RESCHEDULED: Climate Change Research on the Copper River Delta: The Emerging Effect of Local Variation

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 10:00 AM AKST
Gordon Reeves, Research Fish Biologist, Pacific Northwest Research Station

The Alaska Climate Webinar to be presented by Gordon Reeves of the US Forest Service postponed due to the US Federal Government shutdown has been rescheduled for November 12th at 10am AKST!  Please join us for this exciting webinar and thank you for your continued support of ACCAP's Alaska Climate Webinar Series.


Gordon Reeves

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Corvallis, OR


Martin Berg

Loyola University Chicago

Chicago, IL


There are two areas of emphasis: (1) the timing of emergence of aquatic invertebrates in ponds across the entire Delta; and (2) variation in thermal regimes among streams and the associated salmon populations on the Delta.  Work in 2010 showed a strong relation between the timing and emergence of aquatic invertebrates, primarily caddisflies and Odonates (dragonflies and damselflies), and the nesting of rusty blackbirds and the fledging of their young.  Warmer winters resulting from climate change could decouple the synchronization of these events and have consequences to the nesting success of the blackbirds and other bird species that depend on the invertebrates for food and energy during reproduction.  Preliminary results show that there is a wide variation in the timing of emergence of aquatic invertebrates – emergence was 3-5 weeks later on the cooler east Delta compared to the warmer west Delta.  We also identified three general patterns of water temperature in streams on the Delta based on monitoring air temperatures and water temperatures in the water column and in the subsurface environment. This variation suggests that the response of aquatic organisms (including salmon) to climate change will likely vary widely across the Delta, and that this local variation could mitigate the potential impacts.

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