, Karen; Bloch, John; Sweet, Arthur; Tweet, Justin; Eberle, Jaelyn; Cumbaa, Stephen; Witkowski, Jakub; Harwood, David

    2008-01-01

    As the earth faces a warming climate, the rock record reminds us that comparable climatic scenarios have occurred before. In the Late Cretaceous, Arctic marine organisms were not subject to frigid temperatures but still contended with seasonal extremes in photoperiod. Here, we describe an unusual fossil assemblage from Devon Island, Arctic Canada, that offers a snapshot of a ca 75 Myr ago marine palaeoecosystem adapted to such conditions. Thick siliceous biogenic sediments and glaucony sands reveal remarkably persistent high primary productivity along a high-latitude Late Cretaceous coastline. Abundant fossil faeces demonstrate that this planktonic bounty supported benthic invertebrates and large, possibly seasonal, vertebrates in short food chains. These ancient organisms filled trophic roles comparable to those of extant Arctic species, but there were fundamental differences in resource dynamics. Whereas most of the modern Arctic is oligotrophic and structured by resources from melting sea ice, we suggest that forested terrestrial landscapes helped support the ancient marine community through high levels of terrigenous organic input. PMID:18713718

  12. Metabolic and growth characteristics of novel diverse microbes isolated from deep cores collected at the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE)-Arctic site in Barrow, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakraborty, R.; Pettenato, A.; Tas, N.; Hubbard, S. S.; Jansson, J.

    2013-12-01

    The Arctic is characterized by vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost and is an important focal point for the study of climate change as increasing temperature may accelerate microbially mediated release of Carbon stored in permafrost into the atmosphere as CO2 and CH4. Yet surprisingly, very little is known about the vulnerability of permafrost and response of microorganisms in the permafrost to their changing environment. This deficiency is largely due to the difficulty in study of largely uncultivated and unknown permafrost microbes. As part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE) in the Arctic, we collected permafrost cores in an effort to isolate resident microbes. The cores were from the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO), located at the northern most location on the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain near Barrow, AK, and up to 3m in depth. In this location, permafrost starts from 0.5m in depth and is characterized by variable water content and higher pH than surface soils. Enrichments for heterotrophic bacteria were initiated at 4°C and 1°C in the dark in several different media types, under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Positive enrichments were identified by an increase in optical density and cell counts after incubation period ranging from two to four weeks. After serial transfers into fresh media, individual colonies were obtained on agar surface. Several strains were isolated that include Firmicutes such as Bacillus, Clostridium, Sporosarcina, and Paenibacillus species and Iron-reducing Betaproteobacteria such as Rhodoferax species. In addition, methanogenic enrichments continue to grow and produce methane gas at 2°C. In this study, we present the characterization, carbon substrate utilization, pH, temperature and osmotic tolerance, as well as the effect of increasing climate change parameters on the growth rate and respiratory gas production from these permafrost isolates.

  13. Decadal Arctic ice simulations: 1986-1995. Final report, September 1993--November 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Piacsek, S.; Preller, R.; Posey, P.

    1997-05-01

    The Arctic ice cover has been simulated for the period 1986-1995 with two coupled ice-ocean models, one with low resolution on a small polar stereographic plane (PIPS1/O), and one with high resolution on a rotated spherical grid (PIPS2), covering all northern hemispheric sea ice. The ice model used was the Hibler ice model, and the ocean models were both z-level types with rigid lid. Atmospheric forcing were derived from surface fluxes computed by the Navy`s NOGAPS global atmospheric prediction model.

  14. a New Japanese Project for Arctic Climate Change Research - Grene Arctic - (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enomoto, H.

    2013-12-01

    A new Arctic Climate Change Research Project 'Rapid Change of the Arctic Climate System and its Global Influences' has started in 2011 for a five years project. GRENE-Arctic project is an initiative of Arctic study by more than 30 Japanese universities and institutes as the flame work of GRENE (Green Network of Excellence) of MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan). The GRENE-Arctic project set four strategic research targets: 1. Understanding the mechanism of warming amplification in the Arctic 2. Understanding the Arctic system for global climate and future change 3. Evaluation of the effects of Arctic change on weather in Japan, marine ecosystems and fisheries 4. Prediction of sea Ice distribution and Arctic sea routes This project aims to realize the strategic research targets by executing following studies: -Improvement of coupled general circulation models based on validations of the Arctic climate reproducibility and on mechanism analyses of the Arctic climate change and variability -The role of Arctic cryosphere in the global change -Change in terrestrial ecosystem of pan-Arctic and its effect on climate -Studies on greenhouse gas cycles in the Arctic and their responses to climate change -Atmospheric studies on Arctic change and its global impacts -Ecosystem studies of the Arctic ocean declining Sea ice -Projection of Arctic Sea ice responding to availability of Arctic sea route (* ** ***) *Changes in the Arctic ocean and mechanisms on catastrophic reduction of Arctic sea ice cover **Coordinated observational and modeling studies on the basic structure and variability of the Arctic sea ice-ocean system ***Sea ice prediction and construction of ice navigation support system for the Arctic sea route. Although GRENE Arctic project aims to product scientific contribution in a concentrated program during 2011-2016, Japanese Arctic research community established Japan Consortium for Arctic Environmental Research (JCAR) in May

  15. 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

  16. Changing Arctic Ecosystems: Updated forecast: Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions required to improve polar bear outlook

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oakley, Karen L.; Atwood, Todd C.; Mugel, Douglas N.; Rode, Karyn D.; Whalen, Mary E.

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to the loss of snow and ice, which increases the amount of solar energy absorbed by the region. The most visible consequence has been the rapid decline in sea ice over the last 3 decades-a decline projected to bring long ice-free summers if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are not significantly reduced. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) depends on sea ice over the biologically productive continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean as a platform for hunting seals. In 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to the threat posed by sea ice loss. The polar bear was the first species to be listed due to forecasted population declines from climate change.

  17. The contribution of Fe(III) and humic acid reduction to ecosystem respiration in drained thaw lake basins of the Arctic Coastal Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipson, David A.; Raab, Theodore K.; Goria, Dominic; Zlamal, Jaime

    2013-04-01

    research showed that anaerobic respiration using iron (Fe) oxides as terminal electron acceptor contributed substantially to ecosystem respiration (ER) in a drained thaw lake basin (DTLB) on the Arctic coastal plain. As DTLBs age, the surface organic layer thickens, progressively burying the Fe-rich mineral layers. We therefore hypothesized that Fe(III) availability and Fe reduction would decline with basin age. We studied four DTLBs across an age gradient, comparing seasonal changes in the oxidation state of dissolved and extractable Fe pools and the estimated contribution of Fe reduction to ER. The organic layer thickness did not strictly increase with age for these four sites, though soil Fe levels decreased with increasing organic layer thickness. However, there were surprisingly high levels of Fe minerals in organic layers, especially in the ancient basin where cryoturbation may have transported Fe upward through the profile. Net reduction of Fe oxides occurred in the latter half of the summer and contributed an estimated 40-45% to ecosystem respiration in the sites with the thickest organic layers and 61-63% in the sites with the thinnest organic layers. All sites had high concentrations of soluble Fe(II) and Fe(III), explained by the presence of siderophores, and this pool became progressively more reduced during the first half of the summer. Redox titrations with humic acid (HA) extracts and chelated Fe support our view that this pattern indicates the reduction of HA during this interval. We conclude that Fe(III) and HA reductions contribute broadly to ER in the Arctic coastal plain.

  18. Seasonal greening of an Arctic ecosystem in response to early snowmelt and climate warming: do plant community responses differ from species responses?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steltzer, H.; Weintraub, M. N.; Sullivan, P.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Schimel, J.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Shory, R.; Livensperger, C.; Melle, C.; Segal, A. D.; Daly, K.; Tsosie, T.

    2011-12-01

    In the Arctic and around the world, earlier plant growth and a longer growing season are indications that warmer temperatures or other global changes are changing the seasonality of the Earth's ecosystems. These changes in plant life histories have multi-trophic level consequences that affect food webs and biogeochemical cycles. Both the response of the plant community and of individual species can affect food and habitat resources for animals or nutrient resources for microbes. Our aim was to determine if the response of an Arctic plant community differs from individual species responses to climate change. For two years in an early snowmelt and climate warming experiment in moist acidic tussock tundra, we observed the seasonal greening of the ecosystem through near-surface measurements of surface greenness and through direct observations of the timing of plant life history events for five to eight common species that differ in growth form. In 2010 when snowmelt was accelerated by 4 days, earlier snowmelt alone or in combination with climate warming extended the life history of the dominant graminoids (E. vaginatum and C. bigelowii) and willow (S. pulchra) by 3 to 4 days. For these species, new leaf production began earlier, while the timing of senescence was similar to the controls. The effect of earlier snowmelt on the life histories of birch (B. nana) and cranberry (V. vitis-idaea) was less, but warming alone tended to increase life history duration. Warming led to earlier leaf expansion for birch and delayed senescence for cranberry. We found that the onset of greening for the plant community began four days earlier, due to the earlier loss of snow cover, and that warming accelerated the rate of greening. Peak season ended 4 days earlier in response to earlier snowmelt and climate warming, due to earlier senescence by birch. In 2011, our manipulation of the snowpack by increasing energy absorption accelerated snowmelt by 15 days and control plots were snowfree

  19. Modeling the Pan-Arctic terrestrial and atmospheric water cycle. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Gutowski, W.J., Jr.

    2001-03-30

    This report describes results of DOE grant DE-FG02-96ER61473 to Iowa State University (ISU). Work on this grant was performed at Iowa State University and at the University of New Hampshire in collaboration with Dr. Charles Vorosmarty and fellow scientists at the University of New Hampshire's (UNH's) Institute for the Study of the Earth, Oceans, and Space, a subcontractor to the project. Research performed for the project included development, calibration and validation of a regional climate model for the pan-Arctic, modeling river networks, extensive hydrologic database development, and analyses of the water cycle, based in part on the assembled databases and models. Details appear in publications produced from the grant.

  20. Disentangling the effects of climate and local ecosystem dynamics on carbon accumulation in boreal and low-Arctic peatlands in northern Manitoba, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camill, P.; Hall, A.; Westervelt, A.; Adams, C.; Umbanhowar, C. E.; Geiss, C. E.; Edlund, M.

    2012-12-01

    later in the Holocene (~4,000-2,000 B.P.) for both regions, during a time of relatively low C accumulation and putatively cooler/wetter conditions of the NGC. At face value, these results suggest possible linkages among climate, fire, and carbon accumulation rates. However, several local factors may additionally affect peatland fire dynamics. In the boreal landscape (where peatlands initiated ~8,000 B.P.), fire peaked following several thousands of years of succession to drier forested bogs. Peatland initiation appeared to occur later in the low-Arctic region, corresponding to rising lake levels during the NGC. Combined with abundant charcoal in basal samples in the low-Arctic region, this suggests that fires were most severe during the transition from mid-Holocene lowland forests to peatlands as landscapes paludified. Overall, these results indicate that C accumulation rates show the imprint of climate, and, as hypothesized previously, warming may increase rather than decrease C storage in peatlands. However, local ecosystem conditions complicate this hypothesis, since higher rates of C accumulation during the HTM may also be due to the predominance of wetter, early successional fens, and lower rates of C accumulation during the NGC may also be caused by higher fire severity concurrent with paludification and forest dieoff (low-Arctic) or succession to drier forests (boreal).

  1. Arctic climate tipping points.

    PubMed

    Lenton, Timothy M

    2012-02-01

    There is widespread concern that anthropogenic global warming will trigger Arctic climate tipping points. The Arctic has a long history of natural, abrupt climate changes, which together with current observations and model projections, can help us to identify which parts of the Arctic climate system might pass future tipping points. Here the climate tipping points are defined, noting that not all of them involve bifurcations leading to irreversible change. Past abrupt climate changes in the Arctic are briefly reviewed. Then, the current behaviour of a range of Arctic systems is summarised. Looking ahead, a range of potential tipping phenomena are described. This leads to a revised and expanded list of potential Arctic climate tipping elements, whose likelihood is assessed, in terms of how much warming will be required to tip them. Finally, the available responses are considered, especially the prospects for avoiding Arctic climate tipping points.

  2. Mapping plant functional type distributions in Arctic ecosystems using WorldView-2 satellite imagery and unsupervised clustering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langford, Z.; Kumar, J.; Hoffman, F. M.; Sloan, V. L.; Norby, R. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic has emerged as an important focal point for the study of climate change. Arctic vegetation is particularly sensitive to warming conditions and likely to exhibit shifts in species composition, phenology and productivity under changing climate. Modeling of Arctic tundra vegetation requires representation of the heterogeneous tundra landscape, which includes representation of individual plant functional types (PFT). Vegetation exhibits unique spectral characteristics that can be harnessed to discriminate plant types and develop quantitative vegetation indices, such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index. We have combined high resolution multi-spectral remote sensing from the WorldView-2 satellite with LiDAR-derived digital elevation models to characterize the tundra landscape in four 100m X 100m sites within the Barrow Environmental Observatory, a 3021 hectare research reserve located at the northern most location on the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain. Classification of landscape PFT's using spectral and topographic characteristics yields spatial regions with expectedly similar vegetation characteristics. A field campaign was conducted during peak growing season (June - August) to collect vegetation surveys from a number of 1m x 1m plots in the study region, which were then analyzed for distribution of vegetation types in the plots. Statistical relationships were developed between spectral and topographic characteristics and vegetation type distributions at the vegetation plots. These derived relationships were employed to statistically upscale the vegetation distributions for the landscape based on spectral characteristics. We will describe two versions of PFT upscaling from WorldView-2 imagery: 1) a version computed from multiple imagery through the growing season and 2) a version computed from a single image in the middle of the growing season. This approach allowed us to test the degree to which including phenology helps predict PFT distribution

  3. A systematic approach for quantifying final ecosystems services at regional and national scales

    EPA Science Inventory

    Since the development of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005), there have been a myriad of proposals regarding how to apply ecosystem services concepts in routine, systematic ways to support standards, markets and assessments of ecosystems services. The key question being ...

  4. Ecosystem CO2 and CH4 Exchange in a Mixed Tundra and a Fen Within an Arctic Landscape: Modeled Impacts of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, R. F.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change will have important effects on arctic productivity and greenhouse gas exchange. These changes were projected by the model ecosys under an SRES A2 scenario over the 21st century for a landscape including an upland tundra and a lowland fen at Daring Lake, NWT. Rising temperatures and precipitation caused increases in active layer depths (ALD) and eventual formation of taliks, particularly in the fen, which were attributed to heat advection from warmer and more intense precipitation and downslope flow. These changes raised net primary productivity from more rapid N mineralization and uptake, driven by more rapid heterotrophic respiration and increasing deciduous vs. evergreen plant functional types. Consequently gains in net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of 29 and 10 g C m-2 y-1 were modelled in the tundra and fen after 90 years. However CH4 emissions modelled from the fen rose sharply from direct effects of increasing soil temperatures and greater ALD on fermenter and methanogenic populations, and from indirect effects of increasing sedge growth which hastened transfer of CH4 through porous roots to the atmosphere. After 90 years, landscape CH4 emissions increased from 1.1 to 5.2 g C m-2 y-1 while landscape NEP increased from 34 to 46 g C m-2 y-1. Positive feedback to radiative forcing from increases in CH4 emissions more than offset negative feedback from increases in NEP. This feedback was largely attributed to rises in CH4 emission caused by heat advection from increasing precipitation, the impacts of which require greater attention in arctic climate change studies.

  5. Ecosystem CO2 and CH4 exchange in a mixed tundra and a fen within a hydrologically diverse Arctic landscape: 2. Modeled impacts of climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, R. F.

    2015-07-01

    Climate change will have important effects on arctic productivity and greenhouse gas exchange. These changes were projected by the model ecosys under an Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A2 scenario over the 21st century for a landscape including an upland tundra and a lowland fen at Daring Lake, NWT. Rising temperatures and precipitation caused increases in active layer depths (ALD) and eventual formation of taliks, particularly in the fen, which were attributed to heat advection from warmer and more intense precipitation and downslope flow. These changes raised net primary productivity from more rapid N mineralization and uptake, driven by more rapid heterotrophic respiration and increasing deciduous versus evergreen plant functional types. Consequently, gains in net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of 29 and 10 g C m-2 yr-1 were modeled in the tundra and fen after 90 years. However, CH4 emissions modeled from the fen rose sharply from direct effects of increasing soil temperatures and greater ALD on fermenter and methanogenic populations and from indirect effects of increasing sedge growth, which hastened transfer of CH4 through porous roots to the atmosphere. After 90 years, landscape CH4 emissions increased from 1.1 to 5.2 g C m-2 yr-1 while landscape NEP increased from 34 to 46 g C m-2 yr-1. Positive feedback to radiative forcing from increases in CH4 emissions more than offset negative feedback from increases in NEP. This feedback was largely attributed to rises in CH4 emission caused by heat advection from increasing precipitation, the impacts of which require greater attention in arctic climate change studies.

  6. Potential responses of tundra ecosystems to perturbations from energy development. Part I. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1986-01-01

    This report discusses research conducted to understand the effects of energy development on changes in nutrient status, changes in water flow and water availability, and changes in surface energy balance of the arctic tundra. (ACR)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  8. The future of Arctic benthos: Expansion, invasion, and biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renaud, Paul E.; Sejr, Mikael K.; Bluhm, Bodil A.; Sirenko, Boris; Ellingsen, Ingrid H.

    2015-12-01

    One of the logical predictions for a future Arctic characterized by warmer waters and reduced sea-ice is that new taxa will expand or invade Arctic seafloor habitats. Specific predictions regarding where this will occur and which taxa are most likely to become established or excluded are lacking, however. We synthesize recent studies and conduct new analyses in the context of climate forecasts and a paleontological perspective to make concrete predictions as to relevant mechanisms, regions, and functional traits contributing to future biodiversity changes. Historically, a warmer Arctic is more readily invaded or transited by boreal taxa than it is during cold periods. Oceanography of an ice-free Arctic Ocean, combined with life-history traits of invading taxa and availability of suitable habitat, determine expansion success. It is difficult to generalize as to which taxonomic groups or locations are likely to experience expansion, however, since species-specific, and perhaps population-specific autecologies, will determine success or failure. Several examples of expansion into the Arctic have been noted, and along with the results from the relatively few Arctic biological time-series suggest inflow shelves (Barents and Chukchi Seas), as well as West Greenland and the western Kara Sea, are most likely locations for expansion. Apparent temperature thresholds were identified for characteristic Arctic and boreal benthic fauna suggesting strong potential for range constrictions of Arctic, and expansions of boreal, fauna in the near future. Increasing human activities in the region could speed introductions of boreal fauna and reduce the value of a planktonic dispersal stage. Finally, shelf regions are likely to experience a greater impact, and also one with greater potential consequences, than the deep Arctic basin. Future research strategies should focus on monitoring as well as compiling basic physiological and life-history information of Arctic and boreal taxa, and

  9. Effects of short term and long term soil warming on ecosystem phenology of a sub-arctic grassland: an NDVI-based approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leblans, Niki; Sigurdsson, Bjarni D.; Janssens, Ivan A.

    2014-05-01

    % greening was advanced by 23 days at +5°C and by 32 days at +10°C Ts. However, no difference in the date of maximum greening or in the onset of senescence occurred. In contrast, in the long-term warmed grassland, the start of the growing season was not affected by Ts and the 50% greening point occurred only 10 days earlier at +5°C and 15 days earlier at +10°C Ts. However, the timing of maximum greening was advanced by 19 days at +5°C and even by 32 days at +10°C Ts. Again, the onset of senescence did not change with Ts. Significant Ts effects on ecosystem phenology of subarctic grasslands only occurred at warming of 5°C or higher. This study also demonstrates that short-term Ts effects on ecosystem phenology are not necessarily good predictors for long-term changes in sub-arctic grasslands. In the short-term (5 years warming), soil warming induced an early onset of the growing season, which was later compensated by faster greening on colder soils, so that maximum greenness was reached simultaneously irrespective of Ts. In contrast, the long-term Ts warming did not induce earlier onset of the growing season, but it led to faster greening on warm soils, which again led to an advance in timing of maximum greenness. This difference between short- and long-term responses in phenology might be caused by either phenotypic plasticity (acclimation) or by a genetic selection (evolution) of the grass populations where the warming has been ongoing for centuries. Such processes are at present not included in modelling predictions of climate change responses of natural ecosystems, but may offer important negative feedback mechanisms to warming which will reduce its effects.

  10. Final ecosystem services for stream ecosystems and the metrics, methods and challenges to apply them in a national monitoring context

    EPA Science Inventory

    The challenge of translating notions of ecosystem services from the theoretical arena to practical application at large scales (e.g. national) requires an interdisciplinary approach. To meet this challenge, we convened a workshop involving a broad suite of natural and social scie...

  11. Modelling regulation of decomposition and related root/mycorrhizal processes in arctic tundra soils. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Linkins, A.E.

    1992-09-01

    Since this was the final year of this project principal activities were directed towards either collecting data needed to complete existing incomplete data sets or writing manuscripts. Data sets on Imnaviat Creek watershed basin are functionally complete and data finialized on the cellulose mineralizaiton and dust impact on soil organic carbon and phsophorus decomposition. Seven manuscripts were prepared, and are briefly outlined.

  12. Flight destinations and foraging behaviour of northern gannets ( Sula bassana) preying on a small forage fish in a low-Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garthe, Stefan; Montevecchi, William A.; Davoren, Gail K.

    2007-02-01

    We applied data loggers (temperature-depth and GPS-temperature-depth) on individual birds in combination with dietary sampling and a vessel survey of prey availability to assess the foraging behaviour of northern gannets ( Sula bassana, Linnaeus 1758) in a low-Arctic ecosystem in the NW Atlantic. We demonstrate that the gannets foraged almost exclusively on inshore and coastal aggregations of capelin. There was a strong correspondence between the distributions of capelin and foraging gannets, and gannets exhibited persistence in successive foraging trips to the same foraging areas. The diving activity of gannets was highest during the early morning and evening, when capelin are known to be primarily available in the upper water column. Most of the gannets dive depths were less than 5 m. Flight speeds recorded by GPS were 9% higher than those estimated by previous methods and were shown to benefit from tail wind. This study shows how a combination of ship-based surveys and individually tagged birds can help understanding predator-prey intersection in a three-dimensional space in the marine environment.

  13. Importance of soil moisture and N availability to larch growth and distribution in the Arctic taiga-tundra boundary ecosystem, northeastern Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Maochang; Sugimoto, Atsuko; Tei, Shunsuke; Bragin, Ivan V.; Takano, Shinya; Morozumi, Tomoki; Shingubara, Ryo; Maximov, Trofim C.; Kiyashko, Serguei I.; Velivetskaya, Tatiana A.; Ignatiev, Alexander V.

    2014-12-01

    To better understand the factors controlling the growth of larch trees in Arctic taiga-tundra boundary ecosystem, we conducted field measurements of photosynthesis, tree size, nitrogen (N) content, and isotopic ratios in larch needles and soil. In addition, we observed various environmental parameters, including topography and soil moisture at four sites in the Indigirka River Basin, near Chokurdakh, northeastern Siberia. Most living larch trees grow on mounds with relatively high elevations and dry soils, indicating intolerance of high soil moisture. We found that needle δ13C was positively correlated with needle N content and needle mass, and these parameters showed spatial patterns similar to that of tree size. These results indicate that trees with high needle N content achieved higher rates of photosynthesis, which resulted in larger amounts of C assimilation and larger C allocation to needles and led to larger tree size than trees with lower needle N content. A positive correlation was also found between needle N content and soil NH 4 + pool. Thus, soil inorganic N pool may indicate N availability, which is reflected in the needle N content of the larch trees. Microtopography plays a principal role in N availability, through a change in soil moisture. Relatively dryer soil of mounds with higher elevation and larger extent causes higher rates of soil N production, leading to increased N availability for plants, in addition to larger rooting space for trees to uptake more N.

  14. Microsatellite and mtDNA analysis of lake trout, Salvelinus namaycush, from Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories: impacts of historical and contemporary evolutionary forces on Arctic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Les N; Howland, Kimberly L; Kowalchuk, Matthew W; Bajno, Robert; Lindsay, Melissa M; Taylor, Eric B

    2013-01-01

    Resolving the genetic population structure of species inhabiting pristine, high latitude ecosystems can provide novel insights into the post-glacial, evolutionary processes shaping the distribution of contemporary genetic variation. In this study, we assayed genetic variation in lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) from Great Bear Lake (GBL), NT and one population outside of this lake (Sandy Lake, NT) at 11 microsatellite loci and the mtDNA control region (d-loop). Overall, population subdivision was low, but significant (global FST θ = 0.025), and pairwise comparisons indicated that significance was heavily influenced by comparisons between GBL localities and Sandy Lake. Our data indicate that there is no obvious genetic structure among the various basins within GBL (global FST = 0.002) despite the large geographic distances between sampling areas. We found evidence of low levels of contemporary gene flow among arms within GBL, but not between Sandy Lake and GBL. Coalescent analyses suggested that some historical gene flow occurred among arms within GBL and between GBL and Sandy Lake. It appears, therefore, that contemporary (ongoing dispersal and gene flow) and historical (historical gene flow and large founding and present-day effective population sizes) factors contribute to the lack of neutral genetic structure in GBL. Overall, our results illustrate the importance of history (e.g., post-glacial colonization) and contemporary dispersal ecology in shaping genetic population structure of Arctic faunas and provide a better understanding of the evolutionary ecology of long-lived salmonids in pristine, interconnected habitats. PMID:23404390

  15. Arctic hydroclimatology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cherry, Jessica Ellen

    Arctic air temperature, precipitation, ground temperature, river runoff, clouds, and radiation are all changing quickly in a warming climate. Interactions and feedbacks between these features are not well understood. In particular, the relative role of local climate processes and large-scale ocean-atmosphere dynamics in driving observed Arctic changes is difficult to ascertain because of the sparsity of observations, inaccuracy of those that do exist, biases in global circulation models and analyses, and fundamental physics of the Arctic region. Four studies of Arctic hydroclimatology herein attempt to overcome these challenges. The first study, analysis of the Lena river basin hydroclimatology, shows canonical acceleration of the hydrologic cycle and amplification of global warming. Winter and spring are warming and increased frozen precipitation is contributing to permafrost melting by increasing soil insulation. Increasing runoff and soil moisture is leading to increasing evapotranspiration and changes in clouds. Changes in clouds are cooling summer days but warming summer nights, melting additional permafrost. Model simulations suggests that a deepening active layer will lead to an increasingly wet Arctic. The second two studies describe the development of the Pan-Arctic Snowfall Reconstruction (PASR). This product addresses the problem of cold season precipitation gauge biases for 1940-1999. The NASA Interannual-to-Seasonal Prediction Project Catchment-based Land Surface Model is used to reconstruct solid precipitation from observed snow depth and surface air temperatures. Error estimation is done via controlled simulations at Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, in Idaho. The method is then applied to stations in the pan-Arctic hydrological catchment. Comparison with existing products suggests that the PASR is a better estimate of actual snowfall for hydroclimatological studies. The final chapter is a case study on hydroclimatological variability driven by

  16. A Binary Approach to Define and Classify Final Ecosystem Goods and Services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ecosystem services literature decries the lack of consistency and standards in the application of ecosystem services as well as the inability of current approaches to explicitly link ecosystem services to human well-being. Recently, SEEA and CICES have conceptually identifie...

  17. Pacific Northwest Laboratory Alaska (ARCTIC) research program

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-03-01

    The current program continues studies of arctic ecosystems begun in 1959 as part of the Cape Thompson Program. Specific ecosystem aspects include studies of the ecology of arctic and red foxes, small mammel and bird population studies, lichen studies, and radiation ecology studies. (ACR)

  18. Connecting nitrogen deposition and Final Ecosystem Goods and Services for air quality standards review

    EPA Science Inventory

    There has been a great deal of effort to document changes in ecosystem structure and function in response to increasing or decreasing N deposition, yet less work connects the specific effects on the value to people of these changes in the ecosystem. Although there are studies ta...

  19. A glacier respires: Quantifying the distribution and respiration CO2 flux of cryoconite across an entire Arctic supraglacial ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodson, Andy; Anesio, Alexandre M.; Ng, Felix; Watson, Rory; Quirk, Joe; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram; Dye, Adrian; Clark, Chris; McCloy, Patrick; Kohler, Jack; Sattler, Birgit

    2007-12-01

    This paper quantifies the mass distribution of cryoconite at the glacier scale using photographic surveys conducted either at ground level, or at 20 m elevation using a novel uninhabited aerial vehicle (UAV). Image acquisition allowed three key deposits to be quantified: cryoconite holes, cryoconite in streams ("stream cryoconite"), and dispersed cryoconite granules (detectable only in the ground-based images). Cryoconite was found all over the snow-free parts of the glacier in one or more of these forms, covering about 0.42% (4600 kg km-2 dry weight) as holes and stream cryoconite deposits (>0.25 cm2 and thus visible in the UAV images), or 1% (10600 kg km-2) when smaller dispersed granules were included (using the ground images). No spatial patterns in the distribution of cryoconite cover were apparent, although cryoconite holes were far more common than stream cryoconite at high altitude due to lower melt rates. Measurements of respiration and bacterial carbon production estimated from in situ incubations of cryoconite-water mixtures indicated rates of 1.174 ± 0.182 (1 standard deviation) and 0.040 ± 0.019 μg C g-1 h-1, respectively. The respiration measurements then yielded glacier-wide CO2 fluxes for 1998 and 2000 of 6.3 and 5.1 kg C km-2 a-1 when the loci and duration of activity were defined using the UAV images and a degree day model, respectively. These fluxes increased to 14 and 12 kg C km-2 a-1 when the dispersed cryoconite detected in the ground-based images were also considered. The measurements therefore show that cryoconite ecosystems clearly have the capacity to impact upon carbon cycling in glacial environments.

  20. Response of plants and ecosystems to CO{sub 2} and climate change. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1993-12-31

    In recognition of the important role of vegetation in the bio-geosphere carbon cycle, the Carbon Dioxide Research Program of the US Department of Energy established the research program: Direct Effects of increasing Carbon Dioxide on Vegetation. The ultimate goal is to develop a general ecosystem model to investigate, via hypothesis testing, the potential responses of different terrestrial ecosystems to changes in the global environment over the next century. The approach involves the parallel development of models at several hierarchical levels, from the leaf to the ecosystem. At the plant level, mechanism and the direct effects of CO{sub 2} in the development of a general plant growth model, GEPSI - GEneral Plant SImulator has been stressed. At the ecosystem level, we have stressed the translation Of CO{sub 2} effects and other aspects of climate change throughout the ecosystem, including feedbacks and constraints to system response, in the development of a mechanistic, general ecosystem model SERECO - Simulation of Ecosystem Response to Elevated CO{sub 2} and Climate Change has been stressed.

  1. State of the Arctic Coast 2010: Scientific Review and Outlook

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rachold, V.; Forbes, D. L.; Kremer, H.; Lantuit, H.

    2010-12-01

    The coast is a key interface in the Arctic environment. It is a locus of human activity, a rich band of biodiversity, critical habitat, and high productivity, and among the most dynamic components of the circumpolar landscape. The Arctic coastal interface is a sensitive and important zone of interaction between land and sea, a region that provides essential ecosystem services and supports indigenous human lifestyles; a zone of expanding infrastructure investment and growing security concerns; and an area in which climate warming is expected to trigger landscape instability, rapid responses to change, and increased hazard exposure. Starting with a collaborative workshop in October 2007, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) Project and the International Permafrost Association (IPA) decided to jointly initiate an assessment of the state of the Arctic coast. The goal of this report is to draw on initial findings regarding climate change and human dimensions for the Arctic as a whole provided by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) and Arctic Human Development Report (AHDR) to develop a comprehensive picture of status and current and anticipated change in the most sensitive Arctic coastal areas. Underlying is the concept of a social ecological system perspective that explores the implications of change for the interaction of humans with nature. The report is aimed to be a first step towards a continuously updated coastal assessment and to identify key issues seeking future scientific concern in an international Earth system research agenda. The report titled “State of the Arctic Coast 2010: Scientific Review and Outlook” is the outcome of this collaborative effort. It is organized in three parts: the first provides an assessment of the state of Arctic coastal systems under three broad disciplinary themes - physical systems, ecological systems, and human concerns in the coastal zone; the

  2. Underwater robotic work systems for Russian arctic offshore oil/gas industry: Final report. Export trade information

    SciTech Connect

    1997-12-15

    The study was performed in association with Rosshelf, a shelf developing company located in Moscow. This volume involves developing an underwater robotic work system for oil exploration in Russia`s Arctic waters, Sea of Okhotsk and the Caspian Sea. The contents include: (1) Executive Summary; (2) Study Background; (3) Study Outline and Results; (4) Conclusions; (5) Separately Published Elements; (6) List of Subcontractors.

  3. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to CO{sub 2} and climate change. Final technical report, September 1, 1992--August 31, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1998-04-10

    Objectives can be divided into those for plant modeling and those for ecosystem modeling and experimental work in support of both. The author worked in a variety of ecosystem types, including pine, arctic, desert, and grasslands. Plant modeling objectives are: (1) to construct generic models of leaf, canopy, and whole-plant response to elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (2) to validate predictions of whole-plant response against various field studies of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (3) to use these models to test specific hypotheses and to make predictions about primary, secondary and tertiary effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on individual plants for conditions and time frames beyond those used to calibrate the model; and (4) to provide information to higher-level models, such as community models and ecosystem models. Ecosystem level modeling objectives are: (1) to incorporate models of plant responses to elevated CO{sub 2} into a generic ecosystem model in order to predict the direct and indirect effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on ecosystems; (2) to validate model predictions of total system-level response (including decomposition) against various ecosystem field studies of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (3) to use the ecosystem model to test specific hypotheses and to make predictions about primary, secondary and tertiary effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on ecosystems for conditions and time frames beyond those used to calibrate the model; and (4) to use the ecosystem model to study effects of change in CO{sub 2} and climate at regional and global scales. Occasionally the author conducted some experimental work that was deemed important to the development of the models. This work was mainly physiological work that could be performed in the Duke University Phytotron, using existing facilities.

