Funded Research Projects: FOREST ECOLOGY

Coastal Rainforest Margins Research Network - understanding materials flux in linked terrestrial and marine systems in the face of climate change

Research Sponsored By: University of Alaska Southeast
Principal Investigator: David Butman
Project Description
Coastal temperate rainforest (CTR) ecosystems such as those found in Patagonia, New Zealand, and along the Gulf of Alaska are unique in the degree to which terrestrial and marine environments are tightly linked. CTR peatlands in particular have extremely high export rates for DOC; in the north Pacific CTR, these can exceed 10 kg ha-1 during multi-day storm events. The Pacific coastal temperate rainforest (PCTR) along the northwest coast of North America exemplifies this type of coastal margin hotspot. The land-to-ocean flux of freshwater in the PCTR is exceptionally high: the average annual freshwater discharge from northern PCTR streams and rivers is approximately 1100 km3 yr-1 from a total drainage area of about 550,000 km2. We are proposing to develop a Coastal Rainforest Margins Research (CRMR) Network to facilitate collaborative research initiatives to quantify materials flux from coastal watersheds to coastal marine ecosystems, within the context of regional geographic variation and long term environmental change.