Jason J. McFarland Arctic Vegetation Ecology 692 M.S. Biology Candidate Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Department of Biology and Wildlife University of Alaska Fairbanks
-‐ Background information, project introduction -‐ Description of study area and site -‐ Research objectives and preliminary results -‐ Conclusions
-‐ Worked for BLM in 2009 and 2010 and worked on Arctic Coastal Plain, North Slope -‐ Visited many diﬀerent watersheds and observed many ﬁsh, but disproportionate amount of aquatic food resources (i.e. aquatic invertebrates) -‐ Where is food coming from? Could surrounding riparian vegetation be providing terrestrial subsidies (i.e. terrestrial invertebrates) to stream ﬁsh???
-‐ Threats to ecological processes in aquatic ecosystems in the Arctic -‐ Small, lower order streams are potentially most susceptible climate change and land use impacts -‐ Beaded streams are important habitat for ﬁsh and other biota -‐ Project focuses on terrestrial/aquatic linkages in a beaded stream -‐ Baseline study to better understand basic ecological processes in order to evaluate future ecological changes
438 D. A. WALKER AND K. R. EVERETT EcologicalMonographs Vol. 61, No. 4 156? 152? 1BO A4048? aBarrow Crea Creek O b d ( 100 km Study Site Beaufort Sea F v :. fM ~~~..... ... 1......... .. . ,g ,. 70 .. ...............moisthmi g.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........ . . . . . ., t wit PrudhoePBayhtundra ty- /i Atkasoeo ___ FOO > ;~adoesest 70 A S A L L A ........~ ) t-4 ~~Lowland with loess B wet minerotrophic tundra Lowlandloess with wet 680 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~tundra B>. 8arrow.. BeaufortSea F- with wet andmoist acidic 68?L =01 1 m m ~~~~~~~~~~~~~Upland loess and deposits ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~mainersitsohi caysdi FIG. 1. Extent of minerotrophictundra satll e o r O n L t A L a Upland loess deposits T I C p.CF 0 T t (Carter .-.p 1988) withmoistmixed > / ~ ~~ _ ~ -8 R 0 ? 0 acidicandminerotrophictundra ,Marine silts andclays I withwetacidictundra FIG. 1. Extent of minerotrophic and acidic tundras on the Alaskan North Slope based on Carter (1988) and AVHRR satellite-derived imagery. Upland loess occurs in the Arctic Foothills. Lowland loess occurs on the Arctic Coastal Plain.(Walker, Dinformation is from study sitesK.R. 1991) extensive area of modem tundra ecological .A., and Everett, un- The most loess deposition
NEWS RELEASEU.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS BUILDING STRONG ®For Immediate Release: Contact:Dec. 19, 2011 Pat Richardson, 907-753-2520 Public.Affairs3@.usace.army.mil U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issues permit for CD-5ANCHORAGE – Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District issued a permit underSection 404 of the Clean Water Act to ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. for the CD-5 Alpine SatelliteDevelopment Project.This decision culminates nearly a year-long review process that included an in-depth analysis ofengineering alternatives along with an examination of supplemental technical information provided bystate and federal agencies. In a detailed 134-page record of decision, the Corps is requiringConocoPhillips to use the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative as required by law.“Today’s decision is entirely consistent with the mission of the Corps of Engineers’ Regulatory Program,which is to protect the Nations aquatic resources while allowing reasonable development,” said KevinMorgan, Regulatory Chief for the Alaska District. “It’s indicative of a program that is fair, flexible andbalanced."The CD-5 permit authorizes construction of a drill pad, six-mile long access road, four bridge crossings,two valve pads with access roads, and new pipeline support structures. It also includes 22 specialconditions intended to minimize the impact to the environment within the Arctic Coastal Plain. Inaddition, ConocoPhillips agreed to pay mitigation fees to the Conservation Fund to compensate forunavoidable losses to aquatic resources.During the review process, the Corps evaluated four practicable alternative proposals that includedboth above and below ground pipelines. Additional information provided by ConocoPhillips, combinedwith opinions from agencies responsible for pipeline oversight in Alaska, documented that an aboveground pipeline, in this particular situation, presented a lesser risk of damage to the aquatic ecosystem.“The clarifying information we reviewed and conditions agreed to by ConocoPhillips cleared the way forus to issue this permit,” said Col. Reinhard Koenig, Commander of the Alaska District. It’s testament tothe Corps’ permit evaluation process and our ability to make balanced and independent decisions.”“The ConocoPhillips proposal will provide year-round quick and effective pipeline monitoring, leakdetection, and spill response,” Koenig said.The Record of Decision is available on the Alaska District’s website at: http://www.poa.usace.army.mil. U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS – ALASKA DISTRICT P.O. Box 6898, Elmendorf AFB, AK 99506-0898 http://www.poa.usace.army.mil
1) Measure riparian invertebrate subsidies (i.e., ﬁsh prey) to streams from diﬀerent riparian plant communities, in Crea Creek, NPRA. 2) Determine how riparian vegetation inﬂuences Arctic grayling foraging.
