... In 1986, I participated in a review of polar science in Canada that resulted in the publication of Canada and Polar Science (Roots, E.F., et al., 1987, report to the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, Ottawa K1A 0H4). ... This year, I was able to survey polar researchers in Canadian universities to determine whether, from their point of view, the findings described in Canada and Polar Science had become dated. In doing this, I gained the impression that there have been some changes in this matter of "relevant" northern research. These are some of my impressions; the results of my survey appear in Canada and Polar Science Revisited (Adams, W.P., 1992, Canadian Polar Commission, Suite 1710, 360 Albert Street, Ottawa K1R 7X7). First, insofar as it can be used as a measure of "relevant" science, there appears to have been some increase in social science research in the North and some gain in confidence among social researchers working there. ... Another interesting development since 1986 has been the way in which the term "global change" has captured the imaginations of a wide cross-section of the public and researchers. ... The increased public acceptance of the "relevance" of global change research appears to be particularly marked among northern residents. Ozone depletion, greenhouse warming, atmospheric and ocean pollution, and the focusing of contaminants at key points in the food chain are all examples of environmental degradation that have particularly serious implications for those who live at high latitudes. ... Also, since 1986, devolution of power to the territories has put various aspects of the management of research into the control of northerners. ... Although less marked than some of the other changes that I have tried to describe, it is my impression that university researchers are now more interested in "aboriginal science." This is a matter of very special cultural significance in terms of the involvement of native northerners in research. It is a matter about which there is a feeling of urgency in the North, as many feel that the generation that has the distinctive aboriginal view of the universe and that has the local ecological knowledge is passing. In my survey, I heard of a number of cooperative social and environmental projects that involve both Western and aboriginal science. ...
Phytoplankton were collected and environmental measurements made at depths of 0, 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 20 and 30 m at 3 h intervals through a tidal cycle in the summer in Frobisher Bay. Light, temperature, salinity and nutrients varied vertically. Concentration of chlorophyll a, species composition, number of species and diversity also exhibited a pronounced vertical variation, while phytoplankton cell numbers and the evenness of the variations in species diversity and evenness were minor under the existing environmental conditions, where only light fluctuated significantly. The integrated values of biomass, nutrients and mean temperature and salinity showed neither significant diel nor tidal variation.
Redistribution of calving caribou in response to oil field development on the Arctic Slope of Alaska
Arctic, v. 45, no. 4, Dec. 1992, p. 338-342, ill., 1 map
ASTIS record 32518
Aerial surveys were conducted annually in June 1978-87 near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to determine changes in the distribution of calving caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) that accompanied petroleum-related development. With construction of an oil field access road through a calving concentration area, mean caribou density (no./sq. km) decreased from 1.41 to 0.31 (P=0.05) with 1 km and increased from 1.41 to 4.53 (P=0.04) 5-6 km from the road. Concurrently, relative caribou use of the adjacent area declined (P<0.02), apparently in response to increasing surface development. We suggest that perturbed distribution associated with roads reduced the capacity of the nearby area to sustain parturient females and that insufficient spacing of roads may have depressed overall calving activity. Use of traditional calving grounds and of certain areas therein appears to favor calf survival, principally through lower predation risk and improved foraging conditions. Given the possible loss of those habitats through displacement and the crucial importance of the reproductive process, a cautious approach to petroleum development on the Arctic Slope is warranted.
Energy flow through the marine ecosystem of the Lancaster Sound region, Arctic Canada
Arctic, v. 45, no. 4, Dec. 1992, p. 343-357, ill., maps
ASTIS record 32519
This paper synthesizes the trophic dynamics of a Canadian arctic marine ecosystem in so far as it is known, using new data on primary production, zooplankton, the bivalve Mya truncata, and arctic cod (Boreogadus saida), as well as literature values for marine mammals and seabirds. The 98,000 sq km region has a high rate of primary production relative to other parts of arctic Canada. About 60 g C/sq. m are fixed annually, of which approximately 90% is contributed by phytoplankton, 10% by ice algae, and 1% by kelp. Phytoplankton production is twofold higher along the south coast of Cornwallis Island than elsewhere in Barrow Strait. Four copepod species, of which Pseudocalanus acuspes is the most important energetically, graze about one-third of the phytoplankton production. Bivalves maintain high biomass but low energy flow, acting as sedimenting agents. Arctic cod is a major component, with 125,000 tonnes being consumed by marine mammals and 23,000 tonnes by seabirds annually. Our hydro-acoustic estimate for mean arctic cod density, 0.0022 fish/sq. m, is probably too low, partly because we have been unable to quantify dense aggregations of schooling fish. The ecological efficiency of ringed seal is near maximum, with 5% of ringed seal ingestion going to bears and man as seal flesh. The data on total kill and prey consumption in whales and birds is incomplete because they migrate out of the Lancaster Sound region in winter. The food chain is very long, with bears occupying the fifth trophic level; this is reflected by high biomagnification factors for persistent lipophilic pollutants such as PCBs. There are major data gaps for some zooplankton and most of the benthos, as well as for winter populations and energetics. This trophic analysis is therefore incomplete and efficiencies for entire trophic levels cannot be calculated.
Thirty-three species of spiders were found on the low arctic Belcher Islands (on Flaherty Island), N.W.T., Canada in southeastern Hudson Bay (about 56 degrees N, 79 degrees W). Eight families were represented; 23 species belonged to Linyphiidae (s. lat.) and 4 to Lycosidae. The most abundant and frequently caught species, in the pitfall trap material, were the lycosids Pardosa labradorensis (Thorell), Alopecosa hirtipes (Kulczynski) and Arctosa insignita (Thorell). Other frequently trapped, eurytopic species included the linyphid Conigerella borealis (Jackson) and the gnaphosid Gnaphosa orites Chamberlin. A great number of species were found under stones. Diplocephalus sphagnicolus Eskov, known earlier from Siberia, is reported for the first time from the Nearctic region, and Typhochrestus pygmaeus (Soerensen), known from Greenland, is reported for the first time from North America. More than half of the found spider species are Holarctic.