  4. Final Technical Report: Response of Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO2 and Associated Climate Change

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, Walter C

    2002-08-15

    This research incorporated an integrated hierarchical approach in space, time, and levels of biological/ecological organization to help understand and predict ecosystem response to elevated CO{sub 2} and concomitant environmental change. The research utilized a number of different approaches, and collaboration of both PER and non-PER investigators to arrive at a comprehensive, integrative understanding. Central to the work were the CO{sub 2}-controlled, ambient Lit, Temperature controlled (CO{sub 2}LT) null-balance chambers originally developed in the arctic tundra, which were re-engineered for the chaparral with treatment CO{sub 2} concentrations of from 250 to 750 ppm CO{sub 2} in 100 ppm increments, replicated twice to allow for a regression analysis. Each chamber was 2 meters on a side and 2 meters tall, which were installed over an individual shrub reprouting after a fire. This manipulation allowed study of the response of native chaparral to varying levels of CO{sub 2}, while regenerating from an experimental burn. Results from these highly-controlled manipulations were compared against Free Air CO{sub 2} Enrichment (FACE) manipulations, in an area adjacent to the CO{sub 2}LT null balance greenhouses. These relatively short-term results (5-7 years) were compared to long-term results from Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs) surrounding natural CO{sub 2} springs in northern Italy, near Laiatico, Italy. The springs lack the controlled experimental rigor of our CO{sub 2}LT and FACE manipulation, but provide invaluable validation of our long-term predictions.

  5. USGS Arctic science strategy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shasby, Mark; Smith, Durelle

    2015-07-17

    The United States is one of eight Arctic nations responsible for the stewardship of a polar region undergoing dramatic environmental, social, and economic changes. Although warming and cooling cycles have occurred over millennia in the Arctic region, the current warming trend is unlike anything recorded previously and is affecting the region faster than any other place on Earth, bringing dramatic reductions in sea ice extent, altered weather, and thawing permafrost. Implications of these changes include rapid coastal erosion threatening villages and critical infrastructure, potentially significant effects on subsistence activities and cultural resources, changes to wildlife habitat, increased greenhouse-gas emissions from thawing permafrost, threat of invasive species, and opening of the Arctic Ocean to oil and gas exploration and increased shipping. The Arctic science portfolio of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and its response to climate-related changes focuses on landscapescale ecosystem and natural resource issues and provides scientific underpinning for understanding the physical processes that shape the Arctic. The science conducted by the USGS informs the Nation's resource management policies and improves the stewardship of the Arctic Region.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. A coupled approach to spatially derived parameters necessary for ecosystem modeling on the North Slope of Alaska: Appendix A. Final report, March 1, 1989--February 28, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Petersen, G.W.; Day, R.L.; Pollack, J.

    1993-12-01

    This study concerned an investigation of ecosystem dynamics in several small study sites in the North Slope region of Alaska. The scope of the proposed research is to quantitatively determine spatial interrelationships between landform geometry within these study areas and such ecologically important factors as vegetation type, depth-to-permafrost, hydraulic conductivity and incoming solar radiation. Extrapolation techniques developed and terrain-related data generated as a result of this research will augment R4D Phase II goals which relate to running the General Arctic Simulac (GAS) model (and associated ecosystem models) at different locations on the North Slope. In particular, Penn State has contributed significantly to extrapolation efforts by developing techniques which can be used to initialize conditions for model input either through direct measurement (e.g., slope and aspect) and GIS-based simulation models (e.g., drainage basin characterization). As stated in the R4D Phase II Research Plan, the long-term objectives of this program are: (1) to determine effects and to develop models based on ecosystem disturbances commonly created by energy development so that appropriate, cost-effective measures can be utilized to minimize deleterious disturbances; and (2) to extend the results to other arctic and alpine areas which are important because of likely impact from energy development. It is this second long-term objective which relates most directly to Penn State`s work.

  8. Final Technical Report: Effects of Changing Water and Nitrogen Inputs on a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Stanley D.; Nowak, Robert S.

    2007-11-30

    Questions addressed under this grant shared the common hypothesis that plant and ecosystem performance will positively respond to the augmentation of the most limiting resources to plant growth in the Mojave Desert, e.g., water and nitrogen. Specific hypothesis include (1) increased summer rainfall will significantly increase plant production thorugh an alleviation of moisture stress in the dry summer months, (2) N-deposition will increase plan production in this N-limited system, particularly in wet years or in concert with added summer rain, and (3) biological crust disturbance will gradually decrease bio-available N, with concomitant long-term reductions in photosynthesis and ANPP. Individual plan and ecosystem responses to global change may be regulated by biogeochemical processes and natural weather variability, and changes in plant and ecosystem processes may occur rapidly, may occur only after a time lag, or may not occur at all. During the first PER grant period, we observed changes in plant and ecosystem processes that would fall under each of these time-response intervals: plant and ecosystem processes responded rapidly to added summer rain, whereas most processes responded slowly or in a lag fashion to N-deposition and with no significant response to crust disturbance. Therefore, the primary objectives of this renewal grant were to: (1) continue ongoing measurements of soil and plant parameters that assess primary treatment responses; (2) address the potential heterogeneity of soil properties and (3) initiate a new suite of measurements that will provide data necessary for scaling/modeling of whole-plot to ecosystem-level responses. Our experimental approach included soil plan-water interactions using TDR, neutron probe, and miniaturized soil matric potential and moisture sensors, plant ecophysiological and productivity responses to water and nitrogen treatments and remote sensing methodologies deployed on a radio control platform.

  9. Biotic Processes Regulating the Carbon Balance of Desert Ecosystems - Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Nowak, Robert S; Smith, Stanley D; Evans, Dave; Ogle, Kiona; Fenstermaker, Lynn

    2012-12-13

    Our results from the 10-year elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration study at the Nevada Desert FACE (Free-air CO{sub 2} Enrichment) Facility (NDFF) indicate that the Mojave Desert is a dynamic ecosystem with the capacity to respond quickly to environmental changes. The Mojave Desert ecosystem is accumulating carbon (C), and over the 10-year experiment, C accumulation was significantly greater under elevated [CO{sub 2}] than under ambient, despite great fluctuations in C inputs from year to year and even apparent reversals in which [CO{sub 2}] treatment had greater C accumulations.

  10. Analysis of Chinook Salmon in the Columbia River from an Ecosystem Perspective. Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Lichatowich, James A.; Mobrand, Lars E.

    1995-01-01

    Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment (EDT) methodology was applied to the analysis of chinook salmon in the mid-Columbia subbasins which flow through the steppe and steppe-shrub vegetation zones. The EDT examines historical changes in life history diversity related to changes in habitat. The emphasis on life history, habitat and historical context is consistent with and ecosystem perspective. This study is based on the working hypothesis that the decline in chinook salmon was at least in part due to a loss of biodiversity defined as the intrapopulation life history diversity. The mid Columbia subbasins included in the study are the Deschutes, John Day, Umatilla, Tucannon and Yakima.

  11. Final Technical Report: Effects of Changing Water and Nitrogen Inputs on a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Stanley, D.; Nowak, Robert S.; Fenstermaker, Lynn, F.; Young, Michael,H.

    2007-11-30

    In order to anticipate the effects of global change on ecosystem function, it is essential that predictive relationships be established linking ecosystem function to global change scenarios. The Mojave Desert is of considerable interest with respect to global change. It contains the driest habitats in North America, and thus most closely approximates the world’s great arid deserts. In order to examine the effects of climate and land use changes, in 2001 we established a long-term manipulative global change experiment, called the Mojave Global Change Facility. Manipulations in this study include the potential effects of (1) increased summer rainfall (75 mm over three discrete 25 mm events), (2) increased nitrogen deposition (10 and 40 kg ha-1), and (3) the disturbance of biological N-fixing crusts . Questions addressed under this grant shared the common hypothesis that plant and ecosystem performance will positively respond to the augmentation of the most limiting resources to plant growth in the Mojave Desert, e.g., water and nitrogen. Specific hypotheses include (1) increased summer rainfall will significantly increase plant production through an alleviation of moisture stress in the dry summer months, (2) N-deposition will increase plant production in this N-limited system, particularly in wet years or in concert with added summer rain, and (3) biological crust disturbance will gradually decrease bio-available N, with concomitant long-term reductions in photosynthesis and ANPP. Individual plant and ecosystem responses to global change may be regulated by biogeochemical processes and natural weather variability, and changes in plant and ecosystem processes may occur rapidly, may occur only after a time lag, or may not occur at all. During the first PER grant period, we observed changes in plant and ecosystem processes that would fall under each of these time-response intervals: plant and ecosystem processes responded rapidly to added summer rain, whereas most

  12. Response of tundra ecosystems to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1986-01-01

    This report includes: a detailed description of the system which we have developed for providing control of CO/sub 2/ and temperature; the effects of this treatment on ecosystem fluxes of CO/sub 2/ at ecosystem; the effects of three years CO/sub 2/ enrichment on the photosynthetic response of important tundra species; effects of mineral nutrition and CO/sub 2/ enrichment on growth, photosynthesis, and biomass partitioning of tundra species; and the effects of CO/sub 2/ on soil respiration.

  13. Arctic tipping points in an Earth system perspective.

    PubMed

    Wassmann, Paul; Lenton, Timothy M

    2012-02-01

    We provide an introduction to the volume The Arctic in the Earth System perspective: the role of tipping points. The terms tipping point and tipping element are described and their role in current science, general debates, and the Arctic are elucidated. From a wider perspective, the volume focuses upon the role of humans in the Arctic component of the Earth system and in particular the envelope for human existence, the Arctic ecosystems. The Arctic climate tipping elements, the tipping elements in Arctic ecosystems and societies, and the challenges of governance and anticipation are illuminated through short summaries of eight publications that derive from the Arctic Frontiers conference in 2011 and the EU FP7 project Arctic Tipping Points. Then some ideas based upon resilience thinking are developed to show how wise system management could ease pressures on Arctic systems in order to keep them away from tipping points.

  14. Managing pinon-juniper ecosystems for sustainability and social needs. Forest Service general technical report (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Aldon, E.F.; Shaw, D.W.

    1993-10-01

    The purpose of the symposium was to assist the USDA Forest Service, other federal land management agencies, and the New Mexico State Land Office in the future development and management of the pinon-juniper ecosystem in the Southwest. Authors assessed the current state of knowledge about the pinon-juniper resources and helped develop future research and management goals.

  15. Using USEPA'S Final Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS) Classification With EnviroAtlas As The Basic Framework To Describe Natures Benefits and Beneficiaries

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem Services have received increasing scientific focus for a decade, yet the natural and social scientists working on mainstreaming these concepts are still struggling with the task. FEGS (Final Ecosystem Goods and Services) are an informative and useful concept as they emb...

  16. Live from the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warnick, W. K.; Haines-Stiles, G.; Warburton, J.; Sunwood, K.

    2003-12-01

    For reasons of geography and geophysics, the poles of our planet, the Arctic and Antarctica, are places where climate change appears first: they are global canaries in the mine shaft. But while Antarctica (its penguins and ozone hole, for example) has been relatively well-documented in recent books, TV programs and journalism, the far North has received somewhat less attention. This project builds on and advances what has been done to date to share the people, places, and stories of the North with all Americans through multiple media, over several years. In a collaborative project between the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) and PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, Live from the Arctic will bring the Arctic environment to the public through a series of primetime broadcasts, live and taped programming, interactive virtual field trips, and webcasts. The five-year project will culminate during the 2007-2008 International Polar Year (IPY). Live from the Arctic will: A. Promote global understanding about the value and world -wide significance of the Arctic, B. Bring cutting-edge research to both non-formal and formal education communities, C. Provide opportunities for collaboration between arctic scientists, arctic communities, and the general public. Content will focus on the following four themes. 1. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts on Land (i.e. snow cover; permafrost; glaciers; hydrology; species composition, distribution, and abundance; subsistence harvesting) 2. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts in the Sea (i.e. salinity, temperature, currents, nutrients, sea ice, marine ecosystems (including people, marine mammals and fisheries) 3. Pan-Arctic Changes and Impacts in the Atmosphere (i.e. precipitation and evaporation; effects on humans and their communities) 4. Global Perspectives (i.e. effects on humans and communities, impacts to rest of the world) In The Earth is Faster Now, a recent collection of comments by members of indigenous arctic peoples, arctic

  17. Status and trends in Arctic biodiversity - Synthesis: implications for conservation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Arctic biodiversity – the multitude of species and ecosystems in the land north of the tree line together with the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas – is an irreplaceable cultural, aesthetic, scientific, ecological, economic and spiritual asset. For Arctic peoples, biodiversity has been the very basis ...

  18. NGEE Arctic Webcam Photographs, Barrow Environmental Observatory, Barrow, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Bob Busey; Larry Hinzman

    2012-04-01

    The NGEE Arctic Webcam (PTZ Camera) captures two views of seasonal transitions from its generally south-facing position on a tower located at the Barrow Environmental Observatory near Barrow, Alaska. Images are captured every 30 minutes. Historical images are available for download. The camera is operated by the U.S. DOE sponsored Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments - Arctic (NGEE Arctic) project.

  19. Community ecology: how green is the arctic tundra?

    PubMed

    Morris, Rebecca J

    2008-03-25

    The exploitation ecosystems hypothesis suggests that food chain length increases along gradients of increasing primary productivity. Recent results provide compelling new evidence for this from an arctic-alpine ecosystem. PMID:18364231

  20. DOE Final Report on Collaborative Research. Quantifying Climate Feedbacks of the Terrestrial Biosphere under Thawing Permafrost Conditions in the Arctic

    SciTech Connect

    Zhuang, Qianlai; Schlosser, C. Adam; Melillo, Jerry M.; Anthony, Katey Walter; Kicklighter, David; Gao, Xiang

    2015-11-03

    Our overall goal is to quantify the potential for threshold changes in natural emission rates of trace gases, particularly methane and carbon dioxide, from pan-arctic terrestrial systems under the spectrum of anthropogenically-forced climate warming, and the conditions under which these emissions provide a strong feedback mechanism to global climate warming. This goal is motivated under the premise that polar amplification of global climate warming will induce widespread thaw and degradation of the permafrost, and would thus cause substantial changes to the landscape of wetlands and lakes, especially thermokarst (thaw) lakes, across the Arctic. Through a suite of numerical experiments that encapsulate the fundamental processes governing methane emissions and carbon exchanges – as well as their coupling to the global climate system - we intend to test the following hypothesis in the proposed research: There exists a climate warming threshold beyond which permafrost degradation becomes widespread and stimulates large increases in methane emissions (via thermokarst lakes and poorly-drained wetland areas upon thawing permafrost along with microbial metabolic responses to higher temperatures) and increases in carbon dioxide emissions from well-drained areas. Besides changes in biogeochemistry, this threshold will also influence global energy dynamics through effects on surface albedo, evapotranspiration and water vapor. These changes would outweigh any increased uptake of carbon (e.g. from peatlands and higher plant photosynthesis) and would result in a strong, positive feedback to global climate warming.

  1. Offshore Texas and Louisiana marine ecosystems data synthesis. Volume 2: Synthesis report. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, N.W.; James, B.M.

    1988-11-01

    This study provided a synthesis of available environmental information for the continental shelf from the shallow sublittoral to a depth of 500 m for the area between Corpus Christi Bay, Texas and the Mississippi River Delta. The Synthesis Report consists of separate chapters devoted to marine geology, physical oceanography and meteorology, marine chemistry, marine biology, socioeconomics, and conceptual modeling of the area's major ecosystems with emphasis on the environmental effects of oil and gas operations. There is a summary of data gaps and information needs and suggestions for future field studies.

  2. Bridging the Divide: Linking Genomics to Ecosystem Responses to Climate Change: Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Melinda D.

    2014-03-15

    Over the project period, we have addressed the following objectives: 1) assess the effects of altered precipitation patterns (i.e., increased variability in growing season precipitation) on genetic diversity of the dominant C4 grass species, Andropogon gerardii, and 2) experimentally assess the impacts of extreme climatic events (heat wave, drought) on responses of the dominant C4 grasses, A. gerardii and Sorghastrum nutans, and the consequences of these response for community and ecosystem structure and function. Below is a summary of how we have addressed these objectives. Objective 1 After ten years of altered precipitation, we found the number of genotypes of A. gerardii was significantly reduced compared to the ambient precipitation treatments (Avolio et al., 2013a). Although genotype number was reduced, the remaining genotypes were less related to one another indicating that the altered precipitation treatment was selecting for increasingly dissimilar genomes (based on mean pairwise Dice distance among individuals). For the four key genotypes that displayed differential abundances depending on the precipitation treatment (G1, G4, and G11 in the altered plots and G2 in the ambient plots), we identified phenotypic differences in the field that could account for ecological sorting (Avolio & Smith, 2013a). The three altered rainfall genotypes also have very different phenotypic traits in the greenhouse in response to different soil moisture availabilities (Avolio and Smith, 2013c). Two of the genotypes that increased in abundance in the altered precipitation plots had greater allocation to root biomass (G4 and G11), while G1 allocated more biomass aboveground. These phenotypic differences among genotypes suggests that changes in genotypic structure between the altered and the ambient treatments has likely occurred via niche differentiation, driven by changes in soil moisture dynamics (reduced mean, increased variability and changes in the depth distribution of

  3. Lower Columbia River and Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Program Reference Site Study: 2011 Restoration Analysis - FINAL REPORT

    SciTech Connect

    Borde, Amy B.; Cullinan, Valerie I.; Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Thom, Ronald M.; Kaufmann, Ronald M.; Zimmerman, Shon A.; Sagar, Jina; Buenau, Kate E.; Corbett, C.

    2012-05-31

    The Reference Site (RS) study is part of the research, monitoring, and evaluation (RME) effort developed by the Action Agencies (Bonneville Power Administration [BPA], U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District [USACE], and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation) in response to Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Biological Opinions (BiOp). While the RS study was initiated in 2007, data have been collected at relatively undisturbed reference wetland sites in the LCRE by PNNL and collaborators since 2005. These data on habitat structural metrics were previously summarized to provide baseline characterization of 51 wetlands throughout the estuarine and tidal freshwater portions of the 235-km LCRE; however, further analysis of these data has been limited. Therefore, in 2011, we conducted additional analyses of existing field data previously collected for the Columbia Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Program (CEERP) - including data collected by PNNL and others - to help inform the multi-agency restoration planning and ecosystem management work underway in the LCRE.

  4. Corrosion protection of Arctic offshore structures: Final report. [Effects of temperature and salinity on required cathodic protection current

    SciTech Connect

    Sackinger, W.M.; Rogers, J.C.; Feyk, C.; Theuveny, B.

    1985-10-01

    Results are presented for a research program on corrosion prevention for Arctic offshore structures which are in contact with sea ice for a significant portion of the year. The electrical method most adaptable for structure protection involves the injection of impressed current from several remote anodes buried just beneath the sea floor. The electrical resistivity of annual sea ice as a function of temperature and salinity is presented. Details of the interface layers formed between sea ice and steel in the presence of current injection are shown. A computer program was developed to enable the calculation of protective current density into the structure, in the presence of ice rubble and ridges around the structure. The program and the results of an example calculation are given for a caisson- retained island structure. 81 refs., 103 figs., 3 tabs.

  5. An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cover of volume 1 of the Bristol Bay, Alaska <span class=Final Assessment Report"> The Bristol Bay watershed in southwestern Alaska supports the largest soc...

  6. Coordinating for Arctic Conservation: Implementing Integrated Arctic Biodiversity Monitoring, Data Management and Reporting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gill, M.; Svoboda, M.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems and the biodiversity they support are experiencing growing pressure from various stressors (e.g. development, climate change, contaminants, etc.) while established research and monitoring programs remain largely uncoordinated, lacking the ability to effectively monitor, understand and report on biodiversity trends at the circumpolar scale. The maintenance of healthy arctic ecosystems is a global imperative as the Arctic plays a critical role in the Earth's physical, chemical and biological balance. A coordinated and comprehensive effort for monitoring arctic ecosystems is needed to facilitate effective and timely conservation and adaptation actions. The Arctic's size and complexity represents a significant challenge towards detecting and attributing important biodiversity trends. This demands a scaled, pan-arctic, ecosystem-based approach that not only identifies trends in biodiversity, but also identifies underlying causes. It is critical that this information be made available to generate effective strategies for adapting to changes now taking place in the Arctic—a process that ultimately depends on rigorous, integrated, and efficient monitoring programs that have the power to detect change within a "management" time frame. To meet these challenges and in response to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment's recommendation to expand and enhance arctic biodiversity monitoring, the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group of the Arctic Council launched the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP). The CBMP is led by Environment Canada on behalf of Canada and the Arctic Council. The CBMP is working with over 60 global partners to expand, integrate and enhance existing arctic biodiversity research and monitoring efforts to facilitate more rapid detection, communication and response to significant trends and pressures. Towards this end, the CBMP has established three Expert Monitoring Groups representing major Arctic

  7. 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.

  8. Offshore Texas and Louisiana marine ecosystems data synthesis. Volume 1: Executive Summary. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, N.W.; James, B.M.

    1988-11-01

    This study provided a synthesis of available environmental information for the continental shelf from the shallow sublittoral to a depth of 500 m for the area between Corpus Christi Bay, Texas and the Mississippi River Delta. Results of the study are given in three volumes: Executive Summary (Volume I), Synthesis Report (Volume II), and Annotated Bibliography (Volume III). The Synthesis Report consists of separate chapters devoted to marine geology, physical oceanography and meteorology, marine chemistry, marine biology, socioeconomics, and conceptual modeling of the area's major ecosystems with emphasis on the environmental effects of oil and gas operations. There is a summary of data gaps and information needs and suggestions for future field studies. The annotated bibliography, which contains 1,535 references, was compiled through a combination of computer searches, telephone contacts, library visits, and submissions from chapter authors. The bibliographic data set is presented in hard copy and on IBM-compatible floppy disks that have been indexed with a computer program (FYI 3000 Plus) to allow searching by author, date, topic and geographic keywords, or words in the title, source, or annotation.

  9. Carbon cycle uncertainty in the Alaskan Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, J. B.; Sikka, M.; Oechel, W. C.; Huntzinger, D. N.; Melton, J. R.; Koven, C. D.; Ahlström, A.; Arain, M. A.; Baker, I.; Chen, J. M.; Ciais, P.; Davidson, C.; Dietze, M.; El-Masri, B.; Hayes, D.; Huntingford, C.; Jain, A. K.; Levy, P. E.; Lomas, M. R.; Poulter, B.; Price, D.; Sahoo, A. K.; Schaefer, K.; Tian, H.; Tomelleri, E.; Verbeeck, H.; Viovy, N.; Wania, R.; Zeng, N.; Miller, C. E.

    2014-08-01

    Climate change is leading to a disproportionately large warming in the high northern latitudes, but the magnitude and sign of the future carbon balance of the Arctic are highly uncertain. Using 40 terrestrial biosphere models for the Alaskan Arctic from four recent model intercomparison projects - NACP (North American Carbon Program) site and regional syntheses, TRENDY (Trends in net land atmosphere carbon exchanges), and WETCHIMP (Wetland and Wetland CH4 Inter-comparison of Models Project) - we provide a baseline of terrestrial carbon cycle uncertainty, defined as the multi-model standard deviation (σ) for each quantity that follows. Mean annual absolute uncertainty was largest for soil carbon (14.0 ± 9.2 kg C m-2), then gross primary production (GPP) (0.22 ± 0.50 kg C m-2 yr-1), ecosystem respiration (Re) (0.23 ± 0.38 kg C m-2 yr-1), net primary production (NPP) (0.14 ± 0.33 kg C m-2 yr-1), autotrophic respiration (Ra) (0.09 ± 0.20 kg C m-2 yr-1), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) (0.14 ± 0.20 kg C m-2 yr-1), net ecosystem exchange (NEE) (-0.01 ± 0.19 kg C m-2 yr-1), and CH4 flux (2.52 ± 4.02 g CH4 m-2 yr-1). There were no consistent spatial patterns in the larger Alaskan Arctic and boreal regional carbon stocks and fluxes, with some models showing NEE for Alaska as a strong carbon sink, others as a strong carbon source, while still others as carbon neutral. Finally, AmeriFlux data are used at two sites in the Alaskan Arctic to evaluate the regional patterns; observed seasonal NEE was captured within multi-model uncertainty. This assessment of carbon cycle uncertainties may be used as a baseline for the improvement of experimental and modeling activities, as well as a reference for future trajectories in carbon cycling with climate change in the Alaskan Arctic and larger boreal region.

  10. Arctic Refuge

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2014-05-15

    article title:  Summer in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge     View Larger Image This colorful image of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Beaufort Sea was acquired by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) nadir ...

  11. The changing seasonal climate in the Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Bintanja, R.; van der Linden, E. C.

    2013-01-01

    Ongoing and projected greenhouse warming clearly manifests itself in the Arctic regions, which warm faster than any other part of the world. One of the key features of amplified Arctic warming concerns Arctic winter warming (AWW), which exceeds summer warming by at least a factor of 4. Here we use observation-driven reanalyses and state-of-the-art climate models in a variety of standardised climate change simulations to show that AWW is strongly linked to winter sea ice retreat through the associated release of surplus ocean heat gained in summer through the ice-albedo feedback (~25%), and to infrared radiation feedbacks (~75%). Arctic summer warming is surprisingly modest, even after summer sea ice has completely disappeared. Quantifying the seasonally varying changes in Arctic temperature and sea ice and the associated feedbacks helps to more accurately quantify the likelihood of Arctic's climate changes, and to assess their impact on local ecosystems and socio-economic activities. PMID:23532038

  12. The changing seasonal climate in the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Bintanja, R; van der Linden, E C

    2013-01-01

    Ongoing and projected greenhouse warming clearly manifests itself in the Arctic regions, which warm faster than any other part of the world. One of the key features of amplified Arctic warming concerns Arctic winter warming (AWW), which exceeds summer warming by at least a factor of 4. Here we use observation-driven reanalyses and state-of-the-art climate models in a variety of standardised climate change simulations to show that AWW is strongly linked to winter sea ice retreat through the associated release of surplus ocean heat gained in summer through the ice-albedo feedback (~25%), and to infrared radiation feedbacks (~75%). Arctic summer warming is surprisingly modest, even after summer sea ice has completely disappeared. Quantifying the seasonally varying changes in Arctic temperature and sea ice and the associated feedbacks helps to more accurately quantify the likelihood of Arctic's climate changes, and to assess their impact on local ecosystems and socio-economic activities.

  13. Warming increases methylmercury production in an Arctic soil

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Yang, Ziming; Fang, Wei; Lu, Xia; Sheng, Guo-Ping; Graham, David E.; Liang, Liyuan; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Gu, Baohua

    2016-04-29

    The rapid temperature rise in Arctic permafrost concerns not only the degradation of stored soil organic carbon (SOC) and climate feedback, but also the production and bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) that may endanger humans, as well as wildlife in terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems. Decomposition of SOC provides an energy source for microbial methylation, although little is known how rapid permafrost thaw affects Hg methylation and how SOC degradation is coupled to MeHg biosynthesis. We describe rates of MeHg production in Arctic soils from an 8-month warming microcosm experiment under anoxic conditions. MeHg production increased >10 fold in both organic-more » and the mineral-rich soil layers at a warmer temperature (8 C) compared to a sub-zero temperature ( 2 C). MeHg production was positively correlated to methane and ferrous ion concentrations, suggesting that Hg methylation is coupled with methanogenesis and iron reduction. Labile SOC, such as reducing sugars and alcohol, were particularly effective in fueling the initial rapid biosynthesis of MeHg. In freshly amended Hg we found that there was more bioavailable than existing Hg in the mineral soil. Finally, the data indicate that climate warming and permafrost thaw could greatly enhance MeHg production, thereby impacting Arctic aquatic and marine ecosystems through biomagnification in the food web.« less

  14. Ice island creation, drift, recurrences, mechanical properties, and interactions with arctic offshore oil production structures. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Sackinger, W.M.; Jeffries, M.O.; Li, Fucheng; Lu, Mingchi

    1991-03-01

    Research and engineering studies on first-year sea ice for over two decades has resulted in the design, construction, and operation of jacket platforms, of artificial islands, and of massive gravity structures which routinely withstand moving sea ice of thickness up to 2 meters. However, the less-common interactions between such structures and moving multiyear ice ({ge}3 meters thick), and also moving ice islands (10 to 60 meters thick) remain as the unknown and potentially most serious hazard for Arctic offshore structures. In this study, research was addressed across the complete span of remaining questions regarding such features. Ice island components, thickness distributions, scenarios and models for the interactions of massive ice features with offshore structures, all were considered. Ice island morphology and calving studies were directed at the cluster of 19 ice islands produced in a calving from the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf on Ellesmere Island in 1983, and also at a calving from the Milne Ice Shelf in 1988. The statistics of ice island dynamics, on both a short-term small-scale basis and also on a long-term basis, were studied. Typical wind velocities of 5 to 7.5 meters per second led to ice island speeds of about 0.014 of the wind speed, at an angle of 20{degrees} to the right of the wind direction. Ice island samples were tested for their stress/strain characteristics. Compressive strength values ranged from 1.64 MPa at a strain rate of 2 {times} 10{sup {minus}7} s{sup {minus}1} to 6.75 MPa at a strain rate of 1 {times} 10{sup {minus}3} s{sup {minus}1}. Scenarios for ice island/structure interactions were developed, and protective countermeasures such as spray ice and ice rubble barriers were suggested. Additional computer modeling of structure/ice interactions for massive ice features is recommended.

  15. The quickening pace and widening scope of ecosystem transformation under climate change (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graumlich, L. J.; Bunn, A. G.

    2013-12-01

    When will we see climate-driven impacts on ecosystems and the associated services they provide to humans? Two large ecosystems stand out as heading towards tipping points: arctic ecosystems, and the forests of western North America. While each ecosystem is structurally distinct (i.e., tundra and sparse boreal forests vs. closed canopy forest) and proximate drivers of change are different (i.e., warming vs. drought), commonalities between them offer insights into what processes lead to the kind of ecosystem changes that have the potential to truly 'tip' into a novel regime. First, scale matters: in both ecosystems the spatial scale of change is unprecedented since the Holocene Climate Optimum more than 5,000 years ago. In the Arctic we see widespread changes in the timing and magnitude of ecosystem productivity, which affects biogeochemical cycling, evapotranspiration, and albedo. In western US forests, large fires have increased in frequency by a factor of 4 over the past few decades, driven in large part by broad-scale, severe droughts. Second, timing is everything: changing phenology is associated with unraveling ecological relationships. In the Arctic we see a reduction of seasonality in temperature and vegetation production equivalent to several degrees of latitudinal shift towards the equator. In western US forests, relatively small advances in the timing of snowmelt are associated with earlier dry down of fine fuels, which, in turn, lengthens the fire season. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, ecosystem change can and will accelerate climate change. This can be seen in high latitude systems, as well as in the American West, as changes in microclimate, albedo, and ecosystem function feed back to atmospheric processes. Such large-scale, abrupt and non-linear changes in ecosystems and the associated provision of ecosystem services are one of the greatest challenges society faces in adapting to climate change.

  16. Final State of Ecosystem Containing Grass, Sheep and Wolves with Aging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Mingfeng; Pan, Qiu-Hui; Wang, Shuang

    This paper describes a cellular automata model containing movable wolves, sheep and reproducible grass. Each wolf or sheep is characterized by Penna bitstrings. In addition, we introduce the energy rule and the predator-prey mechanism for wolf and sheep. With considering age-structured, genetic strings, minimum reproduction age, cycle of the reproduction, number of offspring, we get three possible states of a predator-prey system: the coexisting one with predators and prey, the absorbing one with prey only, and the empty one where no animal survived. In this paper, we mainly discuss the effect of the number of poor genes, the energy supply (food), the minimum reproduction age, the reproductive cycle and the birth rate on the above three possible final states.

  17. Arctic Watch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orcutt, John; Baggeroer, Arthur; Mikhalevsky, Peter; Munk, Walter; Sagen, Hanne; Vernon, Frank; Worcester, Peter

    2015-04-01

    The dramatic reduction of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will increase human activities in the coming years. This will be driven by increased demand for energy and the marine resources of an Arctic Ocean more accessible to ships. Oil and gas exploration, fisheries, mineral extraction, marine transportation, research and development, tourism and search and rescue will increase the pressure on the vulnerable Arctic environment. Synoptic in-situ year-round observational technologies are needed to monitor and forecast changes in the Arctic atmosphere-ice-ocean system at daily, seasonal, annual and decadal scales to inform and enable sustainable development and enforcement of international Arctic agreements and treaties, while protecting this critical environment. This paper will discuss multipurpose acoustic networks, including subsea cable components, in the Arctic. These networks provide communication, power, underwater and under-ice navigation, passive monitoring of ambient sound (ice, seismic, biologic and anthropogenic), and acoustic remote sensing (tomography and thermometry), supporting and complementing data collection from platforms, moorings and autonomous vehicles. This paper supports the development and implementation of regional to basin-wide acoustic networks as an integral component of a multidisciplinary, in situ Arctic Ocean Observatory.

  18. Determining Regional Arctic Tundra Carbon Exchange: A Bottom-Up Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huemmrich, Fred

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the carbon atmospheric exchange with Arctic tundra. In the Arctic the ecosystem has been a net carbon sink. The project investigates the question of how might climate warming effect high latitude ecosystems and the Earth ecosystems and how to measure the changes.

  19. What an Arctic terrestrial MIP tells about changes and differences in Arctic subsurface hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, K.

    2015-12-01

    The spatial and temporal characteristics of Arctic hydrology have been investigated in the GTMIP activity (https://ads.nipr.ac.jp/gtmip/gtmip.html), conducted as a part of GRENE Arctic Climate Change Project in Japan. The activity has two stages, one on local and the other on the circum-Arctic scales. Stage 1 is site simulations for the period of 1980-2013 for four Arctic observation sites, i.e., Fairbanks/AK, Kevo/Finland, Yakutsuk and Tiksi in Siberia, focusing on process evaluations with observation. Stage 2 is pan-arctic simulations for 1850-2100 with 0.5x0.5 degree resolution, targeting at the responses of Arctic terrestrial to global climate change. At both stages multiple terrestrial models have been participating (16+ for Stage 1; 10 for Stage 2), ranging from physically-oriented process models to biogeochemical models to ESM-compatible ecosystem models. The results are delineating a) spatial variations and temporal changes in subsurface thermal and hydrological states, and subsequently the ecosystem in different climatic/ecosystem zones (e.g., Kevo is underlain by seasonally frozen ground while others by permafrost; Tiksi is in tundra whole others in taiga; these two sites are Arctic while the other two sub-Arctic), and b) the differences and similarities in the reproducibility among models with respect to the target of the models (e.g., physical, or biogeochemical) and to the complexity of implemented processes.

