Project: 35feb338-b7d6-40ce-8a5a-5fa640bbacf3

Metadata Format
Project Title
The Tundra in Transition: Unraveling the Dynamics of Western Alaska Caribou-Tundra Ecosystems
Caribou in southwest Alaska are an important subsistence resource and a potential indicator of ecosystem function. Understanding caribou population declines requires understanding tundra dynamics and habitat quality. This project will establish baseline information on population.
Point of Contact(s)
LCC Network Data Steward
LCC Network Data Manager
Western Alaska Landscape Conservation Cooperative
1011 E. Tudor Road MS 281
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
Western Alaska Landscape Conservation Cooperative
1011 E. Tudor Road MS 281
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
Karen A Murphy
LCC Coordinator
1011 E. Tudor Road MS 281
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
V: +1 907 7893501
Donald E. Spalinger
V: +1 907 7864703

Project Abstract

The tundra biome is the dominant terrestrial ecosystem of the circumpolar north, and its fate in a rapidly changing climate is of high scientific and socioeconomic concern. One of those concerns is that the majority of caribou herds throughout the circumpolar north are declining, perhaps as a result of climate change. The principal objective of this research is to reveal the connections between soil nutrient cycling, forage quality and caribou habitat selection. This framework is underpinned by the concept that tundra ecosystem productivity is ultimately driven by the thermodynamics of the system induced by climate. In winter, soil microbial processes drive N mineralization and thus N available for plant growth in spring, but ambient temperature and the dynamics of the snowpack strongly modulate this process. In summer, temperature and soil moisture likewise drive soil-plant processes, and these set constraints on herbivore productivity. Importantly, the mechanistic framework includes the feedbacks that occur between all three trophic levels to determine overall ecosystem function and productivity.​

Supplemental Info: None Provided.

Project Links

Project Keywords

  • ISO 19115 Topic Category (isoTopicCategory):
    • environment
  • Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords (theme):
    • CARBON,
  • End User Types - Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC End User Type):
    • State agencies,
    • Tribes,
    • Federal resource managers
  • Project Category - Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC Project Category):
    • Population & Habitat Evaluation/Projection,
    • Conservation Planning,
    • Data Acquisition and Development
  • Deliverable Types - Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC Deliverable):
    • Datasets/Database,
    • Report,
    • Publication,
    • Presentation

Associated Products

ID Title Metadata Link
8ebc1da5-2234-4251-b021-faeacd272678 High Resolution Vegetation Mapping of the Alaska Peninsula and Unimak Island mdJSON ISO 19115-2 HTML
e448a46e-3ba3-4190-bbcb-87389d2fa198 The Tundra in Transition Webinar by Don Spalinger mdJSON ISO 19115-2 HTML
2a9a7951-0bd8-4fa8-89f0-8f99a76253dd Alaska Peninsula High Resolution Vegetation Map mdJSON ISO 19115-2 HTML
234dc15c-a06f-47c6-acb1-91e14b32b201 The Tundra in Transition: Unraveling the Dynamics of Western Alaska Caribou – Tundra Ecosystems Report mdJSON ISO 19115-2 HTML
4054f76e-bdcb-41c2-82a4-fd9130e0687b Winter Diets of Southern Alaska Peninsula and Unimak Island Caribou: Nutritional Implications for Herd Productivity mdJSON ISO 19115-2 HTML