Climate-Mediated Changes to Linked Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems across the Northeast Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest Margin

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Coastal margins at the interface between land and ocean are important areas of materials flux – such as carbon and nutrients transported in river discharge – that link terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Climate is central to these fluxes, which in turn influence nearshore ocean chemistry and food web dynamics. 

Researchers examined the northeast Pacific coastal temperate rainforest as a model system to evaluate terrestrial-marine linkages, with a focus on small coastal watersheds that dominate the coastal margin. They reviewed key above- and below-ground production and hydrological transport processes that control the land-to-ocean flow of materials and their influence on nearshore marine ecosystems. Authors evaluated how these connections may be altered by climate change and identify knowledge gaps in the understanding of the source, transport, and fate of terrestrial materials along this ecologically important coastal margin. The University of Alaska Southeast published a press release about this work on February 9.   

Bidlack, A., Bisbing, S., Buma, B., Diefenderfer, H., Fellman, J., Floyd, W., Giesbrecht, I., Lally, A., Lertzman, K., Perakis, S.S., Butman, D., D'Amore, D., Fleming, S., Hood, E., Hunt, B., Kiffney, P., McNicol, G., Menounos, B., Tank, S., 2021, Climate-Mediated Changes to Linked Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems across the Northeast Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest Margin: BioScience, biaa171, https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biaa171 

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Date published: November 28, 2017
Status: Active

Terrestrial Ecosystems Laboratory (FRESC)

Research in our laboratory centers on the ecology and biogeochemistry of forest ecosystems, as well as grassland and riparian systems. We examine how factors such as natural and human disturbances, climate and climate change, succession, and soil fertility shape ecosystem biogeochemistry - and the reciprocal effect of biogeochemical cycles on these and other factors.