Now showing items 21-40 of 1473

    • Juvenile Dungeness crab foraging behavior and lipid composition is altered more by food quantity than seawater pH in a multi-stressor experiment

      Schram, Julie; Hayes, Hannah G.; Street, Erica; Thompson, Natalie; Yoshioka, Reyn M.; Galloway, Aaron W. E. (Elsevier, 2023-06)
      Increases in atmospheric, anthropogenic carbon are driving reductions in seawater pH, a process referred to as ocean acidification. Reduced seawater pH can influence behavior of marine animals, but little is currently known about how juvenile crustaceans will respond. We conducted lab experiments to improve our understanding of the consequences of pH exposure and food quantity on juvenile Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister, (Dana, 1852)) behavior and nutritional condition. To understand the foraging and pH sensing behavior of juvenile crab, and how this interacts with their nutritional status, we exposed recently settled second instar juveniles to either ambient pH or reduced pH for 42-d, crossed with either a ‘maintenance’- or low-quantity ‘challenge’ diet treatment. After the experimental exposure period, we introduced crab into foraging and sensing pH behavior experiments. In the foraging experiment, we placed crab in a behavior arena with unidirectional flow, where we measured the food discovery time and time allocation of activities in 300-s trials for all individual crab. Food quantity and pH exposure influenced both the speed with which juvenile crab identified and allocation of activities but there was no interactive effect of experimental factors. For our pH sensing experiment, we used a two-current flume plumbed with both ambient and reduced pH seawater. This flow-through flume provided a choice between the pH treatment waters and allowed us to measure the amount of time individuals spent on either side of the arena in 300-s trials. There was no effect of prior diet or pH exposure on the amount of time juvenile crab spent in either seawater pH condition. In addition to the behavior trials, we evaluated crab nutritional condition by quantifying the total lipid content of whole-body tissues and fatty acid profile composition of juvenile crab fed either the maintenance or low-quantity diet during the experimental pH exposure period. The proportional fatty acid profiles differed for crab based on their diet and pH exposure, with no interactive effects. However, we did not detect differences in the concentrations of key summary categories of fatty acids (e.g., saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated) based on pH exposure. Our results indicate that reduced food availability has a greater impact on juvenile Dungeness crab foraging behavior and nutritional condition than reduced seawater pH exposure representing the 0.3 pH unit decrease predicted by 2100.
    • Riverine dissolved inorganic carbon export from the Southeast Alaskan Drainage Basin with implications for coastal ocean processes

      Harley, John R.; Biles, Frances E.; Brooks, Mariela K.; Fellman, Jason M.; Hood, Eran; D'Amore, David V. (American Geophysical Union, 2023-10-16)
      Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) represents an important but poorly constrained form of lateral carbon flux to the oceans. With high precipitation rates, large glaciers, and dense temperate rainforest, Southeast Alaska plays a critical role in the transport of carbon to the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Previous estimates of DIC flux across the Southeast Alaska Drainage Basin (SEAKDB) are poorly constrained in space and time. Our goal was to incorporate recent measurements of DIC concentrations with previous measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey in order to model the spatial and temporal patterns of riverine DIC transport from SEAK to the GOA. We aggregated DIC concentration measurements from 1957 to 2020 and associated measurements of mean daily discharge. We then constructed load estimation models to generate concentration predictions across 24 watersheds. By spatially matching measurements of DIC with SEAKDB watersheds, we extrapolated concentration predictions across 2,455 watersheds encompassing approximately 190,000 km2. Models were aggregated according to two factors, the presence of karst and the discharge regime. Finally, monthly flux predictions were generated for each watershed using predicted concentrations and runoff estimates from the Distributed Climate Water Balance Model. Mean annual DIC flux from the SEAKDB was 2.36 Tg C with an average yield of 12.52 g C m−2. Both karst presence and flow regimes modified DIC flux and speciation across coastal marine areas. The high resolution of DIC flux estimates will provide useful inputs for describing seasonal C dynamics, and further refines our understanding of C budgets in the Pacific temperate rainforest and the surrounding marine environment.
    • Persistent overcut regions dominate the terminus morphology of a rapidly melting tidewater glacier

