Alaska Water Resources

Submitted By dizzvicious5150
Words: 1080
Pages: 5

Alaska has more than 40% of the nation’s surface water resources including over 12,000 rivers, 3 millions lakes greater than 5 acres and numerous creeks and ponds. Annual migrations of salmon up the Yukon and Kuskokwim bring ocean nutrients into the interior -enriching riparian zones and feeding eagles, bears, and wolves-and humans. Lush riparian areas are important to insect-eating songbirds in summer, and willow ptarmigan, snowshoe hare and moose in winter. Rivers also serve as travel corridors for both people and wildlife creating networks of water connections throughout the state.

Most of Alaska remains in federal ownership (67%), with the state owning
23%, and local governments and private entities owning 10%. Less than 1 percent of the landscape has been altered by agricultural, industrial, or urban development (Schoen and West 1994), so large-scale ecological processes continue with little human interference. For example, over 6 million acres of taiga burned in the summer of 2004 (NIFC
2004), and caribou migrate hundreds of miles annually (Paulson and Beletsky
2001). The existence of Alaska’s pristine waters, unfragmented landscapes, and unmanipulated ecological processes provide ecosystem services that benefit not only the state, but the entire country (Colt
2001).

Phytoplankton are microscopic plants that drift freely with the ocean currents. They are the "producers" of the ocean because they make food for themselves by transforming energy from the sun via photosynthesis. This energy is carried up the food chain as one animal eats the next. Since phytoplankton support all other animals in the food chain, their population size and the timing of their population increases or "blooms" are important. We monitor the biomass, or amount of phytoplankton in our study areas with two different instruments. Both read the amount of chlorophyll a (the green colored plant matter that produces carbohydrates from sunlight) in the water.

Producers: dwarf,willow, arctic willow

Decomposers: snail,worm,bacteria things animals that help keep all left over and behind waste is taking care of and put a away in a correct matter.

Male and female redpolls (Acanthis flammea) showed marked increases in circulating corticosterone up to 1 hour after exposure to a common stress—capture, handling and restraint—indicating that their hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis responded to acute stress in a manner similar to that of other vertebrates. We used this protocol as a measure of responsiveness of the adrenocortical cells to acute stress in general and for comparison with gender and across seasons. In both sexes the adrenocortical response to stress was reduced in January (at Fairbanks, 64°N) and maximal when birds were breeding in June at Toolik Lake (69°N). The elevation of circulating corticosterone following capture and handling in breeding males at Barrow (71°N) was significantly less than in breeding males at Toolik Lake. There were also considerable variations among individuals in the intensity of the adrenocortical responses, particularly in the maximum levels of corticosterone attained. This individual variation correlated significantly with fat score and/or body mass in both sexes only in breeding birds at Barrow. This difference may be explained by generally lower, and thus reduced variability in body fat and mass in birds sampled in the warmer climate of Toolik Lake. A similar trend was seen in non-breeding birds, but this was not significant. Additionally, in January, baseline cortisterone levels in males were correlated with body mass, although this relationship did not hold when both sexes were considered. Body mass and fat score in winter were similar to those of redpolls sampled at Barrow in June. These data suggest that redpolls may be able to adjust their responsiveness to acute stresses in relation to fat stores. Those with…