SS3.06 Large Scale Change in Prominent Ecosystems
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Time: 5:00:00 PM
Location: Lecture Theatre
 
Alexander, Vera, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, USA, vera@sfos.uaf.edu
 
CLIMATE CHANGE, NUTRIENT REGIMES AND ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS IN A HIGH LATITUDE CONTINENTAL SHELF SYSTEM
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Northern subarctic marine shelf systems have experienced marked long term as well as episodic climate changes, although the scientific recognition of their extent and importance has come only recently. The Bering Sea provides an exceptional example of the effects of such changes on physical processes and nutrient distribution. While some ecological consequences are also dramatic, it is difficult as yet to ascribe direct cause and effect relationships. It is clear, however, that a primary mechanism occurs through changes in timing of seasonal events, in water temperatures and physical structure in summer, in sea ice extent, duration and timing and in nutrient transport. This paper will present some recent evidence for the juxtaposition of long-term and episodic changes in climatic and oceanographic conditions, with emphasis on impacts on nutrient supply and biological productivity. Specific examples are based on synthesis of the results of diverse research efforts over the past three decades.