Contact Us
  • Wendy Loya
    Arctic LCC Coordinator

    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
    1011 East Tudor Road
    Anchorage, Alaska 99503
    (907) 786-3532
  • Paul Leonard
    Arctic LCC Science Coordinator

    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
    101 12th Avenue, Rm. 216
    Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
    (907) 456-0445
  • Josh Bradley
    Arctic LCC Data Manager

    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
    101 12th Avenue, Rm. 216
    Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
    (907) 455-1847

Modeling Aquatic Insects

Project Summary
Project CodeALCC2011-08
Project Lead(s) University of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska Natural Heritage Program
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
DescriptionMillions of shorebirds migrate thousands of miles to spend the summer in the Arctic. There they feed in coastal wetlands and estuaries along some of the most productive and pristine habitats on earth. With so much food available, they choose the Arctic for nesting and raising their young, a process repeated every year. The Arctic LCC partnership is interested in understanding how climate change might affect shorebird populations, and has supported research into how the timing of insects they eat might be changing as spring arrives earlier.

This study will enable us to better predict climate-related changes in the timing and duration of insect prey availability for arctic-breeding shorebirds. Using Arctic Shorebird Demographic Network data (see ARCT2010-11), these investigators developed mathematical models that relate the timing and duration of insect emergence and activity to accumulated temperature, weather, and other environmental variables. Resulting models predict future changes in the timing of arctic insect availability based on climate change projections. In Climate Effects on Arctic Food Resources: Predictive Models for Surface-Available Invertebrate Biomass, the researchers describe the diversity and mean annual modeled biomass of invertebrates that shorebirds consume across 9 sites from Nome, Alaska (USA) to East Bay, Nunavut (Canada). Warmer temperatures had a positive effect on this food resource availability, with earlier spring warming resulting in earlier insect abundance. Increased wind had a negative effect on invertebrate availability. In a follow-up report, Climate Effects on Arctic Food Resources: Retrospective Analysis of Rate of Advancement of Invertebrate Phenology, they used the same models to look back ~60 years to understand how invertebrate food sources for shorebirds have changed across 6 of the shorebird monitoring sites. Changes in hind-casted invertebrate abundance were greatest at the northernmost camps and were on the order of 1 to 3 days earlier per decade.
Contributing Partner(s) Arctic Shorebird Demographic Network
LCC Funding$75,973.00
Partner Funding$3,300.00