Project: 8c615efd-fd5a-4ec5-afba-ccbcdd56b451

Metadata Format
Project Title
Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Berry Outlook: Identifying berry vulnerabilities to climate and landscape change using local knowledge and other ecological data
Description
We propose to develop a Yukon-Kuskokwim Berry Outlook: a data- and observer-driven ecological monitoring and modeling framework that forecasts changes in berry habitat and abundance with climate and environmental change.
Point of Contact(s)
LCC Network Data Steward
LCC Network Data Manager
lccdatasteward@fws.gov
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
Joel Reynolds
LCC Science Coordinator
joel_reynolds@nps.gov
Rachel Loehman
Project Manager
4210 University Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
V: +1 907 7867401
rloehman@usgs.gov

Project Abstract

We propose to develop a Yukon-Kuskokwim Berry Outlook: a data- and observer-driven ecological monitoring and modeling framework that forecasts changes in berry habitat and abundance with climate and environmental change. Berry-producing plants are extremely important to human and wildlife communities of the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta. Berry yield can be influenced by snow cover, rainfall, soil moisture, air temperature, availability of insect pollinators, and seasonal weather extremes; and berry habitat can be altered by more frequent tidal inundation, increased frequency of storm surges, and permafrost deterioration, all of which may be significantly impacted by climate change. In a recent survey of Alaskan environmental observers, 60% reported that the abundance of cloudberry (Rubus chamemorous), the most important berry species to their communities, had declined or become more variable in the past decade, and 76% reported similar changes in bog blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum). Because of the magnitude and rapid rate of change in climate and climate impacts, the Y-K Delta is one of the most vulnerable regions in the north, yet we currently lack necessary tools and data to predict how the distribution and productivity of berry-producing plants may be altered by climate change. The Berry Outlook will be developed using Bayesian Network models that are ideal for representing ecological relationships in systems where quantitative data are complemented by local ecological knowledge (LEK), as is true in the Y-K Delta. Inputs to the models include LEK from previous sources and new collaborations, long-term ecological monitoring data, and key environmental drivers such as climate, snowpack, and tidal dynamics. This project will provide important information on the relationships among climate, land use changes, ecosystems, and village subsistence systems, in formats that can be used to address the implications of possible futures with local and regional decision makers. Phase II of this research will expand this project to include additional communities. Phase II will begin in 2019 to collect additional data that are needed to develop a mechanistic model of berry abundance and productivity and forecast potential future changes, as well as to increase our understanding of environmental pressures on berry abundance, distribution, and harvesting strategies as well as the socio-economic pressures driving adaptation.

Supplemental Info: None Provided.

Project Links

Project Keywords

  • ISO 19115 Topic Category (isoTopicCategory):
    • biota
  • End User Types - Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC End User Type):
    • Federal resource managers,
    • Private land owners,
    • Tribes,
    • State agencies,
    • Regional & county planners,
    • Interested public,
    • Conservation NGOs
  • Project Category - Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC Project Category):
    • Monitoring,
    • Traditional Ecological Knowledge