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Biological Time Series Observations in the Pacific Arctic Region. Jacqueline M. Grebmeier 1 and Sue E. Moore 2 1 Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), Solomons, Maryland, USA 2 NOAA/Science & Technology, PMEL, Seattle, WA, USA.

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biological time series observations in the pacific arctic region
Biological Time Series Observations in the Pacific Arctic Region

Jacqueline M. Grebmeier1 and Sue E. Moore2

1Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), Solomons, Maryland, USA

2NOAA/Science & Technology, PMEL, Seattle, WA, USA

20 May 2009 “NOAA Day on the Hill” Cannon Senate Building Washington, DC

slide2

Talk Outline

Ecosystem studies in the Pacific-influenced Arctic waters

Case studies as indicators of biological change

Development of “Distributed Biological Observatory” concept to track ecosystem change with climate warming in the Arctic

slide3

Rich benthic communities on the western side of the Bering/Chukchi Sea system

  • carbon export through the water column to the benthos supports a rich benthic infaunal system in the the Bering and Chukchi ecosystem
  • “foot prints” of high benthic biomass on the shallow continental shelves regions are areas of high pelagic-benthic coupling and export of carbon to sediments

[Grebmeier et al. 2006]

gray whales as ecosystem sentinels weight of evidence
Gray Whales as Ecosystem Sentinels:‘Weight of Evidence’
  • One-week delay in southbound migration timing, coincident with NPAC regime shift (Rugh et al. 2001)
  • Calving rates positively correlated with ice-free Chirikov Basin (Perryman et al. 2002)
  • Absence of feeding GW in Chirikov Basin,coincident with decline in benthic infauna (Moore et al. 2003)
  • Feeding whales year-round near Kodiak(Moore et al. 2007)
  • Calls detected year-round near Barrow(Stafford et al.2007)
  • Shorter residency in breeding lagoons (Urban & Swartz 2008*)

Moore. 2008. J. of Mammalogy

chirikov basin northern bering sea in the 1980s
Chirikov Basin, Northern Bering Sea in the 1980s
  • high amphipod populations in sediments
  • large population of migrating gray whales suction up mud to feed on benthic amphipods

Gray whale sightings

[movie]

chirikov basin drop in benthic productivity in 1990s

Time-series sites

Chirikov Basin: Drop in Benthic Productivity in 1990s
  • Highsmith and Coyle (1992) report evidence of 30% amphipod production downturn from 1986-88
  • decline of ampeliscid amphipod biomass at 4 time series stations (Moore et al. 2003); subsequently supported at more stations in the region (Coyle et al. 2007)
  • LeBoeuf et al. 2002 suggest this amphipod decline in the Chirikov Basin as causal to gray whale mortalities
  • Shift gray whales north of Bering Strait; normally prefer feeding in ice-free areas
slide8

Salmon & pollock migration moving northward with seawater warming

[Moss et al. 2009]

[courtesy Jack Helle/NOAA]

Pink salmon

Pollock

  • NOAA Bering-Aleutian Salmon International Survey (BASIS)survey 2007: pink and chum salmon in Chukchi Sea with warming seawater
  • increased sea water temperature positive influence on growth rates
  • 2007 maximum sea ice retreat on record; increase open water habitat
  • 2000 to 2004 increased surface seawater temperature northward
  • influenced northward migration of pink salmon and pollock
slide9

RUSALCA (Russian-American Long-term Census of the Arctic) and C30 (Canada’s Three Oceans) working in Pacific sector of Arctic

C3O

RUSALCA

2009

slide10

Distributed Biological Observatory Concept

  • Based on two recent NOAA lead and co-sponsored workshops:
    • 6-8 May 2009 “Biological Response to Sea Ice Reduction in the Pacific Arctic Region”, PMEL/NOAA, Seattle, WA
    • 13-15 May 2009 “Bering Strait Observations Workshop”, University of Washington Center for Sustainable Forestry (Pack Forest), Eatonville, WA
  • recommend 3 distributed biological observatory regions for standard measurements and focused time-series studies as part of a national and international network
  • NOAA continuing contributions to biological observations within US SEARCH (Study of Environmental Arctic Change) program, specifically RUSALCA)
call detection rate s seasonal surprises
Call Detection Rate(s) & Seasonal Surprises

Gulf of Alaska

Blue whale – blue

Fin whale - red

Sperm whale - green

W. Beaufort Sea

Gray whale – calls detected over-winter

[Stafford et al. 2007a&b]

bering strait environmental observatory passive acoustics
Bering Strait Environmental Observatory: Passive Acoustics
  • Provide real-time call detections to local people, educators & scientists
  • Track phenology of arctic and sub-arctic marine mammals in ecosystem context
  • Measure noise from natural and anthropogenic sources

Fin whale

Killer whale

Gray whale