Hypothesis: The riparian community composition of invertebrates diﬀers between willow, sedge and mixed willow/sedge dominated communities -‐ Deployed ﬂoating pan traps and to quantify invertebrates landing or falling into the stream from riparian vegetation -‐ Pan traps were located in the 2 largest patches of each dominant vegetation type (willows, sedge, mixed willow/sedge) and sampled in June, July, and August -‐ Contrasted species richness, abundance, and biomass of invertebrates falling into stream
No Data No Data-‐ Invertebrates falling into or landing in Crea Creek varied by plant type and season. -‐ Flies, beetles, aphids and caddisﬂies were the most common taxa.
-‐ Used aerial photography overlaid with grid cells to estimate relative composition of riparian vegetation communities in 10 equal sized stream reaches
9 10 8 7 3 4 5 6 1 2 Crea Creek Total Community Composition: Sedge-‐52%, Willow-‐33%, Mixed willow/sedge-‐14%, and Tussock tundra-‐<1%
Objective goal is to contrast ﬁsh diets from stream reaches with diﬀerences in riparian vegetation composition Diet Sampling -‐Gastric lavage to remove stomach contents -‐Fishing eﬀorts will be divided into 10 stream sections (same sections as vegetation sampling)
-‐ Terrestrial invertebrates were relatively important for juvenile grayling, but surprisingly not adults -‐ What were the adults eating? Ninespine stickleback!
9 10 8 7 3 4 5 6 1 2No DataNo Data 2011 Grayling Capture in Crea Creek 60 50 Number of Grayling Captured 40 -‐ Cluster analysis and NMDS 30 ordination to show invertebrate 20 communities associated with Juvenille Adult 10 riparian vegetation and ﬁsh diet 0 June August June August June August June August June August June August June August June August June August June August July July July July July July July July July July 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reach Number and Month
-‐ Climate change and increased oil and gas development on the NPRA pose threats to ecological processes in aquatic ecosystems -‐ Beaded streams provide important habitat for ﬁshes -‐ Riparian vegetation plays a vital role in stream food webs by supporting terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates—the primary food source for grayling and other ﬁshes -‐ Understanding energy and nutrient ﬂow between streams and their riparian communities is paramount to understanding how Arctic aquatic habitats and ecosystems will respond to changes in climate and land use
A big thanks to our collaborators for their ﬁnancial and logistical support: Matthew Whitman with BLM, Chris Arp with UAF, Mary Beth Lowen with US Fish and Wildlife Service, UAF Department of Biology and Wildlife, Field Technician Katie Hayden, and helicopter pilot Keelan McNulty.
Allan, J.D., M.S. Wipﬂi, J.P. Caouette, A. Prussian, and J. Rodgers. 2003. Inﬂuence of Streamside Vegetation on Inputs of Terrestrial Invertebrates to Salmonid Food Webs. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 60: 309-‐320. Cadwallader, P.L., Eden, A.K., and Hook, R.A. 1980. Role of streamside vegetation as a food source for Galaxias olidus Günther (Pisces: Galaxidae). Freshwater Resources. 31:257-‐262. Frey, K. E., and J. W. McClelland. 2009. Impacts of permafrost degradation on arctic river biogeochemistry. Hydrological Processes. 23: 169-‐ 182. IPCC, 2001 Climate change 2001: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. In: Contribution of Working Group II to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Eds J.J. McCarthy, O.F. Canziani, N.A. Leary, D.J. Dokken & K.S. White), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. Kawaguchi Y. & Nakano S. 2001. Contribution of terrestrial invertebrates to the annual resource budget for salmonids in forest and grassland reaches of a headwater stream. Freshwater Biology. 46. 303–31 Nielson, J.L. 1992. Microhabitat-‐speciﬁc foraging behavior, diet, and growth of juvenile coho salmon. Transactions of American Fisheries Soceity. 121:617-‐634. Peterson, K. M. and Billings, W. D. 1980. Tundra vegetational patterns and succession in relation to microtopography near Atkasook, Alaska. Arctic and Alpine Research. 12: 473-‐482. Rouse, W., M. Douglas, R. Hecky, A. Hershey, G. Klin, L. Lesack, P. Marsh, M. McDonald, B. Nicholson, N. Roulet, and J. Smol. 1997. Eﬀects of Climate Change on the Freshwaters of Arctic and Subarctic North America. Hydrological Processes. 11: 873-‐902. Tape, K., M. Sturm, and C. Racine. 2006. The evidence for shrub expansion in northern Alaska and the pan-‐Arctic. Global Change Biology 12: 686-‐702. Walker, D.A., Everett, K.R. 1991. Loess ecosystems of northern Alaska: regional gradient and toposequence at Prudhoe Bay. Ecological Monographs. 61:(4):437-‐464. Wipﬂi, M.S. 1997. Terrestrial Invertebrates as Salmonid prey and Nitrogen Sources in Streams: Contrasting Old-‐growth and Young-‐growth Riparian Forests in Southeastern Alaska, USA. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 54: 1259:1269.