      Abib, Nicole; Sutherland, David A.; Amundson, Jason M.; Duncan, Dan; Eidam, Emily F.; Jackson, Rebecca H.; Kienholz, Christian; Morlighem, Mathieu; Motyka, Roman J.; Nash, Jonathan D.; et al. (Cambridge University Press, 2023-05-29)
      Frontal ablation, the combination of submarine melting and iceberg calving, changes the geometry of a glacier's terminus, influencing glacier dynamics, the fate of upwelling plumes and the distribution of submarine meltwater input into the ocean. Directly observing frontal ablation and terminus morphology below the waterline is difficult, however, limiting our understanding of these coupled ice–ocean processes. To investigate the evolution of a tidewater glacier's submarine terminus, we combine 3-D multibeam point clouds of the subsurface ice face at LeConte Glacier, Alaska, with concurrent observations of environmental conditions during three field campaigns between 2016 and 2018. We observe terminus morphology that was predominately overcut (52% in August 2016, 63% in May 2017 and 74% in September 2018), accompanied by high multibeam sonar-derived melt rates (4.84 m d−1 in 2016, 1.13 m d−1 in 2017 and 1.85 m d−1 in 2018). We find that periods of high subglacial discharge lead to localized undercut discharge outlets, but adjacent to these outlets the terminus maintains significantly overcut geometry, with an ice ramp that protrudes 75 m into the fjord in 2017 and 125 m in 2018. Our data challenge the assumption that tidewater glacier termini are largely undercut during periods of high submarine melting.
    • Impacts of tidewater glacier advance on iceberg habitat

      Kaluzienski, Lynn M.; Amundson, Jason M.; Womble, Jamie M.; Bliss, Andrew K.; Pearson, Linnea E. (Cambridge University Press, 2023-08-17)
      Icebergs in proglacial fjords serve as pupping, resting and molting habitat for some of the largest seasonal aggregations of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) in Alaska. One of the largest aggregations in Southeast Alaska occurs in Johns Hopkins Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park, where up to 2000 seals use icebergs produced by Johns Hopkins Glacier. Like other advancing tidewater glaciers, the advance of Johns Hopkins Glacier over the past century has been facilitated by the growth and continual redistribution of a submarine end moraine, which has limited mass losses from iceberg calving and submarine melting and enabled glacier thickening by providing flow resistance. A 15-year record of aerial surveys reveals (i) a decline in iceberg concentrations concurrent with moraine growth and (ii) that the iceberg size distributions can be approximated as power law distributions, with relatively little variability and no clear trends in the power law exponent despite large changes in ice fluxes over seasonal and interannual timescales. Together, these observations suggest that sustained tidewater glacier advance should typically be associated with reductions in the number of large, habitable icebergs, which may have implications for harbor seals relying on iceberg habitat for critical life-history events.
    • Rapid range expansion of a marine ectotherm reveals the demographic and ecological consequences of short-term variability in seawater temperature and dissolved oxygen

      Buford, Benjamin P.; Wild, Lauren A.; Schwarz, Richard; Chenoweth, Ellen M.; Sreenivasan, Ashwin; Elahi, Robin; Carey, Nicholas; Hoving, Henk-Jan T.; Straley, Janice; Denny, Mark W. (University of Chicago Press, 2022-04)
      The distributions of marine ectotherms are governed by physiological sensitivities to long-term trends in seawater temperature and dissolved oxygen. Short-term variability in these parameters has the potential to facilitate rapid range expansions, and the resulting ecological and socioeconomic consequences may portend those of future marine communities. Here, we combine physiological experiments with ecological and demographic surveys to assess the causes and consequences of sudden but temporary poleward range expansions of a marine ectotherm with considerable life history plasticity (California market squid, Doryteuthis opalescens). We show that sequential factors related to resource accessibility in the core range—the buildup of large populations as a result of competitive release and climate-associated temperature increase and oxygen loss that constrain aerobic activity—may drive these expansions. We also reveal that poleward range expansion alters the body size—and therefore trophic role—of invading populations, with potential negative implications for socioeconomically valuable resident species. To help forecast rapid range expansions of marine ectotherms, we advocate that research efforts focus on factors impacting resource accessibility in core ranges. Determining how environmental conditions in receiving ecosystems affect body size and how body size is related to trophic role will help refine estimates of the impacts of future marine communities.
    • Aquatic biomass is a major source to particulate organic matter export in large Arctic rivers