  20. Freshwater and its role in the Arctic Marine System: Sources, disposition, storage, export, and physical and biogeochemical consequences in the Arctic and global oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carmack, E. C.; Yamamoto-Kawai, M.; Haine, T. W. N.; Bacon, S.; Bluhm, B. A.; Lique, C.; Melling, H.; Polyakov, I. V.; Straneo, F.; Timmermans, M.-L.; Williams, W. J.

    2016-03-01

    The Arctic Ocean is a fundamental node in the global hydrological cycle and the ocean's thermohaline circulation. We here assess the system's key functions and processes: (1) the delivery of fresh and low-salinity waters to the Arctic Ocean by river inflow, net precipitation, distillation during the freeze/thaw cycle, and Pacific Ocean inflows; (2) the disposition (e.g., sources, pathways, and storage) of freshwater components within the Arctic Ocean; and (3) the release and export of freshwater components into the bordering convective domains of the North Atlantic. We then examine physical, chemical, or biological processes which are influenced or constrained by the local quantities and geochemical qualities of freshwater; these include stratification and vertical mixing, ocean heat flux, nutrient supply, primary production, ocean acidification, and biogeochemical cycling. Internal to the Arctic the joint effects of sea ice decline and hydrological cycle intensification have strengthened coupling between the ocean and the atmosphere (e.g., wind and ice drift stresses, solar radiation, and heat and moisture exchange), the bordering drainage basins (e.g., river discharge, sediment transport, and erosion), and terrestrial ecosystems (e.g., Arctic greening, dissolved and particulate carbon loading, and altered phenology of biotic components). External to the Arctic freshwater export acts as both a constraint to and a necessary ingredient for deep convection in the bordering subarctic gyres and thus affects the global thermohaline circulation. Geochemical fingerprints attained within the Arctic Ocean are likewise exported into the neighboring subarctic systems and beyond. Finally, we discuss observed and modeled functions and changes in this system on seasonal, annual, and decadal time scales and discuss mechanisms that link the marine system to atmospheric, terrestrial, and cryospheric systems.

  1. The Arctic Circle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, Siobhan

    2016-04-01

    My name is Siobhan McDonald. I am a visual artist living and working in Dublin. My studio is based in The School of Science at University College Dublin where I was Artist in Residence 2013-2015. A fascination with time and the changeable nature of landmass has led to ongoing conversations with scientists and research institutions across the interweaving disciplines of botany, biology and geology. I am developing a body of work following a recent research trip to the North Pole where I studied the disappearing landscape of the Arctic. Prompted by my experience of the Arctic shelf receding, this new work addresses issues of the instability of the earth's materiality. The work is grounded in an investigation of material processes, exploring the dynamic forces that transform matter and energy. This project combines art and science in a fascinating exploration of one of the Earth's last relatively untouched wilderness areas - the High Arctic to bring audiences on journeys to both real and artistically re-imagined Arctic spaces. CRYSTALLINE'S pivotal process is collaboration: with The European Space Agency; curator Helen Carey; palaeontologist Prof. Jenny McElwain, UCD; and with composer Irene Buckley. CRYSTALLINE explores our desire to make corporeal contact with geological phenomena in Polar Regions. From January 2016, in my collaboration with Jenny McElwain, I will focus on the study of plants and atmospheres from the Arctic regions as far back as 400 million years ago, to explore the essential 'nature' that, invisible to the eye, acts as imaginary portholes into other times. This work will be informed by my arctic tracings of sounds and images recorded in the glaciers of this disappearing frozen landscape. In doing so, the urgencies around the tipping of natural balances in this fragile region will be revealed. The final work will emerge from my forthcoming residency at the ESA in spring 2016. Here I will conduct a series of workshops in ESA Madrid to work with

  2. Carbon cycle uncertainty in the Alaskan Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, J. B.; Sikka, M.; Oechel, W. C.; Huntzinger, D. N.; Melton, J. R.; Koven, C. D.; Ahlström, A.; Arain, A. M.; Baker, I.; Chen, J. M.; Ciais, P.; Davidson, C.; Dietze, M.; El-Masri, B.; Hayes, D.; Huntingford, C.; Jain, A.; Levy, P. E.; Lomas, M. R.; Poulter, B.; Price, D.; Sahoo, A. K.; Schaefer, K.; Tian, H.; Tomelleri, E.; Verbeeck, H.; Viovy, N.; Wania, R.; Zeng, N.; Miller, C. E.

    2014-02-01

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

  3. Changes in Landscape-level Carbon Balance of an Arctic Coastal Plain Tundra Ecosystem Between 1970-2100, in Response to Projected Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lara, M. J.; McGuire, A. D.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Genet, H.; Sloan, V. L.; Iversen, C. M.; Norby, R. J.; Zhang, Y.; Yuan, F.

    2014-12-01

    Northern permafrost regions are estimated to cover 16% of the global soil area and account for approximately 50% of the global belowground organic carbon pool. However, there are considerable uncertainties regarding the fate of this soil carbon pool with projected climate warming over the next century. In northern Alaska, nearly 65% of the terrestrial surface is composed of polygonal tundra, where geomorphic land cover types such as high-, flat-, and low-center polygons influence local surface hydrology, plant community composition, nutrient and biogeochemical cycling, over small spatial scales. Due to the lack of representation of these fine-scale geomorphic types and ecosystem processes, in large-scale terrestrial ecosystem models, future uncertainties are large for this tundra region. In this study, we use a new version of the terrestrial ecosystem model (TEM), that couples a dynamic vegetation model (in which plant functional types compete for water, nitrogen, and light) with a dynamic soil organic model (in which temperature, moisture, and associated organic/inorganic carbon and nitrogen pools/fluxes vary together in vertically resolved layers) to simulate ecosystem carbon balance. We parameterized and calibrated this model using data specific to the local climate, vegetation, and soil associated with tundra geomorphic types. We extrapolate model results at a 1km2 resolution across the ~1800 km2 Barrow Peninsula using a tundra geomorphology map, describing ten dominant geomorphic tundra types (Lara et al. submitted), to estimate the likely change in landscape-level carbon balance between 1970 and 2100 in response to projected climate change. Preliminary model runs for this region indicated temporal variability in carbon and active layer dynamics, specific to tundra geomorphic type over time. Overall, results suggest that it is important to consider small-scale discrete polygonal tundra geomorphic types that control local structure and function in regional

  4. High Arctic Hillslope-Wetland Linkages: Types, Patterns and Importance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, K. L.; Abnizova, A.

    2012-12-01

    High Arctic wetlands are lush areas in an otherwise barren landscape. They help to store and replenish water and they serve as significant resting and breeding grounds for migratory birds. In addition, they provide rich grazing grounds for arctic fauna such as muskox and caribou. Arctic wetlands can be small, patchy grounds of wet vegetation or they can encompass large zones characterized by lakes, ponds, wet meadows, and, often times, they are inter-mixed with areas of dry ground. While seasonal snowmelt continues to remain the most critical source of water for recharging ponds, lakes, and meadows in these environments, less is known about the role of lateral inputs of water into low-lying wetlands, namely water flowing into these wetland ecosystems from adjacent hillslopes, which often surround them. This paper will review the different modes of hillslope runoff into both patchy and regional-scale wetlands including late-lying snowbeds, snow-filled creeks, and both small and large (>1st order) streams. It will draw upon field results from four arctic islands (Ellesmere, Cornwallis, Somerset and Bathurst Island) and a research period which spans from the mid'90s until present. Our study will evaluate seasonal and inter-seasonal patterns of snowmelt driven discharge (initiation, duration), timing, and magnitude of peak flows, in addition to stream response to rainfall and dry episodes. The impacts of these lateral water sources for a range of wetlands (ponds, wet meadows) will include an analysis of water level fluctuations (frequency, duration), shrinkage/expansion rates, and water quality. Finally, this study will surmise how these types of lateral hillslope inflows might shift in the future and suggest the impact of these changes on the sustainability of High Arctic wetland terrain.

  5. [PATTERNS IN CIRCULATION AND TRANSMISSION OF MARINE BIRD PARASITES IN HIGH ARCTIC: A CASE OF ACANTHOCEPHALAN POLYMORPHUS PHIPPSI (PALAEACANTHOCEPHALA, POLYMORPHIDAE)].

    PubMed

    Galaktionov, K V; Atrashkevich, G I

    2015-01-01

    This study, based on the materials on parasitic infection of marine birds and invertebrates in Frantz Josef Land (FJL) collected in 1991-1993, focussed on the acanthocephalan Polymorphus phippsi. We identified this parasite, confirmed its species status and analysed its circulation and transmission patterns in high Arctic. The causes of its erroneous identification as P. minutus in several studies were also examined. In contrast to P. minutus, the transmission of P. phippsi is realized in marine coastal ecosystems. Its' main intermediate host in the Arctic is the amphipod Gammarus (Lagunogammarus) setosus, commonin coastal. areas of the shelf zone throughout the Arctic basin. P. phippsi population in FJL and the entire European Arctic is on the whole maintained by a single obligate final host, the common eider Somateria mollissima. Prevalence (P) of P. phippsi in this bird reached 100 %, with the maximal infection intensity (IImax) of 1188 and the mean abundance (MA) of 492.1. Other species of birds found to be infected with P. phippsi (Arctic turn, black guillemot, purple sandpiper and several gulls) are facultative and/or eliminative hosts. The most heavily infected birds were Arctic terns (P = 72.7%, IImax = 227, MA = = 47.1), which contained single mature acanthocephalans. For one of the FJL regions, infections flows of P. phippsi through various host categories were calculated. Involvement of birds unrelated to the common eider into the circulation of P. phippsi is facilitated by their feeding character in the Arctic. While coastal crustaceans are abundant, fish food is relatively scarce (polar cod, snailfishes), and so amphipods make up a considerable part of the diet of marine birds in FJL, if not most of it, as for instance in case of Arctic tern. This promotes an easy entry of the larvae of crustaceans-parasitizing helminthes (cestodes and acanthocephalans, including cystacanths P. phippsi) into non-specific hosts and opens broad colonization possibilities

  6. [PATTERNS IN CIRCULATION AND TRANSMISSION OF MARINE BIRD PARASITES IN HIGH ARCTIC: A CASE OF ACANTHOCEPHALAN POLYMORPHUS PHIPPSI (PALAEACANTHOCEPHALA, POLYMORPHIDAE)].

    PubMed

    Galaktionov, K V; Atrashkevich, G I

    2015-01-01

    This study, based on the materials on parasitic infection of marine birds and invertebrates in Frantz Josef Land (FJL) collected in 1991-1993, focussed on the acanthocephalan Polymorphus phippsi. We identified this parasite, confirmed its species status and analysed its circulation and transmission patterns in high Arctic. The causes of its erroneous identification as P. minutus in several studies were also examined. In contrast to P. minutus, the transmission of P. phippsi is realized in marine coastal ecosystems. Its' main intermediate host in the Arctic is the amphipod Gammarus (Lagunogammarus) setosus, commonin coastal. areas of the shelf zone throughout the Arctic basin. P. phippsi population in FJL and the entire European Arctic is on the whole maintained by a single obligate final host, the common eider Somateria mollissima. Prevalence (P) of P. phippsi in this bird reached 100 %, with the maximal infection intensity (IImax) of 1188 and the mean abundance (MA) of 492.1. Other species of birds found to be infected with P. phippsi (Arctic turn, black guillemot, purple sandpiper and several gulls) are facultative and/or eliminative hosts. The most heavily infected birds were Arctic terns (P = 72.7%, IImax = 227, MA = = 47.1), which contained single mature acanthocephalans. For one of the FJL regions, infections flows of P. phippsi through various host categories were calculated. Involvement of birds unrelated to the common eider into the circulation of P. phippsi is facilitated by their feeding character in the Arctic. While coastal crustaceans are abundant, fish food is relatively scarce (polar cod, snailfishes), and so amphipods make up a considerable part of the diet of marine birds in FJL, if not most of it, as for instance in case of Arctic tern. This promotes an easy entry of the larvae of crustaceans-parasitizing helminthes (cestodes and acanthocephalans, including cystacanths P. phippsi) into non-specific hosts and opens broad colonization possibilities

  7. CARVE: The Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Charles E.; Dinardo, Steven J.

    2012-01-01

    The Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) is a NASA Earth Ventures (EV-1) investigation designed to quantify correlations between atmospheric and surface state variables for the Alaskan terrestrial ecosystems through intensive seasonal aircraft campaigns, ground-based observations, and analysis sustained over a 5-year mission. CARVE bridges critical gaps in our knowledge and understanding of Arctic ecosystems, linkages between the Arctic hydrologic and terrestrial carbon cycles, and the feedbacks from fires and thawing permafrost. CARVE's objectives are to: (1) Directly test hypotheses attributing the mobilization of vulnerable Arctic carbon reservoirs to climate warming; (2) Deliver the first direct measurements and detailed maps of CO2 and CH4 sources on regional scales in the Alaskan Arctic; and (3) Demonstrate new remote sensing and modeling capabilities to quantify feedbacks between carbon fluxes and carbon cycle-climate processes in the Arctic (Figure 1). We describe the investigation design and results from 2011 test flights in Alaska.

  8. The Circumpolar Arctic vegetation map

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walker, Donald A.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Daniels, F.J.A.; Einarsson, E.; Elvebakk, A.; Gould, W.A.; Katenin, A.E.; Kholod, S.S.; Markon, C.J.; Melnikov, E.S.; Moskalenko, N.G.; Talbot, S. S.; Yurtsev, B.A.; Bliss, L.C.; Edlund, S.A.; Zoltai, S.C.; Wilhelm, M.; Bay, C.; Gudjonsson, G.; Ananjeva, G.V.; Drozdov, D.S.; Konchenko, L.A.; Korostelev, Y.V.; Ponomareva, O.E.; Matveyeva, N.V.; Safranova, I.N.; Shelkunova, R.; Polezhaev, A.N.; Johansen, B.E.; Maier, H.A.; Murray, D.F.; Fleming, Michael D.; Trahan, N.G.; Charron, T.M.; Lauritzen, S.M.; Vairin, B.A.

    2005-01-01

    Question: What are the major vegetation units in the Arctic, what is their composition, and how are they distributed among major bioclimate subzones and countries? Location: The Arctic tundra region, north of the tree line. Methods: A photo-interpretive approach was used to delineate the vegetation onto an Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) base image. Mapping experts within nine Arctic regions prepared draft maps using geographic information technology (ArcInfo) of their portion of the Arctic, and these were later synthesized to make the final map. Area analysis of the map was done according to bioclimate subzones, and country. The integrated mapping procedures resulted in other maps of vegetation, topography, soils, landscapes, lake cover, substrate pH, and above-ground biomass. Results: The final map was published at 1:7 500 000 scale map. Within the Arctic (total area = 7.11 x 106 km 2), about 5.05 ?? 106 km2 is vegetated. The remainder is ice covered. The map legend generally portrays the zonal vegetation within each map polygon. About 26% of the vegetated area is erect shrublands, 18% peaty graminoid tundras, 13% mountain complexes, 12% barrens, 11% mineral graminoid tundras, 11% prostrate-shrub tundras, and 7% wetlands. Canada has by far the most terrain in the High Arctic mostly associated with abundant barren types and prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra, whereas Russia has the largest area in the Low Arctic, predominantly low-shrub tundra. Conclusions: The CAVM is the first vegetation map of an entire global biome at a comparable resolution. The consistent treatment of the vegetation across the circumpolar Arctic, abundant ancillary material, and digital database should promote the application to numerous land-use, and climate-change applications and will make updating the map relatively easy. ?? IAVS; Opulus Press.

  9. Chytrids dominate arctic marine fungal communities.

    PubMed

    Hassett, B T; Gradinger, R

    2016-06-01

    Climate change is altering Arctic ecosystem structure by changing weather patterns and reducing sea ice coverage. These changes are increasing light penetration into the Arctic Ocean that are forecasted to increase primary production; however, increased light can also induce photoinhibition and cause physiological stress in algae and phytoplankton that can favour disease development. Fungi are voracious parasites in many ecosystems that can modulate the flow of carbon through food webs, yet are poorly characterized in the marine environment. We provide the first data from any marine ecosystem in which fungi in the Chytridiomycota dominate fungal communities and are linked in their occurrence to light intensities and algal stress. Increased light penetration stresses ice algae and elevates disease incidence under reduced snow cover. Our results show that chytrids dominate Arctic marine fungal communities and have the potential to rapidly change primary production patterns with increased light penetration.

  10. Chytrids dominate arctic marine fungal communities.

    PubMed

    Hassett, B T; Gradinger, R

    2016-06-01

    Climate change is altering Arctic ecosystem structure by changing weather patterns and reducing sea ice coverage. These changes are increasing light penetration into the Arctic Ocean that are forecasted to increase primary production; however, increased light can also induce photoinhibition and cause physiological stress in algae and phytoplankton that can favour disease development. Fungi are voracious parasites in many ecosystems that can modulate the flow of carbon through food webs, yet are poorly characterized in the marine environment. We provide the first data from any marine ecosystem in which fungi in the Chytridiomycota dominate fungal communities and are linked in their occurrence to light intensities and algal stress. Increased light penetration stresses ice algae and elevates disease incidence under reduced snow cover. Our results show that chytrids dominate Arctic marine fungal communities and have the potential to rapidly change primary production patterns with increased light penetration. PMID:26754171

  11. Biodiversity of the Arctic Ocean in the Face of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Węsławski, Jan Marcin

    2011-01-01

    Global climate changes which has been observed over the recent years affects organisms occurring in the Arctic seas and the functioning of the whole maritime ecosystems there. The research note presents and briefly analyses the biological diversity of the Arctic Ocean and the most important factors which change the relations between organisms and the environment in the Arctic.

  12. Biodiversity of the Arctic Ocean in the Face of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Węsławski, Jan Marcin

    2011-01-01

    Global climate changes which has been observed over the recent years affects organisms occurring in the Arctic seas and the functioning of the whole maritime ecosystems there. The research note presents and briefly analyses the biological diversity of the Arctic Ocean and the most important factors which change the relations between organisms and the environment in the Arctic

  13. Islands of the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dowdeswell, Julian; Hambrey, Michael

    2002-11-01

    The Arctic islands are characterized by beautiful mountains and glaciers, in which the wildlife lives in delicate balance with its environment. It is a fragile region with a long history of exploration and exploitation that is now experiencing rapid environmental change. All of these themes are explored in Islands of the Arctic, a richly illustrated volume with superb photographs from the Canadian Arctic archipelago, Greenland, Svalbard and the Russian Arctic. It begins with the various processes shaping the landscape: glaciers, rivers and coastal processes, the role of ice in the oceans and the weather and climate. Julian Dowdeswell and Michael Hambrey describe the flora and fauna in addition to the human influences on the environment, from the sustainable approach of the Inuit, to the devastating damage inflicted by hunters and issues arising from the presence of military security installations. Finally, they consider the future prospects of the Arctic islands Julian Dowdeswell is Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute and Professor of Physical Geography at 0he University of Cambridge. He received the Polar Medal from Queen Elizabeth for his contributions to the study of glacier geophysics and the Gill Memorial Award from the Royal Geographical Society. He is chair of the Publications Committee of the International Glaciological Society and head of the Glaciers and Ice Sheets Division of the International Commission for Snow and Ice. Michael Hambrey is Director of the Centre for Glaciology at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. A past recipient of the Polar Medal, he was also given the Earth Science Editors' Outstanding Publication Award for Glaciers (Cambridge University Press). Hambrey is also the author of Glacial Environments (British Columbia, 1994).

  14. Interactions of aquaculture, marine coastal ecosystems, and near-shore waters: A bibliography. Bibliographies and literature of agriculture (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Hanfman, D.T.; Coleman, D.E.; Tibbitt, S.J.

    1991-01-01

    The bibliography contains selected literature citations on the interactions of aquaculture and marine coastal ecosystems. The focus is on aquaculture effluents and their impact on marine coastal ecosystems and waterways as well as the impact of pollutants on aquaculture development. Factors affecting these issues include domestic and industrial wastes, thermal discharges, acid rain, heavy metals, oil spills, and microbial contamination of marine waters and aquatic species. Coastal zone management, environmenal impact of aquaculture, and water quality issues are also included in the bibliography.

  15. Arctic Clouds

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-19

    ...   View Larger Image Stratus clouds are common in the Arctic during the summer months, and are important modulators of ... from MISR's two most obliquely forward-viewing cameras. The cold, stable air causes the clouds to persist in stratified layers, and this ...

  16. Early Season Goose Grazing Has a Greater Effect Than Advancement of the Growing Season on Net Ecosystem Exchange in a Sub-Arctic Coastal Wetland of Western Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leffler, A. J.; Choi, R. T.; Beard, K. H.; Schmutz, J. A.; Welker, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    The wetlands of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in western Alaska are important breeding areas for geese and are experiencing rapid climate change. Growing seasons now begin earlier but geese have not advanced their breeding enough to match the advancement of spring. Consequently, geese enter a greener system that may be less nutritious than in the past because grasses and sedges have highest nutrient density shortly following emergence. One consequence of this changing phenology is that vegetation consumed by geese and returned as feces may have a different carbon to nitrogen ratio than in the past, which may influence net ecosystem exchange (NEE). We examine the effect of the advancement of the growing season and different arrival times by Brant Geese on NEE. Our study consists of six experimental blocks, each with nine plots. Half of the plots are warmed to advance the growing season. Two plots each receive early, mid, and late season grazing; the remaining two plots are not grazed and there is one control plot. In one block, we monitor NEE hourly with an automatic gas exchange system. In the other blocks, survey measurements of NEE and ecosystem respiration (ER) are made periodically with a portable system. Geese remove considerable vegetation from the system and maintain "grazing lawns" <1 cm tall of high quality forage. Plots grazed in the early summer were net sources of C to the atmosphere, releasing ca. 2-4 g m-2 d-1. Non-grazed plots were C sinks of similar magnitude. Grazing had little effect on ER but an advanced growing season enhanced ER in the plots by ca. 0.5 μmol m-2 s-1. We observed a similar advanced growing season effect on NEE that we attribute to enhanced ER. Consequently, the larger influence on NEE in the system is grazing and this influence is through removal of photosynthetic tissue. Grazing by Brant Geese shifts large areas of this coastal wetland to a C source while advanced growing season only reduces the strength of the C sink.

  17. Arctic soil microbial diversity in a changing world.

    PubMed

    Blaud, Aimeric; Lerch, Thomas Z; Phoenix, Gareth K; Osborn, A Mark

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic region is a unique environment, subject to extreme environmental conditions, shaping life therein and contributing to its sensitivity to environmental change. The Arctic is under increasing environmental pressure from anthropogenic activity and global warming. The unique microbial diversity of Arctic regions, that has a critical role in biogeochemical cycling and in the production of greenhouse gases, will be directly affected by and affect, global changes. This article reviews current knowledge and understanding of microbial taxonomic and functional diversity in Arctic soils, the contributions of microbial diversity to ecosystem processes and their responses to environmental change. PMID:26275598

  18. Arctic soil microbial diversity in a changing world.

    PubMed

    Blaud, Aimeric; Lerch, Thomas Z; Phoenix, Gareth K; Osborn, A Mark

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic region is a unique environment, subject to extreme environmental conditions, shaping life therein and contributing to its sensitivity to environmental change. The Arctic is under increasing environmental pressure from anthropogenic activity and global warming. The unique microbial diversity of Arctic regions, that has a critical role in biogeochemical cycling and in the production of greenhouse gases, will be directly affected by and affect, global changes. This article reviews current knowledge and understanding of microbial taxonomic and functional diversity in Arctic soils, the contributions of microbial diversity to ecosystem processes and their responses to environmental change.

  19. Arctic Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the Earth's four major oceans, covering 14x10(exp 6) sq km located entirely within the Arctic Circle (66 deg 33 min N). It is a major player in the climate of the north polar region and has a variable sea ice cover that tends to increase its sensitivity to climate change. Its temperature, salinity, and ice cover have all undergone changes in the past several decades, although it is uncertain whether these predominantly reflect long-term trends, oscillations within the system, or natural variability. Major changes include a warming and expansion of the Atlantic layer, at depths of 200-900 m, a warming of the upper ocean in the Beaufort Sea, a considerable thinning (perhaps as high as 40%) of the sea ice cover, a lesser and uneven retreat of the ice cover (averaging approximately 3% per decade), and a mixed pattern of salinity increases and decreases.

  20. USEPA'S FINAL ECOSYSTEM AND SERVICES (FEGS) CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM: Concept to Implementation and Links with EnviroAtlas

    EPA Science Inventory

    For the last decade ecosystem services have received increasing focus, yet the natural and social scientists working on mainstreaming these concepts are still struggling with the basic issues. One of such issue is developing a framework that avoids double counting, provides guid...

  1. Carbon Isotopic Studies of Assimilated and Ecosystem Respired CO2 in a Southeastern Pine Forest. Final Report and Conference Proceedings

    SciTech Connect

    Conte, Maureen H

    2008-04-10

    Carbon dioxide is the major “greenhouse” gas responsible for global warming. Southeastern pine forests appear to be among the largest terrestrial sinks of carbon dioxide in the US. This collaborative study specifically addressed the isotopic signatures of the large fluxes of carbon taken up by photosynthesis and given off by respiration in this ecosystem. By measuring these isotopic signatures at the ecosystem level, we have provided data that will help to more accurately quantify the magnitude of carbon fluxes on the regional scale and how these fluxes vary in response to climatic parameters such as rainfall and air temperature. The focus of the MBL subcontract was to evaluate how processes operating at the physiological and ecosystem scales affects the resultant isotopic signature of plant waxes that are emitted as aerosols into the convective boundary layer. These wax aerosols provide a large-spatial scale integrative signal of isotopic discrimination of atmospheric carbon dioxide by terrestrial photosynthesis (Conte and Weber 2002). The ecosystem studies have greatly expanded of knowledge of wax biosynthetic controls on their isootpic signature The wax aerosol data products produced under this grant are directly applicable as input for global carbon modeling studies that use variations in the concentration and carbon isotopic composition of atmospheric carbon dioxide to quantify the magnitude and spatial and temporal patterns of carbon uptake on the global scale.

  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. Final Ecosystem Goods and Services in Streams and their Linkages to Human Values: Identification of Metrics and the Gap Between What we Measure and What We Want to Know

    EPA Science Inventory

    We've been examining how to practically link ecosystems to human values. We have found that the concept "Final Ecosystem Goods and Services" (FEGS) is a useful way to make this linkage. FEGS are defined as ecological features people perceive as being directly relevant to their ...

  4. The Arctic Report Card: Communicating the State of the Rapidly Changing Arctic to a Diverse Audience via the Worldwide Web

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeffries, M. O.; Richter-Menge, J.; Overland, J. E.; Soreide, N. N.

    2013-12-01

    Rapid change is occurring throughout the Arctic environmental system. The goal of the Arctic Report Card is to communicate the nature of the many changes to a diverse audience via the Worldwide Web. First published in 2006, the Arctic Report Card is a peer-reviewed publication containing clear, reliable and concise scientific information on the current state of the Arctic environment relative to observational records. Available only online, it is intended to be an authoritative source for scientists, teachers, students, decision-makers, policy-makers and the general public interested in the Arctic environment and science. The Arctic Report Card is organized into five sections: Atmosphere; Sea Ice & Ocean; Marine Ecosystem; Terrestrial Ecosystem; Terrestrial Cryosphere. Arctic Report Card 2012, the sixth annual update, comprised 20 essays on physical and biological topics prepared by an international team of 141 scientists from 15 different countries. For those who want a quick summary, the Arctic Report Card home page provides highlights of key events and findings, and a short video that is also available on YouTube. The release of the Report Card each autumn is preceded by a NOAA press release followed by a press conference, when the Web site is made public. The release of Arctic Report Card 2012 at an AGU Fall Meeting press conference on 5 December 2012 was subsequently reported by leading media organizations. The NOAA Arctic Web site, of which the Report Card is a part, is consistently at the top of Google search results for the keyword 'arctic', and the Arctic Report Card Web site tops search results for keyword "arctic report" - pragmatic indications of a Web site's importance and popularity. As another indication of the Web site's impact, in December 2012, the month when the 2012 update was released, the Arctic Report Card Web site was accessed by 19,851 unique sites in 105 countries, and 4765 Web site URLs referred to the Arctic Report Card. The 2012 Arctic

  5. Arctic parasitology: why should we care?

    PubMed

    Davidson, Rebecca; Simard, Manon; Kutz, Susan J; Kapel, Christian M O; Hamnes, Inger S; Robertson, Lucy J

    2011-06-01

    The significant impact on human and animal health from parasitic infections in tropical regions is well known, but parasites of medical and veterinary importance are also found in the Arctic. Subsistence hunting and inadequate food inspection can expose people of the Arctic to foodborne parasites. Parasitic infections can influence the health of wildlife populations and thereby food security. The low ecological diversity that characterizes the Arctic imparts vulnerability. In addition, parasitic invasions and altered transmission of endemic parasites are evident and anticipated to continue under current climate changes, manifesting as pathogen range expansion, host switching, and/or disease emergence or reduction. However, Arctic ecosystems can provide useful models for understanding climate-induced shifts in host-parasite ecology in other regions.

  6. Arctic contaminants research program: Research plan

    SciTech Connect

    Landers, D.H.; Ford, J.; Allen, S.; Curtis, L.; Omernik, J.M.

    1992-12-01

    The research plan was initially intended to contain the information needed to evaluate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Arctic Contaminant Research Program (ACRP). The scientific aspects of the proposed research form the main body of the document and focus on objectives of the specific research components, current literature, approach, and rationale. The ACRP has three major components: (1) extensive sampling of lichens, mosses, and soils to provide a spatial understanding of the status and extent of contaminants present in arctic ecosystems, (2) lake sediment research to evaluate the source and history of arctic contaminant inputs, and (3) food web research to evaluate the possible effects of atmospherically transported pollutants on arctic food webs. The research plan will be used to provide a framework for the ACRP, based on the preliminary studies done to date and will be implemented over the next five years. The Program will undergo additional peer reviews at two-year intervals in the future.

  7. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, Coastal Plain Resource Assessment: Report and recommendation to the Congress of the United States and final legislative environmental impact statement

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    1987-01-01

    The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in the northeastern corner of Alaska, was first established as the Arctic National Wildlife Range by Public Land Order 2214 in 1960, for the purpose of preserving unique wildlife, wilderness, and recreational values. The original 8.9-millionacre Range was withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the public land laws, including mining laws but not including mineral leasing laws. This order culminated extensive efforts begun more than a decade earlier to preserve this unique part of Alaska. The following report analyzes the potential environmental consequences of five management alternatives for the coastal plain, ranging from opening for lease of the entire area for oil and gas development, to wilderness designation. A legislative environmental impact statement has been integrated into the report.

  8. Arctic Social Sciences: Opportunities in Arctic Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, Fairbanks, AK.

    The U.S. Congress passed the Arctic Research and Policy Act in 1984 and designated the National Science Foundation (NSF) the lead agency in implementing arctic research policy. In 1989, the parameters of arctic social science research were outlined, emphasizing three themes: human-environment interactions, community viability, and rapid social…

  9. Arctic Languages: An Awakening.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collis, Dermid R. F., Ed.

    This work is a study of Arctic languages written in an interdisciplinary manner. Part of the Unesco Arctic project aimed at safeguarding the linguistic heritage of Arctic peoples, the book is the outcome of three Unesco meetings at which conceptual approaches to and practical plans for the study of Arctic cultures and languages were worked out.…

  10. Role of Siderophores in Dissimilatory Iron Reduction in Arctic Soils : Effect of Direct Amendment of Siderophores to Arctic Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivas, A. J.; Dinsdale, E. A.; Lipson, D.

    2014-12-01

    Dissimilatory iron reduction (DIR), where ferric iron (Fe3+) is reduced to ferrous iron (Fe2+) anaerobically, is an important respiratory pathway used by soil bacteria. DIR contributes to carbon dioxide (CO2) efflux from the wet sedge tundra biome in the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) in Alaska, and could competitively inhibit the production of methane, a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, from arctic soils. The occurrence of DIR as a dominant anaerobic process depends on the availability of substantial levels of Fe3+ in soils. Siderophores are metabolites made by microbes to dissolve Fe3+ from soil minerals in iron deficient systems, making Fe3+ soluble for micronutrient uptake. However, as the ACP is not iron deficient, siderophores in arctic soils may play a vital role in anaerobic respiration by dissolving Fe3+ for DIR. We studied the effects of direct siderophore addition to arctic soils through a field study conducted in Barrow, Alaska, and a laboratory incubation study conducted at San Diego State University. In the field experiment, 50μM deferroxamine mesylate (a siderophore), 50μM trisodium nitrilotriacetate (an organic chelator) or an equal volume of water was added to isolated experimental plots, replicated in clusters across the landscape. Fe2+ concentrations were measured in soil pore water samples collected periodically to measure DIR over time in each. In the laboratory experiment, frozen soil samples obtained from drained thaw lake basins in the ACP, were cut into cores and treated with the above-mentioned compounds to the same final concentrations. Along with measuring Fe2+ concentrations, CO2 output was also measured to monitor DIR over time in each core. Experimental addition of siderophores to soils in both the field and laboratory resulted in increased concentrations of soluble Fe3+ and a sustained increase in Fe2+concentrations over time, along with increased respiration rates in siderophore-amended cores. These results show increased DIR in

  11. Final Report on "Rising CO2 and Long-term Carbon Storage in Terrestrial Ecosystems: An Empirical Carbon Budget Validation"

    SciTech Connect

    J. Patrick Megonigal; Bert G. Drake

    2010-08-27

    The primary goal of this report is to report the results of Grant DE-FG02-97ER62458, which began in 1997 as Grant DOE-98-59-MP-4 funded through the TECO program. However, this project has a longer history because DOE also funded this study from its inception in 1985 through 1997. The original grant was focused on plant responses to elevated CO2 in an intact ecosystem, while the latter grant was focused on belowground responses. Here we summarize the major findings across the 25 years this study has operated, and note that the experiment will continue to run through 2020 with NSF support. The major conclusions of the study to date are: (1 Elevated CO2 stimulated plant productivity in the C3 plant community by ~30% during the 25 year study. The magnitude of the increase in productivity varied interannually and was sometime absent altogether. There is some evidence of down-regulation at the ecosystem level across the 25 year record that may be due to interactions with other factors such as sea-level rise or long-term changes in N supply; (2) Elevated CO2 stimulated C4 productivity by <10%, perhaps due to more efficient water use, but C3 plants at elevated CO2 did not displace C4 plants as predicted; (3) Increased primary production caused a general stimulation of microbial processes, but there were both increases and decreases in activity depending on the specific organisms considered. An increase in methanogenesis and methane emissions implies elevated CO2 may amplify radiative forcing in the case of wetland ecosystems; (4) Elevated CO2 stimulated soil carbon sequestration in the form of an increase in elevation. The increase in elevation is 50-100% of the increase in net ecosystem production caused by elevated CO2 (still under analysis). The increase in soil elevation suggests the elevated CO2 may have a positive outcome for the ability of coastal wetlands to persist despite accelerated sea level rise; (5) Crossing elevated CO2 with elevated N causes the elevated CO

  12. Artificial warming of arctic meadow under pollution stress: Experimental design

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Boreal and arctic terrestrial ecosystems are central to the climate change debate, notably because future warming is expected to be disproportionate as compared to world averages. Likewise, greenhouse gas (GHG) release from terrestrial ecosystems exposed to climate warming is expected to be the larg...

