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Publications from the Alaska Science Center.

Filter Total Items: 2893

Local environmental conditions structured discrete fish assemblages in Arctic lagoons

Rapid changes in sea ice extent and changes in freshwater inputs from land are rapidly changing the nature of Arctic estuarine ecosystems. In the Beaufort Sea, these nearshore habitats are known for their high productivity and mix of marine resident and diadromous fishes that have great subsistence value for Indigenous communities. There is, however, a lack of information on the spatial variation
Sarah M. Laske, Vanessa R. von Biela, Ashley E. Stanek, Kenneth H. Dunton

Deep-water first occurrences of Ediacara biota prior to the Shuram carbon isotope excursion in the Wernecke Mountains, Yukon, Canada

Ediacara-type macrofossils appear as early as ~575 Ma in deep-water facies of the Drook Formation of the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland, and the Nadaleen Formation of Yukon and Northwest Territories, Canada. Our ability to assess whether a deep-water origination of the Ediacara biota is a genuine reflection of evolutionary succession, an artifact of an incomplete stratigraphic record, or a bathyme
Thomas H. Boag, James F. Busch, Jared T. Gooley, Justin Strauss, Erik A Sperling

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

Predator disturbance contributed to Common Murre Uria aalge breeding failures in Cook Inlet, Alaska following the 2014–2016 Pacific marine heatwave

The 2014-2016 Pacific marine heatwave caused unprecedented die-offs and multi-year reproductive failures for Common Murres Uria aalge along the west coast of North America. Lingering impacts, such as declines in colony attendance and productivity, have persisted at some colonies following the heatwave and are attributed largely to changes in prey availability and quality. Here, we present evidence
Caitlin Elizabeth Marsteller, Mayumi L. Arimitsu, Sarah K. Schoen, Samuel B Stark, John F. Piatt

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

Seabirds and humpback whales give early warning to marine heatwaves

Between 2014 and 2016, an extreme marine heatwave struck the North Pacific Ocean, affecting nearshore and pelagic (offshore, open ocean) ecosystems from southern California to Alaska. This unprecedented event, characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures over a large area, was the longest-duration marine heatwave recorded to date. The Gulf of Alaska endured some of the most severe consequenc
Lauren Bien, Rob Suryan, Mayumi L. Arimitsu, John Moran

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