      Behnke, Megan; Tank, Suzanne; McClelland, James W.; Holmes, Robert M.; Haghipour, Negar; Eglinton, Timothy; Raymond, Peter A.; Suslova, Anya; Zhulidov, Alexander V.; Gurtovaya, Tatiana; et al. (National Academy of Sciences, 2023-03-13)
      Arctic rivers provide an integrated signature of the changing landscape and transmit signals of change to the ocean. Here, we use a decade of particulate organic matter (POM) compositional data to deconvolute multiple allochthonous and autochthonous pan-Arctic and watershed-specific sources. Constraints from carbon-to-nitrogen ratios (C:N), δ13C, and Δ14C signatures reveal a large, hitherto overlooked contribution from aquatic biomass. Separation in Δ14C age is enhanced by splitting soil sources into shallow and deep pools (mean ± SD: −228 ± 211 vs. −492 ± 173‰) rather than traditional active layer and permafrost pools (−300 ± 236 vs. −441 ± 215‰) that do not represent permafrost-free Arctic regions. We estimate that 39 to 60% (5 to 95% credible interval) of the annual pan-Arctic POM flux (averaging 4,391 Gg/y particulate organic carbon from 2012 to 2019) comes from aquatic biomass. The remainder is sourced from yedoma, deep soils, shallow soils, petrogenic inputs, and fresh terrestrial production. Climate change-induced warming and increasing CO2 concentrations may enhance both soil destabilization and Arctic river aquatic biomass production, increasing fluxes of POM to the ocean. Younger, autochthonous, and older soil-derived POM likely have different destinies (preferential microbial uptake and processing vs. significant sediment burial, respectively). A small (~7%) increase in aquatic biomass POM flux with warming would be equivalent to a ~30% increase in deep soil POM flux. There is a clear need to better quantify how the balance of endmember fluxes may shift with different ramifications for different endmembers and how this will impact the Arctic system.
    • Limiting possibilities: The imagined futures of social studies teachers

      Alvey, Elaine (Taylor & Francis, 2023-10-05)
      This paper analyzes the imaginings of sustainable futures and possibilities for action toward these imaginings articulated by social studies teachers. Participant stories about a day in the life of an imagined future largely leave intact major systems and discourses including those which have actively contributed to problems they identify including climate change. I argue that weakened imaginations and aspirations of possibility function to increase toleration for the most traumatic ecological tragedies both impending and already unfolding. Importantly for the field of social studies education, this data illustrates that while teacher participants consistently articulated desires to include issues of climate crisis in their social studies classrooms, they lack robust understandings of the possibilities for action in the face of complex environmental or climate justice challenges.
    • Climate futures: Classroom engagements for imagining otherwise

      Alvey, Elaine (Taylor & Francis, 2023-11-07)
      Given the realities currently at hand, it is easy to imagine the worst-case scenario climate futures, to become paralyzed by climate grief or to disengage all together. Inspired by pedagogical engagements with imagination and drawing on foundational geography skills, this three-day mini-unit invites secondary students to first analyze localized impacts of climate change, and then look to examples of positive climate futures before finally imagining for their own community’s resilient climate future.
    • Biologically important areas II for cetaceans within U.S. and adjacent waters - Gulf of Alaska Region

      Wild, Lauren A.; Riley, Heather; Pearson, Heidi C.; Gabriele, Christine M.; Neilson, Janet L.; Szabo, Andy; Moran, John; Straley, Janice M.; DeLand, Sarah (Frontiers Media S. A., 2023-05-05)
      We delineated and scored Biologically Important Areas (BIAs) for cetacean species in the Gulf of Alaska region. BIAs represent areas and times in which cetaceans are known to concentrate for activities related to reproduction, feeding, and migration, and also the known ranges of small and resident populations. This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)-led effort uses structured expert elicitation principles to build upon the first version of NOAA’s BIAs for cetaceans. Supporting evidence for these BIAs came from aerial-, land-, and vessel-based surveys; satellite-tagging data; passive acoustic monitoring; Indigenous knowledge; photo-identification data; and/or prey studies. A total of 20 BIAs were identified, delineated, and scored for six species: beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas), fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica), and sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). Of the 20 total BIAs, there were two small and resident populations, one migratory, and 17 feeding areas; no reproductive BIAs were identified. An additional five watch list areas were identified, a new feature to the second version of BIAs. In addition to more comprehensive narratives and maps, the BIA II products improve upon the first version by creating metadata tables and incorporating a scoring and labeling system which improves quantification and standardization of BIAs within and across regions. BIAs are compilations of the best available science and have no inherent regulatory authority. They have been used by NOAA, other federal agencies, and the public to support planning and marine mammal impact assessments, and to inform the development of conservation measures for cetaceans.
    • Internal gravity waves generated by subglacial discharge: Implications for tidewater glacier melt