  13. Predicting the response of a temperate forest ecosystem to atmospheric CO{sub 2} increase. Final report, 1984--1995

    SciTech Connect

    Bazzaz, F.A.

    1995-12-31

    This document describes the most recent progress made in several areas of the project. Details of individual experiments in the following areas are provided: (1) the impact of soil volume on the physiological acclimation of temperate deciduous trees in elevated CO{sub 2}; (2) growth under elevated CO{sub 2}: the shape as well as the size of pots is important; (3) a survey of growth responses of temperate deciduous trees to elevated CO{sub 2}; (4) a survey of closely related birch species; (5) the response of temperate deciduous tress to CO{sub 2} in variable light and nutrients conditions; (6) elevated CO{sub 2} differentially alters the response of birch and maple seedlings to a moisture gradient; (7) population dynamics; (8) heat shock in elevated CO{sub 2}: is there a change in temperature sensitivity; (9) response of temperate deciduous trees to CO{sub 2} in variable light and nutrient conditions; (10) changes in tree community composition and their consequences to ecosystem productivity; and (11) species diversity and ecosystem response to carbon dioxide fertilization.

  14. Arctic technology and policy

    SciTech Connect

    Dyer, I.; Chryssostomidis, C.

    1984-01-01

    Topics covered include: legal regime of the arctic, including national and international legal frameworks that govern arctic resource development; environmental policy and socio-economic issues, focusing on the political and economic considerations of LNG transport in icebound waterways; risk and safety assessment for arctic offshore projects, drilling systems for the arctic; arctic offshore technology, including island, steel, and concrete structures; icebreaking technology, focusing on the current state of the art and indicating future research areas; arctic oceanography, summarizing characteristics of ice from field experiments pertaining to the design of structures, ships, and pipelines; arctic seismic exploration, detailing signal processes for underwater communication in the context of arctic geology and geophysics; ice morphology, providing information about ice shapes, particularly critical to the determination of overall strength of ice masses; remote sensing; modeling of arctic ice fields, including information about the design and construction of offshore facilities in polar areas; and engineering properties of ice, providing theoretical and experimental studies.

  15. Vegetation greening in the Canadian Arctic related to decadal warming.

    PubMed

    Jia, Gensuo J; Epstein, Howard E; Walker, Donald A

    2009-12-01

    This study is presented within the context that climate warming and sea-ice decline has been occurring throughout much of the Arctic over the past several decades, and that terrestrial ecosystems at high latitudes are sensitive to the resultant alterations in surface temperatures. Results are from analyzing interannual satellite records of vegetation greenness across a bioclimate gradient of the Canadian Arctic over the period of 1982-2006. Here, we combine multi-scale sub-pixel analysis and remote sensing time-series analysis to investigate recent decadal changes in vegetation greenness along spatial gradients of summer temperature and vegetation. Linear autoregression temporal analysis of vegetation greenness was performed with relatively "pure" vegetation pixels of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data, spanning Low Arctic, High Arctic and polar desert ecosystems. Vegetation greenness generally increased over tundra ecosystems in the past two decades. Peak annual greenness increased 0.49-0.79%/yr over the High Arctic where prostrate dwarf shrubs, forbs, mosses and lichens dominate and 0.46-0.67%/yr over the Low Arctic where erect dwarf shrubs and graminoids dominate. However, magnitudes of vegetation greenness differ with length of time series and periods considered, indicating a nonlinear response of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change. The decadal increases of greenness reflect increasing vegetation production during the peak of the growing season, and were likely driven by the recent warming.

  16. Arctic Browning: vegetation damage and implications for carbon balance.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treharne, Rachael; Bjerke, Jarle; Emberson, Lisa; Tømmervik, Hans; Phoenix, Gareth

    2016-04-01

    'Arctic browning' is the loss of biomass and canopy in Arctic ecosystems. This process is often driven by climatic and biological extreme events - notably extreme winter warm periods, winter frost-drought and severe outbreaks of defoliating insects. Evidence suggests that browning is becoming increasingly frequent and severe at the pan-arctic scale, a view supported by observations from more intensely observed regions, with major and unprecedented vegetation damage reported at landscape (>1000km2) and regional (Nordic Arctic Region) scales in recent years. Critically, the damage caused by these extreme events is in direct opposition to 'Arctic greening', the well-established increase in productivity and shrub abundance observed at high latitudes in response to long-term warming. This opposition creates uncertainty as to future anticipated vegetation change in the Arctic, with implications for Arctic carbon balance. As high latitude ecosystems store around twice as much carbon as the atmosphere, and vegetation impacts are key to determining rates of loss or gain of ecosystem carbon stocks, Arctic browning has the potential to influence the role of these ecosystems in global climate. There is therefore a clear need for a quantitative understanding of the impacts of browning events on key ecosystem carbon fluxes. To address this, field sites were chosen in central and northern Norway and in Svalbard, in areas known to have been affected by either climatic extremes or insect outbreak and subsequent browning in the past four years. Sites were chosen along a latitudinal gradient to capture both conditions already causing vegetation browning throughout the Norwegian Arctic, and conditions currently common at lower latitudes which are likely to become more damaging further North as climate change progresses. At each site the response of Net Ecosystem CO2 Exchange to light was measured using a LiCor LI6400 Portable Photosynthesis system and a custom vegetation chamber with

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Arctic seabirds transport marine-derived contaminants.

    PubMed

    Blais, Jules M; Kimpe, Lynda E; McMahon, Dominique; Keatley, Bronwyn E; Mallory, Mark L; Douglas, Marianne S V; Smol, John P

    2005-07-15

    Long-range atmospheric transport of pollutants is generally assumed to be the main vector for arctic contamination, because local pollution sources are rare. We show that arctic seabirds, which occupy high trophic levels in marine food webs, are the dominant vectors for the transport of marine-derived contaminants to coastal ponds. The sediments of ponds most affected by seabirds had 60 times higher DDT, 25 times higher mercury, and 10 times higher hexachlorobenzene concentrations than nearby control sites. Bird guano greatly stimulates biological productivity in these extreme environments but also serves as a major source of industrial and agricultural pollutants in these remote ecosystems.

  20. An Evidence-Based Evaluation of the Cumulative Effects of Tidal Freshwater and Estuarine Ecosystem Restoration on Endangered Juvenile Salmon in the Columbia River: Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Johnson, Gary E.; Thom, Ronald M.; Borde, Amy B.; Woodley, Christa M.; Weitkamp, Laurie A.; Buenau, Kate E.; Kropp, Roy K.

    2013-12-01

    measurements, data analyses, modeling, meta-analysis, and reanalysis of previously collected data sets. We identified a set of 12 ancillary hypotheses regarding habitat and salmon response. Each ancillary hypothesis states that the response metric will trend toward conditions at relatively undisturbed reference sites. We synthesized the evidence for and against the two necessary conditions by using eleven causal criteria: strength, consistency, specificity, temporality, biological gradient, plausibility, coherence, experiment, analogy, complete exposure pathway, and predictive performance. Our final evaluation included cumulative effects assessment because restoration is occurring at multiple sites and the collective effect is important to salmon recovery. We concluded that all five lines of evidence from the LCRE indicated positive habitat-based and fish-based responses to the restoration performed under the CEERP, although tide gate replacements on small sloughs were an exception. Our analyses suggested that hydrologic reconnections restore access for fish to move into a site to find prey produced there. Reconnections also restore the potential for the flux of prey from the site to the main stem river, where our data show that they are consumed by salmon. We infer that LCRE ecosystem restoration supports increased juvenile salmon growth and enhanced fitness (condition), thereby potentially improving survival rates during the early ocean stage.

  1. Comparison of produced water toxicity to Arctic and temperate species.

    PubMed

    Camus, L; Brooks, S; Geraudie, P; Hjorth, M; Nahrgang, J; Olsen, G H; Smit, M G D

    2015-03-01

    Produced water is the main discharge stream from oil and gas production. For offshore activities this water is usually discharged to the marine environment. Produced water contains traces of hydrocarbons such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as well as alkylphenols, which are relatively resistant to biodegradation and have been reported to cause adverse effects to marine organisms in laboratory studies. For management of produced water, risk-based tools have been developed using toxicity data for mainly non-Arctic species. Reliable risk assessment approaches for Arctic environments are requested to manage potential impacts of produced water associated with increased oil and gas activities in Arctic regions. In order to assess the applicability of existing risk tools for Arctic areas, basic knowledge on the sensitivity of Arctic species has to be developed. In the present study, acute and chronic toxicity of artificial produced water for 6 Arctic and 6 temperate species was experimentally tested and evaluated. The hazardous concentrations affecting 5% and 50% of the species were calculated from species sensitivity distribution curves. Hazardous concentrations were compared to elucidate whether temperate toxicity data used in risk assessment are sufficiently representative for Arctic species. From the study it can be concluded that hazardous concentration derived from individual species' toxicity data of temperate and Arctic species are comparable. However, the manner in which Arctic and non-Arctic populations and communities respond to exposure levels above established thresholds remains to be investigated. Hence, responses at higher levels of biological organization should be studied to reveal potential differences in sensitivities to produced water between Arctic and non-Arctic ecosystems. PMID:25521339

  2. Enhanced role of eddies in the Arctic marine biological pump.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Eiji; Onodera, Jonaotaro; Harada, Naomi; Honda, Makio C; Kimoto, Katsunori; Kikuchi, Takashi; Nishino, Shigeto; Matsuno, Kohei; Yamaguchi, Atsushi; Ishida, Akio; Kishi, Michio J

    2014-05-27

    The future conditions of Arctic sea ice and marine ecosystems are of interest not only to climate scientists, but also to economic and governmental bodies. However, the lack of widespread, year-long biogeochemical observations remains an obstacle to understanding the complicated variability of the Arctic marine biological pump. Here we show an early winter maximum of sinking biogenic flux in the western Arctic Ocean and illustrate the importance of shelf-break eddies to biological pumping from wide shelves to adjacent deep basins using a combination of year-long mooring observations and three-dimensional numerical modelling. The sinking flux trapped in the present study included considerable fresh organic material with soft tissues and was an order of magnitude larger than previous estimates. We predict that further reductions in sea ice will promote the entry of Pacific-origin biological species into the Arctic basin and accelerate biogeochemical cycles connecting the Arctic and subarctic oceans.

  3. Enhanced role of eddies in the Arctic marine biological pump

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Eiji; Onodera, Jonaotaro; Harada, Naomi; Honda, Makio C.; Kimoto, Katsunori; Kikuchi, Takashi; Nishino, Shigeto; Matsuno, Kohei; Yamaguchi, Atsushi; Ishida, Akio; Kishi, Michio J.

    2014-01-01

    The future conditions of Arctic sea ice and marine ecosystems are of interest not only to climate scientists, but also to economic and governmental bodies. However, the lack of widespread, year-long biogeochemical observations remains an obstacle to understanding the complicated variability of the Arctic marine biological pump. Here we show an early winter maximum of sinking biogenic flux in the western Arctic Ocean and illustrate the importance of shelf-break eddies to biological pumping from wide shelves to adjacent deep basins using a combination of year-long mooring observations and three-dimensional numerical modelling. The sinking flux trapped in the present study included considerable fresh organic material with soft tissues and was an order of magnitude larger than previous estimates. We predict that further reductions in sea ice will promote the entry of Pacific-origin biological species into the Arctic basin and accelerate biogeochemical cycles connecting the Arctic and subarctic oceans. PMID:24862402

  4. Sea ice, erosion, and vulnerability of Arctic coasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnhart, Katherine; Overeem, Irina; Kay, Jennifer; Anderson, Robert

    2015-04-01

    Coasts form the dynamic interface between the terrestrial and oceanic systems. In the Arctic, and in much of the world, the coast is a zone of relatively high population, infrastructure, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. A significant difference between Arctic and temperate coasts is the presence of sea ice. Sea ice influences Arctic coasts in two main ways: (1) the length of the sea ice-free season controls the length of time over which nearshore water can interact with the land, and (2) the location of the sea ice edge controls the fetch over which storm winds can blow over open water, resulting in changes in nearshore water level and wave field. The resulting nearshore hydrodynamic environment impacts all aspects of the coastal system. We first combine satellite records of sea ice with a simple model for wind-driven storm surge and waves to estimate how changes in the length and character of the sea ice-free season have impacted the nearshore hydrodynamic environment along Alaska's Beaufort Sea Coast for the period 1979-2012. This region has experienced some of the greatest changes in both sea ice cover and coastal erosion rates in the Arctic and is anticipated to experience significant change in the future. The median length of the 2012 open-water season along this stretch of coast, in comparison to 1979, expanded by 1.9 x. At the same time, coastal erosion rates increased from 8.7 m yr-1 to 19 m yr-1. At Drew Point, winds from the northwest result in increased water levels at the coast and control the process of submarine notch incision, the rate-limiting step of coastal retreat. When open-water conditions exist, the distance to the sea ice edge exerts control on the water level and wave field through its control on fetch. We find that the extreme values of water-level setup at Drew Point have increased consistently with increasing fetch. We then extend our analysis of the length of the open water season to the entire Arctic using both satellite

  5. Evolution of the Arctic Calanus complex: an Arctic marine avocado?

    PubMed

    Berge, Jørgen; Gabrielsen, Tove M; Moline, Mark; Renaud, Paul E

    2012-03-01

    Before man hunted the large baleen whales to near extinction by the end of the nineteenth century, Arctic ecosystems were strongly influenced by these large predators. Their main prey were zooplankton, among which the calanoid copepod species of the genus Calanus, long considered key elements of polar marine ecosystems, are particularly abundant. These herbivorous zooplankters display a range of adaptations to the highly seasonal environments of the polar oceans, most notably extensive energy reserves and seasonal migrations to deep waters where the non-feeding season is spent in diapause. Classical work in marine ecology has suggested that slow growth, long lifespan and large body size in zooplankton are specific adaptations to life in cold waters with short and unpredictable feeding seasons. Here, we challenge this understanding and, by using an analogy from the evolutionary and contemporary history of the avocado, argue that predation pressure by the now nearly extinct baleen whales was an important driving force in the evolution of life history diversity in the Arctic Calanus complex.

  6. Evolution of the Arctic Calanus complex: an Arctic marine avocado?

    PubMed

    Berge, Jørgen; Gabrielsen, Tove M; Moline, Mark; Renaud, Paul E

    2012-03-01

    Before man hunted the large baleen whales to near extinction by the end of the nineteenth century, Arctic ecosystems were strongly influenced by these large predators. Their main prey were zooplankton, among which the calanoid copepod species of the genus Calanus, long considered key elements of polar marine ecosystems, are particularly abundant. These herbivorous zooplankters display a range of adaptations to the highly seasonal environments of the polar oceans, most notably extensive energy reserves and seasonal migrations to deep waters where the non-feeding season is spent in diapause. Classical work in marine ecology has suggested that slow growth, long lifespan and large body size in zooplankton are specific adaptations to life in cold waters with short and unpredictable feeding seasons. Here, we challenge this understanding and, by using an analogy from the evolutionary and contemporary history of the avocado, argue that predation pressure by the now nearly extinct baleen whales was an important driving force in the evolution of life history diversity in the Arctic Calanus complex. PMID:22312184

  7. Arctic Climate and Atmospheric Planetary Waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Haekkinen, S.; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Analysis of a fifty-year record (1946-1995) of monthly-averaged sea level pressure data provides a link between the phases of planetary-scale sea level pressure waves and Arctic Ocean and ice variability. Results of this analysis show: (1) a breakdown of the dominant wave 1 pattern in the late 1960's, (2) shifts in the mean phase of waves 1 and 2 since this breakdown, (3) an eastward shift in the phases of both waves 1 and 2 during the years of simulated cyclonic Arctic Ocean circulation relative to their phases during the years of anticyclonic circulation, (4) a strong decadal variability of wave phase associated with simulated Arctic Ocean circulation changes. Finally, the Arctic atmospheric circulation patterns that emerge when waves 1 and 2 are in their extreme eastern and western positions suggest an alternative approach for determining significant forcing patterns of sea ice and high-latitude variability.

  8. Arctic Climate and Atmospheric Planetary Waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Haekkinen, S.

    2000-01-01

    Analysis of a fifty-year record (1946-1995) of monthly-averaged sea level pressure data provides a link between the phases of planetary-scale sea level pressure waves and Arctic Ocean and ice variability. Results of this analysis show: (1) a breakdown of the dominant wave I pattern in the late 1960's, (2) shifts in the mean phase of waves 1 and 2 since this breakdown, (3) an eastward shift in the phases of both waves 1 and 2 during the years of simulated cyclonic Arctic Ocean circulation relative to their phases during the years of anticyclonic circulation, (4) a strong decadal variability of wave phase associated with simulated Arctic Ocean circulation changes. Finally, the Arctic atmospheric circulation patterns that emerge when waves 1 and 2 are in their extreme eastern and western positions suggest an alternative approach to determine significant forcing patterns of sea ice and high-latitude variability.

  9. A new lungworm in muskoxen: an exploration in Arctic parasitology.

    PubMed

    Kutz, S J; Hoberg, E P; Polley, L

    2001-06-01

    Ruminants are vital elements of the Holarctic ecosystem. Little is known, however, of the structure or biology of their parasite fauna, particularly in North America. Global warming, coupled with increasing human activity in the Arctic, requires enhanced international interdisciplinary efforts to better understand the many factors, including parasites, that influence the population health of caribou, reindeer, muskoxen and wild sheep. The discovery of an unusual new genus of protostrongylid lung nematode in muskoxen from the central Canadian Arctic is described, and the intricacies of the parasite's relationship with its muskoxen definitive hosts, its gastropod intermediate hosts and the arctic environment are discussed.

  10. Plant-derived compounds stimulate the decomposition of organic matter in arctic permafrost soils.

    PubMed

    Wild, Birgit; Gentsch, Norman; Čapek, Petr; Diáková, Kateřina; Alves, Ricardo J Eloy; Bárta, Jiři; Gittel, Antje; Hugelius, Gustaf; Knoltsch, Anna; Kuhry, Peter; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Palmtag, Juri; Schleper, Christa; Schnecker, Jörg; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Torsvik, Vigdis L; Urich, Tim; Watzka, Margarete; Šantrůčková, Hana; Guggenberger, Georg; Richter, Andreas

    2016-05-09

    Arctic ecosystems are warming rapidly, which is expected to promote soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. In addition to the direct warming effect, decomposition can also be indirectly stimulated via increased plant productivity and plant-soil C allocation, and this so called "priming effect" might significantly alter the ecosystem C balance. In this study, we provide first mechanistic insights into the susceptibility of SOM decomposition in arctic permafrost soils to priming. By comparing 119 soils from four locations across the Siberian Arctic that cover all horizons of active layer and upper permafrost, we found that an increased availability of plant-derived organic C particularly stimulated decomposition in subsoil horizons where most of the arctic soil carbon is located. Considering the 1,035 Pg of arctic soil carbon, such an additional stimulation of decomposition beyond the direct temperature effect can accelerate net ecosystem C losses, and amplify the positive feedback to global warming.

  11. Plant-derived compounds stimulate the decomposition of organic matter in arctic permafrost soils.

    PubMed

    Wild, Birgit; Gentsch, Norman; Čapek, Petr; Diáková, Kateřina; Alves, Ricardo J Eloy; Bárta, Jiři; Gittel, Antje; Hugelius, Gustaf; Knoltsch, Anna; Kuhry, Peter; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Palmtag, Juri; Schleper, Christa; Schnecker, Jörg; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Torsvik, Vigdis L; Urich, Tim; Watzka, Margarete; Šantrůčková, Hana; Guggenberger, Georg; Richter, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Arctic ecosystems are warming rapidly, which is expected to promote soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. In addition to the direct warming effect, decomposition can also be indirectly stimulated via increased plant productivity and plant-soil C allocation, and this so called "priming effect" might significantly alter the ecosystem C balance. In this study, we provide first mechanistic insights into the susceptibility of SOM decomposition in arctic permafrost soils to priming. By comparing 119 soils from four locations across the Siberian Arctic that cover all horizons of active layer and upper permafrost, we found that an increased availability of plant-derived organic C particularly stimulated decomposition in subsoil horizons where most of the arctic soil carbon is located. Considering the 1,035 Pg of arctic soil carbon, such an additional stimulation of decomposition beyond the direct temperature effect can accelerate net ecosystem C losses, and amplify the positive feedback to global warming. PMID:27157964

  12. Plant-derived compounds stimulate the decomposition of organic matter in arctic permafrost soils

    PubMed Central

    Wild, Birgit; Gentsch, Norman; Čapek, Petr; Diáková, Kateřina; Alves, Ricardo J. Eloy; Bárta, Jiři; Gittel, Antje; Hugelius, Gustaf; Knoltsch, Anna; Kuhry, Peter; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Palmtag, Juri; Schleper, Christa; Schnecker, Jörg; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Torsvik, Vigdis L.; Urich, Tim; Watzka, Margarete; Šantrůčková, Hana; Guggenberger, Georg; Richter, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Arctic ecosystems are warming rapidly, which is expected to promote soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. In addition to the direct warming effect, decomposition can also be indirectly stimulated via increased plant productivity and plant-soil C allocation, and this so called “priming effect” might significantly alter the ecosystem C balance. In this study, we provide first mechanistic insights into the susceptibility of SOM decomposition in arctic permafrost soils to priming. By comparing 119 soils from four locations across the Siberian Arctic that cover all horizons of active layer and upper permafrost, we found that an increased availability of plant-derived organic C particularly stimulated decomposition in subsoil horizons where most of the arctic soil carbon is located. Considering the 1,035 Pg of arctic soil carbon, such an additional stimulation of decomposition beyond the direct temperature effect can accelerate net ecosystem C losses, and amplify the positive feedback to global warming. PMID:27157964

  13. Plant-derived compounds stimulate the decomposition of organic matter in arctic permafrost soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wild, Birgit; Gentsch, Norman; Čapek, Petr; Diáková, Kateřina; Alves, Ricardo J. Eloy; Bárta, Jiři; Gittel, Antje; Hugelius, Gustaf; Knoltsch, Anna; Kuhry, Peter; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Palmtag, Juri; Schleper, Christa; Schnecker, Jörg; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Torsvik, Vigdis L.; Urich, Tim; Watzka, Margarete; Šantrůčková, Hana; Guggenberger, Georg; Richter, Andreas

    2016-05-01

    Arctic ecosystems are warming rapidly, which is expected to promote soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. In addition to the direct warming effect, decomposition can also be indirectly stimulated via increased plant productivity and plant-soil C allocation, and this so called “priming effect” might significantly alter the ecosystem C balance. In this study, we provide first mechanistic insights into the susceptibility of SOM decomposition in arctic permafrost soils to priming. By comparing 119 soils from four locations across the Siberian Arctic that cover all horizons of active layer and upper permafrost, we found that an increased availability of plant-derived organic C particularly stimulated decomposition in subsoil horizons where most of the arctic soil carbon is located. Considering the 1,035 Pg of arctic soil carbon, such an additional stimulation of decomposition beyond the direct temperature effect can accelerate net ecosystem C losses, and amplify the positive feedback to global warming.

  14. Arctic-COLORS (Coastal Land Ocean Interactions in the Arctic) - a NASA field campaign scoping study to examine land-ocean interactions in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernes, P.; Tzortziou, M.; Salisbury, J.; Mannino, A.; Matrai, P.; Friedrichs, M. A.; Del Castillo, C. E.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic region is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet, triggering rapid social and economic changes and impacting both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Yet our understanding of critical processes and interactions along the Arctic land-ocean interface is limited. Arctic-COLORS is a Field Campaign Scoping Study funded by NASA's Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program that aims to improve understanding and prediction of land-ocean interactions in a rapidly changing Arctic coastal zone, and assess vulnerability, response, feedbacks and resilience of coastal ecosystems, communities and natural resources to current and future pressures. Specific science objectives include: - Quantify lateral fluxes to the arctic inner shelf from (i) rivers and (ii) the outer shelf/basin that affect biology, biodiversity, biogeochemistry (i.e. organic matter, nutrients, suspended sediment), and the processing rates of these constituents in coastal waters. - Evaluate the impact of the thawing of Arctic permafrost within the river basins on coastal biology, biodiversity and biogeochemistry, including various rates of community production and the role these may play in the health of regional economies. - Assess the impact of changing Arctic landfast ice and coastal sea ice dynamics. - Establish a baseline for comparison to future change, and use state-of-the-art models to assess impacts of environmental change on coastal biology, biodiversity and biogeochemistry. A key component of Arctic-COLORS will be the integration of satellite and field observations with coupled physical-biogeochemical models for predicting impacts of future pressures on Arctic, coastal ocean, biological processes and biogeochemical cycles. Through interagency and international collaborations, and through the organization of dedicated workshops, town hall meetings and presentations at international conferences, the scoping study engages the broader scientific community and invites participation of

  15. Airborne remote sensing of photosynthetic light use efficiency and carbon uptake along an Arctic transect in Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atherton, J.; Hill, T. C.; Prieto-Blanco, A.; Wade, T.; Clement, R.; Moncrieff, J.; Williams, M. D.; Disney, M.; Nichol, C. J.

    2009-12-01

    It is critical to understand the dynamics of ecosystem carbon uptake through seasonal changes and in response to environmental drivers. In this study we utilised aircraft based remote sensing and CO2/H2O flux monitoring systems to quantify changes in photosynthesis along an Arctic transect. The University of Edinburgh's (UK) research aircraft (a Diamond HK 36 TTC-ECO Dimona) was deployed in the Arctic during summer 2008 to carry out a series of transect-flights over a birch-mire mosaic site near Kevo, Finland as part of the Arctic Biosphere Atmosphere Coupling at Multiple Scales (ABACUS) project. The aircraft is equipped with automated dual field-of-view (hyperspectral) radiometers and CO2/H2O flux and meteorological instrumentation. Vegetation indices known to be related to photosynthetic light use efficiency (LUE), including the well established Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) and Solar-induced Fluorescence (SiF) as well as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) were calculated from the spectral data and matched in space to the CO2 flux measurements. We explored spatial relationships between NDVI and CO2 flux, LUE (CO2 flux / Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation) and PRI and finally SiF (calculated using the Fraunhofer infilling method) and relevant environmental drivers. Our results highlight the unique ability of an airborne platform to quantify ecosystem physiology across a landscape and demonstrate how such measurements can bridge the spatial gap between ground and satellite-based observations.

  16. Soot in the Arctic

    SciTech Connect

    Rosen, H.; Novakov, T.; Bodhaine, B. A.

    1981-01-01

    In this paper, substantial concentrations of graphitic carbon and its associated large optical absorption coefficient are observed in the Arctic. The graphitic content shows a dramatic increase from late fall to early spring, reaching levels that are comparable to those found in urban environments (i.e., the peak values in February are only about a factor of 10 less than the average levels found in New York City and a factor of three less than those found in Berkeley, California, and Denver, Colorado). Finally, if one ignores the possible contribution of natural burning processes which are expected to be small during this time of the year in the northern hemisphere, this graphitic component can be attributed directly to anthropogenic activity.

  17. Microbial cell retention in a melting High Arctic snowpack, Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarsky, Jakub; Björkman, Mats; Kühnel, Rafael; Hell, Katherina; Hodson, Andy; Sattler, Birgit; Psenner, Roland

    2014-05-01

    to the final 38 cm. The major ion composition (IC), pH, conductivity and cell abundances were measured. Results and conlusions The removal of microbial cells from a high arctic snowpack resembles an elution sequence similar to that of hydrophobic compounds a process that helps glaciers retain a microbial biomass upon their surface, even after the demise of the snow cover. The snowpack and the glacier surface therefore act as an accumulator of cells during the melt season. This suggests that wet snowpacks, even on the surface of high arctic glaciers, are likely to be dynamic ecosystems in their own right. In our study, a clear ion elution sequence was observed that resembled earlier reports and caused high concentrations of ions in snowpack runoff at the start of the snow melt, which rapidly decreased as snow melt proceeded. Chloride, sulfate, nitrate, sodium and potassium experienced a 50 % elution before 20 - 25 % of the snowpack water content was lost. By contrast, cell removal only reached the 50 % level after ~70 % snowpack depletion. In contrast to our expectations, the calculated cell budget between the initial and final snowpack (including the cell loss by elution), revealed a significant increase of the total cell numbers, i.e. more than twice the original number. Assuming aeolian deposition processes to be low, this suggests cell proliferation as a contribution to the observed "retention effect". Precipitation was the major cell contributor to the snowpack upon Midtre Lovénbreen. An overall low cell concentration was therefore found within the snowpack stratigraphy, where snow layers frequently showed cell abundances similar to those of cloud water. This was in contrast to the nearby and more wind exposed sites examined in the Kongsfjorden area in 2007. However, layers of higher dust deposition were concomitant with one order of magnitude higher cell abundances, indicating that wind dispersal from locally exposed rocks supplements the atmospheric cell input.

  18. ArcticDEM; A Publically Available, High Resolution Elevation Model of the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morin, Paul; Porter, Claire; Cloutier, Michael; Howat, Ian; Noh, Myoung-Jong; Willis, Michael; Bates, Brian; Willamson, Cathleen; Peterman, Kennith

    2016-04-01

    A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the Arctic is needed for a large number of reasons, including: measuring and understanding rapid, ongoing changes to the Arctic landscape resulting from climate change and human use and mitigation and adaptation planning for Arctic communities. The topography of the Arctic is more poorly mapped than most other regions of Earth due to logistical costs and the limits of satellite missions with low-latitude inclinations. A convergence of civilian, high-quality sub-meter stereo imagery; petascale computing and open source photogrammetry software has made it possible to produce a complete, very high resolution (2 to 8-meter posting), elevation model of the Arctic. A partnership between the US National Geospatial-intelligence Agency and a team led by the US National Science Foundation funded Polar Geospatial Center is using stereo imagery from DigitalGlobe's Worldview-1, 2 and 3 satellites and the Ohio State University's Surface Extraction with TIN-based Search-space Minimization (SETSM) software running on the University of Illinois's Blue Water supercomputer to address this challenge. The final product will be a seemless, 2-m posting digital surface model mosaic of the entire Arctic above 60 North including all of Alaska, Greenland and Kamchatka. We will also make available the more than 300,000 individual time-stamped DSM strip pairs that were used to assemble the mosaic. The Arctic DEM will have a vertical precision of better than 0.5m and can be used to examine changes in land surfaces such as those caused by permafrost degradation or the evolution of arctic rivers and floodplains. The data set can also be used to highlight changing geomorphology due to Earth surface mass transport processes occurring in active volcanic and glacial environments. When complete the ArcticDEM will catapult the Arctic from the worst to among the best mapped regions on Earth.

  19. How does climate change influence Arctic mercury?

    PubMed

    Stern, Gary A; Macdonald, Robie W; Outridge, Peter M; Wilson, Simon; Chételat, John; Cole, Amanda; Hintelmann, Holger; Loseto, Lisa L; Steffen, Alexandra; Wang, Feiyue; Zdanowicz, Christian

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that climate change is already having significant impacts on many aspects of transport pathways, speciation and cycling of mercury within Arctic ecosystems. For example, the extensive loss of sea-ice in the Arctic Ocean and the concurrent shift from greater proportions of perennial to annual types have been shown to promote changes in primary productivity, shift foodweb structures, alter mercury methylation and demethylation rates, and influence mercury distribution and transport across the ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere interface (bottom-up processes). In addition, changes in animal social behavior associated with changing sea-ice regimes can affect dietary exposure to mercury (top-down processes). In this review, we address these and other possible ramifications of climate variability on mercury cycling, processes and exposure by applying recent literature to the following nine questions; 1) What impact has climate change had on Arctic physical characteristics and processes? 2) How do rising temperatures affect atmospheric mercury chemistry? 3) Will a decrease in sea-ice coverage have an impact on the amount of atmospheric mercury deposited to or emitted from the Arctic Ocean, and if so, how? 4) Does climate affect air-surface mercury flux, and riverine mercury fluxes, in Arctic freshwater and terrestrial systems, and if so, how? 5) How does climate change affect mercury methylation/demethylation in different compartments in the Arctic Ocean and freshwater systems? 6) How will climate change alter the structure and dynamics of freshwater food webs, and thereby affect the bioaccumulation of mercury? 7) How will climate change alter the structure and dynamics of marine food webs, and thereby affect the bioaccumulation of marine mercury? 8) What are the likely mercury emissions from melting glaciers and thawing permafrost under climate change scenarios? and 9) What can be learned from current mass balance inventories of mercury in the Arctic? The

  20. An Operational Structure for Clarity in Ecosystem Service Values

    EPA Science Inventory

    Analyses used to value ecosystem services often confuse final ecosystem services with ecological functions that provide only indirect benefit. Extant categorizations of ecosystem services, such as that developed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, do not ameliorate these cha...

  1. Arctic hydrology and meteorology

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, D.L.

    1988-01-01

    The behavior of arctic ecosystems is directly related to the ongoing physical processes of heat and mass transfer. Furthermore, this system undergoes very large fluctuations in the surface energy balance. The buffering effect of both snow and the surface organic soils can be seen by looking at the surface and 40 cm soil temperatures. The active layer, that surface zone above the permafrost table, is either continually freezing or thawing. A large percentage of energy into and out of a watershed must pass through this thin veneer that we call the active layer. Likewise, most water entering and leaving the watershed does so through the active layer. To date, we have been very successful at monitoring the hydrology of Imnavait Creek with special emphasis on the active layer processes. The major contribution of this study is that year-round hydrologic data are being collected. An original objective of our study was to define how the thermal and moisture regimes within the active layer change during an annual cycle under natural conditions, and then to define how the regime will be impacted by some imposed terrain alteration. Our major analysis of the hydrologic data sets for Imnavait Creek have been water balance evaluations for plots during snowmelt, water balance for the watershed during both rainfall and snowmelt, and the application of a hydrologic model to predict the Imnavait Creek runoff events generated by both snowmelt and rainfall.

