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Publications from the Alaska Science Center.

Filter Total Items: 2886

Where east meets west: Phylogeography of the high Arctic North American brant goose

Genetic variation in Arctic species is often influenced by vicariance during the Pleistocene, as ice sheets fragmented the landscape and displaced populations to low- and high-latitude refugia. The formation of secondary contact or suture zones during periods of ice sheet retraction has important consequences on genetic diversity by facilitating genetic connectivity between formerly isolated popul
Robert Wilson, Sean Boyd, Sarah A. Sonsthagen, David H. Ward, Preben Clausen, Kathryn Dickson, Bartwolt Ebbinge, Gudmundur Gudmundsson, George Sage, Jolene Rearick, Dirk V. Derksen, Sandra Talbot

A high-resolution, daily hindcast (1990-2021) of Alaskan river discharge and temperature from coupled and optimized physical models

Water quality and freshwater ecosystems are affected by river discharge and temperature. Models are frequently used to estimate river temperature on large spatial and temporal scales due to limited observations of discharge and temperature. In this study, we use physically based river routing and temperature models to simulate daily discharge and river temperature for rivers in 138 basins in Alask
Dylan Blaskey, Michael Gooseff, Yifan Cheng, Andrew Newman, Joshua C. Koch, Keith Musselman

Potential impacts of an autumn oil spill on polar bears summering on land in northern Alaska

Demand for oil and natural gas continues to increase, leading to the development of remote regions where it is riskier to operate. Many of these regions have had limited development, so understanding potential impacts to wildlife could inform management decisions. In 2017, the United States passed legislation allowing oil and gas development in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Ref
Ryan H. Wilson, Deborah French-Mckay, Craig J Perham, Susannah P Woodruff, Todd C. Atwood, George M. Durner

A comparison of contemporary and historical hydrology and water quality in the foothills and coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Arctic Slope, northern Alaska

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a unique landscape in northern Alaska with limited water resources, substantial biodiversity of rare and threatened species, as well as oil and gas resources. The region has unique hydrology related to perennial springs, and the formation of large aufeis fields—sheets of ice that grow in the river channels where water reaches the surface in the winter and fre
Joshua C. Koch, Heather Best, Carson Baughman, Charles Couvillion, Michael P. Carey, Jeff Conaway

Quantifying spatiotemporal variation of nearshore forage fish schools with aerial surveys in Prince William Sound, Alaska

ObjectiveChanges in abundance and distribution of schooling forage fish, such as the Pacific Sand Lance Ammodytes hexapterus and Pacific Herring Clupea pallasii, can be difficult to document using traditional boat-based methods, especially in the shallow, nearshore habitats frequented by these species. In contrast, nearshore fish schools are easily observed and quantified from aircraft when light
Daniel Stephen Donnelly, Mayumi L. Arimitsu, Scott Pegau, John F. Piatt

Molecular sexing of birds using quantitative PCR (qPCR) of sex-linked genes and logistic regression models

The ability to sex individuals is an important component of many behavioural and ecological investigations and provides information for demographic models used in conservation and species management. However, many birds are difficult to sex using morphological characters or traditional molecular sexing methods. In this study, we developed probabilistic models for sexing birds using quantitative PC
Eleni Leto Petrou, Laura Celeste Scott, Cherie Marie Mckeeman, Andrew M. Ramey

Seasonal and decadal subsurface thaw dynamics of an Aufeis feature investigated through numerical simulations

Aufeis (also known as icings) are large sheet-like masses of layered ice that form in river channels in arctic environments in the winter as groundwater discharges to the land surface and subsequently freezes. Aufeis are important sources of water for Arctic river ecosystems, bolstering late summer river discharge and providing habitat for caribou escaping insect harassment. The aim of this resear
Alexi Lainis, Roseanna M. Neupauer, Joshua C. Koch, Michael Gooseff

The post-emergence period for denning polar bears: Phenology and influence on cub survival

Among polar bears (Ursus maritimus), only parturient females den for extended periods, emerging from maternal dens in spring after having substantially depleted their energy reserves during a fast that can exceed 8 months. Although den emergence coincides with a period of increasing prey availability, polar bears typically do not depart immediately to hunt, but instead remain at the den for up to
Erik Andersen, Ryan R. Wilson, Karyn D. Rode, George M. Durner, Todd C. Atwood, David Gustine

Ursids evolved dietary diversity without major alterations in metabolic rates

The diets of the eight species of ursids range from carnivory (e.g., polar bears, Ursus maritimus) to insectivory (e.g., sloth bears, Melursus ursinus), omnivory (e.g., brown bears, U. arctos), and herbivory (e.g., giant pandas, Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Dietary energy availability ranges from the high-fat, highly digestible, calorically dense diet of polar bears (~ 6.4 kcal digestible energy/g fre
Anthony M. Carnahan, Anthony M. Pagano, Amelia L. Christian, Karyn D. Rode, Charles T. Robbins

Geese migrating over the Pacific Ocean select altitudes coinciding with offshore wind turbine blades

Renewable energy facilities are a key part of mitigating climate change, but can pose threats to wild birds and bats, most often through collisions with infrastructure. Understanding collision risk and the factors affecting it can help minimize impacts on wild populations. For wind turbines, flight altitude is a major factor influencing collision risk, and altitude-selection analyses can evaluate
Emily L. Weiser, Cory T. Overton, David C. Douglas, Michael L. Casazza, Paul L. Flint

A systematic review of the effects of climate variability and change on black and brown bear ecology and interactions with humans

Climate change poses a pervasive threat to humans and wildlife by altering resource availability, changing co-occurrences, and directly or indirectly influencing human-wildlife interactions. For many wildlife agencies in North America, managing bears (Ursus spp.) and human-bear interactions is a priority, yet the direct and indirect effects of climate change are exacerbating management challenges.
Katherine Anne Kurth, Kate Malpeli, Joseph D. Clark, Heather E. Johnson, Frank T. van Manen

Polar bear energetic and behavioral strategies on land with implications for surviving the ice-free period

Declining Arctic sea ice is increasing polar bear land use. Polar bears on land are thought to minimize activity to conserve energy. Here, we measure the daily energy expenditure (DEE), diet, behavior, movement, and body composition changes of 20 different polar bears on land over 19–23 days from August to September (2019–2022) in Manitoba, Canada. Polar bears on land exhibited a 5.2-fold range in

Anthony M. Pagano, Karyn D. Rode, Nicholas J. Lunn, David McGeachy, Stephen N. Atkinson, Sean D. Farley, Joy A. Erlenbach, Charles T. Robbins