Arctic LTER - Research Topics

Movement of nutrients from land to stream to lake; changes due to anthropogenic influences; controls of ecological processes by nutrients and by predation.

The Goal of the Arctic LTER Project is to understand how tundra, streams and lakes function in the Arctic and to predict how they respond to changes including climate change.

The ecosystems of the foothills of the North Slope of Alaska are not in an equilibrium state but are changing in response to exploitation of the native populations of top predator fishes and other animals and perhaps even in response to a warming climate in the Arctic. Other changes due to development of energy resources and global climate change are likely. Predictions of ecological change based upon understanding of the function of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems are needed.

To reach this objective the project will:

  • Determine year-to-year ecological variability in these systems and measure long-term changes.
  • Understand the extent of control by resources (bottom-up control) or by grazing and predation (top-down control).
  • Measure rates and understand the controls of the exchange of nutrients between land and water.

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