  2. Arctic Ocean outflow shelves in the changing Arctic: A review and perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, Christine; Hamilton, Jim; Hansen, Edmond; Barber, David; Reigstad, Marit; Iacozza, John; Seuthe, Lena; Niemi, Andrea

    2015-12-01

    Over the past decade or so, international research efforts, many of which were part of the International Polar Year, have accrued our understanding of the Arctic outflow shelves. The Arctic outflow shelves, namely the East Greenland Shelf (EGS) and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA), serve as conduits through which Arctic sea ice and waters and their properties are exported to the North Atlantic. These shelves play an important role in thermohaline circulation and global circulation patterns, while being influenced by basin-scale and regional changes taking place in the Arctic. Here, we synthesize the current knowledge on key forcings of primary production and ecosystem processes on the outflow shelves, as they influence their structure and functionalities and, consequently their role in Arctic Ocean productivity and global biogeochemical cycles. For the CAA, a fresh outlook on interannual and decadal physical and biological time-series reveals recent changes in productivity patterns, while an extensive analysis of sea ice conditions over the past 33 years (1980-2012) demonstrates significant declines in multi-year ice and a redistribution of ice types. For the EGS, our analysis shows that sea ice export strongly contributes to structuring spatially diverse productivity regimes. Despite the large heterogeneity in physical and biological processes within and between the outflow shelves, a conceptual model of productivity regimes is proposed, helping identify general productivity patterns and key forcings. The different productivity regimes are expected to respond differently to current and future Arctic change, providing a useful basis upon which to develop predictive scenarios of future productivity states. Current primary production estimates for both outflow shelves very likely underestimate their contribution to total Arctic production.

  3. Stories from the Arctic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cain, Michelle

    2016-04-01

    I will discuss my experience co-ordinating a range of communication activities for a multi-university research programme called Methane in the Arctic: Measurements and Modelling. The project included ground- and aircraft-based fieldwork in the European Arctic, as well as computer modelling. Our communication activities included: our own field blog (www.arcticmethane.wordpress.com), which was syndicated to the Scientific American Expeditions blog; writing articles for other blogs with a wider audience than our own; use of twitter; and podcasting our field work. The grand finale to our communications work was a live event at a science festival, in which we took the audience along with us on a recreated research flight, complete with a life-size mock up of a section of our research aircraft. I will discuss my experiences of these forms of communication, and give an evaluation of their successes and failures.

  4. Shifting patterns of life in the Pacific Arctic and sub-Arctic seas.

    PubMed

    Grebmeier, Jacqueline M

    2012-01-01

    Recent changes in the timing of sea ice formation and retreat, along with increasing seawater temperatures, are driving shifts in marine species composition that may signal marine ecosystem reorganization in the Pacific Arctic sector. Interannual variability in seasonal sea ice retreat in the northern Bering Sea has been observed over the past decade; north of the Bering Strait, the Chukchi Sea ecosystem has had consistent earlier spring sea ice retreat and later fall sea ice formation. The latitudinal gradient in sea ice persistence, water column chlorophyll, and carbon export to the sediments has a direct impact on ecosystem structure in this Arctic/sub-Arctic complex. Large-scale decadal patterns in the benthic biological system are driven by sea ice extent, hydrographic forcing, and export production that influences benthic processes. Shifts in species composition and northward faunal range expansions indicate a changing system. The shifting patterns of life and change in key biological processes have the potential for a system-wide reorganization of the marine ecosystem. PMID:22457969

  5. Central Arctic Atmospheric SO2 pollution from smelters: Airborne detection and Arctic Haze formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnold, F.; Nau, R.; Jurkat, T.; Schlager, H.; Minikin, A.; Dörnbrack, A.; Pirjola, L.; Stohl, A.

    2009-04-01

    Arctic Haze represents a dramatic manifestation of anthropogenic pollution of a remote and previously pristine atmospheric environment, which presently experiences faster climate warming than any other region on the planet. Arctic haze influences visibility, ecosystems, and may contribute to Arctic climate warming. In spring, Arctic Haze occupies large parts of the Arctic lower troposphere, the so called Arctic Dome. The most abundant Arctic Haze component is sulphate, which was previously thought to stem preferably from Extra-Arctic anthropogenic pollution sources. However, recent model simulations suggest that sulphate particle transport into the Arctic Dome is severely hindered. During the recent POLAR YEAR 2007/2008, in 2007, we have made the first Central Arctic SO2 measurements with high vertical and horizontal resolution and detected SO2 rich pollution plumes in the entire troposphere height range up to 9000 m. Below 2000 m, inside the Arctic Dome, these plumes were most pronounced and stemmed preferably from a giant Ni-Cu smelter complex, located in the Siberian sector of the Arctic Dome, near the city Norilsk, at a distance of 2100 km from our measurement region. Our measurements and accompanying model simulations indicate that SO2 emitted by that smelter complex represents a mayor if not the dominant precursor of Arctic Dome cloud condensation nuclei and haze particles. Along with SO2, were measured aerosol particles and additional trace gases including also gas-phase NOy (sum of reactive nitrogen gases). Importantly, the abundance ratio R=SO2/NOy is quite different for different SO2 source types (about 1-2 for fossil fuel combustion, <0.1 for bio mass burning, and about 40 for Ni/Cu smelting) and therefore serves as an SO2-source marker. In addition to our air craft measurements, we have made accompanying model simulations of pollutant transport and aerosol formation and growth. Our air craft measurements were part of the ASTAR 2007 (ASTAR=Arctic Study

  6. Arctic science input wanted

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    The Arctic Research and Policy Act (Eos, June 26, 1984, p. 412) was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan this past July. One of its objectives is to develop a 5-year research plan for the Arctic. A request for input to this plan is being issued this week to nearly 500 people in science, engineering, and industry.To promote Arctic research and to recommend research policy in the Arctic, the new law establishes a five-member Arctic Research Commission, to be appointed by the President, and establishes an Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, to be composed of representatives from nearly a dozen agencies having interests in the region. The commission will make policy recommendations, and the interagency committee will implement those recommendations. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been designated as the lead agency of the interagency committee.

  7. Amplified Arctic warming by phytoplankton under greenhouse warming

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jong-Yeon; Kug, Jong-Seong; Bader, Jürgen; Rolph, Rebecca; Kwon, Minho

    2015-01-01

    Phytoplankton have attracted increasing attention in climate science due to their impacts on climate systems. A new generation of climate models can now provide estimates of future climate change, considering the biological feedbacks through the development of the coupled physical–ecosystem model. Here we present the geophysical impact of phytoplankton, which is often overlooked in future climate projections. A suite of future warming experiments using a fully coupled ocean−atmosphere model that interacts with a marine ecosystem model reveals that the future phytoplankton change influenced by greenhouse warming can amplify Arctic surface warming considerably. The warming-induced sea ice melting and the corresponding increase in shortwave radiation penetrating into the ocean both result in a longer phytoplankton growing season in the Arctic. In turn, the increase in Arctic phytoplankton warms the ocean surface layer through direct biological heating, triggering additional positive feedbacks in the Arctic, and consequently intensifying the Arctic warming further. Our results establish the presence of marine phytoplankton as an important potential driver of the future Arctic climate changes. PMID:25902494

  8. Total and methylated mercury in Arctic multiyear sea ice.

    PubMed

    Beattie, Sarah A; Armstrong, Debbie; Chaulk, Amanda; Comte, Jérôme; Gosselin, Michel; Wang, Feiyue

    2014-05-20

    Mercury is one of the primary contaminants of concern in the Arctic marine ecosystem. While considerable efforts have been directed toward understanding mercury cycling in the Arctic, little is known about mercury dynamics within Arctic multiyear sea ice, which is being rapidly replaced with first-year ice. Here we report the first study on the distribution and potential methylation of mercury in Arctic multiyear sea ice. Based on three multiyear ice cores taken from the eastern Beaufort Sea and McClure Strait, total mercury concentrations ranged from 0.65 to 60.8 pM in bulk ice, with the highest values occurring in the topmost layer (∼40 cm) which is attributed to the dynamics of particulate matter. Methylated mercury concentrations ranged from below the method detection limit (<0.1 pM) to as high as 2.64 pM. The ratio of methylated to total mercury peaked, up to ∼40%, in the mid to bottom sections of the ice, suggesting the potential occurrence of in situ mercury methylation. The annual fluxes of total and methylated mercury into the Arctic Ocean via melt of multiyear ice are estimated to be 420 and 42 kg yr(-1), respectively, representing an important and changing source of mercury and methylmercury into the Arctic Ocean marine ecosystem.

  9. Amplified Arctic warming by phytoplankton under greenhouse warming.

    PubMed

    Park, Jong-Yeon; Kug, Jong-Seong; Bader, Jürgen; Rolph, Rebecca; Kwon, Minho

    2015-05-12

    Phytoplankton have attracted increasing attention in climate science due to their impacts on climate systems. A new generation of climate models can now provide estimates of future climate change, considering the biological feedbacks through the development of the coupled physical-ecosystem model. Here we present the geophysical impact of phytoplankton, which is often overlooked in future climate projections. A suite of future warming experiments using a fully coupled ocean-atmosphere model that interacts with a marine ecosystem model reveals that the future phytoplankton change influenced by greenhouse warming can amplify Arctic surface warming considerably. The warming-induced sea ice melting and the corresponding increase in shortwave radiation penetrating into the ocean both result in a longer phytoplankton growing season in the Arctic. In turn, the increase in Arctic phytoplankton warms the ocean surface layer through direct biological heating, triggering additional positive feedbacks in the Arctic, and consequently intensifying the Arctic warming further. Our results establish the presence of marine phytoplankton as an important potential driver of the future Arctic climate changes.

  10. Microbial Analysis of Arctic Snow and Frost Flowers: What Next Generation Sequencing Method Can Reveal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortazavi, R.; Attiya, S.; Ariya, P. A.

    2014-12-01

    We herein examined and identified the population of the microbial communities of Arctic snow types and frost flower during the spring 2009 campaign of the Ocean-Atmosphere-Sea Ice-Snowpack (OASIS) program in Barrow, Alaska, USA. In addition to conventional microbial identification techniques (culture-isolation-PCR amplification-sequencing) we deployed a state-of-the-art genomic Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technique to examine the true bacterial communities in Arctic samples. Our results have indicated that diverse community of microbial exists in Arctic with many originating from distinct ecological environment. The alterations observed in the texture of Arctic samples by microbial has further signified their importance in ecosystem.

  11. Climate of the Arctic marine environment.

    PubMed

    Walsh, John E

    2008-03-01

    The climate of the Arctic marine environment is characterized by strong seasonality in the incoming solar radiation and by tremendous spatial variations arising from a variety of surface types, including open ocean, sea ice, large islands, and proximity to major landmasses. Interannual and decadal-scale variations are prominent features of Arctic climate, complicating the distinction between natural and anthropogenically driven variations. Nevertheless, climate models consistently indicate that the Arctic is the most climatically sensitive region of the Northern Hemisphere, especially near the sea ice margins. The Arctic marine environment has shown changes over the past several decades, and these changes are part of a broader global warming that exceeds the range of natural variability over the past 1000 years. Record minima of sea ice coverage during the past few summers and increased melt from Greenland have important implications for the hydrographic regime of the Arctic marine environment. The recent changes in the atmosphere (temperature, precipitation, pressure), sea ice, and ocean appear to be a coordinated response to systematic variations of the large-scale atmospheric circulation, superimposed on a general warming that is likely associated with increasing greenhouse gases. The changes have been sufficiently large in some sectors (e.g., the Bering/Chukchi Seas) that consequences for marine ecosystems appear to be underway. Global climate models indicate an additional warming of several degrees Celsius in much of the Arctic marine environment by 2050. However, the warming is seasonal (largest in autumn and winter), spatially variable, and closely associated with further retreat of sea ice. Additional changes predicted for 2050 are a general decrease of sea level pressure (largest in the Bering sector) and an increase of precipitation. While predictions of changes in storminess cannot be made with confidence, the predicted reduction of sea ice cover will

  12. Pan-Arctic observations in GRENE Arctic Climate Change Research Project and its successor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamanouchi, Takashi

    2016-04-01

    We started a Japanese initiative - "Arctic Climate Change Research Project" - within the framework of the Green Network of Excellence (GRENE) Program, funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT), in 2011. This Project targeted understanding and forecasting "Rapid Change of the Arctic Climate System and its Global Influences." Four strategic research targets are set by the Ministry: 1. Understanding the mechanism of warming amplification in the Arctic; 2. Understanding the Arctic climate system for global climate and future change; 3. Evaluation of the impacts of Arctic change on the weather and climate in Japan, marine ecosystems and fisheries; 4. Projection of sea ice distribution and Arctic sea routes. Through a network of universities and institutions in Japan, this 5-year Project involves more than 300 scientists from 39 institutions and universities. The National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) works as the core institute and The Japan Agency for Marine- Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) joins as the supporting institute. There are 7 bottom up research themes approved: the atmosphere, terrestrial ecosystems, cryosphere, greenhouse gases, marine ecology and fisheries, sea ice and Arctic sea routes and climate modeling, among 22 applications. The Project will realize multi-disciplinal study of the Arctic region and connect to the projection of future Arctic and global climatic change by modeling. The project has been running since the beginning of 2011 and in those 5 years pan-Arctic observations have been carried out in many locations, such as Svalbard, Russian Siberia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland and the Arctic Ocean. In particular, 95 GHz cloud profiling radar in high precision was established at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, and intensive atmospheric observations were carried out in 2014 and 2015. In addition, the Arctic Ocean cruises by R/V "Mirai" (belonging to JAMSTEC) and other icebreakers belonging to other

  13. Long-Term Perspectives of Shrub Expansions and Peat Initiation in Arctic Tundra on the North Slope of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleary, K.; Yu, Z.

    2014-12-01

    The ongoing climate warming in the Arctic has caused rapid terrestrial ecosystem changes, including shrub expansion and permafrost thaw. Here we used results from a peat-accumulating permafrost tundra in upper Imnavait Creek on the Arctic foothills of Alaska (68° 36' N, 149° 18' W) to investigate ecological responses to recent climate warming in the context of the last millennium. Six peat soil cores were collected from Sphagnum mosaics along an elevational gradient from 906 m to 950 m on a hillslope covered by Eriophorum-dominated tussock tundra. Macrofossil analysis documents a consistent development sequence among all cores from a mineral soil to a minerotrophic sedge peat and finally to an ombrotrophic Sphagnum peat. The 14C dating results show the ages of peat initiation range from about 900 to 140 cal BP, but do not follow the elevation gradient, suggesting the dominant control of local factors. The Sphagnum onset begins at 1820 AD near the ridge top, and subsequently propagates downslope to the floodplain at 2008 AD. This transition (ombrotrophication) was likely in response to Arctic warming, and subsequent permafrost thaw and active layer thickening, leading to drying initiating at the ridge top and facilitating Sphagnum colonization. Pollen analysis of the master core UIC13-3 at 916 m elevation (basal age 700 cal BP) shows that the vegetation was dominated by sedges (up to 84%) during the cool Little Ice Age until 1800 AD, followed by increases in shrubs first from dwarf birch (Betula nana) (up to 57%) and then willows (Salix spp.) up to 62% in the 1960s. These results indicate that shrub expansion of willows, due to accelerated warming in recent decades, was preceded by birch expansion over the last two centuries. Our new results provide a long-term perspective on ecological transformations in the Arctic, in particular the history of recent shrub expansions and the process of peatland initiation and expansion across Arctic tundra.

  14. Vector-borne pathogens in arctic foxes, Vulpes lagopus, from Canada.

    PubMed

    Mascarelli, Patricia E; Elmore, Stacey A; Jenkins, Emily J; Alisauskas, Ray T; Walsh, Mary; Breitschwerdt, Edward B; Maggi, Ricardo G

    2015-04-01

    Because of the relatively low biodiversity within arctic ecosystems, arctic foxes, Vulpes lagopus, could serve as sentinels for the study of changes in the ecology of vector-borne zoonotic pathogens. The objective of this study was to determine the molecular prevalence of 5 different genera of vector borne pathogens (Anaplasma, Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and Hemotropic Mycoplasma spp.) using blood collected from 28 live-trapped arctic foxes from the region of Karrak Lake, Nunavut, Canada. Bartonella henselae (n = 3), Mycoplasma haemocanis (n = 1), Ehrlichia canis (n = 1), and an Anaplasma sp. (n = 1) DNA were PCR amplified and subsequently identified by sequencing. This study provides preliminary evidence that vector borne pathogens, not typically associated with the arctic ecosystem, exist at low levels in this arctic fox population, and that vector exposure, pathogen transmission dynamics, and changes in the geographic distribution of pathogens over time should be investigated in future studies. PMID:25596149

  15. White Arctic vs. Blue Arctic: Making Choices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfirman, S. L.; Newton, R.; Schlosser, P.; Pomerance, R.; Tremblay, B.; Murray, M. S.; Gerrard, M.

    2015-12-01

    As the Arctic warms and shifts from icy white to watery blue and resource-rich, tension is arising between the desire to restore and sustain an ice-covered Arctic and stakeholder communities that hope to benefit from an open Arctic Ocean. If emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere continue on their present trend, most of the summer sea ice cover is projected to be gone by mid-century, i.e., by the time that few if any interventions could be in place to restore it. There are many local as well as global reasons for ice restoration, including for example, preserving the Arctic's reflectivity, sustaining critical habitat, and maintaining cultural traditions. However, due to challenges in implementing interventions, it may take decades before summer sea ice would begin to return. This means that future generations would be faced with bringing sea ice back into regions where they have not experienced it before. While there is likely to be interest in taking action to restore ice for the local, regional, and global services it provides, there is also interest in the economic advancement that open access brings. Dealing with these emerging issues and new combinations of stakeholders needs new approaches - yet environmental change in the Arctic is proceeding quickly and will force the issues sooner rather than later. In this contribution we examine challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities related to exploring options for restoring Arctic sea ice and potential pathways for their implementation. Negotiating responses involves international strategic considerations including security and governance, meaning that along with local communities, state decision-makers, and commercial interests, national governments will have to play central roles. While these issues are currently playing out in the Arctic, similar tensions are also emerging in other regions.

  16. Influence of Sea Ice on Arctic Marine Sulfur Biogeochemistry in the Community Climate System Model

    SciTech Connect

    Deal, Clara; Jin, Meibing

    2013-06-30

    Global climate models (GCMs) have not effectively considered how responses of arctic marine ecosystems to a warming climate will influence the global climate system. A key response of arctic marine ecosystems that may substantially influence energy exchange in the Arctic is a change in dimethylsulfide (DMS) emissions, because DMS emissions influence cloud albedo. This response is closely tied to sea ice through its impacts on marine ecosystem carbon and sulfur cycling, and the ice-albedo feedback implicated in accelerated arctic warming. To reduce the uncertainty in predictions from coupled climate simulations, important model components of the climate system, such as feedbacks between arctic marine biogeochemistry and climate, need to be reasonably and realistically modeled. This research first involved model development to improve the representation of marine sulfur biogeochemistry simulations to understand/diagnose the control of sea-ice-related processes on the variability of DMS dynamics. This study will help build GCM predictions that quantify the relative current and possible future influences of arctic marine ecosystems on the global climate system. Our overall research objective was to improve arctic marine biogeochemistry in the Community Climate System Model (CCSM, now CESM). Working closely with the Climate Ocean Sea Ice Model (COSIM) team at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), we added 1 sea-ice algae and arctic DMS production and related biogeochemistry to the global Parallel Ocean Program model (POP) coupled to the LANL sea ice model (CICE). Both CICE and POP are core components of CESM. Our specific research objectives were: 1) Develop a state-of-the-art ice-ocean DMS model for application in climate models, using observations to constrain the most crucial parameters; 2) Improve the global marine sulfur model used in CESM by including DMS biogeochemistry in the Arctic; and 3) Assess how sea ice influences DMS dynamics in the arctic marine

  17. Arctic circulation regimes.

    PubMed

    Proshutinsky, Andrey; Dukhovskoy, Dmitry; Timmermans, Mary-Louise; Krishfield, Richard; Bamber, Jonathan L

    2015-10-13

    Between 1948 and 1996, mean annual environmental parameters in the Arctic experienced a well-pronounced decadal variability with two basic circulation patterns: cyclonic and anticyclonic alternating at 5 to 7 year intervals. During cyclonic regimes, low sea-level atmospheric pressure (SLP) dominated over the Arctic Ocean driving sea ice and the upper ocean counterclockwise; the Arctic atmosphere was relatively warm and humid, and freshwater flux from the Arctic Ocean towards the subarctic seas was intensified. By contrast, during anticylonic circulation regimes, high SLP dominated driving sea ice and the upper ocean clockwise. Meanwhile, the atmosphere was cold and dry and the freshwater flux from the Arctic to the subarctic seas was reduced. Since 1997, however, the Arctic system has been under the influence of an anticyclonic circulation regime (17 years) with a set of environmental parameters that are atypical for this regime. We discuss a hypothesis explaining the causes and mechanisms regulating the intensity and duration of Arctic circulation regimes, and speculate how changes in freshwater fluxes from the Arctic Ocean and Greenland impact environmental conditions and interrupt their decadal variability. PMID:26347536

  18. Arctic circulation regimes

    PubMed Central

    Proshutinsky, Andrey; Dukhovskoy, Dmitry; Timmermans, Mary-Louise; Krishfield, Richard; Bamber, Jonathan L.

    2015-01-01

    Between 1948 and 1996, mean annual environmental parameters in the Arctic experienced a well-pronounced decadal variability with two basic circulation patterns: cyclonic and anticyclonic alternating at 5 to 7 year intervals. During cyclonic regimes, low sea-level atmospheric pressure (SLP) dominated over the Arctic Ocean driving sea ice and the upper ocean counterclockwise; the Arctic atmosphere was relatively warm and humid, and freshwater flux from the Arctic Ocean towards the subarctic seas was intensified. By contrast, during anticylonic circulation regimes, high SLP dominated driving sea ice and the upper ocean clockwise. Meanwhile, the atmosphere was cold and dry and the freshwater flux from the Arctic to the subarctic seas was reduced. Since 1997, however, the Arctic system has been under the influence of an anticyclonic circulation regime (17 years) with a set of environmental parameters that are atypical for this regime. We discuss a hypothesis explaining the causes and mechanisms regulating the intensity and duration of Arctic circulation regimes, and speculate how changes in freshwater fluxes from the Arctic Ocean and Greenland impact environmental conditions and interrupt their decadal variability. PMID:26347536

  19. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: An Interdisciplinary Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thieman, Gayle; Geil, Mike

    This paper presents a set of interdisciplinary lessons for teaching about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Alaska). Lessons include a petroleum product treasure hunt, an examination of life without petroleum, the development of a wildlife poster, an exploration of the tundra ecosystem and the plants and animals that live there, identification…

  20. Arctic Haze Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Linlu; Xue, Yong

    2013-04-01

    The Arctic atmosphere is perturbed by nature/anthropogenic aerosol sources known as the Arctic haze, was firstly observed in 1956 by J. Murray Mitchell in Alaska (Mitchell, 1956). Pacyna and Shaw (1992) summarized that Arctic haze is a mixture of anthropogenic and natural pollutants from a variety of sources in different geographical areas at altitudes from 2 to 4 or 5 km while the source for layers of polluted air at altitudes below 2.5 km mainly comes from episodic transportation of anthropogenic sources situated closer to the Arctic. Arctic haze of low troposphere was found to be of a very strong seasonal variation characterized by a summer minimum and a winter maximum in Alaskan (Barrie, 1986; Shaw, 1995) and other Arctic region (Xie and Hopke, 1999). An anthropogenic factor dominated by together with metallic species like Pb, Zn, V, As, Sb, In, etc. and nature source such as sea salt factor consisting mainly of Cl, Na, and K (Xie and Hopke, 1999), dust containing Fe, Al and so on (Rahn et al.,1977). Black carbon and soot can also be included during summer time because of the mix of smoke from wildfires. The Arctic air mass is a unique meteorological feature of the troposphere characterized by sub-zero temperatures, little precipitation, stable stratification that prevents strong vertical mixing and low levels of solar radiations (Barrie, 1986), causing less pollutants was scavenged, the major revival pathway for particulates from the atmosphere in Arctic (Shaw, 1981, 1995; Heintzenberg and Larssen, 1983). Due to the special meteorological condition mentioned above, we can conclude that Eurasian is the main contributor of the Arctic pollutants and the strong transport into the Arctic from Eurasia during winter caused by the high pressure of the climatologically persistent Siberian high pressure region (Barrie, 1986). The paper intends to address the atmospheric characteristics of Arctic haze by comparing the clear day and haze day using different dataset

  1. Arctic marine fishes and their fisheries in light of global change.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Jørgen S; Mecklenburg, Catherine W; Karamushko, Oleg V

    2014-02-01

    In light of ocean warming and loss of Arctic sea ice, harvested marine fishes of boreal origin (and their fisheries) move poleward into yet unexploited parts of the Arctic seas. Industrial fisheries, already in place on many Arctic shelves, will radically affect the local fish species as they turn up as unprecedented bycatch. Arctic marine fishes are indispensable to ecosystem structuring and functioning, but they are still beyond credible assessment due to lack of basic biological data. The time for conservation actions is now, and precautionary management practices by the Arctic coastal states are needed to mitigate the impact of industrial fisheries in Arctic waters. We outline four possible conservation actions: scientific credibility, 'green technology', legitimate management and overarching coordination.

  2. Arctic marine fishes and their fisheries in light of global change

    PubMed Central

    Christiansen, Jørgen S; Mecklenburg, Catherine W; Karamushko, Oleg V

    2014-01-01

    In light of ocean warming and loss of Arctic sea ice, harvested marine fishes of boreal origin (and their fisheries) move poleward into yet unexploited parts of the Arctic seas. Industrial fisheries, already in place on many Arctic shelves, will radically affect the local fish species as they turn up as unprecedented bycatch. Arctic marine fishes are indispensable to ecosystem structuring and functioning, but they are still beyond credible assessment due to lack of basic biological data. The time for conservation actions is now, and precautionary management practices by the Arctic coastal states are needed to mitigate the impact of industrial fisheries in Arctic waters. We outline four possible conservation actions: scientific credibility, ‘green technology’, legitimate management and overarching coordination. PMID:24105993

  3. The Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE): Examining the complex Arctic biological-climatologic-hydrologic system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDonald, K. C.; Podest, E.; Miller, C. E.; Dinardo, S. J.

    2012-12-01

    Fundamental aspects of the complex Arctic biological-climatologic-hydrologic system remain poorly quantified. As a result, significant uncertainties exist in the carbon budget of the Arctic ecosystem. NASA's Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) is a currently-operational Earth Venture 1 (EV-1) mission that is examining correlations between atmospheric and surface state variables for the Alaskan terrestrial ecosystems. CARVE is conducted through a series of intensive seasonal aircraft campaigns, ground-based observations, and analysis sustained over a 5-year mission timeframe. CARVE employs a C-23 Sherpa aircraft to fly an innovative airborne remote sensing payload. This payload includes an L-band radiometer/radar system and a nadir-viewing spectrometer to deliver simultaneous measurements of land surface state variables that control gas emissions (i.e., soil moisture and inundation, freeze/thaw state, surface temperature) and total atmospheric columns of carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide. The aircraft payload also includes a gas analyzer that links greenhouse gas measurements directly to World Meteorological Organization standards and provide vertical profile information. CARVE measurement campaigns are scheduled regularly throughout the growing season each year to capture the seasonal variability in Arctic system carbon fluxes associated with the spring thaw, the summer drawdown, and the fall refreeze. Continuous ground-based measurements provide temporal and regional context as well as calibration for CARVE airborne measurements. CARVE bridges critical gaps in our knowledge and understanding of Arctic ecosystems, linkages between the Arctic hydrologic and terrestrial carbon cycles, and the feedbacks from fires and thawing permafrost. Ultimately, CARVE will provide an integrated set of data that will provide unprecedented experimental insights into Arctic carbon cycling. Portions of this work were carried out at the Jet

  4. Ice-Free Arctic Ocean?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    The current warming trends in the Arctic may shove the Arctic system into a seasonally ice-free state not seen for more than one million years, according to a new report. The melting is accelerating, and researchers were unable to identify any natural processes that might slow the deicing of the Arctic. "What really makes the Arctic different from…

  5. Arctic Economics Model

    1995-03-01

    AEM (Arctic Economics Model) for oil and gas was developed to provide an analytic framework for understanding the arctic area resources. It provides the capacity for integrating the resource and technology information gathered by the arctic research and development (R&D) program, measuring the benefits of alternaive R&D programs, and providing updated estimates of the future oil and gas potential from arctic areas. AEM enables the user to examine field or basin-level oil and gas recovery,more » costs, and economics. It provides a standard set of selected basin-specified input values or allows the user to input their own values. AEM consists of five integrated submodels: geologic/resource submodel, which distributes the arctic resource into 15 master regions, consisting of nine arctic offshore regions, three arctic onshore regions, and three souhtern Alaska (non-arctic) regions; technology submodel, which selects the most appropriate exploration and production structure (platform) for each arctic basin and water depth; oil and gas production submodel, which contains the relationship of per well recovery as a function of field size, production decline curves, and production decline curves by product; engineering costing and field development submodel, which develops the capital and operating costs associated with arctic oil and gas development; and the economics submodel, which captures the engineering costs and development timing and links these to oil and gas prices, corporate taxes and tax credits, depreciation, and timing of investment. AEM provides measures of producible oil and gas, costs, and ecomonic viability under alternative technology or financial conditions.« less

  6. The contiguous domains of Arctic Ocean advection: Trails of life and death

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wassmann, P.; Kosobokova, K. N.; Slagstad, D.; Drinkwater, K. F.; Hopcroft, R. R.; Moore, S. E.; Ellingsen, I.; Nelson, R. J.; Carmack, E.; Popova, E.; Berge, J.

    2015-12-01

    The central Arctic Ocean is not isolated, but tightly connected to the northern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Advection of nutrient-, detritus- and plankton-rich waters into the Arctic Ocean forms lengthy contiguous domains that connect subarctic with the arctic biota, supporting both primary production and higher trophic level consumers. In turn, the Arctic influences the physical, chemical and biological oceanography of adjacent subarctic waters through southward fluxes. However, exports of biomass out of the Arctic Ocean into both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are thought to be far smaller than the northward influx. Thus, Arctic Ocean ecosystems are net biomass beneficiaries through advection. The biotic impact of Atlantic- and Pacific-origin taxa in arctic waters depends on the total supply of allochthonously-produced biomass, their ability to survive as adults and their (unsuccessful) reproduction in the new environment. Thus, advective transport can be thought of as trails of life and death in the Arctic Ocean. Through direct and indirect (mammal stomachs, models) observations this overview presents information about the advection and fate of zooplankton in the Arctic Ocean, now and in the future. The main zooplankton organisms subjected to advection into and inside the Arctic Ocean are (a) oceanic expatriates of boreal Atlantic and Pacific origin, (b) oceanic Arctic residents and (c) neritic Arctic expatriates. As compared to the Pacific gateway the advective supply of zooplankton biomass through the Atlantic gateways is 2-3 times higher. Advection characterises how the main planktonic organisms interact along the contiguous domains and shows how the subarctic production regimes fuel life in the Arctic Ocean. The main differences in the advective regimes through the Pacific and Atlantic gateways are presented. The Arctic Ocean is, at least in some regions, a net heterotrophic ocean that - during the foreseeable global warming trend - will more and more rely

  7. Carbon cycling in high-latitude ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townsend, Alan; Frolking, Stephen; Holland, Elizabeth

    1992-01-01

    The carbon-rich soils and peatlands of high-latitude ecosystems could substantially influence atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and CH4 in a changing climate. Currently, cold, often waterlogged conditions retard decomposition, and release of carbon back to the atmosphere may be further slowed by physical protection of organic matter in permafrost. As a result, many northern ecosystems accumulate carbon over time (Billings et al., 1982; Poole and Miller, 1982), and although such rates of accumulation are low, thousands of years of development have left Arctic ecosystems with an extremely high soil carbon content; Schlesinger's (1984) average value of 20.4 kg C/m(sup 2) leads to a global estimate of 163 x 10(exp 15) g C. All GCM simulations of a doubled CO2 climate predict the greatest warming to occur in the polar regions (Dickinson, 1986; Mitchell, 1989). Given the extensive northern carbon pools and the strong sensitivity of decomposition processes to temperature, even a slight warming of the soil could dramatically alter the carbon balance of Arctic ecosystems. If warming accelerates rates of decomposition more than rates of primary production, a sizeable additional accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere could occur. Furthermore, CH4 produced in anaerobic soils and peatlands of the Arctic already composes a good percentage of the global efflux (Cicerone and Oremlund, 1988); if northern soils become warmer and wetter as a whole, CH4 emissions could dramatically rise. A robust understanding of the primary controls of carbon fluxes in Arctic ecosystems is critical. As a framework for a systematic examination of these controls, we discussed a conceptual model of regional-scale Arctic carbon turnover, including CH4 production, and based upon the Century soil organic matter model.

  8. Future Arctic climate changes: Adaptation and mitigation time scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overland, James E.; Wang, Muyin; Walsh, John E.; Stroeve, Julienne C.

    2014-02-01

    The climate in the Arctic is changing faster than in midlatitudes. This is shown by increased temperatures, loss of summer sea ice, earlier snow melt, impacts on ecosystems, and increased economic access. Arctic sea ice volume has decreased by 75% since the 1980s. Long-lasting global anthropogenic forcing from carbon dioxide has increased over the previous decades and is anticipated to increase over the next decades. Temperature increases in response to greenhouse gases are amplified in the Arctic through feedback processes associated with shifts in albedo, ocean and land heat storage, and near-surface longwave radiation fluxes. Thus, for the next few decades out to 2040, continuing environmental changes in the Arctic are very likely, and the appropriate response is to plan for adaptation to these changes. For example, it is very likely that the Arctic Ocean will become seasonally nearly sea ice free before 2050 and possibly within a decade or two, which in turn will further increase Arctic temperatures, economic access, and ecological shifts. Mitigation becomes an important option to reduce potential Arctic impacts in the second half of the 21st century. Using the most recent set of climate model projections (CMIP5), multimodel mean temperature projections show an Arctic-wide end of century increase of +13°C in late fall and +5°C in late spring for a business-as-usual emission scenario (RCP8.5) in contrast to +7°C in late fall and +3°C in late spring if civilization follows a mitigation scenario (RCP4.5). Such temperature increases demonstrate the heightened sensitivity of the Arctic to greenhouse gas forcing.

  9. Arctic hydrology and meteorology

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, D.L.

