Pre-JIRP Readings: Icefield-to-Ocean Linkages

The reading this week is as follows:

Icefield-to-Ocean Linkages across the Northern Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest Ecosystem. O'Neel, S. et al, 2015. Icefield-to-Ocean Linkages across the Northern Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest Ecosystem. BioScience (May 2015) 65 (5): 499-512. doi: 10.1093/biosci/biv027

Glaciers are often considered to be slowly changing ice blocks on the landscape, biological deserts some might say.  This paper walks you from the icefields (like you will be traversing this summer) to the nearshore ocean ecosystem, demonstrating how glaciers are connected to many processes along the way. Processes like phytoplankton blooms might not seem at first glance to care about the health of the glaciers, but they do.  And phytoplankton make a good base to the food web, feeding the things that Salmon, whales and bears like to eat. In turn, this type of connection links glacier change back to the economy of Alaska, and encourages us to better understand the connections between the physical and biological components of the icefield-to-ocean ecosystem.

That's all for today!