      Cusack, J. M.; Jackson, R. H.; Nash, J. D.; Skyllingstad, E.; Pettit, E. C.; Sutherland, D. A.; Motyka, Roman J.; Amundson, J. M. (American Geophysical Union, 2023-06-13)
      Submarine melting has been implicated in the accelerated retreat of marine-terminating glaciers globally. Energetic ocean flows, such as subglacial discharge plumes, are known to enhance submarine melting in their immediate vicinity. Using observations and a large eddy simulation, we demonstrate that discharge plumes emit high-frequency internal gravity waves that propagate along glacier termini and transfer energy to distant regions of the terminus. Our analysis of wave characteristics and their correlation with subglacial discharge forcing suggest that they derive their energy from turbulent motions within the discharge plume and its surface outflow. Accounting for the near-terminus velocities associated with these waves increases predicted melt rates by up to 70%. This may help to explain known discrepancies between observed melt rates and theoretical predictions. Because the dynamical ingredients—a buoyant plume rising through a stratified ocean—are common to many tidewater glacier systems, such internal waves are likely to be widespread.
    • Alternative life-history strategy contributions to effective population size in a naturally spawning salmon population

      King, Erika M.; McPhee, Megan V.; Vulstek, Scott C.; Cunningham, Curry; Russell, Joshua R.; Tallmon, David (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2023-07-14)
      Alternative life-history tactics are predicted to affect within-population genetic processes but have received little attention. For example, the impact of precocious males on effective population size (Ne) has not been quantified directly in Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp., even though they can make up a large percentage of the total male spawners. We investigated the contribution of precocial males (“jacks”) to Ne in a naturally spawning population of Coho Salmon O. kisutch from the Auke Creek watershed in Juneau, Alaska. Mature adults that returned from 2009 to 2019 (~8000 individuals) were genotyped at 259 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci for parentage analysis. We used demographic and genetic methods to estimate the effective number of breeders per year (Nb). Jack contribution to Nb was assessed by comparing values of Nb calculated with and without jacks and their offspring. Over a range of Nb values (108–406), the average jack contribution to Nb from 2009 to 2015 was 12.9% (SE = 3.8%). Jacks consistently made up over 20% of the total male spawners. The presence of jacks did not seem to influence Nb/N. The linkage disequilibrium Ne estimate was lower than the demographic estimate, possibly due to immigration effects on population genetic processes: based on external marks and parentage data, we estimated that immigrant spawners produced 4.5% of all returning offspring. Our results demonstrate that jacks can influence Nb and Ne and can make a substantial contribution to population dynamics and conservation of threatened stocks.
    • Reproductive success of jack and full-size males in a wild coho salmon population

      King, Erika M.; Tallmon, David; Vulstek, Scott C.; Russell, Joshua R.; McPhee, Megan V. (The Royal Society, 2023-04-05)
      Despite the wealth of research on Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp. life histories there is limited understanding of the lifetime reproductive success of males that spend less time at sea and mature at a smaller size (jacks) than full-size males. Over half of returning male spawners can be jacks in some populations, so it is crucial to understand their contribution to population productivity. We quantified adult-to-adult reproductive success (RS) of jacks and their relative reproductive success (RRS) compared to full-size males in a wild population of coho salmon in the Auke Creek watershed, Juneau, Alaska. We used genetic data from nearly all individuals (approx. 8000) returning to spawn over a decade (2009–2019) to conduct parentage analysis and calculate individual RS. The average adult-to-adult RS of jacks (mean = 0.7 and s.e. = 0.1) was less than that of full-size males (mean = 1.1 and s.e. = 0.1). Jack RRS was consistently below 1.0 but ranged widely (0.23 to 0.96). Despite their lower average success, jacks contributed substantially to the population by siring 23% of the total returning adult offspring (1033 of 4456) produced between 2009 and 2015. Our results imply that jacks can affect evolutionary and population dynamics, and are relevant to the conservation and management of Pacific salmon.
    • Strong correlations of sea ice cover with macroalgal cover along the Antarctic Peninsula: Ramifications for present and future benthic communities