    1989-01-01

    To date, five years of hydrologic and meteorologic data have been collected at Imnavait Creek near Toolik Lake, Alaska. This is the most complete set of field data of this type collected in the Arctic of North America. These data have been used in process-oriented research to increase our understanding of atmosphere/hydrosphere/biosphere/lithosphere interactions. Basically, we are monitoring heat and mass transfer between various spheres to quantify rates. These could be rates of mass movement such as hillslope flow or rates of heat transfer for active layer thawing or combined heat and mass processes such as evapotranspiration. We have utilized a conceptual model to predict hydrologic processes. To test the success of this model, we are comparing our predicted rates of runoff and snowmelt to measured valves. We have also used a surface energy model to simulate active layer temperatures. The final step in this modeling effort to date was to predict what impact climatic warming would have on active layer thicknesses and how this will influence the hydrology of our research watershed by examining several streambeds.

  10. Arctic Climate Systems Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Ivey, Mark D.; Robinson, David G.; Boslough, Mark B.; Backus, George A.; Peterson, Kara J.; van Bloemen Waanders, Bart G.; Swiler, Laura Painton; Desilets, Darin Maurice; Reinert, Rhonda Karen

    2015-03-01

    This study began with a challenge from program area managers at Sandia National Laboratories to technical staff in the energy, climate, and infrastructure security areas: apply a systems-level perspective to existing science and technology program areas in order to determine technology gaps, identify new technical capabilities at Sandia that could be applied to these areas, and identify opportunities for innovation. The Arctic was selected as one of these areas for systems level analyses, and this report documents the results. In this study, an emphasis was placed on the arctic atmosphere since Sandia has been active in atmospheric research in the Arctic since 1997. This study begins with a discussion of the challenges and benefits of analyzing the Arctic as a system. It goes on to discuss current and future needs of the defense, scientific, energy, and intelligence communities for more comprehensive data products related to the Arctic; assess the current state of atmospheric measurement resources available for the Arctic; and explain how the capabilities at Sandia National Laboratories can be used to address the identified technological, data, and modeling needs of the defense, scientific, energy, and intelligence communities for Arctic support.

  11. 75 FR 30383 - NOAA's Arctic Vision and Strategy; Comment Period Extension

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-01

    ... fifteen days. The Arctic has profound significance for climate and functioning of ecosystems around the globe. The region is particularly vulnerable and prone to rapid change. Increasing air and ocean temperatures, thawing permafrost, loss of sea ice, and shifts in ecosystems are evidence of widespread...

  12. Ecosystem Journalism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Amy; Mahlin, Kathryn

    2005-01-01

    If the organisms in a prairie ecosystem created a newspaper, what would it look like? What important news topics of the ecosystem would the organisms want to discuss? Imaginative and enthusiastic third-grade students were busy pondering these questions as they tried their hands at "ecosystem journalism." The class had recently completed a study of…

  13. Ecosystem Jenga!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  14. Natural ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fleishman, Erica; Belnap, Jayne; Cobb, Neil; Enquist, Carolyn A.F.; Ford, Karl; MacDonald, Glen; Pellant, Mike; Schoennagel, Tania; Schmit, Lara M.; Schwartz, Mark; van Drunick, Suzanne; Westerling, Anthony LeRoy; Keyser, Alisa; Lucas, Ryan

    2013-01-01

    Natural Ecosystems analyzes the association of observed changes in climate with changes in the geographic distributions and phenology (the timing of blossoms or migrations of birds) for Southwestern ecosystems and their species, portraying ecosystem disturbances—such as wildfires and outbreaks of forest pathogens—and carbon storage and release, in relation to climate change.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. FRAM - FRontiers in Arctic marine Monitoring: Permanent Observations in a Gateway to the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soltwedel, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Our ability to understand the complex interactions of biological, chemical, physical, and geological processes in the ocean is still limited by the lack of integrative and interdisciplinary observation infrastructures. The main purpose of the open-ocean infrastructure FRAM (FRontiers in Arctic marine Monitoring) is permanent presence at sea, from surface to depth, for the provision of near real-time data on climate variability and ecosystem change in an Arctic marine environment. The Alfred-Wegener-Institut I Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI), together with partner institutes in Germany and Europe, aims at providing such infrastructure for the polar ocean as a major contribution to international efforts towards comprehensive Global Earth Observation. The FRAM Ocean Observing System targets the gateway between the North Atlantic and the Central Arctic, representing a highly climate-sensitive and rapidly changing region of the Earth system. It will serve national and international tasks towards a better understanding of the effects of change in ocean circulation, water mass properties and sea-ice retreat on Arctic marine ecosystems and their main functions and services. FRAM integrates and develops already existing observatories, i.e. the oceanographic mooring array HAFOS (Hybrid Arctic/Antarctic Float Observing System) and the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site HAUSGARTEN. It will implement existing and next-generation sensors and observatory platforms, allowing synchronous observation of relevant ocean variables, as well as the study of physical, chemical and biological processes in the water column and at the seafloor. Experimental and event-triggered platforms will complement observational platforms. Products of the infrastructure are continuous long-term data with appropriate resolution in space and time, as well as ground-truthing information for ocean models and remote sensing.

  17. Oceanographic Aspects of Recent Changes in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morison, J. H.

    2002-12-01

    In the Arctic recent decadal-scale changes have marked the atmosphere, ocean, and land. Connections between the oceanographic changes and large-scale atmospheric circulation changes are emerging. Surface atmospheric pressure has shown a declining trend over the Arctic. In the 1990s, the Arctic Ocean circulation took on a more cyclonic character, and the front separating Atlantic-derived waters of the Eurasian Basin and the Pacific-derived waters of the Canadian Basin shifted counterclockwise. The temperature of Atlantic water in the Arctic Ocean reached record levels. The cold halocline, which isolates the surface from the warm Atlantic water, grew thinner disappearing entirely from the Amundsen Basin at one point [Steele and Boyd, 1998]. Arctic sea ice extent has decreased 3% per decade since the 1970s [Parkinson et al., 1999]. Sea ice thickness over much of the Arctic decreased 43% between 1958-1976 and 1993-1997 [Rothrock et al., 1999]. Arctic ecosystems have responded to these changes. Sea ice studies in the late 1990s indicate that the sea ice algal species composition changed from decades before, with the species recently being characterized by more brackish and freshwater forms. Barents Sea fisheries have shifted north following reductions in ice extent. Pacific salmon species have been found entering rivers in the Arctic. There is evidence that this complex of pan-Arctic changes is connected with the rising trend in the Arctic Oscillation (AO) or Northern Hemisphere atmospheric polar vortex in the 1990s. Theoretical evidence that a positive trend in the AO index might be indicative of greenhouse warming raises the possibility that the recent complex of changes is an Arctic characteristic of global climate change. Also, the changes in ice cover manifest a connection between the complex of change and global climate through ice-albedo feedback, by which reductions in ice cover reduce the amount of sunlight reflected from the earth's surface. Another important

  18. Reconstructing the Climate and Ecology of an Arctic Pliocene Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rybczynski, N.; Ballantyne, A.; Csank, A.; Matheus, P.

    2006-12-01

    Instrumental records reveal that the current rate of arctic warming greatly exceeds mean global warming. However, arctic temperatures during the Pliocene were considerably warmer than present, making it an excellent time period for investigating potential consequences of current warming trends. Pliocene-aged (4 to 5 Ma) peat deposits from Ellesmere Island are characterized by a remarkable fossil assemblage including 15 vertebrate taxa, 90 plant taxa and 101 invertebrate taxa. Among the fossils are well-preserved samples of an extinct larch (Larix groenlandii), which have been exploited as an archive of paleoclimatic information. Analysis of annual ring widths and oxygen isotopes suggest that Pliocene temperatures were 14.2 ° C warmer than today (-5.5 \\mp 1.9 ° C). Furthermore, temporal patterns in isotopic variability suggest that modes of variability that dominate modern arctic climates, such as the NAO, were also operating during the Pliocene. Isotopic analysis of fossil bone material may provide insight into the structure of past arctic ecosystems. Preliminary data suggest that carbon and nitrogen isotopes extracted from the collagen of fossil bone may provide a powerful new tool for investigating the response of arctic ecosystems to previously warm intervals in Earth's History.

  19. Arctic spring awakening - Steering principles behind the phenology of vernal ice algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leu, E.; Mundy, C. J.; Assmy, P.; Campbell, K.; Gabrielsen, T. M.; Gosselin, M.; Juul-Pedersen, T.; Gradinger, R.

    2015-12-01

    Marine ecosystems at high latitudes are characterized by extreme seasonal changes in light conditions, as well as a limited period of high primary production during spring and early summer. As light returns at the end of winter to Arctic ice-covered seas, a first algal bloom takes place in the bottom layer of the sea ice. This bottom ice algae community develops through three distinct phases in the transition from winter to spring, starting with phase I, a predominantly net heterotroph community that has limited interaction with the pelagic or benthic realms. Phase II begins in the spring once light for photosynthesis becomes available at the ice bottom, although interaction with the water column and benthos remains limited. The transition to the final phase III is then mainly driven by a balance of atmospheric and oceanographic forcing that induce structural changes in the sea ice and ultimately the removal of algal biomass from the ice. Due to limited data availability an incomplete understanding exists of all the processes determining ice algal bloom phenology and the considerable geographic differences in sympagic algal standing stocks and primary production. We present here the first pan-Arctic compilation of available time-series data on vernal sea ice algal bloom development and identify the most important factors controlling its development and termination. Using data from the area surrounding Resolute Bay (Nunavut, Canada) as an example, we support previous investigations that snow cover on top of the ice influences sea ice algal phenology, with highest biomass development, but also earliest termination of blooms, under low snow cover. We also provide a pan-Arctic overview of sea ice algae standing stocks and primary production, and discuss the pertinent processes behind the geographic differences we observed. Finally, we assess potential future changes in vernal algal bloom phenology as a consequence of climate change, including their importance to

  20. Rapid disturbances in Arctic permafrost regions (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosse, G.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Arp, C. D.; Jones, B. M.

    2013-12-01

    ponds have been forming indicate a broad range of possible biogeochemical feedbacks that require further study. Finally, thermokarst lake drainage observed in regions of continuous permafrost shows that local permafrost degradation, such as thermo-erosional gully formation, may increase permafrost extent in a region, in particular by new permafrost aggradation in freshly exposed, refreezing lake basin sediments. Thermokarst lake drainage across all types of permafrost extent increases habitat diversity, is important for regional biogeochemical cycling, and results in carbon sequestration. While all three disturbance types differ in spatial scale and current abundance, they also point at specific vulnerabilities of permafrost landscapes that are tied to local factors such as ground ice, highlight critical knowledge gaps for predictive ecosystem and biogeochemical models, and indicate the potential for rapid, substantial, and surprising changes in a future warmer Arctic.

  1. [Urban ecosystem services: A review].

    PubMed

    Mao, Qi-zheng; Huang, Gan-lin; Wu, Jian-guo

    2015-04-01

    Maintaining and improving ecosystem services in urban areas and human well-being are essential for sustainable development and therefore constitute an important topic in urban ecology. Here we reviewed studies on ecosystem services in urban areas. Based on the concept and classification of urban ecosystem services, we summarized characteristics of urban ecosystem services, including the human domination, high demand of ecosystem services in urban areas, spatial heterogeneity and temporal dynamics of ecosystem services supply and demand in urban areas, multi-services of urban green infrastructures, the socio-economic dimension of ecosystem services supply and ecosystem disservices in urban areas. Among different urban ecosystem services, the regulating service and cultural service are particularly indispensable to benefit human health. We pointed out that tradeoffs among different types of ecosystem services mostly occur between supportive service and cultural service, as well as regulating service and cultural service. In particular, we emphasized the relationship between landscape design (i.e. green infrastructure) and ecosystem services supply. Finally, we discussed current gaps to link urban ecosystem services studies to landscape design and management and pointed out several directions for future research in urban ecosystem services.

  2. High Methylmercury in Arctic and Subarctic Ponds is Related to Nutrient Levels in the Warming Eastern Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    MacMillan, Gwyneth A; Girard, Catherine; Chételat, John; Laurion, Isabelle; Amyot, Marc

    2015-07-01

    Permafrost thaw ponds are ubiquitous in the eastern Canadian Arctic, yet little information exists on their potential as sources of methylmercury (MeHg) to freshwaters. They are microbially active and conducive to methylation of inorganic mercury, and are also affected by Arctic warming. This multiyear study investigated thaw ponds in a discontinuous permafrost region in the Subarctic taiga (Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui, QC) and a continuous permafrost region in the Arctic tundra (Bylot Island, NU). MeHg concentrations in thaw ponds were well above levels measured in most freshwater ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic (>0.1 ng L(-1)). On Bylot, ice-wedge trough ponds showed significantly higher MeHg (0.3-2.2 ng L(-1)) than polygonal ponds (0.1-0.3 ng L(-1)) or lakes (<0.1 ng L(-1)). High MeHg was measured in the bottom waters of Subarctic thaw ponds near Kuujjuarapik (0.1-3.1 ng L(-1)). High water MeHg concentrations in thaw ponds were strongly correlated with variables associated with high inputs of organic matter (DOC, a320, Fe), nutrients (TP, TN), and microbial activity (dissolved CO2 and CH4). Thawing permafrost due to Arctic warming will continue to release nutrients and organic carbon into these systems and increase ponding in some regions, likely stimulating higher water concentrations of MeHg. Greater hydrological connectivity from permafrost thawing may potentially increase transport of MeHg from thaw ponds to neighboring aquatic ecosystems.

  3. Temperature and precipitation history of the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, G. H.; Brigham-Grette, J.; Alley, R. B.; Anderson, L.; Bauch, H. A.; Douglas, M. S. V.; Edwards, M. E.; Elias, S. A.; Finney, B. P.; Fitzpatrick, J. J.; Funder, S. V.; Herbert, T. D.; Hinzman, L. D.; Kaufman, D. S.; MacDonald, G. M.; Polyak, L.; Robock, A.; Serreze, M. C.; Smol, J. P.; Spielhagen, R.; White, J. W. C.; Wolfe, A. P.; Wolff, E. W.

    2010-07-01

    decreased in the second half of the Holocene, glaciers re-established or advanced, sea ice expanded, and the flow of warm Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean diminished. Late Holocene cooling reached its nadir during the Little Ice Age (about 1250-1850 AD), when sun-blocking volcanic eruptions and perhaps other causes added to the orbital cooling, allowing most Arctic glaciers to reach their maximum Holocene extent. During the warming of the past century, glaciers have receded throughout the Arctic, terrestrial ecosystems have advanced northward, and perennial Arctic Ocean sea ice has diminished. Here we review the proxies that allow reconstruction of Quaternary climates and the feedbacks that amplify climate change across the Arctic. We provide an overview of the evolution of climate from the hot-house of the early Cenozoic through its transition to the ice-house of the Quaternary, with special emphasis on the anomalous warmth of the middle Pliocene, early Quaternary warm times, the Mid Pleistocene transition, warm interglaciations of marine isotope stages 11, 5e, and 1, the stage 3 interstadial, and the peak cold of the last glacial maximum.

  4. Mapping the future expansion of Arctic open water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnhart, Katherine R.; Miller, Christopher R.; Overeem, Irina; Kay, Jennifer E.

    2016-03-01

    Sea ice impacts most of the Arctic environment, from ocean circulation and marine ecosystems to animal migration and marine transportation. Sea ice has thinned and decreased in age over the observational record. Ice extent has decreased. Reduced ice cover has warmed the surface ocean, accelerated coastal erosion and impacted biological productivity. Declines in Arctic sea-ice extent cannot be explained by internal climate variability alone and can be attributed to anthropogenic effects. However, extent is a poor measure of ice decline at specific locations as it integrates over the entire Arctic basin and thus contains no spatial information. The open water season, in contrast, is a metric that represents the duration of open water over a year at an individual location. Here we present maps of the open water season over the period 1920-2100 using daily output from a 30-member initial-condition ensemble of business-as-usual climate simulations that characterize the expansion of Arctic open water, determine when the open water season will move away from pre-industrial conditions (`shift’ time) and identify when human forcing will take the Arctic sea-ice system outside its normal bounds (`emergence’ time). The majority of the Arctic nearshore regions began shifting in 1990 and will begin leaving the range of internal variability in 2040. Models suggest that ice will cover coastal regions for only half of the year by 2070.

  5. Riverine source of Arctic Ocean mercury inferred from atmospheric observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, Jenny A.; Jacob, Daniel J.; Soerensen, Anne L.; Amos, Helen M.; Steffen, Alexandra; Sunderland, Elsie M.

    2012-07-01

    Methylmercury is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in aquatic food webs. Human activities, including industry and mining, have increased inorganic mercury inputs to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Methylation of this mercury generates methylmercury, and is thus a public health concern. Marine methylmercury is a particular concern in the Arctic, where indigenous peoples rely heavily on marine-based diets. In the summer, atmospheric inorganic mercury concentrations peak in the Arctic, whereas they reach a minimum in the northern mid-latitudes. Here, we use a global three-dimensional ocean-atmosphere model to examine the cause of this Arctic summertime maximum. According to our simulations, circumpolar rivers deliver large quantities of mercury to the Arctic Ocean during summer; the subsequent evasion of this riverine mercury to the atmosphere can explain the summertime peak in atmospheric mercury levels. We infer that rivers are the dominant source of mercury to the Arctic Ocean on an annual basis. Our simulations suggest that Arctic Ocean mercury concentrations could be highly sensitive to climate-induced changes in river flow, and to increases in the mobility of mercury in soils, for example as a result of permafrost thaw and forest fires.

  6. Improving the representation of Arctic photosynthesis in Earth system models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, A.; Serbin, S.; Ely, K.; Sloan, V. L.; Wyatt, R. A.; Kubien, D. S.; Ali, A. A.; Xu, C.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2015-12-01

    The primary goal of Earth System Models (ESMs) is to improve understanding and projection of future global change. In order to do this they must accurately represent the carbon fluxes associated with the terrestrial carbon cycle. Although Arctic carbon fluxes are small - relative to global carbon fluxes - uncertainty is large. As part of a multidisciplinary project to improve the representation of the Arctic in ESMs (Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments - Arctic) we are examining the photosynthetic parameterization of the Arctic plant functional type (PFT) in ESMs. Photosynthetic CO2 uptake is well described by the Farquhar, von Caemmerer and Berry (FvCB) model of photosynthesis. Most ESMs use a derivation of the FvCB model to calculate gross primary productivity. Two key parameters required by the FvCB model are an estimate of the maximum rate of carboxylation by the enzyme Rubisco (Vc,max) and the maximum rate of electron transport (Jmax). In ESMs the parameter Vc,max is usually fixed for a given PFT. Only four ESMs currently have an explicit Arctic PFT and the data used to derive Vc,max for the Arctic PFT in these models relies on small data sets and unjustified assumptions. We examined the derivation of Vc,max and Jmax in current Arctic PFTs and estimated Vc,max and Jmax for 7 species representing both dominant vegetation and key Arctic PFTs growing on the Barrow Environmental Observatory, Barrow, AK. The values of Vc,max currently used to represent Arctic PFTs in ESMs are 70% lower than the values we measured in these species. Examination of the derivation of Vc,max in ESMs identified that the cause of the relatively low Vc,max value was the result of underestimating both the leaf N content and the investment of that N in Rubisco. Contemporary temperature response functions for Vc,max also appear to underestimate Vc,max at low temperature. ESMs typically use a single multiplier (JVratio) to convert Vc,max to Jmax for all PFTs. We found that the JVratio of

  7. Biological Chlorine Cycling in Arctic Peat Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zlamal, J. E.; Raab, T. K.; Lipson, D.

    2014-12-01

    . Incubations were conducted in the laboratory providing arctic soils with Clorg, and measurements taken to assess rates of organohalide respiration show an increase in chloride production due to microbial activity. Investigating these soils with diverse techniques affirms the importance of Cl-cycling in a pristine arctic tundra ecosystem.

  8. Arctic Gas hydrate, Environment and Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mienert, Jurgen; Andreassen, Karin; Bünz, Stefan; Carroll, JoLynn; Ferre, Benedicte; Knies, Jochen; Panieri, Giuliana; Rasmussen, Tine; Myhre, Cathrine Lund

    2015-04-01

    Arctic methane hydrate exists on land beneath permafrost regions and offshore in shelf and continental margins sediments. Methane or gas hydrate, an ice-like substrate, consists mainly of light hydrocarbons (mostly methane from biogenic sources but also ethane and propane from thermogenic sources) entrapped by a rigid cage of water molecules. The pressure created by the overlying water and sediments offshore stabilizes the CH4 in continental margins at a temperature range well above freezing point; consequently CH4 exists as methane ice beneath the seabed. Though the accurate volume of Arctic methane hydrate and thus the methane stored in hydrates throughout the Quaternary is still unknown it must be enormous if one considers the vast regions of Arctic continental shelves and margins as well as permafrost areas offshore and on land. Today's subseabed methane hydrate reservoirs are the remnants from the last ice age and remain elusive targets for both unconventional energy and as a natural methane emitter influencing ocean environments and ecosystems. It is still contentious at what rate Arctic warming may govern hydrate melting, and whether the methane ascending from the ocean floor through the hydrosphere reaches the atmosphere. As indicated by Greenland ice core records, the atmospheric methane concentration rose rapidly from ca. 500 ppb to ca. 750 ppb over a short time period of just 150 years at the termination of the younger Dryas period ca. 11600 years ago, but the dissociation of large quantities of methane hydrates on the ocean floor have not been documented yet (Brook et al., 2014 and references within). But with the major projected warming and sea ice melting trend (Knies et al., 2014) one may ask, for how long will CH4 stay trapped in methane hydrates if surface and deep-ocean water masses will warm and permafrost continuous to melt (Portnov et al. 2014). How much of the Arctic methane will be consumed by the micro- and macrofauna, how much will

  9. Arctic freshwater synthesis: Introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prowse, T.; Bring, A.; Mârd, J.; Carmack, E.

    2015-11-01

    In response to a joint request from the World Climate Research Program's Climate and Cryosphere Project, the International Arctic Science Committee, and the Arctic Council's Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, an updated scientific assessment has been conducted of the Arctic Freshwater System (AFS), entitled the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis (AFSΣ). The major reason for joint request was an increasing concern that changes to the AFS have produced, and could produce even greater, changes to biogeophysical and socioeconomic systems of special importance to northern residents and also produce extra-Arctic climatic effects that will have global consequences. Hence, the key objective of the AFSΣ was to produce an updated, comprehensive, and integrated review of the structure and function of the entire AFS. The AFSΣ was organized around six key thematic areas: atmosphere, oceans, terrestrial hydrology, terrestrial ecology, resources and modeling, and the review of each coauthored by an international group of scientists and published as separate manuscripts in this special issue of Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences. This AFSΣ—Introduction reviews the motivations for, and foci of, previous studies of the AFS, discusses criteria used to define the domain of the AFS, and details key characteristics of the definition adopted for the AFSΣ.

  10. Evaluating the Contribution of Climate Forcing and Forest Dynamics to Accelerating Carbon Sequestration by Forest Ecosystems in the Northeastern U.S.: Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Munger, J. William; Foster, David R.; Richardson, Andrew D.

    2014-10-01

    This report summarizes work to improve quantitative understanding of the terrestrial ecosystem processes that control carbon sequestration in unmanaged forests It builds upon the comprehensive long-term observations of CO2 fluxes, climate and forest structure and function at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA. This record includes the longest CO2 flux time series in the world. The site is a keystone for the AmeriFlux network. Project Description The project synthesizes observations made at the Harvard Forest HFEMS and Hemlock towers, which represent the dominant mixed deciduous and coniferous forest types in the northeastern United States. The 20+ year record of carbon uptake at Harvard Forest and the associated comprehensive meteorological and biometric data, comprise one of the best data sets to challenge ecosystem models on time scales spanning hourly, daily, monthly, interannual and multi-decadal intervals, as needed to understand ecosystem change and climate feedbacks.

  11. Arctic sea ice surface ponds due to saltwater impurities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2012-03-01

    During the summer melt season the white surface of Arctic sea ice turns to a mixture of grays and blues as meltwater ponds come to dot the landscape. Rising temperatures in late spring melt ice and snow, and the meltwater pools in depressions left by drifting snow. In just a week, these meltwater ponds can come to dominate the ice surface, increasing their areal extent by up to 35% per day. But just as quickly as they appear, the pools can recede, the water flowing into the ocean. Surface ponds drastically reduce the ice's albedo, increasing the amount of light available for Arctic ecosystems and accelerating ice melt.

  12. Ecosystem experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Mooney, H.A.; Medina, E.; Schindler, D.W.; Schulze, E.D.; Walker, B.H.

    1991-01-01

    Large scale, human-induced modifications to terrestrial and hydrological systems have been a major factor in contributing to global change. The objective of this book is to explore the potential of ecosystem experimentation as a tool to understanding and predicting more precisely the consequences of our changing biosphere. The papers in this book are the result of two SCOPE workshops to evaluated understanding of the response of ecosystems to large scale perturbations and to design ecosystem experiments to study the impace of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations on ecosystem processes. The general topics addressed include the following: how changes in driving variables affect different biotic interactions within ecosystems; the human role in modifying forest structure and the resulting ecosystem processes; the role of ecosystem experiments in the study of controlling factors such as hydrological controls, temperature, and biotic controlles; analysis of ecosystem dynamics as a complex and chaotic system; role of ecosystem experiments in the study of the impact of acid deposition; role of ecosystem experimentation in the study of global change impace on the biosphere and the biospheric feedbacks to global environmental change.

  13. The Arctic Visiting Speakers Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Fahnestock, J.

    2013-12-01

    The Arctic Visiting Speakers Program (AVS) is a program of the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) and funded by the National Science Foundation. AVS provides small grants to researchers and other Arctic experts to travel and share their knowledge in communities where they might not otherwise connect. The program aims to: initiate and encourage arctic science education in communities with little exposure to arctic research; increase collaboration among the arctic research community; nurture communication between arctic researchers and community residents; and foster arctic science education at the local level. Individuals, community organizations, and academic organizations can apply to host a speaker. Speakers cover a wide range of arctic topics and can address a variety of audiences including K-12 students, graduate and undergraduate students, and the general public. Preference is given to tours that reach broad and varied audiences, especially those targeted to underserved populations. Between October 2000 and July 2013, AVS supported 114 tours spanning 9 different countries, including tours in 23 U.S. states. Tours over the past three and a half years have connected Arctic experts with over 6,600 audience members. Post-tour evaluations show that AVS consistently rates high for broadening interest and understanding of arctic issues. AVS provides a case study for how face-to-face interactions between arctic scientists and general audiences can produce high-impact results. Further information can be found at: http://www.arcus.org/arctic-visiting-speakers.

  14. Trajectory of the Arctic as an integrated system.

    PubMed

    Hinzman, Larry D; Deal, Clara J; McGuire, A David; Mernild, Sebastian H; Polyakov, Igor V; Walsh, John E

    2013-12-01

    Although much remains to be learned about the Arctic and its component processes, many of the most urgent scientific, engineering, and social questions can only be approached through a broader system perspective. Here, we address interactions between components of the Arctic system and assess feedbacks and the extent to which feedbacks (1) are now underway in the Arctic and (2) will shape the future trajectory of the Arctic system. We examine interdependent connections among atmospheric processes, oceanic processes, sea-ice dynamics, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, land surface stocks of carbon and water, glaciers and ice caps, and the Greenland ice sheet. Our emphasis on the interactions between components, both historical and anticipated, is targeted on the feedbacks, pathways, and processes that link these different components of the Arctic system. We present evidence that the physical components of the Arctic climate system are currently in extreme states, and that there is no indication that the system will deviate from this anomalous trajectory in the foreseeable future. The feedback for which the evidence of ongoing changes is most compelling is the surface albedo-temperature feedback, which is amplifying temperature changes over land (primarily in spring) and ocean (primarily in autumn-winter). Other feedbacks likely to emerge are those in which key processes include surface fluxes of trace gases, changes in the distribution of vegetation, changes in surface soil moisture, changes in atmospheric water vapor arising from higher temperatures and greater areas of open ocean, impacts of Arctic freshwater fluxes on the meridional overturning circulation of the ocean, and changes in Arctic clouds resulting from changes in water vapor content.

  15. Trajectory of the Arctic as an integrated system.

    PubMed

    Hinzman, Larry D; Deal, Clara J; McGuire, A David; Mernild, Sebastian H; Polyakov, Igor V; Walsh, John E

    2013-12-01

    Although much remains to be learned about the Arctic and its component processes, many of the most urgent scientific, engineering, and social questions can only be approached through a broader system perspective. Here, we address interactions between components of the Arctic system and assess feedbacks and the extent to which feedbacks (1) are now underway in the Arctic and (2) will shape the future trajectory of the Arctic system. We examine interdependent connections among atmospheric processes, oceanic processes, sea-ice dynamics, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, land surface stocks of carbon and water, glaciers and ice caps, and the Greenland ice sheet. Our emphasis on the interactions between components, both historical and anticipated, is targeted on the feedbacks, pathways, and processes that link these different components of the Arctic system. We present evidence that the physical components of the Arctic climate system are currently in extreme states, and that there is no indication that the system will deviate from this anomalous trajectory in the foreseeable future. The feedback for which the evidence of ongoing changes is most compelling is the surface albedo-temperature feedback, which is amplifying temperature changes over land (primarily in spring) and ocean (primarily in autumn-winter). Other feedbacks likely to emerge are those in which key processes include surface fluxes of trace gases, changes in the distribution of vegetation, changes in surface soil moisture, changes in atmospheric water vapor arising from higher temperatures and greater areas of open ocean, impacts of Arctic freshwater fluxes on the meridional overturning circulation of the ocean, and changes in Arctic clouds resulting from changes in water vapor content. PMID:24555312

  16. Trajectory of the arctic as an integrated system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hinzman, Larry; Deal, Clara; McGuire, Anthony David; Mernild, Sebastian H.; Polyakov, Igor V.; Walsh, John E.

    2013-01-01

    Although much remains to be learned about the Arctic and its component processes, many of the most urgent scientific, engineering, and social questions can only be approached through a broader system perspective. Here, we address interactions between components of the Arctic System and assess feedbacks and the extent to which feedbacks (1) are now underway in the Arctic; and (2) will shape the future trajectory of the Arctic system. We examine interdependent connections among atmospheric processes, oceanic processes, sea-ice dynamics, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, land surface stocks of carbon and water, glaciers and ice caps, and the Greenland ice sheet. Our emphasis on the interactions between components, both historical and anticipated, is targeted on the feedbacks, pathways, and processes that link these different components of the Arctic system. We present evidence that the physical components of the Arctic climate system are currently in extreme states, and that there is no indication that the system will deviate from this anomalous trajectory in the foreseeable future. The feedback for which the evidence of ongoing changes is most compelling is the surface albedo-temperature feedback, which is amplifying temperature changes over land (primarily in spring) and ocean (primarily in autumn-winter). Other feedbacks likely to emerge are those in which key processes include surface fluxes of trace gases, changes in the distribution of vegetation, changes in surface soil moisture, changes in atmospheric water vapor arising from higher temperatures and greater areas of open ocean, impacts of Arctic freshwater fluxes on the meridional overturning circulation of the ocean, and changes in Arctic clouds resulting from changes in water vapor content.

  17. The central role of diminishing sea ice in recent Arctic temperature amplification.

    PubMed

    Screen, James A; Simmonds, Ian

    2010-04-29

    The rise in Arctic near-surface air temperatures has been almost twice as large as the global average in recent decades-a feature known as 'Arctic amplification'. Increased concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases have driven Arctic and global average warming; however, the underlying causes of Arctic amplification remain uncertain. The roles of reductions in snow and sea ice cover and changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation, cloud cover and water vapour are still matters of debate. A better understanding of the processes responsible for the recent amplified warming is essential for assessing the likelihood, and impacts, of future rapid Arctic warming and sea ice loss. Here we show that the Arctic warming is strongest at the surface during most of the year and is primarily consistent with reductions in sea ice cover. Changes in cloud cover, in contrast, have not contributed strongly to recent warming. Increases in atmospheric water vapour content, partly in response to reduced sea ice cover, may have enhanced warming in the lower part of the atmosphere during summer and early autumn. We conclude that diminishing sea ice has had a leading role in recent Arctic temperature amplification. The findings reinforce suggestions that strong positive ice-temperature feedbacks have emerged in the Arctic, increasing the chances of further rapid warming and sea ice loss, and will probably affect polar ecosystems, ice-sheet mass balance and human activities in the Arctic.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-12-01

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

  19. Monitoring boreal ecosystem phenology with integrated active/passive microwave remote sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McDonald, K. C.; Njoku, E.; Kimball, J.; Running, S.; Thompson, C.; Lee, J. K.

    2002-01-01

    The important role of the high latitudes in the functioning of global processes is becoming well established. The size and remoteness of arctic and boreal ecosystems, however, pose a challenge to quantification of both terrestrial ecosystem processes and their feedbacks to regional and global climate conditions. Boreal and arctic regions form a complex land cover mosaic where vegetation structure, condition and distribution are strongly regulated by environmental factors such as moisture availability, permafrost, growing season length, disturbance and soil nutrients.

  20. RELATIONSHIPS AMONG EXCEEDENCES OF CHEMICAL CRITERIA OR GUIDELINES, THE RESULTS OF AMBIENT TOXICITY TESTS AND COMMUNITY METRICS IN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS (FINAL)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The EPA document, Relationships Among Exceedances of Chemical Criteria or Guidelines, the Results of Ambient Toxicity Tests, and Community Metrics in Aquatic Ecosystems, presents two studies where the three general approaches for the ecological assessment of contaminant ex...

  1. SEARCH: Study of Environmental Arctic Change--A System-scale, Cross-disciplinary, Long-term Arctic Research Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Schlosser, P.; Loring, A. J.; Warnick, W. K.; Committee, S. S.

