• Preliminary Results on the Structure and Functioning of a Taiga Watershed

      Lotspeich, Frederick B.; Slaughter, Charles W. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1981-11)
      Comprehensive research in ecosystem functioning may logically be undertaken in the conceptual and physical context of complete drainage basins (watersheds or catchments). The watershed forms a fundamental, cohesive landscape unit in terms of water movement following initial receipt of precipitation. Water itself is a fundamental agent in energy flux, nutrient transport, and in plant and animal life. The Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed is an interagency endeavor aimed at understanding hydrologic and, ultimately, ecological functioning in the subarctic taiga, the discontinuous permafrost uplands of central Alaska. Initial work includes acquisition and analysis of data on soils, vegetation, local climate, hydrology, and stream quality. Information acquired in the research watershed is summarized here, and implications for future data acquisition and research are considered.