      Amsler, Charles D.; Amsler, Margaret O.; Klein, Andrew; Galloway, Aaron W. E.; Iken, Katrin; McClintock, James B.; Heiser, Sabrina; Lowe, Alex T.; Schram, Julie; Whippo, Ross (University of California Press, 2023-11)
      Macroalgal forests dominate shallow hard bottom areas along the northern portion of the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Macroalgal biomass and diversity are known to be dramatically lower in the southern WAP and at similar latitudes around Antarctica, but few reports detail the distributions of macroalgae or associated macroinvertebrates in the central WAP. We used satellite imagery to identify 14 sites differing in sea ice coverage but similar in terms of turbidity along the central WAP. Fleshy macroalgal cover was strongly, negatively correlated with ice concentration, but there was no significant correlation between macroinvertebrate cover and sea ice. Overall community (all organisms) diversity correlated negatively with sea ice concentration and positively with fleshy macroalgal cover, which ranged from around zero at high ice sites to 80% at the lowest ice sites. Nonparametric, multivariate analyses resulted in clustering of macroalgal assemblages across most of the northern sites of the study area, although they differed greatly with respect to macroalgal percent cover and diversity. Analyses of the overall communities resulted in three site clusters corresponding to high, medium, and low fleshy macroalgal cover. At most northern sites, macroalgal cover was similar across depths, but macroalgal and macroinvertebrate distributions suggested increasing effects of ice scour in shallower depths towards the south. Hindcast projections based on correlations of ice and macroalgal cover data suggest that macroalgal cover at many sites could have been varying substantially over the past 40 years. Similarly, based on predicted likely sea ice decreases by 2100, projected increases in macroalgal cover at sites that currently have high ice cover and low macroalgal cover are substantial, often with only a future 15% decrease in sea ice. Such changes would have important ramifications to future benthic communities and to understanding how Antarctic macroalgae may contribute to future blue carbon sequestration.
    • A tropical cocktail of organic matter sources: Variability in supraglacial and glacier outflow dissolved organic matter composition and age across the Ecuadorian Andes

      Holt, Amy D.; Kellerman, Anne M.; Battin, Tom I.; McKenna, Amy M.; Hood, Eran; Andino, Patricio; Crespo-Perez, Veronica; Peter, Hannes; Schon, Martina; De Staercke, Vincent; et al. (American Geophysical Union, 2023-05-09)
      The biogeochemistry of rapidly retreating Andean glaciers is poorly understood, and Ecuadorian glacier dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition is unknown. This study examined molecular composition and carbon isotopes of DOM from supraglacial and outflow streams (n = 5 and 14, respectively) across five ice capped volcanoes in Ecuador. Compositional metrics were paired with streamwater isotope analyses (δ18O) to assess if outflow DOM composition was associated with regional precipitation gradients and thus an atmospheric origin of glacier DOM. Ecuadorian glacier outflows exported ancient, biolabile dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and DOM contained a high relative abundance (RA) of aliphatic and peptide-like compounds (≥27%RA). Outflows were consistently more depleted in Δ14C-DOC (i.e., older) compared to supraglacial streams (mean −195.2 and −61.3‰ respectively), perhaps due to integration of spatially heterogenous and variably aged DOM pools across the supraglacial environment, or incorporation of aged subglacial OM as runoff was routed to the outflow. Across Ecuador, Δ14C-DOC enrichment was associated with decreased aromaticity of DOM, due to increased contributions of organic matter (OM) from microbial processes or atmospheric deposition of recently fixed and subsequently degraded OM (e.g., biomass burning byproducts). There was a regional gradient between glacier outflow DOM composition and streamwater δ18O, suggesting covariation between regional precipitation gradients and the DOM exported from glacier outflows. Ultimately, this highlights that atmospheric deposition may exert a control on glacier outflow DOM composition, suggesting regional air circulation patterns and precipitation sources in part determine the origins and quality of OM exported from glacier environments.
    • Tree-ring derived avalanche frequency and climate associations in a high-latitude, maritime climate