    2008-12-01

    The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) is a multi-agency effort to observe, understand, and guide responses to changes in the arctic system. Interrelated environmental changes in the Arctic are affecting ecosystems and living resources and are impacting local and global communities and economic activities. Under the SEARCH program, guided by the Science Steering Committee (SSC), the Interagency Program Management Committee (IPMC), and the Observing, Understanding, and Responding to Change panels, scientists with a variety of expertise--atmosphere, ocean and sea ice, hydrology and cryosphere, terrestrial ecosystems, human dimensions, and paleoclimatology--work together to achieve goals of the program. Over 150 projects and activities contribute to SEARCH implementation. The Observing Change component is underway through National Science Foundation's (NSF) Arctic Observing Network (AON), NOAA-sponsored atmospheric and sea ice observations, and other relevant national and international efforts, including the EU- sponsored Developing Arctic Modelling and Observing Capabilities for Long-term Environmental Studies (DAMOCLES) Program. The Understanding Change component of SEARCH consists of modeling and analysis efforts, with strong linkages to relevant programs such as NSF's Arctic System Synthesis (ARCSS) Program. The Responding to Change element is driven by stakeholder research and applications addressing social and economic concerns. As a national program under the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC), SEARCH is also working to expand international connections in an effort to better understand the global arctic system. SEARCH is sponsored by eight (8) U.S. agencies, including: the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Smithsonian

  2. Arctic Rabies – A Review

    PubMed Central

    Mørk, Torill; Prestrud, Pål

    2004-01-01

    Rabies seems to persist throughout most arctic regions, and the northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland, is the only part of the Arctic where rabies has not been diagnosed in recent time. The arctic fox is the main host, and the same arctic virus variant seems to infect the arctic fox throughout the range of this species. The epidemiology of rabies seems to have certain common characteristics in arctic regions, but main questions such as the maintenance and spread of the disease remains largely unknown. The virus has spread and initiated new epidemics also in other species such as the red fox and the racoon dog. Large land areas and cold climate complicate the control of the disease, but experimental oral vaccination of arctic foxes has been successful. This article summarises the current knowledge and the typical characteristics of arctic rabies including its distribution and epidemiology. PMID:15535081

  3. Arctic Sea Ice Maximum 2011

    NASA Video Gallery

    AMSR-E Arctic Sea Ice: September 2010 to March 2011: Scientists tracking the annual maximum extent of Arctic sea ice said that 2011 was among the lowest ice extents measured since satellites began ...

  4. Recent Arctic Ocean sea ice loss triggers novel fall phytoplankton blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ardyna, Mathieu; Babin, Marcel; Gosselin, Michel; Devred, Emmanuel; Rainville, Luc; Tremblay, Jean-Éric

    2014-09-01

    Recent receding of the ice pack allows more sunlight to penetrate into the Arctic Ocean, enhancing productivity of a single annual phytoplankton bloom. Increasing river runoff may, however, enhance the yet pronounced upper ocean stratification and prevent any significant wind-driven vertical mixing and upward supply of nutrients, counteracting the additional light available to phytoplankton. Vertical mixing of the upper ocean is the key process that will determine the fate of marine Arctic ecosystems. Here we reveal an unexpected consequence of the Arctic ice loss: regions are now developing a second bloom in the fall, which coincides with delayed freezeup and increased exposure of the sea surface to wind stress. This implies that wind-driven vertical mixing during fall is indeed significant, at least enough to promote further primary production. The Arctic Ocean seems to be experiencing a fundamental shift from a polar to a temperate mode, which is likely to alter the marine ecosystem.

  5. The NGEE Arctic Data Archive -- Portal for Archiving and Distributing Data and Documentation

    SciTech Connect

    Boden, Thomas A; Palanisamy, Giri; Devarakonda, Ranjeet; Killeffer, Terri S; Krassovski, Misha B; Hook, Leslie A

    2014-01-01

    The Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) project is committed to implementing a rigorous and high-quality data management program. The goal is to implement innovative and cost-effective guidelines and tools for collecting, archiving, and sharing data within the project, the larger scientific community, and the public. The NGEE Arctic web site is the framework for implementing these data management and data sharing tools. The open sharing of NGEE Arctic data among project researchers, the broader scientific community, and the public is critical to meeting the scientific goals and objectives of the NGEE Arctic project and critical to advancing the mission of the Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Biological and Environmental (BER) Terrestrial Ecosystem Science (TES) program.

  6. Climate Change in the North American Arctic: A One Health Perspective.

    PubMed

    Dudley, Joseph P; Hoberg, Eric P; Jenkins, Emily J; Parkinson, Alan J

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the prevalence of acute and chronic diseases among human and animal populations within the Arctic and subarctic latitudes of North America. Warmer temperatures are expected to increase disease risks from food-borne pathogens, water-borne diseases, and vector-borne zoonoses in human and animal populations of Arctic landscapes. Existing high levels of mercury and persistent organic pollutant chemicals circulating within terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in Arctic latitudes are a major concern for the reproductive health of humans and other mammals, and climate warming will accelerate the mobilization and biological amplification of toxic environmental contaminants. The adverse health impacts of Arctic warming will be especially important for wildlife populations and indigenous peoples dependent upon subsistence food resources from wild plants and animals. Additional research is needed to identify and monitor changes in the prevalence of zoonotic pathogens in humans, domestic dogs, and wildlife species of critical subsistence, cultural, and economic importance to Arctic peoples. The long-term effects of climate warming in the Arctic cannot be adequately predicted or mitigated without a comprehensive understanding of the interactive and synergistic effects between environmental contaminants and pathogens in the health of wildlife and human communities in Arctic ecosystems. The complexity and magnitude of the documented impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems, and the intimacy of connections between their human and wildlife communities, makes this region an appropriate area for development of One Health approaches to identify and mitigate the effects of climate warming at the community, ecosystem, and landscape scales.

  7. More Arctic research needed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bush, Susan

    The desire to achieve a balance between Arctic and Antarctic study was the message of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which heard testimony on the need for more Arctic research on April 24. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) noted that since 1986, study in the area has not increased as the National Science Foundation has claimed, but rather, owing to inflation, has merely kept pace. Robert Correll, assistant director of geosciences at NSF and chair of the Interagency Arctic Oceans Working Group, gave several reasons why the Arctic is an important area for study by the scientific community. Its unique environment, he said, makes it a natural laboratory. And due to its environmental sensitivity, it may provide one of the earliest indicators of global climate change. Also, its geographic location makes it a “window on space,” some of the world's largest mineral and petroleum resources are in the Arctic, and the region has great strategic and military importance.

  8. FIRE Arctic Clouds Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curry, J. A.; Hobbs, P. V.; King, M. D.; Randall, D. A.; Minnis, P.; Issac, G. A.; Pinto, J. O.; Uttal, T.; Bucholtz, A.; Cripe, D. G.; Gerber, H.; Fairall, C. W.; Garrett, T. J.; Hudson, J.; Intrieri, J. M.; Jakob, C.; Jensen, T.; Lawson, P.; Marcotte, D.; Nguyen, L.

    1998-01-01

    An overview is given of the First ISCCP Regional Experiment (FIRE) Arctic Clouds Experiment that was conducted in the Arctic during April through July, 1998. The principal goal of the field experiment was to gather the data needed to examine the impact of arctic clouds on the radiation exchange between the surface, atmosphere, and space, and to study how the surface influences the evolution of boundary layer clouds. The observations will be used to evaluate and improve climate model parameterizations of cloud and radiation processes, satellite remote sensing of cloud and surface characteristics, and understanding of cloud-radiation feedbacks in the Arctic. The experiment utilized four research aircraft that flew over surface-based observational sites in the Arctic Ocean and Barrow, Alaska. In this paper we describe the programmatic and science objectives of the project, the experimental design (including research platforms and instrumentation), conditions that were encountered during the field experiment, and some highlights of preliminary observations, modelling, and satellite remote sensing studies.

  9. Extreme anthropogenic loads and the northern ecosystem condition

    SciTech Connect

    Kryuckkov, V.V. )

    1993-11-01

    In the extreme North, the polar region of siberian Russia, the largest mining and processing enterprises for metallic and nonmetallic ores, coal, oil, and gas are situated. The extremely vulnerable boreal and polar ecosystems of the north are responding adversely to the impact of these activities, and are in danger of collapse because of them. The mechanisms of such impacts, their formation, continuous extension, and merger have been studied. The deforested and destroyed areas of former forest-tundra and taiga ecosystems resemble the Arctic zones of a much harsher environment more than the typical Arctic zones where they occur. 5 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  10. What are the toxicological effects of mercury in Arctic biota?

    PubMed

    Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian; Basu, Niladri; Braune, Birgit; O'Hara, Todd; Letcher, Robert J; Scheuhammer, Tony; Andersen, Magnus; Andreasen, Claus; Andriashek, Dennis; Asmund, Gert; Aubail, Aurore; Baagøe, Hans; Born, Erik W; Chan, Hing M; Derocher, Andrew E; Grandjean, Philippe; Knott, Katrina; Kirkegaard, Maja; Krey, Anke; Lunn, Nick; Messier, Francoise; Obbard, Marty; Olsen, Morten T; Ostertag, Sonja; Peacock, Elizabeth; Renzoni, Aristeo; Rigét, Frank F; Skaare, Janneche Utne; Stern, Gary; Stirling, Ian; Taylor, Mitch; Wiig, Øystein; Wilson, Simon; Aars, Jon

    2013-01-15

    This review critically evaluates the available mercury (Hg) data in Arctic marine biota and the Inuit population against toxicity threshold values. In particular marine top predators exhibit concentrations of mercury in their tissues and organs that are believed to exceed thresholds for biological effects. Species whose concentrations exceed threshold values include the polar bears (Ursus maritimus), beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas), pilot whale (Globicephala melas), hooded seal (Cystophora cristata), a few seabird species, and landlocked Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus). Toothed whales appear to be one of the most vulnerable groups, with high concentrations of mercury recorded in brain tissue with associated signs of neurochemical effects. Evidence of increasing concentrations in mercury in some biota in Arctic Canada and Greenland is therefore a concern with respect to ecosystem health. PMID:23231888

  11. 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...

  12. Arctic Ocean freshwater content changes and their causes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, V.; Polyakov, I. V.; Alexeev, V.; Belchansky, G. I.; Dmitrenko, I. A.; Kirillov, S.; Korablev, A.; Steele, M.; Timokhov, L. A.; Yashayaev, I.

    2006-12-01

    Recent observations show dramatic changes of the Arctic atmosphere-ice-ocean system. Here we demonstrate, through the analysis of a vast collection of previously unsynthesized observational data, that over the 20th century the central Arctic Ocean became increasingly saltier whereas long-term freshwater content (FWC) trends over the Siberian shelf show general freshening tendency. These FWC trends are modulated by strong decadal and multidecadal fluctuations with sustained and widespread spatiotemporal patterns. Associated with the multidecadal variability, the FWC record shows two periods in the 1920-30s and in recent decades when the central Arctic Ocean was saltier and two periods in the earlier century and in the 1940-70s when it was fresher. The FWC anomalies excited on arctic shelves (including anomalies resulting from river discharge inputs) and those caused by net atmospheric precipitation were too small to trigger long-term FWC variations in the central Arctic Ocean; to the contrary, they act to moderate the observed long-term central- basin FWC changes. Variability of the intermediate Atlantic Water did not have strong impact on changes of the upper Arctic Ocean water masses. Ice-ocean interactions were the key processes in shaping long-term upper Arctic Ocean FWC changes. The combined effect of ice production and melt resulted in a cumulative loss of 15 thousand cubic km of fresh water over the last 21 years. Strength of the outflow of the arctic waters (not FWC anomalies) dominates the supply of Arctic fresh water to sub-polar basins. Finally, since the high- latitude fresh water plays a crucial role in establishing and regulating global thermohaline circulation, the multi- decadal fluctuations of the freshwater content discussed here should be considered when assessing long-term climate change and variability.

  13. Distant drivers or local signals: where do mercury trends in western Arctic belugas originate?

    PubMed

    Loseto, L L; Stern, G A; Macdonald, R W

    2015-03-15

    Temporal trends of contaminants are monitored in Arctic higher trophic level species to inform us on the fate, transport and risk of contaminants as well as advise on global emissions. However, monitoring mercury (Hg) trends in species such as belugas challenge us, as their tissue concentrations reflect complex interactions among Hg deposition and methylation, whale physiology, dietary exposure and foraging patterns. The Beaufort Sea beluga population showed significant increases in Hg during the 1990 s; since that time an additional 10 years of data have been collected. During this time of data collection, changes in the Arctic have affected many processes that underlie the Hg cycle. Here, we examine Hg in beluga tissues and investigate factors that could contribute to the observed trends after removing the effect of age and size on Hg concentrations and dietary factors. Finally, we examine available indicators of climate variability (Arctic Oscillation (AO), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and sea-ice minimum (SIM) concentration) to evaluate their potential to explain beluga Hg trends. Results reveal a decline in Hg concentrations from 2002 to 2012 in the liver of older whales and the muscle of large whales. The temporal increases in Hg in the 1990 s followed by recent declines do not follow trends in Hg emission, and are not easily explained by diet markers highlighting the complexity of feeding, food web dynamics and Hg uptake. Among the regional-scale climate variables the PDO exhibited the most significant relationship with beluga Hg at an eight year lag time. This distant signal points us to consider beluga winter feeding areas. Given that changes in climate will impact ecosystems; it is plausible that these climate variables are important in explaining beluga Hg trends. Such relationships require further investigation of the multiple connections between climate variables and beluga Hg.

  14. Distant drivers or local signals: where do mercury trends in western Arctic belugas originate?

    PubMed

    Loseto, L L; Stern, G A; Macdonald, R W

    2015-03-15

    Temporal trends of contaminants are monitored in Arctic higher trophic level species to inform us on the fate, transport and risk of contaminants as well as advise on global emissions. However, monitoring mercury (Hg) trends in species such as belugas challenge us, as their tissue concentrations reflect complex interactions among Hg deposition and methylation, whale physiology, dietary exposure and foraging patterns. The Beaufort Sea beluga population showed significant increases in Hg during the 1990 s; since that time an additional 10 years of data have been collected. During this time of data collection, changes in the Arctic have affected many processes that underlie the Hg cycle. Here, we examine Hg in beluga tissues and investigate factors that could contribute to the observed trends after removing the effect of age and size on Hg concentrations and dietary factors. Finally, we examine available indicators of climate variability (Arctic Oscillation (AO), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and sea-ice minimum (SIM) concentration) to evaluate their potential to explain beluga Hg trends. Results reveal a decline in Hg concentrations from 2002 to 2012 in the liver of older whales and the muscle of large whales. The temporal increases in Hg in the 1990 s followed by recent declines do not follow trends in Hg emission, and are not easily explained by diet markers highlighting the complexity of feeding, food web dynamics and Hg uptake. Among the regional-scale climate variables the PDO exhibited the most significant relationship with beluga Hg at an eight year lag time. This distant signal points us to consider beluga winter feeding areas. Given that changes in climate will impact ecosystems; it is plausible that these climate variables are important in explaining beluga Hg trends. Such relationships require further investigation of the multiple connections between climate variables and beluga Hg. PMID:25442642

  15. 2015 DOE Final UF Report. Effects of Warming the Deep Soil and Permafrost on Ecosystem Carbon Balance in Alaskan Tundra. A Coupled Measurement and Modeling Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Schuur, Edward

    2015-06-11

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

  16. Increased sensitivity and variability of phytotoxicity responses in Arctic soils to a reference toxicant, boric acid.

    PubMed

    Anaka, Alison; Wickstrom, Mark; Siciliano, Steven Douglas

    2008-03-01

    Industrial and human activities in the Arctic regions may pose a risk to terrestrial Arctic ecosystem functions. One of the most common terrestrial toxicological end points, primary productivity, typically is assessed using a plant phytotoxicity test. Because of cryoturbation, a soil mixing process common in polar regions, we hypothesized that phytotoxicity test results in Arctic soils would be highly variable compared to other terrestrial ecosystems. The variability associated with phytotoxicity tests was evaluated using Environment Canada's standardized plant toxicity test in three cryoturbated soils from Canada's Arctic exposed to a reference toxicant, boric acid. Northern wheatgrass (Elymus lanceolatus) not only was more sensitive to toxicants in Arctic soils, its response to toxicants was more variable compared to that in temperate soils. The phytotoxicity of boric acid in cryosols was much greater than commonly reported in other soils, with a boric acid concentration of less than 150 microg/g soil needed to inhibit root and shoot growth by 20%. Large variability also was found in the phytotoxicity test results, with coefficients of variation for 10 samples ranging from 160 to 79%. The increased toxicity of boric acid in cryosols and variability in test response was not explained by soil properties. Based on our admittedly limited data set of three different Arctic soils, we recommend that more than 30 samples be taken from each control and potentially impacted area to accurately assess contaminant effects at sites in northern Canada. Such intensive sampling will insure that false-negative results for toxicant impacts in Arctic soils are minimized.

  17. Chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants in arctic marine mammals.

    PubMed

    Norstrom, R J; Muir, D C

    1994-09-16

    . Lawrence and ringed seal in the Baltic Sea, indicate that overall contamination of the Arctic marine ecosystem is 10-50 times less than the most highly contaminated areas in the northern hemisphere temperate latitude marine environment. Geographic distribution of residue levels in polar bears indicates a gradual increase from Alaska east to Svalbard, except PCB levels are significantly higher in eastern Greenland and Svalbard. Information on temporal trends is somewhat contradictory.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS) PMID:7973601

  18. Potential impacts of the Arctic on interannual and interdecadal summer precipitation over China

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Yuefeng; Leung, Lai-Yung R.

    2013-02-01

    After the end of the 1970s, there has been a tendency for enhanced summer precipitation over South China and the Yangtze River valley and drought over North China and Northeastern China. Coincidentally, Arctic ice concentration has decreased since the late 1970s, with larger reduction in summer than spring. However, the Arctic warming is more significant in spring than summer, suggesting that spring Arctic conditions could be more important in their remote impacts. This study investigates the potential impacts of the Arctic on summer precipitation in China. The leading spatial patterns and time coefficients of the unfiltered, interannual, and interdecadal precipitation (1960-2008) modes were analyzed and compared using empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis, which shows that the first three EOFs can capture the principal precipitation patterns (northern, central and southern patterns) over eastern China. Regression of the Arctic spring and summer temperature onto the time coefficients of the leading interannual and interdecadal precipitation modes shows that interdecadal summer precipitation in China is related to the Arctic spring warming, but the relationship with Arctic summer temperature is weak. Moreover, no notable relationships were found between the first three modes of interannual precipitation and Arctic spring or summer temperatures. Finally, correlations between summer precipitation and the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index from January to August were investigated, which indicate that summer precipitation in China correlates with AO only to some extent. Overall, this study suggests important relationships between the Arctic spring temperature and summer precipitation over China at the interdecadal time scale.

  19. Arctic ozone loss

    SciTech Connect

    Zurer, P.S.

    1989-03-06

    Scientists have returned from the first comprehensive probe of the Arctic stratosphere with unexpectedly dire results: The winter atmosphere in the north polar region is loaded with the same destructive chlorine compounds that cause the Antarctic ozone hole. Atmospheric researchers who only a few weeks ago were comforted by the thought that the warmer Northern Hemisphere is strongly protected from the processes that lead to massive losses of ozone during spring in Antarctica now see very little standing in the way of an Arctic ozone hole.

  20. Seasonal cues of Arctic grayling movement in a small Arctic stream: the importance of surface water connectivity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heim, Kurt C.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Whitman, Matthew S.; Arp, Christopher D.; Adams, Jeff; Falke, Jeffrey A.

    2015-01-01

    In Arctic ecosystems, freshwater fish migrate seasonally between productive shallow water habitats that freeze in winter and deep overwinter refuge in rivers and lakes. How these movements relate to seasonal hydrology is not well understood. We used passive integrated transponder tags and stream wide antennae to track 1035 Arctic grayling in Crea Creek, a seasonally flowing beaded stream on the Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska. Migration of juvenile and adult fish into Crea Creek peaked in June immediately after ice break-up in the stream. Fish that entered the stream during periods of high flow and cold stream temperature traveled farther upstream than those entering during periods of lower flow and warmer temperature. We used generalized linear models to relate migration of adult and juvenile fish out of Crea Creek to hydrology. Most adults migrated in late June – early July, and there was best support (Akaike weight = 0.46; w i ) for a model indicating that the rate of migration increased with decreasing discharge. Juvenile migration occurred in two peaks; the early peak consisted of larger juveniles and coincided with adult migration, while the later peak occurred shortly before freeze-up in September and included smaller juveniles. A model that included discharge, minimum stream temperature, year, season, and mean size of potential migrants was most strongly supported (w i  = 0.86). Juvenile migration rate increased sharply as daily minimum stream temperature decreased, suggesting fish respond to impending freeze-up. We found fish movements to be intimately tied to the strong seasonality of discharge and temperature, and demonstrate the importance of small stream connectivity for migratory Arctic grayling during the entire open-water period. The ongoing and anticipated effects of climate change and petroleum development on Arctic hydrology (e.g. reduced stream connectivity, earlier peak flows, increased evapotranspiration) have important implications

  1. Trophic interactions in a high arctic snow goose colony.

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Gilles; Bêty, Joël; Giroux, Jean-François; Rochefort, Line

    2004-04-01

    We examined the role of trophic interactions in structuring a high arctic tundra community characterized by a large breeding colony of greater snow geese (Chen caerulescens atlantica). According to the exploitation ecosystem hypothesis of Oksanen et al. (1981), food chains are controlled by top-down interactions. However, because the arctic primary productivity is low, herbivore populations are too small to support functional predator populations and these communities should thus be dominated by the plant/ herbivore trophic-level interaction. Since 1990, we have been monitoring annual abundance and productivity of geese, the impact of goose grazing, predator abundance (mostly arctic foxes, Alopex lagopus) and the abundance of lemmings, the other significant herbivore in this community, on Bylot Island, Nunavut, Canada. Goose grazing consistently removed a significant proportion of the standing crop (∼40%) in tundra wetlands every year. Grazing changed plant community composition and reduced the production of grasses and sedges to a low-level equilibrium compared to the situation where the presence of geese had been removed. Lemming cyclic fluctuations were strong and affected fox reproduction. Fox predation on goose eggs was severe and generated marked annual variation in goose productivity. Predation intensity on geese was closely related to the lemming cycle, a consequence of an indirect interaction between lemming and geese via shared predators. We conclude that, contrary to the exploitation ecosystem hypothesis, both the plant/herbivore and predator/prey interactions are significant in this arctic community. PMID:21680492

  2. Turnover of recently assimilated carbon in arctic bryophytes.

    PubMed

    Street, L E; Subke, J A; Sommerkorn, M; Heinemeyer, A; Williams, M

    2011-10-01

    Carbon (C) allocation and turnover in arctic bryophytes is largely unknown, but their response to climatic change has potentially significant impacts on arctic ecosystem C budgets. Using a combination of pulse-chase experiments and a newly developed model of C turnover in bryophytes, we show significant differences in C turnover between two contrasting arctic moss species (Polytrichum piliferum and Sphagnum fuscum). (13)C abundance in moss tissues (measured up to 1 year) and respired CO(2) (traced over 5 days) were used to parameterise the bryophyte C model with four pools representing labile and structural C in photosynthetic and stem tissue. The model was optimised using an Ensemble Kalman Filter to ensure a focus on estimating the confidence intervals (CI) on model parameters and outputs. The ratio of aboveground NPP:GPP in Polytrichum piliferum was 23% (CI 9-35%), with an average turnover time of 1.7 days (CI 1.1-2.5 days). The aboveground NPP:GPP ratio in Sphagnum fuscum was 43% (CI 19-65%) with an average turnover time of 3.1 days (CI 1.6-6.1 days). These results are the first to show differences in C partitioning between arctic bryophyte species in situ and highlight the importance of modelling C dynamics of this group separately from vascular plants for a realistic representation of vegetation in arctic C models.

  3. Arctic climate response to geoengineering with stratospheric sulfate aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCusker, K. E.; Battisti, D. S.; Bitz, C. M.

    2010-12-01

    Recent warming and record summer sea-ice area minimums have spurred expressions of concern for arctic ecosystems, permafrost, and polar bear populations, among other things. Geoengineering by stratospheric sulfate aerosol injections to deliberately cancel the anthropogenic temperature rise has been put forth as a possible solution to restoring Arctic (and global) climate to modern conditions. However, climate is particularly sensitive in the northern high latitudes, responding easily to radiative forcing changes. To that end, we explore the extent to which tropical injections of stratospheric sulfate aerosol can accomplish regional cancellation in the Arctic. We use the Community Climate System Model version 3 global climate model to execute simulations with combinations of doubled CO2 and imposed stratospheric sulfate burdens to investigate the effects on high latitude climate. We further explore the sensitivity of the polar climate to ocean dynamics by running a suite of simulations with and without ocean dynamics, transiently and to equilibrium respectively. We find that, although annual, global mean temperature cancellation is accomplished, there is over-cooling on land in Arctic summer, but residual warming in Arctic winter, which is largely due to atmospheric circulation changes. Furthermore, the spatial extent of these features and their concurrent impacts on sea-ice properties are modified by the inclusion of ocean dynamical feedbacks.

  4. Interacting CO2 and O3 effects on litter production, chemistry and decomposition in an aggrading northern forest ecosystem: final report

    SciTech Connect

    Rihard L. Lindroth

    2004-08-03

    The overall purpose of this research was to evaluate the independent and interactive effects of elevated levels of CO{sub 2} and O{sub 3} on tree leaf litter quality and decomposition. This research was conducted at the Aspen FACE (Free Air CO{sub 2} Enrichment) facility near Rhinelander, Wisconsin. This research comprised one facet of a larger project assessing how CO{sub 2} and O{sub 3} pollutants will alter carbon sequestration and nutrient cycling in north temperate forest ecosystems.

  5. Final Report for “Simulating the Arctic Winter Longwave Indirect Effects. A New Parameterization for Frost Flower Aerosol Salt Emissions” (DESC0006679) for 9/15/2011 through 9/14/2015

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, Lynn M.; Somerville, Richard C.J.; Burrows, Susannah; Rasch, Phil

    2015-12-12

    Description of the Project: This project has improved the aerosol formulation in a global climate model by using innovative new field and laboratory observations to develop and implement a novel wind-driven sea ice aerosol flux parameterization. This work fills a critical gap in the understanding of clouds, aerosol, and radiation in polar regions by addressing one of the largest missing particle sources in aerosol-climate modeling. Recent measurements of Arctic organic and inorganic aerosol indicate that the largest source of natural aerosol during the Arctic winter is emitted from crystal structures, known as frost flowers, formed on a newly frozen sea ice surface [Shaw et al., 2010]. We have implemented the new parameterization in an updated climate model making it the first capable of investigating how polar natural aerosol-cloud indirect effects relate to this important and previously unrecognized sea ice source. The parameterization is constrained by Arctic ARM in situ cloud and radiation data. The modified climate model has been used to quantify the potential pan-Arctic radiative forcing and aerosol indirect effects due to this missing source. This research supported the work of one postdoc (Li Xu) for two years and contributed to the training and research of an undergraduate student. This research allowed us to establish a collaboration between SIO and PNNL in order to contribute the frost flower parameterization to the new ACME model. One peer-reviewed publications has already resulted from this work, and a manuscript for a second publication has been completed. Additional publications from the PNNL collaboration are expected to follow.

  6. Gender specific reproductive strategies of an arctic key species (Boreogadus saida) and implications of climate change.

    PubMed

    Nahrgang, Jasmine; Varpe, Oystein; Korshunova, Ekaterina; Murzina, Svetlana; Hallanger, Ingeborg G; Vieweg, Ireen; Berge, Jørgen

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. What consequences this may have on the Arctic marine ecosystem depends to a large degree on how its species will respond both directly to elevated temperatures and more indirectly through ecological interactions. But despite an alarming recent warming of the Arctic with accompanying sea ice loss, reports evaluating ecological impacts of climate change in the Arctic remain sparse. Here, based upon a large-scale field study, we present basic new knowledge regarding the life history traits for one of the most important species in the entire Arctic, the polar cod (Boreogadus saida). Furthermore, by comparing regions of contrasting climatic influence (domains), we present evidence as to how its growth and reproductive success is impaired in the warmer of the two domains. As the future Arctic is predicted to resemble today's Atlantic domains, we forecast changes in growth and life history characteristics of polar cod that will lead to alteration of its role as an Arctic keystone species. This will in turn affect community dynamics and energy transfer in the entire Arctic food chain.

  7. Gender Specific Reproductive Strategies of an Arctic Key Species (Boreogadus saida) and Implications of Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Nahrgang, Jasmine; Varpe, Øystein; Korshunova, Ekaterina; Murzina, Svetlana; Hallanger, Ingeborg G.; Vieweg, Ireen; Berge, Jørgen

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. What consequences this may have on the Arctic marine ecosystem depends to a large degree on how its species will respond both directly to elevated temperatures and more indirectly through ecological interactions. But despite an alarming recent warming of the Arctic with accompanying sea ice loss, reports evaluating ecological impacts of climate change in the Arctic remain sparse. Here, based upon a large-scale field study, we present basic new knowledge regarding the life history traits for one of the most important species in the entire Arctic, the polar cod (Boreogadus saida). Furthermore, by comparing regions of contrasting climatic influence (domains), we present evidence as to how its growth and reproductive success is impaired in the warmer of the two domains. As the future Arctic is predicted to resemble today's Atlantic domains, we forecast changes in growth and life history characteristics of polar cod that will lead to alteration of its role as an Arctic keystone species. This will in turn affect community dynamics and energy transfer in the entire Arctic food chain. PMID:24871481

  8. Arctic cyclone water vapor isotopes support past sea ice retreat recorded in Greenland ice

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Eric S.; Cherry, J. E.; Young, J.; Noone, D.; Leffler, A. J.; Welker, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid Arctic warming is associated with important water cycle changes: sea ice loss, increasing atmospheric humidity, permafrost thaw, and water-induced ecosystem changes. Understanding these complex modern processes is critical to interpreting past hydrologic changes preserved in paleoclimate records and predicting future Arctic changes. Cyclones are a prevalent Arctic feature and water vapor isotope ratios during these events provide insights into modern hydrologic processes that help explain past changes to the Arctic water cycle. Here we present continuous measurements of water vapor isotope ratios (δ18O, δ2H, d-excess) in Arctic Alaska from a 2013 cyclone. This cyclone resulted in a sharp d-excess decrease and disproportional δ18O enrichment, indicative of a higher humidity open Arctic Ocean water vapor source. Past transitions to warmer climates inferred from Greenland ice core records also reveal sharp decreases in d-excess, hypothesized to represent reduced sea ice extent and an increase in oceanic moisture source to Greenland Ice Sheet precipitation. Thus, measurements of water vapor isotope ratios during an Arctic cyclone provide a critical processed-based explanation, and the first direct confirmation, of relationships previously assumed to govern water isotope ratios during sea ice retreat and increased input of northern ocean moisture into the Arctic water cycle. PMID:26023728

  9. Air Pollution and Acid Rain, Report 8. Effects of air pollution and acid rain on fish, wildlife, and their habitats: arctic tundra and alpine meadows

    SciTech Connect

    Olson, J.E.; Adler, D.

    1982-06-01

    This report on arctic tundra and alpine meadow ecosystems is part of a series synthesizing the results of scientific research related to the effects of air pollution and acid deposition on fish and wildlife resources. Recently performed research reveals the growing air pollution problem in arctic tundra and alpine meadow ecosystems once thought to be relatively unpolluted. The ecosystem features which determine sensitivity to air pollution are described. Data related to the effects of air pollutants on biota and whole ecosystems are reviewed. Because very little work has been done on the effects of air pollution specifically in arctic and alpine ecosystems this report includes relevant information based on studies in other ecosystems. Suggestions are made for areas of further research. 68 references, 2 figures.

  10. Arctic lithosphere - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pease, V.; Drachev, S.; Stephenson, R.; Zhang, X.

    2014-07-01

    This article reviews the characteristics of Arctic lithosphere and the principal tectonic events which have shaped it. The current state-of-knowledge associated with the crust, crustal-scale discontinuities, and their ages, as well as knowledge of the lithosphere as a whole from geophysical data, permits the division of Arctic lithosphere into discrete domains. Arctic continental lithosphere is diverse in age, composition, and structure. It has been affected by at least two periods of thermal overprinting associated with large volumes of magmatism, once in the Permo-Triassic and again in the Aptian. In addition, it was attenuated as the result of at least five phases of rifting (in the late Devonian-early Carboniferous, Permo-Triassic, Jurassic, Early Cretaceous, and Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic). Older phases of consolidation are associated with continental lithosphere and occurred through a series of continent-continent collisions in the Paleozoic. Jurassic and Cretaceous extensional phases are related to the dismembering of Pangea and Eurasia, and were concentrated in the Norway-Greenland and Canadian-Alaskan Arctic regions. Large areas of submarine, hyperextended continental (?) lithosphere developed in parts of the Amerasia Basin. After continental breakup and the accretion of new oceanic lithosphere, the Eurasia and Canada basins were formed.

  11. Environmental Analysis of Endocrine Disrupting Effects from Hydrocarbon Contaminants in the Ecosystem - Final Report - 09/15/1996 - 09/14/2000

    SciTech Connect

    McLachlan, John A.

    2000-09-14

    The three major components of the research included: (a) a biotechnology based screening system to identify potential hormone mimics and antagonists (b) an animal screening system to identify biomarkers of endocrine effects and (c) a literature review to identify compounds at various DOE sites that are potential endocrine disruptors. Species of particular interest in this study were those that can serve as sentinel species (e.g., amphibians) and thus provide early warning signals for more widespread impacts on an ecosystem and its wildlife and human inhabitants. The objective of this basic research is to characterize the potential of common hydrocarbon contaminants in ecosystems to act as endocrine disruptors. Although the endocrine disrupting effects of contaminants such as dioxin and PCBs have been well characterized in both animals and humans, little is known about the capacities of other hydrocarbon contaminants to act as endocrine disruptors. Results obtained from this research project have provided information on endocrine disrupting contaminants for consideration in DOE's risk analyses for determining clean-up levels and priorities at contaminated DOE sites.

  12. Response of Yellowstone grizzly bears to changes in food resources: A synthesis. Final report to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee and Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,; van Manen, Frank T.; Cecily M, Costello; Haroldson, Mark A.; Daniel D, Bjornlie; Michael R, Ebinger; Kerry A, Gunther; Mary Frances, Mahalovich; Daniel J, Thompson; Megan D, Higgs; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Kristin, Legg; Daniel, Tyers; Landenburger, Lisa; Steven L, Cain; Frey, Kevin L.; Aber, Bryan C.; Schwartz, Charles C.

    2013-01-01

    The Yellowstone grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) was listed as a threatened species in 1975 (Federal Register 40 FR:31734-31736). Since listing, recovery efforts have focused on increasing population size, improving habitat security, managing bear mortalities, and reducing bear-human conflicts. The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC; partnership of federal and state agencies responsible for grizzly bear recovery in the lower 48 states) and its Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommitte (YES; federal, state, county, and tribal partners charged with recovery of grizzly bears in the Greater Yelowston Ecosystem [GYE]) tasked the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team to provide information and further research relevant to three concerns arising from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals November 2011 decision: 1) the ability of grizzly bears as omnivores to find alternative foods to whitebark pine seeds; 2) literature to support their conclusions; and 3) the non-intuitive biological reality that impacts can occur to individuals without causing the overall population to decline. Specifically, the IGBC and YES requested a comprehensive synthesis of the current state of knowledge regarding whitebark pinbe decline and individual and population-level responses of grizzly bears to changing food resources in the GYE. This research was particularly relevant to grizzly bear conservation given changes in the population trajectory observed during the last decade.

