Seasonal and interannual variation in high‑latitude estuarine fsh community structure along a glacial to non‑glacial watershed gradient in Southeast Alaska
|dc.contributor.author||Beaudreau, Anne H.|
|dc.contributor.author||Bergstrom, Carolyn A.|
|dc.contributor.author||Whitney, Emily Jean|
|dc.contributor.author||Duncan, Douglas H.|
|dc.identifier.citation||Beaudreau, A.H., Bergstrom, C.A., Whitney, E.J. et al. Seasonal and interannual variation in high-latitude estuarine fish community structure along a glacial to non-glacial watershed gradient in Southeast Alaska. Environ Biol Fish 105, 431–452 (2022).||en_US|
|dc.description.abstract||Along the Gulf of Alaska, rapid glacier retreat has driven changes in transport of freshwater, sediments, and nutrients to estuary habitats. Over the coming decades, deglaciation will lead to a temporary increase, followed by a long-term decline of glacial influence on estuaries. Therefore, quantifying the current variability in estuarine fish community structure in regions predicted to be most affected by glacier loss is necessary to anticipate future impacts. We analyzed fish community data collected monthly (April through September) over 7 years (2013–2019) from glacially influenced estuaries along the southeastern Gulf of Alaska. River delta sites within estuaries were sampled along a natural gradient of glacial to non-glacial watersheds to characterize variation in fish communities exposed to varying degrees of glacial influence. Differences in seasonal patterns of taxa richness and abundance between the most and least glacially influenced sites suggest that hydrological drivers influence the structure of delta fish communities. The most glacially influenced sites had lower richness but higher abundance overall compared to those with least glacial influence; however, differences among sites were small compared to differences across months. Two dominant species—Pacific staghorn sculpin and starry flounder—contributed most to spatial and temporal variation in community composition; however, given only small interannual differences in richness and abundance over the period of the study, we conclude that year-to-year variation at these sites is relatively low at present. Our study provides an important benchmark against which to compare shifts in fish communities as watersheds and downstream estuaries continue to transform in the coming decades.||en_US|
|dc.description.sponsorship||This research was funded by the Alaska Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) National Science Foundation award no. OIA-1208927 and award no. OIA-1757348 and by the State of Alaska. In addition, this publication is the result of research sponsored by Alaska Sea Grant with funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ofce of Sea Grant, Department of Commerce, under grant no. NA14OAR4170079 (projects RR/14-01 & R/32-07 to AHB) and G00009215 (project 14CR-07 to CAB), and from the University of Alaska with funds appropriated by the state. Student support was also provided to DHD through a Ladd Macaulay Graduate Fellowship in Salmon Fisheries Research funded through an endowment and donations provided to the University of Alaska by Douglas Island Pink and Chum, Inc. (DIPAC), and to NCL by the North Pacifc Research Board through a Graduate Student Research Award. We are grateful to Franz Mueter for assistance with the analysis and to the many students and volunteers who participated in feldwork. Thanks to two anonymous reviewers whose comments improved the paper. This research was approved by the University of Alaska Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (protocols 465729, 880562, 479533, 1238650).||en_US|
|dc.title||Seasonal and interannual variation in high‑latitude estuarine fsh community structure along a glacial to non‑glacial watershed gradient in Southeast Alaska||en_US|
|dc.identifier.journal||Environmental Biology of Fishes||en_US|
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Bergstrom, Carolyn A.
Carolyn Bergstrom, Ph. D. is Professor of Marine Biology.