Observations on the location of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternity dens, the locations of females with young cubs on the sea ice just after leaving their dens, and observations of Inuvialuit hunters were recorded in the eastern Beaufort Sea area from late March to mid-May 1971-79 and 1985-87. Maternity denning occurs annually on the west and south coasts of Banks Island but it has been recorded less frequently along the mainland coast of the southern Beaufort Sea. This distribution pattern could have been influenced by the pattern of sea ice formation in the fall and anthropogenic factors. Denning females and females accompanied by young cubs have been protected for almost 20 years, and maternity denning along the mainland coast appears to be increasing as a result.
Nearly a century ago government initiatives saved Canada's wild bison from extinction, and in the 1920s Wood Buffalo National Park (WBNP) was established as a preserve for wood and plains bison. Today new government initiatives threaten these northern bison with extermination as a "game management" strategy. This paper outlines the history of bison management in WBNP and addresses critical issues for the 1990s. It is argued that until the mid-1960s, when the park came under the jurisdiction of Parks Canada, management strategies were presented as biologically based but were conditioned by external political and economic considerations. Similarly, an analysis of current proposals to "replace" the bison of WBNP concludes the contemporary issues of political economy are obscured by attempts to justify the plan on biological grounds.
Fossil pollen and insect evidence for postglacial environmental conditions, Nushagak and Holitna lowland regions, southwest Alaska
Arctic, v. 45, no. 4, Dec. 1992, p. 381-392, ill., 1 map
ASTIS record 32523
This paper discusses the results of pollen and insect analyses of postglacial samples from the Nushagak and Holitna lowlands, southwest Alaska. Although radiocarbon dating control is poor, the samples can be arranged in a relative-age sequence based on stratigraphic occurrence. The fossil pollen data record the regional transition from a late-glacial dry graminoid tundra through the postglacial Birch, Alder, and Spruce zones. The lack of xeric insect species in the early postglacial suggests that the lowlands of southwest Alaska experienced maritime climatic conditions, in contrast to the interior. Rapid climatic warming is subsequently indicated by the fossil insect data, although the arrival of alder in the region postdates 8500 yr BP. There is no evidence for coniferous forest in the Nushagak lowland at any time in the postglacial, although spruce arrived in the Holitna lowland in the mid-postglacial.
We hypothesized that the arctic fox, Alopex lagopus (Linnaeus), population on St. Lawrence Island was cyclic and that its fluctuations in size, structure, and productivity were correlated with the relative size of the population of northern voles, Microtus oeconomus Pallas, the primary prey. Based on a nine-year study, we determined that the variations in size of the fox and vole populations were similar, but they both were of low amplitude and not closely correlated. The high pregnancy rate (mean, 86%/yr) and numbers of young conceived (mean, 11.5/pregnancy) did not vary significantly among years, probably because of the consistently abundant and diverse food supply available to the foxes. The age composition of the trappers' catch of foxes each winter also was comparatively stable, but it was closely correlated with the size of the vole population in the previous summer. The survival of the young foxes during the summer probably was dependent on the availability of the voles. The composition of the catch also appeared to be influenced by immigration of foxes from the adjacent continents via the pack ice.
The collation of 26 summer sighting records over years 1975-77, 1984 and 1987-91 suggest that bowhead whales may occupy the northeastern Chukchi Sea in late summer more regularly than commonly believed.
... Except for the fact that the press dramatized the difficulty in constructing a mountain pipeline, the Canol Project is among the least known episodes of the war years in Canada. Yet Canol's contribution to the advance of oil exploration and development in the Mackenzie Basin is one of the significant events of the time. In August 1940, before the U.S. entered World War II, Prime Minister Mackenzie King and President Franklin D. Roosevelt met in Ogdensburg, New York, to decide upon future defence collaboration. Their agreement was the basis for U.S. military activities in Canada that began as soon as the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour in December 1941. Meanwhile, President Roosevelt had negotiated a deal to supply the Soviet Union with thousands of fighter planes on a "lend-lease" basis. These aircraft would fly to Siberia by way of Alaska, using an air route through northwestern Canada. As soon as the U.S. declared war, American aircraft converged on the region to transport men and materials to Alaska and to prepare the way for delivering the lend-lease airplanes ....
Professor Paavo Kallio died on 11 June 1992 in Turku, Finland. He was a botanist, a scholar on subarctic and arctic nature, and an enthusiastic supporter of international research in northern areas. ... In the mid-1950s he organized field excursions for students to Lapland, and as a result of these trips a site for a field station was chosen in the northernmost part of Finnish Lapland at Kevo in Utsjoki (69 45 N). Even after retiring from his professorship, Paavo Kallio, the founder and the long-term head (1956-76) of the Kevo Subarctic Research Institute of the University of Turku, continued to serve as chairman of the board at Kevo (1977-84). ... Professor Kallio also founded three forest-line arboreta at Kevo, where tree-line trees from different parts of the Holarctic region have been planted. ... Kallio's aim was to make Kevo (and the biogeographical province Inari Lapland, 23 000 km˛ in area) into a 'known point," a well-studied reference site for subarctic Fennoscandia. ... He also supported research on the two most important animals in the native Sami people's daily life, reindeer and salmon. Kallio was an activist in the founding of the Sami Museum in Inari and acted as an expert in the planning of the Arctic Center in Rovaniemi. In addition to his scientific papers, he published numerous popular articles and books on nature and biological research in the northern Holarctic region. ...