Tracking the Seasonal Contribution of Algal Fatty Acids to the Arctic Marine System

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Overview

The overall goal of this project relates to providing an exceptional level of ecological detail by: 1) tracing the seasonal inputs of specific fatty acid biomarkers deriving from sea ice alga and open ocean phytoplankton through the marine food web using sophisticated fatty acid profiling and novel compound-specific stable isotope analyses (CSIA); 2) tracing the seasonal (spring and summer) changes in the proportions of these biomarkers in sympagic, pelagic and benthic arctic marine invertebrates; 3) investigating the presence of these seasonally derived biomarkers in ice seals, which are an important subsistence resource to Alaskan Native communities in the region. Our detailed and seasonal perspective will contribute to ongoing food web studies in the Bering Sea (e.g., the Bering Ecosystem Study and Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program - BEST/BSIERP, funded by the NSF and North Pacific Research Board).

Members

Principal Investigator

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Matthew Wooller

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Wooller - link to SAM contact for fixing fields.

Co-Principal Investigator

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Rolf Gradinger

Institute of  Marine Research

Gradinger - link to SAM contact for fixing fields.

Co-Principal Investigator

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Gay Sheffield

UAF Alaska Sea Grant

Sheffield - link to SAM contact for fixing fields.

Co-Principal Investigator

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Katrin Iken

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Iken - link to SAM contact for fixing fields.

Co-Principal Investigator

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Lara Horstmann-Dehn

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Horstmann-Dehn - link to SAM contact for fixing fields.
Resources

Papers Submitted

Budge, S., S. Wang, T. Hollman and M. Wooller, "Carbon isotopic fractionation in eider adipose tissue varies with fatty acid structure: Implications for trophic studies", Journal of Experimental Biology (2011) (accepted).

Carroll, S.S., L. Horstmann-Dehn, and B. Norcross, "Interannual Variations in the Diet of Ice Seals Assessed by Isotopic Mixing Models", Marine Ecology Progress Series (2011) (submitted).

Conference Abstracts

Carroll, S.S., L. Horstmann-Dehn and B. Norcross, "Seize the Prey: Interannual Foraging Plasticity of Ice Seals Assessed by Isotopic Mixing Models", accepted for the Society of Marine Mammal Conference, Tampa, FL (2011).

Oxtoby, L.E., S.M. Budge, L.A. Dehn, S.W. Wang, R.R. Gradinger, K. Iken and M.J. Wooller, "Relative importance of sea ice algal primary production to Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) diets", Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska (2011).

Seymour, J., L. Horstmann-Dehn and M.J. Wooller, "Higher trophic level feeding in Pacific walruses and links to sex, location, and sea ice extent", 19th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Tampa, Florida (2011).

Seymour, J.-M., L. Dehn, and M. Wooller, "What’s for dinner? The influence of location on Pacific walrus feeding ecology", Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska (2011).

Shiway, W.W., S.M. Budge, R.R. Gradinger, K. Iken, L.E. Oxtoby and M.J. Wooller, "Compound-specific stable isotope analyses of fatty acids in primary production from the Bering Sea: a foundation for food web biomarker studies", Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska (2011).

Wang, S.W., S.M. Budge, L. Horstmann-Dehn, L.T. Quakenbush, A.M. Springer and M.J. Wooller, "Foraging patterns of ice seals in Alaska inferred from fatty acid profiles", 19th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Tampa, Florida (2011).

Oxtoby, L.E., S.W. Wang, S.M. Budge, J. Weems, L.A. Dehn, R.R. Gradinger, K. Iken, L. Quakenbush, C. Rosa and M.J. Wooller, "Determining seasonal variation in trophic linkages in the Bering Sea using compound-specific stable isotope analysis of algal fatty acids", ISOECOL VII, Fairbanks, AK (2010).

Oxtoby, L.E., S.W. Wang, S.M. Budge, J. Weems, L.A. Dehn, R.R. Gradinger, K. Iken, L. Quakenbush, C. Rosa and M.J. Wooller, "From Brine Channels to Blubber: Tracking Algal Fatty Acids Through the Bering Sea Food Web", Water and Environmental Research Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK (2010).

Posters

Oxtoby, L.E., S.M. Budge, L.A. Dehn, S.W. Wang, R.R. Gradinger, K. Iken and M.J. Wooller, "Relative importance of sea ice algal primary production to Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) diets", Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK (2011).

Seymour, J., L.E. Oxtoby, L.A. Dehn, and M. Wooller. "What stable isotopes and fatty acid analysis of walrus tissues tell us about their diet", Eskimo Walrus Commission Meeting in Anchorage, Alaska and Hunter Meeting in Savoonga, Alaska. (copies of this poster were also distributed to rural, coastal communities in Alaska) (2011).

Wang, S., S.M. Budge, R.R. Gradinger, K. Iken, L.E. Oxtoby and M.J. Wooller, "Compound-specific stable isotope analyses of fatty acids in primary production from the Bering Sea: a foundation for food web biomarker studies", Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, AK (2011).

Oxtoby, L.E., S.W. Wang, S.M. Budge, J. Weems, L.A. Dehn, R.R. Gradinger, K. Iken, L. Quakenbush, C. Rosa, and M.J. Wooller, "Determining seasonal variation in trophic linkages in the Bering Sea using compound-specific stable isotope analysis of algal fatty acids", The 8th International Conference on Applications of Stable Isotope Techniques to Ecological Studies, Brest, France (2010).

Dates

15 September 2009 to 31 August 2013

Program