Yukon River Basin - Terrestrial Studies
Mark Waldrop, Jack McFarland, Monica Haw
Teresa Hollingsworth (UAF), Mark Winterstein (UAF) Matt Sturm and Stephanie Saari (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab - CRREL), Torre Jorgensen (AK Ecoscience), Yousheng Fan (CU Boulder and UAF), Eugenie Euskirchen (UAF) Glenn Juday (University of Alaska, Fairbanks)
USGS Climate Effects Network and Climate and Land Use Change Research and Development
The USGS Yukon River Basin (YRB) investigations are founded on simultaneous process-to-landscape collaborations among USGS paleolimnology, hydrology, biogeochemistry biology, remote sensing, and biogeochemical modeling groups and on essential partnerships with NRC Canada, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Alaska, National Science Foundation and several USGS mission areas. The YRB investigations address over thirty core research questions that contribute to USGS Global Change Science Strategy goals. Our specific goals within the Yukon River Basin Project focus on understanding terrestrial responses and feedbacks to climate change phenomenon. The goals of my team include:
Study rates and causes of changes in vegetation growth in the past 100 years, and sensitivity to climate warming.
Examine how changing water availability (soil moisture, permafrost, surface water bodies) affects vegetation and biogeochemical cycling, and measure this with ground-truthed remote sensing.
Measure, model, and use remote sensing to understand carbon dynamics of ecosystems to changing water availability, permafrost thaw, and wildfire
Project how plant and soil microbial communities structure respond to climate change and lake change.
Understand how and in what manner vegetation composition, plant productivity, soil microbiology and CH4 and CO2 exchange with the atmosphere will respond to lake draining, drying and warming soils, and thermokarst processes.
Mark Winterstein (Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks) presented a poster on his work, entitled "Vegetation succession on drying lakes, Yukon Flats, Alaska", at the 2013 International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA) Conference.
Vijay Patil, a graduate student at Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, is writing his dissertation on "Modeling interactions between climate change, lake drying, and boreal ecosystem dynamics in the Yukon River Basin".
Other manuscripts are being prepared, including one examining how plant and soil microbial communities change following hydrologic shifts.