Arctic Coastal Lagoons of Cape Krusenstern National Monument : Subsistence Ecosystem Characterization and Management

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Melinda J. Reynolds (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:
Lisa M. Clough

Abstract: The main objective of this research was to provide baseline water quality and species data for the five coastal lagoons in Cape Krusenstern National Monument (CAKR). Coastal lagoons are habitat for fish species that are utilized by many local residents in their subsistence lifestyle. The five chapters address the following: 1) background information 2) summary of subsistence in Alaska 3) physicochemical and species data collection in the CAKR lagoons between January 2003 - September 2004 4) development of a long-term monitoring plan for the CAKR lagoons and 5) overall conclusions. The data demonstrate that salinity and dissolved oxygen were highly variable in all the lagoons particularly during ice-covered seasons. In contrast all CAKR lagoons showed little variation in water temperature throughout the seven sampling periods. Multidimensional scaling plots of the physicochemical parameters indicated that Akulaaq Krusenstern and Sisualik each provide different environments that are influenced by estuarine connectivity the conditions at freeze-up and local weather conditions. Akulaaq Lagoon reached hypersaline levels in April 2003 (62.1 psu ± 1.8) but was back to estuarine levels by July 2003 (8.1 psu ± 0.1) representing a highly variable environment. Krusenstern Lagoon provided a more stable environment and is likely a potential overwintering habitat for fish species. Sisualik Lagoon was also highly variable and exhibited the greatest amount of station variability in salinity during any one sampling period (38.2%). It was the only lagoon to develop a halocline during July 2003 and September 2004. All the CAKR lagoons experienced an increase in chlorophyll a between January and April and in April 2003 a spring bloom was recorded in Krusenstern (29.6 [mu]g/L ± 8.2). Copepods and Cladocerans were the most abundant zooplankton in all the lagoons. Several Coregonus spp utilize Akulaaq Krusenstern and Sisualik with Sisualik having the greatest number of benthic macroinvertebrate and fish species (N = 20). The National Park Service long-term monitoring protocol for the CAKR coastal lagoons was a direct product of this research. Inventory and monitoring of the resources of the CAKR lagoons is critical during this period of increased resource exploration global climate change and continued subsistence in Northwest Alaska.

Additional Information

Date: 2012
Natural resource management, Fisheries and aquatic sciences, Alaska, Arctic, baseline data collection, coastal lagoons, inventory and monitoring
Natural resources--Alaska--Cape Krusenstern National Monument--Management
Water quality--Alaska--Cape Krusenstern National Monument--Measurement
Numbers of species--Alaska--Cape Krusenstern National Monument
Biogeography--Alaska--Cape Krusenstern National Monument
Cape Krusenstern National Monument (Alaska)

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