      Peitzsch, Erich H.; Hood, Eran; Harley, John R.; Stahle, D. K.; Kichas, Nickolas E.; Wolken, Gabriel (American Geophysical Union, 2023-07-28)
      Snow avalanches are a natural hazard in mountainous areas worldwide with severe impacts that include fatalities, damage to infrastructure, disruption to commerce, and landscape disturbance. Understanding long-term avalanche frequency patterns, and associated climate and weather influences, improves our understanding of how climate change may affect avalanche activity. We used dendrochronological techniques to evaluate the historical frequency of large magnitude avalanches (LMAs) in the high-latitude climate of southeast Alaska, United States. We collected 434 cross sections throughout six avalanche paths near Juneau, Alaska. This resulted in 2706 identified avalanche growth disturbances between 1720 and 2018, which allowed us to reconstruct 82 years with LMA activity across three sub-regions. By combining this tree-ring-derived avalanche data set with a suite of climate and atmospheric variables and applying a generalized linear model to fit a binomial regression, we found that February and March precipitation and the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) were significant predictors of LMA activity in the study area. Specifically, LMA activity occurred during winters with substantial February and March precipitation and neutral or negative (cold) ONI values, while years not characterized by LMAs occur more frequently during warm winters (positive ONI values). Our examination of the climate-avalanche relationship in southeast Alaska sheds light on important climate variables and physical processes associated with LMA years. These results can be used to inform long-term infrastructure planning and avalanche mitigation operations in an urban area, such as Juneau, where critical infrastructure is subject to substantial avalanche hazard.
    • Small, coastal temperate rainforest watersheds dominate dissolved organic carbon transport to the Northeast Pacific Ocean

      McNicol, Gavin; Hood, Eran; Butman, David E.; Tank, Suzanne; Giesbrecht, Ian J. W.; Floyd, William; D'Amore, D.; Fellman, Jason; Cebulski, Alex; Lally, A.; et al. (American Geophysical Union, 2023-06-26)
      The northeast Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest (NPCTR) extending from southeast Alaska to northern California is characterized by high precipitation and large stores of recently fixed biological carbon. We show that 3.5 Tg-C yr−1 as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is exported from the NPCTR drainage basin to the coastal ocean. More than 56% of this riverine DOC flux originates from thousands of small (mean = 118 km2), coastal watersheds comprising 22% of the NPCTR drainage basin. The average DOC yield from NPCTR coastal watersheds (6.20 g-C m−2 yr−1) exceeds that from Earth's tropical regions by roughly a factor of three. The highest yields occur in small, coastal watersheds in the central NPCTR due to the balance of moderate temperature, high precipitation, and high soil organic carbon stocks. These findings indicate DOC export from NPCTR watersheds may play an important role in regional-scale heterotrophy within near-shore marine ecosystems in the northeast Pacific.
    • Stream hydrology and a pulse subsidy shape patterns of fish foraging

      Fitzgerald, Kevin A.; Bellmore, J. Ryan; Fellman, Jason; Cheng, Matthew L. H.; Delbecq, Claire E.; Falke, Jeffery A. (British Ecological Society, 2023-10-30)
      1. Pulsed subsidy events create ephemeral fluxes of hyper-abundant resources that can shape annual patterns of consumption and growth for recipient consumers. However, environmental conditions strongly affect local resource availability for much of the year, and can heavily impact consumer foraging and growth patterns prior to pulsed subsidy events. Thus, a consumer's capacity to exploit pulse subsidy resources may be influenced by antecedent environmental conditions, but this has rarely been shown in nature and is unknown in aquatic ecosystems. 2. Here, we sought to understand the importance of hydrologic variation and a salmon pulse subsidy on the foraging and growth patterns of two stream salmonids in a coastal southeast Alaska drainage. 3. To do this, we sampled fish stomach contents at a high temporal frequency (daily–weekly measurements) and analyzed fish consumption rates in relation to streamflow and pulse subsidy resource availability. We then explored the influence of interannual hydrologic variation on access to pulse subsidy resources (i.e. whether fish exceeded an egg consumption gape limit) in a bioenergetic simulation. 4. Prior to Pink Salmon spawning, Dolly Varden and Coho Salmon displayed distinct and nonlinear flow-foraging relationships, where forage for both species consisted primarily of macroinvertebrates. During this time period, consumption maxima coincided with baseflow and the highest observed flow conditions, and consumption minima were observed at severe low-water and intermediate flow values. After salmon spawning began, forage was not significantly related to flow and consisted primarily of salmon eggs. Further, consumption rates increased overall, and foraging patterns did not appear to be affected by flow in either species. Bioenergetic simulations revealed that patterns of interannual hydrologic variation may shift Coho Salmon growth trajectories among years. 5. Together, our results suggest that access to marine pulse subsidy resources may depend on whether antecedent hydrologic conditions are suitable for juvenile salmonids to grow large enough to consume salmon eggs by the onset of spawning.
    • The role of glacier erosion in riverine particulate organic carbon export