  13. Final Activity Report: The Effects of Iron Complexing Ligands on the Long Term Ecosystem Response to Iron Enrichment of HNLC waters

    SciTech Connect

    Trick, Charles Gordon

    2013-07-30

    Substantial increases in the concentrations of the stronger of two Fe(III) complexing organic ligand classes measured during the mesoscale Fe enrichment studies IronEx II and SOIREE appeared to sharply curtailed Fe availability to diatoms and thus limited the efficiency of carbon sequestration to the deep. Detailed observations during IronEx II (equatorial Pacific Ocean) and SOIREE (Southern Ocean –Pacific sector) indicate that the diatoms began re-experiencing Fe stress even though dissolved Fe concentrations remained elevated in the patch. This surprising outcome likely is related to the observed increased concentrations of strong Fe(III)-complexing ligands in seawater. Preliminary findings from other studies indicate that diatoms may not readily obtain Fe from these chemical species whereas Fe bound by strong ligands appears to support growth of cyanobacteria and nanoflagellates. The difficulty in assessing the likelihood of these changes with in-situ mesoscale experiments is the extended monitoring period needed to capture the long-term trajectory of the carbon cycle. A more detailed understanding of Fe complexing ligand effects on long-term ecosystem structure and carbon cycling is essential to ascertain not only the effect of Fe enrichment on short-term carbon sequestration in the oceans, but also the potential effect of Fe enrichment in modifying ecosystem structure and trajectory.

  14. Final Technical Report: The Effects of Iron Complexing Ligands on the Long Term Ecosystem Response to Iron Enrichment of HNLC waters

    SciTech Connect

    Cochlan, William P.

    2008-06-13

    Substantial increases in the concentrations of the stronger of two Fe(III) complexing organic ligand classes measured during the mesoscale Fe enrichment studies IronEx II and SOIREE appeared to sharply curtailed Fe availability to diatoms and thus limited the efficiency of carbon sequestration to the deep. Detailed observations during IronEx II (equatorial Pacific Ocean) and SOIREE (Southern Ocean –Pacific sector) indicate that the diatoms began re-experiencing Fe stress even though dissolved Fe concentrations remained elevated in the patch. This surprising outcome likely is related to the observed increased concentrations of strong Fe(III)-complexing ligands in seawater. Preliminary findings from other studies indicate that diatoms may not readily obtain Fe from these chemical species whereas Fe bound by strong ligands appears to support growth of cyanobacteria and nanoflagellates. The difficulty in assessing the likelihood of these changes with in-situ mesoscale experiments is the extended monitoring period needed to capture the long-term trajectory of the carbon cycle. A more detailed understanding of Fe complexing ligand effects on long-term ecosystem structure and carbon cycling is essential to ascertain not only the effect of Fe enrichment on short-term carbon sequestration in the oceans, but also the potential effect of Fe enrichment in modifying ecosystem structure and trajectory.

  15. Arctic ice islands

    SciTech Connect

    Sackinger, W.M.; Jeffries, M.O.; Lu, M.C.; Li, F.C.

    1988-01-01

    The development of offshore oil and gas resources in the Arctic waters of Alaska requires offshore structures which successfully resist the lateral forces due to moving, drifting ice. Ice islands are floating, a tabular icebergs, up to 60 meters thick, of solid ice throughout their thickness. The ice islands are thus regarded as the strongest ice features in the Arctic; fixed offshore structures which can directly withstand the impact of ice islands are possible but in some locations may be so expensive as to make oilfield development uneconomic. The resolution of the ice island problem requires two research steps: (1) calculation of the probability of interaction between an ice island and an offshore structure in a given region; and (2) if the probability if sufficiently large, then the study of possible interactions between ice island and structure, to discover mitigative measures to deal with the moving ice island. The ice island research conducted during the 1983-1988 interval, which is summarized in this report, was concerned with the first step. Monte Carlo simulations of ice island generation and movement suggest that ice island lifetimes range from 0 to 70 years, and that 85% of the lifetimes are less then 35 years. The simulation shows a mean value of 18 ice islands present at any time in the Arctic Ocean, with a 90% probability of less than 30 ice islands. At this time, approximately 34 ice islands are known, from observations, to exist in the Arctic Ocean, not including the 10-meter thick class of ice islands. Return interval plots from the simulation show that coastal zones of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, already leased for oil development, have ice island recurrences of 10 to 100 years. This implies that the ice island hazard must be considered thoroughly, and appropriate safety measures adopted, when offshore oil production plans are formulated for the Alaskan Arctic offshore. 132 refs., 161 figs., 17 tabs.

  16. Physiological and ecological effects of increasing temperature on fish production in lakes of Arctic Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carey, Michael P.; Zimmerman, Christian E.

    2014-01-01

    Lake ecosystems in the Arctic are changing rapidly due to climate warming. Lakes are sensitive integrators of climate-induced changes and prominent features across the Arctic landscape, especially in lowland permafrost regions such as the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. Despite many studies on the implications of climate warming, how fish populations will respond to lake changes is uncertain for Arctic ecosystems. Least Cisco (Coregonus sardinella) is a bellwether for Arctic lakes as an important consumer and prey resource. To explore the consequences of climate warming, we used a bioenergetics model to simulate changes in Least Cisco production under future climate scenarios for lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain. First, we used current temperatures to fit Least Cisco consumption to observed annual growth. We then estimated growth, holding food availability, and then feeding rate constant, for future projections of temperature. Projected warmer water temperatures resulted in reduced Least Cisco production, especially for larger size classes, when food availability was held constant. While holding feeding rate constant, production of Least Cisco increased under all future scenarios with progressively more growth in warmer temperatures. Higher variability occurred with longer projections of time mirroring the expanding uncertainty in climate predictions further into the future. In addition to direct temperature effects on Least Cisco growth, we also considered changes in lake ice phenology and prey resources for Least Cisco. A shorter period of ice cover resulted in increased production, similar to warming temperatures. Altering prey quality had a larger effect on fish production in summer than winter and increased relative growth of younger rather than older age classes of Least Cisco. Overall, we predicted increased production of Least Cisco due to climate warming in lakes of Arctic Alaska. Understanding the implications of increased production of Least Cisco to

  17. Physiological and ecological effects of increasing temperature on fish production in lakes of Arctic Alaska.

    PubMed

    Carey, Michael P; Zimmerman, Christian E

    2014-05-01

    Lake ecosystems in the Arctic are changing rapidly due to climate warming. Lakes are sensitive integrators of climate-induced changes and prominent features across the Arctic landscape, especially in lowland permafrost regions such as the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. Despite many studies on the implications of climate warming, how fish populations will respond to lake changes is uncertain for Arctic ecosystems. Least Cisco (Coregonus sardinella) is a bellwether for Arctic lakes as an important consumer and prey resource. To explore the consequences of climate warming, we used a bioenergetics model to simulate changes in Least Cisco production under future climate scenarios for lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain. First, we used current temperatures to fit Least Cisco consumption to observed annual growth. We then estimated growth, holding food availability, and then feeding rate constant, for future projections of temperature. Projected warmer water temperatures resulted in reduced Least Cisco production, especially for larger size classes, when food availability was held constant. While holding feeding rate constant, production of Least Cisco increased under all future scenarios with progressively more growth in warmer temperatures. Higher variability occurred with longer projections of time mirroring the expanding uncertainty in climate predictions further into the future. In addition to direct temperature effects on Least Cisco growth, we also considered changes in lake ice phenology and prey resources for Least Cisco. A shorter period of ice cover resulted in increased production, similar to warming temperatures. Altering prey quality had a larger effect on fish production in summer than winter and increased relative growth of younger rather than older age classes of Least Cisco. Overall, we predicted increased production of Least Cisco due to climate warming in lakes of Arctic Alaska. Understanding the implications of increased production of Least Cisco to

  18. Physiological and ecological effects of increasing temperature on fish production in lakes of Arctic Alaska

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Michael P; Zimmerman, Christian E

    2014-01-01

    Lake ecosystems in the Arctic are changing rapidly due to climate warming. Lakes are sensitive integrators of climate-induced changes and prominent features across the Arctic landscape, especially in lowland permafrost regions such as the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. Despite many studies on the implications of climate warming, how fish populations will respond to lake changes is uncertain for Arctic ecosystems. Least Cisco (Coregonus sardinella) is a bellwether for Arctic lakes as an important consumer and prey resource. To explore the consequences of climate warming, we used a bioenergetics model to simulate changes in Least Cisco production under future climate scenarios for lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain. First, we used current temperatures to fit Least Cisco consumption to observed annual growth. We then estimated growth, holding food availability, and then feeding rate constant, for future projections of temperature. Projected warmer water temperatures resulted in reduced Least Cisco production, especially for larger size classes, when food availability was held constant. While holding feeding rate constant, production of Least Cisco increased under all future scenarios with progressively more growth in warmer temperatures. Higher variability occurred with longer projections of time mirroring the expanding uncertainty in climate predictions further into the future. In addition to direct temperature effects on Least Cisco growth, we also considered changes in lake ice phenology and prey resources for Least Cisco. A shorter period of ice cover resulted in increased production, similar to warming temperatures. Altering prey quality had a larger effect on fish production in summer than winter and increased relative growth of younger rather than older age classes of Least Cisco. Overall, we predicted increased production of Least Cisco due to climate warming in lakes of Arctic Alaska. Understanding the implications of increased production of Least Cisco to

  19. Chasing Nutrients with an Arctic Sedge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iverson, S. L.; Schimel, J.

    2013-12-01

    Climate change has put the Arctic into a state of flux. Understanding the effects an altered climate will have on vegetation and nutrient cycling requires more knowledge of the key plant and soil functions of major arctic ecosystems. One of these ecosystems, moist acidic tussock tundra, is dominated by a single plant species, the tussock-forming sedge Eriophorum vaginatum. This plant has unusual underground biomass: long, fast-growing, non-branching, non-mycorrhizal roots. In contrast to many other plants in nutrient-limiting environments, this sedge is highly successful without maximizing its root surface area to volume ratio. The benefits of this growth strategy to the plants and its effects on the accompanying soil-microbe-plant relationships are not fully understood. One possibility is that the roots may help the plant take advantage of nutrients released into the active layer of soil as it thaws in the spring. The roots may also stimulate microbial activity, increasing nutrient turnover and availability. A study was undertaken to explore the nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) dynamics in these plants, as well as the microbial populations associated with active E. vaginatum roots. Intact tussock microcosms (plant and accompanying soil) were removed from the tundra and cultivated in transparent boxes. Half the plants were kept in light to encourage photosynthesis (and thus greater plant activity), while the other half was kept in the dark to inhibit it. Using a 15N isotopic tracer injected at the extremity of root penetration into the soil, the N uptake capacity of E. vaginatum roots at depth was explored. This uptake capacity is compared to measures of plant activity, microbial activity, and soil solution chemistry in order to paint a clearer picture of the role of E. vaginatum in the soil ecosystem.

  20. Observing Arctic Ecology using Networked Infomechanical Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Healey, N. C.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Hollister, R. D.; Tweedie, C. E.; Welker, J. M.; Gould, W. A.

    2012-12-01

    Understanding ecological dynamics is important for investigation into the potential impacts of climate change in the Arctic. Established in the early 1990's, the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) began observational inquiry of plant phenology, plant growth, community composition, and ecosystem properties as part of a greater effort to study changes across the Arctic. Unfortunately, these observations are labor intensive and time consuming, greatly limiting their frequency and spatial coverage. We have expanded the capability of ITEX to analyze ecological phenomenon with improved spatial and temporal resolution through the use of Networked Infomechanical Systems (NIMS) as part of the Arctic Observing Network (AON) program. The systems exhibit customizable infrastructure that supports a high level of versatility in sensor arrays in combination with information technology that allows for adaptable configurations to numerous environmental observation applications. We observe stereo and static time-lapse photography, air and surface temperature, incoming and outgoing long and short wave radiation, net radiation, and hyperspectral reflectance that provides critical information to understanding how vegetation in the Arctic is responding to ambient climate conditions. These measurements are conducted concurrent with ongoing manual measurements using ITEX protocols. Our NIMS travels at a rate of three centimeters per second while suspended on steel cables that are ~1 m from the surface spanning transects ~50 m in length. The transects are located to span soil moisture gradients across a variety of land cover types including dry heath, moist acidic tussock tundra, shrub tundra, wet meadows, dry meadows, and water tracks. We have deployed NIMS at four locations on the North Slope of Alaska, USA associated with 1 km2 ARCSS vegetation study grids including Barrow, Atqasuk, Toolik Lake, and Imnavait Creek. A fifth system has been deployed in Thule, Greenland beginning in

  1. Was the Eocene Arctic a Source Area for Exotic Plants and Mammals? (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eberle, J. J.; Harrington, G. J.; Fricke, H. C.; Humphrey, J.; Hackett, L.; Newbrey, M.; Hutchison, J. H.

    2010-12-01

    Today’s High Arctic is undergoing rapid warming, but the impact on its animal and plant communities is not clear. As a deep time analog to better understand and predict the impacts of global warming on the Arctic biota, early Eocene (52-53 Ma) rocks on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut in Canada’s High Arctic (~79°N latitude) preserve evidence of diverse terrestrial ecosystems that supported dense forests inhabited by turtles, alligators, snakes, primates, tapirs, brontotheres, and hippo-like Coryphodon. The fossil localities were just a few degrees further south and still well above the Arctic Circle during the early Eocene; consequently, the biota experienced months of continuous sunlight as well as darkness, the Arctic summer and winter, respectively. The flora and fauna of the early Eocene Arctic imply warmer, wetter conditions than at present, and recently published analyses of biogenic phosphate from fossil fish, turtle, and mammal estimate warm summers (19 - 20 C) and mild, above-freezing winters. In general, temperature estimates for the early Eocene Arctic can be compared to those found today in temperate rainforests in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The early Eocene Arctic mammalian fauna shares most genera with coeval mid-latitude faunas thousands of kilometers to the south in the US Western Interior, and several genera also are shared with Europe and Asia. Recent analyses suggest that the large herbivores such as hippo-like Coryphodon were year-round inhabitants in the Eocene Arctic forests. Although several of the Eocene Arctic mammalian taxa are hypothesized to have originated in either mid-latitude North America or Asia, the earlier occurrence of certain clades (e.g., tapirs) in the Arctic raises the possibility of a northern high-latitude origin. Analysis of the early Eocene Arctic palynoflora indicates comparable richness to early Eocene plant communities in the US Western Interior, but nearly 50% of its species (mostly angiosperms) are

  2. Annual arctic wolf pack size related to arctic hare numbers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mech, L.D.

    2007-01-01

    During the summers of 2000 through 2006, I counted arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos) pups and adults in a pack, arctic hares (Lepus arcticus) along a 9 km index route in the area, and muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) in a 250 km2 part of the area near Eureka (80?? N, 86?? W), Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. Adult wolf numbers did not correlate with muskox numbers, but they were positively related (r2 = 0.89; p < 0.01) to an arctic hare index. This is the first report relating wolf numbers to non-ungulate prey. ?? The Arctic Institute of North America.

  3. Monitoring Ecosystem Dynamics Ecosystem Using Hyperspectral Reflectance and a Robotic Tram System in Barrow Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Understanding the future state of the earth system requires improved knowledge of ecosystem dynamics and long term observations of how ecosystem structures and functions 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 from 2005 - 2009. 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? A new spectral index, the normalized difference surface water index (NDSWI) was developed and tested at multiple spatial and temporal scales. NDSWI uses the 460nm (blue) and 1000nm (IR) bands and was developed to capture surface hydrological dynamics in the study area using the robotic tram system. When applied to

  4. Warming increases isoprene emissions from an arctic fen.

    PubMed

    Lindwall, Frida; Svendsen, Sophie Sylvest; Nielsen, Cecilie Skov; Michelsen, Anders; Rinnan, Riikka

    2016-05-15

    Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) from dry ecosystems at high latitudes respond strongly to small increases in temperature, and warm canopy surface temperatures drive emissions to higher levels than expected. However, it is not known whether emissions from wetlands, cooled by through-flowing water and higher evapotranspiration show similar response to warming as in drier ecosystems. Climate change will cause parts of the Arctic to experience increased snow fall, which delays the start of the growing season, insulates soil from low temperatures in winter, and increases soil moisture and possibly nutrient availability. Currently the effects of increasing snow depth on BVOC emissions are unknown. BVOC emissions were measured in situ across the growing season in a climate experiment, which used open top chambers to increase temperature and snow fences to increase winter snow depth. The treatments were arranged in a full factorial design. Measurements took place during two growing seasons in a fen ecosystem in west Greenland. BVOC samples collected by an enclosure technique in adsorbent cartridges were analysed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Gross ecosystem production (GEP) was measured with a closed chamber technique, to reveal any immediate effect of treatments on photosynthesis, which could further influence BVOC emissions. Isoprene made up 84-92% of the emitted BVOCs. Isoprene emission increased 240 and 340% due to an increase in temperature of 1.3 and 1.6°C in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Isoprene emissions were 25 times higher in 2015 than in 2014 most likely due to a 2.4°C higher canopy air temperature during sampling in 2015. Snow addition had no significant effect on isoprene emissions even though GEP was increased by 24%. Arctic BVOC emissions respond strongly to rising temperatures in wet ecosystems, suggesting a large increase in arctic emissions in a future warmer climate.

  5. Arctic River organic matter transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raymond, Peter; Gustafsson, Orjan; Vonk, Jorien; Spencer, Robert; McClelland, Jim

    2016-04-01

    Arctic Rivers have unique hydrology and biogeochemistry. They also have a large impact on the Arctic Ocean due to the large amount of riverine inflow and small ocean volume. With respect to organic matter, their influence is magnified by the large stores of soil carbon and distinct soil hydrology. Here we present a recap of what is known of Arctic River organic matter transport. We will present a summary of what is known of the ages and sources of Arctic River dissolved and particulate organic matter. We will also discuss the current status of what is known about changes in riverine organic matter export due to global change.

  6. Climate Effects on Methylmercury Bioaccumulation Along a Latitudinal Gradient in the Eastern Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chetelat, J.; Richardson, M.; MacMillan, G. A.; Amyot, M.; Hintelmann, H.; Crump, D.

    2014-12-01

    Recent evidence indicates that inorganic mercury (Hg) loadings to Arctic lakes decline with latitude. However, monomethylmercury (MMHg) concentrations in fish and their prey do not decline in a similar fashion, suggesting that higher latitude lakes are more vulnerable to Hg inputs. Preliminary results will be presented from a three-year study (2012-2015) of climate effects on MMHg bioaccumulation in lakes of the eastern Canadian Arctic. We have investigated mercury transport and accumulation processes in lakes and ponds from three study regions along a latitudinal gradient in climate-controlled ecosystem types in the Canadian Arctic, specifically sub-Arctic taiga, Arctic tundra and polar desert. In each water body, we measured key aspects of MMHg bioaccumulation—MMHg bioavailability to benthic food webs and organism growth rates—as well as how watershed characteristics affect the transport of Hg and organic carbon to lakes. Novel approaches were incorporated including the use of passive samplers (Diffusive Gradient in Thin Film samplers or DGTs) to estimate sediment bioavailable MMHg concentrations and tissue RNA content to compare organism short-term growth rates. A comparison of Arctic tundra and sub-Arctic taiga lakes showed that surface water concentrations of MMHg were strongly and positively correlated to total Hg concentrations both within and among study regions, implying strong control of inorganic Hg supply. Sediment concentrations of bioavailable MMHg were highly variable among lakes, although average concentrations were similar between study regions. Local environmental conditions appear to have a strong influence on sediment potential for MMHg supply. Lake-dwelling Arctic char from tundra lakes had similar or higher total Hg concentrations compared with brook trout from sub-Arctic lakes that were exposed to higher water MMHg concentrations. Potential environmental drivers of these patterns will be discussed. This latitudinal study will provide new

  7. Arctic offshore platform

    SciTech Connect

    Bhula, D.N.

    1984-01-24

    An offshore structure is disclosed for use in drilling and producing wells in arctic regions having a conical shaped lower portion that extends above the surface of the water and a cylindrical upper section. The conical portion is provided with a controlled stiffness outer surface for withstanding the loads produced by ice striking the structure. The stiffness properties of the outer shell and flexible members are designed to distribute the load and avoid high local loads on the inner parts of the structure.

  8. Arctic thermal design

    SciTech Connect

    Lunardini, V.J.

    1985-05-01

    Arctic engineering theories and techniques are discussed. The problems associated with ameliorating cold-climate effects is examined. External accumulation of ice on solid surfaces, floating ice sheets, icebergs, multiyear ice, and ice ridges are discussed, and the problems associated with these hazards are analyzed. The author believes that it is possible to deal rationally with these problems if the engineer is aware of them, and that ignorance can cause spectacular failures in the cold regions.

  9. Metallothioneins in Arctic bivalves.

    PubMed

    Amiard-Triquet, C; Rainglet, F; Larroux, C; Regoli, F; Hummel, H

    1998-09-01

    In the framework of an International Association for the Promotion of Cooperation with Scientists from the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (INTAS) Project on biodiversity and adaptation strategies of Arctic coastal marine benthos, research was focused on the role of metallothioneins as a possible indicator of the effect on animals and availability of trace metals in the Arctic. Metallothioneins are low-molecular-weight, cysteine-rich proteins known to be induced by high environmental levels of trace metals. Specimens of Macoma balthica and Mytilus edulis were collected along several Arctic estuaries in the White and Pechora seas; whole tissues for M. balthica and the digestive gland and gills for M. edulis were dissected, frozen in liquid nitrogen, and lyophilized onboard. Metallothionein concentrations were determined by a polarographic assay. From the same stations organisms and sediments were also collected for metal analysis. The results revealed significant differences in metallothionein concentrations among the stations for M. balthica. Similar, although less marked, differences were also obtained in the organs of M. edulis. Data on metallothionein were compared with trace metal concentrations in both the organisms and sediments. Also, the relationship with abiotic factors (salinity) and biological variables (size of sampled organisms) was determined. In particular, biological variables seemed to influence metallothionein concentration in the organisms and their effect should be carefully considered for a correct assessment of differences between stations.

  10. High Methylmercury in Arctic and Subarctic Ponds is Related to Nutrient Levels in the Warming Eastern Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    MacMillan, Gwyneth A; Girard, Catherine; Chételat, John; Laurion, Isabelle; Amyot, Marc

    2015-07-01

    Permafrost thaw ponds are ubiquitous in the eastern Canadian Arctic, yet little information exists on their potential as sources of methylmercury (MeHg) to freshwaters. They are microbially active and conducive to methylation of inorganic mercury, and are also affected by Arctic warming. This multiyear study investigated thaw ponds in a discontinuous permafrost region in the Subarctic taiga (Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui, QC) and a continuous permafrost region in the Arctic tundra (Bylot Island, NU). MeHg concentrations in thaw ponds were well above levels measured in most freshwater ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic (>0.1 ng L(-1)). On Bylot, ice-wedge trough ponds showed significantly higher MeHg (0.3-2.2 ng L(-1)) than polygonal ponds (0.1-0.3 ng L(-1)) or lakes (<0.1 ng L(-1)). High MeHg was measured in the bottom waters of Subarctic thaw ponds near Kuujjuarapik (0.1-3.1 ng L(-1)). High water MeHg concentrations in thaw ponds were strongly correlated with variables associated with high inputs of organic matter (DOC, a320, Fe), nutrients (TP, TN), and microbial activity (dissolved CO2 and CH4). Thawing permafrost due to Arctic warming will continue to release nutrients and organic carbon into these systems and increase ponding in some regions, likely stimulating higher water concentrations of MeHg. Greater hydrological connectivity from permafrost thawing may potentially increase transport of MeHg from thaw ponds to neighboring aquatic ecosystems. PMID:26030209

  11. Final Report to DOE’s Office of Science (BER) submitted by Ram Oren (PI) of DE-FG02-00ER63015 (ended on 09/14/2009) entitled “Controls of Net Ecosystem Exchange at an Old Field, a Pine Plantation, & a Hardwood Forest under Identical Climatic & Edaphic Conditions”

    SciTech Connect

    Oren, Ram; Oishi, AC; Palmroth, Sari; Butnor, JR; Johnsen, KH

    2014-03-17

    The project yielded papers on fluxes (energy, water and carbon dioxide)between each ecosystem and the atmosphere, and explained the temporal dynamics of fluxes based on intrinsic (physiology, canopy leaf area and structure) and extrinsic (atmospheric and edaphic conditions). Comparisons between any two of the ecosystems, and among all three followed, attributing differences in behavior to different patterns of phenology and differential sensitivities to soil and atmospheric humidity. Finally, data from one-to-three of the ecosystems (incorporated into FluxNet data archive) were used in syntheses across AmeriFlux sites and even more broadly across FluxNet sites.

  12. Carbon loss from an unprecedented Arctic tundra wildfire.

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-27

    Arctic tundra soils store large amounts of carbon (C) in organic soil layers hundreds to thousands of years old that insulate, and in some cases maintain, permafrost soils. Fire has been largely absent from most of this biome since the early Holocene epoch, but its frequency and extent are increasing, probably in response to climate warming. The effect of fires on the C balance of tundra landscapes, however, remains largely unknown. The Anaktuvuk River fire in 2007 burned 1,039 square kilometres of Alaska's Arctic slope, making it the largest fire on record for the tundra biome and doubling the cumulative area burned since 1950 (ref. 5). Here we report that tundra ecosystems lost 2,016 ± 435 g C m(-2) in the fire, an amount two orders of magnitude larger than annual net C exchange in undisturbed tundra. Sixty per cent of this C loss was from soil organic matter, and radiocarbon dating of residual soil layers revealed that the maximum age of soil C lost was 50 years. Scaled to the entire burned area, the fire released approximately 2.1 teragrams of C to the atmosphere, an amount similar in magnitude to the annual net C sink for the entire Arctic tundra biome averaged over the last quarter of the twentieth century. The magnitude of ecosystem C lost by fire, relative to both ecosystem and biome-scale fluxes, demonstrates that a climate-driven increase in tundra fire disturbance may represent a positive feedback, potentially offsetting Arctic greening and influencing the net C balance of the tundra biome.

  13. SEARCH: Study of Environmental Arctic Change—A System-scale, Cross-disciplinary Arctic Research Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Eicken, H.; Fox, S. E.; Search Science Steering Committee

    2010-12-01

    The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) is a multi-agency effort to understand system-scale arctic change. Interrelated environmental changes in the Arctic are affecting ecosystems and living resources and are impacting local and global communities. The SEARCH program is guided by the Science Steering Committee (SSC), the Interagency Program Management Committee (IPMC), and focused panels. Over 150 projects and activities contribute to SEARCH implementation. The Observing Change component is underway through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Arctic Observing Network (AON), NOAA-sponsored atmospheric and sea ice observations, and other relevant national and international efforts. The Understanding Change component of SEARCH consists of modeling and analysis efforts, with strong linkages to relevant programs such as NSF’s Arctic System Science (ARCSS) Program. The SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook (http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/index.php) is an "Understanding Change" synthesis effort that aims to advance our understanding of the arctic sea ice system. The Responding to Change element currently includes initial planning efforts by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC) program as well as a newly-launched "Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook," which is a weekly report of sea ice conditions geared to Alaska Native walrus subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others interested in sea ice and walrus (http://www.arcus.org/search/siwo). SEARCH is sponsored by eight U.S. agencies, including: the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Smithsonian Institution, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The U.S. Arctic Research Commission participates as an IPMC observer. For further information, please visit the website: http

  14. Herbivores modify the carbon cycle in a warming arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cahoon, S. M.; Sullivan, P.; Welker, J. M.; Post, E.

    2009-12-01

    Typically, our studies of arctic terrestrial ecosystem responses to changes in climate focus on abiotic drivers (i.e. warming or added rain or added snow) and subsequent biogeochemical cycles and plant physiological performance. However, many arctic systems, such as those in western Greenland, are home ranges for large herbivores such as muskoxen and caribou. In order to fully understand how tundra landscapes in Greenland will respond to change, experiments are needed that allow us to quantify whether abiotic (climate warming) and or biotic (presence or absence of herbivores) drivers or their combinations regulate ecosystem function and structure. Here we present the results of two consecutive field seasons in western Greenland in which we quantified the interactive effects of local herbivore foraging and simulated climate warming on ecosystem C and N cycling and leaf level physiology. Large exclosure fences were erected in 2002, and ITEX passive warming chambers were established in 2003 within and adjacent to the fences. We performed weekly CO2 flux measurements during the 2008 and 2009 growing seasons which we normalized to a common irradiance by generating light-response curves at all plots (n=9). Although we observed interannual variability in soil moisture and average daily air temperature, browsing by herbivores was a key factor in the seasonal carbon dynamics. By physically removing leaves and upper stems, caribou and muskoxen altered the community composition, reduced leaf area and in turn decreased gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP), regardless of the warming treatment. Neither herbivory nor warming significantly affected ecosystem respiration rates. Thus the reduction in net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was primarily driven by reductions in GEP associated with leaf area removal by grazers. Our results indicate that the biotic influence from large herbivores can significantly influence carbon-derived climatic feedbacks and can no longer be overlooked in

  15. Impacts of a Warming Arctic - Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

    2004-12-01

    The Arctic is now experiencing some of the most rapid and severe climate change on earth. Over the next 100 years, climate change is expected to accelerate, contributing to major physical, ecological, social, and economic changes, many of which have already begun. Changes in arctic climate will also affect the rest of the world through increased global warming and rising sea levels. Impacts of a Warming Arctic is a plain language synthesis of the key findings of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), designed to be accessible to policymakers and the broader public. The ACIA is a comprehensively researched, fully referenced, and independently reviewed evaluation of arctic climate change. It has involved an international effort by hundreds of scientists. This report provides vital information to society as it contemplates its responses to one of the greatest challenges of our time. It is illustrated in full color throughout.

  16. Airborne trace metals and organochlorine compounds in arctic Alaska and Siberia: How important?

    SciTech Connect

    Landers, D.H.; Allen-Gil, S.; Gubala, C.P.; Ford, J.

    1995-12-31

    Metal contaminants of anthropogenic origin identified in the arctic atmosphere and the presence of organochlorines in arctic marine mammal tissues has raised the question of the importance of long-range transport of contaminants to the Arctic. Research focused on arctic regions in Alaska and the Taimyr peninsula of north central Russia. Inland watersheds were examined for evidence of increases in trace metal flux during the past 150 years and the presence of organochlorine compounds. Fish and ground squirrels were examined for body burdens of organic contaminants and plasma biomarkers were examined to evaluate biological effects. Sediment data from several lakes suggest that over broad regions, trace metal fluxes have increased only slightly (< 10%), if at all, since the pre-industrial era. The highest metal concentrations in lake sediments are associated with known elevated geologic sources of metals within the respective watersheds. Organochlorines are present in remote inland arctic ecosystems and are most concentrated in the tissues (e.g. liver) of organisms representing higher trophic levels. Arctic Siberia and Alaska (Taimyr peninsula) are similar with regard to contaminant concentrations. However, lichen and moss data suggest that Pb from Eurasian sources does not reach arctic Alaska. The results indicate that long range, transpolar transport and deposition of trace metals is not a large scale current phenomena in the two study regions. The transport and deposition of organochlorine compounds, however, is occurring but at relatively low levels.

  17. Arctic terrestrial hydrology: A synthesis of processes, regional effects, and research challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bring, A.; Fedorova, I.; Dibike, Y.; Hinzman, L.; Mârd, J.; Mernild, S. H.; Prowse, T.; Semenova, O.; Stuefer, S. L.; Woo, M.-K.

    2016-03-01

    Terrestrial hydrology is central to the Arctic system and its freshwater circulation. Water transport and water constituents vary, however, across a very diverse geography. In this paper, which is a component of the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis, we review the central freshwater processes in the terrestrial Arctic drainage and how they function and change across seven hydrophysiographical regions (Arctic tundra, boreal plains, shield, mountains, grasslands, glaciers/ice caps, and wetlands). We also highlight links between terrestrial hydrology and other components of the Arctic freshwater system. In terms of key processes, snow cover extent and duration is generally decreasing on a pan-Arctic scale, but snow depth is likely to increase in the Arctic tundra. Evapotranspiration will likely increase overall, but as it is coupled to shifts in landscape characteristics, regional changes are uncertain and may vary over time. Streamflow will generally increase with increasing precipitation, but high and low flows may decrease in some regions. Continued permafrost thaw will trigger hydrological change in multiple ways, particularly through increasing connectivity between groundwater and surface water and changing water storage in lakes and soils, which will influence exchange of moisture with the atmosphere. Other effects of hydrological change include increased risks to infrastructure and water resource planning, ecosystem shifts, and growing flows of water, nutrients, sediment, and carbon to the ocean. Coordinated efforts in monitoring, modeling, and processing studies at various scales are required to improve the understanding of change, in particular at the interfaces between hydrology, atmosphere, ecology, resources, and oceans.

  18. Recent warming leads to a rapid borealization of fish communities in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fossheim, Maria; Primicerio, Raul; Johannesen, Edda; Ingvaldsen, Randi B.; Aschan, Michaela M.; Dolgov, Andrey V.

    2015-07-01

    Arctic marine ecosystems are warming twice as fast as the global average. As a consequence of warming, many incoming species experience increasing abundances and expanding distribution ranges in the Arctic. The Arctic is expected to have the largest species turnover with regard to invading and locally extinct species, with a modelled invasion intensity of five times the global average. Studies in this region might therefore give valuable insights into community-wide shifts of species driven by climate warming. We found that the recent warming in the Barents Sea has led to a change in spatial distribution of fish communities, with boreal communities expanding northwards at a pace reflecting the local climate velocities. Increased abundance and distribution areas of large, migratory fish predators explain the observed community-wide distributional shifts. These shifts change the ecological interactions experienced by Arctic fish species. The Arctic shelf fish community retracted northwards to deeper areas bordering the deep polar basin. Depth might limit further retraction of some of the fish species in the Arctic shelf community. We conclude that climate warming is inducing structural change over large spatial scales at high latitudes, leading to a borealization of fish communities in the Arctic.

  19. The impact of lower sea-ice extent on Arctic greenhouse-gas exchange