A review of apparent 20th century changes in the presence of mussels (Mytilus trossulus) and macroalgae in Arctic, Alaska, and of historical and paleontological evidence used to relate mollusc distributions to climate change

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Feder, H. M., Norton, D. W., & Geller, J. B. (2003). A review of apparent 20th century changes in the presence of mussels (Mytilus trossulus) and macroalgae in Arctic, Alaska, and of historical and paleontological evidence used to relate mollusc distributions to climate change. Arctic, 56(4), 391-407.
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TitleA review of apparent 20th century changes in the presence of mussels (Mytilus trossulus) and macroalgae in Arctic, Alaska, and of historical and paleontological evidence used to relate mollusc distributions to climate change
AuthorsH. Feder, D. Norton, J. Geller
AbstractLive mussels attached to fresh laminarioid brown algae, all fastened to clusters of pebbles and small cobbles, were repeatedly cast ashore by autumn storms at Barrow, Alaska, in the 1990s. Specimens of Laminaria saccharina and L. solidungula shorten by 100 km a 500 km gap (Peard Bay to Stefansson Sound) between previously known concentrations of these kelp species. For the genus Mytilus, a 1 600 km gap in fully documented locations existed between Kivalina in the southern Chukchi Sea and the Mackenzie River delta. Barrow specimens were identified using a mitochondrial DNA marker as M. trossulus, an identity consistent with dispersal from the Pacific-Bering side of the Arctic. Live mussels and macroalgae were neither washed up by storms nor collected by active biological sampling during extensive benthic surveys at Barrow in 1948-50. We cannot interpret the current presence of these bivalves and macrophytes as Arctic range extensions due to warming, similar to those manifested by the tree line in terrestrial systems and by Pacific salmon in marine environments. Supplemental information and critical evaluation of survey strategies and rationales indicate that changes in sea temperatures are an unlikely cause. Alternative explanations focus on past seafloor disturbances, dispersal from marine or estuarine refugia, and effects of predators on colonists. This review suggests refining some interpretations of environmental change that are based on the extensive resource of Cenozoic fossils of Arctic molluscs.
JournalArctic
Date2003
Start page391
End page407
ISSN00040843
Subjectsclimate change, environmental change, historical ecology, mollusc, paleontology, twentieth century, Alaska, Barrow, North America, United States, algae, Bivalvia, Laminaria, Laminaria saccharina, Laminaria solidungula, Mollusca, Mytilidae, Mytilus, Mytilus trossulus, Oncorhynchus, Phaeophyceae
NoteCited By (since 1996):16, CODEN: ATICA, Invertebrates

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