CONDITION OF FRESHWATER RESOURCES IN ALASKA’S ARCTIC COASTAL PLAIN: WATER QUALITY, PHYSICAL HABITAT, AND BIOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES OF WETLANDS, LAKES AND STREAMS
We sampled wetlands, lakes, and streams in the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska between 2011 and 2015 using USEPA’s National Aquatic Resource Surveys study designs. We selected sites using a generalized random tessellation survey design, measured physical habitat and water quality parameters, and collected diatoms at each site. For wetlands and lakes, we also sampled sites with suspected anthropogenic impacts. We visualized differences in biological community composition using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS) based on Bray-Curtis distances, and compared environmental variables to the NMS ordinations to examine relationships between habitat gradients and community composition. Benthic macroinvertebrate and diatom communities responded similarly to measured environmental variables, correlated with macrophyte cover, percent sand substrate, chloride and total suspended solids. Diatoms communities were additionally correlated with calcium concentrations and pH. Additionally, we attempted to identify unique communities using indicator species analysis.
Rebecca Shaftel (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Alaska Center for Conservation Science at University of Alaska Anchorage, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Dustin Merrigan (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Alaska Center for Conservation Science, University of Alaska Anchorage, email@example.com;
Matthew Carlson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Alaska Center for Conservation Science, University of Alaska Anchorage, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Daniel Bogan (Primary Presenter/Author), Alaska Center for Conservation Science at University of Alaska Anchorage, email@example.com;