      Behnke, Megan; Fellman, Jason B.; Nagorski, Sonia; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Hood, Eran (American Geophysical Union, 2023-11-01)
      Biospheric particulate organic carbon (POCbio) burial and rock petrogenic particulate organic carbon (POCpetro) oxidation are opposing long-term controls on the global carbon cycle, sequestering and releasing carbon, respectively. Here, we examine how watershed glacierization impacts the POC source by assessing the concentration and isotopic composition (δ13C and Δ14C) of POC exported from four watersheds with 0%–49% glacier coverage across a melt season in Southeast Alaska. We used two mixing models (age-weight percent and dual carbon isotope) to calculate concentrations of POCbio and POCpetro within the bulk POC pool. The fraction POCpetro contribution was highest in the heavily glacierized watershed (age-weight percent: 0.39 ± 0.05; dual isotope: 0.42 (0.37–0.47)), demonstrating a glacial source of POCpetro to fjords. POCpetro was mobilized via glacier melt and subglacial flow, while POCbio was largely flushed from the non-glacierized landscape by rain. Flow normalized POCbio concentrations exceeded POCpetro concentrations for all streams, but surprisingly were highest in the heavily glacierized watershed (mean: 0.70 mgL−1; range 0.16–1.41 mgL−1), suggesting that glacier rivers can contribute substantial POCbio to coastal waters. Further, the most heavily glacierized watershed had the highest sediment concentration (207 mgL−1; 7–708 mgL−1), and thus may facilitate long-term POCbio protection via sediment burial in glacier-dominated fjords. Our results suggest that continuing glacial retreat will decrease POC concentrations and increase POCbio:POCpetro exported from currently glacierized watersheds. Glacier retreat may thus decrease carbon storage in marine sediments and provide a positive feedback mechanism to climate change that is sensitive to future changes in POCpetro oxidation.
    • Trees in the stream: Determining patterns of terrestrial dissolved organic matter contributions to the Northeast Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest

      Behnke, Megan; Fellman, Jason B.; D'Amore, David V.; Spencer, Robert G. M. (American Geophysical Union, 2023-04-10)
      Dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition in small watersheds depends on complex antecedent conditions that ultimately influence DOM generation, processing, and stability downstream. Here, we used ultrahigh resolution Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry and total dissolved nitrogen and dissolved organic carbon concentrations to investigate how DOM is produced in distinct sub-catchment types (poor fen, forested wetland, and upland forest) and transported through a watershed in the northeast Pacific coastal temperate rainforest (NPCTR). We traced a suite of previously identified source-specific marker formulae from vegetation and soil downstream and used them to test models of terrestrial DOM inputs. Marker formulae escaped microbial degradation and were exported from the watershed, demonstrating strong land-to-ocean connectivity through the transfer of unmodified tree DOM from specific tree species into the marine environment. Simple hydrologic and temperature variables were better able to predict inputs of soil-sourced DOM into the stream network than tree-sourced DOM, highlighting the role of antecedent conditions (e.g., plant growth stage) in DOM source availability and hydrologic flow connectivity, particularly for plant-derived material. Forested wetland pore waters featured thousands of nitrogen-containing molecular formulae that potentially provide a path of direct organic nitrogen uptake to organisms. The modified aromaticity index peaked in midsummer (up to 0.55 for fen headwaters) suggesting DOM inputs from freshly produced vegetation provide a strong summertime terrestrial signal. As the climate changes, new watershed-scale conditions may further complicate predictions of DOM source availability, flow connectivity, and downstream fate in NPCTR watersheds.