RESEARCH

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1. Glacier N.P.

2. American Samoa N.P.

3. Tilden Regional Park

4. Olympic N.P.

1.

Project title: Global Change Research Program

Duration of project:
Dependant on project review

Project investigators and contact information:
Dan Fagre
USGS Glacier Field Station
Glacier National Park
West Glacier, MT 59936
(406) 888-7922

Park custodian and contact information:

  Dan Fagre
USGS Glacier Field Station
Glacier National Park
West Glacier, MT 59936
(406) 888-7922
Karen Holzer
USGS Glacier Field Station
Glacier National Park
West Glacier, MT 59936
(406) 888-7924
  Location of research/education activity:
Glacier National Park

2.

Project Title: Research on Climate Change Refugia at Ofu, American Samoa

Duration of Project: 1 Year (April 2003 April 2004)

Project Investigators and Contact Information:
  Dr. Lara Hansen
World Wildlife Fund
1250 24th St. NW
Washington D.C. 20037
Phone (202) 778-9619
Eric Mielbrecht
Emerald Coast Environmental Consulting
3811 Newark St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
  Eva DiDonato
National Park of American Samoa
Pago Plaza Suite #114
Pago Pago, AS 96799
Phone (684) 633-7082
Dr. Peter Craig
National Park of American Samoa
Pago Plaza Suite #114
Pago Pago, AS 96799
Phone (684) 633-7082
 

Park Custodian Contact Information: Eva DiDonato (See above)

Location of Research Activity: Tutuila and Ofu Islands, American Samoa

Description of Project:
One of the most critical challenges to the long-term effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPA) management is global climate change. Coral reefs have been shown to be extremely sensitive to both ultraviolet (UV) radiation and thermal stresses. Massive coral bleaching events have resulted from these two factors, yet little is known about how to best protect coral resources from these damaging and ubiquitous stresses. This proposal is designed to offer insight into factors that may offer increased natural resilience and resistance to climate change and therefore allow for more long-term MPA success. Specifically it will examine the concentration of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) in corals in the lagoon and near-shore (cooler, deeper) reefs of Ofu.

The impacts of climate change on coral reefs are many. Due to their dramatic sensitivity to increasing sea surface temperatures (as seen through bleaching events) and their importance to both biodiversity and human subsistence, developing protective strategies to conserve coral reefs in the face of climate change is extremely important. Two major questions must be answered in order to design effective protection: 1) Are some reefs more tolerant of high sea surface temperatures?, and 2) What is different about these reefs? From these we can gain insight into what factors make a reef more resistant and find locations that can be thought of, to some degree, as climate refugia. The latter are sites that might become conservation priorities as they will have a greater likelihood of surviving a greater degree of climate change than other sites. Crucial to the MAA assessment is the role of UV as well as temperature. While MAA content can be thought of as a sort of proxy for UV, radiometric confirmation of the relative UV dose would offer strong support.

This proposal is to examine the differences between corals in the lagoon and near-shore (cooler, deeper) reefs of Ofu with regard to MAA concentration. Coral nubs will be collected from a combination of species found in the lagoon paired with samples of the same species from outside of the lagoon, as well as from species only found in the lagoon. We also will measure UV at these collection sites for comparison of dose at the reef face. Prior to taking these samples, UV readings will be taken underwater throughout the year at reef sites near Tutuila and Ofu islands in order to document the dose of UV that corals are receiving year-round.
This project will produce a publication for submission to the peer-reviewed literature. Additionally the project will conduct stakeholder outreach events to explain the project to local stakeholders and offer education on key issues.

3.

Project title: UV-B exposure at oviposition sites of Taricha torosa.


Duration of project: Annually, for (2) years; for a period of (6) weeks beginning February or March (egg-laying season for newts varies each year). In 2003, beginning March, for (6) weeks.


Project investigators and contact information:
Karen Goetz
Biology department
San Francisco State University
(510) 883-1672

Park custodian and contact information (in this case, University custodian):
Jan Randall, Ph. D.
Biology department
San Francisco State University
(415)338-7100
office phone

Location of research/education activity: Tilden Regional Park, East Bay Regional Park District.


Abstract:
The Macam ultraviolet radiometer (model UV203-3) will be used to measure underwater irradiance of UV-B at field locations in stream breeding habitat of Taricha torosa. A 500m. section of creek will be sampled for data in historical oviposition habitat. Sites with and without egg masses will be measured for UV exposure. Data will be analyzed for evidence of preferential use of habitat. Any differences in UV-B levels will be tested for significance. This project will examine microhabitat choices during oviposition to see if there is evidence that UV-B is a factor in site selection.

 

4.

Project title: Amphibian monitoring and research in Olympic National Park

Duration of project:
Through Fall 2003.

Project investigators and contact information:

  Wendy Palen (Dr. Daniel Schindler, supervisor)
University of Washington
Department of Zoology
Box 351800
Seattle, WA 98195-1800
Dr. Mike Adams (collaborator)
USGS, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
3200 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
 


Park custodian and contact information
:
Jerry Freilich
Olympic National Park
Natural Resources
600 Race St.
Port Angeles, WA

Location of research/education activity:
Primarily in sub-alpine and alpine ponds of Olympic National Park, but also occasionally at sites throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Abstract of project:
To accurately evaluate the risk that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure may pose to pond-breeding amphibian species we have been investigating the spatial and temporal variation in dissolved organic matter concentrations at amphibian breeding sites. Dissolved organic matter in water is a by-product of terrestrial plant decomposition, is transported across the landscape by precipitation and snow-melt, and rapidly attenuates high-energy wavelengths of light including UVR. Using the Macam underwater spectrophotometer, we are able to characterize the rate of UVR attenuation with increasing water depth and evaluate how well DOM concentration predicts UVR levels at different points in the water column. This information is critical to our understanding of the risk that UVR exposure poses to amphibians, as physiological tests conducted under laboratory conditions give us little insight into the range of natural exposure levels and how that coincides with life-history stages of differing sensitivity. Since accurate data collection requires clear-sky days at solar noon, we have been limited by the highly variable climatic conditions present in Olympic National Park and would like to add to our dataset of attenuation profiles at different breeding sites in Summer 2003.

Other information about this meter:
Serial number: 5974
Number of hours of operation since last calibration: approximately 20

 

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