Terrestrial-aquatic food web linkages across floodplains of different ages, Glacier Bay, Alaska

Clitherow, Leonie Rose (2016). Terrestrial-aquatic food web linkages across floodplains of different ages, Glacier Bay, Alaska. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The linkages between the stream and its riparian zone have been well studied in many diverse systems on short (generally annual) timescales. No research has yet considered this in the context of longer (multi-decadal to centennial) timescales at which landscape and successional processes operate. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, in southeast Alaska, has a well-documented history of glacial retreat, which allows for the study of ecosystem development using a space-for-time chronosequence approach. This research was unique in analysing terrestrial invertebrates on floodplains of different ages in Glacier Bay, and was the first to utilise two complementary methods of dietary analysis to study the movement of resources between terrestrial and aquatic habitats at sites of different ages. A combination of gut contents dietary analysis and stable isotope analysis was used to determine the food sources of aquatic and terrestrial consumers. Physical habitat complexity, rather than substrate age alone, was an important factor in structuring reciprocal subsidies. This has clear implications for river managers seeking to restore streams to their natural state, particularly where juvenile salmonids are present, as well as underlining the importance of considering a stream in the wider context of its riparian zone.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/6676


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