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Sarah M. Laske

Thaw lakes are ubiquitous on arctic coastal plains (ACPs). While many thaw lakes have steep banks, stable water levels, and static surface areas, others only partially fill their basins and vary in area over the summer. These partially drained lakes (PDLs) are hydrologically connected to the wetlands immediately surrounding them. Heat and nutrient availability limit aquatic productivity on ACPs, and we hypothesized that shallow shorelines and greater hydrologic connectivity with the landscape should result in greater nutrient concentrations and biogeochemical cycling in PDLs. We tested this by monitoring water chemistry in lakes with varying levels of seasonal drainage in sandy and silty peaty lowland sites on the...
Generalist feeding strategies are favoured in stressful or variable environments where flexibility in ecological traits is beneficial. Species that feed across multiple habitat types and trophic levels may impart stability on food webs through the use of readily available, alternative energy pools. In lakes, generalist fish species may take advantage of spatially and temporally variable prey by consuming both benthic and pelagic prey to meet their energy demands. Using stomach content and stable isotope analyses, we examined the feeding habits of fish species in Alaska's Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) lakes to determine the prevalence of generalist feeding strategies as a mechanism for persistence in extreme environments...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology of Freshwater Fish
Surface water connectivity can influence the richness and composition of fish assemblages, particularly in harsh environments where colonisation factors and access to seasonal refugia are required for species persistence. Studies regarding influence of connectivity on Arctic fish distributions are limited and are rarely applied to whole assemblage patterns. To increase our understanding of how surface water connectivity and related hydrologic variables influence assemblage patterns, we investigated species richness and composition of Arctic lake fishes over a large region, 8500 km2, of the central Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska. We collected fish presence/non-detection data from 102 lakes and used a hierarchical multispecies...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Freshwater Biology
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